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04-07-2008, 10:34 PM   #1
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Should I regret Pentax? -- Lenses impossible to find :(

I recently purchased my first SLR ever, the Pentax K200D. As a camera, I really like it. I have taken some pretty good pictures so far even using the 18-55 kit and they look great.

------

I have been reading the forums here and I think I decided to get myself a teleconverter and perhaps a decent 200mm zoom.

Herein lies the problem -- Some of the more obscure lenses for Pentax are impossible to find

Examples : I can't find an in-stock 1.4x or 1.5x TC anywhere.

I managed to find a SINGLE example on E-bay.

------------------------

While searching Google, though, I see listing after listing of these same exact teleconverters for the other mounts (Canon, Nikon, etc).

Now I begin asking myself - Did I really make a wise decision purchasing Pentax?

As a brand name, of course they are excellent. I have nothing but accolades for the camera.

But, the support system for the lenses seems to be lacking. Do I just need more patience?

04-07-2008, 10:49 PM   #2
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You would leave Pentax because of the TC shortage? To be honest, if you want to get a TC tomorrow, you might not be able to find one. But if you can wait a week or two, i'm sure some would pop up. You can check the marketplace here, or post your WTB thread there.

As for lens, there are always some 3rd party 200mm zooms that you can choose. Pentax decided to replace the old FA* 80-200 with the DA* 50-135. It's true that Canon and Nikon have larger lens selection. But Pentax offers one of the best IQ and price/performance lens selection. I know I picked Pentax because of their astounding prime selection.
04-07-2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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To keep you staying w/ Pentax, I can get you the best AF TC (SMC F1.7x TC) w/o any problem ...
04-07-2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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When I looked before, it didnt seem to be a huge problem to get sigma or kenko tc's for pentax. Pentax own tc's are discontinued but they have but new ones on the road map that will flly support the new lenses with SDM. this means they should match the weather sealing and general high optical quality too, should be good. but of course it will take a while, as usual. At least pentax has in the last year, regularly released new lenses, the DA 35 macro has just become available, the 300 f4 is out any day now. its just that they are so far behind, takes time to release a complete system. but they will get there.

for example the sigma tc seems to be in stock
Sigma 1.4X EX DG APO Teleconverter for Pentax AF (824109)

04-07-2008, 11:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the fast replies.

I hope I didn't sound like I was going to "leave" the Pentax brand -- I have my K200D now, so I'm definitely a Pentax guy. I was just lamenting some of the selection.

----------------------

My plan was to buy the Pentax 50-200, since many people on the internet say it has good quality and it's cheap (I'm a very poor photographer!).

Then, later, when I need to move up in focal length I could just buy a TC -- which is when I started to look for TCs and couldn't find any, hence this thread.


I guess I will just have to be patient, though, and I guess I should not really worry until I get my 50-200 in. Oh, and "And" thanks for the link for that Sigma TC, I'll bookmark that website
04-07-2008, 11:48 PM   #6
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A TC works better w/ a fast lens. DA50200 is already pretty slow, don't know how you are gonna use it w/ a TC on. Why not just get the DA55-300 (soon to be available) or Sigma/Tamron 70-300 instead?
04-08-2008, 12:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
A TC works better w/ a fast lens. DA50200 is already pretty slow, don't know how you are gonna use it w/ a TC on. Why not just get the DA55-300 (soon to be available) or Sigma/Tamron 70-300 instead?
Well most of my shooting is done is fairly bright conditions, so I'm not worried too much with the speed hit, especially since the K200's ISO1600 performance is acceptible (if the situation came to that).

I plan to shoot mostly outdoor photography, maybe birdwatching or plane watching.

----------------------------------------------------

As for the Sigma/Tamron 300's -- I've been looking at them for a very long time, and pouring over many, many photos. Many people make the quote that these lenses are sharp up to around 200mm then lose some clarity at 300mm. Also, I've been worries about the complaints of CA happening with both models (when out to 300mm), which I have yet to read about regarding the Pentax DA50200.

So yes, I could get a longer lens for about the same price, but I guess I'm just a bit anxious about comments regarding CA and loss of sharpness at 300mm (I can fix the CA in photoshop but not really the loss of detail!)


As for the DA55-300 --- I was initially looking at this but the price is a bit high for me right now.

But now that I actually start doing math, I see it will probably be the right lens for me!

I was thinking (because I'm stupid) that for whatever reason, the 50-200 + 1.4TC would be more than 300mm, but it's not (that's what I get for staying up way too late).

Plus, when I add the 2 items together, they're about the same prices as the DA55-300 !!


So, I learned tonight I'm very bad at math at 2:23AM! Thanks for the replies
I will now await the arrival of the 55-300!!
04-08-2008, 12:35 AM   #8
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Hard to find some lenses in the Pentax lineup that N*kon and C*non have? well yes. They do have allot more lenses.

