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02-17-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
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help recommend telephoto for k10d

Hi I recentlly bought an ebay K10d with tamron 28-200mm lens, and its pretty good.
I want something longer for birdwatching shots. Can you recommend a lens probably around 400mm.
I have seen a sigma 135-400 which seemed reasonable.
thanks for any suggestions

02-17-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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In terms of price, that's a pretty good lens. Of course, you can always look at getting a longer Sigma - they show up from time to time in the marketplace. And, if you want to get crazy (and I kind of want this for some inexplicable reason) there's always our overlord's newest telephoto entry:Pentax DA 560mm f/5.6 ED AW Lens 22180 B&H Photo Video And hey! The AF motor works with your k10! Always nice to dream
02-17-2013, 11:53 PM   #3
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Without a big budget, it may be worth sticking to 300mm.
on APS K10d:

200mm = 8.2 degrees diagonal
250mm = 6.6
300mm = 5.5
400mm = 4.1
500mm = 3.3

So, yes there some difference...
BUT is it enough to worry about?

The k10d isn't the fastest in terms of ISO, or focus speed, so it gets harder to get good shots beyond 200mm unless there's good light.
There's also the consideration of how sharp the lens is.
The 55-300 pentax is very sharp and as small as a can of soft drink, so it's easy to hand hold, pan flying birds and carry to where the birds are.
I would say the sharpness easily makes up for the 'short' focal length of 300mm.

Similarly, I think people with a bit more money have found that the DA*300 is better than longer lenses in terms of actual detail in the end image.

You could also have a look and see if there's anyone selling an old manual focus 300 f/4. Mostly you end up manual focusing because the birds are either flying or surrounded by twigs, so the money you save on auto focus, you gain in speed and sharpness of getting a decent, but old lens.
02-20-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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I appreciate your responding.
I will keep an eye out for the lenses mentioned. I have to admit Im still learning the technical side of the slr world, so theres a learning curve there.
thanks again.

02-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #5
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I have a K300/4 which does an excellent job. It's manual focus but anything of high quality in AF is going to cost some $$$. These lenses can be found for under $300 in decent condition. Mine works very well with a Pentax 2X rear converter-A that I own. For birds, I would consider 300mm a minimum length. The DA *300 would be an excellent choice if you have the cash. You might want to consider one of the Sigma long zooms. All of these are going to run $1000 or more. Of course , the ultimate birding lens for Pentax would be the new 560mm which sells for about the same price as a late model used car.
02-21-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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I'm with reeftool re the K 300/4. It has CA and PF issues but can deliver some great images in the right conditions. It was my goto birding lens until I got the Pentax M 400/5.6. There is a world of difference between 300 and 400mm when it comes to birding. Using manual telephoto lenses will require a lot of time and effort to get good results. Be prepared for a lot of initial failures if you go this route. There are excellent reviews on both of these optics in the lens review area.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 02-21-2013 at 01:33 PM.

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