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01-06-2011, 08:25 PM   #1
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Which cheap 28-80mm lens?

Really want something more in the 18-125 or 18-200 range but funds are running low. So I'm going with plan "B", a cheap 28-80mm.

Assuming all three were similarly priced, which one would you choose?

- SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-5.6

- Sigma 28mm-70mm f3.5-4.5 UC Zoom

- Quantaray 28-80mm f3.5-5.6

Right now I’m leaning towards the Sigma.

01-06-2011, 10:24 PM   #2
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I had this lens once:

FA 28-80/3.5-5.6

I kind of liked it, easy to manual focus, typical Pentax colors, flat front element that was easy to clean. The minimum focus distance was not great for product photos - the kit lens worked better for me - so I sold it to someone who really wanted it. Your other options might have a more useful close focus. The Pentax will be easier to sell later.
01-07-2011, 02:16 AM   #3
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I can't speak for the other lenses but I have the Sigma UC 28-70 and despite the fact a lot of people seem to rubbish it, it is actually not bad. Having said that it is biased to centre sharpness (not so great at borders) so not great for landscapes.

Example:
Cowgirl Mary | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I find the 70mm useful but don't really use the 28-70 now because I have a Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 which is a better lens.
01-07-2011, 07:08 AM   #4
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I decent lens in that range is the Promaster 28-105mm. These can be had pretty cheap on ebay. I believe this Promaster is made by Tamron. Pentax made a 28-90mm, I haven't used this lens. Check the lens database for reviews.

01-07-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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My Pentax-F 35-70mm is sharper than the Kit 18-55mm and gives more reach...

TBH though... I think you should suffer with what you have... Save up... And get the lens you really want....

But gp1806 is right... Compare the lens database against whats available on ebay....
01-07-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gp1806 Quote
Pentax made a 28-90mm, I haven't used this lens.
I bought one of these by accident once - thought it was a "too good to be true" price on the 24-90. It's hard to fairly judge a lens when every time you use it, you remember being an idiot. Plastic mount, I think.
01-07-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info guys, it will come in handy.

Yeah, I've checked the lens DB and all three of these are similarly ranked and well within the statistical margins. I was really hoping maybe someone had experience with 2 out of 3 and could provided some hands-on comparisons.
01-07-2011, 03:36 PM   #8
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I've got a Quant. 28-90 Macro that is really very nice. Got it for ~$30 shipped and am surprised at what I got. Its a rebagged Sigma and you can see the reviews of it here:
Quantaray 28-90mm f3.5-5.6 version 5 Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

It's pretty fast as these go and the AF is terrific on it.

01-07-2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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I haven't used the other two, so I can't make a direct comparison, but I use the SMC FA 28-80 as my "carry around" lens. I feel it's pretty comparable to the original version of the Pentax 18-55 kit lens in quality. It's never going to attain legendary status, but it's more than capable of producing good results.
01-07-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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You might want to look at the Pentax F 28-80 rather than the FA closer focusing range IIRC. We had both of them at one time.
01-07-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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I have 2 of the FA 28-80, both are sharp though suffer alot of CA .
01-07-2011, 11:24 PM   #12
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I recommend getting a Tokina AT-X Pro 28-80/2.8. In Pentax mount, these typically sell for a little over $200 (closer to $250 recently). I had one, and it was very nice: sharp at the wide end, perfect bokeh at 80mm (with some "soft focus" effect). Amazing build quality, too!
01-08-2011, 12:07 AM   #13
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Stay away from the sigma 28-80 (macro)
I have one(came as the kit lens on my pentax film camera years ago) it rarely got used, and last year i started using it and it feel apart in my hands and it was in like new condistion, very plasticly and very poorly made.
07-08-2011, 07:32 AM   #14
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Is the quantaray really a rebranded sigma? I need a cheap lens for my SF10, but my Sigma 28-105 won't autofocus on that body... so I'm avoiding Sigma lenses entirely, since I cant' seem to find a master list of lenses that work with the SF10.

Charles.
07-08-2011, 07:49 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
Is the quantaray really a rebranded sigma? I need a cheap lens for my SF10, but my Sigma 28-105 won't autofocus on that body... so I'm avoiding Sigma lenses entirely, since I cant' seem to find a master list of lenses that work with the SF10.

Charles.
Yes, the Quantaray 28-90Macro is definitely a rebagged Sigma. There are a number of photos of the two side-by-side and the differences are negligible. No idea about working with a SF10 but its been a good lens for butterfly photos and other casual "macro" photography for me. Quick AF too. Good luck.
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