On the other hand, how is the Canikon selection of prime lenses with image stabalization?

04-08-2008, 01:01 AM   #9
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Hi cputeq,

a Sigma TC is definitely the good choice, according to what I heard, but be careful: their TCs are designed for their lenses - the TCs have a protruding element which can damage the lens which is not designed for attaching to the TC!

Anyway, Sigma is said to release the HSM-enabled versions of their TCs quite soon (by summer?), so I personally will wait to it.
04-08-2008, 01:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
My plan was to buy the Pentax 50-200, since many people on the internet say it has good quality and it's cheap
What I like the 50-200 for is that it is lightweight. As for its optical quality...

You may have to stop down a lot to have the resolving power which is required to make use of 1.4x magnification. Otherwise, you just get a larger but softer image you could have gotten by a stronger crop in the first place as well. May be less an issue with K200D than K20D, though.

Please check this out before buying into 50-200+TC, esp. being a poor photographer
04-08-2008, 03:26 AM   #11
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Sometimes it really depends on luck. I saw a Kenko 1.5x TelePlus AF TC in a shop a while ago and was debating if I should get it and by the time I did decide to get it, it was gone!

And last week I walked past the same shop again and guess what, they had another one for sale. I just went in and bought it today after work! And even though it was in their 2nd hand section, it is actually a brand new one!
04-08-2008, 07:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
Well most of my shooting is done is fairly bright conditions, so I'm not worried too much with the speed hit, especially since the K200's ISO1600 performance is acceptible (if the situation came to that).

I plan to shoot mostly outdoor photography, maybe birdwatching or plane watching.

----------------------------------------------------

As for the Sigma/Tamron 300's -- I've been looking at them for a very long time, and pouring over many, many photos. Many people make the quote that these lenses are sharp up to around 200mm then lose some clarity at 300mm. Also, I've been worries about the complaints of CA happening with both models (when out to 300mm), which I have yet to read about regarding the Pentax DA50200.

So yes, I could get a longer lens for about the same price, but I guess I'm just a bit anxious about comments regarding CA and loss of sharpness at 300mm (I can fix the CA in photoshop but not really the loss of detail!)


As for the DA55-300 --- I was initially looking at this but the price is a bit high for me right now.

But now that I actually start doing math, I see it will probably be the right lens for me!

I was thinking (because I'm stupid) that for whatever reason, the 50-200 + 1.4TC would be more than 300mm, but it's not (that's what I get for staying up way too late).

Plus, when I add the 2 items together, they're about the same prices as the DA55-300 !!


So, I learned tonight I'm very bad at math at 2:23AM! Thanks for the replies
I will now await the arrival of the 55-300!!
1) Narrow aperture affects AF performance. AF often becomes very sluggish at f/8 (a 5.6 lens + 1.4x TC), and in many cases just won't work regardless of light level. (There are reasons for this, same reason split-ring focusing screens will typically just go dark beyond a certain aperture limit)
2) The optical quality of any lens is degraded by a TC. The 50-200 is decent optical quality, but it will without a doubt be degraded below the quality of the Tamron 70-300 if a TC is placed on it that takes it into the same range as the Tammy. I have a Tamron 70-300 and a DA 50-200 and the DA rarely leaves its lens case. The Tamron is regarded as a sharp and consistent lens, with the only major flaw being PF. The Sigma 70-300s are known never to have PF, but are also known for having quality control problems - some are very sharp, some are utter junk.

I've never had any problems finding lenses or TCs. B&H carries em' all. (Although my last two lens purchases have been in brick and mortar stores - My Tamron 70-300 is actually one rebadged as a Quantaray (Ritz Camera inhouse brand) picked up at a local Ritz, and my Sigma 17-70 was from a camera shop in Buffalo, NY (Delaware Camera) that had an amazing deal.
04-08-2008, 07:44 AM   #13
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for sigma 1.4x:
Sigma 1.4X EX DG APO Teleconverter for Pentax AF: Compare Prices, View Price History and Read Reviews at NexTag

4 dealers listed

numerous zooms come up in a google search in the x-200mm range

Last edited by ivoire; 04-08-2008 at 07:50 AM.
04-08-2008, 09:32 AM   #14
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Here's a Tamron 1.4x TC on Fleabay:

Tamron 1.4X AF Tele-Converter to fit Pentax ZAF - eBay (item 260227319834 end time Apr-11-08 18:35:55 PDT)

HTH,
Heather
04-08-2008, 09:34 AM   #15
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the responses!

Helpful info, Entropy.

I knew the AF performance would go down, but I wasn't overly concerned with that aspect, as I don't mind manual focus for many things.

I didn't realize the optical quality would take a hit, though.

I'll reconsider both Sigma and Tamron 300s, then, because they are priced nicely. Maybe I'll just wait for reviews of the Pentax 55-300 then go from there.

Thanks for the links to the TCs also -- I swear I searched everywhere initinally and could never find any.
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