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03-03-2009, 08:17 PM   #16
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Sigma's EX lenses are very well built. That 100-300 is a fantastic lens. Check out reviews, nothing but good news (except the weight). Photozone has a review on it and it performs AWESOMEly. I'd say it's at par with prime lenses.

I want one.

I can't wait til the 60-250 comes out so I can compare.

03-03-2009, 08:55 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmbradd Quote
quick edit: I realize there are better lenses out there, especially the F* and FA* lenses but i'm looking around 1k. I know the longer the better for wildlife so maybe now I shift to the 300mm?
I originally wanted the F* 300/4.5 because of it's tripod collar which the FA* 300/4.5 doesn't have but wasn't willing to pay the cost of the DA* 300/4 for a used one. If you're saying the F* or FA* 300/4.5 is "better" than the DA* 300/4, I don't think I could agree. Most all of the incredible F*, FA* pics I've seen were taken by incredible photographers.They have been around for years (the F*, FA* lens series). I have the DA* 300/4. Have I taken pictures to rival any of Tom Lusk's work with his FA* 300/4.5 (before he moved to Nikon)? No, but I'm nowhere close to his level or Marc's level. It's not the lens holding me back, it's me. We've already seen some amazing pics with the DA* and we'll see many more as more of the elite photographers move to the DA* 300/4. It's an incredible lens and it builds so much on the FA*s with it's SDM focusing, quick shift, tripod collar, close focusing abilities and maybe the most important for wildlife photographers, it's weather sealing.
If I had to do it over again today and my choice was a mint F* 300/4.5 for $1000 and a DA* 300/4 for $1000 I would get the DA* without the slightest hesitation. If the mint F* 300/4.5 was $750, I'd think about it for a second...and get the DA*. At around $600 for the mint F* 300/4.5 I would forego the DA*'s advantages, maybe.
03-03-2009, 10:56 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmbradd Quote
Thank you for the reply.

Certainly nothing is "eliminated" yet this so early in a search, I've just heard sigma has issues with build quality. Living in the Oregon its inevitable I'll shoot in less than dry conditions. That said, I could always use a plastic cover. Weight isn't so much an issue to me as I'm young. The added flexibility of a zoom is appealing, especially given where I live.

I like to think I'm not interested in shooting birds and small wildlife but who am I kidding, what else is there to shoot when you aren't finding deer and other large animals? Maybe I'm destined to buy a bigma anyway.

Though an sdm capable pentax TC means the 300mm da* could also be a 420mm f/....6?

I think what i'm looking for is personal experiences, as I'm not really a "test chart" type of person. I'm searching these forums a lot and there are some amazing images out there from all of these lenses. I don't think I'll be disappointed with whatever I choose, I just want to see whats out there (and waste some time at work!)
Bro jmbradd, except the suggestion above, would you like to consider Bigma 170-500mm if you don't mind it is heavy?

Below link is some sample posted by others:

Sigma 170-500mm APO DG(窮人大炮) 試圖區 - 報料及測鏡區 - Pentax 討論區 - DCHome.net 數碼天地論壇 輕銌臚@蚍すX相機網站 - Powered by Discuz!

may be the range is suitable for you either urban or wild?
03-04-2009, 03:08 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmbradd Quote
I'm leaning towards the 200mm since f 2.8 would be incredibly useful and I could add a teleconverter to get extra length. I'm not familiar with pentax TC's so does anyone know which ones are available? My reasoning is that if there is a 1.4/1.5x TC that will bring the lens down tow f/4, I'm still getting more length at f4 though slightly reduced IQ.

I have compiled a list of TC that works with either of these dDA* lenses (that has to include SDM & AF)


Let me recap what works what

Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF MC4 AF works. SDM no re Brad (photo.net)

Tamron-F Pz-AF MC4 1.4x both SDM & AF works for DA*300mm re Dave (photo.net)

Tamron-F Pz-AF MC4 1.4x both SDM & AF works for DA*300mm as per Toshi, moderator of Pentaxforums.com.

