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09-17-2012, 04:47 AM   #1
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DA*300 versus Sigma 150-500

Does anyone have both the Pentax DA*300 f4 and the new OS version of the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM?

I had made up my mind to get the DA*300 but the price increases of this lens has made me lean towards the cheaper and yet highly rated Sigma zoom.

I would appreciate any side by side comparison if someone has both these lenses.

I have a K-5 and somehow feel that at 300MM I can boost the ISO with the Sigma.

09-17-2012, 05:02 AM   #2
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I'm back to looking at the answer for this.... the Pentax 560 coming in at 7k, was kind of a shock. So now I'm looking for cheaper options again. I'm really curious about which of the long Sigma's is the sharpest, without going to the prime , which again is way out of my price range. I've seen pictures from the 170-500, 150-500, and 50 -500 and I'm wondering which if any might be good.

The issue that I had with the 120-400 which I owned briefly and then returned in favour of the 60-250, was while good close in, it was terrible at distance, just completely incapable of reproducing landscapes over 100 meters away. Rocks looked flat, and chunky, to the point where I preferred the DA* 60-250 images blown up to the 400 images 1:1.

I know the 560 is supposed to do that, but the SIgma 500 is a couple grand cheaper and wider ( and heavier) but the thing with heavier is, I wouldn't carry either of them for an extended period of time. They are "drive somewhere set up and shoot from a blind" type lenses.

I guess the problem with this question is, who in their right mind would own more than 1 of these lenses to give us a comparison? Maybe I'll go look at photozone. Maybe there's a comparison there. However even that leaves me skeptical. They aren't testing these lenses at 100 meters. The lens could be great at their test length and awful at 100 meters, would they even know?
09-17-2012, 05:03 AM   #3
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Surely you can use a higher ISO to compensate for that. Probably you will need 1 stop more.
PS : All i'll be saying is based on what i usually read here, i DON'T own neither.
I guess the Sigma will be faster to focus and will give you a little bit more freedom and reach, but the DA*300 will give you weather sealing and limited build quality.
The DA*300 is lighter too.
In MY AMATEUR OPINION, i guess the Sigma gives you more bang for the buck, with a better reach, but slower aperture and bigger in size. Also, a more reliable HSM (although i don't think the DA* 300 fails that much, according to the survey).
09-17-2012, 05:41 AM   #4
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lens comparison

i have the 50-500 os hsm sigma and the da 300 ...there was a discussion on the 50-500 and you can see it here...https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/197042-new-sig...-arriving.html
i love both lens and have had no issues with the 500mm length when taking pictures.. i could probably find some pictures taken with both since those are the lens i typically use...you will be happy with both but if you want the longer range then go with the 150-500...also the bokeh on both are very nice..amy

09-17-2012, 06:59 AM   #5
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Hey Bob. No direct comparison, but I currently own a Sigma 150-500mm, as well as a DA*60-250 and DA*50-135. The Pentax DA* lenses are a joy to use and render wonderful results, particularly in color, contrast and sharpness wide open, so I would assume that the DA*300 is similar. The 150-500mm is a different kind of lens altogether...

First, the Sigma zooms are not quite the "500mm" they purport (more like 450mm), and they generally need to be stopped down to approach the DA* sharpness (f/8 or greater for the 150-500, though I've heard the 50-500 is fine wide open), so really, it's 2 more stops of ISO needed. However, the HSM from Sigma is incredibly fast to focus (and unlike SDM, works with all kinds of "pz-af" teleconverters, even 2x!) and I've never had problems locking or hunting due to the "slow" max aperture of the lens. Plus, the modern "OS" versions offer the luxury of a stabilized view through the viewfinder (very helpful for framing at 300mm+), which I find to be much better than the Pentax SR at the longest focal lengths. Finally, the Sigma is truly "apochromatic," meaning it has no longitudinal CA (those green/magenta edges where things are just out of focus), which I absolutely love. I need to stop my DA*60-250 down to f/5.6 or more to minimize this bothersome (to me) effect (but then it's even sharper!).

Read my full review of the Sigma 150-500mm (with photo) here.

Last edited by panoguy; 09-17-2012 at 07:28 AM.
09-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
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Thanks - here's a pretty good review

Thanks for the replies. I will need to decide in the next month or so.

I found the review linked below informative. If Pentax offers a rebate on the 300 that puts the 300 at about $1000 to $1100 - where it was before the Ricoh price dance, I will opt for that lens over the Sigma 150-500. At the current price I'll probably go with the Sigma.

