Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-17-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Telephoto lens opinions needed

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and Pentax cameras. That being said, I found a deal last month on the k-500 and picked it up with the kit DA 18-55 and also bought the DA 50mm 1.8.

I am now in the market for a telephoto lens and have read so many reviews that my eyes have crossed..

I would appreciate any and all opinions on the following information:

I cannot decide on choosing between an older manual prime vs. newer zoom lens. Mainly being the difficulty of using the manual lens on my camera body. The k500 has something call focus peaking? I have tried it a few times and it seems to highlight the area in focus in live view only on my camera body.


My experience level is what I would call an avid amateur.
To clarify this I shoot in manual mode 99% of the time, for the last 3 years I have used a 35mm Canon AE-1 Program with 28mm, 50mm and 135mm prime lenses (I'm not that fast with it though), I take a variety of landscape, family and wildlife photos and my post processing is done primarily in iPhoto due to simplicity but I have used other programs.

Wildlife is my primary focus for buying a new lens. I shoot from a tripod quite often, as well as shoot some video. My budget is +/- $400.

I was thinking at least 200mm+ in an older prime and up to 300mm or more. The DA 55 - 300mm is what I had thought about settling on but at this point I am really not sure.

Thanks for you help in advance,

Bryan

07-17-2014, 07:47 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 48,632
The 55-300mm (SMC, HD, or DA L) is probably the way to go. It's better than many older lenses in terms of sharpness and CA, and at its current price point I'd consider it a no-brainier

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

07-17-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
Des
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Des's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Sth Gippsland Victoria Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,735
I had a Canon AE-1 Program for 25 years, with manual lenses. I still like using manual focus occasionally, but honestly AF does make shooting moving objects a LOT easier.

As Adam said, the 55-300 is a no-brainer at the price. As you probably know, there are 3 versions: DA-L, DA and DA WR, all optically identical. Not a lot of point paying extra for weather-resistance given that your K-500 is not weather-sealed anyway, so that leaves the other two. The DA-L version has a plastic mount, no quick shift (manual focus override) and doesn't come with a hood (although you can get a $5 one on eBay). As a manual shooter you would probably appreciate QS, so maybe look for the DA version. If you get a second-hand DA you will have plenty of change from $400. Worth buying from a retailer so you can send it back if it's a bad copy.
07-17-2014, 08:26 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,986
I think for IQ, I would definitely go for the Tokina AT-X F4 100-300mm zoom lens. Although manual focus I believe it's a much better lens IQ wise than the Pentax 55-300. It cost less too at about $249 a pop. Too bad I just sold mine this week otherwise you could have picked it up.

Check it out here in the reviews. https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/tokina-x-sd-100-300-f-4.html

07-17-2014, 09:44 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 9,540
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I would definitely go for the Tokina AT-X F4 100-300mm zoom lens.
I agree, although I have no personal experience with this lens I do know it isn't optically as good as the sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG it is still a highly regarded lens. Most old telephoto primes have image quality issues when used on modern DSLRs like the Takumar 400mm f/5.6 - which can only deliver reasonable image quality at f/8~f/11 aperture range. Getting a more modern zoom lens is the best way to make the most of the money you have at your disposal.


Pentax K10D Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG - ISO 200 1/125th f/5.6
07-18-2014, 03:44 AM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 206
old zoom len

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I agree, although I have no personal experience with this lens I do know it isn't optically as good as the sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG it is still a highly regarded lens. Most old telephoto primes have image quality issues when used on modern DSLRs like the Takumar 400mm f/5.6 - which can only deliver reasonable image quality at f/8~f/11 aperture range. Getting a more modern zoom lens is the best way to make the most of the money you have at your disposal.


Pentax K10D Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG - ISO 200 1/125th f/5.6
Thanks for your in put about the old Zoom len, I see Sigma 100-300 mm F4 APO EX DE in the Market for sell.I am thinking of buying it.Your post make me change my mind .I will save money and buy a new DA 60-250 F4.5 ...
steve
07-18-2014, 05:40 AM   #7
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,603
QuoteOriginally posted by Bryans86 Quote
The k500 has something call focus peaking? I have tried it a few times and it seems to highlight the area in focus in live view only on my camera body.
Yep that's how it works.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bryans86 Quote
The DA 55 - 300mm is what I had thought about settling on but at this point I am really not sure.
The 55-300 is probably the best "consumer" zoom available new. The 50-200 doesn't hold a candle to it. The Tamron and Sigma 70-300 are not quite as good although less expensive.

Within your budget I'd get that lens if you want a new lens. If you want used, you can still find it, and the other lens I would consider is the FA 100-300 f4,7 (not f4.5). It's not as wide, it's bigger, but it's light, extremely reliable in good light, low aberrations, quick to focus (the torque is surprising the first time) and sharp enough. I kept it until I purchased the 60-250 (another league, IQ and price-wise).
07-18-2014, 05:50 AM   #8
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 33,133
I'm with Adam, right now the 55-300 appears to be the best option until you can move up to "star" lenses. If you check out the image quality of some of the posted photos they are impressive. Not as impressive as the long primes but they aren't under $400.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevewong Quote
Thanks for your in put about the old Zoom len, I see Sigma 100-300 mm F4 APO EX DE in the Market for sell.I am thinking of buying it.Your post make me change my mind .I will save money and buy a new DA 60-250 F4.5 ...
steve
Be aware that because it is internal focus, the DA* 60-250 does not give you the magnification you might expect from a 250mm lens, unless you are focusing at infinity... I really wasn't real comfortable with mine until I got the HD DA 1.4 TC to go with it. Telescopic zooms don't provide the same IQ, but do provide more magnification, which can sometimes lead to better IQ on a small subject.

