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09-22-2012, 10:19 PM   #1
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Posts: 98
pentax 80-320 vs Pentax 100-300

Im looking to buy a cheap, older AF lens for little league football/baseball games. I dont intend to use this in low light situation, as i already know neither of them will work very well. Im just wanting to use this in broad day light, when lighting and ISO wont be an issue. I looked up the reviews on this site for both lenses. It just made my decision that much more difficult. The 80-320 has slightly longer reach, and its faster (5.6 vs. 5.8). The ratings show it being slightly sharper. But the overall rating is lower than the 100-300. So im completely lost. I just want something cheap, with good reach, and I can get sharp shots. The photo samples for both look really good. Im just wondering if anyone out there has experience with either lens and can make a recommendation. thank you .

09-23-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 17
Hi, I have the 80-320, in general it is reported as "soft" above 250mm but I don't really feel it is major issue unless you are needing very high definition and then it is going to COST. In the UK they float around 130, I seem to remember the 100-300s tend to be a little cheaper.

Common fault with the 80-320 is the internal electronics fail, giving no "F" readout. Mine has been repaired cost 1/3 of the average price (but I did get it cheaper to cover the repair).
It's been on an IstD and the K10D minor hunting in poor contrast but normally straight there on both bodies.
I do have a Tamron 70-300, on the IstD it would hunt badly, very badly- unusable but behaves better on the K10D but will still get lost!. I should sell it! That I bought with a PX on the Sigma 100-300 although slower (6.3) I got some excellent shots in good light.

Hope that is of some help.

09-23-2012, 01:35 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 98
Original Poster
Thanks Alan, I ended up just getting the 80-320. I saw an AMAZING set on Flickr that a guy in the Philippines posted. Simply jaw dropping. So I figured for $84, it was worth a try. The Pentax forum lens review had it listed as 8.4 out of a possible 10 for sharpness, so that should be fine for my needs. I just wanted something cheap with good range. I have the Pentax 50-135 for portrait work, after selling my Sigma 70-200, and was left with nothing w/ any type of significant reach. So I think this 80-320 fills that void. Until I want to start shooting low light & need that sigma 300 f/2.8. Ha ha ! Thank you for your reply. I also read about that lens failure you mentioned. I picked up the Silver version of this lens, and the few articles I read about it, said the silver model wasn't known for having those issues nearly as bad as the black model. So hopefully I'll be ok.
09-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #4

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,597
I have the inferior 100-300F (4.5-5.6) and am satisfied with the results for the money. The mechanical construction is very solid, but it's largish and heavy. I wouldn't think too much about the difference between 300mm and 320mm. It's better than my 50-200DA at 200mm (and faster, too.) It's seems ok to me at 300mm/5.6 (as opposed to the 50-200, which isn't ok at 200mm), although I don't have another 300mm lens to compare it to. Autofocus on my 3 bodies hasn't been a problem (focus isn't that fast, but I haven't needed it to be.)


09-24-2012, 02:28 AM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 17
Sounds like you have picked up a good bargain and hope it does all the right stuff for your uses. I love mine but I do admit I have my Sigma 150-500 on more often iif I have my full kit on my back, for a pocket pair it's either my Sigma 24-135/Pentax 16-45 and the Pentax 80-320.

Have fun

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