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02-06-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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Which one to choose, Pentax 60-250/4 or the new version of Bigma?

Hi everyone!

I have owned the DA 55-300/4-5.8 almost one and half year now and seems like it's no longer good enough for me - in its darkness and AF speed.. The body I'm using is the K-5. So, many times you have to put on something like ISO 12800 to get some photos of my subject because I don't care any kind of "hard" light (the mid day's light) and therefore I'm photographing when the light is "soft" enough.

And now some questions, so.. How good is the DA 60-250's AF speed comparing with DA 55-300? I know there's a big differences in apertures to use - with DA 55-300 it's often F/8 and with DA 60-250 it would be something like F/4 or F/5.6.. The thing I'm not sure it's good:length of the DA 60-250's, because sometimes the 300mm is too short - but because getting better quality, would I be able to make little bit bigger crops with DA 60-250 than DA 55-300? And yeah, I need photos to printing - so photos have to have max. pixels that could be and therefore I wouldn't like to crop too much.

Then I'm having asking from the new Bigma. How about it's AF speed comparing with DA 60-250 or DA 55-300? And how about its IQ with wide open in all focal lenghts? Has the Bigma some problems like bad IQ in some copies? I mean that can I have extremely bad or extremely good copy? Has they all the same IQ, no differences? Because I've heard some kind of problems at IQ difference in Sigma's lenses.. And if I would buy the Bigma then I would need some really fast lens (f/2.8 or something, at least f/4 with something like 200mm)..

And I really hope that you have something to tell me about these lenses! I wanna hear anything you can say
PS. sorry for bad english
PPS. In my homepage are birdphotos I've taken, so take a look there and then tell me your's choose between those lenses


Last edited by Stickl; 02-06-2013 at 10:11 AM.
02-06-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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Let me start off by saying your English is far better than my Finnish!

You might want to look into the lens reviews for the lenses you are considering. Each have their good points and their not so good points. Remember too that a lot depends on what you intend to use them with. While zooms are very useful and flexible, they won't compete with a quality fixed focal lens.
02-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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The 60-250mm is going to dominate the Bigma in terms of IQ, as the latter has issues with sharpness at longer focal lengths. It does AF faster, though.

We don't have an in-depth review of the 60-250mm but we'll be posting one next month!

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02-06-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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All I can say is that my Sigma 150-500 is pretty good in my eyes but it needs the right conditions to work properly. The AF is pretty fast but the slow aperture at the long end makes both image quality (higher ISO) and AF really suffer if the lighting isn't perfect. Also zoom creep is sever if you like to point it to the sky at 500mm. So I don't see how it can help your low-light photography so I guess the 60-250 or even better for longer stuff the 300/4 would give nicer result with lower light. There is a Sigma 100-300/4 that you can find used but it's not weather-sealed.

Ps. This shot is truly stunning! Have you printed it? laurikoo.kuvat.fi

02-06-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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My experience with the newest 50-500 is that contrary to popular belief the sharpness at 500mm has been vastly improved.
It appears that the engineers really made the long end IQ of the newest 50-500 a top priority.
I had tested other Sigma zooms including 170-500 and 150-500 and the 500mm end was not that great, but this recent one is impressive.
There is some creep as VisualDarkness finds with his 150-500, but I have remedied that with the use of a LensBand Lens Band Stop Zoom Creep for Sigma 50 500mm in Black | eBay
Here is a sample at 500mm

100% crop


There is still the issue of light, as 6.3 is the best the lens will do at 500mm. The above were taken at F8, ISO 200, 1/500

AF speed from the Sigma HSM is very quick. For sports I use a Sigma 70-200 HSM II, from what I hear the newest Sigma 70-200 has better wide open IQ.

I do not have experience with the 60-250 so cannot comment.

I do use the DA*300, which has spectacular IQ and holds up to cropping very well, so perhaps you should take this prime into consideration.
02-06-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
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you need to consider the trade off of 2 times the image size vs possible sharpness, plus the higher speed of a 60-250 F4 through most of the focal length.

But aside from that I prefer my solution, if you don;t mind playing on the used lens market.

Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX, Non DG Non Macro plus a pair of teleconverters, (sigma APO 1.4x EX DG and Sigma APO 2x EX DG)

this gives you for the same weight as a BIGMA out to 400mm tack sharp, and gives you F2.8 without the TCs to 200 mm.,

Much more useable than either of your posted options, but finding a clean copy of a 10 year old lens is difficult. I quote this specific lens because later Macro versions are not as sharp, except perhaps the latest HSM2 version which gets great reviews, but there is no sigma TC for HSM lenses
02-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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DA* 300 f/4 is a great lens at all apertures and will give you the cleanest images to crop to get the framing you want - it has 1.5 stops advantage over the bigma which gets the K5 back to very acceptable noise / ISO levels, allowing you to crop heavy or blow up in print to the magnification of the 500mm - the detail lost in lower resolution is less than that lost from 1.5 stops of noise.
Other benefits - it's smaller, lighter, will give a brighter viewfinder - can you tell I'm a fan of this lens?
02-06-2013, 12:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickl Quote
Hi everyone!

I have owned the DA 55-300/4-5.8 almost one and half year now and seems like it's no longer good enough for me - in its darkness and AF speed.. The body I'm using is the K-5. So, many times you have to put on something like ISO 12800 to get some photos of my subject because I don't care any kind of "hard" light (the mid day's light) and therefore I'm photographing when the light is "soft" enough.

And now some questions, so.. How good is the DA 60-250's AF speed comparing with DA 55-300? I know there's a big differences in apertures to use - with DA 55-300 it's often F/8 and with DA 60-250 it would be something like F/4 or F/5.6.. The thing I'm not sure it's good:length of the DA 60-250's, because sometimes the 300mm is too short - but because getting better quality, would I be able to make little bit bigger crops with DA 60-250 than DA 55-300? And yeah, I need photos to printing - so photos have to have max. pixels that could be and therefore I wouldn't like to crop too much.

Then I'm having asking from the new Bigma. How about it's AF speed comparing with DA 60-250 or DA 55-300? And how about its IQ with wide open in all focal lenghts? Has the Bigma some problems like bad IQ in some copies? I mean that can I have extremely bad or extremely good copy? Has they all the same IQ, no differences? Because I've heard some kind of problems at IQ difference in Sigma's lenses.. And if I would buy the Bigma then I would need some really fast lens (f/2.8 or something, at least f/4 with something like 200mm)..

And I really hope that you have something to tell me about these lenses! I wanna hear anything you can say
PS. sorry for bad english
PPS. In my homepage are birdphotos I've taken, so take a look there and then tell me your's choose between those lenses
I have the DA 55-300 and just last week took delivery of the DA 60-250 and there is no comparison with the focus speed. The 60-250 is quite fast on my K30 and it's almost silent, whereas with the 55-300 it hunts way too much and is noisy.

I haven't had many opportunities to test the 60-250 but so far I am very pleased with it.........it's a lot of money but I really needed to get some better optics for my longish range shooting. I know it's shorter on reach but it doesn't concern me as I should be able to get much better crops now.

It's by far my heaviest lens but when hiking I wear a Cotton Carrier:Cotton Carrier CAMERA SYSTEM for 2 Cameras and I hardly feel the weight of the camera.

Wow! I just noticed how expensive these have gotten since I bought mine a couple of years ago.........but, it's hands free hiking.

Good Luck in you quest.......

02-06-2013, 01:47 PM   #9
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I think the magic here is to decide what you really prefer the most: weather sealing, portability, speed, handling, sharpness, focal length. You cannot get all. DA 55-300 is in kind of sweet spot as it offers portability, decent focal range and decent quality. Add better quality and speed and you lose portability. Add longer range and you lose portability, maybe speed and sharpness. Also you need to decide how much you are prepared to carry with you. OS Bigma is quite a beast weighting 2kg. Also it doesn't fit in most of the camera bags when attached to camera. When you think about it like this there seems to be only cons. But you just need to decide what you need most.

I haven't used those lenses but I have used sigma 170-500 version and handled DA* 60-250/4 and DA* 300/4. For me those all are just too big (personal preference; even though 60-250 was surprisingly small and may well be my next big purchase). So I settled with A* 300/4. It has it's flaws but it is small. And the best lens is the one which is with you. It doesn't matter how good the lens is if it sits in the shelf because it's too heavy/big for you to carry around.

Sorry, haven't got anything other concrete to say about these lenses. But just decide what you need most and like most and buy that. And go shooting and forget the unnecessary pixel peeping. You take beautiful photos and I want to see more of them
02-06-2013, 02:01 PM   #10
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I have the DA300, DA 60-250, Bigma 50-500 (which my husband now uses) and the Sigma 70-200 ex....it sounds like you want to take pictures that need at least 300 mm.. alot of us like to take pictures of birds, myself included...i agree with crewl that the bigma was fine at 500 which is where i typically used it...maybe we got lucky but i was very happy with it.. honestly i like all the lens listed above... i have used the sigma 70-200 with the 1.4 teleconverter, the DA300 with the 1.7 pentax adapter and the 60-250 with the tamron 1.4 teleconverter.. if you need weather resistance then get the da lens and it sounds like you want distance so i would get the 300 with the 1.7 adapter...you will like all the lens so you need to decide if you're looking for birds or want a lens with flexibility...good luck!!!
02-06-2013, 02:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Let me start off by saying your English is far better than my Finnish!

