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07-18-2008, 08:20 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by TYOsborn Quote
I have a lot to learn and joined the forums to gain from everyone's experience. With that being said, the Tamron is less expensive than the Pentax lens. Is there that big of a difference in the lenses to warrant the difference in price. Especially for a newbie.. then again I don't want to waste money on lenses I'm not going to be happy with. I'm used to dealing with 12X zoom lingo etc... What would the Tamron 70-300 or the Pentax DA 55-300mm equate to as far a as "times" zoom?

Thanks again!
If I do something weird and convert the DSLR lenses to equivalent X zoom at 36mm, here's what you get:

Lumiix TZ7 = 1X to 12X
18-250mm = 0.5X to 10.4X
55-300mm = 1.5X to 12.5X
70-300mm = 1.9X to 12.5X

The Pentax 55-300mm just replaced the Tamron 70-300mm as my main telezoom. The Tamron is amazing value and would be a very good choice too, but the 55-300 is a better lens. Aside from a wider angle of view when zoomed out, it also has nicer colours and is sharper above 200mm. Especially wide open, which helps keep the shutter speed up for action shots. I can almost guarantee you'd love it.

Do keep the 18-250mm though. As you use a DSLR more, you will probably learn to appreciate wide angle shooting, and the 18-250 is unparalled for versatility. Very nice image quality too, as you've likely noticed.

You may also want to consider a tiripod or monopod for the soccer games. Not that you absolutely need one, but the steadier the better with long zooms. You could get a pretty good one for under $100.

07-18-2008, 08:36 AM   #17
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I'm tempted to send the 18-250 back since what I am ulitmately looking for is a long reaching zoom lens. The Tamron 70-300 is less expensive and is sounding more like what I want. I hope the Tamron is fast enough to catch those soccer shots. I had talked myself out of buying anymore lenses as Reeftool had suggested and just get used to what I have already, but I was playing this morning trying to get some bird shots and was rather disappointed. Sooo... just maybe I should get the Tamron.
07-18-2008, 08:55 AM   #18
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Here is the ugly truth, for wildlife you need to drop SERIOUS $$$$. As in at least $1,000.

The cheapo consumer 300mm lenses are too slow (aperture not AF). Most are f/5.6 at 300mm and MUST be stopped down to at least f/7 or f/8. Now you're up at ISO800 or 1600 'cos you have no light.

300 is also too short so now you're cropping and you're still dissapointed.

You don't want to hear it but it's the truth i am afraid.

A good copy (hard to find) of the Sigma 50-500 is probably the best bet but it's $1,000. Otherwise the 300mm f/4 + 1.7X tele-converter would be a super option but that is nudging $1,500.
07-18-2008, 09:10 AM   #19
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Listen to Alfisit! I just purchased the another brand's 100-400mm, and for small birds and such, 400mm still means you have to get REALLY close to the subject, so 250/300mm would be way too short.
This little rabbit was pretty close to me, and I still couldn't get him to fill the frame @400mm(cropped a bit to center the little guy)


07-18-2008, 10:07 AM   #20
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I've used a 70-300 for soccer, and it works. But honestly, I found myself wanting to go longer and ended up getting a 1.4x TC to go with it. Much more useful range (though sometimes now not quite wide enough) at the expense of slower initial AF, though workable. IQ took a minor hit, but not much, and in good light, was still fast enough. For that type of shooting, you will see just about zero difference from the extra 50mm, and now you've lost the wide end (that 50mm is huge!) If you want some serious reach, you can either spend some serious cash ($1000 and up) or get a high quality TC and learn to live with it's limitations.
07-18-2008, 10:23 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
The cheapo consumer 300mm lenses are too slow (aperture not AF). Most are f/5.6 at 300mm and MUST be stopped down to at least f/7 or f/8. Now you're up at ISO800 or 1600 'cos you have no light.
The 55-300mm does not have to be stopped down. It's plenty sharp wide open at 300mm. Stopping down makes it better, but it's not a necessity.
07-18-2008, 10:40 AM   #22
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I'll beleive it when i see it.
07-18-2008, 01:50 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I'll beleive it when i see it.






