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04-12-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
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DA 12-24, Sigma 10-20, or DA 35??

Decisions, decisions....

After I purchase the DA 70...which lens do you think I should get next? I'm really torn and don't know which one would be better...

I love wide angles...I have my fisheye...but there are times where I wish I had a wide angle without the distortion of the FE. On the other hand....I could put a macro to use as well. I'm not sure if the DA 35 is a 1:1 macro or not as I haven't done much research on any of these lenses.

If I would get the DA 35 I would probably do away with my 50mm 1.7

04-12-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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I suppose the best way to deal with "wide angle or macro" problems would be to get a reasonably priced WA lens and a budget solution for macro work.
The Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 is regarded as good, and is quite cheap. The Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 is even cheaper, but has somewhat of a bad reputation compared to the Sigma. Doubt you'll notice the difference when stopped down, a user on a national forum has reported very good results.
As for the "budget macro" solution, check the used market for old Pentax macros, and maybe some extension rings, or even a "macro teleconverter" paired with an old 50/1.x lens. Even a close-up lens on a kit lens should do the trick, I have seen good pictures made with very affordable setups.
04-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #3
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In the wide-angle I would get, actually I got and still would, the DA 12-24mm F4. The Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 is terrible. They have a new constant aperture version which may be better if you do not like tunnel like pictures avoid their 10-20mm F4-5.6 like the plague.

The DA 35mm F2.8 Macro is 1:1 and is an excellent lens. I can't compare wide-angle to macro, it is personal choice. I use the 12-24mm at least 10 times more than the Macro but it is the other way around for my wife.

- Itai
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04-12-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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The Sigma 10-20mm is the only one that I've used, and I think that it's a fairly good lens. The distortions aren't even that bad actually, I suppose. And I think it's probably the cheapest one that you're looking at.

04-12-2010, 03:48 PM   #5
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Somewhere between Itai's extreme dislike of the Sigma and JCT's valueless wafflings ("fairly good", "I suppose", "probably") lies the truth.

There are many, many, threads comparing the wide angle zoom options and it almost always comes down to this: the Sigma gives you 2mm more wide, which is a big difference. But in that range it has wavy (moustache) distortion that you may or may not notice depending on your application. I shoot cityscapes so I would.

The Pentax lens has 4mm more on the other end which makes about the same difference in FOV as the 2mm on the wide. I really like the look of 24mm on APS-C; it corresponds to the classic 35mm lenses on film. With the DA12-24 you not only have a great wide angle but a great classic street lens as well.

Plus, it has more resolution.

So, if you have the money, the DA12-24 is the one.
04-12-2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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I have tired and really loved the DA 12-24mm wide angle. It's very sharp and the colors are amazing, if I was to get one of those lenses it would be this one for sure.
04-12-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Itai Quote
In the wide-angle I would get, actually I got and still would, the DA 12-24mm F4. The Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 is terrible. They have a new constant aperture version which may be better if you do not like tunnel like pictures avoid their 10-20mm F4-5.6 like the plague.
The constant-aperture version is supposedly less sharp than the older one, which wasn't exactly tack-sharp to begin with. I have no idea what the distortion on the new one is like.

On the subject of macro the DA35 limited is indeed 1:1 capable, but to actually get 1:1 you will need to basically touch the subject with the front element. I have the DFA 50mm macro, and even with that I have to get closer to the subject than I would like for 1:1.
04-12-2010, 04:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
Decisions, decisions....
I love wide angles...I have my fisheye...but there are times where I wish I had a wide angle without the distortion of the FE.

If I would get the DA 35 I would probably do away with my 50mm 1.7
I have both the 12-24 and the 35. The 35 is a great lens but if you want a lens purely for macro consider a 90-100mm macro lens (from my reading easier to use, no experience myself) as you do need to be quite close with the DA35 for macro work, on saying that i love mine and use it for general shooting and some light macro.
The 12-24 is good and takes nice photos, though have you tried using a de-fishing tool on your photos with the da10-17? I have seen some good results with this, maybe its worth trying this first.
And i would keep the M50 1.7 even if you get the DA35, the extra stops are very helpful at night, the 35 is only 2.8 so you will still need a night lens.

04-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #9
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Actually, considering you already have the DA 10-17, likely a macro makes more sense. You can de-fish the fish to get wide but have no macro capabilities in your bag.

QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
If I would get the DA 35 I would probably do away with my 50mm 1.7
I wouldn't do that. The 50 is a stop and a half faster and has a distinctly different field of view.

You might be better off considering something in the 100mm range for a macro, since that would extend your reach into the telephoto. The new weather-proof model is getting good reviews. Recent posts cover that.
04-12-2010, 05:49 PM   #10
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The 12-24 is a very handy range, from architecture to car shows. Yes, I have a fisheye (yay!) but the Sigma looks kind of odd at 10mm.
04-12-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
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For a start you need to decide whether you want a standard length macro prime or a wide angle zoom.

The 35mm is meant to be very nice and is 1:1 macro. As a standard do-it-all lens it may not be the best bet because the AF has a long focus throw due to the ultra-close focusing ability. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest it's the same AF speed as similar length lenses if it's left at near infinity focus (and doesn't hunt).

I have the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 so I'll just discuss that one and not the older, slower version (although I have processed little from it so far, just have the files sitting there).

The Pentax and the Sigma lenses are a bit different - as pointed out, the Sigma is slightly faster, not un-substantially wider but shorter at the long end. Check photozone - Sigma probably has less impressive resolution, but is sharp in the centre, and good stopped down. I've found 10mm quite average but after there it's pretty good. I also like silent AF so really wanted the HSM. The Pentax is probably overall sharper - certainly in the corners from the figures - but appears to have very heavy CA. Most of this can be rectified quite easily, but purple fringing I try to steer well clear of because I found it hard and damaging to remove, it's very ugly and it stands out horribly in black and white conversions. Sigma has 82mm filters while the Pentax has cheaper and more popular 77mm.

I don't think either is a clear winner, but they're both very different lenses from the 35mm macro. Ultra wide angles are tough to make well to start with, let alone adding the zoom component, so neither of these will match the overall quality of a good standard prime. But then they're very different.

Maybe Nikon's 14-24 f/2.8 might, I've read it's even better than other primes in that range. That beast is a crazy lens, probably the best wide angle ever made. But then the trade off is that it's expensive, big (FF though), sticks out at the front and can't take filters.

Last edited by CWyatt; 04-12-2010 at 06:23 PM.
04-12-2010, 07:00 PM   #12
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Well I think you guys helped answer my question! I think I will check into some older K mount macros if thats the way I want to go...I will want something at least 100mm...I didn't think about focal distance with the 35mm...and you are right...I would have to be REALLY close to any subjects to get them to fill the frame without doing a large crop.

Not sure what I will do about the wide angle. I would really like to get one and I'd really like for it to be auto focus...so maybe I will go with the macro prime for now.....or later I guess
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