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11-06-2015, 01:39 AM   #1
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60-250 vs. Sigma 50-500

Hey all, new to Pentax. Just bought a K3, with the 18-270 Tamron/Pentax lens.
I've got a couple of the current brands of SLR's on the market. They all have their good points and not so good points. I decided to give the K3 a try from the various reviews available. So far, I'm very pleased.

I'm in search of a "sharp" lens somewhere in this (16-300) range. I know it's a long shot, but with most of the pictures I take, this is the range I need. There is a couple of reasons I'm not considering multiple lenses. Actually, with the adjustments within the camera, the 18-270 isn't quite as bad as I thought, sharpness wise. But...I'm still looking to improve.

Anyway, as the title suggests, has anyone compared the Pentax 60-250 with the Sigma 50-500 lens ? As noted, actual lens sharpness is my main concern. I know using the middle F-stop adjustments help and all, but just curious about the lenses themselves.

Thanks for any help

Mike

11-06-2015, 02:07 AM   #2
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It is a bit like comparing a Ferrari to a Hummel, two different things. Do you need the 251-500mm range? If no go for for the 60-250. The biggest upgrade in sharpness and overall image quality would be the Da 300/4 but the 60-250 is a fine lens.
11-06-2015, 02:54 AM   #3
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I don't have a direct comparison between the two lenses, but I can add a few items...
  • The16-300mm range is just way too large for any single lens to excel in. The general rule of thumb is a 4x focal length range (lower focal length to upper focal length). Generally wider ranges cause the lens designer to make design compromises and trade offs that just result in not the best overall design performance and image quality. I will be the first one to say -that there is that pesky word -"Generally". Obviously there are exceptions. The Sigma 50-500 does appear to be one of the stellar exceptions that tends to bend the rule. Let me just add that in terms of the lower end - your 16mm focal length end. You are now down in the wide angle range, where again the rule of thumb runs to a 2x range. The distortion qualities of the lens design are especially severe, and to get good image quality - in particularly along the edges and in the corners. That is why you see wide angle focal lengths range across 8-16, 10-20, 12-24 and 16-35.
  • Pentax has a superb teleconverter that was designed in particular for the DA 60-250 and the DA 300. The AW 1.4x adds 40% across the range of the focal length, with very few drawbacks. In the case of the 60-250, it extends the upper end to 340mm
  • If your main concern is the longer end, Sigma has the 150-500 which I understand is extremely good.

11-06-2015, 03:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeV Quote
I'm in search of a "sharp" lens somewhere in this (16-300) range. I know it's a long shot, but with most of the pictures I take, this is the range I need. There is a couple of reasons I'm not considering multiple lenses. Actually, with the adjustments within the camera, the 18-270 isn't quite as bad as I thought, sharpness wise. But...I'm still looking to improve.
16-300 is too much of a range, if you are a landscaper, you'll use more wide angle than long, if you shoot lots of wildlife (birds, fox...) you'll need long focal length, if you are street photographer then 17-50 is your friend
You can do a quick statistic to see which focal length you use the most (ex : in Light Room), then decide which lens your really want to maximize the sharpness of that focal length !

11-06-2015, 03:52 AM   #5
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60-250 is a very sharp lens. With the 1.4x it is still sharp, and 350mm. You would have the range covered if you added a lens from 16-60, the Pentax 16-50, sigma 17-50, pentax 17-70, pentax 16-85 all could fill the gap.
11-06-2015, 04:49 AM   #6
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I have the 60-250mm and up until recently had the 50-500mm OS (sold as I bought the 150-450mm Pentax lens).

As above, it really depends on if you are going to need the extra length, the 50-500mm I had was superb, it focused speedily and was sharp enough wide open most of the time. It also focused close enough to make it worthwhile using as a quasi macro lens. (tbh I wish I had kept it)
On the other hand the 60-250mm is a lot lighter, also sharp wide open and is possibly the last Pentax lens I would ever sell.

You really can't compare the two.
11-06-2015, 06:18 AM   #7
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I second Mike P. The 50-500 is an excellent lens but is a tank and be prepared to handle the weight or carry tripod/monopod. The 60-250 is an excellent lens which I would not part with and I also use it with the 1.4 adapter and they work very well together. I also have the sigma 100-300 f 4 if you can find one and that is an excellent lens too. The da 300 is my favorite of all but you are limited with the flexibility.

