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09-29-2009, 06:18 PM   #16
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I own the Sigma 70 and have used the DA70 - so this info comes from someone who has used both lenses in person.

Here's a quick comparison for you (real life one - no brick wall tests, or stuff I read somewhere and believe to be gospel):
- Sigma 70 is a touch cheaper than DA70
- Sigma 70 is significantly heavier than DA70 and significantly bigger. I would call it "heavy" actually. I wouldn't want to haul it around all day. That being said, it's not a huge lens by any means (about same size as Tamron 28-75).
- Sigma 70 is true 70mm and true f/2.8. DA70 is closer to 68mm and closer to f/2.8 than f2.4 (* this I've read through various sources *)
- Sigma 70 is a true macro at 0.91:1 (slightly larger than life size) and focuses approx 6cm from the edge of the lens (the glass is recessed quite a ways - such that I never use the supplied hood). I didn't test DA70's close focusing ability - sorry.
- Sigma 70 is FF compatible and has a focus limiter - it focuses extremely fast (when not focusing within a 1/2 metre or so. DA70 focuses very fast also.
- Sigma 70 bokeh is very smooth. DA70's bokeh is creamy, but not FA77 creamy.
- If I recall correctly DA70's colours were a bit more contrasty.
- Sigma 70 is so blazingly sharp it's scary. Once you see the image in the viewfinder for the first time you will know EXACTLY what I mean. DA70 is very sharp.
- Sigma 70's build is very sturdy and of excellent quality. DA70's build is sublime.

All-in-all I think the Sigma 70 is by far the superior lens. It offers everything the DA70 does, but also does macro, is FF compatible, renders metal colours like no other lens I've ever used, and reads the lighting of a scene perfectly (it's crazy good at nailing exposure). There is NOTHING I don't like about this lens.

DA70 is a great lens, is nice and compact and is worth the money. If size is your main concern then this is no-contest.

Both are fabulous people/portrait lenses and are both excellent all round lenses - you really can't go wrong with either.

I hope this info helps!

c[_]


Last edited by ll_coffee_lP; 09-29-2009 at 06:24 PM.
09-29-2009, 06:25 PM   #17
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I'll try and put it in way that you can relate to. I see you have the 40mm LTD. I have the 40 and the 70. I was so blown away with the 40 that I got the 70. For a while I was not sure how good the 70 really was and the FOV was awkward to me. No i am used to it and all I can say is WOW! I get the amazing quality of the LTD lenses more often than with the 40. ie, they both produce amazing images but the 70 seems to do so more consistently. Considering that the 70 opens wider than the 40 this is very very useful.

For a while I thought that the 70 was amazing me so much because it was newer and my latest toy but I have had it for a while now and have newer toys and it still is the favourite.

Others may disagree but if you have a k20 or k7 then take the time to calibrate teh focus wide open for the LTD lenses.

mike
09-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
Others may disagree but if you have a k20 or k7 then take the time to calibrate teh focus wide open for the LTD lenses.
Mike,

That's an interesting point. Can the Sigma lenses be calibrated on the K20D, too? Or is that something that can be done only with Pentax lenses?

Will
09-29-2009, 09:44 PM   #19
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For what's worth, there are a lot of DA 70mm samples on Flickr as well (tons of portraits):

"DA 70mm" - Flickr: Search

09-29-2009, 10:16 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Here's a quick comparison for you...
Thanks for this comparison. BTW, your guitar shots and portraits sold me on the lens the instant I saw them.


QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Can the Sigma lenses be calibrated on the K20D, too?
Yes, they can.
09-30-2009, 07:08 AM   #21
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moving towards a decision

Gosh this is difficult! But I'm getting a pretty clear idea of the pros and cons of the alternatives. Here is how I see it now. NOTE: The "grades" assigned below are MY opinions and are undeniably subjective. You may very well grade the lenses differently and that's fine with me. But I'm not buying a lens for you. :-)

__________


Pentax 70 f/2.4 limited
  1. Very good image quality (sharp, good bokeh, etc). +4.5
  2. Small and light. +1.5
  3. Quick focus +0.5
  4. Slightly wider aperture +0.5

For a total of 7.

