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02-17-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
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Going long on the cheap?

Hi, With Kids Baseball season closing in I'm considering options for another lens. I have an FA80-320 which is OK but I'm not in love with it. I'm thinking about the Tamron SP 60-300 adaptall which seems to have gotten good reveiws and is cheap but I have doubts about the capabillities of any super zoom and I'd be giving up AF. Suggestions? Comments?
Did I mention that I have to do this on a real tight budget?
How is the IQ on an F 100-300?

02-17-2009, 10:25 AM   #2
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Exactly how tight is your budget? If you can scrape together $300 (or maybe a bit less if you can find one used), the DA55-300 would be your best bet. If the money is really really tight, then a Tamron 70-300 will do the job nicely, as well; they can be had new in the $160 range and even cheaper used.

If this lens is intended to be a replacement for the 80-320, then why not sell it?

HTH,
Heather
02-17-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
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IMO, it's no upgrade to go from the 80-320 to either the Tammy 60-300 or the Pen 100-300. My advice would be manual primes. They are relatively cheap and should easily out resolve these consumer zooms you're looking at. M42 Screw Mount takumars being the bargain here. Consider a 300mm F/4 SMC Takumar. It would blow away any of the lenses you're looking at.

Regards,
Mike
QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
Hi, With Kids Baseball season closing in I'm considering options for another lens. I have an FA80-320 which is OK but I'm not in love with it. I'm thinking about the Tamron SP 60-300 adaptall which seems to have gotten good reveiws and is cheap but I have doubts about the capabillities of any super zoom and I'd be giving up AF. Suggestions? Comments?
Did I mention that I have to do this on a real tight budget?
How is the IQ on an F 100-300?
02-17-2009, 11:02 AM   #4
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I'd agree with Heather here on the Tamron 70-300mm LD Macro. Excellent image quality on a budget of around $150 or so new. I owned one of these (thew original ones designed for film cameras) for years and was very pleased with the images. They work great for outdoor sports where you have good light but will suffer some indoors as the lens is slow on the long end. Great for baseball or soccer, not so hot for basketball in the fall. Still, with careful shooting technique and a monopod (or tripod, if allowed), you can get some useable images from indoor sports as well...especially if you can crank up your ISO a bit.

02-17-2009, 11:08 AM   #5
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Yeah, but he already has the Pentax 80-320. So at best, that Tamron would be a sideways move. Also, IMO [I've owned the Tamron Di 1:2] more than likely a step backwards.

Regards,
Mike
QuoteOriginally posted by jglover Quote
I'd agree with Heather here on the Tamron 70-300mm LD Macro. Excellent image quality on a budget of around $150 or so new.
02-17-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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ditto 70-300...but you do have to deal w/ PF/CA. It's sharper than it should be for a $150 lens...
02-17-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
Hi, With Kids Baseball season closing in I'm considering options for another lens. I have an FA80-320 which is OK but I'm not in love with it. I'm thinking about the Tamron SP 60-300 adaptall which seems to have gotten good reveiws and is cheap but I have doubts about the capabillities of any super zoom and I'd be giving up AF. Suggestions? Comments?
Did I mention that I have to do this on a real tight budget?
How is the IQ on an F 100-300?
For adaptall SP lens, the best is the Tamron SP 70-210mm f/3.5 19AH. It is said that this adaptall lens will beat the Vivitar Series 1 zooms in terms of CA and IQ. It is a better adaptall lens than your 60-300mm one.

For the adaptall lens, any pk/a adaptall mount would be expensive to get, rough pricing for pk/A that allows AE aperture goes about $100. The K mount adaptall goes about $25 and you have to use stop-down metering in M mode with green button.

For normal K mount manual focus lens that are in the cheap, I have several to recommend:
  • Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4.0 from Komine
    - about $140 to $200
    - good speed zoom with 'A' aperture
    - good close up with 1:2.5
    - a bit heavy but still reasonable to use
    - one touch zoom which is not my favorite. The tamron adaptall zooms seem better in the one-touch zoom in less zoom creep than the vivitar
  • Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 from Tokina
    - this is the best value among the Series 1 zoom
    - I prefer this zoom over the version 1 from Kiron due to lighter weight and ease of handling
    - price varies between $40 to $80
    - Manual aperture without 'A'
    - close up is NOT as good with 1:4, the lacking as compared to v1 and v3
    - constant f/3.5 is plenty
  • Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 from Kiron in K or M42
    - I prefer the M42 due to Av mode, though M42 adapter is needed
    - about $30 to $60 and it varies depending on conditions.
    - Some go with a matching 2x doubler
    - a two touch zoom design that I love as compared to one-touch zoom

I am not familiar with your FA 80-320mm lens. And I do have the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 LD Macro, I bought it used for about $90. It still stay as my best value zoom in my gear. It is slow in AF, purple fringe/CA more often than others, but it gets used when I need to go Tele and I pan often with this zoom with hummingbirds, bees, seagull and my boys in action.


Last edited by hinman; 02-17-2009 at 07:22 PM.
02-17-2009, 04:47 PM   #8
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I will echo the recommendations for the Tamron 70-300mm. It often available used for <$100. I've been using it to shoot kids baseball and soccer for the past four years. I started with the best Vivitar series one classic lens, but the added reach of the Tamron really helps.
I like the Tamron because it is light and sits on a monopod quite well. The image quality is just fine for kids sports. I post the pictures on my website and the parents just love it. The only issues are the mediocre AF, so be sure to move the AF function to the AF button on your camera. It will make the difference in capturing the ball going into a kid's glove in the infield.
As an alternative, do consider the DA 55-300. The added 15mm in width may be very valuable depending on where you setup in relation to the field.

