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Old Nov 2, 2009, 9:42 PM   #1
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Default Pentax 16-45 vs Sigma 17-70 vs Tamron 17-50

Hello,

As some of you know, I am in the market for a replacement for my old and broken K100D. Because I did not buy any extra lenses for it, I haven't yet decided whether I will stick with Pentax or not... thanks to the new Kx, I probably will.

If I do, though, I want to upgrade not just the camera but also the lens. The lenses that I am, for now, considering are the Pentax 16-45 DA, the Sigma 17-70 and the Tamron 17-50. As of now, the Sigma is the most attractive of the bunch due to its extra focal length F2.8 and quasi maco ops... but how does it compare with the other two in terms of sharpness and overall iq? Have some of you had the chance to compare these lenses one after another?

I did try the 17-70 on an older Pentax at a local photo-store a few days ago. What jumped out at me was the slow focus time - but I guess that might have just been the camera... or not. Comments?

Also, are there other lenses in this range that I should be aware of?

- Bpp

PS, there has been talk on this forum of Pentax lens prices going up in recent months. How do the present Pentax lens prices compare with Sony/K-M lens-prices? Sony is the other system that I'm seriously considering.

Last edited by Ballpointpenner; Nov 2, 2009 at 9:45 PM. Reason: update
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Old Nov 2, 2009, 10:13 PM   #2
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I'm a terrible person to be answering this as I don't have any of these lenses. But you might want to also look at the Pentax 17-70 lens - it's SDM only, but that won't be a problem since you would have the K-x. I've liked the samples I've seen from it.

P.S. - I'm still sort-of in the market for a kit lens replacement. I don't have anything between 24 and 50 except the kit lens at the moment and would rather like something better. I'm toying with the idea of the WR kit lens as I'd really like weather sealing.

Last edited by mtngal; Nov 2, 2009 at 10:36 PM.
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Old Nov 2, 2009, 11:59 PM   #3
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I have a Pentax 16-45 which I've used as the standard lens on my K10D for almost 2 years. This combo has been used for 1000's of shutter actuations. I use the 16-45 mostly for vintage cars, hot rods, motorcycles etc. and landscapes.

I have now relegated the 16-45 as the standard lens on my KM...use my newly acquired Pentax 10-17 Fisheye as the 'normal' for the K10D.

Custom cars are known for their very expensive, deep, rich and beautiful paint jobs. The colours run riot from every shade of purple, Candy Apple, metallic....flame jobs...deep, black black and everything in between. I don't think you see many subjects with such a far ranging array of colour.

The 16-45 (on both the K10D and KM) really catches the colours...rendition is excellent, IMO and it's a very sharp lens...better than my 18-55 kit lens, which i rarely use. Seems to focus fine and fast on both K10D and KM bodies.

I would recommend it. Canadian price of the 16-45 is still about the same as it was when I bought it in Dec., 2007....maybe $ 50 CAD more, if that, from what I recall.

We had a Sony DSLR at work...seemed fine when I used it. But I'm a fan of Pentax ...prefer that line. I haven't had any experience with Sigma or Tamron...can't comment, except to say, for me, I've always been more comfortable with using the manufacturer of the camera's lenses then after market. I'm sure the Sigma and Tamron are fine...best to get someone who has these lenses to comment.

Last edited by lesmore49; Nov 3, 2009 at 12:04 AM.
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 9:51 AM   #4
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I have the Pentax 16-45 and it is far superior to the kit lens, so much so that there is really no contest. It is a very sharp lens, with good contrast and I never feel that I am at a disadvantage with it on my camera like I did with the kit lens.

It does extend at the wide end like the FA*28-70 so it is possible to get some on board flash shadow in the photo if you are not careful, or just use a dedicated external flash and it won't be an issue.

I have only tried the Sigma 17-70 which seemed to be sharp, but had some Zoom Creep that the Pentax doesn't have and I also got some slight vignetting at 17mm like I did with the kit lens.

