Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-25-2011, 07:04 AM   #1
Forum Member
bonaprof's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ocean City MD
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 94
Best Telephoto Zoom for a K20D

I am looking to add a zoom telephoto lens to my kit. I have a K20D, whicch came with the 18-55 II package lens, which is a decent lens but I do not use it. Instead, I bought a Pentax DA* f1.4 55mm and a Pentax LTD DA f4 15mm. I love both these lenses. I also had a DA* 2.8 50-135mm, which is a wonderful lens. I recently sold this lens because I wanted to increase the outer limits of a telephoto.

I ordered the Pentax DA f4-5.8 50-300mm. I gave it a try, but was not completely satisfied. Compared to my other Pentax lenses, it seemed cheaply made and tended to shoot underexposed. I have been reading our fellow Pentax photographers comments about this lens and how positive it is. However, I must admit that my experience seemed more like the most recent comments than the many accolades. I returned the lens, but I have not dismissed a re-trial depending upon what I hear from you.

The lens I would like to buy is the DA* f4 60-250mm lens, but it is just too expensive. I also think it should be 300mm. Why doesn't Pentax make a DA* 100-300mm? I have about $750 to spend; I just cannot come up with or justify spending $1349 on a lens. I also have read and reread many of the enthusiastic reviews of this lens posted in this foum, but cannot find direct comparisons with some older but very fine Pentax or non-Pentax telephotos.

The new zoom telephotos available from B&H are

(1) Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5 (I may be able to squeeze out another $250)
(2) Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6.
(3) Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3

Does anyone own one of these lenses? How well is it built and what is its IQ?

My question is if you were me, which lens would you buy?

I thank you in advance for your suggestions and comments. They will be greatly appreciated.

Ed

03-25-2011, 07:13 AM   #2
Pentaxian
hoanpham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Strand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,366
I have both versions of the 120-400, non-OS and newer with OS.
I won't go for (2) nor (3).
The DA55-300 is also good for cheap.

The 120-400 is not as good as 60-250, but cheaper, and suits my needs. Auto focus is very good. Optically, well, depends on what you shoot at and how much crop you want. I use them for outdoor portraits. They deliver great bokeh. I also use the focal range 120-320 in combo with the DA50-135. At 400, it is soft. At 400 and wide open, it is 'softer'.

Last edited by hoanpham; 03-25-2011 at 07:19 AM.
03-25-2011, 07:16 AM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Arizona
Posts: 283
You get what you pay for!

Expensive lenses generally perform better than cheap ones!

Of the three you mention, the latter two are consumer zooms. These are optically and mechanically not as good as the Pentax 55-300, which you have already rejected. I'd strike those off the list.

The Sigma 120-400 is better both mechanically and optically than the others. I owned the earlier version (HSM but no OS) and found it to perform generally very well, but definitely a bit soft over around 300mm. Check lens reviews here and on other forums - lots of pictures available.

It depends on the sort of shooting you are going to need the long end for. If the 60-250 would do, what about one of the 70-200 f2.8s (Tamron or Sigma). Used ones of those turn up at reasonable prices from time to time. Or if image quality is of more importance, how about a long prime?

Mike
03-25-2011, 07:16 AM   #4
Senior Member
dasuhu's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 187
Well I am in your shoes...I also want a telephoto zoom.

I am pretty sure I am buying a Tamron 70-200 2.8 zoom, with 1.4 TC. It sounds like the Tamron zoom is killer sharp wide open across the entire range (although at 135mm, takes a tiny hit in sharpness) and the 1.4 TC gives that 280mm reach with f/4 (still faster than the lenses you suggested). The only issue is slower than average AF lock speed. The lens new is right at your $750 budget as well.

Just my thoughts, fwiw.


Last edited by dasuhu; 03-25-2011 at 08:15 AM.
03-25-2011, 08:01 AM   #5
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,253
The difference between 250mm and 300mm is not as big as it sounds. Just take a look with you DA 55-300. Mild cropping will get you from one to the other.

Why don't you get one of the older 70-200 f2.8 zooms from either Tamron or Sigma, with a teleconverter? That's about the only way that I think you'll get much improvement over your current lens set up's image quality.
03-25-2011, 09:05 AM   #6
Forum Member
bonaprof's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ocean City MD
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 94
Original Poster
Thanks for the responses. Daniel, other than price, why have you decided on the Tamron 70-200 rather than the sigma? Also could you please tell me, which 1.4 TC you plan to buy.

Ed
03-25-2011, 09:36 AM   #7
Forum Member
Bobe416's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 57
Hi bonaprof, what are you planning to use this telephoto zoom for? Sports, birds, etc
If it is sports take a look at the 70-200 f2.8 review in Pentax Forum
Fast Sports Zoom Lenses for Pentax | Sigma 70-200mm vs. Tamron 70-200mm vs. Pentax FA* 80-200mm F2.8

If it is birds, 200mm is most likely too short. Also note that as you get into higher quality and longer zooms they start to get fairly large and heavy. Not as convenient to carry around.

Take a look in the lens review section in Pentax Forums also photozone.de has lens test that are worth reading.

My advice is really give it some thought on how you are going to use the lens and read the reviews.
03-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #8
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Arizona
Posts: 283
The 70/200 with teleconverter is very good advice and likely the route I will be taking too. I bought a used Sigma 120-400 (a great price on an uncontested eBay sale) and really loved the fast and quiet HSM focusing. However, I found I was needing something below 120 mm more often than I needed more than 200mm and I sold it some while ago to another forum member.

