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12-08-2011, 01:56 AM   #1
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Next focal length after 300mm

What is generally available in focal length after a 300?
My Sigma is 100-300 and my Tamron 70-210 but I'd like just a bit more. Maybe 400

I'm guessing the prices go up exponentially above 400.

What should I look for? Does not have to be new, could be Sigam or Tamron or Pentax. Zoom or Prime but I just want a little more then my 300.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

12-08-2011, 02:11 AM   #2
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Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO OS HSM - Review

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12-08-2011, 02:15 AM - 1 Like   #3
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With Pentax, the last generation that had longer lenses than 300mm, i.e. the FA* series, continued with a 400mm and a 600mm, though Pentax has made 500mm lenses as well. Check out this page for all extreme telephoto primes Pentax made: Pentax Extreme Telephoto Prime Lenses

Generally the next steps are rounded to multiples of 100mm. Note that I write rounded, because the actual focal lengths may vary somewhat from the nominal value on the lens.

Another note concerns lenses that are longer than 800mm. Pentax's SR doesn't support focal lengths longer than 800mm. Which does not mean they will not work, not even that SR will not help. It just means that SR will be less efficient the farther you overreach 800mm (since 800mm is the value that SR needs to be set to).

You are right that prices increase dramatically for longer glass. Exception are mirror lenses. Prices for these are much lower, but this means sacrificing image quality and some exposure flexibility because mirror lenses have fixed aperture. Also, the donut bokeh of these lenses makes it much harder to make pictures with a smooth background.

I imagine the best option on today's market would be one of the Sigma zooms that go up to 500mm. There's different options, starting a different wider focal lengths. I'm not sure which is best, but it shouldn't be hard to find this info. There are quite a few Pentaxians with these lenses (but not me).

Personally I use Tamron's 1.4x teleconverter on my FA*300/4.5 for more reach instead of a zoom or longer prime. This is a satisfactory solution for now, i.e. until I find a pro-grade lens that can get me more reach. I wouldn't personally use a TC on a zoom lens though.

Wim
12-08-2011, 02:43 AM   #4
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Thats a rather handy website filled with an incredible amount of detail! Thanks for the link!

12-08-2011, 02:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Bit rich for my blood I'm afraid Adam. It's why I'll need to look in the 2nd hand market most likely.
12-08-2011, 02:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mychael Quote
Bit rich for my blood I'm afraid Adam. It's why I'll need to look in the 2nd hand market most likely.
There is a couple of 170-500 sigma's in the market place. One in particular is located in sydney, and is going for a very reasonable price of $440
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/167784-sale-s...condition.html

This is a very decent lens from what I have read. ( was contemplating pulling the trigger on it myself but had to restrain as I still haven't done christmas shopping yet )
12-08-2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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If Sigma 50-500 is too dear, then your options are limited to older/second-hand Sigma 150-500 or Sigma 170-500, or if you are lucky the odd Tamron 200-500.

Failing that, a 1.4x TC...

BTW: think the A$440 170-500 in Oz is already sold.
12-08-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ishpuini Quote

Another note concerns lenses that are longer than 800mm. Pentax's SR doesn't support focal lengths longer than 800mm. Which does not mean they will not work, not even that SR will not help. It just means that SR will be less efficient the farther you overreach 800mm (since 800mm is the value that SR needs to be set to).
I'd like to just say, it's very VERY unlikely that you'd be shooting 800mm+ handheld, so SR is less of a concern since you'll be shooting tripod mounted.

12-08-2011, 12:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mychael Quote
What is generally available in focal length after a 300?
My Sigma is 100-300 and my Tamron 70-210 but I'd like just a bit more. Maybe 400

I'm guessing the prices go up exponentially above 400.
More like, right after 300. Zillions of inexpensive zooms that go to 300 out there. But anything beyond 300 is a very specialist thing, and it's pretty much all expensive. Except for mirror lenses, which can be worth a shot - check out the Mirror Lens Club thread in the Lens Club forum.
12-08-2011, 06:21 PM   #10
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I'd also suggest a mirror. I have just four lenses longer than 300mm:

* Lil'Bigma 170-500/5-6.3, huge and I spent too much on it
* Spiratone 400/6.3 in T2, long and cheap and intimidating
* Sakar 500/8 mirror, short and cheaper and much-used
* Rubinar Makpo 1000/10 mirror, huge and not much-used

Also two that reach 300mm:

* FA100-300/4.7-5.8, what I carry instead of the Lil'Bigma
* Alpa-Chinon (Cosina?) 300/5.6 in M42, a surprise delight

Mirrors need light and they don't like pinpoints of light (watch out for donut bokeh). But in the right light conditions, they can be fine. I'll use the Sakar 500/8 in urban settings where I wouldn't dare whip out (much less schlep along) the Lil'Bigma. That huge Rubinar 1000/10 (my cost: US$225 shipped) is pretty much a tripod|sandbag lens unless I'm feeling pervy on a bright day.

Long fast lenses are exponentially expensive. Long not-so-fast lenses can be dirt cheap, and may even be worth every centavo. (My Spiratone and Sakar were US$15 and $13 shipped.) You can expect to spend much money if you want to do quality birding or whatever. Life is unfair.
Reality is a lousy destination, but
there's nowhere else to go.
--anon.
12-08-2011, 07:12 PM   #11
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If you're serious on shooting long telephotos, don't waste your time and money with soft crappy long tele zooms above 300mm. Go with the Sigma 500mm f/4.5.


(image courtesy of Ken Goh)

This lens is the money lens for one of our most prolific Pentax bird shooters where I am:
Flickr: kengoh8888
12-08-2011, 07:37 PM   #12
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Thats one beast looking lens creampuff.....
I wonder what is that attached on the hotshoe though ?

to OP: if budget is a concern there is also tokina 80-400. Can I recommend DA 55-300 as well ? It's pretty sharp and you can crop it to get 400mm FOV
12-08-2011, 07:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
Thats one beast looking lens creampuff.....
I wonder what is that attached on the hotshoe though ?
A wireless shutter remote transmitter.
12-08-2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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Mychael,

Lenses 400mm and above can be very expensive. For the financially challenged who still want to have some fun with a longer telephoto there are and number of "affordable" manual focus lenses out there. The Pentax models all have reviews in the lens review area of the forum.

My longest lens currently the Pentax M 400/5.6. Lot's of CA issues in high contrast situations but under the right conditions it can deliver the goods. Here are some of my better efforts with this lens:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/157636-super-mu...400-5-6-a.html

Other older telephotos such as the SMC Pentax K 500/4.5 and the SMC Pentax A 400/5.6 are also worth looking at it you can find them.

Tom G
12-08-2011, 08:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mychael Quote
Bit rich for my blood I'm afraid Adam. It's why I'll need to look in the 2nd hand market most likely.
Mychael, there's a shop in Melbourne with a second hand Sigma 170-500mm in Pentax mount for $650 (which you could probably bargain down another $40 or so as it's been there a few weeks already). Is that more like your budget? I tihnk it comes with a 3 month warranty. Not that I think it's a screaming deal, but at least you can inspect it and do some test shots before walking out with it, and there's a warranty.

Last edited by twitch; 12-08-2011 at 08:14 PM.
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