Kenko DG Pz-AF 1.5x TELEPLUS MC no AF no SDM on DA*300mm re Dave (photo.net)

Kenko DG Pz-AF 1.5x TELEPLUS MC AF works on older AF lens re Dave (photo.net)

Kenko Pz-AF 1.5x TELEPLUS SHQ both AF & SDM works for DA*200mm and all older AF lens re Daniel

Kenko Pz-AF 1.5x TELEPLUS SHQ both AF & SDM works for DA*300mm re Borno (Tom) of Pentaxforums.com ….SDM hunts a bit with DA*300mm

Kenko PZ-AF 1.5X TELEPLUS MC only AF works; SDM no as per jgredline of Pentaxforums.com

Kenko Pz-AF 1.5x TELEPLUS SHQ both AF & SDM works for Sigma New DG 150-500mm re snooked (Ed) of Steveforum

Promaster Soectrum 7 Teleconverter forPentax Z AF (1.7x) works (both AF and SDM) for Sigma New DG 150-500mm re snooked (Ed) of Steveforum


I have listed the source and it would be easy for you to search

Hope it helps you out


Daniel

03-04-2009, 08:50 AM   #20
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Yes, I know the feeling

I was in your situation a couple of months ago.

The DA* 300 is a great lens, no doubt (I borrowed it). However, so many seem to use it with a TC, especially when shooting birds. To me that is a waste in IQ and money. In addition the 300mm is really too big/long for more urban or "everyday" kind of shooting.

I prefer the DA* 200 (I am borrowing it ...and going to buy it). Sometimes it can be used for wildlife (not birds) depending on what you are shooting, and it can also be used for other kinds of photography.

Later on I will get a 400mm or longer. You get my point? It's better to have a versatile 200mm and a brilliant wildlife 400-600mm than something in between.

Kind regards
.lars

Last edited by Recercare; 03-04-2009 at 09:02 AM.
03-04-2009, 09:00 AM   #21
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Sigma 100-300: Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 EX HSM APO - Lab Test Report / Review

"The lens was capable to deliver absolutely excellent resolution figures in the MTF lab easily comparable to fix focal length lenses in their respective range."
03-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #22
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200 or 300

QuoteOriginally posted by jmbradd Quote
I'm starting to save up for my first top notch expensive lens and I think I want to make it a long telephoto prime. My primary love is wildlife/outdoor photography but living in downtown Portland I've adapted a bit to urban photography. That said, I really want to find a lens that is the best available in its class which currently the DA* series seems to be. I love the build quality and weather sealing and am a little skeptical about the "bigma".

To my question, which of these seems preferable?

I'm leaning towards the 200mm since f 2.8 would be incredibly useful and I could add a teleconverter to get extra length. I'm not familiar with pentax TC's so does anyone know which ones are available? My reasoning is that if there is a 1.4/1.5x TC that will bring the lens down tow f/4, I'm still getting more length at f4 though slightly reduced IQ.

The 300 is appealing though because thats longer and would probably give me more opportunities. This decision is a long way off but its fun to entertain these thoughts. Anything else on the horizon that might not be out yet? I'm hesitant on sigma but i'll entertain any thoughts.

I want something that will allow me to produce good images (no, not make them for me) and stand up to a little abuse. One of the reasons I chose to go with pentax is that even though their long telephoto options are limited, the build quality on these two lenses is fantastic and its price range is reasonable where over the course of a year a person like me could save for it. No way i'd be able to save up for a nikon 400mm f 2.8 in any reasonable amount of time.

quick edit: I realize there are better lenses out there, especially the F* and FA* lenses but i'm looking around 1k. I know the longer the better for wildlife so maybe now I shift to the 300mm? Also, has anyone ever rented pentax lenses online? I certainly wouldn't mind trying these before buying them
This is a tough choice, last summer I was trying to decide on 70-200/2.8+TC or 200+TC or 300 or 100-300. As my F70-210 is a bit old now my preference was to replace it with 70-200+TC, but the tamron wasn't quite out and stocks of the sigma were gone - it was just b4 the hsm version came out.

Eventually I decided a 200+1.7xTC would suit me fine as then I have 2 good focal lengths - 200 & 340.

