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08-15-2014, 07:28 AM   #46
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well the 18-35 f1.8 just came out in K-mount... So I'm still hoping new Sigma glass will also

08-15-2014, 07:38 AM   #47
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I'd be real surprised if they stopped producing Pentax lenses altogether.
Probably will continue to be released after other mounts, and probably not all of their offerings, but I think they will continue to make the mainstream type lenses in K-mount, the "cant miss" type lenses.
Lenses like the 120-30mm f2.8 are pricey enough that they are relatively small sellers even with the huge Canikon base.
08-15-2014, 08:06 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mirton Quote
Since you've owned both could you tell me how the two macros compare to each other? I'm curious what made you decide to keep the 70mm macro and sell the 180mm.
Sold the 180mm for strictly economic reasons. Got a deal on it and knew it was very hard to find. Kept it for a while but I can't afford to keep them all and it was worth quite a bit so it was either sell that one or 3-4 others. My lens stable is a revolving door like that.

They are both excellent and very sharp, but I've never seen anything beat the 70 for resolution, and I've taken some of my best shots with it (macro and non-macro). Some others nearly match it, but it will blow your hair back. It also just has a nice character -- some sharp very lenses are a little too clinical for me. The colors may be on the cool side out of the camera, but it renders very nicely, nice bokeh, fringes very little and only wide-open. If I was really into high-magnification macro, I'd probably prefer the 180, but I'm usually working handheld getting close up to things but not doing true macro (I rarely get closer than 1:2 ratio), but I like macro lenses because I can focus at basically any distance. The 50mm-100mm macro range suits my style -- I think I have five macro lenses in that range (mostly older manual focus).
08-15-2014, 08:23 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Yes and what sigma does lately? It extends it's Art lenses offering... replacing the more conventionnal lenses with it.
The "Art" moniker is just a marketing term, not a technical term. It doesn't mean the lens is "unconventional". It's not like Canon or Nikon are suddenly going to start making "Art" lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
In the same range of DA20-40, sigma has 18-35. Both are expensive. The difference is apperture. Not price.
Hello, the Sigma 20-40mm is $200 more or a full 20% more expensive than the 18-35mm. An $800 lens would already be a stretch for a lot of people, and for them $1000 could put the lens out of contention.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Sigma 85mm (not even Art) is as expensive as FA77,
Again, "Art" is just a marketing term, and the Sigma 85mm happened to come out before Sigma's marketing department came up with the "Art" concept. Just because the 85mm is not called an "Art" lens does not mean it's deficient.

And the 77mm still displays all of the compromises I mentioned: smaller aperture, no silent AF motor, and more expensive.If Pentax made a larger 77mm 1.8 lens with the same image quality, it would be less expensive than making a smaller 77/1.8. So price is still a factor.

A more direct comparison for the 77mm 1.8 would be to an 85mm 1.8 lens, not 1.4. Canon's 85mm 1.8 is $420 and Nikon's is $500. Much less than the $1000 of the 77mm 1.8.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Sigma 50mm is more expensive than FA50 and DA50...
Sigma makes two 50mm lenses. They have their old 50mm/1.4 EX HSM, which is still an excellent lens and arguably better than the FA50 or DA50, and currently sells for $349 - $399, depending on the mount. And then they have their new 50mm Art lens for $1000 which many believe outperforms similar lenses costing much more from Canon, Nikon, and Zeiss.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Sigma 35mm Art is not as expensive as FA31, but it is still expensive, much bigger, and work on an easier focal lens. It is as expensive as FA43 and more expensive than DA35 ltd.... And of course the DA35 f/2.4...
What's your point here? The 31mm 1.8 is more expensive than the Sigma 35mm/1.4 and has a smaller aperture and no silent AF, so it checks all the boxes. And all the other lenses you listed are also not f/1.4.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Sigma specialize in high quality lenses because they think it is where money is. Pentax does the same but do not specialize on the same kind of high quality lenses.
Sigma has pro-quality lenses, and budget lenses. They probably sell way more of the budget/consumer lenses than the pro lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
One might prefer small lenses, other wide apperture lenses. I agree. But the price is not really a problem of ltd when you look at other high quality lenses out there.
It's always more expensive to make a more compact lens, if all else, including image quality across the frame, is held constant. There's a lot that goes into pricing a lens, so just comparing current prices on Pentax lens A to Sigma lens B does not prove anything about actual manufacturing costs.


Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 08-15-2014 at 08:31 AM.
08-15-2014, 10:08 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
I know you're trying to be funny, but for someone who doesn't like the compromises inherent in compact lens designs (Limiteds)
From my perspective, the limiteds are one of the top two reasons to buy Pentax. They're not for everybody, though.
08-15-2014, 10:16 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
From my perspective, the limiteds are one of the top two reasons to buy Pentax. They're not for everybody, though.
I completely agree with both parts of your statement, as long as the first part is qualified by the second part.
08-15-2014, 11:31 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Sigma makes two 50mm lenses. They have their old 50mm/1.4 EX HSM, which is still an excellent lens and arguably better than the FA50 or DA50, and currently sells for $349 - $399, depending on the mount. And then they have their new 50mm Art lens for $1000 which many believe outperforms similar lenses costing much more from Canon, Nikon, and Zeiss.
Edgar i wouldn't rush to judgment just because Sigma HSM line is newer. I owned both the Pentax-F 50mm f1.4 and the Sigma EX DG 85mm f1.4 HSM and personally (in my blind tests) I'd always prefer the rendering, micro-contrast and overall "character" of the 50mm. (The 85mm is still a beast with excellent isolation/bokeh/resolution) Sigma may sandwich a lot of glass/elements and generate high MTF figures in its production lenses but cannot match Pentax when it comes to rendering (I"m not talking about CA or PF control here, I'm speaking of color rendition/character). Just my personal perspective on this matter.

Walking around with a k-5iis/K-3 and a Fa 77mm f1.8 IMHO is completely different experience then when the 85mm f1.4 gets involved. If I was a superstitious person and believed in the soul-sucking characteristics of photography the Sigma would be my worst nightmare. If you want to knock the sock off CanonNikons then by all means, tout the 85mm and although they'll still mutter in discontent over you Dslr choice, at least they'll not dare confront you about it.

p.s. Sigma has improved the coating in their new Art series. I prefer the rendering of my new 18-35mm f1.8 as opposed to the older EX DC 30mm f1.4.

Last edited by Mirton; 08-15-2014 at 03:36 PM.
08-15-2014, 03:23 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote

And the 77mm still displays all of the compromises I mentioned: smaller aperture, no silent AF motor, and more expensive.If Pentax made a larger 77mm 1.8 lens with the same image quality, it would be less expensive than making a smaller 77/1.8. So price is still a factor.

A more direct comparison for the 77mm 1.8 would be to an 85mm 1.8 lens, not 1.4. Canon's 85mm 1.8 is $420 and Nikon's is $500. Much less than the $1000 of the 77mm 1.8.

It's always more expensive to make a more compact lens, if all else, including image quality across the frame, is held constant. There's a lot that goes into pricing a lens, so just comparing current prices on Pentax lens A to Sigma lens B does not prove anything about actual manufacturing costs.
Putting more glass for f/1.4 instead of f/1.8 add to the lens making cost and bulkyness. Adding an in less motor add to the cost and bulkyness.

In exchange if you get an FA ltd, for having only f/1.8, more in put in a a better rendering, better color, images that just pop more. I don't want to buy a bulky, heavy spec sheet. I want a lens that help me to take great photos.

I would agree with you that with the DAltd, Pentax has come one step futher, removing an additionnal 1/2 or 1 stop more and that the lens are not at same level of quality as thoses FA ltd. They are also even lighter and less expensive. That give choices to the buyer.

But saying that sigma is giving more for the money is plain wrong... They give more larger apperture and test chart MTF for the money, This doesn't go necessarily with better pictures overall.

08-15-2014, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
In exchange if you get an FA ltd, for having only f/1.8, more in put in a a better rendering, better color, images that just pop more. I don't want to buy a bulky, heavy spec sheet. I want a lens that help me to take great photos.
Its all a question of taste my friend. My lineup is about 50/50 Sigma and Pentax and each lens was chosen for its qualities. No other 35mm renders like the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, I don't mean charts or specs, I mean 3d pop and colours. The images have a little "something" to them. Is it better than the equivalent 35 from Pentax, is it better than a 31 or a 43. Of course not, the difference in IQ, if any, is marginal. But I prefer it, I like it more than the others. The exact same applies to all of my other lenses. Are they better than their competitor? Probably not, but they're not worse. And more importantly, I like them better. I chose them for a reason. And this reason is called personal preference.

