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05-12-2014, 09:36 AM   #1
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Looking at three different telephoto lenses, opinions would be appreciated

I'm looking at a fairly light telephoto lens with at least 200mm reach. I'll be using it in fully manual mode (aperture, focus) on a mirrorless camera. So why am I posting on a pentax forum? Well I'm looking for something in the pentax mount and one of the top three choices is the Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8. It seems that all these lenses have aperture control on the lens itself which is a must.

So, here's the three lenses I'm considering:
Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8
Promaster AF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 LD
Sigma 70-210mm F4-5.6 UC

I like how light the Pentax 100-300 is. All these lenses seem to be around the same price point. Just curious if anyone has input, maybe even another lens I should look at. I'll be shooting almost exclusively on a tripod and doing mostly landscapes.

Thanks!

05-12-2014, 10:49 AM   #2
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Having spent some time shooting on the pentax Q with tele lenses what I can tell you is you should not only look at the IQ and focal length , but also look at the focusing mechanism. Many AF lenses are not really intended to be used in MF mode, and can have very short focusing throws, leading to difficulty or lack of repeatability in terms of achieving correct focus, even with focus peaking.

Also some focusing collars are not conveniently located. I would suggest a one touch zoom is the best overall, as two ring zooms, especially those from the AF era have very small and poorly placed focusing collars.
05-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #3
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Currently own the Pentax, it's fairly sharp stopped down and usable wide open. Just be aware, it's got a rather short focus throw for a lens in this length. That said, other than the short throw, manually focusing is still quite bearable, if you need to. (I haven't found a case where it's really needed, short of focusing on a very small subject at a great distance, such as the tip of a tree's branch)

If you can get one for under $80, it's probably a decent deal, provided the optics are in good shape.
05-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Having spent some time shooting on the pentax Q with tele lenses what I can tell you is you should not only look at the IQ and focal length , but also look at the focusing mechanism. Many AF lenses are not really intended to be used in MF mode, and can have very short focusing throws, leading to difficulty or lack of repeatability in terms of achieving correct focus, even with focus peaking.

Also some focusing collars are not conveniently located. I would suggest a one touch zoom is the best overall, as two ring zooms, especially those from the AF era have very small and poorly placed focusing collars.
I think that's good advice. I have the Pentax 100-300. It's a surprisingly good lens optically speaking, but I wouldn't like to use it solely for MF. If you can live with a maximum length of 210mm, the A 70-210 is a very good lens indeed and quite affordable. There are also M series zooms that might do the job for you, but I've never owned one in the zoom range you're looking at so can't comment on quality.

05-12-2014, 12:22 PM   #5
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Since you're using MF I'd go for the A70-210/4 or the Vivitar 70-210/3.5 (sold under other brands too, I think). These were some of the best quality - yet affordable - zooms from that era.

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05-20-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, very much appreciate your feedback. I'm going to look at the 70-210 as I'll probably be using the nearer end rather than 210mm.
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