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08-27-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
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Could Use Some Opinions on a New Lens

I want to buy a good long-ish lens mainly for wildlife, maybe some action, something in the general neighborhood of $1000. I'm mainly looking for IQ and something reasonably fast like F2.8 to f5.6.

I was waiting for the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 to come out but I doubt it'll happen soon enough for me. Plus the reviews on it so far have been so-so.

Right now I have it narrowed down to the following (in no particular order)...

1. Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG

Fits the bill the best I think. Heavier than the other options.

2. Pentax DA* 200 (with a TC, eventually)

Would be a little slower than I'd like with a TC but I could live with it.

3. Pentax DA* 300

Would be a good choice.

4. Pentax DA* 50-135 (with a TC, eventually)

Most versatile setup. Not quite as long as I'd like and a little slow with TC.

5. Sigma Telephoto 180mm f/3.5 EX DG APO (with a TC, eventually)

Another good choice but a little slow with the TC. Macro capability is a plus.

Any other options I may have missed?

I travel a lot so weight is a consideration. I'm working in Europe until Sept. 18th and then home until the next one, probably a week or two, so I need to be able to find whichever one I decide on and get it shipped to me while I'm home. I've been able to find all of these in stock somewhere.

I currently use the Pentax 18-250 for long shots and I'm just not happy with the IQ sometimes. It's not a bad lens by any means. Part of this comes from the fact I've been shooting a lot of macro lately with the Kiron 105mm so the sharpness of that lens has raised my expectations above what the 18-250 can produce.

Any and all opinions and experiences would be appreciated. It's a tough choice.

08-27-2008, 11:49 PM   #2
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I would pick Sigma 100-300/4 from your list. That said, I would also consider Sigma 50-500/4-6.3 for wildlife.
08-28-2008, 12:02 AM   #3
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Thanks kjao.

I should have mentioned the Bigma in the origianl post. It's a little slower than what I'm looking for but another option.
08-28-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Just curious

As I'm currently trying to make this decision as well, I'm wondering what you find lacking in your Sigma 70-300 that's listed in your sig. I'm thinking the DA* 60-250 would be ideal as well, but who wants to wait until 2011 for it?

Sorry, nothing to add that helps, but I'll be following this thread with interest


08-28-2008, 10:58 AM   #5
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Hi Gnaztee.

The Sigma is a decent lens but I'm ready to go to the next level as far as lenses if that makes sense. It's a consumer grade lens so I don't expect miracles from it and it has done me well in the past but a better grade lens is what I'm after.

I've been using my Kiron macro quite a bit lately and the images from that lens are very sharp. I went to the Antwerp zoo last weekend and shot around 300 pictures using the 18-250 and they just didn't really come out as well as I hoped they would. They just weren't as sharp as I would like for the most part. I'm sure some of it was me (camera shake, etc) but I just think that a better quality lens would help me create better photographs. I got enough keepers that I'm happy but some of the shots that I really was after just don't.

The 60-250 would be a good choice but, like you said, it doesn't look like it's coming any time soon.

08-28-2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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If you can get your hands on an A* 300mm f4, it is close to the equal of the DA* in IQ, but much lighter/smaller and cheaper (provided you are happy to manually focus, which I find is better at this length anyway).
08-28-2008, 11:08 PM   #7
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Hi bonovox.

That would be a good option as well as I seem to be doing pretty well focussing manually lately. The timing would be an issue though. I'd have to find one in the next couple of weeks so I could have it waiting for me when I got home. I usually only have a week or two between jobs and I want to get something before I go on the next one. I'll keep my eye out for one.

Thanks for the input.


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