---------- Post added 11-06-15 at 08:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
I have the 60-250mm and up until recently had the 50-500mm OS (sold as I bought the 150-450mm Pentax lens).

As above, it really depends on if you are going to need the extra length, the 50-500mm I had was superb, it focused speedily and was sharp enough wide open most of the time. It also focused close enough to make it worthwhile using as a quasi macro lens. (tbh I wish I had kept it)
On the other hand the 60-250mm is a lot lighter, also sharp wide open and is possibly the last Pentax lens I would ever sell.

You really can't compare the two.
Mike do you miss the 50-500 because of the flexibility? Do you like the 150-450?
11-06-2015, 06:50 AM   #8
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Those two lenses are widely different. It will be much more difficult to get sharp images with a 500mm lens, it requires good technique. But it will be difficult to get sharp images of objects too far away with a focal length that's too short. So the best choice depends on the intended use.

I have not used the Sigma, so cannot comment on it. I can only say that the 60-250 is my favourite lens.

11-06-2015, 01:32 PM   #9
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No superzoom going from 16-300 has great image quality; adequate maybe, but not great. You'll need at at least 2 lenses, a
"normal" and a telephoto, to cover that range. Your 18-270 might be good enough as your "normal" wide lens. If you don't need to go beyond 300mm, get the Pentax 60-250 as your telephoto. You can do a minor crop when you want the 300mm field of view.

Benefits of the 60-250 over the 50-300:
  1. Sharper
  2. Lighter
  3. Less expensive (I think)
  4. Weather sealed

Benefits of the 50-500
  1. Reach
  2. Optical stabilization improves the viewfinder image at the long end
11-06-2015, 04:24 PM   #10
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Visualdarkness -
What's a Hummel..? Hummer ?

While I don't see these two lenses as "that" different, other than the final reach...they start out "much" the same. I somewhat understand what's being said. The size and weight aren't of a concern.

MikeP -
Thanks for the one on one answer, that is what I was looking for.

Some didn't notice the "one" lens comment, but thanks for your time.

While I normally don't "need" much past 300mm, that's why the comparison question, 300+mm, vs. 250mm max., it has come in handy. But in both cases, the 50mm or the 60mm, are a "bit " too long..!
The Tamron/Sigma 16 or 28/300mm lenses are out there I know, but from my past (Canon) experience, they aren't "that" sharp. I guess I'll have to wait for the Sigma 16-300mm to come out and see what happens.
Comming up next weekend, I'll give the 18-270 a few shots at 60mm for the closer shots and see how that fairs. Maybe the 60-250mm will work out.

Thanks again for everyone's comments.

Mike
11-06-2015, 04:38 PM   #11
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Mike the 18-270 is among the very best superzooms from what I have seen. But I don't own one.
11-06-2015, 04:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeV Quote
Visualdarkness -
What's a Hummel..? Hummer ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummel_figurines
11-06-2015, 05:32 PM   #13
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Well I own the Sigma 50-500 OS HSM and it is a beast. It is heavy and comes with a bit of a learning curve. Sharpness usually peaks in the f8-f11 range. Bigmas love the light and really shine when they get it. The ability to shoot from 50mm to 500mm is defenitely a plus, but I rarely use mine below 300m. I have a much lighter lens I can use for that focal range. I ended up getting a monopod for mine since carrying it around all day is tiring. I have never owned the 60-250 but I hope to some day. The 60-250 is sharp wide open and lighter. Comparing the two is not really right since they really are different lenses. A better comparison would be the 50-500 and the new Pentax D FA 150-450. If I purchased one new I would go with the Pentax. It is only about $300 more.

Michael
11-06-2015, 06:54 PM   #14
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You mention that the two lenses I mention aren't really comparable. Thinking about it, neither are the two that you mention. They are kinda the same difference..!
With the 50-500, vs. the 60-250, the low end is much the same... With the 150-450 you mention, the high end is much the same..! Same difference...

I wouldn't use much past 300+mm of the Sigma lens. But would like a little more than the 250mm that the Pentax offers.
And "both" are pushing the limits of needing good closeup. The 50 and the 60mm would be much better at about 28mm for most of what I do. I'll take a few shots at 60mm next weekend of things I normally use around 28/30mm and see how things turn out.

On one hand, the size and weight of the big Sigma aren't a problem, the crispness/sharpness is. So, I guess if the experimentation goes well next weekend, I'll be ordering the 60-250 Pentax...

Thanks for the info.

Mike
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