I gave quick focus and the wider aperture half points only because neither of these is very important to me - but I didn't want to ignore them. I'm not sure that the size of the lens really is a +2 advantage so I gave it 1.5.

Note that I am rating image quality on a scale of 5.



Sigma 70 f/2.8
  1. Superb image quality (very sharp, very good bokeh). +5
  2. Macro +0.5
  3. Almost $100 less expensive +1
  4. Longer warranty (see below) +1

For a total of 7.5.

I didn't rate the Sigma's macro capability higher because it's just not that important to me right now.

Re warranty: As far as I can tell, the Pentax comes with a 1-year warranty. The Sigma comes with an initial 1 year warranty but you get 3 years more added simply for registering.

I might add that I like Sigma lenses. I've owned and sold a number of them, but the couple that I have right now are very good. The 28 f/1.8 in particular is a fine lens. There's something about the look of most of my Pentax lenses that I don't like very much. They seem less solid than the Sigmas. I do like the 40 very much, but it's the only Pentax lens that really grabs me. I'm just talking about intangibles here. I don't like the look or feel of the 16-45 f/4 but I do realize it's a really nice zoom lens.


ADDENDUM: I'm aware that the Pentax 70 is supposed to auto-focus very quickly, while the Sigma's auto-focusing is slower. On the other hand, I read a comment by a Sigma user that said, with the focus limiter enabled, the Sigma focuses quickly. I'm not able to assess the merit of these claims. I don't focus manually very often, so super fast auto-focus would be nice, but isn't critical for me. So I've simply ignored this issue and neither lens was given a point here.

__________


So I'm learning (by half a point) toward the Sigma.

I really wish I could buy both lenses, and failing that, I wish I could put my hands on both lenses and shoot for even a few minutes with each one. I'll be sure to buy from a seller that has a good returns policy.

Thanks for all the input. Both are obviously GREAT lenses and I can fully understand the strong feelings everybody has about their favorite!

Will

Last edited by WMBP; 09-30-2009 at 07:14 AM.
09-30-2009, 07:24 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
So I'm learning (by half a point) toward the Sigma.

I really wish I could buy both lenses, and failing that, I wish I could put my hands on both lenses and shoot for even a few minutes with each one. I'll be sure to buy from a seller that has a good returns policy.

Thanks for all the input. Both are obviously GREAT lenses and I can fully understand the strong feelings everybody has about their favorite!

Will
Nothing to say except it sounds like you've made up your mind. A bit of advice, go with your gut (or your point system...) and don't look back. You can make yourself crazy. You could have just as easily been comparing the DA 70 to the FA 77 in this thread, and you'd have a similarly tough decision. If you were in the market, imagine choosing between the Tamron 90mm macro, Sigma 105mm macro and Pentax DFA 100mm macro--again, you just have to take a leap and faith and pick one. Good luck with your purchase.
09-30-2009, 07:30 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffrey r Quote
Nothing to say except it sounds like you've made up your mind. A bit of advice, go with your gut (or your point system...) and don't look back. You can make yourself crazy. You could have just as easily been comparing the DA 70 to the FA 77 in this thread, and you'd have a similarly tough decision. If you were in the market, imagine choosing between the Tamron 90mm macro, Sigma 105mm macro and Pentax DFA 100mm macro--again, you just have to take a leap and faith and pick one. Good luck with your purchase.
Thanks, Jeffrey. Problem is, I won't make up my mind until I actually pull the trigger. A half-point difference between the lenses isn't much. The Sigma is much heavier than the Pentax - three to four times heavier, I think - and perhaps I should have given the Pentax a full 2 point advantage on size and weight. And it's also possible that the half point disadvantage I assigned to the Pentax lens in image quality is too much. If they are so close that I can't tell the difference even in print, then it should be a wash.

