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DxOMark rates lenses for Pentax K-50, and reviews Sigma 50-500mm

By dpreview staff on Aug 23, 2013 at 15:22 GMT
Buy on GearShopFrom $496.95

Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been investigating lenses for the Pentax K-50, and have just published an article assessing which score best on this well-featured little SLR. They've looked at 28 different models, from both Pentax itself and third-party makes like Sigma and Tamron, and given recommendations for the best lens to buy in various categories. This week they've also tested the Sigma APO 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM super-telephoto zoom, and compared it to the latest, and rather more expensive Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. Click the links below to read more.

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Comments

Total comments: 26
sceptical1
By sceptical1 (6 months ago)

Hi All,

The new Nikon 80-400 VR is quite a bit better than the Bigma and it should be for an extra $1100. I have one and it's the best long zoom I have tried. Only primes are sharper. At 400mm wide open it is very close to 300 F4 with TC. and much easier to shoot with - even hand holdable at the long end (it is heavy, so I wouldn't want to use it all day handheld...) in many situations. The Bigma takes refined technique and a tripod to come close and it still won't match the contrast. The Nikon is just better.
That is not to say you can't get great images with the Bigma and that it is a bad lense. It isn't. A colleague uses it all the time and sells plenty of images, so, as always, the photographer trumps the lens. If you know the limitations and understand how to get the most out of it, you can't really argue with the results - especially for the money.

0 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (8 months ago)

"Best" lenses as scored by easily-measurable characteristics only -- resolution, distortion, vignetting, transmission, chromatic aberration. Sure, those things are important, but it's a remarkably reductionist way of ranking artistic tools.

0 upvotes
kristaps
By kristaps (8 months ago)

One of the reasons why I bought Pentax K-30 as my first DSLR was the reputation that their "kit" zooms are slightly better than comparable other makes.
Now I'm pleasantly surprised how high the "kit" lens has scored in this test!

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (8 months ago)

Thanks for the idea, not interested on DxO anyway. Thay are incapable to measure camera handiness and joy on photo experience. Still happy with my whity K-r, pretty, at least, as this white K-50.

0 upvotes
Heie2
By Heie2 (8 months ago)

Can we put aside DXO's incompetency at lens reviewing and just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous that combo in white is?

6 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (8 months ago)

Gorgeous? REALLY?! Only an apple fan boy would say that XD

1 upvote
tripodfan
By tripodfan (8 months ago)

...or a storm trooper looking to take up photography without compromising on fashion.

0 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (8 months ago)

They rate lenses which outresolve my sensor as having a sharpness of only 10MP. They rate the sigma 18-35 f1.8 as having like 14mp or something. I've seen test pictures from that lens. It is not resolving as much detail as primes. The 50 1.4 and 1.8 scores low. What a joke. I think dxomark secretly hates pentax and loves sigma.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
maksa
By maksa (8 months ago)

I find DxOMark lens reviews quite useless. However, their measurements could be useful enough.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (8 months ago)

Go to the profiles tab for Sigma and Nikkor and compare directly 500/8 vs. 400/8. The difference is whopping. Another example that DxO lens tests are useful, their scores are not.

1 upvote
stratplaya
By stratplaya (8 months ago)

At least one website is reviewing lenses. Hintity Hint Hint.

4 upvotes
wisep01
By wisep01 (8 months ago)

Would anyone here at DPReview care to address a perceived contradiction in the test results of this lens--on the D800, it receives both a lower overall and a lower sharpness score than on the D600.

0 upvotes
SHood
By SHood (8 months ago)

A difference of one point is within the margin of error. If you compare the sharpness graphs between the two they look basically the same. What this tells us is that the Bigma cannot resolve the extra pixels from the D800. No real surprise.

6 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (8 months ago)

DxO scores are blind for very high resolutions because of their weighting. Go to the profile tabs to really read their results. And keep in mind that D800 pixels are smaller, so similiar acutance means much higher sharpness.

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (8 months ago)

The DA*55 comparison to the Nikon and Canon 50 F1.4 lenses on the same and a "similar" sensor has the DA*55 being beaten out for resolution in their Perceptual MP ratings and yet I now for a fact that my DA*55 kills the Nikon 50/1.4G I owned and got rid of. This lens is definitely the sharpest 50' I've ever owned.

Lenstip show resolution in Lines Per Millimeter and that's a fair way to judge the actual lens as it's divorced from format but still dependent on sensor resolution. Their resolution graph for the DA*55 has it way out in front of the Nikon.

But I don't trust 100% any of these tests with the degree of variation re' results between sites, although I tend to more readily 'believe' Lens Rentals for no other reason than they show results from large numbers of the same lens tested on the same gear. Sample variation gets an airing within their graphs and can explain the variance (to some degree) between tests done on other sites.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (8 months ago)

Also, My DA*200 on my K-5 is every bit as sharp as my 70-200 VRII @ 200mm on my D800E in APS-C crop mode and yet Dx0 graphs show otherwise.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (8 months ago)

Why would Dxo even bother if they're gonna leave out pentax's best 3 lenses? (31mm/43mm/77mm).
Pointless comparison if you leave out the best lenses imo.

10 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (8 months ago)

"We're going to test to see which are the best nikon zooms... Except we're going to leave out the Nikon 14-24, 24-70 & 70-200".
Fail.

9 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (8 months ago)

And don't forget the DA*50-135 DA*200 and DA*300 too.

7 upvotes
Giklab
By Giklab (8 months ago)

GG DxO. Well, at least they actually looked at Pentax for a change.

5 upvotes
MJSfoto1956
By MJSfoto1956 (8 months ago)

interesting that the DxOmarks for the D800 + Bigma are so different than the D600. This is probably due to the fact that the Bigma is 1/2 stop slower at each focal length than the Nikkor. If we are to trust this measurement, then I would probably pass on the Bigma for use with my D800. But the D600 looks like it could be a good match.

0 upvotes
chaos215bar2
By chaos215bar2 (8 months ago)

The lens doesn't actually get any worse on the D800, though. There are just (much more expensive) alternatives that can do better.

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (8 months ago)

Hm, the Bigma tested better than I expected.

That's not a criticism of DXOMark, I think it's good testing.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Good testing of lenses? Look at what they write:
"Our DxOMark lens scores take into account the sensor performance of the camera, especially the results from the Color Depth test and Dynamic range."

WTF? Lens score should have nothing to do with Color Depth and Dynamic Range of a sensor, because lens quality has nothing to do with sensor.

10 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (8 months ago)

Thats's true.
I always go to the profile tabs to see actual measurements. Both the Score and the PMpix value are to be ignored totally. With this in mind, their tests are a goid resource.

1 upvote
InTheMist
By InTheMist (8 months ago)

@peevee So, you would have all lenses tested perpetually at 12 mp?

1 upvote
Total comments: 26