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09-11-2008, 02:16 AM   #1
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Pentax 17-70mm or 18-250mm

I'm decided to sell the 21mm Limited and 50-200 zoom.

Debating between the two lens in the topic. I know it's a little unfair since they are completely different animals, but I figured I'd give it a shot. They're relatively the same price, weight, and size. This zoom will be mounted 90% of the time, unless I find myself in a low-light situation. My only other lens will be the 35mm F2 for the other 10%.

09-11-2008, 02:40 AM   #2
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I have the sigma 17-70 and love it, but I do sometimes wish it was a bit longer ... but then again I wouldn't trade the sharpness and contrast. If you can keep the 18-200 from going totally open it will probably give you as much sharpness as the 17-70.

If you have to sell the 50-200, I would start with the 18-200 and then you can decide if it's acceptable to you. No having a 200mm in the bag, could limit you to much (depending on what kind of photos you take)

EDIT: Made it clear that it's the Sigma 17-70, I'm talking about...

Last edited by tcdk; 09-11-2008 at 07:09 AM.
09-11-2008, 05:16 AM   #3
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I also have the 17-70mm Sigma lens. Upgraded from the 18-55mm kit lens and I love the range it offers. Kit lens was just too short on the telephoto end. This one is just about right. Yes, there are few occasions that I would like to have more reach, but I also keep the 50-200mm in the bag. So I would sell the 21mm, get Sigma and keep the 50-200mm lens. But if you do not want to carry two lenses, then go with 18-250mm. I guess it all depends on what subjects are you photographing. For my casual family snapshots, few landscape and portrait shots, Sigma is more than enough.
09-11-2008, 06:18 AM   #4
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I think no one can answer this for you. You probably know that these lenses are different animals, and you probably know what to expect from each. The choice is between performance and convenience. And that's your call.

as for me, I never bothered with the kit lens, and got the Sigma instead. It is "my"*kit lens. I also use a 50 mm f1,4 and a MF 70-210 (Vivitar series 1). I do not want "the best of everything" but I find that this kit gives me a great balance between quality and convenience. Plus I never find myself with a smaller aperture than f3,5 between 17 and 210 mm, and that's a fantastic thing.

09-11-2008, 06:29 AM   #5
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I bought the Pentax 17-70 for a weekend.

I returned it because it had impossibly bad focus problems. Daylight, incandescent, real world, focal tests, whatever. I never got to test the sharpness because it wouldn't focus.
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09-11-2008, 01:24 PM   #6
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Aegon, it's sad that your lens apparntly had problems, but throwing a comment like this implies that all single 17-70 lenses are faulty, which of course isn't true...

The K20D even lets you compensate for back focus like you seem to have experienced, but with other cameras you can send the lens for a recalibration, or exchange it for a new one.
09-11-2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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I didn't imply that all lenses are faulty. I just gave a single point of reference. At the very least it shows that Pentax doesn't properly test 100% of their lenses. Combine my point of data with another internet review (which I don't have on hand, but there are only about 3 reviews on this lens at this moment) and you'll find that I'm not the only person with this problem. So it is neither a single isolated incident, nor is it that all lenses are faulty. Reality is somewhere in between.

I'm not sure that the adjustment range of a K20D would even permit me to fix this lens, as the focus isn't even close. 45mm back focus (or is that front focus) means that even at smaller apertures my photos look bad.

I spent $30 shipping to get the lens, spent another $20 to ship it back, and I'm not going to play games trying lenses until I find one that works.

The lens did not say that it was only supposed to work on the K20D. It said it would work on any digital K mount, and that it would focus on a KAF3. The K10D is advertised to work with it. I expect it to work.

I would not recommend buying it on the internet. Go to a local dealer. Try it on your camera first.

