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12-26-2006, 09:06 PM   #1
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70-300mm lens comparison

hey guys....

im in the market for a lens that will get me some good wildlife photos... i have two in mind only because they have a great macro feature to them aswell which is something that I would also love to take advantage of..

anyways its come down to two lenses..... from what i know they both seem pretty much the same except for price and maker...

if you guys could offer me some advice on which one to go with that would be great..



here are the lenses

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 Pentax $249

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 Pentax Cameras - Vistek - Product Detail





or






SIGMA 70-300MM F4-5.6 DG MACRO PENTAX $179

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any help is appreciated...

thanx guys

12-26-2006, 10:18 PM   #2
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If you go with the Sigma get the APO version which supposedly is the only "good" version. It is about the same price as the Tamron which I have not used.

The Macro mode is only within the 200-300mm range and requires sliding a switch that can be difficult to undo. I've found that auto focusing to infinity helps undo it :-)

And they are long when at 300mm and close focussed (about 10 inches to front of lens hood - very conspicuous.)
12-26-2006, 11:34 PM   #3
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yeah i knew about the macro in 200-300... but its a macro none the less... still its something i can play with..... as for the switch i didn't know it would be that much of a pain but nothings easy so i guess it something i can work out.....

so what does APO mean???

and damn thats pretty long... but whatever.. i want one.. haha
12-27-2006, 03:59 AM   #4
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APO is Sigma's designation for a lens that has super low dispersion elements. Those elements are supposed to minimize chromatic aberations (eg. fringing). As to how Sigma came up with the term APO - dunno.

Special K - I'm thinking about a long lens, but I'm saving up for a fisheye first. I've heard great stuff about a few Tamron lenses but see a lot more Sigmas around me. Why did you choose the Sigma?

12-27-2006, 11:06 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
APO is Sigma's designation for a lens that has super low dispersion elements. Those elements are supposed to minimize chromatic aberations (eg. fringing). As to how Sigma came up with the term APO - dunno.

Special K - I'm thinking about a long lens, but I'm saving up for a fisheye first. I've heard great stuff about a few Tamron lenses but see a lot more Sigmas around me. Why did you choose the Sigma?
"APO" is actually not Sigma's term. It is used by everyone. "Apochromatic" means that some element of the lens tries to focus the different color wavelengths into the same plane.

Technically the fisheye was my first lens (got the body only and that lens in the same order. Ordered the others within a day from different sources.)

The Sigma 70-300 APO version had a couple excellent reviews as a "walk around budget zoom" (one said it was the only budget zoom he would buy). It is a tad soft at around 300mm though sharpening helps, as I have recently found out.

I just bought the Pentax 50-200 for a more compact zoom (and dipping into the shorter range) for when I don't need the extreme length. I'm also "thinking" about a longer lens in the future.
12-27-2006, 11:12 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
"APO" is actually not Sigma's term
SpecialK - thanks for setting me straight
12-27-2006, 12:30 PM   #7
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sigmas 70-300mm lens with APO cost alot more though...

Sigma without apo is $179
tamrons lens is $249
Sigma with apo is $289

thats canadian prices...

i went down to some places today... i saw the sigma lens.. looks nice... the tamron was sold out all around toronto.... i guess more people around here are buying that tamron lens... i guess it says something about the lens.
12-27-2006, 10:12 PM   #8
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Review links:

Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro (they talk about Canon mount but optics and rest are the same):

Sigma AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG macro - Photozone Test Report / Review
Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro review

Note that as opposed to Pentax 50-200 both Sigma and Tamron 70-300 have rotating front element which almost precludes using non-symmetric filters such as polarizers and grad ND filters.


Here's Pentax 50-200 review:
Pentax SMC 50-200mm f/4-5.6 DA ED review

12-27-2006, 11:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by klopus Quote
Note that as opposed to Pentax 50-200 both Sigma and Tamron 70-300 have rotating front element which almost precludes using non-symmetric filters such as polarizers and grad ND filters.

what does that mean exactly???
12-28-2006, 07:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by INcreative Quote
what does that mean exactly???
In both Tamron and Sigma during focusing (auto or manual) the lens front element (where you mount filters) rotates. If you have, for example, a polarizing filter that you carfeully positioned for desired effect lens focus rotation will throw all this off since filter will rotate along with the front element. Also at longer tele, when internal tube is fully extended, a good half of the lens rotates during AF making it very hard to hold the lens steady. This rotating behavior is an annoying trait of very cheap lens.

On the other hand Pentax 50-200 front element doesn't rotate and you can safely use assymetrical filters. Still the focusing ring does rotate during AF like on both other lens. This behavior is also annoying (make sure you don't put your fingers over the focus ring) but at least less harmfull.

More expensive lenses and lenses with in-lens ultrasonic AF motors (like Canon's USM or Nikon's SW) usually don't have anything rotating. Intrenal focusling (IF) lens also don't extend during focusing.
12-28-2006, 08:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by klopus Quote
In both Tamron and Sigma during focusing (auto or manual) the lens front element (where you mount filters) rotates. If you have, for example, a polarizing filter that you carfeully positioned for desired effect lens focus rotation will throw all this off since filter will rotate along with the front element. Also at longer tele, when internal tube is fully extended, a good half of the lens rotates during AF making it very hard to hold the lens steady. This rotating behavior is an annoying trait of very cheap lens.

On the other hand Pentax 50-200 front element doesn't rotate and you can safely use assymetrical filters. Still the focusing ring does rotate during AF like on both other lens. This behavior is also annoying (make sure you don't put your fingers over the focus ring) but at least less harmfull.

More expensive lenses and lenses with in-lens ultrasonic AF motors (like Canon's USM or Nikon's SW) usually don't have anything rotating. Intrenal focusling (IF) lens also don't extend during focusing.
But you will be able to manually focus the Ultrasonic lenses, right?
12-28-2006, 08:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quaffle Quote
But you will be able to manually focus the Ultrasonic lenses, right?
It'll be totally crazy to imagine that upcoming Pentax DA* lens with ultrasonic in-lens motors won't have manual focus ability. In fact I don't know of any SLR lens that don't have manual focusing.

On most Canon USM lens with ring motor not only you can manually focus but you can also touch focus manually when in AF mode. I think cheap Pentax 50-200 and even kit 18-55 have same very handy "direct focus touch" ability even though they lack ultrasonic motors or even any in-lens motors for the matter.

Last edited by klopus; 12-28-2006 at 08:52 AM.
12-28-2006, 07:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by klopus Quote
Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro (they talk about Canon mount but optics and rest are the same):

Sigma AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG macro - Photozone Test Report / Review
Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro review

Note that as opposed to Pentax 50-200 both Sigma and Tamron 70-300 have rotating front element which almost precludes using non-symmetric filters such as polarizers and grad ND filters.


Here's Pentax 50-200 review:
Pentax SMC 50-200mm f/4-5.6 DA ED review

Klopus, the APO's front element rotates? What other low end telephotos, other than the Pentax 50-200mm have a non-rotating front element? Thanks for the info. I'll be open to used too. Those postings by Lisa in another thread blew me away (Vivitar series one 70-210). MF but I'm ok with that if I can get better IQ.
12-28-2006, 08:13 PM   #14
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And what do you think about getting used Pentax FA 80-320mm? They are regularly sold on eBay for $150-$200.
12-28-2006, 08:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
And what do you think about getting used Pentax FA 80-320mm? They are regularly sold on eBay for $150-$200.
I'm just getting into this too and haven't gotten a good look at enough decent glass. Got sample pics?
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