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05-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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Sigma 70-300APO or Pentax 55-300???

I've been looking to trade my Tamron 18-200mm for a Pentax 55-300, but with little to no interest. Came across a Sigma 70-300APO that seems to have great reviews here that I'd be able to buy outright for under $100 and still keep both lenses. So, how does the the.Sigma attack up against the highly regarded 55-300???


Last edited by nms_photog; 05-08-2012 at 05:12 PM.
05-08-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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Your Tamron is... one of the 70-300 models?

Why do you want acquire the Sigma?

Last edited by luftfluss; 05-08-2012 at 11:24 AM.
05-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #3
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Why would anyone want to trade a 55-300 for a Tamron purple monster? They can have my 55-300 when they pry it from my cold dead hands! Or if i'm ever able to afford a DA* 300/4.

I also doubt that you would be able to buy the OS version of the Sigma for anywhere near $100. I've never seen one for less than $300.

Last edited by boriscleto; 05-08-2012 at 11:44 AM.
05-08-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Why would anyone want to trade a 55-300 for a Tamron purple monster? They can have my 55-300 when they pry it from my cold dead hands! Or if i'm ever able to afford a DA* 300/4.

I also doubt that you would be able to buy the OS version of the Sigma for anywhere near $100. I've never seen one for less than $300.
I think - not sure, the OP is a little ambiguous - that the OP has the Tamron 70-300 and wanted a Pentax 55-300, second choice would be a Sigma 70-300, one of the older non-OS versions.

I'm a person (the only one?) who essentially traded a Pentax 55-300 for a Tamron 70-300. Why? The 1:2 macro mode. I love it, it's extremely useful for me, worth putting up with the PF and no 55mm FL.

05-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Ha-ha..........to clarify, I'm trying to trade an 18-200 Tammy in this post here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/184990-trade-...-55-300-a.html

So anyways, Fluss is correct in that the Sigma I've found is an older non-HSM APO before they did away with the aperture ring
05-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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If you had a tamron 18-250 you might get a taker, but the 18-200 is not as highly regarded (I'm being generous)
05-08-2012, 05:46 PM   #7
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My reading is that the OP has zero xx-300 lens, is seeking a 55-300 but can buy an APO 70-300. But that's just me

My take is that the Sigmas are really quite heavy compared to Tamron and Pentax offerings. That's a strike in my book as a weight weenie. And it may go to 1:2 close focus but it's amazing how bad I am at getting sharp images 1:2 at 300mm - so for me that may not be a strike but it's no positive. And finally, the 70-300 lenses are pretty good but they are literally unusable from 55-70mm - and that's a big thing to me. So my take is be patient and grab the DA or DAL 55-300 when you can (I'm on copy #4, two of each and all four excellent). I hope the trade works out!
05-08-2012, 06:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
My reading is that the OP has zero xx-300 lens, is seeking a 55-300 but can buy an APO 70-300. But that's just me

My take is that the Sigmas are really quite heavy compared to Tamron and Pentax offerings. That's a strike in my book as a weight weenie. And it may go to 1:2 close focus but it's amazing how bad I am at getting sharp images 1:2 at 300mm - so for me that may not be a strike but it's no positive. And finally, the 70-300 lenses are pretty good but they are literally unusable from 55-70mm - and that's a big thing to me. So my take is be patient and grab the DA or DAL 55-300 when you can (I'm on copy #4, two of each and all four excellent). hope the trade works out!
You are correct sir! Chalk this up to lens envy back when I first bought my KX I just came from a Panasonic fz28 super zoom and didn't like the thought of having to switch lenses all the time, and the 18-250 which I really wanted had just been discontinued and didn't know much about anything regarding what lenses had for reputations. Now that I've got an assortment, I find the 18-200 as my most useless lens at the moment.


Last edited by nms_photog; 05-08-2012 at 06:34 PM.
05-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
My reading is that the OP has zero xx-300 lens, is seeking a 55-300 but can buy an APO 70-300. But that's just me

My take is that the Sigmas are really quite heavy compared to Tamron and Pentax offerings. That's a strike in my book as a weight weenie. And it may go to 1:2 close focus but it's amazing how bad I am at getting sharp images 1:2 at 300mm - so for me that may not be a strike but it's no positive. And finally, the 70-300 lenses are pretty good but they are literally unusable from 55-70mm - and that's a big thing to me. So my take is be patient and grab the DA or DAL 55-300 when you can (I'm on copy #4, two of each and all four excellent). I hope the trade works out!
I've never used the Sigma 70-300, but I've had 2 copies of the Tammy 70-300 and the Quantaray-badged version, all with the 1:2 macro. I've found the "macro" shots to be quite good and easy to use in the field.




