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10-22-2018, 09:22 AM   #1
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Good quality telezoom on a budget

Hi there,

I am looking for a good quality 70-200 or similar range f2.8 telezoom on a budget to match with my K3, the new Pentax HD 70-200 cost way too much to me and I don't have the K1 (yet). Look around the used market there are 4 such lenses that caught my eyes, the Pentax mostly silverly FA 80-200, the Tamron 70-200 (A001), the Tokina 80-200 and the Sigma APO 70-200. Each of the above cost around half to slightly less than half of a brand new Pentax HD depends on where you look, and the old Pentax FA being the most expensive in the 4. I've not handled any such lenses, by only reading review I am inclinded to the Tamron due to it's look, size and the AF/MF clutching switch over design, the same used on some Tokina lens that I owned and I like it very much. The one bad thing about the Tamron (A001) I read about was the slow and inaccurate AF, that's why they are pentiful in the used market at quite attractive price, with the quick AF/MF switch over I think it would not be a big problem to me and I don't shoot sports, but portrait, close up of birds, flowers, animals plus some low night. All the above except the new Pentax HD are not weather sealed that's disappointing, I don't know what camera they were designed to match with, Pentax produced tons of weather sealed camera so this is quite a miss on these top level lenses.

If you were me which one would you choose and why ? or you have other option ?

10-22-2018, 09:33 AM   #2
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Can you wait ? Pentax is supposedly releasing its DFA 70-200mm f/4 in Spring 2019... this could work for you.
10-22-2018, 09:37 AM - 1 Like   #3
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For light use, I'd get the Tamron. IF shooting sports or action, I'd look for the Sigma. I've never been remotely interested in the Pentax. I've read no glowing reposts about it, am not sure I've ever seen an image taken with it. It's either just not that good for the money or it's one of the unknown gems in the mud pile. The Tamron, you have to be sure you get a good copy. It probably has the highest DoA failure rate on the forum. The last time I was interested in buying one O was told I could only exchange it once if it was abad copy. I wouldn't buy one unless the dealer promised to keep at it until I got a working copy. Buying used should be OK. The issues people had made the camera un0useable, so if it works, it's probably good. Also, It has a fantastic approval rating among those who got a good copy.

My personal solution was the DA* 60-250 but it's ƒ4 not ƒ2.8 and just isn't that good for pseudo macro as it's probably the most pronounced focus breathing of any lens I own. Close up at minimum focusing distance, it's about the same as a 135mm prime.

But in any case, I'd rather carry the DA* 60-250 and a DFA 100 macro prime for flower images etc.
Or, a DA 16-85 or DA 18-135 both have excellent pseudo prime ratios. You're going to be paying a heavy prices for 2.8 in terms of cost and weight.
ANd for weight an 2.8 the DA*200 is by far the best option. Especially if you have a DA16-85, or DA 18135 and a DFA 100 macro to pair with it. Personally when I think every day kit, I think dust seals and water resistance. Those are pretty much non negotiable for me.
10-22-2018, 09:45 AM   #4
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Whatever your final choice, don't forget to look on ebay and here in the forum on items for sale. There are some good bargains to be had in used zooms. You need to be a bit careful but I've gotten several used lenses which appear almost new in condition and work fine. Just a thought.

10-22-2018, 09:49 AM   #5
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Really ? I missed the news, I also considering something similar f2.8-4 if available, thanks for the news !

QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
Can you wait ? Pentax is supposedly releasing its DFA 70-200mm f/4 in Spring 2019... this could work for you.


---------- Post added 10-23-18 at 12:51 AM ----------

Yeah of course, I've both eyes open at max aperture for that !

QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
Whatever your final choice, don't forget to look on ebay and here in the forum on items for sale. There are some good bargains to be had in used zooms. You need to be a bit careful but I've gotten several used lenses which appear almost new in condition and work fine. Just a thought.
10-22-2018, 09:59 AM - 1 Like   #6
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If you don't need AF, I can give a strong recommendation for the Pentax-A 70-210/4.


Pentax K-3, Pentax-A 70-210/4, f/5.6 1/200s, explored on Flickr



Pentax K-3, Pentax-A 70-210/4, f/8.0 1/640s


These regularly go for under $50 USD and are high value at that price. Build is excellent and optical quality is quite decent. I have even used mine for action. (It helps to have been pre-focused on the flock, though the results were not bad even at f/5.6)


Pentax K-3, Pentax-A 70-210/4, f/5.6 1/1000s

No SDM problems...No focus breathing...