You might want to look into the lens reviews for the lenses you are considering. Each have their good points and their not so good points. Remember too that a lot depends on what you intend to use them with. While zooms are very useful and flexible, they won't compete with a quality fixed focal lens.
Haha

I've tried to find out good reviews of those lenses and have got some knowledge of them, but not enough knowledge and that's why I came here to ask your opinion.
I wouldn't go with prime lens - because of I need the range that 55-300 has... Many of my birdphotos has taken something like 55-150mm and so on. So I'm not looking portrait photos of birds but I want subject's environnement in the photos, as you can see if you gonna look my photos
But thank you for your opinion!

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 60-250mm is going to dominate the Bigma in terms of IQ, as the latter has issues with sharpness at longer focal lengths. It does AF faster, though.

We don't have an in-depth review of the 60-250mm but we'll be posting one next month!
Oh, nice to hear, thank you!
If only we would have some MPs more in the K-5.. I mean the cropping wouldn't be so big problem then.

QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
All I can say is that my Sigma 150-500 is pretty good in my eyes but it needs the right conditions to work properly. The AF is pretty fast but the slow aperture at the long end makes both image quality (higher ISO) and AF really suffer if the lighting isn't perfect. Also zoom creep is sever if you like to point it to the sky at 500mm. So I don't see how it can help your low-light photography so I guess the 60-250 or even better for longer stuff the 300/4 would give nicer result with lower light. There is a Sigma 100-300/4 that you can find used but it's not weather-sealed.

Ps. This shot is truly stunning! Have you printed it? laurikoo.kuvat.fi
If I do remember right, the 150-500 Sigma isn't called Bigma.
300/4 isn't for me: I want take photos where are also the environnement and so on. And 100-300/4 is too long when it's so short as it can be..
But thank you for comment (for the photo too)! The photo you liked isn't printed anywhere.

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
My experience with the newest 50-500 is that contrary to popular belief the sharpness at 500mm has been vastly improved.
It appears that the engineers really made the long end IQ of the newest 50-500 a top priority.
I had tested other Sigma zooms including 170-500 and 150-500 and the 500mm end was not that great, but this recent one is impressive.
There is some creep as VisualDarkness finds with his 150-500, but I have remedied that with the use of a LensBand Lens Band Stop Zoom Creep for Sigma 50 500mm in Black | eBay
Here is a sample at 500mm

100% crop


There is still the issue of light, as 6.3 is the best the lens will do at 500mm. The above were taken at F8, ISO 200, 1/500

AF speed from the Sigma HSM is very quick. For sports I use a Sigma 70-200 HSM II, from what I hear the newest Sigma 70-200 has better wide open IQ.

I do not have experience with the 60-250 so cannot comment.

I do use the DA*300, which has spectacular IQ and holds up to cropping very well, so perhaps you should take this prime into consideration.
Big thank, now I got some good knowledge of Bigma's IQ!
But the 300/4 prime isn't for me: Most of time I'm using something like 55-150mm so the 300mm in every places would be too long.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
you need to consider the trade off of 2 times the image size vs possible sharpness, plus the higher speed of a 60-250 F4 through most of the focal length.

But aside from that I prefer my solution, if you don;t mind playing on the used lens market.

Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX, Non DG Non Macro plus a pair of teleconverters, (sigma APO 1.4x EX DG and Sigma APO 2x EX DG)

this gives you for the same weight as a BIGMA out to 400mm tack sharp, and gives you F2.8 without the TCs to 200 mm.,

