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05-22-2019, 12:56 PM   #1
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A Tale of Two Zooms - Pentax and Sigma

I now have two mid-range automatic zooms: the DA L 55-300 (SMC Pentax-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA L Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database) and the Sigma 70-300 DG OS (Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database). I have not been all that enamored of the 55-300, especially in mid-light settings. I have tended to use my Adaptall 60-300 in those scenarios. However, I just acquired the Sigma for a total of $22, shipped, and am excited to try it out. So far, the focusing seems quieter and better than the 55-300, but I will have to test out the images and low-light performance.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to drop a line!

05-22-2019, 05:51 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The reviews on the Forum do not help you, do they? You are well aware of my liking for the Adaptall 60-300mm, and I am not likely to change my view without good evidence. I have the latest Pentax 55-300mm, the PLM model, which is lighter and more convenient for travelling, but the Adaptall is my choice if sharpness and crisp focus are paramount. I have resisted the Sigma 300mm zooms for quite a while prior to getting the PLM. There are several similar Sigma models around (those with a "macro" capability tended to be over 500g). I already had a Sigma 18-250 HSM Macro as well as the Adaptall, so I saw no urgency to get a Sigma 300mm zoom without macro. I am as keen as you are to see your results. I think my PLM would probably be better than your Sigma, but that is $500 compared to $22, and at 300mm the PLM is not as sharp as the Adaptall.

Summary: My guess is that the Sigma would probably beat the DAL optically, but neither has a close focus capability. So the Sigma would be between your two existing lenses in IQ and weight.
05-22-2019, 07:56 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Having used both lens I can say that in my experience that they both can produce excellent images under good lighting conditions........I have no preference as to which I may think is better...........
05-23-2019, 02:35 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I haven't really been really pleased with Sigma's zooms in the past. They are sharp enough stopped down a bit, but they just don't have the same level of contrast that I'm used to with my Pentax lenses.

05-23-2019, 02:46 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I've had both the Sigma 70-300mm APO zoom and the DA L 55-300mm zoom; both are decent performers through the middle of their ranges and both are poor at 300mm....

I did not care for the clunky feel of the Sigma and have since sold it - I've kept the DA L zoom for its convenient range, color rendition, and overall quality of the shots I've been able to grab with it - but not for its performance at the far end...

once I stopped kidding myself that the 300mm shots were 'good enough', I put money aside for a 300mm prime and bought an FA* 300/4.5 for serious shots at 300mm...

additionally - if you are serious about a zoom for that range, start saving up for a DA* 60-250mm or a Sigma 100-300/4 zoom...
05-23-2019, 04:22 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I have both lenses (and had the 60-300 too).
I compared them and liked the handling of the Sigma DG OS (quiet focussing) but the optical performance at 300 mm of the Pentax.
Additionally the 300 mm of the Pentax seem to be 'longer' than the 300 mm of the Sigma!
- and the focal range of the Pentax makes it more a walk-around lens.

If I want the best optical results at 300 mm I use my manual/adaptall Tamron SP 5.6/300 macro....
05-23-2019, 01:32 PM - 1 Like   #7
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A Tale of Three Zooms ? Dark Conservative ? Medium
05-28-2019, 03:45 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pleo Quote
I have both lenses (and had the 60-300 too).


If I want the best optical results at 300 mm I use my manual/adaptall Tamron SP 5.6/300 macro....
I picked up an Adaptall CT-300 prime a few months ago as part of a bundle at a good price, but I have not yet got really good results from it - I think it needs a bit of imposed "flatness" to the colours to avoid saturating the reds or whites. I will try again soon, but I will probably sell it, and keep using the PLM zoom or the SP 60-300mm if I need 300mm. So Pleo is ahead of many of us in having the very good SP 300mm macro.

05-28-2019, 11:29 PM - 1 Like   #9
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NO:
not the old CT-300!!!!
I'm referring to my newer 54B-Version:
Tamron SP Adaptall-2 300mm F/5.6 Model 54B
The old construction is not really a good lens - but the new SP-series is!
05-29-2019, 01:59 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pleo Quote
NO:
not the old CT-300!!!!
I'm referring to my newer 54B-Version:
Tamron SP Adaptall-2 300mm F/5.6 Model 54B
The old construction is not really a good lens - but the new SP-series is!
Yes, Pleo, you have the real SP optical quality. That's why you are ahead of me with my old and inferior CT-300.
Mine is really a consumer-level lens but I will give it a good test before I sell it, just in case I can get good results from it.
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