And shame on Pentax. This is unacceptable. I paid $530 for that lens, I expect a darn fine lens for that kind of cash.
09-11-2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
And shame on Pentax. This is unacceptable. I paid $530 for that lens, I expect a darn fine lens for that kind of cash.
Maybe you should try a DA*16-50 instead

09-11-2008, 02:13 PM   #9
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I went with the 17-70 over the 16-50, oddly enough, to avoid playing "good lens bingo".

This time I went with Sigma, and at least I know it will be cheap. It is inexpensive too.
09-11-2008, 02:17 PM   #10
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I read a recent hands on test with the Pentax 17-70 (was interested in replacing my 18-55)

It was found that it performed dismally wide open to 5.6 but excellent between f8-11 and would be interested in how it compares to the Sigma.

I expect a lens of this quality to perform excellent from its widest aperture or at the least 1 stop down.

The 18-55 is amazing at 5.6 to 8 and have not seen any shots from even the 16-50 or 16-45 to sway me (although I wish they did)

On the other hand the 50-135 shows me the kinda PQ I am willing to pay for.

I would keep the 50-200 as it has really good PQ for its price.

d
09-11-2008, 02:20 PM   #11
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I have been using the Sigma 17-70 for quite some time. Highly recommend this lens. I t seems that there is a problem with the one mentioned above, but I have had no problems whatsoever. gives very sharp pictures, with beautiful colouring and a good Macro facility as well.

I have the 50-200 and use it for the bit longer reach. A very recommendle pairing of lenses IMHO.
09-11-2008, 02:37 PM   #12
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Well, you're correct in stating that these are two different lenses. I'll just chime in to say that I went with the 18-250 as my all-around lens. I like the extra reach (you can get some really shallow DOF at the longer focal lengths) and the "macro" function is useful.

However, while I think the 18-250 is fine, it does have some compromises (barrel distortion and vignetting being the two I see the most). Those are both easily fixable in post processing (I never even worry about the barrel distortion as I don't take the kinds of shots where it's obvious). You can also get a touch of purple fringing, but no more than on some of my other more expensive lenses.

I use the 18-250 as my vacation lens (unless I'm on a dedicated photo journey) and have be completely pleased with it. I took it to Peru last year as my only lens and didn't regret it for a moment.

In the end, you'll need to decide what it more important to you, ultimate image quality (I suspect the Sigma 17-70 wins here, but I don't own one) or convenience with good image quality.
09-11-2008, 06:33 PM   #13
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If you don't absolutely need the wide end of the 17-70, then another good choice in the price range would be the Tamron 28-75/2.8. For what this lens can produce, it's hard to believe that it is as cheap as it is.

If you do need the extra width of the 17-70, then most definitely get the Sigma. You won't be disappointed. If you do go this route, I would advise you to either keep the 50-200 or upgrade it to something like the DA55-300, if your finances allow it. Depending on what it is you want to shoot, the 55-300 can also be a good walkaround lens.

HTH,
Heather
09-12-2008, 11:38 PM   #14
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Hey, gang. I went for the 18-250mm after selling the 21mm Limited today. I couldn't pass up on the deal, nearly $100 less than new.
09-12-2008, 11:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
I read a recent hands on test with the Pentax 17-70 (was interested in replacing my 18-55)

It was found that it performed dismally wide open to 5.6 but excellent between f8-11 and would be interested in how it compares to the Sigma.

I expect a lens of this quality to perform excellent from its widest aperture or at the least 1 stop down.

The 18-55 is amazing at 5.6 to 8 and have not seen any shots from even the 16-50 or 16-45 to sway me (although I wish they did)

On the other hand the 50-135 shows me the kinda PQ I am willing to pay for.

I would keep the 50-200 as it has really good PQ for its price.

d
I don't know where this stuff comes from. It certainly does not conform to my experience with the DA17-70, which, I would bet, can trounce the 18-55 any day of the week. It is good at f4 and very good at f5.6. I compared it to my 16-45 and felt that the performance was superior. I compared it to my FA31 Limited and found it to be surprisingly competitive. The 16-45 has since been sold. The additional 25mm on the long end more than compensate for the lost 1mm on the short end.
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