BTW, all of the above were hand-held. The lens has heft, but is not impossible.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-22-2018 at 10:14 AM.
10-22-2018, 10:00 AM   #7
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Oh I completely forgot the 60-250, but I read about the SDM problem and just now the pronounced breathing, I more worry about the SDM and I had enough with my 16-50, but it still a good choice to me thanks for the tips !

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
For light use, I'd get the Tamron. IF shooting sports or action, I'd look for the Sigma. I've never been remotely interested in the Pentax. I've read no glowing reposts about it, am not sure I've ever seen an image taken with it. It's either just not that good for the money or it's one of the unknown gems in the mud pile. The Tamron, you have to be sure you get a good copy. It probably has the highest DoA failure rate on the forum. The last time I was interested in buying one O was told I could only exchange it once if it was abad copy. I wouldn't buy one unless the dealer promised to keep at it until I got a working copy. Buying used should be OK. The issues people had made the camera un0useable, so if it works, it's probably good. Also, It has a fantastic approval rating among those who got a good copy.

My personal solution was the DA* 60-250 but it's 4 not 2.8 and just isn't that good for pseudo macro as it's probably the most pronounced focus breathing of any lens I own. Close up at minimum focusing distance, it's about the same as a 135mm prime.

But in any case, I'd rather carry the DA* 60-250 and a DFA 100 macro prime for flower images etc.
Or, a DA 16-85 or DA 18-135 both have excellent pseudo prime ratios. You're going to be paying a heavy prices for 2.8 in terms of cost and weight.
ANd for weight an 2.8 the DA*200 is by far the best option. Especially if you have a DA16-85, or DA 18135 and a DFA 100 macro to pair with it. Personally when I think every day kit, I think dust seals and water resistance. Those are pretty much non negotiable for me.
10-22-2018, 10:06 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lotech Quote
Oh I completely forgot the 60-250, but I read about the SDM problem and just now the pronounced breathing, I more worry about the SDM and I had enough with my 16-50, but it still a good choice to me thanks for the tips !
The SDM in the DA*60-250 is within industry norms for electric AF motors. The Tamron has the added benefit of being screw drive. If you want a new AF drive motor every few years (when you upgrade your camera) , go fo screw drive. Pentax has the best frequency of repair stats in the industry, mainly because so many of their lenses, still in the catalogue are screw drive. That was true even at the height of the 16-50 fiasco. Even the 16-50 wasn't able to bring Pentax down to industry norms.

These days, SDM is a non-issue, unless you're thinking of a second hand 16-50 or 50-135. Lots of people are critical for the way Pentax handled SDM, and of those very few are willing to praise them for what they've accomplished since. It's unfair, but I guess that's life.

10-22-2018, 10:06 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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I have owned the Sigma 70-200 HSM 2.8 II and it was nice but heavy. I prefer Pentax rendering though. I have also had two different SDM Pentax lenses that were/are great and have no motor issues. I sold my 17-70 and kept my DA* 50-135 since it is magical. Why is F/2.8 or 4 more important to you? The 55-300 PLM is much slower but takes amazing IQ images at a bargain price and pairs well with your K-3.
10-22-2018, 10:20 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
I have owned the Sigma 70-200 HSM 2.8 II and it was nice but heavy. I prefer Pentax rendering though. I have also had two different SDM Pentax lenses that were/are great and have no motor issues. I sold my 17-70 and kept my DA* 50-135 since it is magical. Why is F/2.8 or 4 more important to you? The 55-300 PLM is much slower but takes amazing IQ images at a bargain price and pairs well with your K-3.
The big problem with big lenses, is often they get left home when they are photographically necessary, just because you don't want the bulk or weight. The DA 55-300 is a great compromise lens. A bit of IQ lost for a much lighter more manageable package. And honestly, I have many DA 55-300 images where I doubt my more expensive glass would do any better at all. After all, if the cheaper lens resolves the necessary detail. a lens with better resolving power often doesn't add anything new. And I have other images I know I wouldn't have had anything with my better glass, because they would have been to heavy and bulky to use for the maneuvers I had to do to get the shot.

Last edited by normhead; 10-22-2018 at 10:27 AM.
10-22-2018, 11:47 AM   #11
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First the 70-200 f/2.8 range on APC is longer than people normally want. Are you SURE you want that range and not the 50-135 f/2.8 range? The DA* 50-135 f/2.8 is a LOVELY lens that is heavily discounted in the used marketplace. It is SDM and is convertible to screw drive (I offer this as a service or you can do it yourself easily with an older body). The lens handing is fantastic and the weight savings and cost savings over the 70-200 DFA is huge.

