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12-13-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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Super telephoto lens?

Hi guys,

I only recently started with Pentax (before that, I was Canon) and I'd like to hear some of your suggestions for a nice telephoto lens under 500 or 600 dollars.

I've been using a manual 70-200 for a while but I find I don't have the reach that I`d like to have. With this lens I'd be mainly shooting birds, and occasionally other wildlife. I've read a bit on this, and it seems like a 400 or 500 mm lens is best - I'm open to suggestions though.

Obviously, I'd like reasonable sharpness - I know you can get a really bad lens in this price range. I don't mind using a manual focus lens. With that said... fire away!

12-13-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicholasbelluk Quote
Hi guys,

I only recently started with Pentax (before that, I was Canon) and I'd like to hear some of your suggestions for a nice telephoto lens under 500 or 600 dollars.

I've been using a manual 70-200 for a while but I find I don't have the reach that I`d like to have. With this lens I'd be mainly shooting birds, and occasionally other wildlife. I've read a bit on this, and it seems like a 400 or 500 mm lens is best - I'm open to suggestions though.

Obviously, I'd like reasonable sharpness - I know you can get a really bad lens in this price range. I don't mind using a manual focus lens. With that said... fire away!
It's going to be difficult to find an AF range in that price range, though you might be able to get a used sigma 50-500, 150-500 or 120-400. I'd also recommend checking out the Pentax 55-300mm as it'll give you more reach than your current manual lens.

Adam
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12-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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The A 400/5.6 is usually under $600 if you can handle manual focus. Look through some of @normhead 's bird photos to see how sharp it is.
12-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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As both a Canon and Pentax shooter of sports and wildlife I should warn you that choices for K-mount in super-telephoto are significantly less. It's a problem to me. The closest thing in quality to say the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 or f4 (considered by many to be the best telephoto zoom available) is the Pentax DA* 60-250mm f4. As Adam noted, the 55-300mm is affordable, but it's a consumer-type lens, not as fast nor as long as the better Canon and Sigma lenses. If you are familiar with the long-lived Canon 100-400mm L lens (which I own and use a lot), the closest K-mount equivalent is the Sigma 100-300mm f4. Self-serving alert: I have one in the marketplace for sale right now. The Sigma 50/150-500 zooms have great focal ranges, but from my experience owning a Bigma, the optical quality is average.

M

12-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #5
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400mm F5.6

A Prime Sigma 400MM F5.6 manual should be within your price range. Another would be a Pentax SMC Takumar 400mm 5.6 Lens M42 Mount (Use 30120 adapter,,)
12-13-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
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But if you go for a Sigma look for the APO version. The non-APO version isn't very good. Also, the Sigma 400 has an issue with element separation, so keep an eye out for that.
12-14-2013, 09:21 AM   #7
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In that price range, you are going to battle with any camera mount to get a good 400-500mm lens. Even worse in PK mount unless an older MF type. The Sigma 170-500/150-500/50-500 series would seem a reasonable fit for your budget but may disappoint on IQ at the 500mm end unless stopped down to f/9.5 or f/11. My 170-500 delivers some good sharpness when stopped down and at close subject distance, but I find it soft on distant subjects.

I have an older Tak SMC-500 f/4.5 which is quiet a bit sharper than my Sigma 170-500 but a monster weight and tricky to focus, and has CA wide open in bright light, so I would rather have the convenience of the AF for birds. The DA*300 is brilliant, but might be a bit short

Last edited by KevinR; 12-14-2013 at 09:58 AM.
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