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11-28-2008, 12:55 PM   #1
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pentax 300mm f4 or sigma 100-300mm f4

hi i am on the fence on which one to get. it would be nice to have the zoom of the sigma
yet if i am using the lens more at the 300mm setting would it be best just to get the pentax? i have never been very happy with sigma in the past but all the reviews are very good for the 100-300mm i assume it is not weather sealed like the pentax

any suggestions?

11-28-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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forgot to mention to be used with K20D
11-28-2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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Primes tend to give better results than zooms, so work out which will be most useful to meet your needs.
11-28-2008, 01:58 PM   #4
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With right lighting, sigm 100-300 certainly works. But not on an overcast day or backlit situation where you would struggle with metering and details of your subjects while pentax 300mm f4 would have more rooms to rescue these details.

For technical perferction of an image, this zoom sigma 100-300 is not too bad to use.

11-28-2008, 02:19 PM   #5
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I'm partial to primes so I bought the DA*300/4 and have not regretted it in the least. I have a different mindset when I take it out and while I've wished it to be longer, I have not wished it to be shorter.
I see you live in Hawaii so you probably won't have many cloudy days:-). I would still want the prime but that's me and my style. I had a Sigma APO 70-300 before I got the DA and was always shooting it at 300 so it was a no-brainer for me.
Good luck with your decision, many members here love the Sigma 100-300 so I don't think you can go far wrong. I can attest to the quality of the DA.
11-28-2008, 02:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
With right lighting, sigm 100-300 certainly works. But not on an overcast day or backlit situation where you would struggle with metering and details of your subjects while pentax 300mm f4 would have more rooms to rescue these details.

For technical perferction of an image, this zoom sigma 100-300 is not too bad to use.
Maybe you can explain this, roentarre. Isn't 300mm f/4 the same whether it's a prime or at the end of a zoom? I don't own either of these but I don't see how this is going to affect metering on different days. In fact it seems to me that assuming the Sigma is at least "pretty good", the only way you're going to tell the difference optically is if everything else technical (metering, stability, focus) is close to perfect. Camera shake, missed focus, or bad exposure will obliterate any minor differences in sharpness. Is there something about the prime that really stands out to support this claim?

Naturally there are some physical characteristics (even larger and heavier), weather sealing, SDM (is 100-300 available in HSM yet?) vs. some zoom flexibility.
11-28-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
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Photozone reports that the Sigma 100-300/4 is the sharpest zoom Sigma zoom ever and it has a strong following even in the C and N camps. If you need to zoom, it is a fine choice. I was definitely considering that until I came across a good deal on the DA300/4. It also a fine performer and a pound lighter, SDM, and weathersealed. Neither lenses are perfect, but thankfully they are both fine enough!
11-28-2008, 03:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote
Maybe you can explain this, roentarre. Isn't 300mm f/4 the same whether it's a prime or at the end of a zoom? I don't own either of these but I don't see how this is going to affect metering on different days.
Neither do I, and I own a Sigma 100-300... Nice and sharp, no metering problems, and it's quite capable of producing an acceptably contrasty image on an overcast day. Focusing speed isn't too bad, but I prefer to it focus manually if I want to pick out something at wide apertures. Doesn't do my tennis elbow any good either!

11-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #9
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I love my Sigma! Its preformance has never been in question and sharp as a prime. I do use the zoom so thats why I went with it.
It is just under 400g heavier than the DA and not weather sealed.
11-28-2008, 07:34 PM   #10
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Size and weight helped me decide

I recently faced the same choice.
In the end the size and weight of the Sigma forced me to the Pentax.
Now that I have the DA* I really appreciate the weatherproofing and the fine focus control. The image quality is pretty good too.

I wonder if it would be possible for Pentax to make this lens in plastic rather than metal to get the weight down some more?
Or is there just too much weight of glass for that to be possible?
11-28-2008, 07:55 PM   #11
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Other Options??

If you are not adverse to zoom and solid, but weight reducing plastic construction, you might consider the Pentax DA 55-300. It's my outdoor walk around lens. Many examples on this forum demonstrate it to be highly versatile and it can produce dazzling images.

Cheers...
11-28-2008, 08:45 PM   #12
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I went with the Sigma for the flexibility of having a zoom. The weight isn't an issue for me as it's typically mounted to a monopod which I sling over my shoulder when walking around. The image quality and focusing speed of the Sigma are brilliant. I'm sure the Pentax is a quality item and there are days where I'd really appreciate having weather sealing. However, the Sigma is the best zoom I've ever owned/used and as such I highly recommend it.
11-28-2008, 10:40 PM   #13
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I own the Sigma, and would agree with everyone else that it's a fantastic lens. However, AF is noisy and I definitely would love to have weathersealing. A few weeks after I got the Sigma I went to a motorcycle race on a rainy day and unfortunately it never came out of my bag as I was afraid of it getting drenched. Instead I used the DA* 50-135mm all day due to the weatersealing. This meant I missed a lot of shots, which was unfortunate.

So, in conclusion, the IQ of the Sigma will never leave you wishing for more, but the lack of some other features just might. Especially when there's such a good lens with those features available for about the same price.
11-29-2008, 07:42 AM   #14
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the Sigma also has the advantage of being internal focus and zoom unlike the upcoming DA*
11-29-2008, 09:05 AM   #15
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I just got the Pentax 300/4 2 days ago, and its very impressive. Unless its quiet around me, its hard to hear it focus, you just see the viewfinder go from fuzzy to clear, and the focusing is fast.

It focuses quite well inside in normal indoor lighting. Then i decided to check it out with my teleconverter. The Tamron 1.4X teleconverter has the 2 contacts for HSM and it works fine with the 300/4. It does result in a loss of 1 stop of light, and with it in place, the 300/4 started missing focus inside my house due to a lack of light. But then how many folks use a teleconverter on this lens indoors :-)

Focus accuracy is very good with the lens. The 300 with the Pentax K10 is very manageable for hand carry, even better with a monopod. But i really wouldn't want the extra weight of a 100 to 300.

They both are excellent lenses, nice when Pentax owners have choices like this!!

Phil
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