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02-16-2015, 05:53 AM   #1
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Worth to upgrade from DA55-300 to Sigma 120-400 ?

Hi Forum Experts,

I am using a K-30 with its kit lens 18-135 WR since 2013. Early last year I got the DA50 mm f1.8 and last month I got a used copy of DA55-300 non-WR version.

A bit of history first. I have moved to Hong Kong some years ago and now commute to work in a 15 minute ferry ride across the Victoria Harbor. At this time of the year, some egrets like to tailgate the ferry looking for some easy meal. When I tried my DA55-300 for the hunting egrets, the reach was still a bit short most of the time and the focus could not catch up with the egrets most of the time.

While I am happy with the the DA55-300, there is a closed out deal of APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM for slightly less than $600. Is it worthwhile to go for the 100 mm extra reach ? Grateful if anyone have used both could give some user experience.

Regards,
Ken

02-16-2015, 06:16 AM   #2
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I have owned the Sigma 50-500mm a couple of times and the 135-400 that was Discontinued years ago. I would say that the 120-400 is a decent performer but you must also consider the weight and portability of it if you are commuting with it. If the size and weight do not bother you, then I would go for it.
02-16-2015, 07:09 AM   #3
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Another option would be to upgrade your body. The K30 is only 16MP and you could go to the K3 or KS1 to get a tighter crop without changing lenses. That would keep things light and small and still give you more reach than you have now. '
02-16-2015, 07:21 AM   #4
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/134439-sigm...-thoughts.html

02-16-2015, 07:31 AM   #5
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Nice write up!

---------- Post added 02-16-15 at 09:33 AM ----------

several past threads that might help:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/225300-sigm...-55-300-a.html
Zoom: Tokina 80-400 vs Sigma 120-400 vs Pentax 55-300: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
02-16-2015, 07:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Well, my 55-300 wasn't pried from my cold dead fingers...I have the Sigma 150-500 now so I sold it to my father.
02-16-2015, 07:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
I have owned the Sigma 50-500mm a couple of times and the 135-400 that was Discontinued years ago. I would say that the 120-400 is a decent performer but you must also consider the weight and portability of it if you are commuting with it. If the size and weight do not bother you, then I would go for it.
Yes, the thought of carrying the 5 lb set up (camera and lens) is a bit prohibiting. Holding such a long lens may attract some disapproving stares as well. That's why I am debating myself to go for it or not.
02-16-2015, 08:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Well, my 55-300 wasn't pried from my cold dead fingers...I have the Sigma 150-500 now so I sold it to my father.
A very helpful write up indeed. Thanks a lot !

---------- Post added 02-16-15 at 08:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Another option would be to upgrade your body. The K30 is only 16MP and you could go to the K3 or KS1 to get a tighter crop without changing lenses. That would keep things light and small and still give you more reach than you have now. '
Thanks for the head up. Haven't thought about that. May be better wait for a K-3 later this year when the full-frame model comes out.

02-16-2015, 08:29 AM   #9
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I have the DA* 60-250 f/4 and the HD TC as well as the DA 55-300. I like the former for sheer resolution and clarity and the latter for sheer weight and portability. I also have a very light but not very great iq Sigma 400 f/5.6 AF. I don't shoot a lot of birds (yet?) so my use of these lenses is different than your intended one so I'm not sure I can give you great insight.
02-16-2015, 11:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Braveheart Quote
Yes, the thought of carrying the 5 lb set up (camera and lens) is a bit prohibiting. Holding such a long lens may attract some disapproving stares as well. That's why I am debating myself to go for it or not.
I really liked using the 50-500mm but I always used it on a heavy duty monopod. We lived in Louisiana at the time and I took pics of alligators and the various egrets and herons that lived on the Bayou. I never tried to travel much with that lens.
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