I have been looking for a while for a fast 70/77 and worst case, an 85mm lens. I tried the FA77 and the DA70, I didn't like either, for a few reasons. I'm at the store trying out the 77 and the camera was hunting for focus, the store was pretty quiet so the SD focus sounded like an electric drill on steroids, it was loud enough for people to look. So I decided to help it out a bit by manually focussing it...oh wait... no quickshift, oh and no AF/MF switch on the lens. So I put the camera to MF and proceeded to focus it manually, with the mini focus ring. Not pleasant. So I tried the Sigma 85, and I didn't like it either. It's a bit big and even if I'd rather have a larger lens, I don't know, it just didn't feel right. And the focal length is longer than what I wanted.

The moral to the story... Everyone will have their preferences regarding lenses. It's just not true that the limited are better than the equivalent Sigmas... To me, the only advantage of the ltds over the competition is their small size, where on the other hand, with the Sigmas, you get faster aperture, fast, silent and modern focus motor... for less money.

But I think the whole point (to me anyway) is the fact that unless Sigma announces a whole whack of new K mount lenses in the very near future, us Pentaxians are left with less and less options. In my case, on some focal length (i.e. 70), the only option are the 70 and the 77, two Pentax lenses, both expensive both are SD and both pancake style... Three things I do not like. The Sigma 70 macro is slower but you know what? I liked it. But now it's gone.

One thing is for certain, the pictures you take with a lens you use are 100% better than the pictures you don't take with a lens you don't use.
08-15-2014, 07:22 PM   #55
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This looks like the current version of the 70mm macro is just being phased out for all mounts. Perhaps it will be replaced with a "Global Vision" version, or maybe not.

I use the Japanese price comparison site kakaku.com. It allows you to see how many online retailers still have a given lens in stock. A current Sigma lens will typically be stocked by 20-25 stores. The 70mm is in stock various mounts as follows:
Canon - 8 stores
Nikon - 12 stores
Sigma - 2 stores
Sony - 2 stores
Pentax - 8 stores

So I don't think dwindling supplies of the 70mm imply that Sigma is abandoning K-mount. The 70-200mm case is a bit different because it is not available in Pentax mounts, while it is stocked by 20+ stores in other mounts.

Personally, I think it is unwise for Pentaxians to rely on Sigma for their lens needs because they are very unreliable about whether or when they ship lenses. Actually, this applies to their own cameras as well. The DP series cameras always seem to be delivered behind schedule.
08-15-2014, 07:53 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote

PS - And no the 50-135 doesn't count because it focuses slower than a slug in salt water! I will never ever ever ever ever again own a pentax sdm lens. they are worthless for any moving subject
Have to disagree as the DA*300 is fast enough for BIF if one knows how to use it well,don't know the 50-135,but maybe primes are faster??
08-15-2014, 08:07 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgaudet Quote
Its all a question of taste my friend.

[...]
I agree that there is lot of taste into this.

I just wanted to show that "large apperture cost more" is likely as valid as "small lenses cost more". I would add to the argument that on most system, the basic lenses are small and the expensive version come with larger apperture, more weight and premium price.

The one that look for large apperture will dismiss everything that doesn't follow this path and the one that look for small lens will dismiss any bulky design.
08-15-2014, 08:23 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
I agree that there is lot of taste into this.

I just wanted to show that "large apperture cost more" is likely as valid as "small lenses cost more". I would add to the argument that on most system, the basic lenses are small and the expensive version come with larger apperture, more weight and premium price.

The one that look for large apperture will dismiss everything that doesn't follow this path and the one that look for small lens will dismiss any bulky design.

You didn't "show" anything. You conveniently ignored the part where I said all else being equal, a smaller lens will cost more. It will be a much more difficult design and manufacturing challenge if limitations are placed on the maximum size of the lens.

When I say all else being equal, that means IQ, aperture, etc. It's much harder to maintain image quality across the full sensor with a smaller piece of glass since the edges of the lens elements are the weakest optically. So a smaller lens with smaller elements requires higher quality glass. Glass itself is not expensive. I have all kinds of inexpensive glass in my house. It's high quality optics that are expensive, and that's what a compact lens needs, if all else is held equal.

