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06-04-2008, 04:50 AM   #16
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Thanks Richard, for your thoughts. What annays me a bit about the used F/FAs is there price tag, which is hardly below a new DA. Otherwise I think, I would give the older F-version the advantage, because of its versatility. But then, there is the SDM on the DA… still lost…

Ben

06-04-2008, 06:55 AM   #17
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I'll pass along some comments on the Sigma 100-300/4 EX DG IF APO, non macro version.

The lens is truly an excellent piece of optical engineering. It is large, but shows great flexability in the field, comfortable, though perhaps a little heavy for some, and renders images that are extremely sharp and with excellent contrast through 250mm. Contrast is still very good at 300mm and is virtually a non issue.

It works exceptionally with it's dedicated 1.4X extender and pretty well in most case when using the dedicated 2X.

It has the abilty to handle full frame (if Pentax should decide to move in that direction) and it focuses rather quickly for a screw lens.

I personally would like to add the DA*300/4 but simply cannot justify dumping the overall performance and zoom range that the Sigma offers.

While I own at least 30 Pentax high end lenses lenses, the three Sigma EX's I own have been perfect additions to my setup. There is nothing lost, quality wise, to Pentax here.

I know some people simply don't like Sigma's and harp on their QC issues of the past. I can only say that on the Sigma EX DG 100-300, 70-200/2.8 and 180/3.5 Macro, I have not encountered any issues that interfere with image quality or capture.

Good luck with your decisions.

Stephen
06-04-2008, 07:11 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
I'll pass along some comments on the Sigma 100-300/4 EX DG IF APO, non macro version.

The lens is truly an excellent piece of optical engineering. It is large, but shows great flexability in the field, comfortable, though perhaps a little heavy for some, and renders images that are extremely sharp and with excellent contrast through 250mm. Contrast is still very good at 300mm and is virtually a non issue.

It works exceptionally with it's dedicated 1.4X extender and pretty well in most case when using the dedicated 2X.

It has the abilty to handle full frame (if Pentax should decide to move in that direction) and it focuses rather quickly for a screw lens.

I personally would like to add the DA*300/4 but simply cannot justify dumping the overall performance and zoom range that the Sigma offers.

While I own at least 30 Pentax high end lenses lenses, the three Sigma EX's I own have been perfect additions to my setup. There is nothing lost, quality wise, to Pentax here.

I know some people simply don't like Sigma's and harp on their QC issues of the past. I can only say that on the Sigma EX DG 100-300, 70-200/2.8 and 180/3.5 Macro, I have not encountered any issues that interfere with image quality or capture.

Good luck with your decisions.

Stephen
Agreed!!!!!!

The only reason I have not got rid of my my DA*300 is because of the weather sealing as I will be needing that feature for some planned trips.

Like Richard, I anxiously await the arrival of the DA*60-250. , primarily for the short end.

Last edited by jgredline; 06-04-2008 at 09:54 AM.
06-04-2008, 09:09 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
I know some people simply don't like Sigma's and harp on their QC issues of the past. I can only say that on the Sigma EX DG 100-300, 70-200/2.8 and 180/3.5 Macro, I have not encountered any issues that interfere with image quality or capture.

Good luck with your decisions.

Stephen
Hi Stephen, that reflects my own experience with the EX series (70-200/2.8, 10-20, 15-30 and 18-50/2.8 and both Apo converters). They all deliver excellent performance, even not considering the price tag. They were also the only options for a long time, as Pentax did not deliver new lenses for a long period.

