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07-12-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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A lens to complement my 18-55mm kits lens

Is the 55-300 the best value choice here?

I'm looking for something faster at the long end (or at least as fast as) my OSAWA MC 80-205mm M42 lens (on it's long end), to be used for astrophotography. The OSAWA lens is 1:4.5 - I am not sure what this equates to at the long end though?

Of course, the lens will also serve as a general purpose telephoto.

For reference, here's a shot of Eta Carina @ 205mm on the OSAWA lens (widest). I'm basically looking for a longer and faster lens so I can get a little more detail in the guts of the nebula.



07-12-2010, 03:36 AM   #2
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The 55-300 won't be faster at 200mm than your current lens (nice shot, BTW!), so I would instead recommend the Sigma APO EX 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens Reviews or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM AF Lens Reviews. A little slower, but also longer, is the DA* 60-250mm: SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Lens Reviews

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07-12-2010, 04:13 AM   #3
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Cheers - Any other recommendations? I guess I was looking for something a little longer AND the same speed, if not faster, than my old M42 lens.
07-12-2010, 05:00 PM   #4
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Anything longer and faster is bound to be very expensive -- +$2,500. Perhaps you should look into any of Pentax's 300 f4 lenses, starting with the old Takumar all the way to the present DA version, and picking the best that you can afford among the bunch. The Takumar and K-series 300 f4 seem to be a pretty decent lens at a decent price (~$250); the M and A series 300 is even better, but more expensive; and the current DA* 300 is off the charts but costs +$1,100.

07-13-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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Thanks Guys

I think I will stick with the 55-300 Pentax lens.. I am just wondering what the diference is between the DA and the DA L, as my 18-55 kit lens is a DA L , but B&H Photo only have the DA version of the 55-300.. Just go with the (more expensive) DA?? Can someone confirm that what I've linked is what I'm after?

Cheers!

Greg
07-13-2010, 01:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwolfie Quote
Thanks Guys

I think I will stick with the 55-300 Pentax lens.. I am just wondering what the diference is between the DA and the DA L, as my 18-55 kit lens is a DA L , but B&H Photo only have the DA version of the 55-300.. Just go with the (more expensive) DA?? Can someone confirm that what I've linked is what I'm after?

Cheers!

Greg
unlike Canon, L in Pentax Lenses mean cheaper version with less feature. At this moment DA L have plastics mount and without quick shift focus..
07-13-2010, 05:22 PM   #7
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Cheers..

Any final words before I go and spend money (that I don't have )on the 55 - 300 D AL from B&H Photo?
07-13-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwolfie Quote
Cheers..

Any final words before I go and spend money (that I don't have )on the 55 - 300 D AL from B&H Photo?
Get the hood that does not come with it.

07-13-2010, 06:09 PM   #9
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I am not into astro like you are,(looking at your first image, very nice indeed), might hold off and look for something in the A or M series instead the DA for your line of interest.
Wait till the pro astro guys chime in.

The DA 55-300 (non L) will serve well as a gen. purpose zoom, just has a looong focus throw. "Quick shift" overcomes that most of the time.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 07-13-2010 at 06:15 PM.
07-13-2010, 06:11 PM   #10
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Well, I guess that was my concern (I.e. it's not fast enough). I guess I could experiment with a 2 x TC as well, if required. I'm not prepared to spend over $400-$500 US though, which I think automatically restricts me to the Pentax 55-300 DA lens.

I am also planning on doing my first wedding shoot early next year, and I really want a lens that can produce some nice bokeh (I.e. isolate the bride & groom). I'm thinking that the 55-300 *should* be capable of this, but I don't really know to what extent. Also, if my positioning is restricted (which I'm sure it will be in at least a few instances) I still want to be able to produce the bokeh at a slightly shorter focal length etc if I need to.

Cheers

Last edited by maxwolfie; 07-13-2010 at 06:47 PM.
07-13-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
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I was over at QVC.com and found this earlier:

Bower 650-1300mm Zoom Lens - Pentax-K & Digital SLR Cameras - QVC.com

Not fast but sure big.
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07-13-2010, 07:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cregar Quote
I was over at QVC.com and found this earlier:

Bower 650-1300mm Zoom Lens - Pentax-K & Digital SLR Cameras - QVC.com
Interesting, but probably a little too long (i.e. I'd need EXTREMELY short exposures for astro or a PERFECTLY aligned mount to cancel out any star trailing - And it would be too long as a general purpose), and at the price, I bet the optics aren't crash hot either in terms of speed or quality.
07-13-2010, 07:13 PM   #13
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I agree with ya :-) Just thought it was cool seeing a lens that long.
07-13-2010, 10:03 PM   #14
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So, let's say I've got up to $500 US to spend. Is there really anything worthwhile between the 55-300 DA and the more expensive Sigma APO EX 70-200mm f/2.8, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM AF or DA* 60-250mm: SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM that Adam has kindly pointed out in one of his posts above? Many of these lenses are over $700 US, which is well out of my budget unfortunately.
07-14-2010, 10:19 AM   #15
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Either you *need* f/2.8 and are willing to sacrifice 100mm at the long end, spend twice as much money, and carry around a lens three times heavier to get it, or else you're better off with the 55-300.

The 60-250/4 doens't even give you f/2.8, although it does give you great image quality and f/4 wihich is also worth something to some people - but it's nowhere *near* $500, so it wouldn't be in contention.
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