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10-06-2009, 11:00 AM   #1
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28-105mm: Sigma AF f2.8-4 vs Pentax SMCP FA f3.2-4.5

I've chosen not to go for an ultrazoom after all. I want a medium zoom with decent speed, so after a quick eBay search I've singled out the two in the title.

I've read reviews of both. The Pentax is universally praised; the Sigma is inconsistent - some people say "awfully soft at all lengths", others say "tack sharp". Nobody seems to have an opinion somewhere inbetween the two extremes.

Based solely on this I'd get the Pentax, but then the Sigma is brighter, which is good as it'd be my main lens, and more light is always better.

Sigma reviews
Pentax reviews

What's your opinion?

10-06-2009, 11:26 AM   #2
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I have the Pentax 28-105. I really like the lens. Sometimes focus hunts a little, but I really love the colors. It's small, light and easy to carry all day. It may not be wide enough for you, but I carry my 19-35 if I need wider. I can't comment on the Sigma as I've never used one.
10-06-2009, 09:45 PM   #3
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I'll second the Pentax, I had it a few years ago and was my main lens.
10-06-2009, 10:13 PM   #4
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I also have the FA28-105 F3.2-4.5 and find it to be an excellent lens for the money. I have not owned that particular Sigma lens but I have owned a few Sigma lenses and personally I would always choose a Pentax lens over an equivalent Sigma.

If you were tossing up between a 'pro'-level sigma lens, say with constant 2.8 max aperture then I'd say go for the Sigma - but in this case the Sigma has little real advantage on paper over the Pentax in terms of aperture (1/3 stop faster at 28, 1/2 stop faster at 105). On the other hand the Pentax has a superior coating and is almost certainly better built.

10-06-2009, 10:16 PM   #5
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I've got the Sigma. Overall, my copy is less sharp than the kit 18-55, but not to the point of being unusable. I think it's just bad QC on Sigmas part as I've also heard from others that it's a sharp lens. I got mine for less than $100. At that price, it's worth it IMO, but for much more than that, no.
10-07-2009, 07:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
I also have the FA28-105 F3.2-4.5 and find it to be an excellent lens for the money. I have not owned that particular Sigma lens but I have owned a few Sigma lenses and personally I would always choose a Pentax lens over an equivalent Sigma.

If you were tossing up between a 'pro'-level sigma lens, say with constant 2.8 max aperture then I'd say go for the Sigma - but in this case the Sigma has little real advantage on paper over the Pentax in terms of aperture (1/3 stop faster at 28, 1/2 stop faster at 105). On the other hand the Pentax has a superior coating and is almost certainly better built.

i second that. i had the FA 28 - 105 as well, quite a nice little lens, as everyone said it has nice colour rendition and decent IQ for a better-than-kit zoom lenses.

That being said, I can't really say I felt much for it since it was quite plasticky and light, and my copy suffers from zoom creep. Though these are really personal, minor issues, it is because of these reasons that I didn't take to the lens. I went around and got a tokina ATX (which I sold) and finally settled on a sigma 24 - 70 /2.8.

I guess my point is, if its really a choice between the sigma and Pentax lens you selected, the pentax is a better choice - but if you can afford it (or am willing to wait a bit and save towards getting a better lens) do consider some of the 3rd party "pro" grade lenses in this range, they are worth it.
10-07-2009, 09:19 AM   #7
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I know two lenses in this range.
Extremely cheap Quantaray 28-90mm (rebranded Sigma, I believe). I really like this light lens. Not very sharp, but not bad.
Vivitar Series I 28-90mm F2.8-3.5 I believe that it is better then both lenses mentioned here. Another Vivitar gem. Not comparable to plastic stuff.
Look here Vivitar 28-90/2.8-3.5 Series 1 zoom
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