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12-26-2015, 05:16 AM   #1
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Extending lens selection with FF in the background

Ive a bit of spare time and a grain of LBA at the moment, a dangerous combination. Anyway ... In trying to plan for future I keep coming back to what I see as the FF size weight dilemma of Pentax zoom lenses. I've got some brilliant small light primes and a two DA* zooms so i should be happy and basically I am on k3, but ...

*** note I'm thinking FF zooms from here on ***

Looking at the nikon D8100 and their range of lenses I could pick a quality zoom, at say 70-200 range at either f4 or f2.8. The f2.8 is very heavy and the extra stop would not be particularly valuable, so the lighter f4 would be better at 850g. The new FF Pentax 70-200 is 1755g.

I use my DA* 300 occasionally on k3, but at 1070g I feel the weight when handling for a long period. Going up to the new pentax FF 70-200 would be heavier again, plus the likely extra FF body weight.

So I keep getting stuck in my thoughts to eventually moving to the new FF as the Pentax range would be limiting. Is the answer 3rd party zoom lenses for a greater choice at FF ? Is this the route that will make the FF successful?

I'm still far off deciding whether I'll move to FF in the future, but deciding if I want to continue to invest in Pentax glass now is being hampered by the concern that the FF zoom lens choice will be restrictive. (FF prime glass will not be an issue, obviously).

** I want to say I am very pleased with the results I achieve with my k3 kit and I sell prints up to A2, but clearly a bigger/latest sensor would help me cope with conditions that the k3 struggles with.

Thanks for any suggestions as to how I can stop being nervous about growing my kit with Pentax.

12-26-2015, 05:26 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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I use the sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG- 1440g with the Pentax K5IIs - 740 g

Unfortunately this lens has been discontinued for some time: but they can be bought second hand, every now and then. The 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG s full frame capable, and provides superb image quality on full format - while being lighter than a 70-200mm f/2.8.


Pentax K5IIs - Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG 290mm @ ISO 400 1/500th f/5.6
12-26-2015, 05:27 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
The new FF Pentax 70-200 is 1755g.
Well, big 70-200 zooms with f4 or faster tend to be heavy. Sigma's is 1.4kg.
If you check this thread, you can see the DA* 60-250 is "officially rated "designed for FF" by Pentax patent US7489452." Maybe it fits your bill? And I think the DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED is considered FF-compatible on the tele end and is very light, affrodable. Of course, its aperture and sharpness probably cannot reach the big, heavy 70-200mm zooms. The HD WR version might be a decent compromise, though. I know lots of forum users see it as best affordable telezoom; plus, the new one is HD and WR. These might be small advantages over some older and third party telezooms

This thread here has some more lenses listed, but I am not sure when it was last updated. There are some more lenses listed throughout the thread pages
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/183420-curr...me-lenses.html

---------- Post added 26th Dec 2015 at 13:36 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
** I want to say I am very pleased with the results I achieve with my k3 kit and I sell prints up to A2, but clearly a bigger/latest sensor would help me cope with conditions that the k3 struggles with.
One more thing.. when it comes to telephoto, APSC has the "crop advantage", as some people put it. Not sure how valuable this is to you. With modern sensors, high ISO performance is already unimaginably better than it was some years, a decade, ago. And Noise Reduction software is improving, as well. The little advantage that high end FF sensors have over APSC sensors is becoming less and less significant
The other thing you might consider is the 1.4 TC. I think this TC also increases the image circle size, so it might make APSC lenses more compatible with FF. I think there were threads about this, feel free to look for them.
And finally, Yes, the FF will (should) have better sensor performance than the current lineup. But after a year or two, the APSC cameras will narrow that gap. Of course, by then another high end FF might be released. You know how it is. But APSC is not all that terrible and maybe K-3II is good enough now, and the next APSC flagship will be good enough when it comes out. You can save some money (which you can invest in tripod, lenses), carry a lighter camera (can be helpful if you are tricking with tele lenses), and give you a crop magnification advantage.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-26-2015 at 05:42 AM.
12-26-2015, 08:36 AM   #4
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I sold my FA* 80-200 f2.8 because I couldn't see myself dragging it around everywhere. It weighed a lot less than the new lens and still was more than I wanted to use.

The micro 4/3 users face a similar dilemma. Their cameras have smaller sensors than apsc and their performance is really excellent up to a point. They enjoy a 2x crop factor and have very light equipment. The fringe conditions where the sensor size matters to the non-pro are getting to be a smaller and smaller slice. But there is no denying the larger sensors help.

The question becomes are you able and willing to carry the extra weight for those shots and what % of shots you are likely to take that will benefit from the larger sensor.

12-26-2015, 10:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I'm still far off deciding whether I'll move to FF in the future
And that is the important part of your post. I understand you do not want to invest more in Pentax if they are not going to have the range of glass you want. But until you make the decision to go FF, what difference does it make? You already have a good set of APS-C glass and adding more APS-C glass is not going to make any difference in your FF decision.

The only way this could be a problem is if you wanted to start investing in Pentax FF glass. But as you note what you want is not available. I would suggest waiting until after CP+ show in February, then decide what you want to do. I suspect we will see not only the FF camera there but also a better indication of what glass will be forthcoming for it. We should at the least get a 15-30ish UWA and a 24-105ish normal zoom. That plus a few primes either new or updated.

Make a list of what you want, then go with the brand that has it. As to the 70-200 f/4 I think the 60-250 f/4 will cover that either as is or with an updated version. How much vignetting it will have is unknown as yet, but indications are it will perform just fine.
12-26-2015, 01:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Ive a bit of spare time and a grain of LBA at the moment, a dangerous combination. Anyway ... In trying to plan for future I keep coming back to what I see as the FF size weight dilemma of Pentax zoom lenses. I've got some brilliant small light primes and a two DA* zooms so i should be happy and basically I am on k3, but ...

*** note I'm thinking FF zooms from here on ***

Looking at the nikon D8100 and their range of lenses I could pick a quality zoom, at say 70-200 range at either f4 or f2.8. The f2.8 is very heavy and the extra stop would not be particularly valuable, so the lighter f4 would be better at 850g. The new FF Pentax 70-200 is 1755g.
people have covered the shorter zoom options, especially if you wait until early next year, see how it starts shaking out... it's the really long zooms that could be the biggest limiting factor, if you need that.

it's funny that people in this thread understand the weight advantages of a slower f/4 zoom, while the loudest whiners we see on the sony ff dpr forum are those who castigate sony for not yet releasing a native fe-mount f/2.8 zoom in the ~70-200mm range
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