Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-14-2013, 06:44 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Which long zoom for K10D

Recently purchased a secondhand K10D. Yes i'm on a incredibly tight budget. The camera was bought as a package with the DA 18-55 (perfectly fine) and the Tamron 70-300 Di LD. I thought this would get me going and look to get a new lens end of year or early 2014. However first few trips out with the Tamron have shown why its so cheap.

Lateral CA is pretty poor, AF hunts and usually gets it wrong and the IQ falls off a cliff beyond 180mm. I had a Sigma 135-400 on my 1000D body last year and was mightily impressed for an old lens. Both the AF and optics were pretty darn good. But it packed up and i was forced to by the Sigma 70-300 DG, which was pretty pants by comparison. And now i find myself with the same conclusion on Tamron.

So drawn up a budget shortlist to replace the Tamron:

Pentax (or Samsung) DA 50-200
Pentax DA 55-300
Sigma 50-200 OS HSM

Read the reviews and all have their ups and downs. But all beat the Tamron for CA.

The Pentax 55-300 looks to be the best for IQ...i think. But has a pretty iffy autofocus if you like action (i do). Just not sure how iffy.
The DA 50-200 gets a pretty damning review from one site and then an okay review from another. Not sure what to think of that.
The Sigma has by far and away the best autofocus available on a budget from what i can gather but the IQ is questionable.

Nothing is ever easy. I want to pull the trigger on the Pentax 55-300 but really worried about the AF. I photograph cars at our local circuit most of the time, hence why the HSM of the Sigma appeals.

Thanks in advance for any help.

04-14-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
Pentaxian
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,009
The Pentax 55-300 is probably the best choice out of the lot. I've had pretty good results from the Sigma 70-300 but I use it mostly outdoors in strong daylight and stopped down to f/8 or more. F/11 is the sweet spot on my copy. For top quality, you're going to have to spend a little more and go for either the Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8 offerings. If you aren't afraid of manual focusing, you can get some really fine older prime telephotos that will be well within your budget.
04-14-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2011
Location: Herefordshire, UK
Posts: 197
I agree, the 55-300 is probably the best choice out of those.
I started off with the Tamron 70-300 when I got back in to photography, after using film many years ago. Great value for money, and a good starter lens whose image quality is fine at that price point.
I replaced that with a DA-L 55-300 as an interim measure before looking for a telephoto DA* lens or similar. It is undoubtedly a very worthwhile step up in image quality, and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it. The autofocus is not the fastest, but it is certainly quite usable for motorsport - especially if you stand back a bit and use the longer end of the lens to minimise the amount of panning you need to do.
I have just sold the 55-300 and acquired a DA* 300, and that is another step up in image quality again - but at a price!
04-14-2013, 08:40 AM   #4
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
The Pentax 55-300 is probably the best choice out of the lot. I've had pretty good results from the Sigma 70-300 but I use it mostly outdoors in strong daylight and stopped down to f/8 or more. F/11 is the sweet spot on my copy. For top quality, you're going to have to spend a little more and go for either the Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8 offerings. If you aren't afraid of manual focusing, you can get some really fine older prime telephotos that will be well within your budget.
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 .........yum yum Now in my dreams that's what i would have! I borrowed one last year to use on my old 1000D body. So fast and snappy, nailed the focus. And the optics were very nice. I've read the Tamron 70-200 2.8 is the reverse of the Sigma. Scrum optics but slow AF.

A couple of dealers here in the UK have some open box DA 55-300 for 199. Will go with one of those tomorrow. I just need to make sure they are not the L version with plastic mount, no hood and no full time manual AF.

Many thanks for the reply.

04-14-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2011
Location: Herefordshire, UK
Posts: 197
The L version is not a bad lens for the price, so don't discount it too quickly.
The optics in the DA-L are identical to the DA. The differences are:
- No lens hood (very cheaply available on ebay)
- Plastic lens mount (I've never heard of any problems with them)
- No quick shift (but a common workaround, on the K-5 at least, is to press the lens release button which will disengage the AF motor and allow manual fine tuning of the focus)
04-14-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
Pentaxian
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,439
The Pentax 55-300 works just fine if used on the Pentax Q but the cheap 70-300's are brutal so far I've seen, that says something about the different grade of optics.
04-14-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
Site Supporter
Spodeworld's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New Joisey
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,189
Never thought to press the lens release button as a quick way to allow for manual focus. What a simple but excellent idea!

QuoteOriginally posted by percy Quote
The L version is not a bad lens for the price, so don't discount it too quickly.
The optics in the DA-L are identical to the DA. The differences are:
- No lens hood (very cheaply available on ebay)
- Plastic lens mount (I've never heard of any problems with them)
- No quick shift (but a common workaround, on the K-5 at least, is to press the lens release button which will disengage the AF motor and allow manual fine tuning of the focus)
04-14-2013, 05:13 PM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,475
It's disappointing that there aren't even as many choices on the long end for Pentax as on the short end. Tamron's newer, and supposedly better-performing 70-300 zoom isn't available for Pentax. The Pentax 55-300 has quality control issues - it has the usual barrel wobble, and many copies suffer from decentering. That leaves you with the limited-range Tamron 70-200 2.8, which might be heavier and more expensive than you need.

