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11-20-2010, 03:55 AM   #1
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Cheap/Old AF Telezoom Help

Hey all! I was browsing through the used lens catalogues of some local stores earlier when I find a new node of pure LBA ore. Just when I thought I had all my bases covered too! Anyways, the lenses in questions are several older af tele-zooms, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these (and how they compare to the 55-300mm for value), and know if they'd be good deals at the going prices at this particular store?

Note that I plan to trade in my M200/4 with it, which'll be a -$40 in so for each price.

Pentax F 70-210 F4-5.6, $100 - There're quite a few comments in the lens review section on this one, as well as quite a few examples from flickriver - it seems to have pretty awesome flare rejection as there're quite a few shots with starbursts that almost look that those from the DA15! The consensus seems to be that it's pretty sharp, but what worries me is that on various forums it seems to be often compared to the 50-200mm which, according to photozone and compared to the 55-300mm, is rather meh. Also, if I'm going to be dropping money on a new lens, I would like for it to expand on my range (my current longest is my M200/4) a bit more than this. Which leads me to the next one...

Pentax FA 100-300 F4.7-5.8, $160 - It seems like I'd be overpaying even with the trade-in, but that aside, I can't seem to find much info on it. The reviews from the lens section seem quite positive, but I can't seem to find many large samples that really show its sharpness or other characteristics. Also, some other forums say that it has a rather meh rep, though it's possible that they're confusing it with the other version (powerzoom ?). I'm currently leaning towards this one due to the greatest increase in range over my current lenses.

and lastly...

Sigma 75-200 F3.8, $90 - This seems to have a pretty good rep online, but does put me off a bit as it is the heaviest lens on this list. The (relatively) fast constant aperture is quite attractive though.

So, can anyone tell me which of these is the sharpest? And how's their autofocus speed/reliability?


And they also have a Sigma 600mm F8 mirror in stock....

11-20-2010, 07:20 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
...the lenses in questions are several older af tele-zooms, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these?
Hi.

I don't have any of the lens on your list but I can tell you that my old copy of the FA80-320 zoom can deliver excellent images; it's quite light and very convenient to use without a tripod; it's on the slow side but if you can crank up the ISO then it's not much of an inconvenience; zoom creep is terrible (I have managed a cheap solution that comes out just perfect; a simple black rubber band keeps the zoom ring in place).

If I were you, I would buy the F70-210 F4-5.6 for $100 and keep the M200 prime; since you got the M50 they will go well along.
11-20-2010, 07:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Sigma 75-200 F3.8, $90 - This seems to have a pretty good rep online, but does put me off a bit as it is the heaviest lens on this list. The (relatively) fast constant aperture is quite attractive though.
I'd picked up one of these last week (serial beginning with 202..). It is built like a tank and is heavy ! The best of old school East German Carl Zeiss Jena design. But, if you can cope with the weight and with the push-pull zoom then you'll love it - I do. I paid 45 for it and it is well worth it.

I also have the kit 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR and although I've not done any side by side tests the Sigma seems sharper. The constant f3.8 is nice and the lens is perfectly usable wide open over the full zoom range. Very little CA also. The build quality is certainly better - no plastic on the Sigma, all solid metal.

On my K-7 autofocus works perfectly, fully open it registers as f4 (the K-7 does not know about f3.8).

Some quick test shots at Sigma 75-200mm f3.8 AF SmartSet - a set on Flickr.
11-20-2010, 05:13 PM   #4
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I have a mirror 500/8, and it has rather limited applications. I think your best bet would be the 100-300. I have read the reviews, and would pick one up in a snap if I had the chance. I have an FA-J 75-300, with a distinctly less impressive reputation, and I like it a lot. I won't be shooting for National Geographic anytime soon, but it gets me pretty close.

11-21-2010, 09:52 PM   #5
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I can only give you my opinion of the FA 100-300 f/4.7-5.8, which I bought used. First it is extremely light weight for such a zoom. This is due to its virtually all plastic construction. The mount is plastic, but isn't loose at all. When autofocusing it grinds like a coffee grinder and slams hard at the ends of the focus range. It hunts a bit on my K20D, but the lens is far from fast, so it's best for outdoor photography ... duh! That being said I must say, in my opinion, that optically it is better than good from 100-280mm. At 280-300mm it is soft until stopped to 9.5. I rarely use it above 280mm. I bought my copy for $80, so I think that $160 is a bit more than the average price. Personally, if you don't plan to print poster size photos, the FA 100-300 is a good value. Otherwise, save up for a DA 55-300.
11-22-2010, 03:42 PM   #6
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Well as it turns out, I just called the store and it's not the FA 100-300 after all, but the F100-300. Back to the drawing board though these almost unanimous positive reviews of the 70-210 are pretty tempting now...
11-23-2010, 10:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Well as it turns out, I just called the store and it's not the FA 100-300 after all, but the F100-300. Back to the drawing board though these almost unanimous positive reviews of the 70-210 are pretty tempting now...
Yeah, and keep the M200, or sell it to me by $40!?
11-23-2010, 05:08 PM   #8
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Haha well I want to see what the store is willing to offer for it if I trade it in shipping from Canada to Portugal would be a pretty penny...

11-23-2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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The 70-210 is really good. Heavy, but good. Works on film too. It's quite a bit larger and heavier than the DA.
11-24-2010, 12:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
shipping from Canada to Portugal would be a pretty penny...
For sure; it was meant to be a joke, meaning: if I were you, I wouldn't sell that lens for no less than $100, if in good condition, that is.
11-24-2010, 01:12 AM   #11
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When it came out the DA50-200 was not so badly considered. It is just that it is now surpassed by the 55-300. Sure it is all plastic but it is quick focussing and does a pretty good job. Bokeh can be ugly at times but works as a sports lens for me for sideline use - just comes down to what use you are putting it to.
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