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06-18-2010, 02:17 PM   #1
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Good 300mm telephoto or zoom

Since purchasing a K20D body, my first DSLR, I basically went with Pentax as I learned on a K1000 in the late '70's and now have a Super Program 35mm camera and a Kiron (Kino Precision) 70-210 f4 Macro 1:4 and Sigma 28-105mm F4-5.6 zoom lenses, along with the 50mm 1:7 prime from the Super Program that I inherited, so getting them for free was nice start. I just added the 16-45 ED AL lens and my question relates to a another decent zoom to add. I was thinking of the Pentax DA 55-300 or one of the Sigma 70-300 DG APO zooms or something similar as I cannot spend much at this time. At the other end is an older inexpensive 35mm telephoto, such as Soligor, Rokunar, Bushnell, Spiratone etc., well you get the idea! Many are quite inexpensive but I realize they are fairly heavy and somewhat limited in their application. I kind of answered my question in that I like riding my bike around with a couple of spare lenses, and any thought of something in the 300mm range has to be fairly light and compact. The idea of occasionally setting up a tripod and trying some wildlife photography though makes on of the 300-500mm older telephotos an interesting idea. There are even the 500-600mm mirror lenses but they seem to have more against them than for. It gets a bit complicated choosing the right lens especially when you cannot try them first. I have been reading as many reviews here and on the internet but thought someone here might have some specific recommendations. Thank you for any help!


Last edited by Johnny5; 06-18-2010 at 02:57 PM.
06-18-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnny5 Quote
Since purchasing a K20D body, my first DSLR, I basically went with Pentax as I learned on a K1000 in the late '70's and now have Super Program 35mm camera and a Kiron (Kino Precision) 70-210 f4 Macro 1:4 and Sigma 28-105mm F4-5.6 zoom lenses, along with the 50mm 1:7 prime from the Super Program that I inherited, so getting them for free was nice start. I just added the 16-45 ED AL lens and my question relates to a another decent zoom to add. I was thinking of the Pentax DA 55-300 or one of the Sigma 70-300 DG APO zooms or something similar as I cannot spend much at this time. At the other end is an older inexpensive 35mm telephoto, such as Soligor, Rokunar, Bushnell, Spiratone etc., well you get the idea! Many are quite inexpensive but I realize they are fairly heavy and somewhat limited in their application. I kind of answered my question in that I like riding my bike around with a couple of spare lenses, and any thought of something in the 300mm range has to be fairly light and compact. The idea of occasionally setting up a tripod and trying some wildlife photography though makes on of the 300-500mm older telephotos an interesting idea. There are even the 500-600mm mirror lenses but they seem to have more against them than for. It gets a bit complicated choosing the right lens especially when you cannot try them first. I have been reading as many reviews here and on the internet but thought someone here might have some specific recommendations. Thank you for any help!
there are some good used 300mm options. You may wish to look at an SMC 300F4, or a tamron 300F2.8. Both are good but I find the tamron prone to Purple fringing a little more than the pentax. Both can be used with the SMC-F 1.7x AF TC to give you 500mm at F6.7 and F4.5 respectively and are hand holdable (the 300F4 a little more so.

There is also the SMC 500F4.5 but it is pretty much tripod bound.
06-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #3
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The Pentax 55-300 is noticeably superior to the Sigma 70-300 APO. Excellent value for $350.
06-18-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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Thank you for your recommendations, I never even thought of the older Pentax lenses - the tele converter idea would be a good way to go, although when I looked on ebay the few Pentax versions were 2X, would they be acceptable? I don't mind a tele even though a zoom is more flexible. Many times I could have used something at least 300mm which is why I am searching for a reasonably priced solution. The Pentax DA 55-300mm looks to be the best affordable zoom, thank you for your thoughts on it SpecialK.


Last edited by Johnny5; 06-18-2010 at 04:25 PM.
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