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02-23-2009, 12:19 PM   #1
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need 70-200

Hi guys and gals
from what I see so far I would be happy if my kit will be the K20D, FA31mm and one longer lens around 70-200
for now I think that I will let go of the dream of the FA * s
lately been reading not the best reviews online and the price is just crazy.

so this is my current dilemma

1. 77mm ( I know that I want this lens and will have it some day for sure but can its be my main tele lens also for shows? and Candid?)

2. DA* 50-135 (love the results I see, love the reviews, not so sure I want a DA lens especially for a tele )

3. Sigma 70-200 2.8 (great reviews, real 70-200, not so so sure about Sigma)

which one will you guys buy first or do you have other suggestions, how about tamron? and other great fast lenses in the 70-700 range?

Thanks!

02-23-2009, 12:33 PM   #2
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I have the origonal APO 70-200 F2.8 EX. Bought it shortly after getting my *istD 5+ years ago. It replaced my series 1 70-210 F3.5 which I bought in 1981.

THis lens has never disappointed me in all that time, in terms of image quality and overall flexibility.

I can only assume the newer versions are as good, and would not "not buy" it just because it's not pentax.

FOr me the 70-200 is much more useful than a 50-135.
02-23-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
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I have both the DA* 50-135 and the Tamron 70-200/2.8 (another one for you to consider), and I agree with Lowell, If I had to give one up it would be the 50-135. The difference between 135mm and 200mm will cover a lot of shooting situations. The only real advantage of the 50-135 for me is the smaller size - it's a bit less conspicuous.

I keep contemplating selling my 50-135, but I'd miss it on rainy days and family events... I guess I'll keep both for now.
02-23-2009, 01:00 PM   #4
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I have the Sigma 70-200mm, newest version with HSM. I love using it for model shoots. It's a bit soft wide open, but that can be fixed with some clarity and sharpening. Stopped down, it gets decently sharp. I believe it is actually sharper than the Canon and Nikon equivalents.

02-23-2009, 01:09 PM   #5
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Like Lowell I have the original 70-200mm APO EX f2.8 (bought mainly after asking questions here) and apart from my Vivitar 100mm f2.5 macro it would be the last lens to go.
Even with the Sigma 2x TC it is a lovely lens to use.

Took this shot of my dog today with the lens and TC.

02-23-2009, 01:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
Like Lowell I have the original 70-200mm APO EX f2.8 (bought mainly after asking questions here) and apart from my Vivitar 100mm f2.5 macro it would be the last lens to go.
Even with the Sigma 2x TC it is a lovely lens to use.

Took this shot of my dog today with the lens and TC.
I also have 1.4 x and 2 x sigma TCs and they work very well with this lens.

Josh, BTW what do you mean about being conspicuous. the 70-200 plus 2x tc, with the hood attached is only about 15 inches long, and 4 inches in diameter You mean you can't hide that under your coat?
02-23-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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I recently sold my nonDG version of the Sigma 70-200EX because I bought the new HSM II version (I needed silent focus for dog agility trial shots). Here is my quick summary so far:
  • The old version of the Sigma was sharper wide open@200mm. Not that the new one isn't but compared to the old it is softer.
  • The HSM lens motor is great. Super quiet.
  • The new lens seems to focus faster. I don't have any data to back this up but it does seem faster to me.
  • I used the 2xTC on my old version with incredible results. Unfortunately Sigma hasn't come out with a new version of either of their TCs for the new lens to support the HSM motor.

Just from reviews I've read the Tamron 70-200 is supposed to be slightly sharper then the new Sigma version but the Sigma is supposed to focus faster and has the HSM focus motor.
02-23-2009, 02:01 PM   #8
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I've got my new Sigma 70-200/2.8 today. Based on some initial test shots, I made the right choice. I have owned all kinds of Sigma lenses (with Canon mount) and they have never let me down. All the macros are extremely good, and so was 100-300/4. 70-200/2.8 is a bit soft wide open, but stopped down it gives excellent results. My only worry is that it seems that my K20D needs more exposure correction (tends to underexpose more) with Sigma lenses than Pentax lenses - can't really understand that.

02-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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thanks guys!
ok so it looks like you all like the sigma
to be honest if I will buy the 77mm and the sigma it will cost like the FA*
I don't understand how can Pentax think they can do well without two basic 24-70 and a 70-200 fast zooms?
02-23-2009, 03:50 PM   #10
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I've had the Tamron 70-200 for a while and yes it is a great sharp lens with wonderful bokeh and lightest in it's class I believe for the 70-200mm zooms but it is still rather big and a pain sometimes to fit in the bag with other lenses...so I bought the DA* 50-135mm for a smaller telezoom though when I want more reach and don't need the silent focusing or weather sealing of the DA*, I go with the Tamron. The 50-135 is the perfect compliment to the 16-50 if you have it. You get the full frame field of view equivalent of ~24-200mm covered with those two lenses.
02-23-2009, 04:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
Like Lowell I have the original 70-200mm APO EX f2.8 (bought mainly after asking questions here) and apart from my Vivitar 100mm f2.5 macro it would be the last lens to go.
Even with the Sigma 2x TC it is a lovely lens to use.

Took this shot of my dog today with the lens and TC.

wow this is super sharp!!!
02-23-2009, 04:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpigeons Quote
wow this is super sharp!!!
It's a good looking picture, but IMHO you really can't judge sharpness without pixel peeping. I can show you pictures that look pretty sharp when downsized for web display, but are fairly soft when viewed full size. I'm not saying that photo is soft, just that we can't tell without seeing it full sized.
02-24-2009, 01:15 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
It's a good looking picture, but IMHO you really can't judge sharpness without pixel peeping. I can show you pictures that look pretty sharp when downsized for web display, but are fairly soft when viewed full size. I'm not saying that photo is soft, just that we can't tell without seeing it full sized.
I discovered long ago not to play that game, pixel peeping is for people more worried about their equipment than pictures .
If a picture looks good to me then that what matters, not whether I can blow it up to the size of a billboard without IQ loss.
02-24-2009, 01:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
I discovered long ago not to play that game, pixel peeping is for people more worried about their equipment than pictures .
If a picture looks good to me then that what matters, not whether I can blow it up to the size of a billboard without IQ loss.
I totally agree with you, but to say a lens is "sharp" based on a picture that's been shrunk from 4672x3104 (for instance ) to 400x600 doesn't really mean anything. If we only need 400x600 shots, we could get away with much less quality in our lenses and many less pixels in our sensors. Part of the joy of nice equipment and big pixel counts is big prints right?

BTW, I love that pic of your dog - it's great. And again I'm not saying your setup was not sharp - just that we can't really know without seeing the 20X30 print
02-24-2009, 02:31 AM   #15
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Just for you, I did try the original version but that was a bit too big.

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