I will likely go with Sigma if I can find one of the older non-OS models just because I like their fast, quiet focus motor. The Tamron's optics are supposed to be a tad better, but the mechanical screw focusing is slower and noisier. Take your pick!

Mike

03-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
Senior Member
dasuhu's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 187
QuoteOriginally posted by bonaprof Quote
Thanks for the responses. Daniel, other than price, why have you decided on the Tamron 70-200 rather than the sigma? Also could you please tell me, which 1.4 TC you plan to buy.

Ed
My rationale:
  • Tamron is more than half a pound lighter than Sigma
  • Tamron is significantly sharper at wider apertures
  • Tamron is cheaper

Tamron AF is supposed to be not as good as Sigma, especially in sports. I can learn to deal with "lost" (unfocused) AF action shots and determine how to work my shots to maximize the Tamron's AF effectiveness. In reality, I hear the percentage of "lost" action shots from Tamron's "slow" AF is maybe 10-15% of all shots. Heck, I miss more than 10-15% of shots when I use my MF primes. That percentage is totally unacceptable for a professional, but I think is more than okay as an "enthusiast" tier lens.

When in the future I shoot the Tamron, I think I'd be happier with much sharper pics with the 85% of sports/action shots that are focussed, than softer shots with the 100% focussed shots with the Sigma. And I envision the lens will be used for a lot more than just shooting friends playing sports.

I think I'd be looking for the Tamron 1.4x AF Teleconverter. It's out of production now (though it was still in production not too long ago)...so it'll be more of an adventure to track it down.
03-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #10
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,695
Even beyond Tamron's 70-200 being cheaper than the Sigma 70-200, practically speaking there is currently no TC that will effectively autofocus the Sigma 70-200 at 200mm, where you'd be wanting the extra reach. Tamron's own 1.4x TC has contacts that activates Sigma's 70-200 HSM autofocusing mechanism, but simply cannot lock focus at any focus distance in any light between 180-200mm.

Tamron's 70-200 on the other hand has no such problem, and aside from the innate slowing of AF, the TC effectively expands the focal range to 280mm. This is the setup I have also, and it renders images beautifully - results are excellent and very different to a consumer lens such as the Tamron 70-300 or Pentax 55-300. If you have the budget, and want a fast telezoom (if you're happy with its size and weight), the Tamron 70-200 with 1.4x TC is the way to go.
03-25-2011, 04:05 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Coeurdechene's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: madrid
Photos: Albums
Posts: 833
QuoteOriginally posted by bonaprof Quote
DA* 2.8 50-135mm, which is a wonderful lens. I recently sold this lens because I wanted to increase the outer limits of a telephoto.
I fear you may have been spoilt by this lens to consider the consumer telephotos...That zoom is a dream, i intend to do some fashion photo since the opportunity has risen and i would kill for one of those...
I've been reading a bit and i really consider the Tamron, it seems like a good deal (it's on my affordable wishlist).
QuoteOriginally posted by Stringmike Quote
how about a long prime?
There are some 200 or 300 primes out there that seem great.
03-26-2011, 05:56 AM   #12
Forum Member
bonaprof's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ocean City MD
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 94
Original Poster
Thank you all for you're input. I am going to get the Tamron f2.8 70-200mm. As Daniel has pointed out, the Tamron TC is no longer stocked and will have to be found used on the Internet. I am going to try the Vivitar series I TC for Pentax. It seems to have good reviews from Pentax owners. I hope it will work with the Tamron lens.

Thanks again for taking time to answer my question.

All the best,

Ed
03-26-2011, 10:58 AM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Arizona
Posts: 283
Check out the Kenko 1.5 teleconverter

These are still in production and can be found on the marketplace here from time to time. It is my understanding that it is optically and mechanically very similar to the Tamron 1.4 teleconverter.

Mike
03-26-2011, 11:28 AM   #14
Senior Member
dasuhu's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 187
QuoteOriginally posted by Stringmike Quote
These are still in production and can be found on the marketplace here from time to time. It is my understanding that it is optically and mechanically very similar to the Tamron 1.4 teleconverter.

Mike
The Kenko is not in production either (1.4x or 1.5x). The Tamron and Kenko 1.4x are rumored to be the same TC.

Btw, I just ordered my Tamron 70-200 today. Maybe we can start a 70-200 zoom club.

Last edited by dasuhu; 03-26-2011 at 11:41 AM.
03-26-2011, 01:18 PM   #15
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,695
There's a Tamron lens club that offers a lot of 70-200 images on it.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
comments, da, da*, k-mount, k20d, lens, lenses, pentax, pentax lens, sigma, slr lens, telephoto, telephotos
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Telecoverter compatibility & telephoto zoom help JayR Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 08-24-2010 07:37 AM
Good 300mm telephoto or zoom Johnny5 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 06-18-2010 02:57 PM
Time to buy a telephoto zoom... ncrecordkeeper Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 04-23-2010 12:40 PM
Zoom telephoto lens advice Gary G Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 04-17-2010 10:45 AM
Suggestions Please? Wanting to buy Telephoto Zoom Len.... heymissjo Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 09-07-2009 09:54 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:45 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top