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11-20-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
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Long zoom alternatives

My LBA have been at bay, alas I feel the urge for a long AF zoom.

The obvious choice would be a Sigma 50-500 (or the 150-500), but the 2kg bulk is not appealing.
Actually per kg the price is quite affordable.

Another one would be the Tokina 80-400, but my local "Eric" who sells old legacy lenses, told me to watch out for the delicate circuitry since spares are not available. He recommended the Sigma "if I can live with the quality", and that it would be well worth $200 more used than the Tokina, whose optics "were good".

I responded by telling that both the price and availability of the FA*250-600 was beyond me. He smiled knowingly.

Is there anything else than the DA55-300 or the FA80-320 worth considering? My F70-210 is too short.

Seb.

11-20-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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I was going to get the Bigma too but decided on the DA* 60-250mm F4 ED for better IQ. Way less reach unfortunately but the samples I've seen can be astounding.
11-20-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
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Agree with the quality on the DA*60-250 but out of my price range. I picked up a Sigma 50-500 this summer and have used it some, not as much as I thought but that was time constraints with work not the lens.

It is not prime quality and not DA* quality but I have been able to get quite good images with it under the right conditions. I have a number of them accepted at stock sites so if you have the skills the quality is there. I am really still learning long lens technique and did not get as many keepers as I hoped but when it was good it was quite good enough. I need to practice more.

Biggest problem with the lens is that it is fairly slow. but you can have any two of: cheap, fast, or good but never all three.

There is another long zoom on the Pentax road map, looks like maybe 120-400 or thereabouts which might work but it is unknown if or when that will materialize.
11-20-2012, 10:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by halfspin Quote
I was going to get the Bigma too but decided on the DA* 60-250mm F4 ED for better IQ. Way less reach unfortunately but the samples I've seen can be astounding.
I did consider this, but it would not be long enough. I do not need a fast lens, plenty of light shooting critters daytime near equator. Thats why the DA55-300 appeals. If I need fast then I go for a prime, like the A50/1.7.

Seb

11-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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I don't think you'd be unhappy with the DA 55-300. I own both it and the DA* 60-250. Both are excellent lenses. The DA* sees more use for me because it seems to provide better quality images and it is weather resistant. Neither choice is bad. If you are getting the DA 55-300, you might want to consider the DA L version just for its low cost with the same optics. Do buy it a hood though.
11-20-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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You could also look at the Sigma 170-500 DG APO. Similar optically to 150-500, perhaps not as good as 50-500, but acceptable if aperature stopped down a bit (>f/8). Considerably lighter at 1.35kg and often going cheap secondhand. Fine if you have good light and K-x/K-r/K-30/K-5. It is soft at 500mm, but improves if pulled back a bit.

There is also a Tamron 200-500 in the same IQ class as the Sigmas zooms, but a bit scarce.

If you need sharpness from wide, then primessuch as DA*300 or old Sigma 400 f5.6 AF, but at a much higher price point. Sharp 500mm is going to put you in serious legacy or new price point.
11-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by KevinR Quote
There is also a Tamron 200-500 in the same IQ class as the Sigmas zooms, but a bit scarce.
I don't think this AF lens was available in Pentax mount.

Seems the DA55-300 is my best bet unless I find a mint 80-320 in silver...

Seb
11-20-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
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What about the Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6? About the same quality as the 150-500, less in size and weight and lower price.

11-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
I don't think this AF lens was available in Pentax mount.

Seems the DA55-300 is my best bet unless I find a mint 80-320 in silver...

Seb

Here ya go................

Pentax Autofocus 80-320 F4.5-5.6 SMC FA SILVER (58) 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS - KEH.com
11-20-2012, 03:36 PM   #10
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There are a couple of older Sigma lenses that might do the trick:

Sigma AF 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO Aspherical RF - Review / Test Report

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/159245-sigma-1...nal-bigma.html
11-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #11
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I'll second the 170-500mm. This is one of those lenses that is just fun to use. Not expensive, focus is quick and iq is not bad within it's limitations. There is no limit to the money you can spend at this length, and this one will tell you whether you will use something long enough to spend more money.
11-20-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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Hi Seb,

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Sigma EX 100-300 f4 APO [IF]. It's pretty big and heavy at about 3.25 lbs, but it has professional class prime quality optics -- many users claim that it's on par or at least very close to the * class Pentax f4/4.5 primes optically, and faster to AF. At f4, it's fast enough for TC use to stretch it a bit, and I've never heard a bad thing said about it. It is discontinued, but there should be some nice used examples out there. I believe that in K mount, there were two main versions, the EX 100-300 f4 APO [IF] and the EX 100-300 f4 APO DG [IF]. with the only difference the DG coatings designed for digital. Only screw drive AF -- an HSM for Pentax version was never offered AFAIK.

I'd guess that $800-1000 USD would probably be the range for a good one.

Scott
11-21-2012, 03:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Sigma EX 100-300 f4 APO [IF]. It's pretty big and heavy at about 3.25 lbs, but it has professional class prime quality optics -- many users claim that it's on par or at least very close to the * class Pentax f4/4.5 primes optically, and faster to AF. At f4, it's fast enough for TC use to stretch it a bit, and I've never heard a bad thing said about it. It is discontinued, but there should be some nice used examples out there. I believe that in K mount, there were two main versions, the EX 100-300 f4 APO [IF] and the EX 100-300 f4 APO DG [IF]. with the only difference the DG coatings designed for digital. Only screw drive AF -- an HSM for Pentax version was never offered AFAIK. I'd guess that $800-1000 USD would probably be the range for a good one.
I already missed out on a copy 6 moths ago, asking price was 749€ (~$1000). The Sigma 120-400 is not an option, too bulky and not enough range. The other Sigmas mentioned are interesting, but I haven't seen any on sale.

I try to limit myself to Europe so I can avoid taxes and custom fees. And save postal fees as well. These together are more than the KEH asking price for the FA80-320. But thanks bluestringer for the tip!

Seb.
11-21-2012, 06:06 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
Is there anything else than the DA55-300 or the FA80-320 worth considering? My F70-210 is too short.
FA100-300 f4,7 is as good as that DA, better than that FA.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Agree with the quality on the DA*60-250 but out of my price range. I picked up a Sigma 50-500 this summer
The 50-500 is cheaper than the 60-250? Maybe at list price, but not if you shop. I just got my 60-250 for 1200$ CND.

QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
I did consider this, but it would not be long enough.
Maybe a teleconverter with a 60-250? It would make is slow, however. the Bigma might be the best bet.
11-21-2012, 09:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
The 50-500 is cheaper than the 60-250? Maybe at list price, but not if you shop. I just got my 60-250 for 1200$ CND.
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax:
Agree with the quality on the DA*60-250 but out of my price range. I picked up a Sigma 50-500 this summer The 50-500 is cheaper than the 60-250? Maybe at list price, but not if you shop. I just got my 60-250 for 1200$ CND.
Picked up the 50-500 used at a good price so yes, quite a bit less than the 60-250.
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