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10-31-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
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Best startre lens Pentax 17-70 or Sigma 17-70 or?

I finally decided on my first DSLR camera, a K-7. I'm scouting around for the best price right now.

Now, I need to decide for my lens. From what I read, the Pentax or Sigma 17-70 would be a good fit for my initial needs (family pictures at partys - christmats birthdays etc...and pictures of my 4year old daughter plus vacation pictures - beaches, zoos forests etc...)

Better than a 18-55 + 55-200 Pentax kit lenses, from what I read, for roughly the same cost. I know I lose some range but I will eventually get a GOOD lens with more reach. Anyway, thats my plan for now. But I am a COMPLETE NOOB, so my opinion reflects my needs better than my knowlege. Any recommendations?

Thanks in adavance!

10-31-2009, 09:31 PM   #2
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Well the Pentax 17-70 has a fixed aperture but it's only F4, it's also has SDM which is quiet and fast. The Sigma 17-70 on the other hand is a lot less costly, and can go down to F2.8 on the wide-end which would help a lot during indoor shoots of parties and birthdays. I used to have the Sigma 17-70 and it's a great lens and is sharp.

Have you considered about getting the Tamron 28-75/2.8 instead? It's a sharp lens that rivals the Pentax DA* 16-50/2.8, although it may lose some range on the wider end, it's fixed at F2.8 all throughout it's focal range and is sharp.
10-31-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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I know nothing of the Sigma 17-70.
But my wife has the Pentax 17-70 on her K200D....and takes a very good photo with it.
I have managed to borrow it a couple of times and inmho it would take a DA* 16-50 to beat it.
10-31-2009, 11:22 PM   #4
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Another vote on the Tamron 28-75. A fine go-to zoom. I do get punchier results with my 16-50, but the 28-75 is still a very good lens.

There's also the Tamron 17-50, which is just as fast (f/2.8) and at least as good as the 28-75 - so you may have several fast zoom options...

Otherwise, if it's a wide range you're after, then the 17-70s are not a bad choice. Which one? Pentax IMO, but that's just because (1) I dislike variable maximum aperture lenses, and (2) I have perhaps an unreasonable aversion to Sigma (all my experiences with their lenses have been less than impressive)...

11-01-2009, 02:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Another vote on the Tamron 28-75. A fine go-to zoom. I do get punchier results with my 16-50, but the 28-75 is still a very good lens.

There's also the Tamron 17-50, which is just as fast (f/2.8) and at least as good as the 28-75 - so you may have several fast zoom options...
I went and shot a local culture festival in an auditorium today, both with and without flash, taking along my recently purchased Tamron 17-50/2.8 as well as my 28-75/2.8. Much to my surprise, the 28-75/2.8 never left my camera bag; I shot the whole thing with the 17-50. (shots posted so far).

I am well pleased with it so far. For indoor use like this I will gladly sacrifice a bit of reach in order to have a constant maximum aperture of f2.8 instead of f4. It's easier to move myself than to miracle myself an extra stop of illumination in the room. I have some control over my location; I have none over the ambient lighting.
11-01-2009, 03:30 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that the Sigma 17-70 has better close-up (1:~2,4, if I remember right) than the Pentax 17-70 (1:~3,2). I've got the Pentax myself, and the reasons for it over the Sigma are roughly the same as Ash has pointed out.
11-01-2009, 03:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I went and shot a local culture festival in an auditorium today, both with and without flash, taking along my recently purchased Tamron 17-50/2.8 as well as my 28-75/2.8. Much to my surprise, the 28-75/2.8 never left my camera bag; I shot the whole thing with the 17-50. (shots posted so far).

I am well pleased with it so far. For indoor use like this I will gladly sacrifice a bit of reach in order to have a constant maximum aperture of f2.8 instead of f4. It's easier to move myself than to miracle myself an extra stop of illumination in the room. I have some control over my location; I have none over the ambient lighting.
As usual great pics Mike. I like your reasoning about how you can't change your ambient light but you can move yourself into the action if you have too........
11-01-2009, 04:56 AM   #8
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There's also the 24-60 2.8 Sigma, which can be found quite cheaply. I normally mount the 17-70 for flash shooting, but use the 24-60 (or the 50/1.4 but thats off topic) when flash isn't an option..

11-01-2009, 05:15 AM   #9
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It depends on what has more value for you.

IQ-wise they are equivalent.

