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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

Todd

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.

Slick
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.

Slick
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