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11-30-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
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Questions on SDM/HSM/Wide-Angle Zooms/Primes

Some random questions on lenses for my K200D (and its eventual replacement):
With all of the talk about problems with Pentax lenses featuring SDM technology (which is a concern to me as the owner of both the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 lenses), is similar technology from third-party lenses any better? Specifically, I'm talking about Sigma and its HSM technology. Is HSM any more reliable than Pentax's SDM?

It may be a moot point for me, because I don't have the same kind of discretionary income that I had when I bought the 16-50 and 50-135. I've had Pentax's 12-24mm f/4 lens on my wish list for a while. I'm not saying the 12-24 has SDM, but there's no way I can spend more than $700 on a single lens right now. So, I'm looking at both the non-HSM version of the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC lens or the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DI-II B.I.M. lens - both of which are readily available for well under $500.

I've looked at the Pentax Forums review pages for these lenses but I still can't get a feel for which lens is better. Any recommendations? The Tamron has a better warranty (6 years vs four years right now) but Sigma's EX lenses seem to be built better than the rest of their line. I'm also trying to get a feel of whether Sigma or Tamron should be my default third-party lensmaker.

And, while we're at it... can anyone tell me if the Pentax version of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM lens actually features HSM? I've heard otherwise... but not definitively. Sure, I'd love a Pentax FA 31mm Limited... see mention of my economic situation above.

12-01-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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This is a hard question to answer, there can only be speculation.
But one thing's certain, AF failure is not unique to SDM lenses. There are users of Sigma's HSM lenses here that have experienced failures.

Between the Tamron and Sigma 70-200s you'll find them both capable and offer good IQ, but I'd personally go for the Tamron hands down - but then, I'm biased (I dislike Sigma's newer lenses).

Your last question is somewhat intriguing. Why would an HSM lens not feature HSM?
12-01-2009, 09:05 PM   #3
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Hi, Ash... I may be dreaming, but I could swear someone on this message board posted a message saying the Pentax version of that particular Sigma lens didn't feature HSM and instead relied on the screw-type drive. Maybe I'm losing it...
12-01-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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Biro: it *is* HSM. It was one of the first Sigma HSM lenses so they had an issue w/ the HSM rollers getting stuck. Fixed now AFAIK. From a tech standpoint, an HSM ring motor should be more reliable than Pentax's micromotor...

12-02-2009, 06:24 AM   #5
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Okay then... thanks for clearing that up, Kenyee.
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