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10-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #1
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Sigma - 70-200/2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM IF **** VS ****70-200/2.8 EX DG II APO Macro HSM

Can anyone shed some light if its worth spending an extra $500 for the Sigma - 70-200/2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM IF?

Or - would you rather settle for the Pentax DA 200 prime?

10-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #2
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I've heard it is fantastically sharper than the II. Even sharper than the Tamron 70-200, which competes with the top line 70-200s.

As far as settling for the DA 200 prime - the DA*200 prime is going to be sharper regardless, but maybe at such a degree that it doesn't really matter to you. What does matter, however, is the use. A 70-200 can double as a portrait lens, as well as a short sports or birding lens. A DA*200 is going to find very restricted use in portrait shooting.
10-12-2012, 08:37 AM   #3
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I can't comment on the Siggy but if it is any use to you at all i can tell you that the Tamron 70-200 2.8 is a mega sharp lens! I had the Canon 70-200 F4 L is when i was with Canon and to be honest i couldn't tell them apart in sharpness and the Canon is meant to be one of the sharpest zooms. Just thought i would mention as it is a lot cheaper and i would say a mega bargain especially as shake reduction is built into the Pentax system. The colors and rendering of the Tamron is fantastic too and i much prefer it to my previous system with the Canon set-up by a long windy country mile!
10-12-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lightningthief Quote
Can anyone shed some light if its worth spending an extra $500 for the Sigma - 70-200/2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM IF
Yes - in some tests it is shown to be as sharp as the famed Nikon 70~200 VR. As for the *200, I guess it would come down to versatility. The *200 is weather sealed and also renders fantastically, but you are stuck using 200mm as opposed of having the convenience of the zoom - HSM vs SDM is a no brainer, HSM is blazing fast.

10-12-2012, 08:47 AM   #5
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I'm toying with the idea of getting something longer. Something I can use for sports photography and animal life. I'm heading back to South Africa soon.

It seems the Sigma 150 - 500 f5/6.3 is a little soft with some ca's as one can expect. They have the HSM non OS version and the newer DG HSM APO HSM version. Not sure how this would impack Pentax with built in stabalisation.

Same goes for the 70 - 200 in Sigma. So I have a bit of a cannumdrum... I'd love the new DA 650 or Sigma 500 but $6000 is not in my reach.

My options are:
Sigma & Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 (and perhaps a decent teleconverter)
Sigma 150-500mm F5/6.3 APO DG HSM (NON OS)
Sigma 150-500mm F5/6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Pentax 200mm F2.8 SDM
Pentax 300mm F2.8 SDM
Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO OS HSM

Any input is aprecaited!
10-12-2012, 10:28 AM   #6
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Just to add a footnote. The original Sigma APO 70-200/2.8 EX (non Dg non Macro) is extremely sharp, even when paired with a 2x Sigma TC. In fact the later screw drive macro versions and ham versions were not as sharp either wide open or at the extreme tele range. The reports of the newest lens indicate that this has been corrected. If you are looking for additional length howev, unfortunately sigma do not offer an HSM TC for Pentax so you are stuck playing the used market if you want speed from 70-200 but also length out ton400
10-12-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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A Pentax 300/2.8 is good if you don't mind the size, but the DA*300/4 or F / FA*300/4.5 makes quite a nice lens. Being primes they have relatively small size and weight, and compared to a zoom they have better IQ at or near wide-open, plus they're sharper at the edges. It's surprising how often a fixed FL works out. And if you have a backup body (which most of us should) you can keep a different lens on it (such as a 50-135, for example).
10-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
A Pentax 300/2.8 is good if you don't mind the size, but the DA*300/4 or F / FA*300/4.5 makes quite a nice lens. Being primes they have relatively small size and weight, and compared to a zoom they have better IQ at or near wide-open, plus they're sharper at the edges. It's surprising how often a fixed FL works out. And if you have a backup body (which most of us should) you can keep a different lens on it (such as a 50-135, for example).
Your last point is quite good, except for one thing, many of the lenses you propose here are not out to the 400-500 mm the op wants and primes at 400-500mm are simply in a different price class all together

10-12-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
Yes - in some tests it is shown to be as sharp as the famed Nikon 70~200 VR. As for the *200, I guess it would come down to versatility. The *200 is weather sealed and also renders fantastically, but you are stuck using 200mm as opposed of having the convenience of the zoom - HSM vs SDM is a no brainer, HSM is blazing fast.
Not so sure on this - in comparison with the 50-135 or the 60-250 maybe, but the DA*200's SDM is actually fantastically fast. Probably much more reliable than the SDM zooms, also.

I've used one at a Pentax meet&greet event, and it is a really nice lens - but again, as a telephoto prime, it will restrict the uses.
10-12-2012, 11:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Your last point is quite good, except for one thing, many of the lenses you propose here are not out to the 400-500 mm the op wants and primes at 400-500mm are simply in a different price class all together
I was going off the OP's own list in his last comment, which is obviously constrained by price. He didn't list any primes at 400-500mm, and neither did I. Considering that his opening post was about a 70-200, 300mm might be long enough. I threw in the idea of a 50-135 on a second body to address concerns about flexibility when he wants to go wider.

I was also pointing out that a 300/4 might actually be a better choice than the 200/2.8 he mentioned in the first post, or the 300/2.8 he mentioned in the later one. And he can always add a TC at any time (although I realize if he uses one frequently he could be back to an f/2.8 lens again - but IMO 300/4 is better than 200/2.8 w/ TC).
10-12-2012, 11:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I was going off the OP's own list in his last comment, which is obviously constrained by price. He didn't list any primes at 400-500mm, and neither did I. Considering that his opening post was about a 70-200, 300mm might be long enough. I threw in the idea of a 50-135 on a second body to address concerns about flexibility when he wants to go wider.

I was also pointing out that a 300/4 might actually be a better choice than the 200/2.8 he mentioned in the first post, or the 300/2.8 he mentioned in the later one. And he can always add a TC at any time (although I realize if he uses one frequently he could be back to an f/2.8 lens again - but IMO 300/4 is better than 200/2.8 w/ TC).
agreed on all counts. the idea of a 50-135 or 70-200 on one body and a 300/4 on the other makes sense, because once beyond 135 you really will go right to 300 any way in my experience. When I am out shooting with a long lens, (either 300/4 plus 1.7x AF converter or 200-500/5.6) I always have my 70-200 on a second body just to have better speed close in, where i don't need focal length. but this assumes that one does have a second body (how do you spell CBA anyway?)
10-16-2012, 08:33 AM   #12
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I have been doing a bit more research and someone mentioned the older SigmaAPO 100-300mm F4 EX DG
Looks like a very decent lens which would work well with a 1.4 / 1.7 TC - pity I can't find one anywhere..
Does anyone have one and care to share info on it?

Yes - I am limited to around 800 / $1300
I'd love the new DA 560 but at that price it'll have to wait a while longer... or until I start making decent money from photography..which ever comes first
10-18-2012, 01:58 PM   #13
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Yeah the Sigma 100-300/4 might be your best option if you can find one. They seem to be more common in other mounts but if you keep your eye on ebay or post in the wanted section of the marketplace here you might have some luck. I've gotten a couple rarer lenses like my F 135/2.8 by posting wanted ads here.
10-19-2012, 01:46 AM   #14
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I'm not sure how many of you saw the post I posted yesterday but Amazon had a blip and a bunch of us managed to pick up the Pentax DA* 300 f/4 for 585.00 inlcuding postage. The price is now back up to 987. That price clinched the deal for me and I'm sure I'll be as happy as can be when my DA300 arrives. :-)
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