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12-08-2010, 03:40 PM   #1
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Alternatives to the 60-250

We can all drool over the new 60-250 lens, as its IQ and range are impressive. But it is NEW, and COSTLY, so I ask for suggestions of tele alternatives upgrading from a superzoom range (18-200) to a more diverse selection.

Some include (of varying price/quality but all cheaper than the 60-250,

-DA 50-200
-DA 55-300
-DA 50-200 WR
-DA* 50-135 (Pricey)

Or perhaps even

-DA L 55-300
-Third party teles
-Older (used) models

I would just like to compare the options. I do love primes, but they are hard to find cheap in the telephoto range.

12-08-2010, 03:54 PM   #2
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Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Pay ~$1k and you will get an outstanding lens (DA*60-250 or DA*50-135). Pay $350 and you will get an good lens (55-300). The 50-200 is not as good as the 55-300, I wouldn't even consider it unless you need WR.

Unfortunately in Pentax land there's a huge gulf (price and quality) between $350 options and $850 options in the tele zooms. Altohugh I saw a second hand DA*50-135 on the marketplace here for ~$550 which seemed to me extremely good value. Haven't seen cheap 60-250's though, I guess their owners aren't willing to give them up which probably says something.

I have both the DA*50-135 and the DA 55-300. Since buying the 50-135 I haven't even used the 55-300, there's a large enough difference in IQ that to me matters. To others it may not. I don't know which camp you fall in, only you can know.
12-08-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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I agree about IQ- that's what I'm going for here. But with that gap between good and outstanding, it's hard to choose. Perhaps make your way up through a few lenses over time. Secondhand 50-135 is a good value pick, but still expensive and still hard to find. Due to the massive 50-135 and 60-250 range overlap, it might be worth going for the 50-135 and a super tele prime. But here I am, getting into the heavy and pricey range again.
12-08-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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60-250 is heavy as h*** with very good IQ. The 55-300 for the cost of it, is money well spent = good bang for the buck.
I shoot with both, the DA 55-300 stays on the cam. most of the time, due to weight.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 12-08-2010 at 05:09 PM.
12-08-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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Most threads about xx-300 zooms have the same conclusion that the Pentax 55-300 is the best bang for your $350-and-under lenses.
12-08-2010, 07:46 PM   #6
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55-300mm is a great option.

if oyu want something faster, i suggest sigma 70-200 f2.8.
12-08-2010, 08:42 PM   #7

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The cheaper zoom alternatives will not be a complete match to the 60-250 in optics and speed.

The 55-300 is a good deal for the price. To me, its sweet spot is 190mm where it is just a negligible 10mm short of a 200mm and its at f4.5 which is not much slower.
At its longest FL of 300mm, I feel that it is at its weakest. Not because for optical performance, but because of the realities of having to keep at least 1/300 (usually 1/450) for camera shake, at f5.8. This means either high ISO (typically 800 and above) which is not 'great' for a K7 or earlier or use in very good light.

Maybe a Sigma 100-400/4 (the cheaper old one), but the pricing for one not so cheap compared to the lower end zooms.
12-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #8
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Pentax 60-250 alternatives

How about the Sigma EX DG APO 100-300 f4. Not sure you can buy new any longer but used ones appear now and again.

Doesn't have weather sealing or SDM (equivalent) but is a mighty fine lens and way up at the high end for IQ. I concur with the plaudits it receives in the lens review database. Also pairs well with 1.4X TC.

Last edited by kpx1; 12-08-2010 at 11:32 PM. Reason: spelling typo

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