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03-28-2014, 10:00 AM   #16
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I also look at these premium lenses as an investment. I plan to use it for two or more decades. Good glass won't wear out if you treat it right, and it tends to retain a significant portion of its value. If you think about the cost of the lens spread out over a long period, it's really not that much.

03-28-2014, 11:24 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
DA 55-300 5.6 = $500
To get a lens that's 4 between double and triple that
TO get to 2.8 between double and triple again.

$469 to $1,399, to $3,500
Every stop adds 150% to the price. And the simple fact is, that low light situations often produce much better pictures than bright situations because of shadows etc. I have a picture taken where my subject was very small because I had to take the TC off the 60-250 just to lock focus. If all I had was a DA 55-300 I would have gotten nothing. If I'd had a 300 2.8 and TC, I would have a useable file to make a print from. Once you've been in this situation a few times, you start experiencing the need for faster glass. Those images you missed because you're glass wasn't fast enough, often they were so spectacular, you'll never forget the scene yourself, but no one else will ever see them. "I saw that moose standing right of there at first light with the mist rising all around him and the sun rising over the horizon and a beautiful sunrise behind him.... picture? Oh no, didn't get a picture, lens was too slow. " Guaranteed, it's going to happen sooner or later.

Then the question becomes, how many times until I get another chance to take that picture, and often the answer is "never,"
i'm already having flashbacks with that scenario,,

I think the best advice we can give the OP - wildlife shooting is not for the faint of heart, weak of back and light of pocketbook. My lens budget is now easily 10x what it was when I was strictly waterfalls and landscapes and my bag is at least 10lbs heavier. not to mention the hours of learning curve that goes into knowing how to handle long lenses.
03-28-2014, 01:57 PM   #18
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I hope this doesnt sound rude, because I totally don't mean it that way, I am actually trying to save you a ton of money.

If you don't understand or know why something costs a lot more money, then it probaby means you shouldn't spend that extra money.
Once you can appreciate the limitations of the cheaper equipment and if you are really at those limitations, then it would be prudent to spend the extra $$$.

Of course, I have spent plenty of money in this hobby on things I wanted and didn't need, so if you have the cash to throw around, buy the DA* and don't look back
03-29-2014, 09:27 AM   #19
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A 55-300 gives decent results at f8. A DA*300 gives very nice results at f4. I very often deal with situations where I'm at f4, 1/320 and iso 1600. With my 55-300 I'm at iso 6400 in those same conditions. That is what the extra money buys you.

You will find that that extra stop costs you lots of money no matter what you are shooting, but with long lenses it makes a very real difference. The best wildlife shots present themselves in low light situations; there is a demand for 400mm f2.4 lenses even though you need to mortgage your house to buy them and need a sherpa to pack them around.

03-29-2014, 10:38 AM   #20
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I don't think the f4 explains the cost. For years common consumer zooms that covered 35mm were 70-210/4. It should be possible to design a slightly wider range that only covers APS (no debates over the actual coverage of the 60-250, please) for the same cost.

So we have to conclude it's a matter of performance. Undeniably the design of the 60-250 should make it a better performing lens that the typical consumer zoom, but what discourages some of us from buying it are the quality control issues we've either experienced ourselves with other Pentax lenses (which should be simpler to manufacture), or read about on this or other forums (SDM, etc.)
03-29-2014, 12:21 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I don't think the f4 explains the cost. For years common consumer zooms that covered 35mm were 70-210/4. It should be possible to design a slightly wider range that only covers APS (no debates over the actual coverage of the 60-250, please) for the same cost.

So we have to conclude it's a matter of performance. Undeniably the design of the 60-250 should make it a better performing lens that the typical consumer zoom, but what discourages some of us from buying it are the quality control issues we've either experienced ourselves with other Pentax lenses (which should be simpler to manufacture), or read about on this or other forums (SDM, etc.)
OK lets look at other 250mm 4 lenses, what's available. Amazingly, all 300 mm 4 lenses, 4 AFS Nikon 300mm IF ED , Canon 300mm 4 L IS UM and Pentax DA* 399 4 ED right now at Henry's are $1,399, the same price as the 60-250 4. And the Nikkor 70-300 45-5.6 is$1099.

I wouldn't put to much into why some folks won't buy the lens. People who don't need the lens don't buy it. People who do absolutely need it, buy two so they have a backup if one is off at the shop. There are a bunch of people who clam they won't buy the lens because of various issues... but who does that hurt? Sure Pentax doesn't make a sale, but this is a great lens. It's the sceptical shooter that is going to miss out. I guess they also aren't going to buy anything from Nikon because of the D600 debacle, or Canon because of the allergenic 6D issue... just who are you going to buy your camera from?
03-29-2014, 01:30 PM   #22
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speed and sharpness.. you get those for the extra money... and a larger lens.
03-29-2014, 05:25 PM - 1 Like   #23
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The images coming from my 60-250mm make me smile when I look at them, and that makes it worth the money for me. I'd rather have one lens that makes me very happy than two or even three lenses that just get the job done. But that's my particular lens buying strategy and everyone is different.

03-29-2014, 05:56 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by freerider Quote
The images coming from my 60-250mm make me smile when I look at them, and that makes it worth the money for me. I'd rather have one lens that makes me very happy than two or even three lenses that just get the job done. But that's my particular lens buying strategy and everyone is different.
The DA*60-250 was a lens I decided against after I tried it, but I completely concur with this philosophy!
03-29-2014, 06:55 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
OK lets look at other 250mm 4 lenses, what's available. Amazingly, all 300 mm 4 lenses, 4 AFS Nikon 300mm IF ED , Canon 300mm 4 L IS UM and Pentax DA* 399 4 ED right now at Henry's are $1,399, the same price as the 60-250 4. And the Nikkor 70-300 45-5.6 is$1099.

I wouldn't put to much into why some folks won't buy the lens. People who don't need the lens don't buy it. People who do absolutely need it, buy two so they have a backup if one is off at the shop. There are a bunch of people who clam they won't buy the lens because of various issues... but who does that hurt? Sure Pentax doesn't make a sale, but this is a great lens. It's the sceptical shooter that is going to miss out. I guess they also aren't going to buy anything from Nikon because of the D600 debacle, or Canon because of the allergenic 6D issue... just who are you going to buy your camera from?
Well, I got rid of Canon and didn't/wouldn't consider them for a dslr because of the FD debacle, if that's what you mean. I can't comment on Nikon because those issues didn't affect me personally, and I don't know how Nikon handled them.

I agree that for professionals, buying many copies of a lens, testing each exhaustively, and keeping the best two probably makes sense. As for who gets hurt by not buying a lens, everybody misses out: Pentax (and Sigma and Tamron, etc.) miss out on sales, and photographers who don't feel like being full-time lens testers miss out on what might be a great lens - in case they happen to roll the dice and hit upon that rare good copy. For those of us who are non-professionals, we never "need" a lens, and we're only go to work so hard at buying one. Paying $1400 is one thing; paying $1400 and also having a high-hassle, drawn-out-over-several-months buying experience is something else.
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