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08-06-2009, 12:30 PM   #1
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Best of both worlds....Pentax body w/3yr warranty + Sigma EX Lenses with 4yr warranty

I think I have decided beyond the Pentax lenses I have now, I am back in almost the exact position I was when shooting another brand. I had a body with a total of 4yrs of warranty but when I went hunting lenses the name brand were only a single year warranty, even the sealed lenses. I ended up with a mix of cheaper name brand lenses that were slepper values because of their IQ combined with the important lenses being frmo Sigma.

Right now I have a 50-135, 43ltd, 77ltd and that is as far as I think I will go. The reason, PRICE...I can buy an Sigma 70-200mm EX II F2.8 HSM lense for $719ish with a 4yr warranty or spend near $1200 for a stop slower 60-250 F4. Now before anyone gets apoplectic over these not being the same class lens...they are. I could compare the 60-250 to my old 55-250 f4-5.6 which cost just $235 a year ago...new.

I will likely opt for the Sigma 100-300 EX F4 over an SDM 300mm for the same reason...4yr EX warranty compared to a 1yr for the Pentax. I do like the IQ of the SDM 300mm and it might end up a coin toss, but having had a very positive experience with the 100-300 before, and the unwillingness of Pentax to warranty their lenses beyond what the same as the big two, concerns me when looking at the sealed lenses being pretty unproven in the longer term. And again, I am not saying the seals are bad or whatever, but rather Pentax has raised prices and in return delivered nothing more than any other company, less when compared to Sigma.

The 100-300 based on my own experience with the lens, though not on a Pentax mount, is that the IQ is essentially equal/close enough to not matter.

My standard zoom is once again a NEW Sigma 24-60 f/2.8 EX over the 16-50mm. And I sense I will end up with another Sigma 10-20mm over the DA* 12-24 f/2.8 and here the difference is the price (<$300 vs. ~$700) and again 4yrs vs. 1yr warranty.

I know the DA* lenses I mention are sealed but to me the premium charges is not worth it over the Sigma options in the same class lenses. When I decided to move the Pentax, one of the major reason was that I would not need to spend $5k-$7k to build a nice lens collection...that is pretty much no longer the case. I can spend about half of that via Sigma. So here I am again giving up the advantage of sealed lenses simply because the price for those lenses have become just to expensive in my book. And right now with the issues of the K7 the whole picture is really murky for me, maybe not for you but this is how I am viewing the situation at this microsecond.

Still, I would rather stay with the Pentax bodies as I like the sort of shots they deliver and I will be adding the 31ltd silver just to complete the set... But I do not see myself buying any firther new Pentax lenses if the continue to insist pricing them at the near-enough to the same levels as the more trendy brands.

Medium Tele-Zoom
70-200 f2.8 II EX HSM...........~$ 719 w/4yr warranty, no seal
60-250 SDM f/4....................~$1200 w/1yr warranty but sealed

Standard Zoom
24-60mm EX F2.8...........~$300 w/4yr warranty, no seal
DA* 16-50mm f/2.8........~$700 w/1yr warranty but sealed

Long-Zoom or Long Prime
100-300mm EX F4...........~$1100 w/4yr warranty not sealed
DA* 300mm SDM F4........~$1100ish w/1yr warranty but sealed

UWA Zoom
10-20mm EX f/4-5.6/........~$450 w/4yr warranty not sealed
DA 12-24mm f/4...............~$725 w/1yr warranty not sealed

Totals:

Sigma: ~$2569 (all with free shipping)
Pentax: ~$3725 (probably also free shipping)

So the difference is about what I expected at ~$1200...considering the warranty difference, I find the cost difference even more significant...probably add another $300-$500 for adding those extra 3-yrs to the Pentax warranty.

I just think this puts Pentax at a fairly significant disadvantage even with the sealed lens advantage. basically their larger price increases might shoot them in the foot because I wanted to buy all pentax gear, well almost all, and I cannot believe I am the only one. It is not that I do not want the pentax lenses, in fact I do, but needs must and well, saving between $1500-$2000 is significant.

Just my observations and why I am probably heading in a different direction than when I began...it has nothing to do with the lenses, but rather their price as well as the warranty thing. But who knows, tomorrow I might change my mind...hehehehe....

08-06-2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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Your post gave me a headache but I completely understand where you're coming from.

Someday's Pentax just doesn't look so much like the "smart buy" they were a few months ago. If weather sealing isn't a priority then the "smart buy" would be going with the better warranty. I love my Pentax lenses but the Tamron's have served me well and they have a 6 year warranty....so....
08-06-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
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I agree. I've decided (at least in the short term) to buy EX constant aperture lenses to go with my K200D. 70-200 HSM and 24-70 Macro. I will probably buy the 18-55 WR and hopefully 55-300 WR (assuming it's arrival) to cover me when the weather gets poor.

