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07-24-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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long fast zooms WHY???

I really want to purchase a longish fast zoom for my K-x.

The Pentax 50-135mm has SDM issues
The Sigma 70-200mm HSM has front focus and macro issues
The Tamron 70-200mm has sticky aperture problems!!!


WHY can't one of them be reliable and have no damn issues?

07-24-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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Because if human involvement in the manufacturing process.

For what it's worth, none of my 4 SDM (DA*) lenses have issues.


Last edited by JeffJS; 07-30-2010 at 08:51 PM.
07-24-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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My Tamron 70-200 is fine.
07-24-2010, 07:28 PM   #4
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Yup - bit of a generalisation there....

I have DA* 50-135mm, the Tamron 70-200mm, Sigma 100-300mm, and none of these has any problems.

I'd suggest trying them out in the store first, or if ordering online, then take the chance, and return if not right.

07-24-2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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Every complex product ever made has *someone* in the world *somewhere* who has had an issue with it. The Internet makes it easy to scare oneself with others' reports, but you should really keep things in perspective. There are far more happy than unhappy owners of all the aforementioned lenses.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 07-25-2010 at 04:10 PM.
07-25-2010, 02:56 AM   #6
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Zoom problems, fix 'em overnight, get a fast prime instead.
07-25-2010, 04:56 AM   #7
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Tamron's sticky aperture issue is fixable. But the lens itself to me can't be beat.
The 50-135 doesn't have as many SDM issues as you might think. It really is a brilliant lens.
07-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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Another good lens .... with little issues that I have heard of is the Sigma 100-300 f/4

If i had the $$$$$ ... it'd be either the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 or the Sigma 100-300 f/4

07-31-2010, 12:39 PM   #9
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The older Sigma 70-200 non-macro was very good and so is the FA* 80-200.

Cost and/or availability are issues for both
07-31-2010, 12:45 PM   #10
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The older the better, hence why I bought a FA* 80-200. Back then no-one knew about focusing errors and SDM problems, so the FA* does not have either.l
07-31-2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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I bought my DA* lenses at their introduction and the 1st copies did fail but the ones I have now are perfect, sharp, fast, and quiet. It looks like Pentax is getting their QC up to snuff. I can also vouch for the Sigma 100-300 f/4. It's also a very sharp lens.
07-31-2010, 06:17 PM   #12
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I have the DA*s 16-50 and 50-135

They are gorgrous lenses and have never failed me :ugh:

I have bro Jslifoaw's copy of the 1st generation Sigma 70-200 for coming to 2 years now and even fellow Pentax user friends can't keep their eyes off the shots taken with it
07-31-2010, 07:30 PM   #13
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All three of those lenses are reliable, sharp, and very high quality... You couldn't go wrong with either.
07-31-2010, 08:15 PM   #14
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The good news: All the lenses mentioned are excellent. All can produce good images when used right.

The not-so-good news: Higher quality glass does not make one a better photographer. Those interested in superlative IQ should just dump all this Pentax junk, mortgage their homes, and buy Leica. Those interested in superior photography should learn to get the most from what they have.

The reality: Sharpness comes from slower lenses, not faster ones. I'm not into birds, but my best bird shots came with an M42 Tele-Takumar 200/5.6 (US$29) and a FA100-300/4.7-5.8 (US$121). Yes, I too lust after fast zooms; my best now is the M42 Vivitar Series 1 Version 1 70-210/3.5 (US$33) but it's usually stopped down to f/5.6. Would I turn down an AF 70-200/2 lens if offered to me? Hell no! But I'll have to wait for the next inheritance before I buy one.

The ray of light: Excellent manual glass, 1 f-stop slower, can be had for pennies now. (Well, maybe a couple of jars full of pennies.) My Takumar-A 70-200, and three Ricoh-made zooms in the 70-210 range, all f/4, each cost me US$9. That Vivitar is a heavy beast at 880g, but can still be had for well under US$100. Ask yourself: Just how much are AF and 1 f-stop worth?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Footnote: If Ira sees this, I expect him to quote the line "learn to get the most from what they have" and ask, "And that's why you have a zillion lenses?" And my reply is, "No, I have a zillion lenses because I'm manic, and they were mostly cheap, and I'm experimenting; yes, that's my story and I'll stick with it." The last couple days, I've been shooting with a medium-format lens, a Wollensak Enlarging Raptar 162/4.5, on a macro bellows, using it for general photography. It takes a bit of concentration. It needs a tripod, really. Most of my shots are failures. That's how I learn. Now I'm looking for some cheap-sh!t ancient 6x9 folders that I can tear apart for their 110-130mm cruddy uncoated uncorrected lenses, to see what effects they'll produce. I'll pay as much as US$5 for those. More learning experiences, eh?

Last edited by RioRico; 07-31-2010 at 08:24 PM.
08-01-2010, 04:07 AM   #15
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There's more to lens quality than just 'one-stop difference' between lenses though RioRico - I assume you took that into consideration.

Plus the added speed (f/2.8 or f/4 vs f/5.6) can make the difference between handholding/freezing motion and not.
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