Ben

06-04-2008, 09:44 AM   #20
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If I may also add this.
''IF'' Pentax had made the DA*300 @ F/2.8, this conversation may not even be taking place. Why did they go F/4? To save a few bucks?, To make it a tad lighter and smaller? Perhaps, but then this leads me back to the DA*200 F/2.8 which I also have and with my Tamron 1.4TC that works perfectly with this and NO loss of image quality gives me 280mm F/4.0....with a Kenko 1.5TC you have a very slight loss of image quality but it is @ 300mm F/4.0 with more versatility...
06-04-2008, 09:49 AM   #21
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My experience mimics Stephen's. I have both the 70-200/2.8 and 100-300/4 as well as the EX 1..4x converter and EX 2x converter, (all four pre-DG versions). In my opinion, both lenses are every bit as good as any * lens that Pentax has ever produced, (and better than one recent addition to the * line). They are well constructed, optically superior, and in my own personal experience, holds up well in inclement weather, (but I don't recommend others to shoot in a steady drizzle like I had to do on one occasion.

Even though there is a degree of overlap in the focal range of these lenses, they both have their place where you need one or the other. The shorter has the advantage of being faster, and is quite usable wide open. The other has the longer reach, and is also quite usable wide open.

One thing I've discovered that is a pleasant surprise is that even though the web site says that one loses autofocus capability when using the 2x converter on the 100-300; I've found that AF works just fine with that combination.

The 100-300 with the 2x converter is sure huge, however. I was hoping to use it last night when I went to fill up with gasoline. The Costco station I normally use sits under the flight path of the Palmdale airport (where the old Lockheed Skunk Works is). The past three times I filled up, I saw a B-2 Spirit bomber, a B-1B Lancer bomber, and last time, a U-2 Dragon Lady spy plane. I wanted to be ready this time for whatever would come, so while waiting in line, broke out the 100-300, mounted the 2x, removed the diminutive 40 and mounted the canon on the body.

Alas...nothing flew that day, so I missed out on any nice shots. Did hear some jet activity later that night at home, but by then, too dark to get any shots. Oh well...maybe next time.

The excellent optical quality of the two Sigmas as well as the matching aperture speed is one reason I've hesitated in purchasing the DA*200 and DA*300. What would I gain? Not enough to justify the cost, especially considering the 16-50 fiasco.
06-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
My experience mimics Stephen's. I have both the 70-200/2.8 and 100-300/4 as well as the EX 1..4x converter and EX 2x converter, (all four pre-DG versions). In my opinion, both lenses are every bit as good as any * lens that Pentax has ever produced, (and better than one recent addition to the * line). They are well constructed, optically superior, and in my own personal experience, holds up well in inclement weather, (but I don't recommend others to shoot in a steady drizzle like I had to do on one occasion.

Even though there is a degree of overlap in the focal range of these lenses, they both have their place where you need one or the other. The shorter has the advantage of being faster, and is quite usable wide open. The other has the longer reach, and is also quite usable wide open.

One thing I've discovered that is a pleasant surprise is that even though the web site says that one loses autofocus capability when using the 2x converter on the 100-300; I've found that AF works just fine with that combination.

The 100-300 with the 2x converter is sure huge, however. I was hoping to use it last night when I went to fill up with gasoline. The Costco station I normally use sits under the flight path of the Palmdale airport (where the old Lockheed Skunk Works is). The past three times I filled up, I saw a B-2 Spirit bomber, a B-1B Lancer bomber, and last time, a U-2 Dragon Lady spy plane. I wanted to be ready this time for whatever would come, so while waiting in line, broke out the 100-300, mounted the 2x, removed the diminutive 40 and mounted the canon on the body.

Alas...nothing flew that day, so I missed out on any nice shots. Did hear some jet activity later that night at home, but by then, too dark to get any shots. Oh well...maybe next time.

The excellent optical quality of the two Sigmas as well as the matching aperture speed is one reason I've hesitated in purchasing the DA*200 and DA*300. What would I gain? Not enough to justify the cost, especially considering the 16-50 fiasco.
Great post !!
So, how well does the auto focus work with that Sigma 2xtc?
I just bought the Pentax 1.7TC that works great with the Sigma 100-300F/4.
06-04-2008, 10:30 AM   #23
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Interesting thread, I'm also facing this dilema. I personally have nothing but good thin gs to say about Sigma, and after reading pages and pages on the internet there doesn't really seem to be much between the pentax and sigma offerings (depending where you read!). Just to put one more spanner in the works..

