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03-30-2008, 04:23 AM   #1
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Fast, long glass recommendation needed

Hi all!

I have saved my pennnies and am contemplating purchasing a lens to "extend my reach" beyond my DA 50-200mm. I will primarily use it for photographing children at school events (where I work) for parents and administrative use. The venues will range from a large, florescent auditorium with green walls (!) to field events - shots of formal functions through fun activities.

I am contemplating the following:

Sigma 100-300 F4
Pentax DA* 200 F2.8
Pentax DA* 300 F4

[I]and[I] I would like to add in the use of a GOOD teleconverter.

I've noticed that some of the Sigma teleconverters indicate they won't work well with anything below F2.8 in automatic mode. Is this truly an issue?
I've also looked for Pentax TC's - but found only the one for digital lenses and none in supply!
I am also curious about the quality of Kenko's TC's - which is the better?

What do [I]ya'll[I] suggest I invest in?

Thanks in advance for your input and advice!
Shireen

03-30-2008, 04:42 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by colonialgirl Quote
Hi all!

I have saved my pennnies and am contemplating purchasing a lens to "extend my reach" beyond my DA 50-200mm. I will primarily use it for photographing children at school events (where I work) for parents and administrative use. The venues will range from a large, florescent auditorium with green walls (!) to field events - shots of formal functions through fun activities.

I am contemplating the following:

Sigma 100-300 F4
Pentax DA* 200 F2.8
Pentax DA* 300 F4

[I]and[I] I would like to add in the use of a GOOD teleconverter.

I've noticed that some of the Sigma teleconverters indicate they won't work well with anything below F2.8 in automatic mode. Is this truly an issue?
I've also looked for Pentax TC's - but found only the one for digital lenses and none in supply!
I am also curious about the quality of Kenko's TC's - which is the better?

What do [I]ya'll[I] suggest I invest in?

Thanks in advance for your input and advice!
Shireen

First, assuming you already have the focal lengths below 100 covered with other lenses, I'd say go with the 200 and "maybe" the 300 if you feel you're cropping too much with just the 200. The Sigma 100-300 doesn't really offer much if you've got those other lenses so if you have to have a long zoom I'd say buy a Sigma 50-500mm (Bigma).

Also, be aware that some people have been reporting problems with teleconverters and SDM lenses. Pentax has their own teleconverter on the lens roadmap for later this year or early 2009. So if you plan to buy a lens with SDM I would avoid teleconverters until Pentax releases their new one.
03-30-2008, 05:29 AM   #3
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Hi Colonialgirl! If you go to the Tamron TC thread you will find many pix and comments on these issues.

To summarize: the best AF TC value seems to be the Tamron 1.4 MC4. It must be this one to use with SDM lenses. It works very well with my DA* 200. The Kenko 1.5 also works but less
well. The best TC overall remains the PTX 1.7 but this must be used with SDM lenses set to MF. Both the Tamron and PTX are discontiiued and may be difficult to find. The Tamron had been selling for c. $130 but one just sold a few days ago for $250. The PTX generally is around $400 or a litttle more...........

Welcome, and Good Luck! JK
03-30-2008, 05:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by colonialgirl Quote
Hi all!

I have saved my pennnies and am contemplating purchasing a lens to "extend my reach" beyond my DA 50-200mm. I will primarily use it for photographing children at school events (where I work) for parents and administrative use. The venues will range from a large, florescent auditorium with green walls (!) to field events - shots of formal functions through fun activities.

I am contemplating the following:

Sigma 100-300 F4
Pentax DA* 200 F2.8
Pentax DA* 300 F4

[I]and[I] I would like to add in the use of a GOOD teleconverter.

I've noticed that some of the Sigma teleconverters indicate they won't work well with anything below F2.8 in automatic mode. Is this truly an issue?
I've also looked for Pentax TC's - but found only the one for digital lenses and none in supply!
I am also curious about the quality of Kenko's TC's - which is the better?

What do [I]ya'll[I] suggest I invest in?

Thanks in advance for your input and advice!
Shireen
I think yo have 2 issues here, one is a lens and the other is the selection of TC.

I have a great combo, but unfortunately it is discontinued, and the lens has to be purtchased used if you go that route.

I have a sigma 70-200 F2.8 and both 1.4x and 2X sigma TCs.