It would be nice if Sigma or Tamron would make something like the 60-250/4 DA, which seems like it should be able to be both cheaper and lighter than the Pentax version (not to mention the issues with the Pentax focus motors), while still performing similarly. But I understand them wanting to stick to full-frame on the long end, making the lens heavier and more expensive than it would be in APS-C.

Paul

04-15-2013, 02:25 AM   #9
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
It's disappointing that there aren't even as many choices on the long end for Pentax as on the short end. Tamron's newer, and supposedly better-performing 70-300 zoom isn't available for Pentax. The Pentax 55-300 has quality control issues - it has the usual barrel wobble, and many copies suffer from decentering. That leaves you with the limited-range Tamron 70-200 2.8, which might be heavier and more expensive than you need.

It would be nice if Sigma or Tamron would make something like the 60-250/4 DA, which seems like it should be able to be both cheaper and lighter than the Pentax version (not to mention the issues with the Pentax focus motors), while still performing similarly. But I understand them wanting to stick to full-frame on the long end, making the lens heavier and more expensive than it would be in APS-C.

Paul
It was disappointing to find Tamron didn't offer the vastly better 70-300 VC for the Pentax mount. I used that lens on my old Canon body and it was miles better than the crummy LD Di version. Had all the bells and whistles like internal focusing, full time manual focus, fast AF and better optics without the horrid CA the lesser lens suffers with.

QC issues on the 55-300 sound a little worrying, especially as i have just placed the order for one from SRS
04-15-2013, 02:28 AM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by percy Quote
The L version is not a bad lens for the price, so don't discount it too quickly.
The optics in the DA-L are identical to the DA. The differences are:
- No lens hood (very cheaply available on ebay)
- Plastic lens mount (I've never heard of any problems with them)
- No quick shift (but a common workaround, on the K-5 at least, is to press the lens release button which will disengage the AF motor and allow manual fine tuning of the focus)
I almost pulled the trigger on the L version. SRS in the UK are doing an unboxed DA L for 199.....very tempting indeed. But they also had a sale on the DA and were doing that for 239. I thought once i bought a hood for a tenner it would only be 30 difference and next month would kick myself for not spending what amounts to an Indian take-away on the better lens mount and quick shift focus.
04-15-2013, 02:31 AM   #11
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Original Poster
Thanks for all the help folks!

I came very very close to spending a sum of money i can definitely not afford on a Tamron 70-200 F2.8. 400 delivered from Ebay. Fortunately i came to my senses before committing. Can cope with an extra 30 but an 200, that would not be easy.
04-15-2013, 05:25 AM   #12
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2011
Location: Herefordshire, UK
Posts: 197
Got my lens hood from China for 3 including delivery, rather than the tenner you have quoted, and it worked just fine. (I really don't know how they do it for the price)
But even so, at the price difference you have found for the lens I think I would have probably gone for the DA in preference to the DA-L as well.
I wouldn't worry about QC issues with the 55-300 - I think tibbitts has perhaps made that sound rather worse than it actually is. Maybe he has just been unlucky!
Enjoy the 55-300 when you get it. It'll keep you going for a good while, and give you plenty of time to save up for the next lens.
By the way, SRS are well worth a visit one day. I found them extremely helpful when looking for a new lens, and had plenty of opportunity to try several out before deciding on one.
04-15-2013, 05:38 AM   #13
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 20
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by percy Quote
Got my lens hood from China for 3 including delivery, rather than the tenner you have quoted, and it worked just fine. (I really don't know how they do it for the price)
But even so, at the price difference you have found for the lens I think I would have probably gone for the DA in preference to the DA-L as well.
I wouldn't worry about QC issues with the 55-300 - I think tibbitts has perhaps made that sound rather worse than it actually is. Maybe he has just been unlucky!
Enjoy the 55-300 when you get it. It'll keep you going for a good while, and give you plenty of time to save up for the next lens.
By the way, SRS are well worth a visit one day. I found them extremely helpful when looking for a new lens, and had plenty of opportunity to try several out before deciding on one.
I did have another quick look after and did indeed find a hood for 3 from China. Then spent 30 minutes deciding whether to call SRS and change the order. But decided to stick with the DA. 40 is a lot of money (to me) but i think i would have a nagging voice in the back of my mind that i was such a cheap skate and didn't pay the little extra.

Can't wait for the lens now. It's in a for a hard time mind. There will be a fair amount of motorsport for it to cope with, which could be a little frustrating for the lens and me. Especially with the dull weather we are suffering with at the moment. But hopefully a bit of pre-focus and higher iso should ease the problem a tad.
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!
af, autofocus, budget, da, hsm, k-mount, k10d, pentax, pentax lens, review, sigma, slr lens, tamron
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Adaptall II adapter for K10D turbines Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 01-13-2013 12:44 AM
Which zoom lens are good for wide angle? fr3nzy Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 12-21-2012 09:47 AM
Buy a K5 to replace my K10d for long exposure? Pentaxtic Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 05-20-2012 03:44 PM
Which memory card for K10D? Bill Banks Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 10-30-2011 01:53 PM
Question on long zoom for K10D philipweber Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 16 12-26-2007 06:41 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:41 PM. | See also: NikonForums.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