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03-04-2010, 09:14 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
I must be blind...I think that bokeh is pretty nervous looking instead of smooth
I agree that it's pretty nervous. However, it's nervous in an interesting way, rather than I'm going to have a seizure way.

03-04-2010, 09:30 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by MCR Quote
Few monts ago, I had this problem too : Sigma 50/1.4 vs Pentax 55/1.4 vs Zeiss 50/1.4 (manual).
I bought DA*55/1.4 Why ? Because is weather sealed and lighter then Sigma. DA*55 has slow but accurately AF. What I think today ? So, is still my favourite lens. I have some other lens, but DA*55 is very good. I borrow Sigma 30/1.4 for few days. Is nice lens, but AF was crappy. Maybe Sigma 50/1.4 is better. I don't know.
Some pics :
Today walking with my wife :
...
Regards


MCR, very compelling shots, very sweet OOF, everything looks good in these and the subsequent shots. You make that lens look very good....
03-04-2010, 10:19 PM   #18
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MCR, that umbrella shot is amazing...
03-06-2010, 02:29 PM   #19
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Sigma Sample Shots?

Does anyone have some sample shots with the Sigma? I'd really like to compare.

03-06-2010, 02:44 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
I must be blind...I think that bokeh is pretty nervous looking instead of smooth
Well, that's why it's best to try out a lens yourself - or at least examine a wide variety of shots taken with a given lens and make your own judgement. One person's creamy, dreamy bokeh is another person's harsh, nervous bokeh. One person's "tack-sharp" is another person's "soft." But, personally, whatever these shots are, they are beautiful to me.
03-06-2010, 06:03 PM   #21
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For what its worth, using the MTF comparison tool at dp, it looks like the 55mm is just a bit better (when it works right) than the Sigma,
Brian
03-06-2010, 07:20 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by cgoudie Quote
Does anyone have some sample shots with the Sigma? I'd really like to compare.
Photozone.de reviewed the DA*55:
Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM - Review / Test Report
Photozone.de concluded that it was overpriced at the time of testing and "Alternatively you may also have a look at the Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Ltd".

Photozone.de also tested the Sigma 50mm f1.4:
Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM (Canon) - Review / Test Report
The review included some examples (Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM (Canon) - Review / Test Report - Samples Images & Verdict). Photozone.de awarded the lens its "Highly recommended" award. It concluded: "The build quality of the lens is excellent. The HSM AF drive is very fast and virtually silent. All-in-all - highly recommended".

Hope that the info will help...
03-07-2010, 08:32 AM   #23
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I've been dialing in my decision and my conclusion is for Pentax. Here's why:

Bokeh:

If you compare the bokeh from the Sigma vs the Pentax over at photozone, I really think the Pentax comes out ahead:

Pentax:


Sigma:


Some might find the bokeh on the Sigma preferable, but I like the more artistic look and feel of the bokeh on the Pentax. I feel that with the Sigma it just muddles the oof area, especially at 1.4, where as the Pentax is a little more impressionistic. (Especially given the samples from MCR earlier in this thread. This is probably the biggest differentiator for me between these two lenses.

Weather / dust seal:
I'd rather have it than not. I live in Utah, which means that in a trip to the desert landscape, dust is just as important. It's not a deal breaker, but it is nice to have here.

The price:

I find the price difference of $500 (Sigma) to $625 (Pentax) to be a wash because of the filter size. Once I buy a UV filter for the 77mm diameter on the Sigma, that $125 gap has narrowed to less than $100. If I buy just one or two more accessories at this filter size, the price is almost the same.

Lateral CAs
The photozone review is very telling on this. The Pentax is hands down the winner. Could I correct it post processing? Sure, but unless it's a critical shot, I know myself, and I probably wont do any correction at all.

MTF resolution at 1.4 (Mitigation for Pentax):
Everything I've read says the Sigma wins out here, however if I'm shooting this lens at 1.4 I'm looking for a specific feel to the shot, and my thoughts on this are that the Pentax will do a better job at creating that feel. If I was using this lens for outdoor landscape photography where I wanted everything in sharp focus, the resolution difference would probably swing me; but if I was buying a 55mm 1.4 for this purpose, I'd be looking at the wrong lens.