However if they keep the 300 where it is it looks like the Sigma does very well up to 300 even open and you still get the benefit of the 300 to 500 range albeit at a lower quality but still ok resolution. My impression of the Ricoh acquisition so far is favorable in that I sense there will be solid camera development and support. However on the minus side, the lens pricing seems to have suffered driving people like me to third party solutions.

See Sigma 150-500mm review | Cameralabs
09-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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I found this review informative. If Pentax offers a rebate on the 300 that puts the 300 at about $1000 - where it was before the Ricoh price dance, I will opt for that lens over the Sigma 150-500

However if they keep the 300 where it is it looks like the Sigma does very well up to 300 even open and you still get the benefit of the 300 to 500 range albeit at a lower quality but still ok resolution

See Sigma 150-500mm review | Cameralabs
09-17-2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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I just received an email about new Sigma Lenses including Product | SIGMA GLOBAL VISION
It looks I will wait for the price of the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 DG OS HSM lens - my guess is this will be a winner. let's hope not too expensive.

09-17-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
I just received an email about new Sigma Lenses including Product | SIGMA GLOBAL VISION
It looks I will wait for the price of the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 DG OS HSM lens - my guess is this will be a winner. let's hope not too expensive.
The way Sigma and Tamron have been working the past 6 months or so, I would highly doubt they would make this lens in Pentax mount.
09-17-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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I own a DA*300 and also had the opportunity to try out a Sigma 150-500 HSM OS at our last meetup for World Pentax Day.

Member SpecialK was kind enough to bring his Sigma 150-500 and I spent a lot of time with it and was able to do some comparison.

It was a hot day so there may have been atmospheric conditions in play. the target subjects were about 150-200 yards away.

This is a shot with the Sigma 150-500 at 500mm f6.3 ISO 320 1/1600 using a monopod.



This is a 100% crop of the above shot. You can see the heat waves on the roof of the house.



This is a shot from the same position above using the DA*300 f8 1/1000 ISO 200 hand held.



This is a crop of the above at 100%.



Once I got home I realized that in my rush to compare I wasn't careful to match the aperture, speed and ISO so I was disappointed as I and am sure the Sigma would have improved at f8.

I was impressed with the performance of the Sigma , it was definitely better than a Sigma 170-500 I used to own.

I was pleased that that the DA*300 could stand to be cropped quite a bit and still get close to the Sigma image.

I decided to wait for the 560 to be announced also, but now that I know the price I think I will be picking up one of these Sigma zooms.

Last edited by crewl1; 09-17-2012 at 06:03 PM.
09-17-2012, 07:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
It looks I will wait for the price of the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 DG OS HSM lens - my guess is this will be a winner. let's hope not too expensive.
The "old version" (which was never actually released in Pentax mount, despite B&H's listing) sold for $3200! Why so much? It's a constant f/2.8 zoom that goes to 300mm, and didn't suck. Apparently worth every penny, but my guess the price of this new one will still be way beyond the DA*300 or Sigma 150-500!

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I decided to wait for the 560 to be announced also, but now that I know the price I think I will be picking up one of these Sigma zooms.
Now, you sir, will be saving money compared to the 560mm!
09-17-2012, 07:31 PM   #12
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I had a Sigma 150-500mm for 2-3 weeks. I was a little annoyed by the size, zoom creep and the rings that turned the wrong way. Lighting was a constant struggle in Northern Ontario. The AF was silent but not fast. PF/CA were very low. OS did seem to give better results than SR. I was disappointed due to softness at the long end and sent it back. As someone mentioned, it loses range at subject distances below infinity, as shown in this page: Focal Length versus Subject Distance - Sigma 150-500mm

I bought an A*300mm f/4, which I sometimes use with a Kenko PZ 1.5X TC. I wanted a DA*300 but most of the reports I've read said the Kenko is not good with SDM. I like the A*300, but I expect to get the DA*300 once the Pentax TC is announced. The A*300 with Kenko is as long as the 150-500 in practical terms and noticeably sharper, but more prone to CA.
09-17-2012, 08:39 PM   #13
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I had the opportunity to use crewl1's DA*300 at the last Pentax Day meet up. It was very sharp and pretty light. At 300mm I'd say it is better than the Sigma, but at 150-299mm and 301-500, the Sigma was better. I went with versatility :-)
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