Tom
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 11:03 AM   #5
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I tried using the DA 16-45 on my K10d and it was terrible-really soft-almost to the point of being blurry. I then tried it on my old Ist DS and it was an icredible difference-now it is my "go to" lens on the old camera. I have done (5) weddings with this lens and it has been great. I have the Pentax 17-70 SDM-in plain words it was a waste of money-way over priced for what you get.
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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One thing also to keep in mind is the Tamron has a constant f 2.8 which gives you very nice low-light capabilities, giving you the ability to get fast shutter speeds to not only offset any camera shake not covered by the in-body IS but also to stop movement of the subject. It also gives you shallower DoF for instances when you want selective focus. Its also quite sharp, but with quite a bit of distortion at 17mm. AF speed is not super-fast, but it is pretty good.

I have heard good things about the pentax 16-45 as well, and as evident by those that have posted before me, has a good following here as well. the only thing i have heard about this one is its pretty soft at 16mm, anyone here had that problem?

the advantage of the 17-70 sigma is the 1:2 macro capabilities and the extended range. I have heard of the same issues on other systems, the vignette at 17mm wide-open. whether this is a problem in every day shooting is up to the user. (this does go away stopped down though). and focus can be a bit slow on this one as well.
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 12:19 PM   #7
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Hi Bpp,

Of the lenses mentioned, I only have the Sigma 17-70. I originally bought it as a wider alternative for one of my favorites, the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 Xr Di. . . for shooting people at events. With the K20, at indoor events, it didn't really fill the bill because of the slower AF performance at the long end in low light.

The rated speed range is a little misleading because the f2.8 at the wide end only covers 17mm to @ 20mm, where it becomes f3.5 until @ 35mm, then it's f4 until @ 65mm where it goes to f4.5. -- So in use, most of the FL range (20-65mm) is f3.5-4.

It must be said that the K-7's extra AF sensitivity and speed makes this a much more suitable lens for me in the situations I had originally bought it for. Now my main objection is the size of the lens (actually the diameter). It's close to 3.5" (89mm) wide at the front end including the hood, which makes it a literal "stretch" to carry in any normal pocket. Both the DA16-45 and DA17-70 (as well as my Tamron 28-75) would be more convenient in this respect. It may sound a little silly, but at this point, I'd give up the slight advantage of max aperture speed for the extra carrying convenience.

That all being said, I like the performance of the lens. See a recent post for some close encounters with miniatures . . . http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...0-18-imgs.html

Scott
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
One thing also to keep in mind is the Tamron has a constant f 2.8 which gives you very nice low-light capabilities, giving you the ability to get fast shutter speeds to not only offset any camera shake not covered by the in-body IS but also to stop movement of the subject. It also gives you shallower DoF for instances when you want selective focus. Its also quite sharp, but with quite a bit of distortion at 17mm. AF speed is not super-fast, but it is pretty good.

I have heard good things about the pentax 16-45 as well, and as evident by those that have posted before me, has a good following here as well. the only thing i have heard about this one is its pretty soft at 16mm, anyone here had that problem?

the advantage of the 17-70 sigma is the 1:2 macro capabilities and the extended range. I have heard of the same issues on other systems, the vignette at 17mm wide-open. whether this is a problem in every day shooting is up to the user. (this does go away stopped down though). and focus can be a bit slow on this one as well.
My 16-45 at 16 mm on both the K10D and the KM has been sharp. I really go over the vintage car pix closely...sharp, contrasty, colour rendition are the things I'm checking out.
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 4:49 PM   #9
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Wow snostorm, those are awesome! I especially like the pensive aviator with the pipe - amazingly expressive; I wonder if that figurine is as effective in real life... returning to the topic - it seems that all three lenses are quite sharp, no?

The Tamron is apparently the way to go if my primary interest is low light shooting.

The Sigma is a clear winner if I want to shoot small objects while saving myself the price of a proper macro lens. It also has the most convenient range... AND it is also quite capable in low light, moreso than the Pentax, anyway. But its huge... and Sigma's q.c. is reportedly really hit and miss.

The Pentax, though... I am hearing that its sharp and produces great colour. OK - but does anybody know if it surpasses the other two lenses in these reguards? Why would someone choose this lens over the other two?

DMJJR - I am rather surprised how one lens can peform so differently on two cameras. Can someone explain to me why that might have happenned?

lesmore - I know that this is in no way at all an objective test, but I'd be curious to see some of these vintage car pics of yours.

Thanks for the replies,

-Bpp
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 5:07 PM   #10
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Bpp,

I contribute to a lot of different websites. I've tried to transfer my pix to the webs...but being computer illiterate, I've never been successful. About all I can do with a computer is word process.

Les
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