The b&w monkeys, tigers, gorilla, baboon family, giraffes, macaque, reindeer, snow leopard, barbary sheep mother & fawn and cougar were all shot at 300mm, F/5.8.
Picasa Web Albums - Dan - Toronto Zoo

I have many more examples in my computer, I like to shoot wide open.


Last edited by audiobomber; 07-18-2008 at 02:45 PM.
07-18-2008, 02:44 PM   #24
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Raybans

100% crop of the singer's RayBans.


Last edited by audiobomber; 07-18-2008 at 08:31 PM.
07-20-2008, 07:54 AM   #25
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Hey Alfisti.

You asked a question, I posted an answer. So what do you think of the 55-300mm wide open?
07-21-2008, 07:44 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The 55-300mm does not have to be stopped down. It's plenty sharp wide open at 300mm. Stopping down makes it better, but it's not a necessity.
Given its price I wouldn't consider it a "consumer" telezoom though - It's 2-3 times the price of its competition.

Edit: Also, hinman got some pretty good bird results with a Tamron 70-300. That said, a longer lens like a Bigma will make things easier, but a Bigma is $1000.

The Tamron 70-300 is a good starter lens, amazing deal for its price.
Sigma 17-70 is a great match for the Tammy to provide a "super kit"

Pentax/Tamron 18-250 is a great travel lens - it's the lens you want when you can only carry ONE lens.

Bigma is long and sharp but it is HEAVY and expensive.
07-22-2008, 04:32 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The most expensive lens mentioned in this thread is available for under $350. The Tamron 70-300mm is only $130. Hardly "big money".
I couldn't stand it any longer. I purchased the Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens.... I've been having so much fun with the Pentax K200 and the 18-250 lens, but it was driving me nuts... I wanted to reach a little longer so I shelled out the "big bucks". Hardly that considering what I paid for the camera and 18-250 lens. Thanks so much for your help! I'll let you know how it goes once I get the new lens. Until then I'll be like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.
07-22-2008, 05:24 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by TYOsborn Quote
Hello,

I'm a newbie to DSLR. I purchased a Pentax K200D as well as a Pentax DA 18-250mm. My hope was to get a great zoom lens. I'm not all that impressed with the zoom on this lens (Pentax DA 18-250mm). It also appears to make things look farther away than with the naked eye. Is there a better lens that I should have purchased for it's zoom capabilities? I'm mainly interested in wildlife and shots of the grandkids playing soccer. As a side note, what is the advantage to shooting RAW over JPEG? Thanks so much for your help in advance...
Hi Ty,
Like anything, the answer to your question will come down to $$$$. If you want to get closer than the 18-250 allows you to, then you have options.

The Tamron 70-300 and Pentax 55-300 are a couple of low & moderate priced lenses that have already been suggested.

You can also look at lenses like the Sigma 135-400, 50-500 or 170-500 but the $$$ required go up significantly.

Then there are also some primes that may come into play, but if available, the $$$ leap again.

Have a look at B&H Photo or Adorama websites to get an understanding of what is available and current pricing.

However, please be aware that 'it' is not as simple as bolting on one of these lenses and snapping off a few shots of the soccer that are going to be great shots hanging on the wall. A lot of attention has to be paid to the available light, the postioning, etc etc etc etc to get a great shot.

A tripod or monopod should also then become a permanent fixture on your camera when shooting this type of thing.

Please note that we have not even started talikng about f stops and shutter speeds yet to get that 'perfect' shot. Thats why we are all here asking these questions.....

Cheers, and good luck.
07-30-2008, 07:00 PM   #29
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I received the Tamron 70-300 a couple days ago. I'm sure it's probably me, but I'm not very happy with it. It does have the zoom I was looking for, but it seems like it is always "hunting" or trying to focus on AF. Doesn't seem to matter what auto setting I have my Pentax K200 on. I've missed some great shots because the camera wouldn't shoot since it "wasn't in focus". What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance.
07-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #30
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Nothing about the AF of these lenses is spectacular. I put the camera on AF-C, use the center AF point, and just keep track of the action. As long as you don't let the point drift off the playaer and focus on the background, it won't hunt. Unless of course, you are shooting in really overcast conditions.
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