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06-27-2011, 09:09 PM   #1
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Difference between two Sigma Lenses?

Hello,

Wanted to be as informed as possible before deciding on one of these two lenses. Can anyone tell me the difference between these two?

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom
and
Sigma 70-300 1:4-5.6 DL Macro Auto Focus

Not sure if I can post links to these products on other sites, so I played it safe and didn't.

I plan on using one of these lenses mostly for sports. So I guess I would need something that would be able to pick up fast moving objects. My wife would love to use it for extreme close ups of plants and animals (the kind that where you can see droplets of water on leaves).

I'm new to the game and trying to learn as much as I can. I understand that neither one of these lenses are considered really high quality, but I'm on a budget. Should I be looking into another lens? I currently have a k r.

Thank you anyone that can help.

06-27-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Are you talking about new or used as there have been many Sigma 70-300's over the years


There appear to be 3 different Sigma 70-300 available (new) for K-mount.

SLR Camera Lenses (from B&H website)
The last one is the OS (optical stabiliser) version.

You havent listed the OS version, and as Pentax has in-built SR you dont need it anyway, which leaves these 2
from Sigmaphoto website:

70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro - Telephoto Zoom Lenses - SigmaPhoto.com

70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro - Telephoto Zoom Lenses - SigmaPhoto.com

The DL macro is an older version. Comparison thread here from last month:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/143232-sigma-7...o-comparo.html

All of them are in the Lens review section here
Sigma Lenses for Pentax: Zoom Lenses - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database


None of the Sigma zoom are true 1:1 Macro. Maximum magnification is 1:2 from the minimum focus distance of about 2 feet away. This is probably OK for flowers but it is not extreme closeup. With 1:2 a 3mm water droplet would be 1.5mm wide on the sensor which with 12MP APS sensor is about 250pixels wide (i think i did the maths right?)

The reach of the 70-300 is OK for some sports but the max apeture of f4 @ 70mm or 5.6 @ the longer end may be too slow if the light condtion is not bright enough. With a K-r fortunately you can push the iso higher with little noise penalty which is a good thing.

Quite often a 70-200mm f2.8 lens is preferred for sports because the larger (and constant 2.8)apeture allows for faster shutter speeds and is easier to isolate the subject (player) on the court or field.



I should add that the version which is more expensive is the APO version of the lens which contains elements to correct the colour separation (chromatic abberation CA) which tend to give purple coloured fringing in bright and contrasty condtions.
Generally the green light refracts differently to red & blue light when passing through a doublet in the lens. The APO version contains more acronyms (SLD) to keep the purple fringing under control.

Many people wil say that the Pentax DA55-300 f/4-5.8 is a much better lens in this range, myself included. The 55-300 is most definitely NOT a macro lens with a minimum focus distance of about 6feet and magnification of only 1:3.5

Last edited by steve1307; 06-27-2011 at 11:10 PM.
06-27-2011, 10:41 PM   #3
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The DG lens is the newer updated version.

QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I plan on using one of these lenses mostly for sports.
You will need plenty of light if using it for any fast moving sports. Daytime shooting will be ok, evening will get a little tricky, low light will be a bust...

QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
My wife would love to use it for extreme close ups of plants and animals (the kind that where you can see droplets of water on leaves).
It can get close, not really close though - you will have to crop the image in some for really close-up's. The good thing is the IQ is rather pretty descent for a budget lens, so cropping in for that close up finished piece will still yield pretty descent results.

QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Should I be looking into another lens?
Have you compared with the Pentax DA 55-300?



FYI: If you decide with the sigma, get the APO version for the better coating...


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06-27-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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YA - WHAT STEVE SAID...

We posted at same time ...


--

06-27-2011, 11:40 PM   #5
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Ok. So, let me make sure I understand... (I am so sorry if I'm frustrating anyone)

DL is an older version, while DG is a newer version. I assume the DG is a better choice?

The APO pictures do seem to be a little better. That one seems to win over the non APO version.

Next, how much of a zoom difference is a 200 to a 300? If I wanted to take a picture of someone (head to toe) that was 5 foot 6 inches (or relative), how far away could I be with a 200mm as opposed to a 300 mm?

I'm now looking into the:
PENTAX DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Weather Resistant Lens
vs
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens

Again, my main uses for these cameras would be for sports (my kids, not professional sporting events) and for my wife's plant pictures.

If no one minds me throwing in a wild card, how about this lens?
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens

I've been reading reviews on all of these lenses and they all seem to have pros and cons. I don't think I'm pro enough to understand all of the pros and cons. I just really want advice from people that know better than I do.

Thanks.
06-28-2011, 12:43 AM   #6
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After some more looking, I think I'm focusing on the
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens
over the
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens

It seems as though the Tamron is a cheaper lens and has identical specs to the Sigma (unless I'm missing something).

The Pentax 50-200 looks pretty good (great reviews where I've seen it) but I feel like I'd like the extra 100mm.

I'll be honest, I don't really know how much of a difference that 100mm makes and if I'd ever need it.

Wow, I'm starting to see how photography can become so addicting...
06-28-2011, 05:21 AM   #7
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If you can swing it go for the Pentax DA(L) 55-300. It's a much better lens than either of the 70-300 or the 50-200. Check the marketplace here and you should be able to find a DAL for under 200 bucks.
06-28-2011, 07:38 AM   #8
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The Sigma does a good job in daylight where you can stop down to f8 or more. The macro feature does a very good job and while I have moved on to a different tele, the Sigma still gets used for close ups. The macro works in the 200-300mm range and is perfect for shooting flowers, insects, and anything else when you can't get in close such as when I'm in my kayak. I've been overall happy with mine. I've learned what works and what doesn't and use the lens accordingly.

