Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
5 Days Ago   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2014
Photos: Albums
Posts: 713
Recommendations on a >300mm lens please

I want something longer that 55-300mm but I am not in a hurry at the moment. I am thinking of this lens for some casual birds and wildlife and maybe some astrophotography.

I am working within a budget so no 150-450 or 560mm, please.

My current shortlist is:

A Tokina 400mm 5.6 AF-pros: it is a prime lens with decent image IQ. It cons are that it is not a zoom and there is no lens profile for corrections in DXO, which I use plus it is not 500mm.

Sigma 120-400: pros- it is a zoom and it has a profile in DXO. Plus it might be less expensive than 500mm zoom.Cons- it does not go to 500mm.

Sigma 150-500: pros- has a DXO profile and goes to 500mm-cons: it is less likely to show up at my budget.

Sigma 170-500 DG: pro- goes to 500mm. Cons-no DXO profile and is less likely to show up in my budget.

Any thoughts on these?

Obviously the first two are more likely so ranking those then the outliery would be most helpful.

Thanks.

.

5 Days Ago   #2
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,490
I understand budgets but keep an eye on the Market Place

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses - PentaxForums.com

you might get a pleasant surprise

I have always had good luck buying " experienced " equipment from fellow forum members

and don't forget you can check user reviews of various lenses:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/
5 Days Ago   #3
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
photolady95's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Cruising PentaxForums and watching your back.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,751
I agree with Michael, get to know your present equipment. There are a lot wildlife photographers here that are still using the 55-300mm and getting good results. I've got one. I've also got two Sigma 400mm's that don't see much use because they're too long for where I shoot, and a 200mm that is okay but is all manual and add a 1.7 or 1.4 TC on the end and it degrades the quality of the shot. And it's in the bag. So, get to know the 55-300mm more. Use it often. You can crop in post processing especially with that K-70 much more than I can with my K-50s, or K-30s and still have decent photos.

It's not always about the equipment you have, it's how you use it and how you process the photos afterward.

Hope this helps.
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Elida, Ohio
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,565
Don't forget the Sigma 50-500, As I recall it was the best of the XX-500 Sigmas. I rented it once from CameraLensRentals and it was pretty good. However when it came to buy a long lens I went with the DA^300 because it is faster and the better IQ. You have to remember on a lot of the zooms that the long end may be the weakest part of the lens for IQ.

5 Days Ago   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
MossyRocks's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Minnesota
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 445
There really isn't a whole lot of difference between a 300mm lens and a 400mm lens and since you are coming from the 55-300mm zoom you may actually find that a 300mm prime gives you some more reach. I have a tamron 28-300 lens and a couple of 300mm f/4 primes. I wanted to see the difference in quality between the 300mm primes and the cheap superzoom. I was more taken aback by the difference in field of view with the tamron at 300 and either of the 300mm primes with the primes having a much tighter crop. You may find this is also the case with your 55-300 but I have never used that lens so don't know how close it's 300mm length is to a real 300mm length. Also I would go and look at the images where you felt you wanted more reach and ask your self how much more. Is it a little (10-25%) or do you want the subject to be 50-100% bigger. If it was a little then the a zoom on the long end at 400mm would work or maybe even a 300mm prime, if you want a lot more then you need to start looking at the really big expensive lens.

With the long lenses I have I find that wanting more reach really means I want a lot more reach. The times when I really something bigger than either of my 300mm lenses I start thinking I should get either an old 600mm or old 1200mm lens. I then realize that using either of those monsters will slow me down a ton as I hand hold a lot of shots with my 300mm lenses and with either of those other 2 I would probably have to be shooting off a tripod all the time. I do want a one old 400mm for a little more reach but mostly for the substantial increase in speed but there I would really only be using that lens for astrophotography
5 Days Ago   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 134
One wonders what sort of budget the OP is working within?
I bought a "lightly used" Sigma 150-500mm, to compliment my recently acquired K-70, from a genuine retailer in the UK at the beginning of October for 350, so bargains are available.
Alternatively, the Samyang manual focus mirror lenses are quite economic, albeit the 800mm can be a bit of a fiddle to focus and doesn't come with a tripod mount or hood. (Yes, I've got one of those as well ... eBay s/h 100)
My other "long lens" recommendation/suggestion would be the Tamron Adaptall-2 500mm f/8 mirror. Well built, with tripod mount and hood and performs adequately when fitted with the matching Tamron Flat-field 2x converter #01F ... had one for years, now partially retired with the arrival of the Sigma


Good luck
5 Days Ago   #7
Des
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Des's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Sth Gippsland Victoria Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,215
Don't bother with the Sigma 170-500. Resolution drops off a lot above about 350mm - with a 24mp camera you'd do just as well or better cropping from the 55-300.