I make these lists all the time and sometimes they help. Sometimes they don't.

Anyway, I'll come back here and post a follow-up after I make up my mind.

Will

p.s. In the meantime I'm getting ready to put a couple of lenses up for sale here, including the Pentax DA* 50-135. If anybody's interested, send me a private message.

09-30-2009, 07:32 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
I own the Sigma 70 and have used the DA70 - so this info comes from someone who has used both lenses in person.
...
All-in-all I think the Sigma 70 is by far the superior lens. It offers everything the DA70 does, but also does macro, is FF compatible, renders metal colours like no other lens I've ever used, and reads the lighting of a scene perfectly (it's crazy good at nailing exposure). There is NOTHING I don't like about this lens.

DA70 is a great lens, is nice and compact and is worth the money. If size is your main concern then this is no-contest.

Both are fabulous people/portrait lenses and are both excellent all round lenses - you really can't go wrong with either.
Coffee, I wanted to thank you for this excellent post. Very helpful.

Will
09-30-2009, 08:35 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
- Sigma 70 is true 70mm and true f/2.8. DA70 is closer to 68mm and closer to f/2.8 than f2.4 (* this I've read through various sources *)
I have both DA40 and DA70, and I can clearly tell that the viewfinder is a tad bit brighter thru the DA70 than it is thru DA40. So, if DA70 is closer to f/2.8, then the DA40 is probably closer to f/3.5 or f/3.8. But nobody ever seems to question if DA40 is a true f/2.8 or not.

DA70, however, being a APS-C lens, is likely to vignette more wide open than the Sigma FF lens.
09-30-2009, 08:51 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
All-in-all I think the Sigma 70 is by far the superior lens. It offers everything the DA70 does, but also does macro, is FF compatible, renders metal colours like no other lens I've ever used, and reads the lighting of a scene perfectly (it's crazy good at nailing exposure). There is NOTHING I don't like about this lens.
I don't have the Sigma 70mm. But I regret squandering an opportunity to acquire a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG macro recently for a very good price. In any case, DA70 is no slouch when it comes to rendering metal colors either:
09-30-2009, 09:35 AM   #27
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I own the DA 70 and for what it's worth, it is an excellent lens. I have had a couple of Sigma lenses and wasn't very happy with them. Quality control may not be great with Pentax, but seemed pretty lousy with Sigma.
09-30-2009, 09:42 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
- Sigma 70 is true 70mm and true f/2.8. DA70 is closer to 68mm and closer to f/2.8 than f2.4 (* this I've read through various sources *)
I can't comment on the focal length, as I have no way of measuring that really, but as for aperture, I would say if the DA70 is closer to f/2.8 (which may well be true), then every lens I own is also off by about the same amount, because there really is no question it's pretty much half a stop faster than any of my other lenses at f/2.8 (or indeed, than the DA70 itself is at f/2.8).
09-30-2009, 02:27 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I can't comment on the focal length, as I have no way of measuring that really, but as for aperture, I would say if the DA70 is closer to f/2.8 (which may well be true), then every lens I own is also off by about the same amount, because there really is no question it's pretty much half a stop faster than any of my other lenses at f/2.8 (or indeed, than the DA70 itself is at f/2.8).
Whether that's true or not I wouldn't be able to comment (I don't use your personal lenses). My comment clearly indicates that the DA70's supposed f/2.4 is actually closer to f/2.8 as per my readings...and when drawing the comparison between the two lenses in question I'm merely pointing out that the aperture difference is minimal in posted spec - and even more minimal in actual specs. Take that comment at whatever value you so choose.

c[_]

P.S. OP - you're welcome for the comparison - good luck with your purchase! (Best part is...you can't make a wrong choice here)
09-30-2009, 02:53 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
DA70 is closer to 68mm and closer to f/2.8 than f2.4 (* this I've read through various sources *)
c[_]
I've heard this too. But the part that surprises me is that Pentax of all people--with a 21, a 31, a 43 and a 77--would shy away from labeling something a 68/2.7!
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