Amazon.co.uk: Sigma 300mm f2.8 APO EX DG For Pentax Digital & Flim SLR Cameras: Electronics & Photo

and I hear the Sigma 120-400 will be in pentax fit soon too?

What to do.. hold off and never buy i guess..

06-04-2008, 10:33 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrMuz Quote
Interesting thread, I'm also facing this dilema. I personally have nothing but good thin gs to say about Sigma, and after reading pages and pages on the internet there doesn't really seem to be much between the pentax and sigma offerings (depending where you read!). Just to put one more spanner in the works..

Amazon.co.uk: Sigma 300mm f2.8 APO EX DG For Pentax Digital & Flim SLR Cameras: Electronics & Photo

and I hear the Sigma 120-400 will be in pentax fit soon too?

What to do.. hold off and never buy i guess..
I have the big brother to this one. The Sigma 500 F/4.5....
iT is an amazing lens.
06-04-2008, 01:36 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
I have the big brother to this one. The Sigma 500 F/4.5....
iT is an amazing lens.
My wallet is cringing at the thought!

I think I might go for the 100-300 and a 1.4TC.. but I'm going to wait for my partner to calm down after my latest spending spree.
06-04-2008, 01:44 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrMuz Quote
My wallet is cringing at the thought!

I think I might go for the 100-300 and a 1.4TC.. but I'm going to wait for my partner to calm down after my latest spending spree.
Believe me, my heart was jumping out of my chest when I hit the ''order'' button.
I am really glad I did though. No regrets.
06-04-2008, 02:01 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
My experience mimics Stephen's. I have both the 70-200/2.8 and 100-300/4 as well as the EX 1..4x converter and EX 2x converter, (all four pre-DG versions). In my opinion, both lenses are every bit as good as any * lens that Pentax has ever produced, (and better than one recent addition to the * line). They are well constructed, optically superior, and in my own personal experience, holds up well in inclement weather, (but I don't recommend others to shoot in a steady drizzle like I had to do on one occasion.
Hehe, my Sigma 18-50/2.8 gave up during steady rain recently – no AF function anymore (but manual worked, of course). But after drying it (and the camera contacs, everything was back to normal and no lasting damage done to either the lens or the camera (a K20 in that case). That experience made me think about adding a DA 16-50, just for its sealings - but I am still undecided, because the IQ reports are so different and the Sigma is quite good, even on the K20.

Ben
06-04-2008, 02:03 PM   #28
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Isnt it wonderful that we can have now threads like this about long-telephoto lenses for Pentax?

I think that it is about time (1-2 years) that we can have a SDM 300 f2.8 and/or 400mm primes from Pentax/Samsung

BTW Javier, I would love to see pics from your 500 f4,5, I bet that it is as good as it sounds.
06-04-2008, 03:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
Isnt it wonderful that we can have now threads like this about long-telephoto lenses for Pentax?

I think that it is about time (1-2 years) that we can have a SDM 300 f2.8 and/or 400mm primes from Pentax/Samsung

BTW Javier, I would love to see pics from your 500 f4,5, I bet that it is as good as it sounds.
Well, since you asked.
Here is a copy and paste from another forum I post on.

I finally had the chance to take out this beast. (Sigma 500mm F/4.5) for a test run. Impossible to hand hold, It is to big and heavy. I was using a Manfroto Monopod...These where shot as Jpegs with no PP done other than resizing and minor crops in others. What impressed me the most was the speed of the lens. This Lens combined with the K20D's fast auto focus system works well...
Anyway, nothing great, just samples.















06-04-2008, 03:14 PM   #30
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Here are a few more I took the day before. These where shot with K10D. Again, I like the fact I can shoot this lens at a relatively low ISO. This really adds to the versatility of the lens. This tells me that in Low light it will be a killer... I will find out this coming weekend. With the Bigma, I had to shoot at min 1000 ISO, But again, not so with this beast.







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