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05-15-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
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The 60-250 won't be here in time, what should I do?

I was hoping the 60-250 would be here in time for my vacation at the end of June, but it's quite obvious at this point that it isn't going to happen. So, now I have the dilemma of what to do. I could probalby get away with something up to 200mm, but I'm also considering all the way up to 300mm. If the Sigma or Tamron 70-200/2.8's were out, I'd probably get one of those. But they are not here either.

While I'm not looking for the smallest and lightest, I do want to stay somewhat small and light (i.e., no BIGMA). I have a few thoughts, any feedback or experiences is appreciated!

- 55-300. While feedback is still coming in on this lens, it seems good so far. I could always sell it, and the smaller, lighter weight might be good in the situation. If the quality is really good, it might be worth keeping and evaluating a 70-200/2.8 instead of the 60-250. I might have a hard time justifying the 60-250 because of the overlap...oh this one makes things complicated but it might be the best option.

- FA J 75-300. While this lens has a bad reputation, most of the shots on PBase don't look that bad at all. The lens is cheap and I'd have the option to either keep it as a lightweight zoom, or resell it later. This puts me in a similar long term situation to the 55-300, but it's low cost gives me more comfort and flexibiltiy.

- One of the Tamron / Sigma 70-300's. I've seen many mixed reviews on these guys, and I question if I'd be happy with either of them.

- Pentax / Tamron 18-250. While I'm not looking for something below 100ish, the intrigue here is that I could keep the lens as a walkaround, even though I really don't need it. In fact, I probably wouldn't want to use it below 105mm due to other lenses. And it goes against one of my core philosophies of an SLR - that one of biggest advantages is the flexibility to change lenses based on your situation. This option is not being seriously considered, but I wanted to mention it to say I did think about it.

So, opinions? Did I miss a good option?

05-15-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
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Since you're new to the forum, first of all, I will say welcome.

I think the best deal in that lot is the 55-300. I just got this lens myself, and while no lens is absolutely perfect, this one comes pretty close in the consumer class. With this one, it's lightweight enough that you could still keep it even after you pick up the 60-250 or 70-200 simply because of the weight for the times where you'd prefer to take a lighterweight telezoom rather than the heavier telezoom.

If you want to even go lighter, then there's always the 50-200, also another pretty decent lens. Since they're running so cheap used, I've halfway thought about picking one up and using it for the times I don't need the extra length of the 300.

HTH,
Heather
05-15-2008, 09:21 AM   #3
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Well, I just got my 55-300 and haven't really had the time to put it thru it's paces... but my first impressions are quite favorable.

I'd say go for it... it is quite well priced and will be a VERY easy lens to resell once the 60-250 comes out.

Just my 2 cents worth...

Pat
05-15-2008, 09:27 AM   #4
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FA-J 75-300: IMO, this doesn't deserve it's bad rep - I owned one, and it was more than adequate. I think it gets it's bad rep because the plastic construction feels so cheesy, but actually the IQ is just fine for the money.

Tamron/Sigma 70-300: haven't tried the Sigma, but results posted here looked pretty good. I really can vouch for the Tammy - sharp, good contrast/color, really good close focus. Does have some PF/CA issues in backlit situations, though. (but - $130 shipped!)

DA 50-300: The more I see from this lens, the more impressed I am. Really nice stuff, especially at 300mm. However, I wonder what the resale value will be once the Tamron/Sigma 70-200 f2/8's and the Pentax DA* 60-250 are available - it might get down near DA 50-200 price then. (If you intend to keep it, no problem.)

I bought the Tammy to tide me over until the 60-250 gets here, but I would have liked to get the 50-300 also. I'm also now sorely tempted by the excellent DA* 300 f/4, no thanks to Buddha and the others who won't stop posting shots.

05-15-2008, 09:27 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, there is a wealth of info here. If you want an inexpensive lens for the interim, consider the Tamron 70-300mm DI LD Macro for $129.99. It is very sharp to 210mm and the macro is capable of producing very nice images. I have one and will not part with it just for the macro capability (even tho its not a true macro). It has its quirks and there are several posts with info on its pros and cons. Some like it a lot and others not at all. I too am waiting for the Pentax 60- 250mm or the Tamron or Sigma 70-200mm f2.8. this lens is currently filling the gap.

Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 F/4-5.6 DI LD Macro FS=62 For Pentax AF | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore
05-15-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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If you're looking to just change to the 60-250 when it comes out, I would say go for either the Sigma/Tamron 70-300 or the Pentax 50-200. I'd recommend the 55-300, but not at twice the price. You should also look into getting a used telephoto until the 60-250 comes out.
05-15-2008, 09:56 AM   #7
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A pretty limited data point, but I have had the Sigma 300 for about 24 hours now and witness no lack of sharpness or detail at 300mm as some had reported.
05-15-2008, 09:59 AM   #8
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Welcome to the form ! I know what I would do (already did it DA 55-300) -

HOWEVER for another option to think about. The DA* 50-135 and a TC. A 1.4 TC will give you give you 189 and a 1.7 TC will take you to 229. The DA* 50-135 has a very good reputation and I don't think reselling it (if you want to ) would be an issue. If and when you pick up the 60-250.

Of course for the same price (DA* 50-135 and 1.7 TC ) You are now close to a DA* 300mm or a DA* 200mm ....

