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03-01-2014, 09:01 AM   #1
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Sigma 18-250 vs tamron 70-300 vs 55-300 pent

Looking at the various reviews online and comparing pics and I like my Sigma 18-250 -- (I do have a bit of buyers remorse (bought it a awhile a go) and think I should have went with the tammy 18-270 BUT... now that I have a new K3 I see the lens is limiting my pix and has its limits I want something much sharper is the Pentax 55-300 WR going to be much sharper than my sigma? or is the Tammy 70-300 which only costs 160 bucks (very cheap) much sharper?


I really DO NOT want to get the 60-250 DA* Looks great but is WAYY too pricey. 1300 bucks? if it was ~900 I would consider it. I just got the 17-70 pentax with my new K3 and its better (sharper than the sigma 18-250mm within its zoom range) so Im looking for a 55-300 or 70-300 that is going to make a difference in sharper crisper images or would I be wasting money and should only go 60-250 DA if I really wanted a sig. difference? Thanks


55-300 wr pentax
vs
70-300 tammy








Thanks


A few of my pix
Flickr: erik_corr77's Photostream

03-01-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
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I have a Sigma 18-250, I used to have a Pentax 55-300. I really couldn't say which one is sharper. I suspect that if you quantitatively tested 10 of each you would likely get 5 Pentaxs that were sharper than 5 of the Sigmas, and vice versa at various focal lengths.
If you want the extra reach of the Pentax, go for it, but if it's a sharper super zoom you're looking for, the potential/perceived would not be, for me anyway, enough to justify the cost.
What you shoot most may be the determining factor for you as well. I find myself in a situation where I can't get far enough away from my subject to to use 50mm or longer far more often than one in which I can't get close enough to use my 21 or 31. Even outdoors with the Sigma, 70-80 percent of my shots are at < 50mm setting.
03-01-2014, 09:42 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by erik_corrxx Quote
I like my Sigma 18-250
Which one do you have - the old one or the latest one with macro?
I have the latest one - Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM and am very satisfied.

Last edited by wildman; 03-10-2014 at 11:23 PM.
03-01-2014, 10:13 AM   #4
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I've owned, at least temporarily, the current 18-250 sigma macro, 5 55-300 pentaxes (all DA or WR), and a 70-300 tamron.

The 18-250 is very versatile, but the rapid drop in aperture almost immediately upon leaving 18mm was discouraging. The performance was ok but not quite up to (decent copies of) the other lenses, particularly in the corners. So really it's not something to compare to the other two. I don't think I had a perfect 18-250, but it wasn't glaringly bad either.

Out of 5 55-300s I never found one that was good, as in consistent across the frame, at every focal length. The one I have now is good at 55-200, but has some issues on the right side beyond that. Yet it's probably an above-average pentax 55-300. Three of the five 55-300s (1 WR and 2 DAs) were glaringly defective on one side of the other at the lower end of the focal length range. It jumped out at you - no need for pixel peeping.

I recently bought what appears to be a lightly-used 70-300 LD Di for $66, with the box/hood/caps. I haven't tested it as extensively as the 55-300s yet, but so far have been unable to detect any of the flaws that show up with the 55-300s - the performance is good by my standards at every focal length and focusing distance. Not amazingly sharp everywhere, but overall comparable to the 55-300, and much better than the 55-300s where they have manufacturing issues.

The DA has more contrast, and at least partly because of that does appear sharper until a little extra contrast is applied, but when it comes down to counting lines on the resolution chart, they're close enough to call it a draw. The LD wins slightly at some settings and the DA at others.

The LD has worse purple fringing, although it doesn't always show up, particularly at the long end. I'm just now learning how to deal with it in software, since I've never had that much of a fringing issue with other lenses. However with just the 50 or so pictures I've used it for so far, a fairly random sampling, I don't think the fringing is going to be a huge practical problem for me. Maybe if you only photographed birds against a bright sky, or something similar, it would be more of a consideration.

I like the 58mm filters on the DA, because you can clearly use a 52mm filter adapter and not have any issues. I've ordered a $3.50 62->52 for the DA so I'll see if it vignettes (at what settings) when that arrives.

I like the closer focus on the DA, although it's somewhat balanced by the macro mode (only over 180mm) on the LD. Macro mode on the LD seems not to offer the most inspiring performance so far, even in the center, but I've only tried about 5 macro-mode pictures and need to experiment further before drawing any conclusions.

I like the focus clutch on the DA, not so much to fine-tune focus, as to get the focus pointed in the right direction. The rotating front element on the LD doesn't really bother me in polarizer terms, since I usually re-orient after zooming or focusing (except tiny adjustments) anyway. There's no little window in the LD hood to rotate a polarizer.

I miss that lowest 15mm on the LD, but it would depend on your other lenses. If buying with the other lenses available now, I might buy the sigma 17-70 vs. the tamron 17-50 I have, and go with the tamron 70-300. Then it would be a tossup for me between the 55-300 and 70-300.

