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01-14-2011, 07:14 AM   #1
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New DA*300mm Question

I just ordered a DA*300. I have been wondering how it would compare to the Bigma and whether or not I could do without the extra reach for my wildlife photography. There is also the possibility of adding a converter but I have read mixed results using converters.
I am wondering if anyone has ever given up a Bigma for a 300mm lens and also , how do you perceive the IQ compares between the two at 300mm.


Last edited by GaryH; 01-14-2011 at 10:53 AM. Reason: gibbberish
01-14-2011, 08:22 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
=-0987654321`/*/I just ordered a DA*300. I have been wondering how it would compare to the Bigma and whether or not I could do without the extra reach for my wildlife photography. There is also the possibility of adding a converter but I have read mixed results using converters.
I am wondering if anyone has ever given up a Bigma for a 300mm lens and also , how do you perceive the IQ compares between the two at 300mm.
I can only address a couple aspects of your question as I've never used a Bigma. I owned the DA*300 for a little while and found the IQ to be outstanding, even wide open. The AF is quick and the overall feel and build of the lens is excellent. I ended up getting rid of it in favor of a DA*60-250, but it was for the versatility of the zoom, not for lack of IQ of the DA*300.

While I had the DA*300, I tried pairing it with both a 1.4x Tamron TC and the 1.7x Pentax AF-adapter and felt the IQ help up very well with both. Keep in mind both TC options have their limitations in terms of AF. The Tamron allows you to use the SDM of the lens, although the AF isn't as quick as often requires a second try lock. The Pentax 1.7x forces you to manually focus into the ballpark, and then it uses it's own focusing mechanism to finish the job. The downside here is that you're down to f/6.3 at this point so I have a feeling on some older bodies the AF systems may not perform as well with the more limited incoming light.
01-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #3
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Not owning with a Bigma, feel free to ignore my comment. However, the light weight of the DA300mm makes it an ideal "walk about lens" for nature shooting events. Something the BIGMA may not offer. Also I have used a Tamron 1.4 TC with the DA300mm and found the IQ to be excellent. My major concern has been the slower AF with a K200D. Best of luck. The DA300mm is a gem and a major reason to shoot Pentax....
01-14-2011, 09:11 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdurfor Quote
The DA300mm is a gem and a major reason to shoot Pentax....
Agree! I've never shot with the Bigma but have a lot of respect for it. I love my DA*300 though. It also pairs very well with the AF 1.7x TC.

01-14-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
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Weird to get three DC area responses
01-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #6
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I have always been impressed with pictures from the DA*300 and I had the opportunity to buy one, so I took it. Now I am thinking that eventually I will decide decide to keep the Bigma or the 300 and sell the other. Depends on how the 300 performs this summer. I bought the 55-300 last summer to carry around when the object is not to be hampered by the equipment like I am with the Bigma. Backpack, Camera, Monopod etc. Maybe the 300 can do double duty. I will report my findings this spring. I have noticed that not many people tend to own both lenses.

thanks
01-14-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I ended up getting rid of it in favor of a DA*60-250, but it was for the versatility of the zoom, not for lack of IQ of the DA*300.
I don't want to hijack the thread but how would you distinguish the pros & cons of each of these lenses ? One of these or a top Tamron / Tokina (the 300 is supposed to have fantastic AF speed) is definitely my next major purchase. Thanks and apologies to the OP !
01-14-2011, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I don't want to hijack the thread but how would you distinguish the pros & cons of each of these lenses ? One of these or a top Tamron / Tokina (the 300 is supposed to have fantastic AF speed) is definitely my next major purchase. Thanks and apologies to the OP !
The DA*300 and 60-250 are both fantastic and trying to compare them basically comes down to whether you want a long prime or a zoom with a fantastic focal length range. The DA*300 has the faster AF, although the 60-250 isn't bad either; it's faster than the 50-135 and at least on par with the Tamron 70-200. The DA*60-250 is pretty compact given it's FL range, although the flip side of that is the lens extends during zooming. Not a deal breaker, but I prefer the internal zooming of the 50-135 and 70-200 lenses. In terms of IQ, they're both excellent in terms of sharpness, colors and overall rendering. The DA*300 is slightly better wide open, but I never found the 60-250 to be lacking wide open (some have said it's slightly soft at f/4). When I made my choice and sold the 300 and kept the 60-250, it came down to the desire for the huge focal range over the slight increase in IQ and reach of the 300.