IIRC none of the TCs properly communicate the focal length to the SR, and recently I read somewhere (damn where's that link) that the sigma TCs wouldn't work properly with the new sigma 70-200 HSM version.

the DA200 is a very capable lens, the DA300 when I've played with it is very good and I'm having a hard time not getting one, but finite budget available and the new 60-250 is nearly out which I hope will replace my old 70-210 (the extra 10mm at the short end will be useful for some landscape pics) Then I'll have a dilemma like yours - do I keep the 200 or change it for a 300 ? I'll probably hanker for something longer still to add to the lineup - talk about LBA !!!

is the 200 too short ? depends what you shoot, I managed this with mine on a K10. No cropping - WYSIWYG, minimal pp'ing, probably non-optimum usm for web viewing (must work that one out sometime!)

f4_250th_ISO800 resized to 968x648

03-04-2009, 08:12 PM   #23
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Uhh, I have a confession to make...

03-04-2009, 08:28 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Maffer Quote
Sigma 100-300: Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 EX HSM APO - Lab Test Report / Review

"The lens was capable to deliver absolutely excellent resolution figures in the MTF lab easily comparable to fix focal length lenses in their respective range."
I have to admit that the lens did get one heck of a review. (Although I'm still wondering why the lens earned only 4 out of 5 stars for optical quality - <g>.) So, I guess I stand corrected...
03-04-2009, 10:19 PM   #25
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Original Poster
Thank you all for the replies...the 100-300mm f/4 is certainly an appealing lens. Its got great reviews and none of its negatives seem to be those I'm most concerned with. I didn't even know about that lens before so I'm glad I posted here! Its still a ways off and hopefully I'll be able to find a place that has them both in stock. Certainly i'll post my own impressions when I finally get to purchase one of these lenses.

btw as for style, i've always liked the idea of sitting in a blind and waiting for wildlife rather than walking and hiking and trying to find stuff, but the versatility to do so. I caught the bug walking through the woods with my canon s2 is when I was still learning photography. I came across a deer and was able to get some decent shots. I'm comfortable with wildlife and I think they respond to that. That said, if I'm shooting a bear I'd rather have as long a zoom as possible =) I know its the fear that kills you not the bear but i'd be a lot less....anxious...if there was a little more distance between me and said bear.

Anyway again thank you for all of your suggestions and i'll try to entertain all options. One thing that entered my head when someone mentioned MTF charts was pentax's lenses transmitting MTF data to the body, making great exposures when using the MTF program line. I don't think thats a deal breaker but its something I didn't consider initially.
03-05-2009, 05:58 AM   #26
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They're both great lenses. I opted for the 300mm. It's not really suited for "around town" shooting (too big, too long) I think the 200mm would be better for that. I do use the 300mm out in the country side and (especially in combination with the Tamron-F Pz-AF MC4 1.4x TC) for wildlife--sample attached.

The important thing to keep in mind is that, as good as they are, these lenses are somewhat specialized by virture of their fixed FLs. You might want to get a better feel for your shooting needs before before you plunk down a chunk 'o change on one of or the other of them. A good way to do this would be to pick up a less expensive zoom like the DA 55-300mm or the Sigma 70-300mm to get a better feel for the your preferences--both are capable of good quality photos.

And, while I do lean towards primes for the most part, I agree that modern premium zooms--including the Sigmas--are capable of very impressive IQ.

Finally, whichever way you go, I'd strongly recommend the use of a monopod when shooting longer than 100mm.

Last edited by dadipentak; 12-28-2009 at 03:01 PM.
03-07-2009, 10:14 PM   #27
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classic zoom vs fixed problem

I rented a DA* 300 for a jungle trip. It's an impressive lens. Seems to be built like a tank (since I rented, I was careful with it but did not worry about rain). It's good for wildlife -- about the minimum.

For my next wildlife oriented trip, I would seek a zoom (like the Sigma or maybe-to-be-released-someday DA 60-250) or I would take a second body (money aside, I would do this).

For street use, I think 300 is too long. It's really an inflexible lens.

Putting a Kenko converter on gave me poor results on the DA* 300. My K20D would autofocus, but it was slow and hunted like crazy. It was a better solution to go with just the lens and crop like mad. Better to get the shot at lower resolution than miss it.
03-08-2009, 08:38 AM   #28
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Which is exactly why the 100-300 makes a lot of sense IMHO.
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