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06-25-2007, 02:53 AM   #1
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Alternatives to Sigma 18-125

Hi,

I have the Sigma 18-125 and I find the focal range perfect for my photography needs when I'm out and about.

However, the quality of the shots isnt as good as I would like and I'm looking for alternative lenses.

There doesnt seem to be a great deal of lenses out there for this focal range but the one that sounds interesting is the Tamron 24-135 lens

It an old design for film cameras and they havent updated it for the 'digital' age so its not designated as a Di lenses. That is one concern.

Anyone out there have experience of this lens. How does this compare in quality to prime lenses or 'decent' zoom lens like the Pentax 16-45/Tamron 28-75?

I have to say the Sigma 18-125 compares quite poorly with my FA 50mm 1.4

Thanks

06-25-2007, 03:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ngkmh Quote
Hi,
I have to say the Sigma 18-125 compares quite poorly with my FA 50mm 1.4
hm what do you expect?

The zoom range is so big you wont get the best quality possible, thats why quality zoom lenses like the forthcoming da 16-50 have a shorter range.

The kind of zoom you descibe is a compromise in favor of convenience rather than of image quality. So its not fair to compare it to a 50mm prime.

I dont think there is any lens in that range that is really good, if you split it up and got 2 zooms instead of one then you could get very good results.

Maybe the sigma 17-70 and then the pentax 50-200 to get it nice and affordable. Or the pentax 16-45 and 50-200.

As for your specific question, I dont know anything about that lens. There is a Tamron AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II lens that even extends upon the range of the sigma and doesnt seem to be too shabby although its brutally slow on the long end. But if you want this kind of super zoom then you have to lower your image quality expections imo.
06-25-2007, 03:49 AM   #3
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I don't know what your budget is, but I'd look into the new Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-f/6.3 XR DI-II LD Aspherical (IF) AF Zoom Lens with Macro (around $499). From sample photos I've seen, it looks to be an excellent walkaround lens with great image quality which is hard to find with most zooms. That said, zooms will almost always offer less image quality than primes, unless you pay more.

The Tamron 24-135mm seems to get decent reviews, but I've never personally used the lens. I had the Sigma 24-135mm which could be another option, but I don't know if it's any better than the 18-125mm you have. I eventually sold it along with the kit lens to get the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 Macro which is far superior to both. It doesn't have the extra reach you seem to want, but you save image quality IMO. Also take a look at the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 which is proven to be excellent and provides a little larger focal range.
06-25-2007, 06:14 AM   #4
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Thanks for your suggestions. It seems the Tamron 18-250mm is a possibility but surely that lens is even more of a compromise (in terms of quality) than the Sigma 18-125.

I really think there is a gap in the market for this mid-telephoto focal range. I might have to wait and keep the Sigma for the time being. Its a shame the new DA* 50-135 is not slightly wider....

06-25-2007, 06:21 AM   #5
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Its not rlightly wider because it is a high end lens, I beleive if they made a 16-150 f2.8 it would be huge, have lots of distortions at 16mm and would offer lower image quality than the pair of 16-50 and 50-150.

The best bet for a quality mid teleporty might be a 28-70 f2.8 such as the tamron, or the sigma 17-70.

I think you should consider breaking it up into a wide zoom and teleporto zoom, then you would have a lot more and better choices.
06-25-2007, 06:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
Its not rlightly wider because it is a high end lens, I beleive if they made a 16-150 f2.8 it would be huge, have lots of distortions at 16mm and would offer lower image quality than the pair of 16-50 and 50-150.

The best bet for a quality mid teleporty might be a 28-70 f2.8 such as the tamron, or the sigma 17-70.

I think you should consider breaking it up into a wide zoom and teleporto zoom, then you would have a lot more and better choices.

I more or less have decided to split the wide zoom/telephoto zoom requirements

I'm thinking Pentax 12-24 or Sigma 10-20 for wide
and 24-120ish for telephoto.

I'm not really into landscape photography at the moment so I dont really have a need to go to 16mm.

Most of my photography seems to be in the 25-100 range at the moment. Now that is just a 4x zoom. I should think a high quality 4x zoom is possible costing no more than 500USD.
06-25-2007, 08:48 AM   #7
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Im a bit confused, you dont need wider than 16mm because you are not into landscape but you want the 12-24 or 10-20 ? Doesnt that mean that you indeed want to go wider than 16mm?

Yes its possible, but the range of 25-100 is a bit nonstandard, zooms normally start at 28 or 24 (older style for FF) or 16, 18 (new style, for APS-C).

I believe the current alternatives are the sigma that you have, and the 18-200 sigma and the mentioned tamron.

I think pentax has some older zooms that go from 24 or 28 to 125. I belive there was an FA zoom that is considered to be a good walk around lens, I cant remember which one it was right now, others should know. The problem is you will have to find one used. But I dont think any zoom convering that range is as good as a pair of decent zooms covering the same range.

If you dont mind a bit less teleporto then the Tamron 28-70 f2.8 should be a whole lot better than your current sigma.
06-25-2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
(snip)

I think pentax has some older zooms that go from 24 or 28 to 125. I belive there was an FA zoom that is considered to be a good walk around lens, I cant remember which one it was right now, others should know. The problem is you will have to find one used. But I dont think any zoom convering that range is as good as a pair of decent zooms covering the same range.

If you dont mind a bit less teleporto then the Tamron 28-70 f2.8 should be a whole lot better than your current sigma.
The Tamron 28-75/2.8 is indeed a fine lens, and I use mine a fair amount of the time indoors and for portraits where the f2.8 aperture is needed. However, I find the wide end not quite wide enough for general walkabout use. I suspect that the FA zoom you are thinking of is the FA 24-90/3.5-4.5. I have found it to be my best walkabout lens, and the image quality is surprisingly good for a zoom approaching 4x. If you can find a copy it's well worth the $300-$400 it sells for, at least IMO.

