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02-25-2011, 03:37 PM   #1
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Sigma 8-16mm vs Pentax 12-24: Which one to keep

Hi Guys,

I got a Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 12-24 from B&H recently for Landscape photography. I use k-x. I am going to return the one that I like less. In the last week that I have used the lenses. I find both very likeable so I am confused.

I do not care abt CA, etc on both.

I am enjoying the perspective of the 8mm but its reach is less than my kit lens and I find that I have to keep changing to the kit lens for a lot of pictures. The DA is great in this regard with some overlap with the kit lens but it cannot do 8-12mm. The constant f4 is also a big plus but I am not sure if it would make that much of a difference outdoors. If the DA was waterproof I would have surely kept it.

The build is equally great on both, though I find the lens cap and hood on the DA a bit annoying to use. The Sigma also comes with a great case.

I am not too experienced but to me both look very sharp. Now my question is what else should I keep in mind when choosing between the two. IF any of you have faced similar dilemmas please let me know what made you choose one over the other?

02-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cih Quote
Hi Guys,

I got a Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 12-24 from B&H recently for Landscape photography. I use k-x. I am going to return the one that I like less. In the last week that I have used the lenses. I find both very likeable so I am confused.


I am not too experienced but to me both look very sharp. Now my question is what else should I keep in mind when choosing between the two. IF any of you have faced similar dilemmas please let me know what made you choose one over the other?
I've been 'photo people' for a quarter century, and I have to admit I've never had the 'dilemma' of having two expensive ultrawide zooms in hand with no idea how to choose between them.


For landscapes, though, I'd just have to go with the Pentax lens, there, if you *must* use a zoom for landscape. I can't imagine an off-brand fishie zoom like an 8-16 has much beyond novelty going for it. Computers are neat, but that can't *possibly* not be more distortey than it'd be worth. Except for fun, of course.





Then again, fun's fun.

I suggest, follow your bliss.

Hint: Those kinds of things are best when you get *really close* to some compositional element.
02-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #3
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I have not had the pleasure of using the Sigma 8-16, but the images I've seen look good. I would have a difficult time getting rid of the 12-24, though, because is is such a useful range. I do have the advantage of owning the 10-17 as well, so I have the really wide end covered.

Last edited by SpecialK; 02-25-2011 at 05:50 PM.
02-25-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Return both and get the Sigma 10-20 F3.5?
Maybe a compromise but it might be what you need?

02-25-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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Why didn't you include the Tamron 10-24mm in your shopping spree?
02-25-2011, 04:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I can't imagine an off-brand fishie zoom like an 8-16 has much beyond novelty going for it.
Hmmh, sorry but this invites a list.
  1. What has "off-brand" got to do with anything?
  2. The Sigma 8-16mm is not a fisheye.
  3. If it were a fisheye, some would love it for that.
  4. You cannot get 8mm with any other lens. That might be something going for it, no?

To the OP: Seems like you need both. If you love the extreme angles only the Sigma can give you, there is no way to replace that with the Pentax.

If, on the other hand, you find yourself changing lenses too often, maybe you need the Pentax in addition to the Sigma.

I personally wouldn't expect too many situations where I'd swap a lot between an extreme wide-angle and a kit lens. Changing lenses is part of the business, so unless you have a particular application where you are depended on covering 12-24 without changing lenses I don't think the Pentax is that essential.
02-25-2011, 05:03 PM   #7
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+1 with littledrawe.
I use the Tamron 10-24-does a nice job for my needs paired with a Tamron 24-135.
The kit lenses provide me with WR when I need it.
02-25-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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Well, what's going to be more important to you in the long run between these two lenses:

The 8mm perspective?
Or using filters & having f/4 all the time?

Pick and be happy.

02-25-2011, 05:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cih Quote

I got a Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 12-24 from B&H recently for Landscape photography. I use k-x. I am going to return the one that I like less. In the last week that I have used the lenses. I find both very likeable so I am confused.

I am enjoying the perspective of the 8mm but its reach is less than my kit lens and I find that I have to keep changing to the kit lens for a lot of pictures. The DA is great in this regard with some overlap with the kit lens but it cannot do 8-12mm.
As for the dilemma, I had to face up to this when I chose my ultra-wide path. The 8-16 was pending release then and I couldn't stop drooling over it (still can't), but some weird pragmatism swayed me to buy a 10-20 instead for the Rectilinear part, plus, for this Plan B I later picked up a ProOptic (aka Samyang) Fisheye from Adorama for the 8mm size, and some extra creative W.A touch.