The Pentax has f4 at 70 mm, and SDM

The Sigma has f2,8 at 17 mm, and 1:2,3 macro focusing. And it's cheaper.

I personally own the Sigma. If the Pentax had been weather sealed, iI would have chosen it, but there you are...
11-02-2009, 02:04 AM   #10
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I'm in the same boat. I might just flip a coin!
11-02-2009, 10:48 AM   #11
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My opinion is biased as I love walk-around and 1-lens to do-it-most with my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. The Pentax DA may have better overall image quality. The SDM is nice to have while I consider the weather sealing a bit more important to have in a starter and do-it-most kind of lens. The focal range in 17-70mm is wonderful and that range will fill your needs better as a single lens for broad usage as compared to other similar lens in 18-55, 16-50, 16-45, 17-50, 24-60 and 28-75, I like the range in 17-70mm the best for versatility. I think the Pentax DA will be more expensive for you to factor into the equation on cost vs value. In the price of the DA 17-70mm, you are more likely to get a used copy of Sigma for ~$300 and use the difference to finance a used copy 50mm such as F 50mm f/1.7, FA 50mm f/1.4, or a good manual focus 50mm such as Pentax A 50mm f/1.7.

I wrote about the Pentax 1-lens choices in which I pick the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 as my center of focus as the most versatile candidate for walk-around purpose. The build is excellent in the Sigma 17-70mm. AF is reasonable but loud as usual when compared to SDM.

I also have Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. Image quality is better in the Tamron but in terms of versatility and flexibility given the 1:2.3 close, the winner of choice goes to the Sigma for walk-around and kit's lens that can do landscape well in 17mm, a great travel and street shooting lens throughout the zoom, a great portrait zoom in the 40 to 70mm range, a great close up for flowers in 70mm with 1:2.3 close up ratio. The lens works out great for me in traveling.

Regards,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 11-02-2009 at 10:53 AM.
11-02-2009, 11:02 AM   #12
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There is also a SIgma 24-70 EX that is constant f/2.8 also. I have been looking at these lenses also as I have nothing currently between 55mm-70mm in a Penatx mount. There are a several well spoken of lenses in this size range. For the moment I haven't had the money to go for one as I'm taking care of my pre-winter projects around the house. There were a couple of 17-70's in the marketplace well priced. I just couldn't swing it right now. To the OP: the 17-70 size will give you a more versatile lens as you are just starting out and the Sigma is well priced and does have the close up/macro feature. The 18-55 kit is not a bad lens so don't dismiss it and you may find you could use that 55-200. You can get some wonderful candid shots of your kids with a longer lens when they won't be putting on their camera face.
11-02-2009, 11:12 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mba1971 Quote
I finally decided on my first DSLR camera, a K-7. I'm scouting around for the best price right now.

Now, I need to decide for my lens. From what I read, the Pentax or Sigma 17-70 would be a good fit for my initial needs (family pictures at partys - christmats birthdays etc...and pictures of my 4year old daughter plus vacation pictures - beaches, zoos forests etc...)

Better than a 18-55 + 55-200 Pentax kit lenses, from what I read, for roughly the same cost. I know I lose some range but I will eventually get a GOOD lens with more reach. Anyway, thats my plan for now. But I am a COMPLETE NOOB, so my opinion reflects my needs better than my knowlege. Any recommendations?

Thanks in adavance!
If you don't need f/2.8 speed, the Pentax 18-55 DA L or mkII are outstanding deals at around $80-$150. IQ is very good, although reputedly not quite as excellent as the Sigma, which is 2x - 3x the price.

If you don't need a wide-ish lens, the Tamron 28-75 is really sharp. I had one for a while last year and was impressed with it's performance, if not value for my particular needs.
11-02-2009, 11:30 AM   #14
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A note on the 16-45.

It seems like it has limited focal length range (29mm vs the 18-55's 37mm). But in terms of horizontal angle of view, it actually has lots of range (44 degrees vs. the 18-55's 43 degrees). Zoom range at the wide end counts for more and is harder to obtain. Used 16-45's are selling for under $300 USD.
11-02-2009, 11:34 AM   #15
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The Sigma 17-70 was my first lens, and I still use it regularly. It is a very versatile lens, with a decent range, and the close-focusing ability is often quite useful. I highly recommend it.

From all account, the Pentax 17-70 is also a great lens. However I have no experience with it.
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