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04-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
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60-250 or DFA100WR?

Here's a troll for opinions I'm sure nobody has asked: DFA100WR Macro OR DA*60-250 as my longest telephoto?

Considerations:
-Macro requirements
-Long telephoto requirements
-Portability

I've been using mid-range macros mostly in my DSLR experience. 50mm on full-frame Minolta, and now DA35 limited on Pentax. I really like the immediate field of view hand-holdability of these lenses, and for how they double as a general use normal lens. Conversely, I'm trying to like the 100 focal length but finding it a bit un-natural. Then we couple that with the fact that I'm currently without a long telephoto of any kind, and missing it. I like shooting at around 200mm or so quite a lot, with something fast. (The DA55-300 didn't do it for me). I chose the 100 macro because I thought maybe it'll do for my telephoto needs (hiking, landscapes some portrait and of course macro). And it's small, light and uses my 49mm filters. But...

I'm currently considering to sell the DFA100WR and also something in my mid-range like the 40 or 50, and getting a 60-250. It's always been a lens I've been drawn to, with the right balance of speed at f4, and quality and reasonable portability for its class of lens. I had a 200/2.8 Minolta that I really liked, and also the Sony 70-300G which was slower. It was always a coin toss between speed and versatility. The 60-250 seems to bridge both those benefits. Nobody but Pentax really makes anything like it.

I also had the 50-135 for a while and found that I was shooting a lot at around 70mm, and when I wanted to go long, it held me back. No matter how much I forced the zoom ring, it wouldn't go beyond 135mm.

I'm just wondering the its size and weight of the 60-250. I have a nice portable Velbon tripod. And I've ordered a highing/trekking stick with a tripod head to double as a monopod. I've had telephotos around the 7-800g weight range and been ok with it. Will 1100g bog me down? How hand-holdable is it?

(I'm not considering any 70-200/2.8s or other lenses. It's the 60-250.)

Final point: I am grateful for my collection of lenses but also on a budget. I won't keep 2 macros, and I'm trying to eliminate any redundancy in focal lengths, and keep decisions simple. It's a hobby for me after all. I'm leaning towards a lens set-up that includes: 15, 21, 35M and 60-250. Otherwise it might be 15, 21, 40 and 100M. But I'm thinking if I'm really interested in capturing those long shots including those with some nice tight depth of focus, it's a big lens in my bag, and enjoy the extra strength training.

Thoughts?

04-24-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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That is a real apples and oranges comparison. The DFA 100mm is a lot cheaper and very portable. The 60-250 is a big lens and is expensive. It also goes out to 250mm (you said that you like the 200mm range). It is more versatile. It all boils down to what you will use more.
04-24-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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My opinion those are completely different lenses. About as far apart in design and purpose as you can get. If you don't use the DFA 100 then sure sell it. And you do not really have anything long.

I just got the DA*60-250 and have been out with it twice now. Sure it is heavy, but quite hand holdable. Carrying it on the k-5 on the sling strap has not been an issue either. You definitely know it is there but I'm not worried about having it hanging like a normal lens. Cannot do that with a big 70-200 or the 50-500.
04-24-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
Ari
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I've owned the 60-250 and it's an incredible lens. Sharpness at 250 wide open was pretty spectacular. I used it quite a few times handheld and it didn't seem too much of a strain. I sometimes wish I hadn't sold it, but, as photography became less of a hobby for me and more of a career, I had to ditch it for the focal lengths and speeds of lenses that made sense for my business. When I'm in Cape Cod in the summer, though, watching those Hawks nesting above the trees, I wish I still had it in my bag................

04-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
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Not sure why you're rejecting the 55-300mm so firmly. It's F4 out to 120mm and F4.5 out to around 190mm. So within most of the overlapping range, it's as fast as or no more than one third stop slower than the 60-250mm. In addition, the internal focusing of the 60-250mm means that you lose effective focal length at anything less than infinity. Yeah, the DA* is super nice, I'm sure, but it costs four times as much (and weighs three times as much).
04-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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The 60-250, with the K5 and a D-BG4 grip, make`s for a nicely balanced and dampened hand-holdable combo. The 100 WR is a completely different lens and in its own league.

p.s. I use the 55-300 a lot but it does not compare...to either one.

