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04-21-2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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17-70mm?

I am looking for a lens in this focal range (but does not need to be exact). I would like to have at least 18mm onb whe wide end, and a little more than 60mm on the long end. I am curious what the best glass in this range is, regardless of price, though value is important (a.k.a. is the pentax 17-70 f4 really $600 better than the sigma f2.8 variant?) I am ultimately looking for a lens I can buy in the next year or so to go with a K7. I plan on using this as a walk around lens because it would have just the right amount of reach on the long end without being so much that it distorts the image significantly. I want really good quality, as I plan for this lens to last me indefinitely. Any help with this would be great! Thanks!

04-21-2010, 12:24 PM   #2
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The DA 17-70mm f4 can be purchased from BH and Adorama for slightly under $500 usd shipped in the U.S. I can't imaging paying $600 more for it than the Sigma. Its one of the few Pentax non DA* sdm lenses.
04-21-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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In my opinion the 17-70mm is a fine walk around lens as it does cover a very good focal range. It is also rather sharp and has a nice constant aperture that can be used across the entire focal range. Also, where are you getting this $600 more for this lens? The lens usually sells in the mid five hundreds so I am a little confused there.
04-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #4
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The Sigma 17-70mm would win for me, in this case, since it starts with a 2.8 aperture and goes up to f/4.5 it still would be considered better low light than the Pentax. Not to mention that the Sigma is literally the sharpest lens that I have ever used, even sharper than most primes that I have used, if it had a range up to 105mm then I would have never sold it.

04-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tuner571 Quote
In my opinion the 17-70mm is a fine walk around lens as it does cover a very good focal range. It is also rather sharp and has a nice constant aperture that can be used across the entire focal range. Also, where are you getting this $600 more for this lens? The lens usually sells in the mid five hundreds so I am a little confused there.
I just bought yesterdat that lense, I just paid $230. CDN for it . Almost like new
That was a very good deal for me
Now I am just waitinhg my K-X
04-21-2010, 02:18 PM   #6
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My mistake on the Pentax price quote, I seem to have mixed up the price for that lens and another one of Pentax's, except the one I switched it with was a DA*. So overall, the Sigma 17-70mm is a great lens? Keep in mind I will need to save for almost a year to get it and I want it to last me for a long time. Reliability is a big issue for me because I will be taking it to Europe on a trip, and if it fails, I would be very disappointed. I have heard Sigmas have a coat peeling problem or something? Anyone else have that experience?
04-21-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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so there are actually 3 options here:
1) pentax 17-77mm f4 SDM : ~$480
2) sigma 17-77mm f2.8-4.5 DC : ~$370
3) sigma 17-77mm f2.8-4 HSM OS : ~$450

the problems i see for pentax are: SDM only (boooo! - make sure to have warranty!), no WR and a small price premium over sigma. however, pentax gets bonus points from me for quick-shift focus and a smaller filter size but some people might not care about that.

for the newer sigma, i think OS is overkill and waste of money on pentax bodies and HSM can suffer from the same problems as SDM.
the older sigma is f4.5 as opposed to f4 but has the gool-ol' screwdrive and is a bit cheaper.
both are also variable aperture, which probably won't bother some people but i've been spoiled by my primes so i prefer constant aperture.

so unfortunately they are all compromises. if only pentax made a WR SDM-or-screwdrive (and a firmware upgrade to let us select which to use) version of the 17-70mm... sigh...

Last edited by pb_red; 04-21-2010 at 05:14 PM. Reason: counting to 3 is hard...
04-21-2010, 03:04 PM   #8
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Yeah that is part of why I am leaning towards the f2.8-4.5, because it has screw-drive instead or the HSM so I won't have to worry about it failing soon... If it was WR, that'd be amazing...

Any info on the peeling?

04-22-2010, 05:02 AM   #9
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The Pentax 17-70 is a fine lens. I've handled it and it's nice.

However, the Sigma 117-70 is a more versatile tool. Faster for most of the range, better close focusing. It's an excellent performer IQ-wise. sharp, decent bokeh, great colours (although not "Pentax" colours). I own the Siggy and even though I have better lenses for specific uses, it's my main lens.
04-22-2010, 05:10 AM   #10
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What do you mean by "Pentax colors"? Couldn't that mostly be fixed in PP?
04-22-2010, 08:23 AM   #11
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Only issue I have with my Sigma 17-70 2.8=4.5 (and mine may just be a bad sample) is that it seems a bit soft when focused at infinity.

However, when focusing on anything even remotely nearby, it's an unbelievably sharp lens.
04-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #12
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Anyone else have this experience?
04-22-2010, 01:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
What do you mean by "Pentax colors"? Couldn't that mostly be fixed in PP?
I like things to be more accurate before pp. Some things are harder to fix in pp. Finally, if pp was the save all, end all, people wouldn't be buying Canon's L glass, Pentax's ltd and DA* and other * glass (FA*, F*, A*, M*) etc. What people mean by "Pentax Colors" is how some lenses render. Its a combination of SMC, Ghostless Coating, ED, optical formulae and Pixie Dust.
04-22-2010, 01:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I like things to be more accurate before pp. Some things are harder to fix in pp. Finally, if pp was the save all, end all, people wouldn't be buying Canon's L glass, Pentax's ltd and DA* and other * glass (FA*, F*, A*, M*) etc. What people mean by "Pentax Colors" is how some lenses render. Its a combination of SMC, Ghostless Coating, ED, optical formulae and Pixie Dust.
Good point. I generally like mine to be as accurate as possible pre PP as well, but in a case like this where a compromise between accurate color and sharpness must be made, wouldn't the color portion be easier to correct after the fact?

P.S. Maybe I can just get a big bag of pixie dust and put it on the Sigma???
04-22-2010, 01:28 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
What do you mean by "Pentax colors"? Couldn't that mostly be fixed in PP?
Same as others. I don'T like post processing if I can avoid it. It's the taking of the picture that I enjoy.

That being said, you cannot do everything with post-processing. some lenses have a specific finish to them. As others have said, there's a reason why people buy expensive glass. And there's a reason why Pentax's coatings have been reknowned for many, many years.
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