Here's a post where I show three lenses from about 12 feet. Notice the F 70-210 provides a bigger image than the DA* 60-250... now that i have the 1.4, things are equalled out again and I'd use the 60-250 in every situation.

07-18-2014, 05:58 AM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,456
You can get a used DA55-300 for about $250 or so now. The new WR version from B&H cost me $379, which I consider a bargain for a WR long zoom.
07-18-2014, 06:01 AM   #10
Des
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Des's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Sth Gippsland Victoria Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,735
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I think for IQ, I would definitely go for the Tokina AT-X F4 100-300mm zoom lens. Although manual focus I believe it's a much better lens IQ wise than the Pentax 55-300. It cost less too at about $249 a pop.
Very different lenses. Not only MF v AF and a smaller zoom range, but the Tokina weighs about 1200g, compared to about 440g for the 55-300. The IQ would want to be a lot lot better - all that extra weight would be a big deterrent to everyday use. Unless you see it as a way to save on gym fees.

If the OP is willing to lug around 1200g of MF lens to shoot wildlife (and most people wouldn't), with all-out IQ as the priority, also consider the Pentax-A 400mm, which would also be within budget.
07-18-2014, 06:20 AM   #11
New Member




Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Original Poster
Thank you all for the input!

I'm beginning to lean more and more towards the DA 55 - 300mm and quite possibly the WR DA 55 - 300, considering I may upgrade bodies in the future as I am very active in the outdoors.

Any recommendations on where to purchase from and how to check to see if you get a "bad copy"?

Thanks again,
Bryan
07-18-2014, 06:31 AM   #12
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 9,540
QuoteOriginally posted by stevewong Quote
hanks for your in put about the old Zoom len, I see Sigma 100-300 mm F4 APO EX DE in the Market for sell.I am thinking of buying it.Your post make me change my mind .I will save money and buy a new DA 60-250 F4.5
The DA 60-250mm f/4 ED [IF] is a very good lens itself, though if you can manage to find a second hand Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG then by all means get it. The one big advantage the sigma 100-300mm has over the Pentax DA60-250mm is that it is internal focusing an zooming, so the physical dimensions of the lens do not change. This means the center of balance doesn't shift which is useful when you are hand holding the lens and it also limits the possibility of dust and water getting into the lens.


Pentax K7 - Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG - ISO 400 f/11 1/250th
07-18-2014, 06:53 AM   #13
Veteran Member
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,986
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
if you can manage to find a second hand Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG then by all means get it
Isn't this like the "Holy Grail" of all lenses in that range? If that's true then forget the Pentax 60-250 or DA*300. This is "The One" Neo.

I would have purchased this lens, but a Pentax F*300 fell into my lap and I couldn't say no
07-18-2014, 06:54 AM   #14
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,462
Hey Bryan,

I use older manual focus primes all the time for my wildlife shooting. Birding is my one of my favourite subjects. If birding is someting you had in mind then the longer the lens the better. I had thought my old Pentax K 300mm/4 was pretty long before I got a 400mm lens. You can get shots with these super telephotos that just aren't possible with a 300mm or shorter lens. Yes, you can get teleconverters but I'm a bit of a snob in this area and prefer prime lenses. If I could afford it I think 600mm would be ideal. In any case I got an old M 400/5.6 a few years ago and it took about a year of steady shooting before I started to get the kind of results I had hoped for. I wrote a review on this experience with the M 400/5.6 in the lens len review area. There are only half a dozen reviews of this lens and mine is towards the end under 8540tomg.

SMC Pentax-M 400mm F5.6 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

If you opt for the manual lens route I think you might expect a similar experience to the one I outline in my review. While I enjoy using the old MF lenses I have to admit they are not for everyone. You can expect a lot of failure and missed shots as you work on your technique. You should be prepared for a lot of failures after your technique improves as well. That being said there is a sense of satisfaction that comes when you really nail a shot with this old glass which I just don't get with auto foocus. I feel more part of the image making process as I selected the aperture, shutter speed and did the focusing. Good luck with your search for the new wildlife lens. As I recall I got the M 400/5.6 for a little over $400.00 a few years ago so it would seem to fit your budget.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 07-18-2014 at 08:04 AM. Reason: typo
07-18-2014, 07:40 AM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 5,665
I've been very happy with my 55-300 which I've had and used a lot since I got it in June 2008. It punches above it's weight class.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
300mm, 50mm, camera, da, da*, da*300, f*300, focus, iq, k-mount, lens, lenses, magnification, manual vs prime, new, old, opinions, pentax, pentax lens, post, slr lens, telephoto, telephoto lens opinions, wildlife, zoom
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking at three different telephoto lenses, opinions would be appreciated dsiglin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 05-20-2014 12:48 PM
Opinions needed about telephoto options jpyykonen Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 12-15-2012 11:33 AM
Opinions needed for travel lens set gda13 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 31 10-20-2011 05:54 AM
Opinions Needed (: monotok Photographic Technique 5 08-10-2011 06:52 AM
Opinions on fast prime telephoto? Reportage Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 10-26-2010 11:47 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:51 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top