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11-14-2007, 05:00 PM   #1
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Buy a used FA 80-320 or a new Tamron/Sigma 70-300?

I have decided to get a 300mm zoom lens, but I am undecided if I should go for a used 80-320 or a new Tamron/sigma 70-300.

Any advice and opinions?


11-14-2007, 05:55 PM   #2
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From what I've heard the Sigma 70-300 APO is the one to get out of those three. Match it with a Sigma 17-70 and you have a great range. The Sigma is good at the long end and has a very good close focusing ability. Codiac has posted some pics using his Tamron 70-300 which are nice. I don't know about the Pentax. So I'd personally go for the Sigma here.

Tim H
11-14-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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I have the Tamron 70-300 and I enjoy it quite a bit. The macro function is pretty slick also.
11-14-2007, 06:21 PM   #4
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I have the pentax 80-320 - its pretty good. I think its a pretty good value. I got one on ebay for a little over 100$. I have not used the other two.

Likewise I have heard the sigma APO is pretty good.

Some have said the 80-320 can get fairly soft at the long end - which I guess is semi true. If you are shooting in decent light it shouldn't be a problem. It can do a bit of searching in terms of focusing from time to time. I was out on a cloudy day and it had trouble focusing in on birds sitting on branchs deep in some brush, but I imagine other lenses would too since there were a ton of other branchs/objects in the way. Manual focus works pretty well on it too if you ever need to use it.

I just got the K10d a few weeks ago and the 80-320 has become my favorite lense for walk around shooting. It isnt too heavy and you can still take pictures by hand with it as well. While it is not as sharp as the 50mm 1.4 I have, i think it is much more useful than the kit lense.

Here are some pictures taken with the pentax 80-320. The colors might be a bit off as I like the saturation bumped up since it was a dreary/cloudy day so things wouldn't looked washed out.

hopefully these pictures don't annoy anyone from the DL time - just some shots recently took on an average day with the 80-32. All taken by hand, most zoomed all the way, some minor cropping - no other editing regarding to sharpness etc (bird shot had some contrast adjustment, and more cropping - a tab bit more noise as a result).

oh and I tend to bring the camera out when I go for walks with the girlfriend - we have a pretty good time taking pictures of animals etc we come across.

action shot

Last edited by CJSpangler; 11-14-2007 at 06:26 PM. Reason: another comment
11-14-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
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I have the FA 80-320 and think the focus is too soft. Of course when I first got it, I thought it was great. Took many shots with a 2x tele also. I have not used it for about a year or so, and not with my K10D. Most of my shots were with film before I knew what I was doing.
11-15-2007, 03:53 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks very much for your kind feedbacks.

What would be a reasonable value for a used FA 80-320?

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