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06-07-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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tele zooms?

I am looking for a tele zoom lens in the range of about 70-200 to 300 as so far my only AF lens is a Sigma 17-70mm.
  1. which are the best budget options?
  2. any opinions of the following which I could get used quite cheaply, resp. how do they compare to newer offerings?:
  • Pentax FA 80-300 f4.5-5.6
  • Pentax FA 70-200 f4.5-5.6
  • Pentax FA J 75-300 f4.5-5.8
  • Pentax FA 100-300 f4.7-5.8
  • Sigma AF 70-210 f4-5.6
  • Sigma AF 70-300 f4-5.6

thank you for any input,
Andreas


Last edited by kuuan; 06-07-2008 at 09:50 PM.
06-07-2008, 09:14 PM   #2
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Andreas,

One more you can add to your list: Tamron 70-300/4-5.6. You can get it new for $160 or less. While I don't have this lens, I've seen pics taken with it and for the money, it's a very good lens.
Tamron | 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens | AF017P700 | B&H

I haven't used any of these lenses, but if you are willing to stretch your budget, I would suggest that you look into the DA55-300, as I think it's the best of this bunch.

HTH,
Heather
06-07-2008, 09:31 PM   #3
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I have the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro and for the price it's tough to beat. I've taken some great shots with it.
06-07-2008, 09:32 PM   #4
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of those, your safest bets are the FAJ 75-300, FA 80-320, and the sigma (although the 'APO' version is better than the non-'APO'). Like Heather said, the Tamron is a good bet as well. this site is a good source for reviews on older (pre-digital) lenses, and this site is the greatest repository for the technical data of Pentax lenses I've come across. The review database on this site is pretty good for judging a lens' performance as well.

If you're shooting digital and can pick up a DA 50-200 cheap, do it. Photozone gives it a bad review, but after looking at their pictures, they have DEFINITELY got a bad sample- those look like the older FA 100-300 4.5-5.6 PowerZoom that I've got- probably great for portraits, but softer than jello. My copy of the DA 50-200 is very sharp, not like the photozone copies at all.

06-08-2008, 01:52 AM   #5
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I have the Tamron 70-300mm Di. I really like it. Or else the Sigma 70-300mm APO. Both are great lenses.
06-08-2008, 11:28 PM   #6
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thank you very much everybody for your input

QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Andreas,

One more you can add to your list: Tamron 70-300/4-5.6.
......look into the DA55-300, as I think it's the best of this bunch.

HTH,
Heather
thank's Heather!

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam67 Quote
I have the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro and for the price it's tough to beat. I've taken some great shots with it.
thank's Adam. Do you know how much difference there is in performance between the APO and the non APO lens? The one I saw, I believe, was called 'DGM'.

QuoteOriginally posted by clawhammer Quote
of those, your safest bets are the FAJ 75-300, FA 80-320, and the sigma (although the 'APO' version is better than the non-'APO'). Like Heather said, the Tamron is a good bet as well. this site is a good source for reviews on older (pre-digital) lenses, and this site is the greatest repository for the technical data of Pentax lenses I've come across. The review database on this site is pretty good for judging a lens' performance as well.

If you're shooting digital and can pick up a DA 50-200 cheap, do it. Photozone gives it a bad review, but after looking at their pictures, they have DEFINITELY got a bad sample- those look like the older FA 100-300 4.5-5.6 PowerZoom that I've got- probably great for portraits, but softer than jello. My copy of the DA 50-200 is very sharp, not like the photozone copies at all.
so I shall take out the 100-300 Pentax from my list.
Do you know for sure that the FAJ 75-300, FA 80-320 are much better?
How would they compare to the Sigma 70-300 APO and the Tamron 70-300?
Yes, this is for a digital camera. Would you say that the DA 50-200 is the best of them all, and won't it be more expensive?