This is in my opinion a much better choice for you than anything else, because in venues like the gymnasium, or school auditorium, where you have indoor lighting, and no flash usually allowed, you have a very fast lens. In these venues you are also quite close , and therefore don't need to reach out very far. In fact, in some gyms, even 70mm is too long.

Outside, depending on venue, snap on either a 1.4x or 2x TC and you are back to the same apature range of either a 100-400 F4 or a zoom or prime at either 300mm F4 or 400mm F5.6.

The down side of longer zooms is that you tend to give up Fstops at shorter focal lengths when compared to the option I have described.

With respect to TCs, there is a word of caution about sigma TCs. They have a unique design, which has the front element very close to the front lens mount, and this can interfere with the rear elements of some lenses. The use of sigma TCs is, therefore not universal, where as Tamron and others have a more traditional design that can be used on many lenses.

As for the other comments,
- there have been many threads about the new TCs with KAF2 mount (to support HSM) not working in all cases.
- I don't know where the issue about sigmas only working on F2.8 lenses came from, this is not a TC issue but a camera AF issue, and I have found the pentax AF system can work perfectly with Lens + TC combinations at F6.3 and below, but they struggle at combinations of F8 and higher. This holds true for my Pentax 1.7x AF TC which works perfectly on an F4 lens, and also my sigma TCs which when both a 1.4x and 2X TC were put behind my 70-200 F2.8 (combined apature of F8

03-30-2008, 02:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
This holds true for my Pentax 1.7x AF TC which works perfectly on an F4 lens, and also my sigma TCs which when both a 1.4x and 2X TC were put behind my 70-200 F2.8 (combined apature of F8
My AF 1.7x AF convertor manages to lock focus with the 400mm f5.6 Teletakumar, making for s combination of 9.5. But only in daylight - which is to be expected.
03-30-2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Kovarik Quote
The best TC overall remains the PTX 1.7 but this must be used with SDM lenses set to MF.
Just wish to add that I don't see setting the lens to MF as a disadvantage for two reasons-

1. There is no need to switch the lens to MF, as there are no passthrough contacts for the SDM/PZ on the 1.7x AF TC, and there is no screw shaft connector either, the lens defaults to MF.

2. The 1.7x AF TC focuses over a small range, acting in effect as a focus limiter, and removing any chance of focus hunting. The AF 1.7x is also very fast to focus.

For Pentax systems, I agree completely with you that this is the best Teleconvertor at present.
03-30-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
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You have lots of reading to catch up on.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/19694-tamron-t...rter-pics.html
03-30-2008, 08:42 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone!

Well, I've done a bunch of reading and some buying too!
I've ordered the Tamron - most probably paid more than I could elsewhere - but I don't dare wait - with my luck there won't be anymore anywhere else!
I'll buy the 200mm next and save up for whatever else appears on the roadmap - perhaps even the Pentax TC (I think I'll do some comparison tests then).

Thank you for the reference to the Tamron thread - it's been very helpful
Shireen

03-30-2008, 09:00 PM   #9
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I am eagerly awaiting the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 which it to be released ... soon-ish.
At around the $700US mark ... seems good value to me.

I have the Tamron x1.4 AF TC on the way to me at the moment ... i am pretty sure it is the MC4 version as well.

My Pentax FA J 75-300mm has my long end covered for now ... but being a slow lens ... it's not the best for action ... although it does give me a challenge to better my skills. It will do for now until I the Tammy comes out ... then I will empty my bank account on that. Oooops.
03-31-2008, 11:12 PM   #10
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Sigma will also be releasing their 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM soon. $800; not bad.
04-01-2008, 06:12 AM   #11
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Tamron TC unavailable :-(

Well, I heard that the order couldn't be placed because the store doesn't have any stock - ha!
Anyhoo - I guess I have my own roadmap. . .
a fast(2.8) 200+ with either a Tamron or Pentax TC.

Thanks for all the advice - too many lenses too few pennies!
Shireen
04-01-2008, 09:21 AM   #12
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If you haven't already, you might want to check with Cord Camera to see if any of their locations still have the Tamron TC. Check this out: Tamron 1.4x AF Teleconverter for Pentax AF: 33392070 Cord Camera

HTH,
Heather
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