FYI - I had a recent in Holiday in Mexico , then I did not have the DA*'s that are in my sig or the DA 55-300. My most used lens was the Tamron 18-250 , it offers decent IQ and you just can't beat the range when on holidays for keeping one lens on the camera.

Good luck !

05-15-2008, 10:53 AM   #9
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I'm really enjoying the Pentax-A 70-210 f4 I got for cheap on Ebay. You have to focus manually, but everything else about it is awesome, especially at the price of around $100 or lower. I really like the image quality, it feels and looks great, and the auto-aperture and metering work on a dslr.

Since it's also a constant f4, I wonder if it might actually share some similarities with the optical design of the DA* 60-250 too. Since it's so inexpensive, it would probably do nicely for you in the interim if you plan to get the 60-250 later anyway. Something to think about at least.
05-15-2008, 12:32 PM   #10
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Buy the 18-250, and then get the 60-250 when it comes out. They are two different lenses.

The 18-250 is a great travel/walk around lens, and takes very nice shots. The shake reduction can help offset the relative slowness of the aperture.

The 60-250 looks very nice and will be great for those times you're taking all your gear with you, or you go out shooting with a specific focus in mind, which requires the 60-250.

Whatever you decide, though, I'll still recommend the 18-250. It's just too handy, with very good IQ, to not have one.
05-15-2008, 02:04 PM   #11
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Well since we still have to see what the IQ of the 60-260 will be I would wait a while longer. I say this as I am torn between buying the Sigma 100-300 F4 and waiting. I do want to see how the 60-260 performs and can slave along with a sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 Apo for now.
05-16-2008, 06:40 AM   #12
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Same situation!

I've been using the Tamron 70-300 LD Di as an interim lens, but recently had the opportunity to try the DA 55-300 and found it better in the following ways, in order of importance to me.

1. Almost no purple fringing
2. Quick-shift focus
3. Better colour
4. Slightly sharper, especially at 300mm wide open (this was quite a surprise)
5. Wider at the short end, matches better with my 16-45
6. Smaller and lighter
7. Non rotating front element

The improvements were enough for me to to buy the Pentax in the meantime and sell on the Tamron.

I've partnered the Tamron with the FA*300 f4.5 for a couple of years, but a zoom is important to me, so the DA*60-250 is high on my priority list. As I recently sold the FA*, I'm waiting to decide if the 60-250 will be good enough or will I have to go for the DA*300!

I keep thinking that the Bigma would be a good choice for what I want, but I'm put off by the size/weight and the small max apertures at even moderate focal lengths (it shuts down quite quickly), plus I've never been lucky with Sigmas, though I must say I've been quite impressed by many shots I've seen from other users.

I've had a 100-300 f4.0 EX in the past and that was too large and heavy for me, plus I wasn't "that" impressed with it, so I quess the Bigma will never find it's way into my collection.
05-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Since you're new to the forum, first of all, I will say welcome.
Thanks.

QuoteQuote:
I think the best deal in that lot is the 55-300. I just got this lens myself, and while no lens is absolutely perfect, this one comes pretty close in the consumer class. With this one, it's lightweight enough that you could still keep it even after you pick up the 60-250 or 70-200 simply because of the weight for the times where you'd prefer to take a lighterweight telezoom rather than the heavier telezoom.

HTH,
Heather
That's about where I am at this point in time. I think, though, that I would like assurance that this lens is better than the old 75-300. It should be.

Then, I'll just see how the longer term pans out. If I buy this lens, then it will force me to revaluate if I want the 60-250, or if a 70-200/2.8 would better suit my needs. Or neither.

--david

Last edited by applejax; 05-16-2008 at 10:27 AM.
05-16-2008, 10:22 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
Same situation!

I've been using the Tamron 70-300 LD Di as an interim lens, but recently had the opportunity to try the DA 55-300 and found it better
...
The improvements were enough for me to to buy the Pentax in the meantime and sell on the Tamron.
Good to hear the first-hand account. I'd like to see how it compares to the old FA J 75-300 out of curiosity.

QuoteQuote:
I'm waiting to decide if the 60-250 will be good enough or will I have to go for the DA*300!
I confess to similar thoughts, especially if I wind up with the 55-300!

QuoteQuote:
I keep thinking that the Bigma would be a good choice for what I want, but I'm put off by the size/weight and the small max apertures at even moderate focal lengths (it shuts down quite quickly), plus I've never been lucky with Sigmas, though I must say I've been quite impressed by many shots I've seen from other users.
I've used a Bigma, and you're spot on. It's a big, heavy, clunky beast and it needs a lot of light. The fact that wildlife is typically more active in the morning or evening simply exacerbates its flaws. I've seen some excellent shots with it as well, but I was not able to reproduce that quality. The reach sure was nice, though.

It would be more favorable to me if a lens like the Bigma would sacrifice about 200mm on the short end and run from 200 or 300 to 500 or even 600 in order to shed some weight and size. My uses for a lens like that, especially with mid zoom options like the DA*300 and the 60-250, would be pinned at the long end most of the time.


--david
05-16-2008, 11:28 AM   #15
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Another vote for the 55-300..

I've owned one for a few days only but having previously owned both the Tamron & sigma 70-300s feel I've made a good purchase, the pentax betters both for me

simon
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