QuoteOriginally posted by budkid Quote
I have the Tamron 70-300mm Di. I really like it. Or else the Sigma 70-300mm APO. Both are great lenses.
for sure better than the FAJ 75-300, FA 80-320, DA 50-200?

thank you so much everybody,
Andreas

Last edited by kuuan; 06-08-2008 at 11:57 PM.
06-09-2008, 01:40 PM   #7
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There's been many discussions as to which 75-300 is better, but it seems to me that the non APO sigma is on the bottom, then in the middle are the APO sigma, tamron, FAJ 75-300 and FA 80-320, then the new DA 55-300 beating them all. Of those 'middle' lenses, there doesn't seem to be enough difference between them all to definitively say one is better than the other.

The DA 50-200 is a great lens, significantly smaller than the 70-300's, but if you're looking for the longest you can get you'd be better off with the 70-300's. The 50-200 is more expensive at retail, but if you can find a used one it's normally around the same price as the 70-300's.
06-09-2008, 02:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kuuan Quote
thank's Adam. Do you know how much difference there is in performance between the APO and the non APO lens? The one I saw, I believe, was called 'DGM'.
The APO is designed to reduce color fringing in high contrast shots. That is the single biggest downfall of the Tamron 70-300. I've seen examples that range from none to downright dreadful, but have yet to see any from the Sigma. Where the Sigma seems to suffer is in image sharpness at the long end (thought I've been quite happy with mine). My personal opinion is that the difference in sharpness is pretty minimal, while the difference in fringing can be pretty drastic.

06-19-2008, 06:53 AM   #9
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thank you very much again everybody for your valuable input.

From what I learned from your replies I might have preferred the Sigma APO lens, but yesterday I finally won a bid for the Pentax FA J 75-300.
From your comments I take that it's optical performance is at level or at least not much worse than the Sigma, it looks unused and I got it very cheaply.

later I may add some samples and my 'verdict',
thank's again,

Andreas
06-19-2008, 07:01 AM   #10
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go for 300mm F5.6 not 200 F5.6

All else being equal, I would go for a lens that can reach out to 300mm at f5.6 over a lens limited to 200mm F5.6

The reason is simple, from my experience, 200 mm is not long enough, and with the lens already at F5.6 you can't easily put a TC on it, even a 1.4x, and expect reliable autofocus.

between the options you list that go to 300mm, I can't advise, as I get to 300mm in a much more expensive way, better quality I am sure also but not a budget approach.
06-19-2008, 07:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
All else being equal, I would go for a lens that can reach out to 300mm at f5.6 over a lens limited to 200mm F5.6

The reason is simple, from my experience, 200 mm is not long enough, and with the lens already at F5.6 you can't easily put a TC on it, even a 1.4x, and expect reliable autofocus.

between the options you list that go to 300mm, I can't advise, as I get to 300mm in a much more expensive way, better quality I am sure also but not a budget approach.
Lowell thank you for you input:
as mentioned I did win a bid for the Pentax FA J 70-300mm which is a F4.5-5.8 lens.
I wanted a light weight budget zoom. I won't spend big bucks for a fast AF tele, but down the road very likely I shall get both a 200mm and a 300mm M42 manual lens ( very likely Takumars ) for when I want good optical performance.

cheers,
Andreas
06-19-2008, 07:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kuuan Quote
Lowell thank you for you input:
as mentioned I did win a bid for the Pentax FA J 70-300mm which is a F4.5-5.8 lens.
I wanted a light weight budget zoom. I won't spend big bucks for a fast AF tele, but down the road very likely I shall get both a 200mm and a 300mm M42 manual lens ( very likely Takumars ) for when I want good optical performance.

cheers,
Andreas
FYI there is a 300mm F4 in the marketplace, that is one of my long and fast options
06-19-2008, 07:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
FYI there is a 300mm F4 in the marketplace, that is one of my long and fast options
thank's Lowell

the ones I found there just now seem all already sold..and than I am in Japan right now.
I wished I could buy in the US, it's so much cheaper there than in Europe, and most are cheaper even than in Japan.
Once I am back in Europe I may try to buy from the market place here, but I'd need the seller to declare a value not more than 20 Euro or 30 USD, for higher value customs cost transform any deal into a bad deal...)

greetings,
Andreas
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