Cheers.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 04-24-2013 at 03:05 PM.
04-24-2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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Have you considered the DA*200 since you already like primes. I would never part with my 100 as I use it as fast medium telephoto in addition to macro. The 200 is lighter and faster than the 60-250, less expensive as well and very sharp. Given that you have a lot of primes, it might fit your needs. If that Pentax teleconverter ever appears, it would extend the range further.
04-25-2013, 01:35 AM   #8
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I can only add to the praise for the 60-250, quite simply it is superb optically, perfectly usable at maximum aperture, well built, weather resistant, has a constant f4 right through the range, and although it is quite heavy it is very well balanced. The only criticism I have is that when it is at it fullest zoom & focus extension it is a bit front heavy & unbalanced. It is a league ahead of most "similar" zooms and I even prefer it to the FA* 80-200.

I also have the 100mm WR macro and although it is again superb, I don't find it particularly useful as an "all-rounder" - the DA 35 macro is the one I find more useful, if it was WR it would be almost perfect.

Only opinions, but I hope they help

04-25-2013, 05:19 AM   #9
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I have both so my answers can either be really helpful or not at all I don't own the 35, however.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
I like shooting at around 200mm or so quite a lot
You need the 60-250 then.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
I chose the 100 macro because I thought maybe it'll do for my telephoto needs (hiking, landscapes some portrait and of course macro).
I chose it and use it for this also.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
60-250. It's always been a lens I've been drawn to, with the right balance of speed at f4, and quality and reasonable portability for its class of lens
I understand you, it's why I chose it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
I'm just wondering the its size and weight of the 60-250. I have a nice portable Velbon tripod. And I've ordered a highing/trekking stick with a tripod head to double as a monopod. I've had telephotos around the 7-800g weight range and been ok with it. Will 1100g bog me down? How hand-holdable is it?
It's easily portable and handholdable. But nowhere near like the 100 WR. when going camping I bring the 18-55 WR and 100 WR as my two lenses. Otherwise, since I bought the 60-250 it has always been with me. It's a lens that draws me and makes me want to create opportunities to use it. The only other lens doing that to me is the 21.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
I won't keep 2 macros
I sold the FA50 macro when I bought the 100 WR.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
and I'm trying to eliminate any redundancy in focal lengths
I'm 100% for that. Until I become rich and start a real collection, that is.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
I'm leaning towards a lens set-up that includes: 15, 21, 35M and 60-250
This makes sense.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
Otherwise it might be 15, 21, 40 and 100M
This also makes sense, but I'd choose 50 instead of 40.

My personal lineup of primes is 21, 50, 100. My lineup of zooms is 18-55 WR, 17-70 (main lens) and 60-250. Half of my lenses are WR which I love. I can travel light with the primes, more conveniently with the 18-55 and 100, or cover large and fast with the 17-70 and 60-250.

