Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
Senior Member
gooseta's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: London
Posts: 157
Long Lens help

Hi there, I recently missed out on a Pentax FA* 300mm lens on ebay (after being sure I was going to have it), for 370, other copies I see are selling at twice that. Now I am looking at alternatives, the Sigma 120-400 does not look too popular, but I guess I could save for the 150-500. However, the FA*300 and most tele primes get great sharpness ratings, whereas although the overall is good for the 150-500, some reviews mention it not being too sharp. I have also found a Sigma APO 400mm f5.6 on ebay, however I cannot identify which version it is, the standard version or the MC version. Here is the link : Sigma APO 400mm f/5.6 Telephoto A Lens Pentax KA/K5/PKA Manual Focus | eBay , could someone help with the id on that? The 400 seems crazy sharp close up, so should be good for my airshows, as I saw from the samples in the (Non MC) review. The crowd is a bit more mixed on the MC version, but if the lens I see on the bay is not the mc I may snap it up provided you guys say so. I understand that mf is a hassle and I cannot rely on my eyes for precision, but at my 450 budget the three i can afford are the 120-400, 150-500, or 400. I will use it mainly for airshows, I will probably go with the 400mm, however if it is as sharp/less sharp than either of the zooms at 400 I may pick them up because of te af. Thanks/

01-21-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
Senior Member
gooseta's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: London
Posts: 157
Original Poster
oops, never mind about the lens id. The one on ebay is mf, just figured out the 400 apo is af and the mc is mf. So the reviews are not terribly good then.

Edit : I have found the af version, but it seems to only be available in sony, nikon, and canon mounts
01-21-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,863
QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
oops, never mind about the lens id. The one on ebay is mf, just figured out the 400 apo is af and the mc is mf. So the reviews are not terribly good then.

Edit : I have found the af version, but it seems to only be available in sony, nikon, and canon mounts
There were several versions of this lens over the years. The manual focus came in APO and non-APO versions just like the auto focus versions. The last version made for Pentax was the Macro version, the newest with HSM is not made for Pentax.

Personally I fell $400 is a bit much for a lens in that condition, also the APO version has a reputation for fogged elements.
01-21-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
Emperor and Senpai
VoiceOfReason's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Nashville, IN
Posts: 5,415
I'd seriously save for that 150-500. I bought one and I like it. It's quick and silent focusing, and sharp too! Of the pictures here Late 2012 Trip - Scotty's Everything Spot probably 40% were taken with the Sigma 150-500, and all of them were handheld!

01-21-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
Senior Member
gooseta's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: London
Posts: 157
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I'd seriously save for that 150-500. I bought one and I like it. It's quick and silent focusing, and sharp too! Of the pictures here Late 2012 Trip - Scotty's Everything Spot probably 40% were taken with the Sigma 150-500, and all of them were handheld!
Sharp, but as sharp as the 400mm prime? That's the question im asking here

Also, took a quick look, that moon shot and the bird don't look too sharp to me
01-21-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
Emperor and Senpai
VoiceOfReason's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Nashville, IN
Posts: 5,415
They really lose sharpness when using prish resizer, and I mean really lose it, especially since I did not want people grabbing high quality shots from my page after I caught someone passing some of my stuff as theirs. When I get home from work I can put some 100% crops up. Trust me, they are loads better.

A zoom isn't generally going to give you the same sharpness as a prime, but I can actually do some controlled shots some time this week froma tripod with it at various focal lengths and aperatures.
01-21-2013, 01:15 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,418
QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
Sharp, but as sharp as the 400mm prime? That's the question im asking here

Also, took a quick look, that moon shot and the bird don't look too sharp to me
Tele-zooms are almost never as sharp as top primes. The Sigma 100-300/4 has that reputation. I can't think of any others in K-mount.
01-21-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
Veteran Member
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,441
The 150-500mm is quite sharp if the conditions are right. Focusing speed is surprisingly quick for the heavy lens thanks the good HSM and it renders out of focus areas beautifully. Some quirks is the slow aperture that also affects focusing to a degree, size, weight and despite a too heavy zoom ring it still creeps a lot. I guess that you would need to hold on to the zoom ring when following airplanes high up. Still I very much recommend it and for the price it's a steal.








