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04-19-2010, 03:22 AM   #1
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which one is a better 70mm lens?

Dear All,

I am planning to buy a portrait lens and i am stuck with these two lenses.
Pentax DA 70mm Ltd and the Sigma 70mm Macro EX DG.

With regards to telezoom i've decided to get the DA 55-300mm with all of its good reviews unless of course anyone here have a better option, am still listening...

Comparisons anyone? please help me out on this.

Thanks in advance to all!!!

04-19-2010, 04:01 AM   #2
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Pentax DA 70mm is probably the sharpest lens in Pentax stable ATM. Look-up the photozone.de test and others.

Sigma is a good lens and has Macro capability.

So if you want IQ go for Pentax (plus you can make micro AF adjutments in necessary if you own a K20/K7)
If you want to shoot two ducks with one bullet, go for Sigma.
04-19-2010, 04:37 AM   #3
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A lot depends on what you are shooting. I love the DA 70. The only negative I can think of with it is that it doesn't focus terribly close. Not much good for shooting macros, but it shines as a portrait lens. It is very light and very sharp edge to edge (and half stop faster than the Sigma).

If money was no object, the FA 77 has rave reviews. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford it when I went to buy a 70-ish lens and so I had to settle for the DA 70, but I am very happy with it.
04-19-2010, 11:13 AM   #4
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Although a not very flexible solution, you *could* attach a Raynox or other high quality achromatic closeup lens to the 70 to get 1:2 (Raynox 150) or close to 1:1 (Raynox 250) magnification. The not-flexible part means it's basically *only* that magnification - no way to get much less magnification without removing the attachment. So if you're planning on really doing a lot of macro, the Sigma is the obvious choice. Otherwise, the Pentax wins *big time* on size and weight, plus it's slightly faster. Both are good enough in IQ that obsessing about any small differences there is kind of pointless.

04-19-2010, 02:03 PM   #5
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DA70

pros: small
f2.4
great IQ
Pentax colors
fast focus
great for portraits
nice bokeh

cons: MFD 70cm
vignetting is not as good as the Sigma at wide open, and slightly at par on other apertures
distortion control is very good but not as superb as Sigma

Sigma 70

pros:
superb macro IQ quality (one of the sharpest in it's class)
neutral colors
great resolution
25cm MFD
1:1 magnification ratio
great for close focus macro and portraits
good bokeh

cons:
quite big and a bit heavy
screw in filter use can be annoying in situations. maybe too long if left on the lens.
slow AF
04-20-2010, 12:01 AM   #6
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Thanks a lot...

Your comments are of great help. am definitely buying the sigma anytime soon for my portrait and macro use.
04-20-2010, 03:36 AM   #7
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A couple of quick points to add to Pentaxor's great post:
- Sigma's front lens is recessed, so using the hood is really unnecessary.
- Sigma has a limiter, so unless you are shooting within 1 metre you can keep the limiter on and focusing is very quick
- Sharpest lens I've ever seen and used, and right from f/2.8. It is WOW sharp.
- Size isn't really an issue, but because of EX build it is noticably heavy
- Meter's perfectly on my cam's

One of my favourite lenses, for sure.

c[_]
04-20-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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Another thing to consider: The Sigma 70mm EX Macro is BRUTALLY sharp, and I don't mean that in any negative way. However, if portraiture is your prime focus (!), you should probably invest as well in a softening filter or some PP time. It does not look very flattering on some subjects. Head shots, even at F4.0 will reveal absolutely every skin features, desirable or not..

However, for macro use, this is the sharpest lens I have ever used. Brutal!

On the other hand, FA50, DA70ltd, FA77ltd will allow you to use on-board CA and distortion correction (K-x and K-7), if that is important to you.

I still use mostly my trusty FA50 and FA77 for shoulder & head shots.

Hope this helps

Gene

04-20-2010, 10:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
Another thing to consider: The Sigma 70mm EX Macro is BRUTALLY sharp, and I don't mean that in any negative way.
Thing is, almost any macro is brutally sharp. It's easy to design a mid-telephoto and get the focal plane flat and tack sharp everywhere. So in that sense you would be happy with pretty well any lens in this range.