08-07-2007, 05:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
Maybe the sigma 17-70 and then the pentax 50-200 to get it nice and affordable. Or the pentax 16-45 and 50-200.
The latter is my combination kit -- 16-45 and 50-200.

I got the 50-200 with my K100D, so it was $150 off
($50 on the camera, plus another $100 when you buy the 50-200 with the camera, double normal).
That brought the 50-200 down to $119 for me.

I just bought the 16-45 for $259 after rebate, and I'm so happy with it over the kit
(and added a 67mm circular polarizer, since my 52mm filter for the 18-55/50-200 doesn't fit).
I have the Zenitar 16mm FE f/2.8 (manual) and I'm using it less now that I have a 83deg FOV, 24.5mm equivalent
(versus 76deg FOV, 27.5mmf or 18mm) .

Lastly, I got a used (62mm filter) AF 28-105mm f/4.0-5.6 (IF) as a general "walk about" lens for $89 used from B&H.
That gives me a good range, and the IQ is pretty good.
There is a smaller (58mm filter) AF 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 (AL) version as well, and people like it more (and less sometimes).
If you already have 62mm filters for your Sigma DC 18-125mm, then you can use them on the AF 28-105mm f/4.0-5.6 (IF),

QuoteOriginally posted by ngkmh Quote
I more or less have decided to split the wide zoom/telephoto zoom requirements
I'm thinking Pentax 12-24 or Sigma 10-20 for wide
and 24-120ish for telephoto.
I'm not really into landscape photography at the moment so I dont really have a need to go to 16mm.
If you're going to go with an ultra-wide zoom, then that makes things simple.
The $600 (after rebate) DA 12-24mm is nice, although others like the $450 Sigma DC EX 10-20mm even more (some don't).

There is also the $125 eBay special Zenitar 16mm FE (sub-20mm effective equivalent, around 105-110deg FOV),
with some barrel distortion on the 1.53x cropped sensor, but tolerable IMHO
(as long as you hold it level with the horizon, and don't mind a "manual" lens).

QuoteOriginally posted by ngkmh Quote
Most of my photography seems to be in the 25-100 range at the moment. Now that is just a 4x zoom. I should think a high quality 4x zoom is possible costing no more than 500USD.
Then consider the aged, but still good, Pentax AF 28-105mm f/4.0-5.6 or AF 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 AL.
They are $169 and $209, respectively, new at B&H -- half that when they have them used (I got the former for $89 used).

QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
I believe the current alternatives are the sigma that you have, and the 18-200 sigma and the mentioned tamron.
I don't think he'll be happy with those over the Sigma 18-125.
Everything I've read is that the Sigma 18-125 gives you the best "larger range" (7x) that you can before IQ/softness issues.
QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
I think pentax has some older zooms that go from 24 or 28 to 125. I belive there was an FA zoom that is considered to be a good walk around lens, I cant remember which one it was right now, others should know.
I assume you mean the two above.

BTW, the FA 28-105mm f/4.0-5.6 (IF) is a "PowerZoom," and I think that is supported on the Crippled AF2 K10D
(but not the Crippled AF K100D).
Also, I know nothing about the new "SDM" lenses -- how is that like/unlike the old "PowerZoom" lenses?
08-07-2007, 05:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ngkmh Quote
Thanks for your suggestions. It seems the Tamron 18-250mm is a possibility but surely that lens is even more of a compromise (in terms of quality) than the Sigma 18-125.
Not so fast mister, here are some reviews to compare, if I remember correctly both performed on a comparable level, just that the tamron went to 250mm in stead of 125mm. Check yourself to be sure though:

Sigma 18-125mm:

Sigma AF 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC - Photozone Test Report / Review

Tamron 18-250mm:

Tamron AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] macro (Canon)- Photozone Lens Test Report / Review

QuoteOriginally posted by ngkmh Quote
I really think there is a gap in the market for this mid-telephoto focal range. I might have to wait and keep the Sigma for the time being. Its a shame the new DA* 50-135 is not slightly wider....
Tokina once announced a 16.5-135mm, but haven't heard much about it since.
08-07-2007, 07:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSpronken Quote
Tokina once announced a 16.5-135mm, but haven't heard much about it since.
You mean this guy?
So no Tokina 17-135 info at PIE2007?: News Discussion Forum: Digital Photography Review
08-08-2007, 01:16 AM   #12
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24-135 Lenses...

I have both the Tamron and the Sigma 24-135 lenses and use them regularly on a K10D. The Tamron seems to get slightly better reviews than the Sigma but in practical terms I don't see much difference. The Sigma is faster (f2.8 vs. f3.5 for the Tamron) and, while it's a subjective call I think I like it's saturation/colour rendition is better. Both tend to be at their best in the middle of both f/stop and zoom range but I think that's pretty typical for all but the most expensive of zooms.

For me the range is perfect since I seldom shoot ultra wide and the 135 at a 1.5 crop factor gets me an effective 200 mm lens. They both make great general purpose lenses.

I don't have any of the other lenses mentioned so I can't make direct comparisons but I'd be happy to post some sample images. No time now--it's late and I must be off to bed.

Both lenses are reviewed on Fred Miranda...

http://http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=241&sort=7&cat=43&page=1

FM Reviews - 24-135mm f/2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF

Last edited by LKeithR; 08-08-2007 at 01:18 AM. Reason: typos...
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