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02-27-2010, 10:28 AM   #1
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Pentax DA* 55mm 1.4 vs Sigma 50mm 1.4

Greetings all,

I'm trying to come up with a compelling reason that the DA* is a better choice for me to buy than the Sigma.

Here's what I've come to so far:
  • Both are SDM
  • Both do about the same on corner vignetting at wide open.
  • On resolution the Sigma outperforms, especially at the edge.
  • They do about the same on barrel distortion.
  • The Pentax is weather sealed.
  • The Sigma is cheaper but uses 77mm filters, which is going to mean some additional cash for a uv filter right out of the box.
  • The Pentax has better CA control at wide open.
  • I like the Bokeh on the Pentax better.
  • About the same minimum focus length.
  • 55mm on the Pentax vs 50 on the Sigma.
  • The Sigma is designed to be a full slr lens which means if Pentax ever releases a full format sensor camera, this would just work (although the DA* might work as well)

Any thoughts from anyone else?

02-28-2010, 08:37 AM   #2
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Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
02-28-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
MCR
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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 :

Others photos :




Regards
02-28-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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Despite the DA* designation on the 55, it does cover the full frame. I use it all of the time on my ZX-60.

I have found though that the lens hood is designed for an ASP-C sensor as there is vignetting when using it on a full frame camera (Could be a pro or a con however you look at it).

The SDM is slow, but for the type of lens that the DA* 55 is it works just fine.

It has been the only lens on my camera for the past month. I like it that much and am glad I spent the extra cash over the Sigma.

02-28-2010, 02:22 PM   #5
Igilligan
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MCR those rock...

Never even gave this lens a second look... I could never afford it, but man o' man, these examples are wonderful...

The OOF area on the second one where the buildings fade into a dream... wonderful shot!

02-28-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
Never even gave this lens a second look... I could never afford it, but man o' man, these examples are wonderful...
The OOF area on the second one where the buildings fade into a dream... wonderful shot!
Igilligan - THX for yours opinion.
Next photo (DA*55/1.4)

Yes, I love this lens...
03-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #7
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Dang the Bokeh on this lens is just stunning. Really cool DoF shots. Thanks!

Has anyone caved and gone the other way to get the Sigma?
03-02-2010, 07:05 PM   #8
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There was a comparison that FA 50/1.4 has as good a bokeh and is smaller. It's not SDM, so it's noisy -- the SDM would come handy at indoor events. But the DP Review didn't find so many advantages as to outweigh the FA 50/1.4 in price almost twice, and in fact found it overpriced and praised Sigma.

When picking the 50/1.4 on Amazon, I placed the 55/1.4 in cart, February 2: $637.48. Recently I checked the cart to find the price go up, as of today: $675.56. 1 month, $40 up!

03-02-2010, 10:47 PM   #9
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I am considering these same 2 lenses. Slowly but surely, I have been reading up on them. A good place to start, if you haven't already, is our Lens Review Database, where you can read candid discussions of both lenses from forum members. Also, there is a seriously in-depth review @ DPreview Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review if you haven't already caught it, on the Sigma.


Good luck!

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 03-03-2010 at 03:08 AM.
03-03-2010, 12:16 AM   #10
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The DA* 55 looks appealing. Does anyone have any samples from the Sigma 50mm to counter with?
03-03-2010, 09:45 AM   #11
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MCR, I've looked into these two lenses and was leaning towards the sigma until I saw that second image of yours...very nice!
03-03-2010, 09:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dragonfly Quote
The DA* 55 looks appealing. Does anyone have any samples from the Sigma 50mm to counter with?
FYI: This site has images you can narrow down to specific focal lengths, here is a ton of images taken with the sigma at f1.4.

Full-size sample photos from Sigma 50mm F/1.4

Last edited by pcarfan; 03-03-2010 at 09:55 AM.
03-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #13
MCR
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Thx all for comments. I said that DA*55/1.4 is still my fav lens. Maybe has slow AF but when I sometimes see what this lens doing with bokeh... I love a weathersealed too. Many days in Poland are rainy. I have faster, lighter lens too. Few days ago I borrow FA*85/1.4. Amazing lens! But... heavy too. To heavy to me... . I prefer primes lately. Especially DA*55. DA40Ltd is wonderful too. FA135/2.8 is nice too (lighter then DA*50-135). Now, I think about FA77...

Some others pics from DA*55/1.4
Model:


My wife in our old town:


...last
03-04-2010, 06:58 PM   #14
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I had both in my hands

I had posted a similar question a few weeks ago. I was torn between the Pentax and the Sigma. My main concern was the back focussing issue with the K10d. I tried the 55mm for about a week and wasn't satisfied - front focus issues. I upgraded the firmware but to no avail. Did not go as far as hacking the software and took the lens back. As it turned out the Sigma had arrived - took it home - hacked the software and adjusted for front focussing and the results are pristine. It is about $200 cheaper. A little heavier, however I find the focussing a bit quicker than the SDM with the Pentax but that coudl be the K10d? Bottom line - great bang for the buck.
03-04-2010, 07:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cgoudie Quote
Dang the Bokeh on this lens is just stunning. Really cool DoF shots.
I must be blind...I think that bokeh is pretty nervous looking instead of smooth
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