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05-19-2013, 12:27 AM   #1
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Sigma 120-400 v Pentax 55-300

Would anyone who has experience of these lenses care to offer an opinion?

I'm aiming to replace my Sigma 100-300 which I use mostly for nature photography. Both the following seem to review quite well;

The Sigma has extra length which could be useful,
SIGMA APO 120-400MM F4.5-5.6 DG HSM ($NZ 743)

but the Pentax is quite a bit cheaper.
Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 ED ($NZ 606)

05-19-2013, 05:18 AM   #2
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Go Pentax. I tried the 120-400 and like many other people, found it to be soft from 300-400mm (which negates the extra reach). Replaced it with a brilliant 150-500; same basic design, but much better at the long end.

The DA 55-300 is lighter, smaller, and much sharper at the long end... plus you can get it used for $NZ 350 around here.
05-19-2013, 05:43 AM   #3
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If you are thinking about replacing the sigma 100-300 f4 with the pentax, I think you will be disappointed. If you want another smaller and lighter weight option to use alongside the sigma, i think you'd be happy.

For me, in nice bright day time conditions, the pentax 55-300 is a great lens. But when it is a little darker out or your subject is moving, the sigma is the better choice. I owned the 55-300 and sold it in favor of the sigma 100-300 f4.

Also the pentax 60-250 might be a good compromise between size and reach.
05-19-2013, 06:48 AM   #4
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I'm pretty sure he is talking about one of the cheap Sigma 100-300s. No one would ever think about replacing the Sigma 100-300/4 with anything.

I haven't used either of the two lenses suggested, but I know that some other Kiwis are quite happy with the Pentax 55-300.
Scoot to the "Kiwi Pentaxians" thread sometime and hear what they say.

05-19-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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I have always said they can have my 55-300 when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. Or Pentax makes a WR version.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/153150-pentax-d...d-samples.html
05-19-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I'm pretty sure he is talking about one of the cheap Sigma 100-300s.
Well duh. My bad!
05-19-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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Thank you all - yes I was talking about the cheap Sigma 100-300!

By the sounds of things the 55-300mm wins, I'd rather have a sharp 300mm than a soft 400mm.
05-20-2013, 08:03 PM   #8
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cheap 55-300s show up all the time... watch the marketplace.

05-21-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
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I've owned several consumer 300mm zoom lenses from Pentax and Sigma, and they all provided similar performance. Okay sharpness and image quality, but not great. But I thought they all earned their keep as small, light, inexpensive lenses with good reach. In good lighting, they could all deliver very nice photos as long as pixel-peeping wasn't a priority. Until Tamron decides to release their latest 70-300mm zoom lens (which is excellent), the Pentax is probably as good an option as anything out there.

I've never heard much enthusiastic praise for the 120-400mm, so it's probably not worth the size/price increase. I used to own the Sigma 150-500mm, and it was an excellent lens with fantastic image quality for its reach, but it's much bigger and more expensive. It is very fun using a 500mm zoom lens though when conditions call for it.

BTW, just a couple days ago I contacted both Tamron Japan and Tamron USA to ask if there were any plans to release the 70-300mm for Pentax in the future now that the lens has already been available for Canon/Nikon/Sony for some time. They both responded that there were no current plans.
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