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11-08-2013, 02:12 AM   #1
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SMC F 70-210 upgrade

Hi, i am looking for a AF zoom lens. My current favourite is the SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6.

I would like to upgrade to a 2.8 zoom, be sharp at the long end and shoot soccer. I find the 70-210 short on occasions and therefore wish to crop an already sharp image.
I have passed up a few lens' around $500 recently, being the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM AF and the Tokina AT-X 828 AF PRO 80-200mm f/2.8. Can anyone indicate best bang for buck in secondhand prices. The Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD [IF] MACRO is an option.

I have read many posts regarding HSM motor failure, the Sigma is soft wide open, the Tokina clutch and hood is not great, the early sigma is better, etc, etc.
I have a pz-af 2x converter, and not fussed regarding macro.

I have found the AF speed of the Pentax F was ok for the soccer, so i guess i may not be so concerned about speed (however it may be a factor). I think sharpness and reliability may sway me.
I bought a Vivitar Series 1 Komine MF 2.8 A recently (the good one) and the Adaptall 2.8 80-200, and found them to be sharper than the already great pentax.

Can someone sort out the dilemma. Cheers.

11-08-2013, 04:42 AM   #2
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I have the F70-210. It's slow (f4-5.6), but it has a fast AF. For soccer this could be useful, maybe at F2.8 the DOF could be too thin anyway?
You just might have the best bang for the buck already! Yes I would like to have f2.8 but I prefer primes (don't shoot soccer) and the range 100-200 is not really me.
So I'm happy with my F70-210 considering the value. And weight/size.

11-08-2013, 06:21 AM   #3
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Why not the 60-250? It gives you more reach at both ends, the DOF at the tele end will be shallower than a 200mm lens, it will be lighter, WR, and for soccer the loss of a stop will not have any impact.
11-09-2013, 12:48 AM   #4
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Thanks for the 2 comments that was good food for thought.
I think i need the 2.8 and sharpness at the long end, and would definitely use a T/C. I would like to achieve (lean toward) some of the professional sports shots with blurred background. Occasionally this has been ok with the Pentax F 70-210. Narrow DOF is therefore preferable. I have filled my head with reviews over the last couple of days and would probably lean toward the Tamron or older Sigma. I guess at the end of the day that may depend to some extent on availability.

11-09-2013, 07:24 AM   #5

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Hi Nickk,

I assume you've done your research, so the earlier screw drive Sigmas and any of the Tamron 80-200/2.8s are already on your radar, and are the only variations, except for the FA* 80-200 that will AF reasonably with a TC since they are screw drive. Obviously, the new Tamron will be the most easily available.

Another lens you should consider is the Sigma EX 100-300 f4. This lens was always considered close to prime quality. It's heavy, but still handholdable for most experienced tele shooters. The AF is very quick. These are also screw drive, so will AF with a good 1.4x TC. I'd personally pick this lens over the also excellent DA 60-250 for the ability to use TCs alone.

Expect higher prices though. The Sigma 100-300 has always sold used at near the $1K USD mark, and it's unlikely (though possible) to find one offered for significantly lower.

BTW, it actually helps, with a question like this, to mention what body you'll be using since AF performance varies enough to where it could make a difference.

11-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #6
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I have had the chance to test the new Sigma and Tamron lenses. The Tamron feels cheaper even though there is nothing wrong with it per se. The Sigma feels better but still not as good as the Pentax. But optically both will serve you well.
11-13-2013, 01:04 AM   #7
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Thanks All. I am using a Kr and a K7. Both seem to have their merits, but i was not aware of the difference in focus speed.

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