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08-01-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
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How is this 300mm zoom lens on KEH ?

I have a 50-200 but find that it is not enough range at airshows. I am short on money and would like to sell the 50-200 and buy a 300 long end zoom for as cheap as possible. The only thing I really care about is the 300mm, with IQ/softness being not that important. I was looking at KEH for used lenses and found this

Pentax Autofocus 70-300 F4-5.6 SIGMA DL MACRO (58) 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS - KEH.com

There are a few others on this page I was looking at
Pentax Autofocus Non-Mfg Zoom Lenses - KEH.com

I'm basically looking to spend less than $100

EDIT: I should have specified, the lens needs to fit on a K-x.


Last edited by photoleet; 08-01-2011 at 04:54 PM.
08-01-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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Sigma Lenses for Pentax: Legacy Zoom Lenses - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
08-01-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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You can get the Tamron 70-300 for under $100 - I've seen it on the marketplace here a few times. If IQ is not important, then anything will do.
08-01-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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The FA-J 75-300 is pretty decent and under $100.

08-01-2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
The FA-J 75-300 is pretty decent and under $100.
This one is $105

Pentax Autofocus 75-300 F4.5-5.8 SMC FA J AL SILVER (58) 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS - KEH.com

But does it fit on the K-x ? I think silver will go well with the white K-x body
08-01-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by StDevious Quote
This one is $105

Pentax Autofocus 75-300 F4.5-5.8 SMC FA J AL SILVER (58) 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS - KEH.com

But does it fit on the K-x ? I think silver will go well with the white K-x body
Yeah, I didn't check exactly what KEH had at the moment, I was just going by the one I recently picked. But yeah, that's not a bad deal for $105 and the silver would probably look good (and work fine with your K-x).

Last edited by dgaies; 08-01-2011 at 05:12 PM.
08-01-2011, 05:21 PM   #7
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I paid $55 at auction for a base-level Sigma 100-300; reasonably sharp but contrast is low. For that price it's a keeper! It's f/4.5-6.7 so definitely a bright-day lens, but with iso so versatile nowadays it can do more than it once could. Sigma makes an f/4 version, but add another zero to my price for that one!
08-01-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
You can get the Tamron 70-300 for under $100 - I've seen it on the marketplace here a few times. If IQ is not important, then anything will do.
I tried one of these last week. Bad decision. The aperture lever/diaphragm assembly died the same day I bought it, after about 20 shots taken. It just locked up, viewfinder went dark, and would not budge from f/32 or w/e its minimum aperture is. The lever was locked right up, couldn't move it at all manually.

I took it back the next day, ended up getting a Sigma DG 70-300mm for a bit more, but is it ever worth it in comparison. The Tamron also had horrid CA issues when I looked at the few pics I got, the Sigma is much better in that dept. too.

This experience has soured me on Tamron in general. If the copy I got was an example of their quality control, I won't waste my time again.

08-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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That Sigma is about 2 versions old. I would check around or ask around in the Marketplace for the current APO version. Many people have gone to the Pentax 55-300, so I think there may be some budget lenses on the shelf. Unfortunately, my Sigma 70-300 on the shelf has a busted aperture blade, though I had no desire to use it after getting the Pentax 55-300 (which I've subsequently sold).
08-01-2011, 08:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
That Sigma is about 2 versions old. I would check around or ask around in the Marketplace for the current APO version. Many people have gone to the Pentax 55-300, so I think there may be some budget lenses on the shelf. Unfortunately, my Sigma 70-300 on the shelf has a busted aperture blade, though I had no desire to use it after getting the Pentax 55-300 (which I've subsequently sold).
What's APO ?

What kind of a difference did you see with Pentax 55-300 that would justify the the price difference ?
08-01-2011, 08:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by StDevious Quote
What's APO ?
Strictly, it means apochromatic [ Apochromat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ] which is highly corrected for chromatic aberrations. But in marketing terms, it may mean less than that. Google a bit and see what users think of Sigma lenses labeled APO.
08-02-2011, 12:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I tried one of these last week. Bad decision. The aperture lever/diaphragm assembly died the same day I bought it, after about 20 shots taken. It just locked up, viewfinder went dark, and would not budge from f/32 or w/e its minimum aperture is. The lever was locked right up, couldn't move it at all manually.

I took it back the next day, ended up getting a Sigma DG 70-300mm for a bit more, but is it ever worth it in comparison. The Tamron also had horrid CA issues when I looked at the few pics I got, the Sigma is much better in that dept. too.

This experience has soured me on Tamron in general. If the copy I got was an example of their quality control, I won't waste my time again.
Weird, but stuff happens with Pentax lenses as well. I got my copy from the marketplace here and I like it very much. PF happens in some situations, but it's been a long time since I got any - here are some samples. None of these budget zooms is super fantastic, but if they are used within their limitations, they can produce very satisfying results.
08-02-2011, 12:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
None of these budget zooms is super fantastic, but if they are used within their limitations, they can produce very satisfying results.
What are these limitations mainly ?

I'm not a pro, don't need pro results. This is my first DSLR after all, so I'm still learning and starting small. Rather learn tricks on cheap hardware, then be able to justify spending money on expensive stuff.
08-02-2011, 12:33 AM   #14
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Actually I just bought a copy of that lens myself at KEH based on several reviews and seeing some nice pics here and on Flickr. The APO version of this lens is supposed to be slightly better in terms of bright color rendition, but actually from all I've read and seen this lens is a decent one, a good cheap pick for the $$$. The macro is supposed to be fairly nice, which is why ultimately I chose that one over another Tamron even though they had a similarly priced Tamron.

I scooped up the bargain one they had at $64 last night. I think the same lens is running $80 now from what I saw this afternoon. The reviews on the similar Tamron lenses that they had were not as good.

I can't get the site at KEH to respond at the moment, but if you are going the Tamron route you want to keep it to the ones marked 475 and later. There were a couple of earlier versions but the later ones were definitely supposed to be better than the earlier ones on that score.

Honestly my Tamron 28-200MM superzoom is perfectly okay as a walk around lens, but I'm really hoping this Sigma is a bit better. If it is I may sell that one. It is supposed to be a tad soft at the long end, but that's typical of all the similarly priced Tamron and Sigma lenses that they had listed pretty much.

If you can hold off a week I can tell you for sure, post some test pics. I would imagine I will have my lens by then. They've had a few copies of that lens now for a while though. I've looked at them several times in the past month so I don't think you'd be risking much if you did want to wait a bit before going there.
08-02-2011, 12:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by StDevious Quote
What are these limitations mainly ?
Mainly that they are slow and not that sharp wide open, so they need to be stopped down even further. And in some situations they do produce CA. In short, they are not in the class of lenses like DA* 300/4.

On the bright side, they are cheaper and much lighter too, so they are easier to carry and handhold.

QuoteOriginally posted by StDevious Quote
I'm not a pro, don't need pro results. This is my first DSLR after all, so I'm still learning and starting small. Rather learn tricks on cheap hardware, then be able to justify spending money on expensive stuff.
They're great for that. I'm not criticizing them.
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