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01-11-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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50mm+ Lens recommendations

My kit doesn't cover the 50mm plus focal lengths well enough for me. So I've been trying to make a decision on the most effective way to cover this range. I think I've got the glass I want from 16-50mm. I'll see what the UWA options are in the future. Right now I can only afford to spend up to $2K CDN to cover 50mm+.

I've been seriously looking at the DA* 60-250mm and understand it's very good but might not be fast enough for me at the wide end and might not have quite the reach at the long end for wildlife. As well I hear the 60-250mm is not very teleconverter friendly.

If I could afford it I would go for the DA* 50-135mm, *200mm and *300mm. But that is almost 3 grand in my world and probably grounds for divorce. I'm sure she will be seeking legal advise in any case Although she does kinda support the idea of ONE telephoto.

I thought about trying the Bigma. It covers the FLs I want and more but it's not fast enough or probably not practical to haul around for shorter end shooting.

So now it's come down to getting the DA* 50-135mm and something to cover the FLs beyond 135mm. I'd like to get some of your thoughts. Some options I've been pondering are a Sigma 120-400mm or a DA 50-300mm or 200/300mm Tak primes or just get the 60-250mm or...

I only have up to $2K CDN to spend.


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01-11-2011, 10:01 AM   #2
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Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with a teleconverter?
You don't need the latest "OS" version, and it's a pretty common lens - should be ebayable for somewhat less than your budget.
01-11-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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What about the new/old Sigma 70-200mm f2.8? It's faster than the 60-250 and offers a more convenient zoom range than the 50-135, and I believe it only costs around 1.3k us, which should be in your price range.

I'll be doing a homepage review of this lens as well as the tamron correspondent (and comparing them to the fa* 80-200), so stay tuned for that!
01-11-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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I'll be looking forward to the review Adam. Will you be reviewing the current Sigma HSM Macro version or the older screw drive one. Some of the forum lens reviewers weren't all that happy with the sharpness of the HSM Macro version below 5.6.

The suggestion to use the Sigma 70-200mm with a TC is worth considering. The HSM would be nice to have if it is as near as good as the Tamron's wide aperture performance.

01-11-2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by xinu Quote
If I could afford it I would go for the DA* 50-135mm, *200mm and *300mm.
This seems excessive.

What about DA 55-300, DA* 55 1.4, and DFA WR Macro 100?
01-11-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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xinu, I made a home comparison between the Sigma and Tamron 70-200 in these threads: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/69207-request-...0-f-2-8-a.html, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/72242-sigma-70...lity-test.html

If you were to consider a TC on one of these 70-200s, I'd only go with the Tamron for reasons explained in the threads. Bear in mind, a 1.4x TC effectively renders the lens a 100-280 f/4 maximum capability or with a 1.7x TC a 120-340 f/5 lens (approximately).
01-11-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
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I reviewed the threads Ash provided for the Sigma HSM and Tamron 70-200s. BTW I hope Ash is on high ground.

I know cost wise it would be much less expensive to get a Sigma HSM or Tamron than going with a Pentax DA* 50-135 and DA* 200. Too bad there are no camera shops in my area that would have Pentax, Tamron and Sigma glass that I hold and test in the store. Consequently my purchasing decisions to a large degree have been made by reading experiences of other forum members. SDM issues aside, I get an overall positive impression of the DA* IQ. I'm very happy with my 16-50. We'll see what Adam's review has to say about the Sigma and Tamron comparison.
01-11-2011, 06:07 PM   #8
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I have a DA*50-135 and a DA 55-300 to cover longer than 135mm focal lengths. You know how often I've used the 55-300 since I got the 50-135 last July? Zero. 135 on a crop is pretty long for general shooting.

So my advice is before you buy a whole bunch of lenses, start with the DA*50-135 and see if that is long enough. If you find it is too short then consider getting the 55-300. Only if you find it's regularly a problem would I consider getting a DA*200 or DA*300.

I bet there's a whole lot of DA*300 in circulation that spend at least 11 months of the year at home unused. That's my opinion anyway, but then I'm no sports or wildlife shooter.

01-11-2011, 06:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
So my advice is before you buy a whole bunch of lenses, start with the DA*50-135 and see if that is long enough.
+1

Try walking around with the 50-135 and the 70-200, I tried that with the tamron version of the latter. Big difference. Image quality is the icing. Some people suggest sigma 50-150 as an alternative if you prefer to avoid sdm and use hsm of sigma instead.
01-12-2011, 05:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
+1

Try walking around with the 50-135 and the 70-200, I tried that with the tamron version of the latter. Big difference. Image quality is the icing. Some people suggest sigma 50-150 as an alternative if you prefer to avoid sdm and use hsm of sigma instead.
Just to clarify for me, which did you find had the better IQ, the 50-135 or the Tamron 70-200?
01-12-2011, 04:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by xinu Quote
Just to clarify for me, which did you find had the better IQ, the 50-135 or the Tamron 70-200?
I 'preferred' the pentax but I don't want to go out on a limb and say that the IQ was better. I could be biased for a variety of reasons.

The tamron was heavier and bigger, it was on a friends camera and we were both out shooting at a local state park. We exchanged equipment for a while. I shot with it for a while as I was walking and changing to the pentax was a relief. The pentax looks much nicer too. These external things can bias the person to favor one more than the other. On the other hand if you like the look and feel of a particular lens you are likely to shoot better pictures with it...Ah! The fallacies of asking for subjective opinions.

So as far as IQ is concerned if there is somone more professional who has actually tested the two care to give their opinion?
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