With a Kenko 1.5x PzAF it still holds up well and will focus well if light permits.





01-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 889
FA*300 for sale over on the UK forum - 570. FS : Pentax FA*300 and Kenko x1.5
01-21-2013, 04:27 PM   #10
Pentaxian
audiobomber's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Photos: Albums
Posts: 6,684
I didn't find the Sigma 150-500 to be sharp enough at the long end, so I returned it (sharp enough for me, means sharp at 100% cron on a 14mp body).

This review on Lenstip is accurate, IME, and the tests of the 120-400 and 50-500 correspond with what I've heard and seen on the net.
Sigma 150-500 mm f/5.0-6.3 APO DG OS HSM review - Introduction - Lenstip.com
01-21-2013, 04:39 PM   #11
Senior Member
Saxplayer1004's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Litchfield, ME
Posts: 166
The 150-500 is indeed great under the right conditions. If primary use is airshows you will appreciate the zoom since it helps avoid cropping and the lighting is usually really good. It's certainly not the sharpest at 500mm, but it's still pretty darn sharp. I usually back mine to 450 or so which seems to help. It is also certainly one of the only ones that can be easily handheld
01-21-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
Veteran Member
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,441
Really? I'm sure I can print this one pretty big without it looking soft, and this is only with pretty basic sharpening (though not 100%): All sizes | Great Tit in an Apple Tree | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
I looks pretty darn good in my eyes. Maybe I got a better copy?
01-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #13
Pentaxian
audiobomber's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Photos: Albums
Posts: 6,684
QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
I looks pretty darn good in my eyes.
I can't tell at 1.2mp. Can you post a full size copy?
01-21-2013, 06:46 PM   #14
Veteran Member
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,441
QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I can't tell at 1.2mp. Can you post a full size copy?
Maybe later, but I can tell you that I'm satisfied with the sharpness I got from it handheld in the pics. I let you decide on what you think. A pro lens can do better for sure but to pay that much in both weight and money is a no-deal for me at the moment. I usually got no reason for judging sharpness in one or two pixels.

Though, I don't feel like a pic needs perfect sharpness to be good but enough for the subject. If absolute sharpness was the main thing almost all film shots would be junk. My probably favorite pic is the famous shot of The Clash by Pennie Smith and one of my favorite lenses is my quirky Sigma 20/1.8, they both go against sharpness as the main element in a pic for me.
01-21-2013, 07:03 PM   #15
Pentaxian
audiobomber's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Photos: Albums
Posts: 6,684
QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Maybe later, but I can tell you that I'm satisfied with the sharpness I got from it handheld in the pics. I let you decide on what you think. A pro lens can do better for sure but to pay that much in both weight and money is a no-deal for me at the moment. I usually got no reason for judging sharpness in one or two pixels.

Though, I don't feel like a pic needs perfect sharpness to be good but enough for the subject. If absolute sharpness was the main thing almost all film shots would be junk. My probably favorite pic is the famous shot of The Clash by Pennie Smith and one of my favorite lenses is my quirky Sigma 20/1.8, they both go against sharpness as the main element in a pic for me.
That's quite understandable, and that's why I tried to qualify my reply with "for me" statements. I like shooting birds, which require heavy cropping, no matter which lens you use. I was disappointed in the 100% crops, as I was with 100% crops from my 55-300. My current lenses, the A*300 and DA*300 with 1.5X Kenko TC meet my expectations.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
400mm, airshows, apo, ebay, k-mount, lens, mc, pentax, pentax lens, sigma, slr lens, version
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K-x Newbie needs help selecting lens for long distances stlnovice Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 10-13-2011 02:51 PM
Like everyone else, I need help with my long lens purchase! dmort Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 18 08-22-2011 05:15 PM
Help for new long lasting lens danpinoy Ask B&H Photo! 2 08-25-2010 08:44 AM
Help with LONG TELE lens(es) choice... igor Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 41 12-14-2008 11:44 AM
Need help choosing a long lens Heinrich Lohmann Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 12-26-2006 06:00 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:57 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top