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04-24-2011, 04:35 AM   #1
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Need some advice for a zoom lens

Hi,

I'm looking for a zoom lens to complete my starter kit's 18-55mm and hesitate between :
- Pentax 55-300
- Pentax 80-320
- Tamron/Sigma 70-300

It will essentially be use for sports events and street or wildlife photography.

It seems that the 55-300 have a better reputation but it is also more expensive...

If somebody have already experimented few of thoses lenses, I'd be glad to have some feedback comparaison.

Thanks,
S.

04-24-2011, 05:06 AM   #2
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The 55-300 has good rep and is a good choice. There is also the 50-200, that can be had for litle money from people who dump their kit lenses to buy a better one (but you might find it a bit short).
The tamron has a normal rep and it is close focus (something that can be very handy and entertaining).
I've got the 50-200 and WHEN i use it i am completely satisfied...i don't use it much though (my Tammy 28-75 f2.8 is almost always on the camera).
04-24-2011, 05:17 AM   #3
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Early on, I found the DA 50-200 to be a very nice lens as a complementary lens to the kit lens. Ultimately I went with the DA 55-300 for the additional length etc. and sold my 50-200 but...there are times I wish I still had it. I think Coeurdechene makes a good suggestion about it. One thing to consider is how much length do you really need? Early on, I thought I needed long lenses, my use of them has been very low. I get more use out of my DA*50-135 and my Tamron 70-200 than my longer lenses. If you are after wildlife, clearly you will need long glass but normally - I'll aruge - you don't.
04-24-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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For a general-purpose superzoom, the DA18-250 is hard to beat. And although it's no longer in production, it (or its Tamron near-twin) ain't hard to find on the used market. I dislike the two-lens kits of 18-55 plus 50-200 or 55-300 (or my 60-300) because I shoot a great deal between 35-70mm, and a two-zoom kit requires swapping lenses too much.

Also, think of each lens as your window on the world. With the 18-250, you have one all-encompassing view of what is around you. With a two-zoom kit, you have two narrower windows, two smaller views. I prefer the larger view when I am just wandering about.

I own about 200 lenses; I consider the 18-250 to be my basic tool, with all the others being specialty items. I value the 18-250 for its flexibility, and the others for their own strengths and peculiarities. I even value the DA18-55 kit lens! But I mostly use that as a test-bed upon which to hang various filters, optical adapters, etc.

My first lens kit, and still my most basic kit, are: DA10-17 fisheye zoom, DA18-250 superzoom, FA50/1.4 for speed and dimness, and the Raynox DCR-250 for macro-like work. If forced to, I could live without all the others.

04-24-2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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200mm is plenty for the street and almost any sport situation. 300 would be good for wildlife.
04-24-2011, 05:12 PM   #6
jaz
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I like the 55-300

I use the Pentax 55-300 for my daughter's soccer games and highly recommend the lens for outdoor sports. Photos are sharp and the lens has good reach. Haven't used the 50-200 since because I would miss the extra 100mm -- though I am fortunate to have a very good copy of the 50-200 lens as well. Finally, I also have the Pentax 18-250 and have been considering trying it out for the soccer games, especially for the wider view when I'm near the goal, or when the action gets close to me on the sidelines. I do like the 18-250 as an all around lens but 1) my sensor tends to get dusty more often when I use it 2) it's a little slower than the 55-300 (but it may not matter too much for daylight use), 3) I think the IQ is better on the 55-300 and 4) I might miss the extra 50mm on the long end (I do alot of cropping to fill the frame with action and some of the longer photos might lose too much in the crop). Unless you have a K-5 or Pentax model where you can crank up the ISO, the list of lenses might not do as well for indoor sports however.
04-24-2011, 10:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
For a general-purpose superzoom, the DA18-250 is hard to beat.
+1 with RioRico.

1 all-around lens & 1 body. No messing up with lens swapping. No extra lens to carry. No hard choice between lens X or lens Y. The DA18-250mm is a genuine 'workhorse' lens.

Interestingly the price of the DA18-250mm/Tamron18-250mm are coming back to reasonable levels and it is a worthwhile, competitively-priced options (although as an used lens).
04-24-2011, 10:49 PM   #8
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With the given subjects, I don't see the need for the 18-250. That telezoom will be a 'specialist' lens that will only be needed for the given subjects.

My view:
18-55 for normal work (and for street shooting)
55-300 for sports and wildlife

04-25-2011, 12:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stang Quote
Hi,

I'm looking for a zoom lens to complete my starter kit's 18-55mm and hesitate between :
- Pentax 55-300
- Pentax 80-320
- Tamron/Sigma 70-300

It will essentially be use for sports events and street or wildlife photography.

It seems that the 55-300 have a better reputation but it is also more expensive...

If somebody have already experimented few of thoses lenses, I'd be glad to have some feedback comparaison.

Thanks,
S.
I've had all three lenses.
,
Avoid the 80-320, OK but not in the same league as the Tamron which is two steps up from it (and also has decent 1:2 macro which is great for flowers and large insects, butterflies etc.) ... and the Pentax 55-300 is another step up from the Tamron. If you want the best of the three then it's the 55-300, if you want the best value for money then it's the Tamron.
04-25-2011, 12:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
200mm is plenty for the street and almost any sport situation. 300 would be good for wildlife.
Absolutely not ! It really does depend on the sport. 200 is nowhere near enough for the other side of a football, hockey, rugby field etc.
04-25-2011, 01:24 AM   #11
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Original Poster
Thank you for your answers,

To recapitulate, the Pentax 55-300 is the most recommended, then is the Tamron 70-300.

I may consider that and start to hunt the good opportunity
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