Much more useable than either of your posted options, but finding a clean copy of a 10 year old lens is difficult. I quote this specific lens because later Macro versions are not as sharp, except perhaps the latest HSM2 version which gets great reviews, but there is no sigma TC for HSM lenses
70mm is maybe too long - if I do take a look on my birdphotos.. There are many photos taken with 55mm and it was still too long in some situations. And it would be too hard to use the teleconverters because of having not knowledge what kind of situation would come front of me.. For example, the Golden Eagle is in a tree and I'd like to get good photo of it, I should put the teleconverter on my lens and after doing that the eagle would has gone.
But thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by Darren Quote
DA* 300 f/4 is a great lens at all apertures and will give you the cleanest images to crop to get the framing you want - it has 1.5 stops advantage over the bigma which gets the K5 back to very acceptable noise / ISO levels, allowing you to crop heavy or blow up in print to the magnification of the 500mm - the detail lost in lower resolution is less than that lost from 1.5 stops of noise.
Other benefits - it's smaller, lighter, will give a brighter viewfinder - can you tell I'm a fan of this lens?
Sounds really good, but there's the problem: I gonna need a zoom because of photographing birds in many ways for getting photos that has the subject's environnement also.
But thank you!
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleRed Quote
I have the DA 55-300 and just last week took delivery of the DA 60-250 and there is no comparison with the focus speed. The 60-250 is quite fast on my K30 and it's almost silent, whereas with the 55-300 it hunts way too much and is noisy.

I haven't had many opportunities to test the 60-250 but so far I am very pleased with it.........it's a lot of money but I really needed to get some better optics for my longish range shooting. I know it's shorter on reach but it doesn't concern me as I should be able to get much better crops now.

It's by far my heaviest lens but when hiking I wear a Cotton Carrier:Cotton Carrier CAMERA SYSTEM for 2 Cameras and I hardly feel the weight of the camera.

Wow! I just noticed how expensive these have gotten since I bought mine a couple of years ago.........but, it's hands free hiking.

Good Luck in you quest.......
Thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by jpyykonen Quote
I think the magic here is to decide what you really prefer the most: weather sealing, portability, speed, handling, sharpness, focal length. You cannot get all. DA 55-300 is in kind of sweet spot as it offers portability, decent focal range and decent quality. Add better quality and speed and you lose portability. Add longer range and you lose portability, maybe speed and sharpness. Also you need to decide how much you are prepared to carry with you. OS Bigma is quite a beast weighting 2kg. Also it doesn't fit in most of the camera bags when attached to camera. When you think about it like this there seems to be only cons. But you just need to decide what you need most.

I haven't used those lenses but I have used sigma 170-500 version and handled DA* 60-250/4 and DA* 300/4. For me those all are just too big (personal preference; even though 60-250 was surprisingly small and may well be my next big purchase). So I settled with A* 300/4. It has it's flaws but it is small. And the best lens is the one which is with you. It doesn't matter how good the lens is if it sits in the shelf because it's too heavy/big for you to carry around.

Sorry, haven't got anything other concrete to say about these lenses. But just decide what you need most and like most and buy that. And go shooting and forget the unnecessary pixel peeping. You take beautiful photos and I want to see more of them
Thank you for good comment!

I know there isn't possible to get all, but I'm looking for lens that would give almost all.. The 55-300's problem is its darkness (have to use f/8 because of it's IQ isn't pretty good no longer at wide open, maybe it has got some hits from somewhere) and the AF speed which is too slow to photograph action photos.. Some of mine action photos has taken with MF and I wouldn't like to go with this way no longer. If DA 55-300's IQ would has been the same all these days, I wouldn't go to look a new lens.. But now it's too weak for my use. Especially I'm going to take photos on conditions where isn't as much light that in my photos has been and I'm in the problems already. :/

You're right and maybe I'm going to buy the 60-250/4 (maybe with 1.7x AFA?, it would be good in some situations) because with that choose I'll loose only in longest lenght (comparing to Bigma). And as you said the Bigma has maybe too much weight to carry on - especially I'm a person who just walks around in nature..

Haha I'd go shooting if I would have some subjects to shoot There isn't pretty much good places that has other than only the landscape and that's why I'm on internet and so on. And I will not, and I wouldn't do the pixel peeping if I wouldn't be forced. If you wanna see the new photos taken by me I'd need the new lens. DA 55-300's IQ has gone so weak that you can't put on those kind of photos on the internet because it wouldn't be any kind of art at all anymore, so bad it's IQ is now.

QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
I have the DA300, DA 60-250, Bigma 50-500 (which my husband now uses) and the Sigma 70-200 ex....it sounds like you want to take pictures that need at least 300 mm.. alot of us like to take pictures of birds, myself included...i agree with crewl that the bigma was fine at 500 which is where i typically used it...maybe we got lucky but i was very happy with it.. honestly i like all the lens listed above... i have used the sigma 70-200 with the 1.4 teleconverter, the DA300 with the 1.7 pentax adapter and the 60-250 with the tamron 1.4 teleconverter.. if you need weather resistance then get the da lens and it sounds like you want distance so i would get the 300 with the 1.7 adapter...you will like all the lens so you need to decide if you're looking for birds or want a lens with flexibility...good luck!!!
No no, I won't take all photos with 300mm.. Take a look on these:
laurikoo.kuvat.fi
laurikoo.kuvat.fi
laurikoo.kuvat.fi
All those were taken max. 170mm, so

Thank you!
02-06-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickl Quote
Haha

I've tried to find out good reviews of those lenses and have got some knowledge of them, but not enough knowledge and that's why I came here to ask your opinion.
I wouldn't go with prime lens - because of I need the range that 55-300 has... Many of my birdphotos has taken something like 55-150mm and so on. So I'm not looking portrait photos of birds but I want subject's environnement in the photos, as you can see if you gonna look my photos
But thank you for your opinion!


Oh, nice to hear, thank you!
If only we would have some MPs more in the K-5.. I mean the cropping wouldn't be so big problem then.


If I do remember right, the 150-500 Sigma isn't called Bigma.
300/4 isn't for me: I want take photos where are also the environnement and so on. And 100-300/4 is too long when it's so short as it can be..
But thank you for comment (for the photo too)! The photo you liked isn't printed anywhere.


Big thank, now I got some good knowledge of Bigma's IQ!
But the 300/4 prime isn't for me: Most of time I'm using something like 55-150mm so the 300mm in every places would be too long.


70mm is maybe too long - if I do take a look on my birdphotos.. There are many photos taken with 55mm and it was still too long in some situations. And it would be too hard to use the teleconverters because of having not knowledge what kind of situation would come front of me.. For example, the Golden Eagle is in a tree and I'd like to get good photo of it, I should put the teleconverter on my lens and after doing that the eagle would has gone.
But thank you!


Sounds really good, but there's the problem: I gonna need a zoom because of photographing birds in many ways for getting photos that has the subject's environnement also.
But thank you!

Thank you!


Thank you for good comment!

I know there isn't possible to get all, but I'm looking for lens that would give almost all.. The 55-300's problem is its darkness (have to use f/8 because of it's IQ isn't pretty good no longer at wide open, maybe it has got some hits from somewhere) and the AF speed which is too slow to photograph action photos.. Some of mine action photos has taken with MF and I wouldn't like to go with this way no longer. If DA 55-300's IQ would has been the same all these days, I wouldn't go to look a new lens.. But now it's too weak for my use. Especially I'm going to take photos on conditions where isn't as much light that in my photos has been and I'm in the problems already. :/

You're right and maybe I'm going to buy the 60-250/4 (maybe with 1.7x AFA?, it would be good in some situations) because with that choose I'll loose only in longest lenght (comparing to Bigma). And as you said the Bigma has maybe too much weight to carry on - especially I'm a person who just walks around in nature..

Haha I'd go shooting if I would have some subjects to shoot There isn't pretty much good places that has other than only the landscape and that's why I'm on internet and so on. And I will not, and I wouldn't do the pixel peeping if I wouldn't be forced. If you wanna see the new photos taken by me I'd need the new lens. DA 55-300's IQ has gone so weak that you can't put on those kind of photos on the internet because it wouldn't be any kind of art at all anymore, so bad it's IQ is now.


No no, I won't take all photos with 300mm.. Take a look on these:
laurikoo.kuvat.fi
laurikoo.kuvat.fi
laurikoo.kuvat.fi
All those were taken max. 170mm, so

Thank you!
beautiful pictures...if you don't want anything stronger than 200 i would go for the sigma 70-200ex 2.8 or the da 60-250 4..
02-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickl Quote
If I do remember right, the 150-500 Sigma isn't called Bigma.
300/4 isn't for me: I want take photos where are also the environnement and so on. And 100-300/4 is too long when it's so short as it can be..
But thank you for comment (for the photo too)! The photo you liked isn't printed anywhere.
Nope, it's more like "Mid-ma" but closely related and as others pointed out pretty much the same quirks but the Bigma has increased sharpness and a much wider min FL. Things like slow aperture and creep is the same between the models.
It sounds like the 60-250 is the perfect lens for you and I must say that it feels wonderful from my short stint with it, but sadly I need my 70-200/2.8 instead for my type of shooting. 60-250 is a really good range in my eyes too and I would love it as a weather sealed walk around.

Have you also thought about the 50-135 or is it too short?
02-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Have you also thought about the 50-135 or is it too short?
It's too short so the DA 60-250 with 1.7X AF extender (sometimes the 250mm isn't enough) would be perfect and that's what I want!
02-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #15
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