Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-07-2013, 06:40 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 56
Best Cheapo Telephoto Zoom

I'm looking to get a tele for my k-5. I shoot landscape/nature and this would be somewhat experimental, so I'm hoping to get something cheap.

So far, the best options seem to be:

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.6
Pentax F 70-210mm f/4-5.6
Sigma APO DG 70-300mm f/4-5.6
Sigma DC 55-200mm f/4-5.6

Photozone's reviews on the modern zooms seem to describe the 55-200mm as being unusually sharp. The unscientific consensus on the F 70-210mm seems to be that it has ridiculously good IQ for the price, not just in sharpness but in contrast / color rendering as well. I'm willing to sacrifice the extra 100mm on crop for better performance at the same focal lengths.

What would you guys recommend? At the moment, I'm leaning toward the F 70-210. This is not only because of its price and user reviews, but the 49mm filter thread would mean that I could use the same CPL I use on my prime lenses and not have to use an annoying step up ring to my 77mm filter (which i use for my primary zooms) or step down ring and risk vignetting.

03-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,770
I have both the DA 55-300 and the F 70-210. You won't go wrong with either, but they are different lenses. The DA has a more 'modern' rendering and the F has more of a 'film' look. That's not really accurate but it's the best I can describe it. But shots taken with them will look distinctly different.

The only fault I have found with the DA 55-300 is that it can hunt for focus in poor light. But in good light it is fine, and to get better you would need a lot heavier and more expensive lens. The F 70-210 is very quick to lock focus, but it is noisy: whir, whir, bang! But you know when it has locked.

Both take excellent images when handled right and I would not be interested in selling either, they both have a purpose.
03-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
Site Supporter
Chaos_Realm's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,251
QuoteOriginally posted by lukelbd Quote
I'm looking to get a tele for my k-5. I shoot landscape/nature and this would be somewhat experimental, so I'm hoping to get something cheap.

So far, the best options seem to be:

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.6
Pentax F 70-210mm f/4-5.6
Sigma APO DG 70-300mm f/4-5.6
Sigma DC 55-200mm f/4-5.6

Photozone's reviews on the modern zooms seem to describe the 55-200mm as being unusually sharp. The unscientific consensus on the F 70-210mm seems to be that it has ridiculously good IQ for the price, not just in sharpness but in contrast / color rendering as well. I'm willing to sacrifice the extra 100mm on crop for better performance at the same focal lengths.

What would you guys recommend? At the moment, I'm leaning toward the F 70-210. This is not only because of its price and user reviews, but the 49mm filter thread would mean that I could use the same CPL I use on my prime lenses and not have to use an annoying step up ring to my 77mm filter (which i use for my primary zooms) or step down ring and risk vignetting.
I have a da 55-300 and F70-210,
Yes the F70-210 has great colour and contrast. But I think the Da55-300 tops it overall. The DA's IQ is excellent, it has extra reach on both ends of the range and is nearly 20% lighter. So for me the DA 55-300 is a no brainer.
03-07-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,406
I'd go with the DA--terrific lens for the money.

03-07-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
Pentaxian
calsan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Perth, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,387
I had the Sigma APO and while it was very good at 70mm and in 'half macro' it became noticeably softer at the edges at 300mm.

The Pentax 55-300 is far, far better at 300mm and totally useable with the aperture wide open. It's slower to focus, however and cannot focus very close when compared with the sigma. It's also lighter and the quick shift is very useful. Make sure you get the 'proper' one with the quick shift and lens hood. Both are essential. Don't get the 'light' or L version.
03-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,863
One thing to keep in mind using a polarizer with the 70-210 is that the front element rotates. The front element of the 55-300 does not. I don't know about the Sigmas.
03-07-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
I kept the F70-210 and sold the DA55-300. They're both good, but for the price the F70-210 is worth keeping around along with my more expensive lenses. The DA55-300 never took photos I really liked over 135mm, so the long end served no purpose. I now use a DA*50-135 instead.

I do think the F70-210 is a little weak over 180mm or so, but I like the overall rendering.
03-07-2013, 07:19 PM   #8
Pentaxian
Sagitta's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Maine
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,939
I own an older 70-300mm (the DL non-APO version) and it takes decent shots as long as you stay aware of the light, keep the hood on, and avoid the long end of the zoom except when you're using it in macro-mode. Up to about 250mm or so it's decent, and midrange its very god indeed.