Just understand that if you go 55-300, you may need to go through a lot more than five copies to find one that's really good. And testing is difficult, if you run into some that aren't just flagrantly defective. You need to test not just every focal length, but every length at every subject distance. And I wouldn't touch a 55-300 that you can't return after testing with no hassles. I bought the $66 LD without any possibility to return, but it's one thing to do that with $66 and another with $350-$450 involved. Incidentally I was really hoping the 55-300 WRs would work out because I got a sub-$400 deal at Amazon, and WR would have been nice, but neither copy I tried (they ran out of copies after that) was equal to or better than my still-imperfect DA.

Summary:

1. I'd prefer a perfect 55-300 if it existed and I could find it;

2. I'd prefer my 70-300 over at least 4 of the 5 55-300s I've tried. It's more or less tied with the 5th one.

03-01-2014, 10:25 AM   #5
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Im guessing its not worth the money unless I go for the 60-250mm (too expensive) 1400 bucks or maybe a 70-200 constant f/2.8 Tamron 700 bucks (THE LENS Im leaning toward) or a prime lens which is something I don't want or need since they are bad for traveling and not multipurpose.


What are peoples thoughts on the Pentax 60-250 vs tammy 70-200mm?


I like the 55-300 wr and the 55-200 wr (for the weather resistance) but the picture quality really matters most.
03-01-2014, 11:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by erik_corrxx Quote
Im guessing its not worth the money unless I go for the 60-250mm (too expensive) 1400 bucks or maybe a 70-200 constant f/2.8 Tamron 700 bucks (THE LENS Im leaning toward) or a prime lens which is something I don't want or need since they are bad for traveling and not multipurpose.


What are peoples thoughts on the Pentax 60-250 vs tammy 70-200mm?


I like the 55-300 wr and the 55-200 wr (for the weather resistance) but the picture quality really matters most.
I'm not understanding your conclusion, because my guess is that the difference between the 18-250mm and, for example, the 70-300mm, will be about as much as you've found between the 18-250mm and the 17-70mm.

My attitude in buying the 70-300 was that if it didn't work out, $66 wasn't that much damage, and I could probably sell it for close to that. But it's a good lens, so I'm definitely keeping it for now.

For better quality longer lenses you're limited in choices with Pentax vs. other brands.
03-02-2014, 11:41 AM   #7
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I think this real world image comparison helped

DA 60-250 vs Sigma 18-250mm comparison- Ill stick to my sigma for now
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/227006-lens-comparison.html


This is also a good real world comparison Tammy 70-200 2.8 vs 70-300 mm 4-5.6


For a thousand bucks difference people pay for a small difference in quality- It shows how much technology has progressed.
03-02-2014, 12:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by erik_corrxx Quote
DA 60-250 vs Sigma 18-250mm comparison- Ill stick to my sigma for now
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/227006-lens-comparison.html


This is also a good real world comparison Tammy 70-200 2.8 vs 70-300 mm 4-5.6
Tamron 70-200 f2.8 VS Tamron 70-300 F/4-5.6 VC - AMAZING RESULTS!! - YouTube


For a thousand bucks difference people pay for a small difference in quality- It shows how much technology has progressed.
The real world Tamron comparison is not quite so amazing since, being Pentax owners, we can't buy the current version of either Tamron lens, including at leat the 70-300 in the comparison. Technology might be progressing, but to some extent it's leaving us behind.

However the point that some lenses may get a little rating inflation based on their brand/reputation/price etc. may still be valid.

03-02-2014, 12:20 PM   #9
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I can't say that I've had as much experience testing the 55-300 as tibbits, I prefer to take pictures over measurbating. I bought a DA L 55-300 from a Brooklyn bandit and have been perfectly happy with it for several years on 2 cameras. A K-x & a K-5.
03-02-2014, 01:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I can't say that I've had as much experience testing the 55-300 as tibbits, I prefer to take pictures over measurbating. I bought a DA L 55-300 from a Brooklyn bandit and have been perfectly happy with it for several years on 2 cameras. A K-x & a K-5.
I agree that testing is a waste of time, which is why I wish the manufactures would do it instead of me. It's not just a pentax issue, although pentax seems to be among the worst offenders. I'm not actually that discerning when it comes to resolution, I'm really only looking for symmetrical performance, and that's one area where I expect a $300 lens to perform as well as a $1500 lens. the $300 lens might be a little, or a lot, blurrier on the edges/corners, but I expect it to be equally blurry in all dimensions.
03-02-2014, 02:21 PM   #11
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My experience in this range is limited to the DA 50-200 WR and the DA 55-300 (SMC), and of those two the 55-300 is far superior in the whole range. It is my best zoom lens, and I have no plans to replace it any time soon. A 70/80-200 constant f/2.8 would be nice, but for me it would also be too heavy - and too short to be my only tele.

If I were a birder I'd look carefully at a DA*300 (plus a 1.4x TC), Sigma 400/5.6, or something in that league. The 55-300 is too short for that job.
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