That's why the Limited lenses are so special and unique. Because it's NOT easy or cheap to make a smaller lens that maintains excellent image quality. And that's why Sigma builds bigger lenses when they are trying to provide the highest quality optics possible, at a price that people can still afford.
08-15-2014, 09:21 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
You didn't "show" anything. You conveniently ignored the part where I said all else being equal, a smaller lens will cost more. It will be a much more difficult design and manufacturing challenge if limitations are placed on the maximum size of the lens.

When I say all else being equal, that means IQ, aperture, etc. It's much harder to maintain image quality across the full sensor with a smaller piece of glass since the edges of the lens elements are the weakest optically. So a smaller lens with smaller elements requires higher quality glass. Glass itself is not expensive. I have all kinds of inexpensive glass in my house. It's high quality optics that are expensive, and that's what a compact lens needs, if all else is held equal.

That's why the Limited lenses are so special and unique. Because it's NOT easy or cheap to make a smaller lens that maintains excellent image quality. And that's why Sigma builds bigger lenses when they are trying to provide the highest quality optics possible, at a price that people can still afford.
But this is not all else being equal... One as f/1.4... the other not. While it may need to be more expensive to cover as well the same apperture, it just doesn't need.

The small max apperture also permit design with less glass elements, and improve flare resistance. By the way the DA35 f/2.4 is the perfect counter exemple of small lenses that cost more. It is of very high quality wide open, sharp on the border at f/2.4, a thing that many more expensive lenses fail to achieve at the same apperture.
08-16-2014, 06:11 AM - 1 Like   #60
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(I apologize in advance for the crude generalization or sounding snobish) There seems to be two (and maybe more) types of photographers, the new schools and the old school (I don't mean young or old, age doesn't factor)

I'm in my early thirties, new school pentaxian and on my third pentax body (K20D, K5, K5iis) When i first started shooting Pentax i chucked the 18-55 aside immediately (used overall less than half a dozen times) and started collecting lots of MF lenses Pentax, Takumars, Tessars, Triotars, Vivitars, Tomioka, Jupiters Helios, in M42, exakta, Pk mounts and others. I bought, sold, converted quite a number of MF old lenses, so much so that my K20D aperture lever inside the mount was abused to the point where half the time it wouldn't transmit the right aperture settings on PK/A lenses. This made using AF lenses hard with unpredictable results (half of the time my shots were wide open). My MF years have been very informative on composition, character and rendering and have shaped my taste as a result. Today I find myself shooting with AF lenses more each day often out of pure convenience. Although i have some good glass, the Sigma Art 18-35mm, Sigma 300mm f2.8, Pentax-F 28mm, 50mm f1.4 (and have flirted with the FA/DA limited's on and off) some of my old primes like the Little CZJ tessar T 50mm f2.8, Rollei 50mm f1.8 (converted to PK), EBC Fujinon 100mm f2.8, Tokina 90mm f2.5, Vivitar 28mm f2.8 Close Focus (etc) have still a special place in my heart.

Most of new DSLR shooters although they might flirt with old Pentax glass now and then , starts off with the intent of upgrading the kit lens immediately, they buy da 16-45, or the DA* 16-50mm, or the Tamron's 28-75mm or the Sigmas etc. Then they move to primes and when buying lenses paying close attention to specs, prioritizing on fast apertures and MTF figures. Many see the appeal of the Sigmas (like fgaudet more than half the lenses i own are Sigmas) On paper all the Sigma lenses dazzle, fast apertures, impressive size, good MTF. varied but good AF implementations etc. But strapping the latest and greatest lens the market can offer on you camera doesn't always make for great photography. I've see compositions taken with unconventional gear like lens-babies or enlargers that really dazzle. Although a lot of people are ecstatic about the new K-3 with its great C-MOS 24 Mpx sensor, a number of them still use their older CCD cameras.

My point is that you have to mix a bit of old with the new, there's far too many lenses out there. It's important to keep an open mind and try as many as you can. It will better inform your aesthetics, and make you better at what appeals to you.

Last edited by Mirton; 08-16-2014 at 07:13 PM.
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