In your shoes, considering that you own the 100 but don'T seem to be in love with it, I would sell it and get the 60-250. Using the 35M is probably easier but you have to get closer to your subjects. If you're fine with that, then your results will be as good as with the 100.
04-25-2013, 05:45 AM   #10
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The DA* 60-250 is the heaviest lens I own, but it doesn't stay home often. I even take it on canoe trips, inside a Pelican case. As noted, unless you're shooting at distance it really cheats you on enlargement. At 6 feet it's about the equivalent of 135mm on my Sigma 70-300. But, if I didn't have it, I'd have to buy it, so what are you going to do? I'm still thinking I might replace it with the new Sigma 70-200 2.8, for the faster focus and 2.8 Aperture, but that lens is just as heavy. I don't have the 100 but I have a Tamron 90, and those lenses couldn't be more different. I need both. The 60-250 doesn't do macro, the 90 doesn't have a lot of reach.
04-25-2013, 06:32 AM   #11
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One thing that the OP hasn't answered is what he is using his macro for. If he is bug hunting, then the extra working distance with the 100mm vs the 35mm is very welcome. If he is using it for only stationary objects, flowers and such, it probably doesnt make too much of a difference.
04-25-2013, 06:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke Quote
I also have the 100mm WR macro and although it is again superb, I don't find it particularly useful as an "all-rounder" - the DA 35 macro is the one I find more useful, if it was WR it would be almost perfect.
I agree so much with this statment. My 35mm macro is the one lens i regret selling
It is a normal lens on APS-C, of course it has close focusing abilities, it is very sharp and it is a good landscape focal length.
04-25-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
One thing that the OP hasn't answered is what he is using his macro for. If he is bug hunting, then the extra working distance with the 100mm vs the 35mm is very welcome. If he is using it for only stationary objects, flowers and such, it probably doesnt make too much of a difference.
I am not a bug chaser. My macro has been still objects. After a few days of shooting with 35 and 100, I am determined now that I still prefer the shorter length macro, which I believe puts me in a minority. But I had to try the 100. Great lens, just not so much for me I think.

There's been some debate here about the relative merits of the 55-300. It's compelling, but the autofocus (speed, accuracy and noise) were off-putting. It was pretty good but I'm still looking for something better and faster. I know that cost and weight comes with it. Looking for smoother bokeh as I'm a bokeh junkie.

Someone else suggested the 200/2.8. Yes it's a bit smaller, lighter and cheaper than the 60-250, but then I still have to have something else between 35 and 200, so I'm back up to more weight and cost with whatever that lens is. I am in fact a prime kind of guy, however I've found at the telephoto end of things I am actually more drawn to a zoom, especially when we're pushing the 1kg mark with faster long primes and zooms.

Regarding the inner focusing and variable focal length of the 60-250, I want the length mostly for far away objects anyhow, and I understand that's where it gets its fuller reach. Seems like a purposeful engineering decision by Pentax. The further away it is, the further you want the lens to be able to reach for it?
04-25-2013, 11:23 AM   #14
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I'm only speaking for myself but big, heavy lenses no longer compute for me. I have both the DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 and I rarely use them. I can't imagine the DA* 60-250. Again, that's just me. There's no question the DA 55-300 isn't as good a lens but I find it works just fine for my purposes when I require the reach. I've been primarily using my DA Limited primes - and my D FA 100 - most often. If I buy another zoom for my Pentax kit, I'll be looking for something to replace the 16-50. Until then, there's the DA 16-45 if I need it.
04-25-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Canuck Quote
I am not a bug chaser. My macro has been still objects. After a few days of shooting with 35 and 100, I am determined now that I still prefer the shorter length macro, which I believe puts me in a minority. But I had to try the 100. Great lens, just not so much for me I think.

There's been some debate here about the relative merits of the 55-300. It's compelling, but the autofocus (speed, accuracy and noise) were off-putting. It was pretty good but I'm still looking for something better and faster. I know that cost and weight comes with it. Looking for smoother bokeh as I'm a bokeh junkie.

Someone else suggested the 200/2.8. Yes it's a bit smaller, lighter and cheaper than the 60-250, but then I still have to have something else between 35 and 200, so I'm back up to more weight and cost with whatever that lens is. I am in fact a prime kind of guy, however I've found at the telephoto end of things I am actually more drawn to a zoom, especially when we're pushing the 1kg mark with faster long primes and zooms.

Regarding the inner focusing and variable focal length of the 60-250, I want the length mostly for far away objects anyhow, and I understand that's where it gets its fuller reach. Seems like a purposeful engineering decision by Pentax. The further away it is, the further you want the lens to be able to reach for it?
Sounds like the 60-250 is a perfect match for you, sell the 100mm and fire up your credit card
When i was shooting still objects, I was perfectly happy with the DA 35mm ltd for macro too.
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