If you can find a Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro (the model with the 77mm filter thread) within budget, that's a good option. At around 1.4kg it's significantly lighter than a Bigma or 150-500.

But the best budget option IMO is a F*/FA*300mm f4.5. The weight and size are very manageable for handholding, and resolution is excellent. Also, unlike the DA*300 f4 which (unless converted to screw-drive) really only works effectively with the expensive DA 1.4x TC, the F*/FA* can be paired with a wide range of more affordable teleconverters, for an excellent 420mm f6.3 combination. Even without a TC, images will withstand a lot of cropping. F*/FA*300 f4.5 lenses were going for around $US650 a couple of years ago, but I've read that the prices have gone up (probably because of the K-1). Still if you can find one within budget, go for it.

I also use DxO and I like to have lenses for which a profile is available. But I wouldn't pass over either the F*/FA*300 or the Sigma 400 for that reason alone. Neither has much distortion or CA or vignetting anyway.
5 Days Ago   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2014
Photos: Albums
Posts: 713
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
You just sound bored to me.

Perhaps instead of getting another lens, why not give yourself a personal skill up-grade challenge?

After a quick peruse of your current kit (K-70+DA 55-300) and some of your PF images, may I suggest that rather than get more gear, you spend time working with your pp software (DXO?) towards the end of becoming a world-class post-processor? It's really easy to do and in the next 4 months, before spring comes around, you'll have had a ton of fun acquiring the skill. Plus, in so doing, you'll better understand the gaps in your skill/gear list and be able to chart and answer future acquisition questions, yourself.

... my 2 cents... M
I already have plans to work on my PP skills. I just upgraded my DXO the Elite version and set up my workstation so I can use it standing.

I use ACDSee for a DAM and Pixelmator also. (DXO is my RAW developer).

And I have a two plus week Christmas break to start getting serious about it plus some training videos are already downloaded.

I would definitely say I am not bored. After my trip to Yellowstone last year I just realize the appeal of long lenses more.

So back to my original question.....

5 Days Ago   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 277
What about Sigma 100-300 F4? I have this lens, and in many situations it performs better than Sigma 150-500. Of course if your subject is really far 150-500 wins hands down, but 100-300 is really capable lens, smaller and lighter than 150-500.
5 Days Ago   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2014
Photos: Albums
Posts: 713
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
One wonders what sort of budget the OP is working within?
I bought a "lightly used" Sigma 150-500mm, to compliment my recently acquired K-70, from a genuine retailer in the UK at the beginning of October for 350, so bargains are available.
Alternatively, the Samyang manual focus mirror lenses are quite economic, albeit the 800mm can be a bit of a fiddle to focus and doesn't come with a tripod mount or hood. (Yes, I've got one of those as well ... eBay s/h 100)
My other "long lens" recommendation/suggestion would be the Tamron Adaptall-2 500mm f/8 mirror. Well built, with tripod mount and hood and performs adequately when fitted with the matching Tamron Flat-field 2x converter #01F ... had one for years, now partially retired with the arrival of the Sigma


Good luck
I have no real set amount.

Less than $600 almost definitely.

Just thinking about what I should get so I can jump on a deal when I see one.

I procrastinated on a great deal on a Tokina 400mm and I am still kicking myself over it.
5 Days Ago   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2014
Photos: Albums
Posts: 713
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pentageek Quote
What about Sigma 100-300 F4? I have this lens, and in many situations it performs better than Sigma 150-500. Of course if your subject is really far 150-500 wins hands down, but 100-300 is really capable lens, smaller and lighter than 150-500.
Too expensive.
5 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,317
Long telephoto lenses and restricted budgets do not go well together. Not a match made in heavenly imaging. I agree there's not a huge difference between 300 and 400mm in image size. But when it comes to a zoom lens vs. primes, in virtually all cases, the performance of the zoom lens will diminish to a significant degree at its long end. Therefore, a good 300mm f/4 or f/4.5 prime lens will present better image quality than will a zoom lens going out to 300mm, which holds true with a Pentax 55-300mm lens, even though it is better than most. In addition, the prime lens will usually have more aperture for better shutter speed, and if stopped down to the same aperture as the zoom lens is wide open, its quality will be better yet. On top of that, a 1.4x TC can be used with it, bringing it up to near 400mm while still keeping aperture to f/5.6 allowing AF, and a minimal degradation of IQ.