I know my Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 is as sharp as any lens. And the Sigma 90mm has produced some wonderful images. And the Pentax DFA 100mm... and so it goes.

Pentaxor: That is a useful comparison -- thanks.
04-20-2010, 11:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
Another thing to consider: The Sigma 70mm EX Macro is BRUTALLY sharp, and I don't mean that in any negative way. However, if portraiture is your prime focus (!), you should probably invest as well in a softening filter or some PP time. It does not look very flattering on some subjects. Head shots, even at F4.0 will reveal absolutely every skin features, desirable or not..

Gene

Yes, it does show or reveal a lot of a person's imperfections, atleast from my experience of the lens. I have never seen such beautiful women look that unpleasant when viewed in such detail.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 04-20-2010 at 11:41 AM.
04-20-2010, 11:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Thing is, almost any macro is brutally sharp. It's easy to design a mid-telephoto and get the focal plane flat and tack sharp everywhere. So in that sense you would be happy with pretty well any lens in this range.

I know my Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 is as sharp as any lens. And the Sigma 90mm has produced some wonderful images. And the Pentax DFA 100mm... and so it goes.

Pentaxor: That is a useful comparison -- thanks.
your welcome rparmar. just basing it from what I saw from the lenses. the OP cant go wrong on choosing either.
04-20-2010, 11:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Thing is, almost any macro is brutally sharp. It's easy to design a mid-telephoto and get the focal plane flat and tack sharp everywhere. So in that sense you would be happy with pretty well any lens in this range.

I know my Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 is as sharp as any lens. And the Sigma 90mm has produced some wonderful images. And the Pentax DFA 100mm... and so it goes.

Pentaxor: That is a useful comparison -- thanks.
I am not sure what your comment adds to the dicussion rparmar, but I think pretty much everyone understands that. But it is true to a limit. I also own a Tamron Macro 1:1 90 F2.5 Adaptall MF (can't remember what generation), which was considered ace in it's time, and I can assure you the Sigma is sharper, especially wide open and beyond F11. So, "easy" perhaps (I'm personally not a optical designer...) but not equal.

On another hand, I was referring to the Sigma 70 EX DG because the OP wanted an opinion on that one in particular and I happen to own it. So, first hand experience. Actually, if the Pentax 100 Macro had a focus limiter, that is the one I would have gotten. Furthermore, the OP is interested in a +/- 70mm FL, not 105, not 100, not 90.

I hope this clarifies

Gene
04-20-2010, 11:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
I am not sure what your comment adds to the dicussion rparmar
I am not sure why you need to be rude. Perhaps you misunderstood me. I was just offering up other alternatives and adding some further perspective. Sorry if you thought I was dissing your favourite lens or something.
04-20-2010, 11:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
Yes, it does show or reveal a lot of a person's imperfections, atleast from my experience of a lens. I have never seen such beautiful women look that unpleasant when viewed in such detail.
Touché !!! On the other hand, I am a of those that believe a beautiful woman is beautiful, no matter what! That's the French genes in me...
Unfortunately (or not???) I do not have many opportunities to photograph head shots of professional models ... But if I could, I would rather use my FA50, or FA77ltd, or FA*85. NOT the Sigma 70 EX, unless I had no other choice.

Gene
04-20-2010, 11:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I am not sure why you need to be rude. Perhaps you misunderstood me. I was just offering up other alternatives and adding some further perspective. Sorry if you thought I was dissing your favourite lens or something.
Rude? Wow! You offence easily!!!! (I am being sarcastic... just so that we're clear...)
I have been called many things, but rude? That's a first time in 50 years! Again, the OP was asking advice on two specific lenses, with the same FL... But I apologize anyway, as I did not mean to "sound" rude... You see, English is not my mother tongue, and there are a couple more languages in between, so sometimes I translate litterally and it comes out wrong...

BTW, The Sig is NOT my favorite lens. My FA31ltd is. Close second is my newly acquired DA15ltd. And don't go there! (again, sarcastic...)

Gene
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