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06-19-2016, 03:43 PM   #1
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Lens opinion: 18-35 vs 12-24 vs 20-40 vs 16-50

I currently own a 12-24 and at times am dissatisfied. More often than not, I actually find it too wide for my style of photography and end up swapping to the 40 LTD. Thus I am considering the following

Sigma 18-35 ART
Pentax HD 20-40
Pentax DA* 16-50

Anyone have an opinion or advice?

06-19-2016, 03:53 PM   #2
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16-50 if you want weather sealed.
06-19-2016, 03:57 PM   #3
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If the da* 16 50 is an option, and you don't need wr, I would give a long hard look at the sigma 17-50 f2.8. When it was compared to the da*16-50 it came out ahead.
06-19-2016, 04:03 PM   #4
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What kind of shooting do you do? What are your requirements? Each lens you mentioned brings different things to the table.

06-19-2016, 04:03 PM   #5
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The 18-35 is sharp as can be. The 16-50 is also sharp, and WR. If mainly indoors, the 18-35, if outside or better light the 16-50
06-19-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
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If you are considering the Sigma Art 18-35, be aware that some users have been plagued with AF inaccuracy issues that were difficult to impossible to resolve, including the site's official reviewers after examining multiple copies. OTOH others have got lucky with a more than acceptable miss percentage on a regular basis. I almost bought it, but on hearing about its problems I shied away - return for repair or exchange would have been too difficult for me.

Likewise the 16-50 has an unenviable record among some users for failure of the SDM autofocus module, to the point where some users have voluntarily crippled it and relied on the screwdrive (though later NIB copies and those that have had their SDM repaired or replaced appear overally to be fine).

The 20-40 is also WR, and if you're fine with starting at 20 and noting that you tend to put the 40 on anyway, would probably suit your style. The only possible drawback is that it's only f/2.8 at the wide end and drops to f/4 at the long - if you don't mind losing a whole stop over the DA40, this could be your thing. I'd consider it, but I already have the DA21 and the DA40 as primes, and both of them together probably take up less room in my camera bag and I am planning an upgrade to full-frame, so no more DA zooms for me.
06-19-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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I don't have the 18-35 but I do have the other three lenses. IMHO, the 20-40 is the best among the three for crop-mode camera like my k-3. The 16-50 is a bit too bulky (for me) and the 12-24 is limited (a bit too wide for my usage) as I shoot mainly events (people). That is not to say those two are not good IQ wise; just the 20-40 range is suitable for me and the 20-40 is WR and relatively lighter, smaller and faster (than 12-24). However, I have not tried the 18-35 (it is likely a different beast) and may be just as good if not better.
06-19-2016, 05:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greinerstudio Quote
...too wide for my style of photography...
What is your style? Portraits, landscapes, architecture, indoor vs outdoor, etc.? Is a wide aperture for low-light and narrow depth of field important, or would you prefer a smaller and likely less expensive lens?

I'm asking those questions because the 16-85 might be yet another option to consider.

06-19-2016, 05:24 PM   #9
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Also the 18-35 is a low light monster. If you can swing it then it seems the 24-70 would be a great companion to your 12-24.
06-19-2016, 06:15 PM   #10
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If you buy the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART be prepared to shell out at least an extra $300 on a polariser* and the lens dock. Optically the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART is superb, but there are a few big caveats and all of them are related to focusing accuracy. Also at longer distances the Bokeh from this lens can take on shapes that are profoundly distracting:



The lens is also quite large:


Pentax SMC 24mm f/2.8 > SMCP-FA31mm f/1.8 > Sigma 15-30mm f/4.5-5.6 > Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART. With the exception of the Sigma art lens, all of these lenses are designed for full frame.

*if you don't already have one.
06-19-2016, 07:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by caliscouser Quote
What kind of shooting do you do? What are your requirements? Each lens you mentioned brings different things to the table.
I shoot a wide variety of subjects, but am covered with other great lenses at most ranges (100 macro, 60-250, 400 telemacro, etc). I do not fear weight or size and what I need is a great walking around lens for mostly urban landscapes and architecture, and occasional nature landscape. I also often focus on discreet urban scenes like a particular set of doors, benches, etc. Lastly, astrophotography is in my to do list.

I often proces images to a high key black and white style and am looking forward to finding the right lens to fill my kit below 40 or 60 mm.

---------- Post added 06-19-16 at 07:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
If you buy the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART be prepared to shell out at least an extra $300 on a polariser* and the lens dock.
Why the polarizer?
06-19-2016, 08:43 PM   #12
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I tend to associate high key with smooth bokeh, in which case i would recommend the da* 16-50 over the others. If you want to be able to shoot into the sun the 20-40ltd is the way to go, although 16-85 is also decent.
06-19-2016, 08:43 PM   #13
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What you need is the DA21, pair it with something 30-ish. I like the Sigma 30 for crop, the FA31 is also a choice (if you care about corners, 31>>30, if you care about center resolution, 30>31. The bokeh on the 31 is great, the Sigma 30 is sometimes better, usually not quite as good. There are a load of great 28's as well.

Learn to live the prime life!
06-19-2016, 09:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greinerstudio Quote
Why the polarizer?
To eliminate reflections from glass,foliage and also to deepen the colour of the sky. Better polarizers cost more, and the really good ones transmit more light so your exposure isn't affected as much by them.


Pentax K5IIs - Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART @ f/8 ISO 80 1/250th - circular polarizer used.
06-19-2016, 09:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Pentax SMC 24mm f/2.8 > SMCP-FA31mm f/1.8 > Sigma 15-30mm f/4.5-5.6 > Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART. With the exception of the Sigma art lens, all of these lenses are designed for full frame..
BTW off topic here but since you have it... How is that Sigma 15-30mm you have?
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