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04-16-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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70-200 f/2.8 or 60-250 f/4?

We are planning a trip to Yellowstone this fall and I'm going through my lens line up. I'm looking at a faster lens to replace my 55-300 with hopefully better IQ. I have the 16-50 for normal and the Sigma 50-500 for really long but in between is lacking. So I've been looking at the various Sigma 70-200's and the Pentax DA*60-250. Obviously one is faster and the other gives a little more range.

I'm hoping someone with experience with both can give me some input. Price is not a primary concern although I'll probably buy used. I want good IQ and good handling. The ability to add a TC is a factor but not a major one as the Bigma is available. I want a lens I can put in my bag and carry all day with the 16-50 and an UWA to cover just about anything in three lenses.

Thanks for any comments.

04-16-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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I would say get the 60-250mm, since you probably won't need the extra stop or faster AF delivered by a 70-200mm.

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04-16-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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Vote Pentax DA*60-250 for sharp at wide open and of course its WR. Sigma 70-200 soft at wide open.
04-16-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
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If I were to choose between the Sigma 70-200 or the DA 60-250, I would get the 60-250. It has WR, additional reach (which may not seem like a big deal, but it's a nice bonus), silent and speedy AF pretty comparable to the Sigma HSM, and sharpness wide open that rivals the Sigma's at F4.

On the k-30/k-5/k-5II, the loss of a stop is not going to be an issue.

The only downside I can really see for the 60-250 is that it is not an internal zoom lens.

04-16-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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60-250 f/4 definitely.
04-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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If you don't mind the used market, try and find a Sigma 100-300/4!
04-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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I can't believe you'd plan to carry both the Bigma and a 60-250... you must be built like an OX.

I love my DA* 60-250. I can't really recommend against it. Even if I do find it a bit heavy to carry.
04-16-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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Here was my report on a Yellowstone excursion. Basically, I got by just fine with the 18-135. You have a better lens in the 16-50. You'll definitely need something longer, but as others have noted, I doubt you'll need the speed of a 2.8 lens, so the DA* 60-250 f4 should be fine. (I also doubt you will ever really need to go out to 500mm) Also check this thread.

04-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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I just wish i had this choice. But was just going to add that people rave about the Tamron 70-200 F2.8. Definitely better optics than the Sigma and at least on a par with the Pentax 60-250, also rated to be on a par with the legendary Canon 70-200 F2.8 L. Plus its cheaper than any of the other options by quite some margin. Only downside is the slow AF apparently.
04-16-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
70-200 f/2.8 or 60-250 f/4?
I'd be forgoing the extra reach at both top and bottom ends, for the extra speed that F2.8 gives over F4.0, because that would better suit my working needs and style.
04-16-2013, 12:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I have the 16-50 for normal and the Sigma 50-500 for really long but in between is lacking.
What in between, I don't see a gap?

From the samples I have tried in IQ wide open the order is Pentax 60-250 (sharp at f4), then Tamron 70-200 (sharp at f2.8) then Sigma 70-200 (soft at f2.8, sharpens at f4-5.6).
The mentioned Sigma 100-300 is also sharp at f4 but hard to find.

Looks like you already have good focal range coverage, maybe consider a K-5IIs instead as I hear the lack of filter and better AF extracts more performance from existing lenses?
04-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #12
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The Sigma 70-200 FLD is super sharp wide open and no other 70-200 for k-mount is close, at f/4 the Sigma is sharper than the DA*300 at f/4 - can't comment on the 60-250 as that is the only lens I mentioned I have not had but all charts and user reviews show the *300 sharper than the 60-250. For me, the sigma 70-200 FLD with it's superior autofocus and extra speed would be the winner.
04-16-2013, 01:22 PM   #13
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The FLD is the newest one? Good to hear. My experience is with the older HSM versions, I have a HSM II.

I think Sigma is improving all around, my new Bigma OS is very sharp at 500mm, much improved over the previous 500mm zooms of theirs.

I will have to consider upgrading to the FLD version.
04-16-2013, 01:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
The FLD is the newest one?
Yes

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I will have to consider upgrading to the FLD version.
The FLD coatings seem to really shine on their lineup now - I think the main advantage and where it excels is the lack of pf/ca (which affects sharpness), it is nearly non-existent now. I also have the Sigma 100-300 f/4 and as sharp as that lens is the 70-200 is still sharper, it's almost as sharp as my Sigma 300 2.8. I just bought another 70-200 for my Nikon kit.

As for size and handling (just noticed the OP mentioned that), the 70-200 handles like a dream and super well balanced on a k5 with a grip - although it looks as though it is a big lens, it is not all that heavy; however, I do lug around the 5+lb Sigma 300 2.8 throughout the day.
04-16-2013, 07:28 PM   #15
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the comments everyone! I was really leaning toward the Sigma but then I saw a few 60-250's going used for less than the Sigma so now I am just confused. The new FLD Sigma is almost as much as a new 60-250 so for me the price difference is not going to matter.

Two other things I have been thinking about are SDM and full frame compatibility. I really have not seen a lot of 60-250 SDM complaints, has anyone else noticed any?

And if there ever appears a mythical FF camera I guess the 60-250 would not be compatible but am I correct in saying the Sigma DG line is FF compatible?
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