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01-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #1
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Cheap Telephoto For Outdoor Sports

I need a cheap telephoto for outdoor sports such (rugby and surfing). I don't have a budget really, the cheaper the better. I won't really consider anything over 200. However I'd prefer to not spend that much.

01-24-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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For that price you could easily find a Grey Market 55-300 DA-L Lens. Its the 55-300 thats sold in the K-r/x kits. I see them for 147 plus shipping on ebay. (I think I converted correctly). Just search for 55-300 Pentax and they will pop up.
01-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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You might also look for a sigma 70-300 used. I have used a similar lens (labeled as Quantaray) and it works well for outdoor sports. I also agree with the 55-300 being a good choice.
01-24-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Picked up a Tamron SP 60-300mm 3.8-5.4 23A for $31. Put in a PKA adapter and you get A mode. Plus it will perform macro work to a ratio of 1:1.55.

01-24-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
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I have heard quite a lot about the pentax 55-300mm. If I can't find anything I'll probably go with that. JVi! That sounds pretty interesting, what's it like? Fast enough to get decent action shots?
01-24-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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+1 for the 55-300. Good all around lens, not pro-quality, but you won't get pro for that price. Here's a surfing shot (cropped) that I took from ~ 100-150 meters.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/170028-sports-taking-header.html
01-24-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by olliedell Quote
I have heard quite a lot about the pentax 55-300mm. If I can't find anything I'll probably go with that. JVi! That sounds pretty interesting, what's it like? Fast enough to get decent action shots?
I think it best to read what others in the review section have said about this lens.

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A) Lens Reviews - Tamron Adaptall Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

It has worked well for me. A bright day, of course, helps.

I have had the Tamron 400/4 (model 65B) and at a cost of 20x+, you can have some more magnification, less light and a personal workout during a sporting event. I used it at an F1 race and it was "obtrusive" near others in the stands even though it takes great pictures.
01-24-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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Looks like I'll be saving my pennies then.. That is a cool shot by the way, where abouts was that?

01-24-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
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It was near the town of Paia on Maui, quite a famous surfing spot. We were on the headland, above and to the right of the breakers. Fairly bright day with some passing clouds. If you are shooting on dark days, you will want a camera that can handle some high ISO so you can keep the shutter speed up. Here's another one at full frame and cropped. 1/750, F6.7, 300mm, ISO 100. I don't think the detail is stellar (that could very possibly be due to a little camera shake or inaccurate focusing on my part) but still usable images IMHO.
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01-24-2012, 05:00 PM   #10
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Maui?! That's amazing! I guess I'll try and get a secondhand 55-300mm then. Is there any difference between the DA and the DAL versions? Optically speaking?
01-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by olliedell Quote
Maui?! That's amazing! I guess I'll try and get a secondhand 55-300mm then. Is there any difference between the DA and the DAL versions? Optically speaking?
Nope, just the structure (plastic mount vs metal mount) and no quick shift.
01-25-2012, 06:39 AM   #12
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I guess the real question here is what does cheap imply?

If you are viewing from a reasonable distance, something like a K mount 400mm F5.6 Manual Focus lens could do the trick. I have a vivitar MC 400/5.6 which i have seen go for about $100 in the last year or so (i bought mine new in 1982 for $159. as a stock close out) which provides good image quality. I could get reasnable infield shots during the 1985 ALCS from 400 feet away in the center field bleachers.

it also does reasonably as a wild life lens

if you don't need a zoom, for changing distance, then an old tele can work well
01-25-2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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The Sigma 70-300 will do a decent job and it's quite cheap, under $200. There is an APO version which is said to be a little better but costs a little more. This is a shot from last weekend with the Sigma. I've found you have to stop it down to at least f/8 for sharp shots and f/11 seems to be the sweet spot on mine if I have enough light.


A manual focus lens will also work, especially for the surfing shots as the distance isn't changing quickly. Once you get focus, you can fire off a good burst without it changing. A lot of great used Pentax glass is available. 300mm may not be enough for surfing
01-25-2012, 09:26 AM   #14
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Buy it now!!

QuoteOriginally posted by olliedell Quote
I need a cheap telephoto for outdoor sports such (rugby and surfing). I don't have a budget really, the cheaper the better. I won't really consider anything over 200. However I'd prefer to not spend that much.
If you don't mind manual there is a used Kalimar PKA 60-300mm for $36 incl shipping to the us only. Maybe you can have someone re-ship it to you?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KALIMAR-MC-AUTO-ZOOM-LENS-60-300mm-f-4-5-6-GOOD-USED...item20c19557b4

Look closely at the photo of the lens' base; it is an A type! I'd buy it NOW. It is an excellent lens according to reviews I've read.

SOLD - did anyone here buy it?

Last edited by newarts; 01-25-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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