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12-07-2016, 06:52 PM   #1
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Help choose a lens in the 70-200 range

Hello

I am upgrading from a K20-D to a K-3 II. My son has discovered photography so he will get the K20-D. I want to upgrade a lens on this order. I am trying to decide between (so far) the Pentax 60-250 f/4 and the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8. I would appreciate your input. I shoot mostly wildlife/landscape. The lower price of the Tamron is appealing, of course, but I could be convinced to spend more for the 60-250.

What factors should I consider? Are there durability issues with either lens? I've read some things about the Pentax and some issues with the SDM. Can you please tell me what this is and enlighten me on the issues with it, and if they are relevant now? Any other candidates I've missed?

Thank you,
Tony

12-07-2016, 07:00 PM   #2
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are you only looking at new?

what is your budget?
12-07-2016, 07:03 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
are you only looking at new?

what is your budget?
I am not opposed to buying used. I'l like to keep it under $1K.
12-07-2016, 07:17 PM   #4
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I had mixed experience with Tamron. I guess it's just my luck but I got two decentered copies, second one went to Tamron for adjustment, still soft on the left side at 200mm. I'm switching warranty from Tamron Canada to Tamron USA and will try again. I like the lens a lot, that's why i decided to give it another try fixing it. If you get a good copy it's a hell of lens imo

12-07-2016, 07:39 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Neither of those mentioned are really long enough for small wildlife, and not traditionally wide enough for landscape.

However, I had a Tamron 70-200 that I loved (as do most users) and they can be had for under $600 used. That other $400 can go toward a 15 or 21, etc.
12-07-2016, 07:46 PM - 1 Like   #6
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They are both good lenses. The Pentax gives you a bit more convenience (WR, lens corrections, silent AF) and reach, while the Tamron is faster and focuses faster (though it's a bit noisy).

Because of potential SDM issues in the Pentax and subsequent need for repair, maybe the Tamron would be best in your case?

Adam
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12-07-2016, 07:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Neither of those mentioned are really long enough for small wildlife, and not traditionally wide enough for landscape.

However, I had a Tamron 70-200 that I loved (as do most users) and they can be had for under $600 used. That other $400 can go toward a 15 or 21, etc.
I should have specified what other lenses I have: I have a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 on the wide end and I have an older Tokina Manual Focus 150-500 at the long end for wildlife. I'm upgrading in the middle.
12-07-2016, 08:00 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I have a K7 now but doing the exact thing your doing and upgrading to the K3ii! I'm looking at both lenses myself. Personally, I'm leaning towards the Tamron due to its fast f2.8 speed and it's a full frame lens, meaning that, with the crop factor, it's effectively a 310mm with your K3! As for weather resistance, a cover from LensCoat is only $79, keeping you under the Pentax 60-250 price. That is my humble opinion.

12-07-2016, 09:45 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I use the Tamron 70-200 far more often than my Pentax 60-250. The f2.8 speed and background separation is meaningfully better compared to the f/4 lens. Yes, the AF is screwdrive but it is fast enough and totally reliable. I am very impressed with the Tamron. The 60-250 goes with me only when weather is a factor.
12-07-2016, 10:07 PM - 1 Like   #10
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For wildlife you'd consider adding a 1.4 converter to either of these lenses.

I have the Tammy and love it as a portrait lens and general purpose tele:




Last edited by clackers; 12-07-2016 at 10:13 PM.
12-07-2016, 10:18 PM   #11
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Sigma also has a good DG EX 70-200 f2.8 HSM Macro lens. Probably equivalent to the Tamron in price and specification.
12-07-2016, 10:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCCharles Quote
Personally, I'm leaning towards the Tamron due to its fast f2.8 speed and it's a full frame lens, meaning that, with the crop factor, it's effectively a 310mm with your K3!
Not true. Both lenses are marked with their true focal length, so both will have the same FOV on a K3 when set at 200mm. There is no crop factor involved.

I'm also looking at purchasing a lens like this, leaning towards the Tamron for the stop extra speed.
12-07-2016, 11:48 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCCharles Quote
. Personally, I'm leaning towards the Tamron due to its fast f2.8 speed and it's a full frame lens, meaning that, with the crop factor, it's effectively a 310mm with your K3!
See what rubbish reading DPR or watching Tony Northrup leads to, JC?

The 60-250 has the longer focal length on K-3 or K-1.



12-07-2016, 11:57 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by blacklite Quote
Not true. Both lenses are marked with their true focal length, so both will have the same FOV on a K3 when set at 200mm. There is no crop factor involved.
Both lenses, when set to 200mm and focused at infinity on an APS-C body, will have a field of view roughly equivalent to a 300mm lens on full frame due to the APS-C crop sensor (I say "roughly equivalent" because the true focal length of each lens is slightly different - 200mm may not be exactly 200mm).

At closer ranges the FOV for each lens will be different due to focus breathing.

The DA*60-250 suffers quite badly from focus breathing at closer distances, and for very close in work (birds in the garden, that sort of thing) it feels more like 150mm than 250mm at the long end. If I know I'm going to be shooting close in, I use mine in combination with the 1.4x rear converter. I believe the Tamron also suffers from a degree of focus breathing, but not to the same extent, so at close range it offers greater magnification.

Optically, the 60-250 is a real peach, and though the focus breathing can be frustrating, it's sharp enough that - in combination with the K-3 / K-3II's 24MP sensor, you can crop quite aggressively without losing much in the way of IQ. And the all weather build is fantastic; mine was used quite recently on a small speedboat at sea, where it got repeatedly drenched with seawater. All it needed after the session was a wipe down with a damp cloth and put back in its case, good as new.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 12-08-2016 at 12:12 AM.
12-08-2016, 04:42 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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Just throwing this out there: there is a Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG for sale in the pentax market place for under 1K US. Even on APS-C, 200mm is a bit short for wildlife.


Pentax K5IIs - sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG - ISO 2500 f/5.6 1/320th @ 280mm
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