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04-17-2012, 04:17 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by coreyhkh Quote
Yeah I am thinking of getting the 150-500mm and then getting the 300DA and I still have my kit 18-55 then down the road I can sell the sigma when something better comes out. I can get the 300 for $1250
At present, that is a good price on the DA* 300.

04-17-2012, 04:21 PM   #17
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The DA 300 pentax has not gone up in Australia. I would think it would be illegal in Aus for a company to tell a photographic shop that they could not sell a product below a certain price. We have very strict competition laws. I have used digital direct over the past few years and have always had a good service. They have it for $1320. I think you don't need to pay GSt for overseas so that would be 10% less.
04-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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If you want to save a little money and go old school (M42), I REALLY recommend the Tair 3 300mm F4.5 Preset lens. It is the same lens used in the Soviet PhotoSniper setup.

It is extremely sharp wide open and the colors are outstanding. The rifle stock works great as well, or you can just use it handheld or on a tripod. It is a heavy lens at ~4 lbs.

I bought mine with the photosniper setup for $50.00 I think it would handle a 1.7 TC well.

Here's a couple of examples at F5.6








04-17-2012, 04:51 PM   #19
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does it have a Pentax mount?

04-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by coreyhkh Quote
does it have a Pentax mount?
The tair 3?
It is an M42 mount lens like the old takumar lenses that went on that generation of pentax cameras by way of threads female on the camera and male on the lens. Pentax makes a k mount adapter to put on your new DSLR to allow you to use the M42 mount lenses.
04-18-2012, 02:45 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by coreyhkh Quote
Thanks guys it seems we don't have much choice. I see Pentax is coming out with a new long range lens 550mm anyone no the price point for it?
I would love to get the Sigma 500mm 4.5 but I cant afford it right now.

so my choices are
- Sigma 150-500
- Sigma 50-500
- Pentax DA 300 with TC

If I went with the DA 300 with TC what would I loose? and what TC would I need to buy to work best on K5
The Tamron Pz-AF 1.4 is your best choice, and may be the only currently available TC that will autofocus with a SDM lens such as the DA* 300. You'll find reviews and comments on it elsewhere on this forum. They're not in production but appear frequently on eBay for around $200. Make sure Pz-AF is printed on the TC. It signifies the presence of the electrical contacts that are necessary for the body to drive the SDM motor.
04-18-2012, 03:16 AM   #22
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Hi there. I had the Sigma 150-500mm and it got damaged so when I got the insurance payout I decided to go with the DA*300mm instead. I found the Sigma a little soft at the long end as a previous poster said. Well the DA*300mm blew me away with the colour/contrast and sharpness. You could easily crop the DA* to the 500mm equivalent and come out with better images in my opinion. The sigma is a good lens but the DA*300mm is an absolute stunner.
04-18-2012, 03:50 AM   #23
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This question comes up all the time. The OP at least appreciates that getting out to 500mm is a reality. Used lenses might be the way to go here, as at least for my 70-200/2.8 zoom option, there is not an HSM TC and with the exception of the latest sigma lens my old one is sharper at longer focal lengths and wide open, than some of the later models (specifically the macro ones) that replaced it

I have 3 wild life / birding options.

My two principle setups are an older sigma APO 70-200F2.8 EX (non DG non macro) plus 1.4x and 2x TCs , and a SMC 300F4 with SMC-F 1.7x AF TC.

The older Pentax lens with the TC gives me reach at the loss of speed. Using the zoom with either TC gives me shorter but faster options. At 70mm I have F2.8 for example where your BIGMA is something about F5 that speed at shorter focal lengths is important.

I also have a Tamron 200-500F5.6 which I am experimenting with. It is a good lens, but at 2.75 kilos it is tripod bound. Although almost a full stop faster than my K300/4 plus TC it is not hand hold able, the old Pentax plus TC weigh in at about 1 kilo only.

