DA 12-24mm vs Sigma and Tamron 10-24mm Comparison

Conclusion: Pentax

The Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 is a good compromise of quality and value. The lens is sharp throughout the entire zoom range and amazingly it is sharp at the maximum aperture of F4. The build quality of this lens is first rate and the handles nicely. The quick-shift focus is a nice feature that is a real positive for the Pentax. The constant minimum aperture of F4, in some ways, makes this lens the fastest of the lens reviewed. The zoom ring is well placed and has no creep, although it could be dampen just a little.

The lens hood, if installed reversed over the lens, is bulky and gives it a total diameter of just less than 4 inches. The lens has distortion but once you zoom past 12mm it drops significantly. The problem with vignetting is relatively minor and like the distortion does improve once you zoom towards 24mm. The lens is prone to flare but that can be mitigated or prevented. The one area that does not improve is the chromatic aberration but thankfully that can be addressed with software.

Value

The Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 lens currently retails for $699.95 at B&H photo, which currently falls between the Sigma DG 12-24 f/4.5-5.6, and the Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DI II. One telling indication of what current owners think of this lens is that it often sells on the PentaxForums.com marketplace for 80% of retail. When the lens is listed in this forum marketplace it is usually snapped up within a matter of days.   

Pros

  • Very sharp over entire range from 12mm to 24mm and all F stops
  • Very little distortion beyond 15mm
  • Very little vignetting beyond 15mm
  • Well-built and well balanced
  • Compact
  • Good quality to value ratio
  • Able to install front filters

Cons

  • Visible distortion at 12mm
  • Slight vignetting at 12mm F4
  • Visible chromatic aberration throughout zoom range
  • Very prone to lens flare

Rating

Sharpness 
 10
Aberrations 
 7
Bokeh 
 8
Autofocus 
 9
Handling 
 9
Value 
 10
Overall 
 8.8 (Very Good)


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