I also bought and tried the Sigma 100-300 last year. That lens is another good option to consider as it's gives you the reach of the DA*300 with a pretty decent focal length range (although without the nice width of the 60-250). It's a very solid lens with great IQ throughout it's range. Again, I felt the DA*300 had the edge in IQ overall (and AF speed if I recall correctly, but that is to be expected and the edge was not that large in either case that it should be the deciding factor. The Sigma 100-300/4 was the largest of the lenses I tried, and although it wasn't that much longer or heavier than the other choices, it was just enough larger that it did play a small factor when I was deciding.

Feel free to PM me with any specific questions you have trying to compare the lenses. I've also had the Sigma 70-200, DA*200, DA55-300 as well, so if you're considering any of those, I might be able to offer some insight as to how they compare to the rest of your options.

01-14-2011, 01:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
I have always been impressed with pictures from the DA*300 and I had the opportunity to buy one, so I took it. Now I am thinking that eventually I will decide decide to keep the Bigma or the 300 and sell the other. Depends on how the 300 performs this summer. I bought the 55-300 last summer to carry around when the object is not to be hampered by the equipment like I am with the Bigma. Backpack, Camera, Monopod etc. Maybe the 300 can do double duty. I will report my findings this spring. I have noticed that not many people tend to own both lenses.

thanks
Get yourself an F1.7x AF adapter and you'll never put the Bigma on again (well, maybe not Never) for 500mm range shots. The two play quite well together once you get use to it.



http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5036899949_83f15f8ccb_o.jpg



http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/5115810377_91a53619ea_o.jpg



http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4144/5037512712_7b6725e8b1_o.jpg



http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4060/4698216004_2e337ec603_o.jpg

No need for a monopod and the AF adapter will fit in most pockets.

01-14-2011, 01:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Get yourself an F1.7x AF adapter and you'll never put the Bigma on again (well, maybe not Never) for 500mm range shots. The two play quite well together once you get use to it.
In a case of ironic timing, I had this waiting for me on my front porch when I got home from work. It's no DA*300, but the combo is much more compact than I anticipated.

01-14-2011, 02:06 PM   #11
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Thanks dgaies - I certainly will, thanks for the advice. One last Q. Does the 60-250 play as nice with the AFA as the DA*300 does ?
01-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Thanks dgaies - I certainly will, thanks for the advice. One last Q. Does the 60-250 play as nice with the AFA as the DA*300 does ?
You're welcome.

In terms of ability to AF I believe the 1.7x would work equally with the DA*60-250 as the DA*300. In terms of IQ, I can't say for certain as I haven't used the 1.7x with the 60-250 very much. However, I would expect the IQ from the DA*60-250 + 1.7x to sold up very well as well.

One other thing to keep in mind about the 1.7x AF-A; it blocks the focal length data from the lens to the body. So when you have the 1.7x AF-A mounted, you have manually enter the (corrected) focal length into the body. With the DA*300 (or the M*300 above) you just enter 500mm. With the DA*60-250 it's a bit trickier. If you know you are going to be using it at the long end only, you'd enter 450mm. However, if you intend to zoom between 60 and 250, having the wrong focal length in the body will affect the ability of the SR system to work properly. Did that make sense?
01-14-2011, 02:31 PM   #13
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Thanks yes. I am aware of that problem - I have both the AFA and the Tamron x1.4 - (maybe just a case of switching the camera off then on again to set the right FL - however that would certainly impact my ability to catch a shot at the right moment) but I'm torn between the flexibility of the 60-250 on my K5 (allied to a Tamron 17-50 on my K7 - which seems to have me covered over a huge FL at events) to the IQ of the *300.
01-14-2011, 02:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Thanks yes. I am aware of that problem - I have both the AFA and the Tamron x1.4 - (maybe just a case of switching the camera off then on again to set the right FL - however that would certainly impact my ability to catch a shot at the right moment) but I'm torn between the flexibility of the 60-250 on my K5 (allied to a Tamron 17-50 on my K7 - which seems to have me covered over a huge FL at events) to the IQ of the *300.
Just a quick FYI (which you might already be aware of); you can also change the focal length by going into the menu and on page 4 of the camera setting. The last line allows you to input the focal length. In truth, it's probably slower than turning the camera off and on again, but I just figured I'd point it out anyway as an alternative way to change the SR focal length.
01-14-2011, 02:48 PM   #15
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Thanks I knew of the menu option but .. as you say ... i think the on/off solution is faster, just maybe not fast enough !
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