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01-25-2007, 08:25 AM   #1
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Only one lens

Ok here's the deal. The budget will not allow for lots of lenses, at least until the kids are out of day care. I need a decent ( used that word intentionally) lens for the K100D that will serve a variety of situations from pictures of the kids to getting a picture of that skittish deer 100 yards away. I already have the kit lens and it is OK for "around the house". What do you reccommend?

I'm considering either the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Tele Zoom Lens with Hood:

508109 Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Tele Zoom Lens with Hood for Pentax AF Cameras

Or the Pentax 50-200mm.

My budget will only allow around $250. I cannot go much higher under threat of death.

01-25-2007, 08:27 AM   #2
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BTW I'm just a noob hobbiest. This is my first SLR either digital or film.
01-25-2007, 09:17 AM   #3
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I do not have those Sigma lens so I cannot say anything firsthand. However, here is a review of the Sigma lens:
Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro review

The only drawback I see is rotating front, which makes it hard to use polarizers (focus - turn polarizer - focus again hoping it will not turn too much).

I am also into buying a tele zoom lens and am probably getting Pentax DA 50-200 in near future.
01-25-2007, 09:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dws1117 Quote
Ok here's the deal. The budget will not allow for lots of lenses, at least until the kids are out of day care. I need a decent ( used that word intentionally) lens for the K100D that will serve a variety of situations from pictures of the kids to getting a picture of that skittish deer 100 yards away. I already have the kit lens and it is OK for "around the house". What do you reccommend?

I'm considering either the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Tele Zoom Lens with Hood:

508109 Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Tele Zoom Lens with Hood for Pentax AF Cameras

Or the Pentax 50-200mm.

My budget will only allow around $250. I cannot go much higher under threat of death.
I own the Pentax 50-200mm and used to own a sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 (an earlier version that was stolen.) I really liked the Sigma and wish I had purchased a replacement rather than purchased the Pentax because I miss the extra 100mm of the Sigma. I will try to summarize my thoughts:
Pentax 50-200:
1) light weight, balances well on the K10d
2) sharp pictures, but softens at 200mm end.

Sigma 70-300 (make sure you buy the more expensive APO version with the red stripe)
1) heavier and longer than Pentax
2)sharp pictures but softens at 300mm

If weight and size is not crucial for you, I think you would get more out of the Sigma. If you perform a google search you should find several sets of good user reviews of both lens.

Best,
Erl

01-25-2007, 09:55 AM   #5
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The sigma 70-300 non apo version is really good for its price, so id think the apo version should be just as good, the lens i have is nicely sharp even at 300mm with some post processing. here is a sample image that i took with the lens. this was taken at 300mm but i did sharpen it with highpass sharpening
01-25-2007, 10:01 AM   #6
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Hello dws1117,
I do not know the Sigma 70-300, but I have the Pentax 50-200. It is quite good.
Two main advantages:
1. Very light. Good for the pocket.
2. Same lens diameter as 18-55. So more economic for filters etc.


And a tip:
Some people here in Germany use the 50-200 as walkaround and the 18-55 in the pocket.
Why? In situations, which need speed (=no time to change lenses), the 50-200 is usually the more often used lens.

Regards from cologne, Germany,
Jacob
01-25-2007, 10:32 AM   #7
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dws1117
you can't go wrong with either. IMHO, i'd go for the sigma just for the extra reach. there will be many times when you wished you had it.
01-25-2007, 12:47 PM   #8
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An Alternative

I like my Tamron 70-300. It is less than $200.

01-25-2007, 03:09 PM   #9
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Thanks. Right now I'm leaning towards the Sigma, but I'm still researching things.
01-25-2007, 07:04 PM   #10
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If I had just one lens, I stick with my Tamron 28-300 XR (non-DI) zoom. It's not made anymore, but there was one on ebay the other day for around $200. I lucked out and bought mine new last summer for $140 from Beach Camera. It's a little slow (f/6.3) at the long end, but it takes nice pictures, and coupled with the SR on the K100D or K10D, you can get a couple of extra stops worth of speed in low light situations. It's well made and is a great travel lens.

The DA50-200 takes slightly better shots, but I don't really notice the IQ difference. I DO notice the extra 100mm of reach on the Tamron, though.

In your case, I'd look for this Tamron, the model A06. Here are a few shots taken with it. You can see the first two in full size/100% crop at my flickr site (see the Wings Over Houston set).





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