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12-13-2010, 03:00 PM   #16
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Primes, either K or M or other, are not in my price ranges.

I'm not sure what you mean by resolution though. If you mean color balances as in jpgs, I shoot raw so color is essentially there, I just might have to adjust a bit......so far I haven't had that problem with the sigma or the smaller zoom I have, the 18-55mm Pentax DA L ll.

12-13-2010, 03:34 PM   #17
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You can get the da l 55-300mm for $214 NEW on ebay, sold by tristate camera with free shipping. I've bought cameras and lenses from them with excellent service

Pentax SMC P-DAL 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Telephoto Lens NEW - eBay (item 350422490606 end time Jan-11-11 19:37:15 PST)
12-13-2010, 03:39 PM   #18
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That's nice to know ivoire but I don't have $200 to spend on a lens. Well, unless I can sell the Sigma, maybe then I'd have enough but I can't do it right away. This was a searching expedition not an actual buy it now expedition.

I need three things before I can save and buy a lens.
New keyboard, new Power Supply, and new computer case. Got to upgrade my new 2 year old computer before buying camera equipment.

I don't need help with the above, I'm a computer tech.
12-13-2010, 03:49 PM   #19
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i have the 80-320mm, and it's ok up to 270-280mm. Above that, diminishing returns; rez, colour, contrast, all seem to suffer, and really should be mounted on a tripod and optimally shot with the 2s. time delay, the one that flips up the mirror and waits 2s. for vibes to damp down before tripping the shutter.

In the shorter ranges it's really not a bad lens, and i've shot plays with it at f5.6 going up to around 200mm, very usable rez all across the APS-C frame, and excellent colour and contrast, AF suffficiently fast to catch the actors.

Also, on mine at least, the barrel droops when you extend it out too much on long zooms.

12-13-2010, 03:59 PM   #20
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I'm considering the Tamron 70-300mm for now. I've found it quite cheap at Amazon. After I see how my funds are next month, I'll make my decision then.
12-13-2010, 04:08 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stringmike Quote
I believe the Tamron 75-300mm is a full-frame lens and the 70-300mm is a smaller and lighter one optimized for APS digital sensors.
The 70-300 is also FF.
I find it sharp until 280mm. Beyond that, it's ok but shows its consumer zoom lens resolution
12-13-2010, 06:56 PM   #22
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I was thinking about the weight of my Sigma, compared to other lenses. Thing weighs almost a pound.
12-13-2010, 07:11 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
My Sigma does ok at 300mm but it's still not good at 300mm. Birds, bees are soft. I need tack sharp.
Tack sharp extended zoom lens?

I wouldn't exactly call the 55-300 tack sharp, especially at longer focal lengths according to photozone.de. Zoom lenses are about compromise.

As others have said, look for an older manual focus prime lens.

12-13-2010, 08:33 PM   #24
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Good idea, except I cannot afford a prime 300mm even an older one. I wouldn't be able to handhold it either. And you can't pan for birds in flight with a tripod. At least I never could.

I'll say it again in case anyone missed it the first time. I do not do Ebay. So don't tell me I can buy what I want there because I'm not going there again. The problem mostly with my Sigma is it's too heavy, as I get older lenses seem to get heavier, so I need something lighter, that would perform as good or better than it does. The Sigma I have has macro capabilities, though not true macro it helps fine for my purposes.
12-13-2010, 08:51 PM   #25
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Another one to consider: FA 100-300/4.7-5.8. It's very light.
12-13-2010, 09:55 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
Good idea, except I cannot afford a prime 300mm even an older one. I wouldn't be able to handhold it either. And you can't pan for birds in flight with a tripod. At least I never could.

I'll say it again in case anyone missed it the first time. I do not do Ebay. So don't tell me I can buy what I want there because I'm not going there again. The problem mostly with my Sigma is it's too heavy, as I get older lenses seem to get heavier, so I need something lighter, that would perform as good or better than it does. The Sigma I have has macro capabilities, though not true macro it helps fine for my purposes.
The question is, are these other zoom lenses really much better though? I don't want to see you buy a lens that doesn't actually help your issue. Have you found any technical data about how the other 7X-300 lenses to compare to your Sigma? I'm not saying there are not any out there that are visibly better, but 300mm on a zoom lens that stops at 300mm won't probably provide the best sharpness.

I pan with my DA* 300mm in auto focus, but I'll admit it's difficult catching birds in flight. Although, if the subject is far enough away the lens will just be at infinity. I've even done it with a 1.5x teleconverter and a bushhawk camera mount with some success.

There are other places besides ebay to check. KEH.com, Adorama (used section), B&H Photo Video (used section), shopgoodwill.com (use caution here), cameta.com (used section), and probably various other online stores.

Does it have to be 300mm? The Pentax screw-mount 200mm F4 (needs an M42 to k-mount adapter) looks to be available on KEH for under $100 (manual k-mount is a bit over $100). I personally don't have that lens, so I would suggest some research on sharpness as a first step.
12-13-2010, 10:07 PM   #27
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Yes, it has to be 300mm at the far end. 200mm is too short and adding teleconverter gives less light. So, 200mm at f4 would give me f6 with the adapter and that's enough light. The Sigma at 300mm is f5.6.

My avatar was shot handheld at 300mm and it was difficult to hold that lens and camera steady, while panning.
12-14-2010, 02:01 PM   #28
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The FA-J 75-300 is light and easy to hold. I think it is a little less sharp at 300mm than at say 270mm, but I haven't formally tested it. I would think the DA-L 55-300 would be a better deal at 214, but for $100 I don't feel I went wrong.
12-14-2010, 02:17 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
Big and heavy is a problem I'm trying to avoid. The Sigma lens I have now is too heavy for me to hold still at times.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I may just save my money and get the Pentax 55-300mm in the future. I found one on Amazon for just over $300.
Keep an eye on the marketplace for the DA L version. It should be around $200. It's not the sharpest wide open @ 300mm though, but probably better than the other lenses you mentioned.
12-14-2010, 03:46 PM   #30
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Not the best example. DA L 55-300 @ f/5.8 ISO 1250

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