05-10-2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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Hullo nms_, I have both the Sigma 70-300 which I think is quite good and a DA L 55-300 which leaves the Sigma for dead, as far as image quality goes.
05-10-2012, 02:38 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
...Tamron 70-300. Why? The 1:2 macro mode. I love it, it's extremely useful for me, worth putting up with the PF and no 55mm FL.
I second that wholeheartedly! I picked up the Tammy so cheap (brandnew) I didn't even notice the money was gone

I barely ever need anything longer than my DA*50-135mm but on the rare occasions I do, it's a lifesaver. The purple stuff is dealt with quite easily by using the Lensfun library in raw conversion and a dedicated purple-defringifier plugin in GIMP.

Now, close-up is a whole different cookie! I do have the Sigma 50mm/f2.8 EX DG Macro and it is absolutely fabulous but forces you to almost physically crawl into whatever you're shooting. The Tammy does well on its 1:2 macro mode and because it's so lightweight, it gets thrown into the bag when I travel. I find the bokeh when in macro mode quite pleasing actually.








05-10-2012, 04:55 AM   #12
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I have both the Pentax 55-300 and the Sigma 70-300 APO (non-hsm) and have used both on my K5. Both were bought new, so my opinions are based on a new lens and not what you might find used.

Unlike a previous poster I think the Sigma is built like a tank and don't mind a small weight disadvantage. The Macro (or rather close focus) feature is interesting and fun but not something I personally use very often. What is useful to me is the Sigma focuses faster and hunts less. Since I shoot many action shots, that's a major plus. My 55-300 would often go into focus hunt mode and was slow in that process. I was missing too many shots. The Sigma may not be as overall sharp at 300 as the Pentax but it stays pretty sharp in the center which is acceptable for what I do. Up to 200 the Sigma's IQ is very good. Overall I like my Sigma and think it's a good option especially since it's about $100 less than the DA version of the 55-300.

The Pentax 55-300 is lighter and the IQ is very good and gets a small edge over the Sigma. When using the Sigma I have missed the extra range at the bottom end so the Pentax is a bit more versatile. While it doesn't have the close focus feature, I have seen many Pentax images of insects and flowers that have been cropped and enlarged to approximate a macro look quite convincingly. If it weren't for my focus issues I would rather use the Pentax but I'm not unhappy at all using the Sigma. My advice is determine how you will most use the lens and go from there.

As an aside, I also own your Tamron 18-200. May not be as good as the 18-250 but not a horrible lens really. It's a grab and go tourist lens for when you don't really want to carry a bag of stuff around. Images can be quite good with care in the field and some PP at home. Unless cash is the issue that make the trade necessary, I'd personally hang on to it since you already have it.
05-10-2012, 08:05 AM   #13
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I own the Sigma 70-300 (the non APO) and have been happy with it overall. I'll say first off that 90% of my shots with it are outside in pretty decent light and usually stopped down to f/8 or more. The macro mode is excellent and for me, that makes it worth owning as it's perfect for close ups while drifting in my kayak. While I don't own the 55-300, I've seen some pretty good stuff posted throughout the Forum and people who own both rate the Pentax little better overall. Still, the Sigma does an excellent job, especially for the price. This is a shot with the Sigma from a few weeks ago while on Vacation in Mississippi. Cropped a little.

Last edited by reeftool; 12-29-2016 at 04:45 PM.
05-10-2012, 08:23 AM   #14
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Even though it's only 1:3 at 300mm, I don't think the 55-300 has any problems with close-ups.



















And as I have said before, they can have it when they pry it from my cold dead hands.














05-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #15
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from some feedback I saw before
I think the tarmon 70-300 is a better lens than sigma 70-300
you can sell your tarmon 18-200 for 150-180 with no problem.
and you can get the tarmon 70-300 for that money.
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