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08-21-2011, 03:33 PM   #16
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Hang on. Giving my kid a bath (not for the past day). Be right on with a thoughtful response

08-21-2011, 04:29 PM   #17
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Hello all,

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.

Regarding the 55-300: while I know this is a well respected lens, I know myself as well. Likely, upon having the lens, I would immediately still want "the higher end choice..." Even if it is good, I likely won't be satisfied.

Currently, I have the 21mm, the 43mm, and the 90mm Tamron Macro. I really like all these lenses. They are produce great shoots and are really fun to use. I also have the 18-135. I sort of regard this lens as a necessary evil (not that I think it is bad, I like it!!) It doesn't produce the same quality of image as the other three... However, it is versatile and weather sealed, so it is a logical choice for traveling or taking around in the rain or whatever. I like the lens for some purposes!

What I'm looking for is a zoom that is capable of producing similar quality images to the 21mm, 43, and 90. I really like the 43mm. Like others have said, I can't exactly put my finger on why I like it, but it has this great feel. And when I get everything right, the images it produces are fantastic.

I'd like that sort of experience from a zoom, specifically a telephoto zoom.

I've been thinking very seriously about the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. It gets good reviews, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and I like my tamron macro, so I feel comfortable with the brand. However, I know that 200mm isn't enough to satisfy my desire for wildlife photography. This summer I was trying to shoot hummingbirds and I found it very frustrating that I really couldn't get in close enough, and, as someone mentioned above, I "zoomed with my feet." Of course, then the hummingbirds stop coming!

So I want to get in closer. I am considering the pentax 60-250 because I feel it would complement my kit nicely (21mm, 43mm, 60-250), it is fast enough when paired with the high iso performance on the k5, and it is weather sealed. I'd like to be able to use it with a 1.4x teleconverter, but I know that you still aren't breaking the 400mm mark, which seems to be the general point on an APS-C camera that is good for wildlife work.

Also, I am considering the 70-200mm f2.8 with a 1.4x teleconverter. Then, I'd have good low light performance and more range flexibility. But, I know that the max 280mm (that the long end plus 1.4x produces) is still a little short for wildlife. I could use it with a 2x teleconverter, and that would get me to the 400mm mark... But i'm worried about performance suffering with the 2x converter. I understand, generally performance is better with the 1.4x.

Hence, my desire to try to find a sigma 100-300 f4. It would cover all the bases, with the 1.4x (which I don't have...) I would have a substantial reach without crazy speed loss.

My goal is to have a flexible kit that allows me to pursue whatever photography is available. I live in a city but I also spend a lot of time in the country. I value quality over price. Whatever I buy, I intend to hold on to. I'd rather not upgrade later.

I'm not interested in legacy lens that don't have autofocus. I'm getting better at manual focus (mostly because of the 43mm) but I still want the autofocus option. I'm totally cool with FA lenses, for example.

Hope this helps!

Thanks again!
08-21-2011, 11:30 PM   #18
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Another option

I have a Tokina 80-400 I'm thinking of selling. It won't ever produce the sharpest images like the short primes you mentioned, but as a versatile, reasonably compact lens that performs well when stopped down a bit, it's not bad at all. I've been using it for my kid's soccer matches, and it works fine, AF is quick enough, and images at f11 are very usable indeed. At least, the other parents on the team appreciate my efforts.
Just a thought.

08-22-2011, 05:15 PM   #19
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I can't argue with your thinking the Sigma 100-300/4 is the higher-end option to the DA 55-300. If you can find and afford one, get it (and a monopod.)


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