The big question is how much of a hole you have or would miss in that 55-70mm range, at which point I'd choose between the two Sigmas if you're on a tight budget.

If you can afford one of the Pentax's, I'd go for them over the Sigmas..

03-07-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chicago Suburbs.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 500
Add DxO Optics Pro software + 55-300 and it should be a satisfying combo. The software even on my 50-135 does a great job of sharpening and tightening up the images. The limitation of the software is that camera and lens must be supported together on their tested list.
03-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 2
Pentax 55-300 great lense

Hi everyone
I have an older Pentax 80-200 manual zoom lenses, and the newer DA 55-300 auto zoom. I have used both lenses for about 5-8 years respectively, but I still feel as if the 80-200 zoom takes crisper images. On a side note, I just received my new K30 the other day and I'm really interested in giving both these lenses a work out. Although both lenses have almost the same f-ratios, (1:4.7-5.6 vs. 1:4-5.6) I find that both lenses do the same thing very differently on my Pentax istDL. All in all I would have to give the older, manual focus lense the edge. For the money the DA lense is a great addition to any collection.
Tony
03-07-2013, 09:51 PM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,893
The 55-300.

Over half the time, when I'm at 300, I really want to be at 500. The 300 will far exceed a cropped 200mm at the long end.
03-07-2013, 10:04 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wellington
Posts: 969
Another vote for the 55-300, I'll add the DAL version of that lens that I have for a cheaper optically identical version. It is only sold in kits so you often find them on ebay or webstores split with no box. With my experiences with it it does hunt abit so if occasional use is your bag get hte DAL55-300. If you will use it regularily get the DA55-300. It comes with a hood and has quickshift focus helping to alleviate the hunting issue.
03-08-2013, 12:35 AM   #13
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 56
Original Poster
Thanks guys; so consensus is the 55-300 is a good option. Thanks a lot for the DAL advice Tonto. However, it's still without a lens hood at least $30 more expensive than the Sigma 55-200mm, and no one has spoken up about this lens; I guess it's overshadowed by the 70-300 APO. Reviews I've found on them seem to suggest the 55-200 is as surprisingly good a performer as the DA 55-300mm; anyone have experience with it?

Also, about the filter, I realize now that I don't already have lens hoods for either of my primes, so using a step up ring with a bigger CPL (whose size is chosen for the tele) would be no big deal. Still, I might consider the 70-210 as well given the price...
03-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #14
Veteran Member
PBandJ's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Washington DC metro area
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 480
Don't ignore the older manual focus lenses. I just got a f3.8 fixed, and and it weighs a ton, but I think it gives good pics. took this one this am handheld to look at the bokeh. it was $50. I don't plan to use it more than maybe 5-10% of the time, so I didn't want to put $300 into it.
Unfortunately, I wasn't keeping track of f-stops..
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-01  Photo 
03-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Iowa
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,269
Another vote for the DA (or DA-L) 55-300. It's very sharp from about 80 all the way to 300mm, it's very lightweight, and it's not an internal focus (IF) lens, so you don't get cheated out of reach at the long end with subjects at less than infinity distance.

QuoteOriginally posted by lukelbd Quote
However, it's still without a lens hood
Here ya go... $3.34 at eBay with free shipping. The only difference between it and the original Pentax hood is the logo & the price. I have it & like it.

If an all-manual lens is an option, I'd also recommend the Tamron Adaptall SP model 23A 60-300mm zoom. It's also very sharp at all focal lengths, and has a very useful true macro mode with 1:1.55 magnification. The downside is it's an all-manual (unless you have the expensive PK/A adapter) lens with manual focus. But it's cheap... I've seen it for $40, minus the adapter.
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!
70-210mm, f/4-5.6, filter, k-mount, pentax, pentax lens, price, reviews, sigma, slr lens, step
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best budget medium telephoto zoom bpv_UW Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 03-08-2012 09:30 AM
NEED HELP! Best Wide-to-Telephoto All-Around Zoom? (Like 18/28mm-200/300mm) or wait? PentaxForums-User Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 09-12-2011 08:18 AM
Best Telephoto Zoom for a K20D bonaprof Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 03-26-2011 01:18 PM
Best El Cheapo Flash for Pentax K-X SelfEmployedDebtFree Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 41 12-10-2010 01:18 AM
Have K10D, what zoom-telephoto is best? rdrum76 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 05-25-2007 04:56 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:24 AM. | 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