55mm vs 50mm:
I know it's only 5mm but of the two focal lengths, I'd rather the lens be able to get a little closer to the subject. It's a small push but of the two, I'd rather be at 55mm.

Preparation for a full frame:
In the event that Pentax does release a full frame dslr next year, I was worried this lens just wouldn't do, but as it was pointed out by noahpurdy earlier in this thread, the lens does cover a full frame on film.

Focus speed (Mitigation for Pentax):
I didn't specifically read anywhere that the Sigma has a quicker hsm focus, but I did read everywhere that the Pentax is a bit slow. This comes back to what I intend to do with this lens. If I'm trying to capture high speed motion action with this lens, then this is a big deal; however, I think I'd be doing it wrong buying a 50/55mm 1.4 for that purpose. I'd probably be smarter going after the FA 85mm 1.4, or more likely something else entirely.

So which will it be? Looks like the Pentax in a month or so, unless some stellar deal appears on the Sigma to swing me back.

03-09-2010, 05:04 AM   #24
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I love to see more people who own the Sigma (especially those who switched from an FA50mm f1.4) post some thoughts on the lens. I'm leaning toward it for 2 reasons, Faster AF and sharper at 1.4 For my needs both those attributes are important.
03-09-2010, 05:21 AM   #25
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Regarding AF speed, my experience is that with a bit careful aiming, the lens seldom hunts throughout the range. The "hunting" part is what I most often read is the problem with the DA*55. Have anyone tested how the AF performs on the two lenses on point-to-point focussing?

On a side-note, I've noticed that here in Norway, the DA*55 is ~USD $1050), while the Sigma 50 is ~590 (may be because of a recent Sigma price change, but it it still near $90 cheaper than the FA50/1.4).
03-09-2010, 05:21 AM   #26
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If you look at the DPR Tests for the DA*55mm compared to an FA50mm, the 55 is considerably slower and the test was done in good light.
03-09-2010, 09:15 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
If you look at the DPR Tests for the DA*55mm compared to an FA50mm, the 55 is considerably slower and the test was done in good light.
I lent the Sigma to someone else and kept the Pentax. I must apologize to the Sigma fanboys, but in many cases, the sigma produces ugly bokeh with nipples and areolas for disks of confusion.



03-09-2010, 09:21 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by cgoudie Quote

MTF resolution at 1.4 (Mitigation for Pentax):
Everything I've read says the Sigma wins out here,
According to the tests on lenstip.com/optyczne.pl, Pentax produces better numbers. The problem with these comparisons (especially if you're comparing photozone numbers) is that they're not on the same sensor. The Sigma (and other lenses) would look worse on a 14-18mp sensor.
03-09-2010, 09:59 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
I lent the Sigma to someone else and kept the Pentax. I must apologize to the Sigma fanboys, but in many cases, the sigma produces ugly bokeh with nipples and areolas for disks of confusion.
I'm not following this because I'm a fanboy. I simply trying to decide on the best lens upgrade from the FA50mm. I own Pentax and a number of other 3rd party lenses, each because it offered the best qualities in the focal range. I want and need a couple of the best primes possible to shoot weddings in churches that offer terrible light in many cases.

In fact I find your "fanboy" characterization insulting.

There may not be a worthwhile upgrade. I am discounting the Pentax 55mm because it's slow to lock focus. Everyone that owns it confirms this and all the reviews state the same. If I need to capture an expression on someones face and the lens take 2-3 seconds to lock focus, I've missed the shot. So that's a key quality, fast focus. Maybe the FA50mm is still the best lens overall.

You claim an issue with the Sigma and I don't see it in the first image. I do in the second though with the double rings in some of the candle lights in the background. But you claim the Pentax is better. Do you still own it and a Pentax camera (as these were shot with a 40D)
03-09-2010, 10:04 AM   #30
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I was jokingly referring to the mythical lens fanboys that may or may not exist and I meant no harm. I'm not sure why you even bothered writing so much about so little.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Do you still own it and a Pentax camera (as these were shot with a 40D)
Those shots aren't mine. I still have my K20D and it has a 55 mounted on it. I posted some boring test shot crops elsewhere.
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