What camera are you shooting with? if you are shooting with an APS-C model, but not at 24mp, you might consider an upgrade of you camera. It would allow more cropping without noticeable quality loss. It does not take much of a crop to go from a 300mm image size to one of 400mm, so one similar to that of one taken with a 500mm lens is quite doable with a top-performing 24mm APS-C camera. And you'd then also have a better-performing camera for all around use. Then if later on you should add a very good Pentax 300mm prime lens, and with the f/1.4x TC, you could even crop images from that setup also, providing a high-quality image equal to one taken with a 600 or700mm lens.

The fact is, it is inevitable that there will be some loss of resolution by going to a much longer telephoto FL lens compared to a shorter FL, of otherwise equal quality. So the use of a TC, cropping etc. can be weighed against that, and oftentimes the result will be close.

Des said similar in the post above, and I concur.

Last edited by mikesbike; 5 Days Ago at 04:17 PM.
5 Days Ago   #13
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2014
Photos: Albums
Posts: 713
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Don't bother with the Sigma 170-500. Resolution drops off a lot above about 350mm - with a 24mp camera you'd do just as well or better cropping from the 55-300.

If you can find a Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro (the model with the 77mm filter thread) within budget, that's a good option. At around 1.4kg it's significantly lighter than a Bigma or 150-500.

But the best budget option IMO is a F*/FA*300mm f4.5. The weight and size are very manageable for handholding, and resolution is excellent. Also, unlike the DA*300 f4 which (unless converted to screw-drive) really only works effectively with the expensive DA 1.4x TC, the F*/FA* can be paired with a wide range of more affordable teleconverters, for an excellent 420mm f6.3 combination. Even without a TC, images will withstand a lot of cropping. F*/FA*300 f4.5 lenses were going for around $US650 a couple of years ago, but I've read that the prices have gone up (probably because of the K-1). Still if you can find one within budget, go for it.

I also use DxO and I like to have lenses for which a profile is available. But I wouldn't pass over either the F*/FA*300 or the Sigma 400 for that reason alone. Neither has much distortion or CA or vignetting anyway.
The Sigma 400 is often within my budget and I will keep that in mind. I understand your comment about distortion, CA, etc, that is why I am interested in the Tokina 400mm.

As for the 170-500,from what I understand the DG version is much better that the other version.
5 Days Ago   #14
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2014
Photos: Albums
Posts: 713
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Don't forget the Sigma 50-500, As I recall it was the best of the XX-500 Sigmas. I rented it once from CameraLensRentals and it was pretty good. However when it came to buy a long lens I went with the DA^300 because it is faster and the better IQ. You have to remember on a lot of the zooms that the long end may be the weakest part of the lens for IQ.
If I see one when I am ready at the right price I will keep it in mind.
5 Days Ago   #15
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: King City, Ontario
Posts: 22
I use a FA* 400 and have had great success with with it. It is very sharpe and lightweight as long lenses go. I've used it over many years and hiked 12 to 18 kilometre trails carrying it in my back pack and wouldn't give it up for any other lens. Its a workhorse and will with stand a great deal of bangs and falls. I once tipped my tripod over while standing on a rocky trail and the lens landed front glass end down in the rocks luckily it didn't hit the glass but left a few bangs and dents which didn't have any adverse effect on it's ability to take photos. On a K1 it focusses quickly and accurately.

They sometimes show up for sale in the form's Market place although their price as a used lens tends to be fairly high.

Also, if your going for a lens greater than a 300 a tripod is necessary, particularly if you are shotting wildlife. I used a tripod for about 80% of the time, for both my long lens shots and wide angle.

Last edited by Garry Conway; 5 Days Ago at 04:25 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
500mm, >300mm lens, budget, dxo, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, please, profile, pros, sigma, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LR>Plugins>LR>PS>Plugins>LR>Save as a Preset? BruceBanner Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 3 04-23-2018 11:59 AM
Menu>Custom>Change AF Point Button>Type1 or Type2 BruceBanner Pentax K-1 6 10-02-2017 06:48 PM
People My New Baby >>> NOTE: I paid a photographer Blacknight659 Post Your Photos! 7 10-06-2016 02:25 PM
Ricoh GR WR >>> Anybody? Blacknight659 Pentax Compact Cameras 5 07-15-2016 05:30 PM
Greeting every one >>>picture from THAILAND ballbkk Post Your Photos! 15 02-05-2009 01:55 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:09 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top