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08-26-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
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Sigma ART 18-35 1.8 and K-30

I have a K-30 and I am really happy with it. However, After learning what a fast lens can give you (after trying my Pentax-A 50mm 1.7) I have never looked back to my Kit lens.

I was looking at some fast primes but there is nothing from pentax in wide angle that is fast. All lenses below 30mm are f/3.2 or larger. And as usual, if there are any lenses faster than that (like the 31 f1.8) then they are ridiculously expensive. Considering photography is just a hobby for me and not a source of income, paying 1k plus for a lens is not really feasible.

Hainvg the sigma 18-35 1.8 pentax mount around the corner made me think if this would be a good companion to the K-30. Considering this lens will most likely run for $700 or less street price in few months, i think is a no brainer considering that a "slow" pentax limited runs for $500 each. Even Sigma's own primes 24mm, 28mm, 30mm (old) and 30mm (new) and finally the 35mm 1.4 all run for $400+

is quite sad that Pentax does not offer something fast that is wide angle. You can say that image quality of the sigma at 1.8 is not "perfect" but capability is there. Besides, most reviews say that by 2.0 the lens is REALLY sharp!.

I know Pentax limiteds have nice color, nice contrast, are smaller. But this lens is cheaper (than buying sepate limiteds), is faster (1.8 across the range) and highly acclaimed for sharpness. In fact, after reading a lot of reviews, it seems that one of the things people complain the most about (shake reduction) would not be an issue in pentax as we have in body SR.

so:
I just wanted to know if there are other K-30 users waiting for this lens?
What lens are you replacing when you get the 18-35?
Should i just forget about fast lens and get something like a 21mm 3.2 limited and maybe a sigma 28mm
(joke)

08-26-2013, 05:57 PM   #2
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  • I just wanted to know if there are other K-30 users waiting for this lens? no, I have the 12-24, 16-45
  • What lens are you replacing when you get the 18-35?
  • Should i just forget about fast lens and get something like a 21mm 3.2 limited and maybe a sigma 28mm (joke) - I don't know
The one main drawback I see is the physical size and weight. Its physically larger than either the 12-24 and 16-45. It also weighs almost 3x the weight of the 16-45 and 2x the 12-24. Both of which are rather large lenses. With this lens it will not be a light weight at all. It will probably be a very good lens, but you are going to have to carry it around.

A possible alternative is the kit (wr), 16-45/4 or 17-70, for a few options...

08-26-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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Definitely different philosophies going here, between this lens and Limiteds. From my perspective an 800-gram zoom with a short coverage is nearly uesless; my DA16-45 + 40Ltd + 70Ltd is 595g. For many people only fast glass will do, so you will just love that Sigma! I'll take my chances with a couple Limiteds and a lighter bag.
08-26-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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weight is not a killer for me. low light is more of a killer for me. I would be interested in the 16-45 (wider range) but problem is that is basically more than 2 stops slower than the new sigma.
we're talking about a picture you would be able to take with the sima with iso 800 indoors at f/2 might not be possible using the 16-45 as it will require bumping ISO to 3200 which we know introduces visible noise.

Assuming I have to carry 20mm,28mm from sigma (which are not even sharp/super excellent lenses) i would end up carrying more weight and would be less efficient than a single zoom.

For my uses, a lens for indoor groups/family etc I usualy end up using 20-30mms....
when i want to walk outside i always walk with my 50mm as i always have space to move back and is long enough that i can use for portraits in crop sensor.

long story short. this lens is not for everybody. However, i wanted to know if other users are waiting for this for their K-30 and what use they're planning to put to it.