Like you, I can't justify the cost for the DA* zooms when IQ is not any better than a good copy of an EX lens. I'd rather have a good IQ (but slower) WR for the wet times - which probably only equates to 10-20% of my shooting. Plus, the 4 year warranty is a pleasant touch.
08-06-2009, 02:15 PM   #4
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I just bought the K20D with the three-year extended warranty and the Sigma 2.8 70-200 HSM II with four-year warranty. Would like to know where you get the Sigma for $710. I guess that's about the net for mine, considering the deal I got from Adorama. ($770, but they through in a Tiffen filter kit)

08-06-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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Walter, I got my 70-200 from eBay - 47th Photo for about $710-720, plus I had a 8% coupon for eBay. 47th is an authorized dealer, just make sure they have the lens in stock before ordering. O purchased both of mine from them.
08-06-2009, 02:32 PM   #6
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Ive just got the Sigma 1.4 teleconverter rather than get the 60-250mm F4 as the that and the 70-200 takes me almost to 300mm F4 for a significant saving .
So I know where your coming from.
08-09-2009, 10:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
Walter, I got my 70-200 from eBay - 47th Photo for about $710-720, plus I had a 8% coupon for eBay. 47th is an authorized dealer, just make sure they have the lens in stock before ordering. O purchased both of mine from them.
Yup...best deal for the Siggy 70-200 II is from 47th Street. It has been $719 for a while now and like ya mention there is the 8% via Bing.com plus I get another 2% thanks to a test program from PayPal, so about $650 net for me...and yeah the PP is on top of the 8%.
08-09-2009, 10:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timk Quote
Ive just got the Sigma 1.4 teleconverter rather than get the 60-250mm F4 as the that and the 70-200 takes me almost to 300mm F4 for a significant saving .
So I know where your coming from.
thanks...that is my point really. The only trade off is of course the sealing but it's hardly worth the extra in this case especially when also giving up an extra stop.

then again with the TC the speed is the same...d'oh?

08-10-2009, 06:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
thanks...that is my point really. The only trade off is of course the sealing but it's hardly worth the extra in this case especially when also giving up an extra stop.
Do sigma (etc) lenses have "quick shift focusing" yet?

That seems like a really nice feature of Pentax lenses.
08-10-2009, 08:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by snogglethorpe Quote
Do sigma (etc) lenses have "quick shift focusing" yet?

That seems like a really nice feature of Pentax lenses.
As I understand what QSF is, many lenses by Sigma, Canon, Nikon and others have the equivalent, I think it is anyway, not certain. They all seem to call it Full Time Manual Focusing. So, it will vary from lens to lens. A lot of the newer lenses I have hunted seem to have FTM focusing...so, I suppose I am saying, barring my misunderstanding of what QSF is, yes, some lenses do.

Now, if it is to be had in Pentax mounts, I dunno...so it's a great question!! When I have some time later today or tonight I'll see what I can dig up... Or you could look on the Sigma site, for example, and see if FTM is listed for the Pentax mount lenses.

EDIT: Here is a google search for Sigma lenses with FTM focusing

sigma "full time manual" - Google Search

Last edited by brecklundin; 08-10-2009 at 08:08 AM.
08-10-2009, 08:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
As I understand what QSF is, many lenses by Sigma, Canon, Nikon and others have the equivalent, I think it is anyway, not certain. They all seem to call it Full Time Manual Focusing.
Yup, it's the same as FTM on Canon lenses at least... (which I think all the ring USM lenses have)

Sigma has it on their HSM glass generally.
08-10-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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Thanks for confriming that for me...given my early onset CRS I can never be certain anymore.
08-10-2009, 08:23 AM   #13
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I gotta say I would never want to be without it... I generally have my cameras setup for * button focusing and Servo mode, so this way I can have full time manual focus available without having to touch anything.
08-10-2009, 08:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
I gotta say I would never want to be without it... I generally have my cameras setup for * button focusing and Servo mode, so this way I can have full time manual focus available without having to touch anything.
That was always my preferred setup too...I decouple the AF from the shutter button on my K20D leaving AF to the, well AF button on the back. It's close enough to the * + AI Servo from the 'other brand'.

I just set to AF-C then can keep the AF button pressed, the shutter half pressed and viola works just like the * & AI Servo.

Last edited by brecklundin; 08-10-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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