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04-01-2013, 05:56 AM   #1
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Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF....is this my best choice?

Amazon.com: Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo

I have been using a Tamron 75-300mm lens on my Pentax K100D for a few years now, and really want something better. The 75-300mm lens I have been very happy with, for what it is, and in decent light the lens has been pretty darn good. But.................

I want to get some really nice, fantastic shots of my kid playing soccer, softball, and marching in the band at football games during low light (or under the lights) situations. The 75-300mm lens has been pretty good for the sports stuff (under good lighting situations), but her playing the trumpet under the lights during the football games have not. The lens is what it is, a very budget lens that works decent with good light.

Is this 70-200mm Tamron the best "bang for the buck" in this price range ($769) and for what I want to do? This lens is the most I can afford at this time in my life, with kid expenses and wanting to eat from time to time. I realize it won't have the "reach" my older lens has, but am willing to give that up if my pics are sharper and I can use it under low light coniditons.

Or, is there another lens in this price range (believe there is a Sigma fairly close to this one) I should look hard at?

Thank you.

04-01-2013, 06:06 AM   #2
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Yes. It is the same decision I made for similar reasons. It's rated as sharpest among the 70-200s and it is the cheapest. It is rated as slower to AF than the Sigma but it costs hundreds less and is sharper.
04-01-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
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Well, I love my Tamron 70-200. I have had no issues tracking sandpipers, gulls, and various other birds. I have also used it for some random soccer games, R/C racing, and other various hobbies/sports. The only thing that bothers me about the lens is the amount of time it takes to focus when I am going from say 80mm to like 200mm. I have been contemplating going to the Sigma 50-150 HSM II lens purely for the HSM. HOWEVER, the main reason I don't is because I would be losing 50mm. The only other lens I can think of in the 70-200 range would be the older Sigma 70-200 HSM lens. I have owned 2 copies and both have been wonderful...sharp at f/2.8 and both lenses were quick to focus on my Nikon bodies.
04-01-2013, 07:00 AM   #4
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I like mine coupled to with the matching 1.4 converter.

04-01-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
I like mine coupled to with the matching 1.4 converter.
I was just wondering how the quality of the image is with the 1.4 converter? I am thinking about getting a converter but would love to see any sample shots you might have.
04-01-2013, 07:24 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
I like mine coupled to with the matching 1.4 converter.
Forgive my ignorance, but is that a "magnifier," so that would make the lens approx 300mm?

Also, do they make those for Pentax bodies? I did a quick search and didn't find one made for a Pentax body.

Thank you.
04-01-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
Forgive my ignorance, but is that a "magnifier," so that would make the lens approx 300mm?

Also, do they make those for Pentax bodies? I did a quick search and didn't find one made for a Pentax body.

Thank you.
It's basically the focal length x 1.4. He may have one of those "hard to find" converters!
04-01-2013, 07:37 AM   #8
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I did find a Vivitar converter for the Pentax body...........would this work ok?

04-01-2013, 07:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by treebeard Quote
I was just wondering how the quality of the image is with the 1.4 converter? I am thinking about getting a converter but would love to see any sample shots you might have.
+1. I can't get my 70-200 to work with my 2x MC7 converter at all - even under bright outdoor lighting conditions. I would be interested in how it works and the IQ with the 1.4 too.
04-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #10
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The Tamron is one of, if not the best converter(s) around. Sadly, it's no longer made and they range from $225 upwards. Do a search in the "sold" section of the Marketplace for members who may have one left.
04-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
I did find a Vivitar converter for the Pentax body...........would this work ok?
Teleconverters for Pentax can be very complicated. There are few (if any) still in production and the ones available used may or may not work with a particular lens.

Some lenses were made with a 'matched' teleconverter meaning that the design of the lens and TC was done in tandem so that they would work well together. However, that same TC might not work as well with a different lens. Some TCs have lens elements that extend into the primary lens and thus will work only on lenses that permit that and can damage other lenses. Then you must consider whether the lens is screw drive or SDM (HSM). Older TCs with screwdrive work only with lenses that have a screwdrive. Newer TCs that support SDM contacts may (or may not) work with SDM (HSM) lens.