08-26-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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by the way dont get me wrong. I love pentax lenses. Is just that i feel they have nothing to go for in wide FL. At least something good for indoors that is not 3.2 (something that would allow me to shoot indoor photos of family and friends without having to pull out a flash etc)

I am not a fan of zooms myself. In fact, before two days ago, I didnt even know about this lens because I always filtered out zooms. However, after reading and learning that this lens offers prime quality pictures with zoom versatility, kinda became the way to go for me.

is juts that i find myself shooting lot of indoors which end up looking disappointing to me as i always end up having to boost ISO to more than 1600 etc with my kit lens at around f/4

Therefore the 16-45 was automatically out of question for me.
08-26-2013, 07:09 PM   #6
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I'm kind of a similar mind to you - I don't really like zooms, but there are a lot of benefits to the Sigma's speed indoors. And then I think maybe indoors a zoom could be pretty useful. You often need the wide angle for group shots, but those are also situations where you are taking portraits and the long end might come in handy, too.

Reading reviews of the DA15 and the DA21 makes me think that for outdoors the extra speed isn't as critical. But indoors it is... and in that situation, you aren't really lugging the thing around for long distances.. hm..I think you've made a good case for it!
08-26-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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It's hard for me. The DA15 is a super wide angle stopped down, where I use it most. I shoot it at f4 sometimes, and it's always good enough. The DOF is fine, you are never going to get super bokeh from a 15 at any aperture. Also, I can hand hold it down to about 1/8 second, so it's kind of like an extra stop of ISO there. I'm thinking the Sigma will be heavy enough that you will have to keep shutter speed above focal length. Up from there, I go to my Sigma 30/1.4. It's very rare that I'm indoors and it's not the right lens. Wide enough to work in most rooms, not so wide that people look like they were shot with a fisheye. I use my Sigma most around 1.7 to 2.0, so the new lens works with my shooting style.

On the other hand, that Sigma looks to be amazing, and a relative bargain. The only downside is weight. If I carry the Sigma, my 70-200/2.8, DA10-17 and a fast 50, I'm set for anything, but man is that a heavy bag!
08-26-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Pentax does have some limitations in their lens offerings, and as you have observed - this is one of the areas. For your use it does appear to fit your intended useage quite well.



08-26-2013, 08:37 PM   #9
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Pentax's approach has been small, quality, lenses. That precludes fast. The DA21 is a pretty great lens, and 3.2 and 2.8 aren't all that different. You can try getting a copy of the FA20/2.8 or the FA*24/2. The Sigma Zoom is a pretty unique offering, nobody has anything quite like it. If the weight doesn't bother you, it should be a stellar lens.
08-26-2013, 08:46 PM   #10
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This lens makes so much more sense than a DA21. The price of this Sigma zoom is very reasonable given the quality and speed.
08-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Pentax's approach has been small, quality, lenses. That precludes fast. The DA21 is a pretty great lens, and 3.2 and 2.8 aren't all that different. You can try getting a copy of the FA20/2.8 or the FA*24/2. The Sigma Zoom is a pretty unique offering, nobody has anything quite like it. If the weight doesn't bother you, it should be a stellar lens.
yes. I was looking at these lenses . however, they are all really close in price to a new Sigma 18-35. As I said, I don't even vote for zooms. However, lets just take the FA*24/2. It sells for around $600 USED!
The sigma is $700 or so with really nice images, sharp, fast!. Thats why I say, is a no brainer for me.
08-26-2013, 09:48 PM   #12
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I'd say this lens is more of a challenge to Canon and Nikon than to Pentax. Pentax is in the unique position of having several tiny, light, but very high-quality lightweight primes. As several here have already said, they'll take small and sharp over huge and fast any day.

The 18-35 isn't competing with the Limiteds, it's competing with fast wide zooms, which Pentax clearly isn't that interested in. The Limiteds sell to a different market. I don't see this lens as threatening to Pentax at all.

At $800 (list is $1,160, BTW, I don't think $700 street will be realistic for a long time), it's a no-brainer for folks like you and me. For some, the huge size is a deal-breaker, and the Limiteds are there for them.


Oh yeah, this lens may be replacing Sigma's own 30mm f/1.4 for me. Maybe. I really love that lens...
08-26-2013, 10:45 PM   #13
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Not for me...

QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
I was looking at some fast primes but there is nothing from pentax in wide angle that is fast. All lenses below 30mm are f/3.2 or larger.
There is a DA14mm f/2.8. It is much wider and faster. It isn't too expensive on the 2nd hand market.

QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
Hainvg the sigma 18-35 1.8 pentax mount around the corner made me think if this would be a good companion to the K-30...i think is a no brainer considering that a "slow" pentax limited runs for $500 each.
The thought of carrying around a 2 lbs. lens to family functions sounds brutal. I'd rather have a DA40mm on the camera and a DA21mm in my pocket. Also, speed isn't the only determinant of price. Otherwise, the DA40mm f/2.8 would be cheaper than the DA50mm f/1.8 and DA35mm f/2.4.

I think this lens is targeting people striving for full frame. It gives you something approaching what a 24-70 f/2.8 zoom would give you in terms of depth of field and low light performance. Unfortunately, it is similar in weight also. The good thing is it is much cheaper.

QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
is quite sad that Pentax does not offer something fast that is wide angle.
I don't often have a need for both fast and wide, usually just one or the other. Shooting groups of people indoors at f/1.4 or f/1.8 doesn't always produce enough depth of field. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 can be had at a reasonable price for those few occasions you would need it.

QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
is juts that i find myself shooting lot of indoors which end up looking disappointing to me as i always end up having to boost ISO to more than 1600 etc
My K-5 is stellar at ISO 3200, not sure why the K-30 wouldn't be also.
08-26-2013, 11:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
There is a DA14mm f/2.8. It is much wider and faster. It isn't too expensive on the 2nd hand market
That would be an idea.

QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
The thought of carrying around a 2 lbs. lens to family functions sounds brutal. I'd rather have a DA40mm on the camera and a DA21mm in my pocket. Also, speed isn't the only determinant of price. Otherwise, the DA40mm f/2.8 would be cheaper than the DA50mm f/1.8 and DA35mm f/2.4.
That's completely correct.

QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
I don't often have a need for both fast and wide, usually just one or the other. Shooting groups of people indoors at f/1.4 or f/1.8 doesn't always produce enough depth of field. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 can be had at a reasonable price for those few occasions you would need it.
You dont have to shoot a group at 1.8. You can always stop down. However, if you have a 16-45.. You're stuck with 4.0 automatically boosting to ISO 3200 most of the time

QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
My K-5 is stellar at ISO 3200, not sure why the K-30 wouldn't be also.
I like pixel peeping. I know, is a curse... :P


I know pentax primes are a league of their own. I am not comparing the 18-35 directly to primes. I am saying that in my case I couldn't find a fast prime that suited my needs. after all i would need about 2 primes minimum to get the versatility of this lens. That, and that you add the fact that you need to be changing from lens to lens. (assuming you buy a 20 or 24 plus a 35)

There's a lot more to like about a lens than just its aperture. I have not held the sigma in my hands yet let alone shot with it. However, reading reviews I have learned that this lens is not just numbers, the lens seems to be doing a pretty good job everywhere. so...


about price... I used this as a baseline: Price Watch post Doing google conversion is $680 CAD. I know, shipping, duties, etc etc... however, it gives you an idea of baseline.

Last edited by jrcastillo; 08-26-2013 at 11:39 PM.
08-27-2013, 01:00 AM   #15
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I like the idea of the fast apperture and the rumoured quality of this lens alot, but have concerns over the weight/size.
I already have a DA 12-24 and the DA 35 2.4 so Im not sure I need a 18-35 in any case, but I suspect that like alot of people Im waiting for Adams review and the FA31 comparison. If the sigma can give the same quality as that but over an 18-35 range, Id have to be mad not too consider it as it would be like having several primes.
Having said that, due to severe LBA, this lens would have to join the list in number 3 position as there are 2 others on my list that Im currently saving for..
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