The bigma or the other large sigma zoom is also on the limit of hand hold able (perhaps a monopod is best)

04-18-2012, 06:38 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by oeriies Quote
The Tamron Pz-AF 1.4 is your best choice, and may be the only currently available TC that will autofocus with a SDM lens such as the DA* 300. You'll find reviews and comments on it elsewhere on this forum. They're not in production but appear frequently on eBay for around $200. Make sure Pz-AF is printed on the TC. It signifies the presence of the electrical contacts that are necessary for the body to drive the SDM motor.
Have you used a Tamron TC with the DA*300? This is not an ideal combo from anything I've read. If SDM worked properly with a TC, I would definitely buy a DA*300.

The Kenko PZ 1.5X Teleplus is supposedly the same as the Tamron 1.4X PZ. Both will allow focus with an SDM lens, but neither is ideal. I haven't tried the Kenko with a DA*300, but it was poor with a DA*50-135; focus stuttered and was not very accurate. I've read many similar stories. Brandrx on the other forum recommends pre-focussing the DA*300 for improved results.

I have to add along with the others that I was disappointed with Sigma 150-500mm HSM OS. It was sharp to 300mm, but unacceptable (to me) at 500mm. I replaced it with a Pentax A*300mm f/4, which is a very fine lens, but of course, manual focus. The A*300 with Kenko 1.5X TC is noticeably sharper than the Sigma. I don't even see any appreciable loss in range, because the Sigma is an internal focus lens and range decreases at distances below infinity.

I am OK with my setup for the present, but I'll keep a close eye on the roadmapped Pentax offerings; 560mm f/5.6, 1.4X TC, DA telezoom (135-400?).

Last edited by audiobomber; 04-18-2012 at 06:15 PM.
04-18-2012, 06:43 AM   #25
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I am driving to Toronto tonight to pick up the Da 300.
04-18-2012, 07:38 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I also have a Tamron 200-500F5.6 which I am experimenting with. It is a good lens, but at 2.75 kilos it is tripod bound. Although almost a full stop faster than my K300/4 plus TC it is not hand hold able, the old Pentax plus TC weigh in at about 1 kilo only.
How does it do wide open in high contrast? Is it better with aberrations compared to the 60b?

I've resigned my self to monopod use for long lenses. A light gimbal on my monopod works great.
04-18-2012, 01:36 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
How does it do wide open in high contrast? Is it better with aberrations compared to the 60b?

I've resigned my self to monopod use for long lenses. A light gimbal on my monopod works great.
i dont have a 60B so I can't compare 1:1

i tried a 60B with a 1.7x AF TC and had a few test shots outside the store that I was in at the time. my impression is that while the 200-500/5.6 has some purple fringing issues, the 60B was much worse.

I have posted some limited shots of the 200-500F5.6 on the sample image forum. Note also, while not quite as fast as my 200-500/5.6, there is a 200-500/6.7 at henry's outlet in mississauga, and it has been there for quite some time (although it is priced almost the same as what I paid for its big brother, after about 1 hour of negotiations). it is, however, for the loss in speed, just as heavy
04-18-2012, 06:26 PM   #28
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I just got home from picking up the DA*300 all I can say is wow its built way better then my Sigma, I took a few test shot inside my car out the window and it seems much sharper also.
04-18-2012, 06:36 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by coreyhkh Quote
I just got home from picking up the DA*300
Congratulations - Hope you get 20 years of fabulous use out of your very high quality piece of optics. Thanks for sharing the excitement.
04-19-2012, 05:52 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Have you used a Tamron TC with the DA*300? This is not an ideal combo from anything I've read. If SDM worked properly with a TC, I would definitely buy a DA*300.
Yes, I've used the Tamron TC with the DA*300. It works in good light with contrasty subjects but the autofocus hunts in conditions that wouldn't be a challenge without the TC, e.g. a bird among branches in a tree. As I indicated in a previous post in this thread, I prefer to use the DA*300 without a TC. It produces very sharp images that can be cropped 50% and still look great whereas a get fewer keepers with the TC attached.

Maybe this has been discussed somewhere on this forum already, but I've wondered whether the in-camera shake reduction is introducing blur when using the Tamron TC. With the DA*300, for instance, the camera thinks it is adjusting for shake for a 300mm lens when in fact with the TC attached it is a 420mm lens. I would think this would lead to an underadjustment. Anybody know the answer?
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