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03-13-2010, 03:23 PM   #1
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Wedding zoom? Da16-50/Da16-45/Da17-70/Fa28-70/Sigma17-70???

Im loving my primes, but also want to get a decent quality wide-mid zoom for use as a general purpose candid lens for running around with when i dont have the time to switch primes regularly... For a combination of the wide(ish) group shots and zoomed portraits.

I cant seem to see many in the Pentax lineup - is that a shortcoming of Pentax or is it just a question of Optics?

The DA17-70 seems ok, but F4 isnt particularly fast. Anyone compare it to the Sigma?
FA28-70 looks sweet but maybe not quite wide enough?
DA16-50 sounds good also but ive read a lot about QC issues and maybe 50 isnt cropped enough, similarly with DA16-45 (cheaper?)

I currently have the FA77ltd, the 50F1.4 and have my long term eye on the 50-135 (when i can find one for sale second hand) Sigma10-20 and Sigma 17-35.



Any help/suggestions appreciated!

03-13-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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If we are mentioning Sigma, then Tamron is another option.

The Tamron 28-75 2.8 is a classic for weddings and is highly regarded optically.
The Tamron 17-50 2.8 is also said to be exceptionally sharp.

Reviews for both abound here and on eg photozone.de or slrgear.com and confirm the quality of these lenses.
03-13-2010, 09:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
If we are mentioning Sigma, then Tamron is another option.
thanks, yes id consider Tamron also.

Am just wondering if anyone has any comparisons of any of the above and/or comments about any of them.
03-14-2010, 02:47 AM   #4
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Anyone have any comparisons?

Im kinda nervous about the Pentax SMC thing too... Sigma's 17-70 is macro and F2.8 too, so am considering that one.

Browsing the lens database, its just seems that there isnt a great deal of good zoom lens that cover the wide and beyond 50mm - or at least none that are anything more than 'beginner' quality glass.

03-14-2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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50mm is a bit short for head shots, IMO, especially for candids where you may want to stay unnoticed. However, you have a lot of megapixels to crop from, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I do this all the time with my DA* 16-50mm.
Also, remember that the Sigma 17-70 is only f2.8 at the wide end, whereas it would be most useful on the long end.

I think the Tamron 28-75mm is ideal for this purpose. Wide enough for group shots, but still long enough for head shots, and fast enough for both natural light and mixing flash with ambient light.
03-14-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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I'd throw the Sigma 24-70 HSM f/2.8 in there too if you have the money. It's a little wider than the Pentax 28-70 and it has gotten good marks when going against the heavy hitter 24-70 lenses from Nikon and Canon (it's also relatively compact compared to the Canikon offerings).

I can vouch for the DA16-45 as being a great lens if you go that direction. The lens speed won't make as much of a difference if you're planning to use a flash. I tend to like to limit my flash usage, but I should probably get over that. The DA17-70 is essentially the same as the DA16-45 optically from what I understand. (maybe slightly smoother bokeh? Don't hurt me if this isn't true) The DA17-70 is also SDM, though, so if you're worried about that I'm sure it won't help.

Peter Zack shoots weddings professionally and posts here and I think he's recommended the DA16-45 as a consistent performer before.

I probably won't be able to quell your SDM fears, which are understandable, but I can say without a doubt that the DA*16-50 saved my butt during a wedding I shot last September. I tend to favor primes, and still used them during parts of the wedding, but when things sped up it was so great to have one lens I could rely on.

Some examples from that wedding:






Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 03-14-2010 at 06:07 PM.
03-14-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the responses, ill have to do a bit of specific research on these lenses. If anyone has images taken from some of those, please feel free to post!

I kind of feel like 24 & 28 arent quite wide enough on the APS-C crops anymore, especially for the post-ceremony candid/group pics of the couples' happy friends all enjoying themselves (and there often isnt enough room to stand back for a wide view!)

if only the DA 17-70 was a bit faster!!

still, will look into the sigma and tamron suggestions, dont know what the IQ is like of course, though have obviously heard great things about the 16-50 IQ.
03-14-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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Unless you're running another body w/ a 10-20 or 12-24, get the 16-50....it'll cover your most useful range if you're a primary...

03-14-2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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My lens kit for a wedding is (percentage of use):
DA*16-50 (50%) This replaced a DA16-45mm f4 from 2008
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX (20%)
FA50mm f1.4 (15%)
Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX (15%)

I recently added a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di which I had before for a couple of years. The old one was damaged. It will again share the bulk of the shooting with the DA*. It's sharp, reliable and a near perfect focal range for most situations. starts at a 'normal' focal length and goes to a mid tele for portrait shots.

Have a look at my site and everything there is shot with the lenses below on either a K20D or K10D.
03-15-2010, 06:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Unless you're running another body w/ a 10-20 or 12-24, get the 16-50....it'll cover your most useful range if you're a primary...
if im a primary?

16-50 does sound tempting, despite SDM woes... i just thought 50 seemed not quite long enough for this circumstance (though a crop isnt out of the question i spose)

i dont have any other bodies expect film SLR. but yes, i have the 10-20 and like to use for massive group shots!

ive got the 77ltd and hope to pick up a 50-135 at some point and figure that will cover the most of my needs aside from any LBA...
03-15-2010, 03:48 PM   #11
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Having had some wedding experience I'd suggest something 28(ish)-70(ish)/2.8 as a workhorse as well... Oddly enough, that FL, otherwise really awkward when used on APS-C, is great for weddings... it's not that wide to be too wide, but it's just that much longer enough than 50mm to be a great portrait lens at 70mm....
03-15-2010, 05:31 PM   #12
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Personally, I wouldn't recommend the DA* 16-50 due to the SDM failed suddenly, but it is still a great and useful lens. However, I would pick another lens for this purpose, several choices between the DA 17-70 or Tammy/Siggy 17/18-50 f2.8.
03-16-2010, 06:26 AM   #13
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if only i could find a FA 28-70!

i think its probably down to the DA17-70 and Sigma 17-70
03-16-2010, 06:32 AM   #14
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I wouldn't choose the Sigma, not that it's a bad lens, actually far from it. But that it's variable aperture. If you are using strobes, a variable aperture is a pain. Same in natural light when light is low or when you are trying to create a certain look and need to zoom.

For the Pentax, it's too slow and you'll find it tougher again in lower light/high ISO situations.

Again I'd recommend the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Pretty tough lens to beat and frankly compares very well against the much more expensive FA*28-70mm f2.8
03-16-2010, 12:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JayR Quote
if im a primary?
If you are the main photographer (i.e., not second shooter, not guest, etc.)

A 24-70 or 28-75 isn't always wide enough when you're crammed into a room in a house...
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