Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-25-2014, 06:16 AM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: new Albany IN
Posts: 99
new lens

hi i am in the market for a new lens, for landscape and wild life. looking at the Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR, and Sigma APO 400mm f/5.6 Telephoto A Lens. budget is around 500. can anyone advise me on the better choice? i have a k20d.
thanks

02-25-2014, 06:57 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,834
The 55-300 is good for wildlife, for the price. Not my favorite for landscape, since 55mm is already a little tight. You could look for the DA35mm f2.4 which is pretty inexpensive and well-regarded. Much wider and you're going to start to get expensive. The other option is the DA16-45 which is pretty good for its price.

Personally, I don't know if you'd be satisfied with the superzooms like the 18-270 Tamrons etc, I know some people find them good but many are dissatisfied. It's a superzoom it's going to have a lot of compromises.
02-25-2014, 06:57 AM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 703
QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
hi i am in the market for a new lens, for landscape and wild life. looking at the Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR, and Sigma APO 400mm f/5.6 Telephoto A Lens. budget is around 500. can anyone advise me on the better choice? i have a k20d.
thanks
Retired2007,

55mm isn't very wide for landscape, scenery shots. The 400mm is a great length for wildlife but pretty useless for scenery. You and I are in a similar situation. I bought a 16-50mm zoom which is great for scenery and even modest portrait shots but useless for wildlife. There are a lot of options for zooms in the wide angle to general walk around lengths (16-70 range) that can be found in the equipment listing on this forum. One of those found used and the 400 would be nice. A lens that would give you a bit of wildlife potential and great scenery potential would be the Pentax DA 18-270 but that stretches the budget a bit. And be sure to check out the lens review section if you haven't already. Good luck..

Retired 2009...
02-25-2014, 07:22 AM   #4
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Bigger or Better?

Hello retired2007,
The two lenses you've mentioned aren't exactly interchangeable, they're for dfferent uses.
A 400mm is a long telephoto, a single-purpose lens, useful for long-range photography and little else. For birding or distant wildlife it's great, but it's big, fairly heavy and generally needs a tripod or monopod. It's certainly not something you'd be carrying around everyday, too limited and specialized.
A 55-300mm is an all-purpose telephoto zoom that dovetails nicely with the typical 18-55mm kit lens, providing a 'normal' to short tele range in a small, compact package. From normal field of view (55mm) to 6X magnification in one lens, with (reported) good performance, IQ and sharpness.
One does several common things pretty well, the other does one (uncommon) thing thing well.
If all you're interested in photographically is birds-in-flight (BIF) or distant wildlife, the 400 is perfect.
For everything else, the 55-300mm.
For 'Scenics', landscapes or wide scenes, a short zoom of 16-50mm would be ideal, but you'll still need a tele zoom for everything else.
JMO,
Ron

02-25-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
Site Supporter
savoche's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Lowlands of Norway
Posts: 8,680
I think it has all been said - the 400 filling it's single role in an excellent way, the 55-300 being more versatile, but not excellent at anything.

Although I'll say the 55-300 is still good, and it's good at almost anything. In open country it can even do landscapes. Even so, I'd prefer to have a wider lens for landscapes in most cases. The ones below are all taken with the 55-300 simply because that was the lens I had at hand, not wanting to carry too much when out on foot in hot weather.

Taken at 97mm.



Taken at 260mm.



And it can get you close enough for a lot of things. This one at 300mm (distance about 5m/15ft).


And if you need wider, it's always possible to stitch several exposures, even though it doesn't look as dramatic as an ultrawide lens would make it.

This one is, I think, 5 pictures at 55mm.

02-25-2014, 11:17 AM   #6
Pentaxian
audiobomber's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Photos: Albums
Posts: 6,685
QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
A 55-300mm is an all-purpose telephoto zoom that dovetails nicely with the typical 18-55mm kit lens, providing a 'normal' to short tele range in a small, compact package. From normal field of view (55mm) to 6X magnification in one lens, with (reported) good performance, IQ and sharpness.
I agree about dovetailing, but 55mm is not a normal focal length on APS-C. The 55-300 goes from mild telephoto (portrait length) to supertelephoto (450mm equivalent).

I don't know how the IQ compares to the Sigma 400mm, but certainly a 600mm equivalent fixed focal length would have limited use.
02-25-2014, 11:38 AM - 1 Like   #7
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Woodstock, GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,532
With your budget, I would get the HD 55-300 (399 on Amazon) for wildlife, and a Tokina 19-35 f/3.5-4.5 (110 used at KEH) for landscapes.

If you don't mind buying both lenses used, KEH has the SMC 55-300 (previous version, same optically, slightly different coatings) for under 300 and the Pentax DA 16-45mm for 245. Look up the 16-45 on flickr, it is a very nice lens for landscape and nature pictures!

There is also a DA L version of the 55-300 (plastic mount, no quick shift) that sells used for about 170. That would free up more money for the landscape lens. But I personally didn't want that lens even though I could probably have bought it, because I was nervous about getting a lens this long with a plastic mount. But if you think that won't be an issue, the DA L is a great value! Optically the same as the SMC DA 55-300.

I also have a K20D. In a similar situation recently - wanted a lens for kids sports, and one for landscapes, but with a budget of only less than 300, I ended up with the aforementioned Tokina, plus a Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6. The Pentax 55-300 is a better lens than the Tamron I got, but I'll have to make it work for now. Now the Tokina I got is very sharp stopped down and has great colors, so I'm pretty happy with it. I don't really need the superwide side of things (like a 10-20 or 12-24), which would be out of my budget anyway. So I am happy with what I have now, and all my lenses are compatible with my film Pentax camera, with the exception of the kit lens 18-55 which I don't use anymore.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 02-25-2014 at 11:44 AM.
02-25-2014, 12:04 PM   #8
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: new Albany IN
Posts: 99
Original Poster
thanks i appreciate all the feed back. i forgot to mention that i do have a 28mm 2.8 A, lens for my landscape photos. i was looking to use the other ones more for wild life (birds, deer,squirrels, etc)


Last edited by retired2007; 02-25-2014 at 02:00 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sigma announces new 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens macTak Pentax News and Rumors 223 05-17-2014 04:22 PM
For Sale - Sold: Brand New Pentax Q 02 Standard Zoom 5-15mm lens hyyz Sold Items 2 03-12-2013 11:13 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:44 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top