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03-16-2014, 02:48 PM   #1
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Pentax or Sigma telephoto zoom

I'm now looking at either the Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM or the Pentax DA* 60-250. Has anyone had experience with the Sigma or know of any good reviews? Which lens would you recommend?

03-16-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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Hi Jool.
I have the Sigma 70-300mm DG and I have to say I'm very happy with that. Here's a few reviews of the 400mm. Sigma APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Lens - Photo Review and Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Interchangeable Lens Review
03-16-2014, 02:58 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Apples and oranges. I don't think these are remotely comparable. The 60-250 is high end f/4 that only goes to 250mm. The 120-400 is a slow consumer zoom that goes to 400mm.

Both adequate for what they are designed for but not comparable. The 60-250 is by far the better lens, unless you need 400mm in which case it is worthless. You need to decide what you want to do before you start picking out lenses. List your priorities in what you want then select your lens choices that will do what you want.
03-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #4
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I have owned the Sigma 120-400 for a couple of years now. It is a lens that needs to be stopped down to get the best out of it but it does give very good results. That being said the below shot is something I could have achieved with the DA 55-300 since both lenses need to be used at around f8 to get the best out of them. (It must be noted the Sigma IQ tends to fall off towards 400 but is still usable)
The Pentax DA* 60-250 has excellent IQ throughout the range and wide open has superior IQ to that of the Sigma. It is a AW (all weather) lens which is a advantage over the Sigma. Focus speeds for the DA* 60 -250 and Sigma 120 - 400 are comparable.
As Jatrax accuratley states, you are really comparing "Apples with Oranges" when comparing the DA* 60 - 250 with the Sigma 120 - 400 (and DA 55-300 for that matter). It would be better to compare the DA* 60 -250 with the Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM which I also have. In that comparison it is a bit simpler - the Sigma has faster focusing, larger aperture but is a shorter lens both ends and is not an AW lens.
So what is the most important factor for your photography?

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03-16-2014, 05:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Apples and oranges. I don't think these are remotely comparable. The 60-250 is high end f/4 that only goes to 250mm. The 120-400 is a slow consumer zoom that goes to 400mm.

Both adequate for what they are designed for but not comparable. The 60-250 is by far the better lens, unless you need 400mm in which case it is worthless. You need to decide what you want to do before you start picking out lenses. List your priorities in what you want then select your lens choices that will do what you want.
+1

Decide what you want/need by studying photos taken with them. To get the really impressive Image Quality over 135mm you'll have to start going with primes (e.g. DA*200 or DA*300). But the DA*60-250 is still very good. At this point you probably don't even know whether you actually need to zoom at these longer focal lengths right now (because a *200 or *300 lens will almost automatically give you a nice photo as long as you take it correctly).


What is your intended use for the lens?



Here are my favorite sites for seeing photos taken with a given lens:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
Advanced Search
Sigma APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

Last edited by DSims; 03-16-2014 at 05:56 PM.
03-16-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
+1

Decide what you want/need by studying photos taken with them. To get the really impressive Image Quality over 135mm you'll have to start going with primes (e.g. DA*200 or DA*300). But the DA*60-250 is still very good. At this point you probably don't even know whether you actually need to zoom at these longer focal lengths right now (because a *200 or *300 lens will almost automatically give you a nice photo as long as you take it correctly).


What is your intended use for the lens?



Here are my favorite sites for seeing photos taken with a given lens:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
Advanced Search
Sigma APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

thanks for the link, i didnt knew it and it's great
03-16-2014, 06:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jool Quote
I'm now looking at either the Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM or the Pentax DA* 60-250. Has anyone had experience with the Sigma or know of any good reviews? Which lens would you recommend?
For me, I sent 2 SIgma 120-400s back, the first one was Dead on Arrival.. the second just wasn't sharp enough, there's a place near here where I can shoot a rock face with pine trees on it a Km a way where I test telephotos. The Sigma was the worst lens I've ever tested there. I always test more than one lens to make sure atmospheric conditions aren't messing things up. The 120-400 was like a water-colour. I took the second one back and had them order a 60-250 for me, and have been in happy land ever since... especially now that I have the 1.4 converter that gets me out to 350mm. Maybe I just got two bad copies, who knows...but I wouldn't recommend that lens to anyone. I ended up with my 60-250 about a month after I ordered the Sigma.. that's another month I could have been shooting instead of driving back and forth to Henry's. You get your money back but not your time... just my 2 cents worth.

