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03-10-2011, 02:17 PM   #1
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BobIr's Avatar

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Long Lens Limbo

Well, here I sit with the spring bird migration about to start and no long lens. My Tamron 28 - 300, died on me a couple weeks ago, half way thru my Mexico trip. Got most of the bird pics I wanted before that, so trip was still a success.

Took the lens into the camera store I bought it from and found it's still under warranty by Tamron, if problem is a lens defect and not caused by bumping it somehow. When I asked how long before I'd get an answer, clerk said the management line was 6 to 8 weeks, but in truth, nobody knew. Would have been easier if they told me the lens was a total loss and I could look for a new one.

Ok, so I'm looking around anyway. Amazon has a Tamron AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras available for $149.00. Says it's a telephoto lens, but also macro which confuses me as I didn't know a lense could be both. Does any one have any experience with this lens or know anything about it? B & H says they've discontinued it, but Tamron still has it listed on their site. It sounds like a good buy and would work for the outdoor wildlife shots I'd like to take.

Any feedback is appreciated.

03-10-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
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Tamron has several in this length. I have the non-macro one and it's, well, just so-so. The macro one has the ability to close focus (aka 'macro') not really close but should be fun to play with (you might be 3 feet away but it would like like you are very close up). I don't know the principals behind it but apparently one can do this with some telephotos.

In 2009 I got my Tamron 18-250 repaired in two weeks. That is an age ago now and your experience may vary but I thought they did a good job on warranty repair.

Personally, if time weren't an issue, I'd get my lens repaired and look for a Pentax DA 55-300. It's the best of this class of lenses IMHO.
03-10-2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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there is a sigma in the adorama overstock section 100 ish mm to 400mm. It is a jump in price from the tamron you are looking at but the most reasonably priced that I found when I was looking a couple months ago. If you really are going to be shooting birds then you may want more than 300 mm.

727109 Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG APO Aspherical AutoFocus Telephoto Zoom Lens with Hood & Case for Pentax AF Cameras

this is no DA* lens but then again the tamron you are looking at is not either. I think you will be pleased with the extra reach of a lens like this and you really can get the subject to fill the frame. I have never used this one so I can not speak of its quality but I think it should meet your needs.
03-10-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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For xx-300 budget zooms (up to $350), the Pentax 55-300 is recommended in every thread that compares them.

Beyond 300mm, for new and auto-focus, it's going to cost about $900+. I got the Sigma 150-500 and I'm pretty happy with it. The lens link above is a good price. Not sure about the lens itself.

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