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04-09-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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Tamron or Sigma?

Hey folks I am looking for some decent lenses and am not wanting to pay the prices for Pentax brand, I don't want to start a flame war, I just want good honest opinions on lens brands between Tamron and Sigma.
What I am looking for is build quality, durability, IQ, and basically bang for the buck.
Is there another brand out there that competes with these two?
Right now I am looking for basically a decent zoom lens that goes up to 300mm, nothing super fancy but basically a good all around zoom lens that I can count on.
Thanks in advance.
~007

04-09-2011, 07:21 PM   #2
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Sorry, the best bang/buck xx-300 zoom is the Pentax 55-300 for about $350:-) The cheaper Sigma and Tamron 70-300's are fair. Next step up is a 70-200 f2.8 for at least twice the cost.
04-09-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Sorry, the best bang/buck xx-300 zoom is the Pentax 55-300 for about $350:-) The cheaper Sigma and Tamron 70-300's are fair. Next step up is a 70-200 f2.8 for at least twice the cost.
Ya believe it or not I am considering a pentax 55~300, is that the lens that is sold as a kit lens? or is one different from the 300mm zoom kit lens?
04-09-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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Well, first of all, both Sigma and Tamron offer some very good lenses. I have some of each--along with my Pentax glass. It really comes down to specific models: the database can be really helpful. I can't argue with SpecialK's bang-for-the-buck reasoning. The 70-200mms are better but you pay a big premium (and the 55-300 is much more compact.)

04-09-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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For an all-around zoom AF lens, the best options are:
* Tamron 18-250mm / Pentax DA18-250mm, or
* Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM.

The former is discontinued by you can find some excellent second hand copies. Both keh.com and adorma.com had some used copy about US$360 (last week). The DA18-250mm is a rebadged Tamron 18-250mm, and both are regarded as among the best all-around zoom lenses across all brands. The lens is very sturdy and well-regarded as an all-around lens by most Pentaxians.

The Sigma is a newer lens, slightly more expensive. It has in-lens OS which is redundant with the in-camera IS of the Pentax bodies.

A newer alternative is the Petnax 18-135mm WR but the reach is smaller and the price for the WR is consequent.

For completenes, there are some older generation 18-200mm lenses around but the IQ is below the above lenses.

Hope that the comments will help....

Last edited by hcc; 04-09-2011 at 10:00 PM.
04-09-2011, 10:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BirdDude007 Quote
Ya believe it or not I am considering a pentax 55~300, is that the lens that is sold as a kit lens? or is one different from the 300mm zoom kit lens?
DA L kit versions of lenses do not have a hood or quick shift, and have plastic mounts. I'd say only the hood is important.
04-10-2011, 01:10 AM   #7
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The low-price leader is the FA100-300/4.7-5.8 (the silver one, not the inferior slightly-faster black one). I'm no birder, but it's taken my best bird shots. I also have a Lil'Bigma 170-500 but the FA100-300 is MUCH lighter and sees MUCH more use. My DA18-250 is my basic general-purpose lens; the FA100-300 is my choice for just a bit more reach. You can't go wrong with it, especially in the US$100 range.
04-10-2011, 07:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
For an all-around zoom AF lens, the best options are:
* Tamron 18-250mm / Pentax DA18-250mm, or
* Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM.

The former is discontinued by you can find some excellent second hand copies. Both keh.com and adorma.com had some used copy about US$360 (last week). The DA18-250mm is a rebadged Tamron 18-250mm, and both are regarded as among the best all-around zoom lenses across all brands. The lens is very sturdy and well-regarded as an all-around lens by most Pentaxians.

The Sigma is a newer lens, slightly more expensive. It has in-lens OS which is redundant with the in-camera IS of the Pentax bodies.

A newer alternative is the Petnax 18-135mm WR but the reach is smaller and the price for the WR is consequent.

For completenes, there are some older generation 18-200mm lenses around but the IQ is below the above lenses.



Hope that the comments will help....
hcc: I sure appreciate the info you have given me, I am however looking for something with the reach of a 300mm at least, I want to get my decent zoom purchased first and then start investing in primes although I wouldn't mind a nice 300 or a 400mm prime, I imagine the primes have better IQ than a zoom of equivalent focal length.
I like my kit lenses but I am not wild about something with plastic mounts(that is just a personal taste)
I also have an old vivitar 70~210 lens from my ME Super film days and I have played around with that on my K-x and I am actually a lot happier with the image quality then with what I get with the kit lens. The main use for my kit lenses is when I am at a family gathering and I don't even want to think about setting the camera because I am drunk or whatever lol. I just set my camera on all auto and that way others at said parties or events can operate my camera without any fuss because of the auto focus and auto settings they can just take shots like a point and shoot. Besides that I have Photoshop and Camera raw that Iam actually pretty decent at and can pretty much fix other folks screw ups if need be.

04-10-2011, 07:44 AM   #9
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Does anybody know if the Pentax 300mm Zoom that cost around $350 has a plastic or metal mount?
04-10-2011, 08:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BirdDude007 Quote
Pentax 300mm Zoom
Huh? Do you mean the DA 55-300mm? If so, no--metal.
04-10-2011, 09:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BirdDude007 Quote
Does anybody know if the Pentax 300mm Zoom that cost around $350 has a plastic or metal mount?
The one thats $350 at B&H, Adorama etc is the DA 55-300. Metal mount, comes with hood, has Quickshift (manual focus ability without switching out of AF mode)

The one that comes as part of the K-r kit lens is the DAL 55-300 , also a lot of these on ebay "new" for about $200. Same Optics but Plastic mount, no hood, no soft case, non Quickshift. (as SpecialK mentioned)

Dont mix up the two, especially on ebay.

IMO, Quickshift is not essential but pretty handy to have with this lens as the focus is pretty long and if it misses it takes a couple of sec to rack in-out.

Last edited by steve1307; 04-10-2011 at 09:52 AM.
04-10-2011, 12:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BirdDude007 Quote
Does anybody know if the Pentax 300mm Zoom that cost around $350 has a plastic or metal mount?
Answered above..

DAL = plastic
DA = metal.
04-10-2011, 04:44 PM   #13
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What is "quick shift"?
and is it worth $350 for that DA lens?
04-10-2011, 05:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BirdDude007 Quote
What is "quick shift"?
and is it worth $350 for that DA lens?
Quickshift allows you to turn the focus ring with your hand without having to switch the auto focus switch from auto to manual. In some situations this is very useful (eg when you are shooting through or past a foreground object at something more distant, if the camera grabs the foreground object you can rleease the shutter and spin the focus ring by hand to force it to pick up the distant object rather than having to switch the body back and forth between auto and manual before spinning the focus.

Here's a photo taken (with a DA 55-300) in a situation where I used Quickshift a lot (foreground object was a debris fence I was shooting through)


04-10-2011, 05:23 PM   #15
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Nice shot, and advice, how do you like your lens?
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