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02-28-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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The largest Pentax telezoom...!

I have been defining my photographic preferences towards the nature/wildlife photography, and have been selling some of my portrait lenses. However, I am a little worried about the limitations impossed by Pentax, when compared to Canon for example. I have some friends also photographer afficionados that usually take their lenses on the shootings. Their lenses are a lot bigger and heavier, and they have great IQ. The largest lens I can use is the Sigma 170-500mm, which is good. However, I have been thinking in buying the Bigma (Sigma 50-500mm) and upgrade my Kx to K5. However, before I spend more money, I want to make sure I am not going to invest into something that will have to abandon later. Is the Bigma the best I can do as a Pentax wildlife photographer? I liket the K5 and think the price is not too expensive for a good camera, but how does it compare to a Nikon D300? I shoot in manual most of the time, even with using AF lenses. I have enjoyed using the Pentax-M and Takumar-M42 lenses, but for some of the wildlife, I need more. I just want to get your impressions of what is the best lens, or equipment I can do with Pentax. I appreciate your comments. Pepe

02-28-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
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Fa* 250-600?
02-28-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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You could get the Sigma 500 f4.5. It costs about 2-3 times as much as the Bigma.
02-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #4
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How about SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF], I know it's manual focus and it's about $9000 if you can find one.

Or its smaller cousin SMC Pentax-A* 600mm F5.6 ED [IF].

02-28-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
I shoot in manual most of the time, even with using AF lenses
As you state a preference for manual focus, shouldn't be a problem, there is the Pentax A* 1200, if budget allows. My budget doesn't allow, the longest Pentax Lens I have is a Teletakumar 400 f5.6. I asked why this lens is so heavy and well built and one wag replied that it was so that i could use the lens to stun any wildlife by clubbing it before trying to photograph it (its slow). Hopefully your budget will allow you to get one of those exotic long Pentax lenses and perhaps you can post a photo of it here so that I can drool over it.
02-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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The FA* 250-600 is about (average price in the forum review) $7K and it is not available.

The Sigma 500 f4.5 is $4,700 at B&H, that sounds feasible.

The others I do not know about. The Sigma starts to sound good now. Keep them coming, and if you have one and want to part with it, let me know. Who knows, I may buy it. Although I may have to sell one of my Martins.

Thanks, Pepe

Last edited by Pepe Guitarra; 02-28-2011 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Add
02-28-2011, 04:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
Although I may have to sell one of my Martins.
Whats that?
02-28-2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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If you like manual you could go for an old M42 lens. You can get practically anything you want in M42.

Maybe 1000mm F8?

02-28-2011, 05:20 PM   #9
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SMC Pentax 135-600mm F6.7 Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

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02-28-2011, 05:43 PM   #10
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Vivitar 120-600mm F/5.6-8 Lens Review

Just got this, seems well made, heavy off course. I've taken a few shots with it but it has been dark and rainy since it arrived and this lens needs lots of light. I won't decide it I like it until I have a chance to try it fairly. The zoom range seems very useful.
02-28-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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Originally posted by Pepe Guitarra
Although I may have to sell one of my Martins.

QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Whats that?
Apparently he has a collection of very fine acoustic guitars! Hhhm well Pepe don't do something you'll regret later!

And regarding your comparison of a K5 to Nikon D300, I had the opportunity to borrow a friend's D300 for a couple of days but personally I didn't think it was any better than my K20D.
02-28-2011, 07:02 PM   #12
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Sigma has an 800mm telephoto... but only for Canon and Nikon mount.. maybe they'll come out with a Pentax mount version?..... (although I somehow doubt it )
02-28-2011, 07:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
Is the Bigma the best I can do as a Pentax wildlife photographer?
As you see, the answer is 'no'.
03-02-2011, 02:08 PM   #14
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First of all, the Bigma isn't a bad lens. Under good light conditions, if you can step down to f/11, which is also quite useful for increased DOF at the 500mm end, it produces completely useful results.

But it is clear, that the 500mm end is too short for some aqpplications and the Bigma doesn't go well with a teleconverter. For anything beyond the Bigma's zoom range - and if the rare FA 250-600 is out of your range - a prime lens is the next best choice. A good prime would also be sharper than the Bigma.

A good additional lens to complement the Bigma would be a 300/2.8, combined with 1.4x and 2x tcs. This gives you multiple focal lengthes with very good to adequate max. aperture in a moderately sized package. The advantages of the reduced size and weight, compared to a single long lens, shouldn't be underestimated, unless you can drive everywhere with a car.

If you need to get beyond 600mm fl, your choices get slimmer. The Pentax FA 400/2.8, combined with tcs would be the obvious top choice - but that lens is rare and expensive and not quite as transportable. So, may be the old Pentrax K 500/4.5 would be a good starting point, unless you really need AF. The 500/4.5 is sharp and has good contrast, if stopped down a bit, with acceptable CA. And you can easily add a 1.4x or even 2x tc for longer reach at still usefull speeds.

If you need AF, you need to look either for the Sigma 500/4.5, with is reportedly a good lens or for one of the older Pentax FAs, like the 600/4.

One very interesting lens, which seems to be available for Pentax now, in its latest incarnation is the Sigma 120-300/2.8, which is ofcourse a very versatile choice, espcially when combined with the matching Sigma tcs.

Ben
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