Both have worked out fab for me , got 8-20 UWA covered incl. 2 perspective~aspects, with total cost approx same as the 8-16 would have been.

And I can see your point about the overlap, that definitely was a serious consideration here too, but I had the upper range covered down to 17mm and with faster 2.8 speed there anyway. So again, it was a decision thing. YMMV.

Another choice that's gone toward helping the lens swap hassle is that I'd initially planned to upgrade to a fancier body, and again changed that strategy and bought a second camera. Reasoning being that 2 cheap but v.good cams is handier and more useful/versatile than one expensive one.
I only seek to take good pics really, not obsessed with getting hung up on bells & whistles of hardware, so that part of the "image" equation was a no-dramas choice.

Let's face it, a K-x costs less than 1/2 of many lenses these days and can take ripper pix. Which allows me to almost dedicate that to wide lens stuff, and the other body to normal/tele work. Convenience and minimal lens swaps!
Yeah OK it's extravagance but don't we all succumb to that in some way with our own kinky reasoning behind it?

Good luck with your decision on which to keep. It'll work out easy, trust your wisdom.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-25-2011 at 05:33 PM.
02-25-2011, 06:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
Why didn't you include the Tamron 10-24mm in your shopping spree?
My question also. UWA zooms, like most zooms, are a selection of priorities and compromises. With the Tammy you could forget the 8-10 range, and then can zoom all the way to 24 at the long end. Seems like you give up only a little on the short to get a lot on the long. My $0.02. Thanks. Glenn
02-25-2011, 06:28 PM   #11
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I have the DA 12-24mm but not the Sigma 8-16mm, so I may be biased. However, I can tell you that the 12-24mm is very sharp even wide-open. Most of my shots taken during my last Shanghai expos (and Hwangshan) trip were with the 12-24mm. Also, 24mm end is used quite often, therefore, I would not be comfortable with the 8-16mm range. I think there is a 12-35mm on the roadmap and that would be an interesting lens to have.
02-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
My question also. UWA zooms, like most zooms, are a selection of priorities and compromises. With the Tammy you could forget the 8-10 range, and then can zoom all the way to 24 at the long end. Seems like you give up only a little on the short to get a lot on the long. My $0.02. Thanks. Glenn
That's a good point Glenn, only problem is once you see 8mm it's very hard to let go. That 2mm can be HUGE!
It's 12mm equiv for us @1.5 and that is also considered mega-wide on FF. (is there even a 12 avail for FF any platform in rectilinear?)

Also I find that UWAs are like the inverse of Teles, you tend to use them most at their one maximal extreme. Because that's what you really buy them for too.

Still if you only had a 10/12-24 then the 24 end could fill in nicely, if it performed in the IQ department as well as your normal overlap lens does in that range.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-26-2011 at 09:29 AM.
02-25-2011, 09:31 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice. The thing about 8mm is that it is addictive. I never thought I needed it but now that I have it I think I will miss it.

What aleon has mentioned is significant in my opinion because I might be able to add the 12-35 if and when it comes and if I can afford it. The 12-24 would then be rendered useless. Do we have any idea when it is expected?
02-25-2011, 09:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hypocorism Quote
once you see 8mm it's very hard to let go
Thank you, .Ron., I was hoping someone would come in with a similar statement, and you did. I guess the OP will have to decide whether some longer reach is better, or going down to the 8 level is better. Though I do not have a UWA myself (but seriously considering it), I have looked at a lot of pics and, true to your input, the 12-x's have a lot of photos at 12, the 10-x's have a lot at 10, and, I assume that we'll see a lot of pictures from 8-16 at 8. I'm wondering to myself if there is a physical limit to how wide a lens can actually get and remain linear. Thanks. Glenn
02-25-2011, 09:49 PM   #15
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I have the 10-20mm Sigma, and I'd miss not having 10mm, particularly since I also have the 16-45mm. While 12mm is certainly wider than 16mm, 10mm makes even more difference. I'd like 8mm even more I'm sure, but I would miss having the split ND and polarizer capability with the 10-20mm.

Paul
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