06-28-2011, 12:14 PM   #9
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For a hobbyist photographer, is the DA really a lot better than the DA L?

The DA has a metal mount and quick shift, the DA L has a plastic mount and no quick shift. Is there a difference in picture quality? Or are those the only differences between the two?
06-28-2011, 12:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
The DA has a metal mount and quick shift, the DA L has a plastic mount and no quick shift. Is there a difference in picture quality? Or are those the only differences between the two?
Well one is a Macro, and you pay for that. If you aren't going to be using the macro feature, the major advantages are going to be enhanced flare resistance and sharpness, at the cost of autofocus speed, and for twice the price.
06-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Well one is a Macro, and you pay for that. If you aren't going to be using the macro feature, the major advantages are going to be enhanced flare resistance and sharpness, at the cost of autofocus speed, and for twice the price.

So the DA has enhanced flare resistance and sharpness?

The autofocus speed is better on the DA L?
06-28-2011, 01:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
If you can swing it go for the Pentax DA(L) 55-300. It's a much better lens than either of the 70-300 or the 50-200. Check the marketplace here and you should be able to find a DAL for under 200 bucks.
1. It doesn't come with a hood
2. It lacks quick shift which is a nice feature on this particular lens
3. Perhaps less significant is the plastic mount

The regular version of this lens can be found in the market place as well, and it sells new for $349 including hood and pouch.






j/k




Last edited by Blue; 06-28-2011 at 02:29 PM.
06-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
For a hobbyist photographer, is the DA really a lot better than the DA L?

The DA has a metal mount and quick shift, the DA L has a plastic mount and no quick shift. Is there a difference in picture quality? Or are those the only differences between the two?

Pentax DA 55-300 and Pentax DAL 55-300 are optically identical. Same lens elements, same coating. No difference in picture quality.
The DAL has a plastic mount, I havent heard any mention of anyone here breaking one.
You miss out on a Lens hood but a generic rubber one would be just fine ($10?). the geniune Pentax hood is about $40*
Quickshift is handy on the DA version to prefocus roughly before AF. The lens takes about a second or so to rack in or out if you change the subject distance (but it feels like longer). Quickshift is desirable but not necessary. The FA 31,43 & 77 that are lusted after by many do not have quickshift.


*Does the old FA 75-300 hood also fit as it is only $20 ? anyone?


DA55-300 is not a macro the closest you can get is 5ft away and with 300mmFL the image frame theorectially will be about 12cm x 8cm.
The Sigma can apparently get much closer at 2ft and with 300mmFL theorectically will be 5cm x 3cm image frame. (1:2 or 0.5x magnification)
I say "theoretcially" because the 300mmFL is calculated based on focussing at infinity. When close focussed the actual image view might be different (usually like a slightly lesser FL) but it depends on the lens design.

A true 1:1 macro lens like a Sigma70 or 105 can fill the frame with an object 23.6mmx15.7mm which is the sensor size. The longer the FL the further distance to the subject.
I have a Pentax100macro and a 35macro. The 100mm can focus 6" away for 1:1 whereas the 35mm the front glass element is almost touching the subject at 1:1.



Edit: To answer your other question about the difference between 200mm and 300mm FL.

To "totally" fill the frame (portrait) with someone 5'6" = 1.68m
A 200m lens will frame 1.7 x 0.94m at 12metres
A 300mm lens will give the same subject size frame at 18metres (300/200 *12 = 18).

At a soccer game you're gonna be say 50 metres from the action.
200FL @ 50m frames up 5.9m x 3.9m
300FL @ 50m frames up 3.9m x 2.6m

If the action comes close you can zoom out to 55mm
55mmFL frames up the same 3.9x2.6 at a distance of 9metres

I just worked this out from looking up the FOV angle in the lens spec and applied some tedious trigonometry.

Last edited by steve1307; 06-28-2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: added information
06-28-2011, 08:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
Pentax DA 55-300 and Pentax DAL 55-300 are optically identical. Same lens elements, same coating. No difference in picture quality.
The DAL has a plastic mount, I havent heard any mention of anyone here breaking one.
You miss out on a Lens hood but a generic rubber one would be just fine ($10?). the geniune Pentax hood is about $40*
Quickshift is handy on the DA version to prefocus roughly before AF. The lens takes about a second or so to rack in or out if you change the subject distance (but it feels like longer). Quickshift is desirable but not necessary. The FA 31,43 & 77 that are lusted after by many do not have quickshift.


*Does the old FA 75-300 hood also fit as it is only $20 ? anyone?


DA55-300 is not a macro the closest you can get is 5ft away and with 300mmFL the image frame theorectially will be about 12cm x 8cm.
The Sigma can apparently get much closer at 2ft and with 300mmFL theorectically will be 5cm x 3cm image frame. (1:2 or 0.5x magnification)
I say "theoretcially" because the 300mmFL is calculated based on focussing at infinity. When close focussed the actual image view might be different (usually like a slightly lesser FL) but it depends on the lens design.

A true 1:1 macro lens like a Sigma70 or 105 can fill the frame with an object 23.6mmx15.7mm which is the sensor size. The longer the FL the further distance to the subject.
I have a Pentax100macro and a 35macro. The 100mm can focus 6" away for 1:1 whereas the 35mm the front glass element is almost touching the subject at 1:1.
The FA ltd lenses are zooms either. But my point was that on the used market, there is no need to limit the search to the DAL version. A rubber style hood would have to be optimized for the wide end of the lens, but I like the look and function of them better than petal style hoods.
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