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09-16-2008, 08:37 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Taipei
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Best zoom lens for aviation/spotting?

Hi. I currently have the Sigma 17-70mm as the "kit" lens for my K10D. I don't think it's long enough to shoot airliners taking off and landing etc. Any regular spotters here? Are there any particular lenses you recommend? Is the DA* 50-135 long enough? When shooting takeoffs and landings, one cannot always get close enough to the runway, depending on flight directions, road access, security etc. Also, for effective tracking do I need to look for a fast lens as well? Anything cheaper I should look at (maybe in the $500-700usd range...)? Since I have the Sigma and plan on getting something even wider, I would like to avoid the 18-200/250 etc. type lenses. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

09-16-2008, 08:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toronto
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if you go to in the pentax slr forum there's a user called MightyMike who takes a tonne of aviation photos. he uses the Sigma 100-300 F4 and the results look good. if you want to save some money, i have the DA 55-300 and it's great but slow to AF
09-17-2008, 11:06 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
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Hi there...I'm a regular spotter. I have a K20D with a Pentax FA 80-320, old but still reliable. I also use a Sigma 70-300 (a friend was not using it so she gave it to me). Most of my shooting happens during daylight (morning light is very special for this!) so you don't really need and ultra fast prime lens!. I would recommend a zoom lens up to 300mm, maybe the 55-300, or something like a 100-xxx. Beyond 300 would be a great addition but sometimes it's costly.

You can check my pics at:

Photos at

also at:

Photos at

I also have a website but my gallery is offline because I'm in the process of upgrading it. Here is my page: CostaRicaAviation
Hope this helps!


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