M

02-17-2009, 04:53 PM   #9
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I'll try this one last time, against my better judgement.... He already has the SMC Pentax FA 80-320mm f/ 4.5-5.6 . The Tammy is not an upgrade... I give up.

Regards,
Mike
02-17-2009, 05:06 PM   #10
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I agree with a certain lot of above posts...those which say to move to a prime or stick with the FA. Actually, stepping into this thread I was going to recommend the FA.

The FA isn't a terrible lens. It just isn't that good above 250mm or so. Since it's worth about $150, shelling out double for the DA or the same price for a Tamron (ugh) doesn't make any sense. And moving up to a lens that deserves the SP name like the 19AH would be worth it for the IQ, but the weight will tire you fast.

Personally...my thoughts and direction down the road is like so: I will be getting a 200mm f/4 and 300mm f/4 or f/5.6 prime. Will I sell the FA? Probably not since it's so small and light, and does still provide usable images
02-17-2009, 05:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by X Man Quote
I'll try this one last time, against my better judgement.... He already has the SMC Pentax FA 80-320mm f/ 4.5-5.6 . The Tammy is not an upgrade... I give up.

Regards,
Mike
I see little reason to get frustrated. The original poster mention about about not liking the Pentax FA 80-320mm. But your point should be noted that the Pentax FA 80-320mm is likely NOT an upgrade as it share similar aperture and focal length with the Tamron zoom. I think both the Tamron or Sigma equivalent in 70-300mm offer good close up in 1:2 ratio, which do come in handy in the zoom.

Another note on going for the Adaptall lens is that the adaptall p/k or p/ka adapter is needed and that will jack up the overall price of the lens purchase, especially when you only use the adapter for single lens. It is something to be considered.

There are plenty of choices for inexpensive zooms, but the best will go to higher price in the DA 55-300mm in terms of IQ. As for me, I stay put with my Tamron zoom as I don't shoot tele shots often and the inexpensive zoom such as the Tamron fits my needs quite well. Its close up is something that I use quite often in hiking.





For fast action, none of the zooms mentioned seems fast enough for you to freeze the action in tele shot. At some point, you may need to look for a good prime in 200mm or 300mm.

Perhaps, you should push yourself in getting a work out with your existing FA 80-320mm
and share with us what you don't like about the lens. All lens has some sweet spot to like about. I can tell you that the Tamron zoom serve me well in terms of sharpness, but the caveat always lie in more appearance PF/CA that I have to bear that in mind in shooting. Someone mention less fringing on K20D and I have not tried it myself yet. There is no perfect lens, you gain up and you lose some. Same can be said for your FA 80-320mm, I agree with others that getting the Tamron seems like a duplicate of what you already have with FA 80-320mm

Last edited by hinman; 02-17-2009 at 07:25 PM.
02-17-2009, 05:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
How is the IQ on an F 100-300?
According to some Pentax user lens comments the 100-300 would not be a step up.

I've seen great shots from the Pentax 55-300 but I have no idea how it compares to your 80-320.

I believe your application calls for a zoom. If it doesn't then obviously a prime could give you better quality and some older ones can be had as bargains. But don't forget that often this means manual shooting. Not a big deal (just an additional press of a button to simulate Av, for example) but you may not like the "inconvenience".
02-17-2009, 05:37 PM   #13
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If you are ready to look into prime in f/4.0 and f/3.5 with a tight budget in mind, I have a few to recommend

  • Pentax 300mm f/4.0 in K mount
    - I love this lens and I have no idea why I sell it
    - it is heavy but still hand-holdable
    - lacks a tripod mount
    - price varies from low $200 to mid $300
  • Pentax M/K 200mm f/4.0 in K mount
    - very well made for a good price, lighter than 300mm and much more hand-holdable
    - price around $60 to $90
  • Vivitar 200mm f/3.5 in K mount (from Komine)
    - I like it better than Pentax 200mm for some odd reason
    - price varies from $30 to $90
    - if you can find a M42 mount, it will work better with Av mode cutting the extra step in green button for stop-down metering
  • Some inexpensive 200mm or 300mm in the M42 mount
    - I get lucky in getting a Soligor 200mm f/2.8 in M42 mount
    - keep looking for the SuperTakumar 300mm or some variants in the 200mm or 300mm that is less competitive for bidding
02-17-2009, 09:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by X Man Quote
I'll try this one last time, against my better judgement.... He already has the SMC Pentax FA 80-320mm f/ 4.5-5.6 . The Tammy is not an upgrade... I give up.

Regards,
Mike
Woops , didn't intend to stir the stuff! Reason I asked about the adapall is I just got the PKA adapter in a kit that I bought to get a fast 50. I don't want to waste money on a lateral move. I'm relatively new to Pentax and I'm just not finding the Qualities I want in what I can afford.
02-17-2009, 09:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
I'm relatively new to Pentax and I'm just not finding the Qualities I want in what I can afford.
Keep looking, there are great lenses out there. Your 50/1.7 should please you in terms of sharpness.

The 80-320 is not a bad lens, but it isn't great either. I'm sure you'll find something you will be happy with if you keep looking.
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