To me the cool thing about the 60-250 is, it's sharp throughout it's range, it's sharp wide open, and it's a darn good landscape lens from 60-100mm, it's not just a telephoto.
03-16-2014, 08:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Apples and oranges. I don't think these are remotely comparable. The 60-250 is high end f/4 that only goes to 250mm. The 120-400 is a slow consumer zoom that goes to 400mm.

Both adequate for what they are designed for but not comparable. The 60-250 is by far the better lens, unless you need 400mm in which case it is worthless. You need to decide what you want to do before you start picking out lenses. List your priorities in what you want then select your lens choices that will do what you want.
The DA* 60-250mm becomes 84-350mm f/5.6 with the Pentax 1.4x Teleconverter.

03-16-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
The DA* 60-250mm becomes 84-350mm f/5.6 with the Pentax 1.4x Teleconverter.
And a 102-425/6.8 with the AFA 1.7X. And I bet it is sharper with less CA & PF than my M 400/5.6 for 1/2 stop loss of light.
03-16-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by carlosodze Quote
thanks for the link, i didnt knew it and it's great
I'm glad it helped. First I just look for a lens that produces photos I really like. Then I study the settings used. You can learn a lot about the character of a lens (and what settings you should use) by doing this. Sometimes it even helps in determining what camera bodies it goes well with (but of course more of the image's character comes from the lens).
03-17-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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I'm thinking of those two lenses to replace my Tokina 80-400APO. It takes great pictures but it's not internal focus so it hunts a lot and is really slow. It looks like the Pentax lens is a better choice due to much higher IQ. I guess I could think about the new teleconverter to extend its reach, but will have to see more reviews on that since it's so new. I have been looking at the Pentax lens for a long time and was waiting to see if Ricoh would replace it with a new model but I guess I can't wait forever for that to happen.
03-17-2014, 05:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jool Quote
I'm thinking of those two lenses to replace my Tokina 80-400APO. It takes great pictures but it's not internal focus so it hunts a lot and is really slow. It looks like the Pentax lens is a better choice due to much higher IQ. I guess I could think about the new teleconverter to extend its reach, but will have to see more reviews on that since it's so new. I have been looking at the Pentax lens for a long time and was waiting to see if Ricoh would replace it with a new model but I guess I can't wait forever for that to happen.
Are you using a K-5 or older? I usually advocate a new lens over a camera, but this might be an exception. I've seen some good images that have come out of that lens. If it's AF issues you're having, the K-5 II/IIs or K-3 can really improve things sometimes. Alternatively, a K-30 or K-50 might help as well.


But in terms of Pentax bringing out a new lens, don't count on anything new except the ~135-380 on the roadmap. I think it's likely to have a variable aperture - especially since it's not a * lens - but we don't know for sure. The constant f/4 of the DA*60-250 is one of its advantages, to be sure. I think some people like the Sigma 100-300 too.


Did you determine you still need a zoom? Are you often shooting the Tokina at 400mm? What is your subject matter?
03-17-2014, 09:18 PM   #13
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You could always get a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
A prime at 100% may be better than a lower consumer grade lens. That being said, Sigma has also the 150-500 and 50-500 (gack!) lenses for the K-mount.
03-27-2014, 04:51 PM   #14
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Pentax in my cart

I have the Pentax 60-250 in my B&H cart but haven't clicked the place order button yet. I hope if I buy it that I will like it better than my Tokina 80-400ATX and consider it worth the money. Any comments about this lens before I bite the bullet? I may eventually get the 1.4 teleconverter to extend this lens so I don't miss the reach of the Tokina.
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