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02-23-2019, 07:12 AM - 1 Like   #31
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One option no one has mentioned is the K 200/2.5 + F 1.7x AF. I use this combo myself and it's quite good, either as a stand alone 200mm or a combined 340mm. It's certainly not a DA 300 (which I also have and love) but it will give you a relatively fast 340mm.

There is currently a 200/2.5 on ebay at a buy-it-now of $250, or best offer and another just refurbed by Eric for slightly under $250. You should be able to pick up the 1.7x tc around $200-$250 but you would need a little patience for that one.

This combo is very small and relatively light, plus it can be used either manually or semi af. Again, just something else to think about.

02-23-2019, 07:40 AM - 1 Like   #32
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Recently the DA*200 plus 1.7 is my camera bag telephoto, when I don't know if I'll need a telephoto but I might.
02-24-2019, 02:36 PM   #33
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THE budget lens to get is a Takumar 500mm f4.5. It is manual focus, you must use a tripod, you'll need a M42 to Pentax K adapter, and its minimum distance is 10m. That said price wise it's a hard lens to beat (under $400) for a lens that fast at that focal length. It is sharp.
02-24-2019, 05:35 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by stemked Quote
THE budget lens to get is a Takumar 500mm f4.5. It is manual focus, you must use a tripod, you'll need a M42 to Pentax K adapter, and its minimum distance is 10m. That said price wise it's a hard lens to beat (under $400) for a lens that fast at that focal length. It is sharp.
The problem with this lens is the minimum focus distance.

A 10cm hi Bird, like a chickadee, or finch, even I with a 500mm lens is only 5mm high on the sensor. If you got to 6 meters with your 300 you get the same result. That's the problem with some of the older 500mm telephotos.

My tamron 200-500/5.6 can close focus to 2.5 meters, my k300/4 with the 1.7x AF adaptor focuses to 3 meters

Focal length alone is not the only thing to consider. Minimum focus distance is also very important

02-24-2019, 07:22 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Focal length alone is not the only thing to consider. Minimum focus distance is also very important
DA55-300 min focus distance 1.4 m , very annoying to have to back away from a bird to get to min focus distance as has happen to me a few times using older lenses, also light and easy to handle, many shots taken one handed with DA 55-300 while walking the dog. That said if I had the DA*300 I don't think the 55-300 would get much of a run.
02-24-2019, 08:57 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cee Cee Quote
if I had the DA*300 I don't think the 55-300 would get much of a run.
You'd be surprised Colin. You'd probably still take the 55-300 not only on the dog walk (hard to shoot one-handed with the DA*300!) but any bush walk where wildlife isn't the main photographic target. There's a place for both xx-300 zoom and 300 prime.
02-25-2019, 01:31 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Saxtonine Quote

1. Honestly? Most trips I am a birder first and a photographer second. I often submit photos to eBird.org that I'm not necessarily proud of (and sometimes don't keep) for documentation. But like everyone else, I would love to get amazing bird pictures too.

2. Thank you - I was pleased with those two! MF is not out of the question but strongly not-preferred.

3. I was hoping to keep things under $500 but if this thread has a consensus it seems to be the DA* 300.
Hello again Saxtonine. So these are my recomendations:

Since the MF focus lenses are not a priority, I would go with either the Bigma 50-500 OS or the older and slightly lower IQ Bigma 150-500. You can find used copies for $500 and are great lenses for birding. They will make a big difference in comparison with 300mm on the long end zoom lenses (I had both and the 50-500 was my main lens for many years - I have hundreds of great photos with it plus it works as a very capable macro lens @200mm with 1:3,1 magnification).

The DA* 300 is a superb lens but it will add mostly on terms of IQ as you already have a 300mm zoom lens. If you combine it with a HD 1.4X or F 1.7x AF TC then it makes sense as you practically have 2 lenses depending on the available light and the distance you want to shoot.

The F 1.7x AF is a superb TC and I strongly recommend it, as it works great with every prime lens I've tested it! In fact I would prefer a new DFA* 1.7X TC over the 1.4X and 2.0X alternatives as the 2.0X is significantly affecting IQ (even the Canon L TC is not something special). You have to combine it though with a nice MF prime or 2.8 zoom to justify your acquisition, so even though it offers AF it is still tricky to use. Bear in mind though that if you MF with the 1.7X + a good prime lens the results can be spectacular!

Finally I would not get any TC for a 55-300 or 70-300 zoom lens. I would save my money and go for the bigma or the DA*300 and then a TC at some point.

I hope I helped, if you want to know more on something feel free to ask me.

PS: The DFA 150-450 is the best option but way out of budget, so I didn't mention it at all!

Last edited by redpit; 02-25-2019 at 03:43 AM.
02-25-2019, 03:36 AM   #38
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I had been either using a Sigma 70-300 APO (which is pretty good) or a Tokina ATX-Pro 80-200 F2.8 with a 2x TC (which is sharp but heavy and also with a fair bit of CA from the TC). Wasn't really satisfied with either though so have just picked up a fairly cheap Sigma 135-400 to try out.

02-25-2019, 04:15 PM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
You'd be surprised Colin. You'd probably still take the 55-300 not only on the dog walk (hard to shoot one-handed with the DA*300!) but any bush walk where wildlife isn't the main photographic target. There's a place for both xx-300 zoom and 300 prime.
you make good sense, I purchased the DA55-300 for the 300 but have been impressed with what it can do at shorter FLs It is a versatile lens for sure.
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