Pentax is supposed to be working on a new TC for release sometime in 2013 or later.

So, bottom line do your research very carefully before buying any teleconverter for Pentax. Post the pictures a link or the full description here and someone can help. Just saying 'Vivitar TC' is not enough, they made a number of different models.
04-01-2013, 09:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Teleconverters for Pentax can be very complicated. There are few (if any) still in production and the ones available used may or may not work with a particular lens.

Some lenses were made with a 'matched' teleconverter meaning that the design of the lens and TC was done in tandem so that they would work well together. However, that same TC might not work as well with a different lens. Some TCs have lens elements that extend into the primary lens and thus will work only on lenses that permit that and can damage other lenses. Then you must consider whether the lens is screw drive or SDM (HSM). Older TCs with screwdrive work only with lenses that have a screwdrive. Newer TCs that support SDM contacts may (or may not) work with SDM (HSM) lens.

Pentax is supposed to be working on a new TC for release sometime in 2013 or later.

So, bottom line do your research very carefully before buying any teleconverter for Pentax. Post the pictures a link or the full description here and someone can help. Just saying 'Vivitar TC' is not enough, they made a number of different models.
Nothing in life is easy it seems. Here's what I was looking at:

Amazon.com: Vivitar 1.4x Auto Focus Tele Converter for Pentax: Camera & Photo

I'll acquire the zoom lens before getting too carried away with a teleconverter. But, it's fun to start planning purchases down the road!!!!

Thanks again.
04-01-2013, 09:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
Nothing in life is easy it seems. Here's what I was looking at:

Amazon.com: Vivitar 1.4x Auto Focus Tele Converter for Pentax: Camera & Photo

I'll acquire the zoom lens before getting too carried away with a teleconverter. But, it's fun to start planning purchases down the road!!!!

Thanks again.
Some here, in other threads, have offered that the Vivitar 1.4x is the same as the Pro-Optic mode.

Pro-Optic Multi-Coated 1.4x Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
04-01-2013, 09:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
I'll acquire the zoom lens before getting too carried away with a teleconverter.
Always a good plan, unless you you want the matched set.

The one you linked to has 'A' type contacts but not (as far as I can see) SDM contacts. So it will work with screwdrive lenses but not SDM (HSM).

A little background: you will find lenses (and TCs) without any contacts and thus no electrical connection to the camera. In general these are Pentax K and Pentax-M lenses. Then you will find lenses with 'A' type contacts, Pentax-A, Pentax F and Pentax FA. Then you will have newer lenses with SDM (or HSM) contacts, I think DA* for Pentax and most of the newer Tamron and Sigma.

There are very few TCs that have SDM contacts and they are usually very expensive, over $200 at least. To be even more confusing some have the SDM contacts on one side, but not on the other making them look like they will work with SDM but they won't. I think the one you linked to is like that, so it will not work.

If you get an SDM or HSM lens then be prepared to spend quite a lot for a good TC that will work with it. At least $200 and usually $250 or more.
04-01-2013, 10:10 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Always a good plan, unless you you want the matched set.

The one you linked to has 'A' type contacts but not (as far as I can see) SDM contacts. So it will work with screwdrive lenses but not SDM (HSM).

A little background: you will find lenses (and TCs) without any contacts and thus no electrical connection to the camera. In general these are Pentax K and Pentax-M lenses. Then you will find lenses with 'A' type contacts, Pentax-A, Pentax F and Pentax FA. Then you will have newer lenses with SDM (or HSM) contacts, I think DA* for Pentax and most of the newer Tamron and Sigma.

There are very few TCs that have SDM contacts and they are usually very expensive, over $200 at least. To be even more confusing some have the SDM contacts on one side, but not on the other making them look like they will work with SDM but they won't. I think the one you linked to is like that, so it will not work.

If you get an SDM or HSM lens then be prepared to spend quite a lot for a good TC that will work with it. At least $200 and usually $250 or more.
Now I have something to do today.......go research all the stuff you just typed!!!!!! Wow!!!!!
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