Now assuming you need 200mm - the Normhead gave you the best answer I think. The DA* 200 f/2.8 is a good alternative as is the 60-250 f/4 IF either of these fit your needs. The Tamron and Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 lenses are also good options from what I read. I have used the A 70-210 F4 and agree that's a nice lens but not in the same ballpark as the DA* 60-250 or the DFA 70-200 f/2.8 - still well worth considering if you can do without AF.
10-22-2018, 11:53 AM   #12
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I have the Tokina 80-200 f2.8 and I really like it. Make no mistake about it though...it is big and heavy! I work off a tripod much of the time so that's not a huge issue for me. One of the things I like about it is its manual focus mode. It has a very nice dampening to the focus ring that makes it feel more like a real manual focus lens. The autofocus is a bit slow, but again, when working off a tripod and shooting stationary subjects, it's not a big deal to me. I got mine for a steal from our local camera dealer. They don't carry Pentax so when someone traded this lens in, they didn't really have much of a market for it. So keep your eyes open. There are deals to be had out there. You might listen to Normhead. If you don't absolutely need the speed of an f2.8 lens, you might get tired of lugging a lens like this around. It all depends on how you intend to use it.
10-22-2018, 12:57 PM   #13
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I've had an original Sigma 70-200 APO for 10 yrs and it's a cracker on the K-3/K3 II with very fast AF and great IQ (and no HSM issues, cause it doesn't have HSM!). OTOH, I've also got the 55-300 PLM and that's much lighter and great until it loses AF lock (and it has a much smaller max aperture)!

On balance, the original Sigma 70-200 APO has better IQ but it's a very old lens and spares may be difficult to obtain if fails (although my used one never has in those 10 yrs), whereas the PLM is lighter and very good but a much smaller aperture and has only limited reliability history.

Also, if you set the body to AF and the lens to Manual, then the Sigma has "quickshift" like many Pentax lenses.

One other factor to consider is that the manual focus ring on the Tamron (and of course the PLM) rotates in the same direction as Pentax lenses, whereas on Sigma lenses the ring turns in the opposite direction - and that can be very confusing (except not for me as most of my lenses are Sigma)!
10-22-2018, 01:39 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Just because many lenses wear the "SDM" badge, it doesn't mean they have the same motors or are designed the same way. Being around these forums and the Pentax community in general for a few years, I find that the failures on the DA*16-50 and to a lesser extent the DA*50-135 and DA 17-70mm are not uncommon, but failures on lenses like the DA*60-250 or the DA*200mm f/2.8 are very uncommon. In fact, reading these forums basically every day since 2013, I have yet to hear about a DA*60-250mm motor failing. I've heard about them getting dropped by their users and breaking the internals quite a few times, but that's a different issue...

Also, a comment about waiting on a Pentax 70-200mm f4 lens that is on the roadmap... considering the DFA*50 1.4 was delayed for what, almost a year, and the DA*11-18mm that we were promised (and shown) a long time ago has not materialized yet, - not to mention the portrait and wide angle lenses that we have yet to hear about - I would buy what is available and not wait on new lenses.
10-22-2018, 03:05 PM   #15
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As others have said, the 70 or 80-200/f2.8 lenses are heavy. They are constructed from big glass or they wouldn't be f2.8 - and glass is heavy. It is common to hear that the Tokina is very heavy, but these are some of the weights of the AF F2.8 lenses (from heaviest to lightest:


HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 1755 grams (61.9 oz.)
SMC Pentax-FA* 80-200mm F2.8 ED [IF] 1510 grams (53.3 oz.)
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM 1430 grams (50.4 oz.)
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II 1370 grams (48.3 oz.)
Tokina AT-X 828AF PRO 80-200mm F2.8 1350 grams (47.6 oz.)
Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD Macro 1150 grams (40.6 oz.)


So the 'heavy' Tokina is actually the second lightest of the bunch, beaten only by the more plastic Tamron. I think that because the finish on the Tokina feels more metallic it is just assumed it will be heavier. But the numbers tell the story. I have the Tokina and I am happy with it, but I would not necessarily rate it above any other lens in that list (although I am sure the HD Pentax would be the stand out simply because it is a much newer design.)
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