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04-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #16
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For a budget $100 on reaching 300mm with AF, there are few choices as suggested and you have to consider the caveats for each. I personally will pick Tamron 70-300mm or the Sigma 70-300mm for their good range as well as good 1:2 close up, they offer the best value for the $100 to $150 you spend. The best consumer zoom will be the Pentax DA 55-300mm, the wider reach in 55mm is very useful for portrait. If you can wait out a bit, I will suggest you to save up on the DA 55-300mm and use your DA 50-200mm for the immediate need, I often used DA 50-200mm in the zoo with satisfaction.

All the choices mentioned are worth considering. I highly valued my shameless zoom with Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD 1:2 Macro. This lens may overlap a bit with your Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6. I for one love a zoom with 1:2 close up capability. I think you may have tried DA 50-200 in the zoo, but if you have not, I suggest you to use it as I have shot a bunch of zoo pictures with the DA 50-200mm. You can add close up to your DA 50-200 with a Raynox 150/250 or simply a 52mm close up filter in the +3 and +4 close up filter.

The caveat to watch for the Tamron 70-300mm zoom has always been in the frequent showing of CA, you see purple fringing on high contrast area. I note that you have used lightroom, xnview and gimp, all those tool have handling for purple fringing to some degree. Most showing can be reduced to certain degree. And you can reduce it in stopping down to f/8.0 and shoot pictures with multiple angles to avoid the high contrast areas as in branches and reflective surfaces.

Some of my best pictures are coming from this zoom but you have to work with pp on the PF. See the tip of the wings of a vulture shot with the tamron zoom plus Pentax F-1.7x AF TC. The combo gives me 510mm reach with lost of 1.5 stop.


Pictures un-edited for PF/CA
PF on wing tip easily seen
more in zooming in
some are easily fixable
use of TC will aggravate more PF/CA in general









PF on branches & beaks







PF again on the branches


If you find that the PF is easily fixable such as the above, then the Tamron 70-300mm can be considered. To me, the zoom is worth much more than the $100 I spent on it as a used copy. It strives also in other areas such as
Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 04-07-2009 at 05:09 PM.
04-07-2009, 10:55 AM   #17
YJD
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Hi Hinman, thanks for commenting!

I think I'm still looking at those 3 lenses:
- Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro
- SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8
- Quantaray/Sigma 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7

The problem is to find one!

For close up, it is true that I can use my Raynox, an all in one would be nice but not mandatory.

In your pictures, did you fix the purple fringe or are those what I have to expect strait from the camera?

The number 2 and my list looks good too, but it looks like no one has it... on sale that is.

I think I figure out the lenses I would like, now I need to find one to buy.

Thanks
04-07-2009, 11:09 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
Hi Hinman, thanks for commenting!

I think I'm still looking at those 3 lenses:
- Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro
- SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8
- Quantaray/Sigma 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7

The problem is to find one!

For close up, it is true that I can use my Raynox, an all in one would be nice but not mandatory.

In your pictures, did you fix the purple fringe or are those what I have to expect strait from the camera?

The number 2 and my list looks good too, but it looks like no one has it... on sale that is.

I think I figure out the lenses I would like, now I need to find one to buy.

Thanks
I have not fixed the PF on my posted pictures above and I post those pictures for you to examine to get a feeling what you are up against. Use of my Tamron zoom with a TC will have more showing of PF/CA. Most PF can be addressed to certain degree easily in post processing but you will have to learn to deal with them. I think lightroom can address it, gimp has the plugin and even XnView has the pfree plugin that I mention in my blog.

The other zoom lens that another birding Pentaxian has highly recommended to me is the Pentax FA 80-320mm (the silver one), but that may be over $100 in cost in the used market. People with 100-300mm consumer will usually find the lacking on the wider end. I think the ideal will be 55-300 as in the DA and next up is in 70-300mm. As in the zoo, I shoot three major things in order of priority -- animals, portraits, and close up. I will think 70-300 or 55-300 will suit your zoo needs better. Also, don't overlook your DA 50-200. It is an underrated lens that can be invaluable in the zoo in good lighting condition.

But if your 300mm is for birds, the range in 100-300 should be good. But I find 300mm is too short for birds, you need at least 400mm, and I used TC to add the reach at the expense of losing detail and IQ a bit.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-07-2009 at 07:09 PM.
04-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #19
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I could possibly be convinced to part with my Quantaray 100-300mm since I now have the DA 55-300mm and it appears to work well on film as well as digital.

I'll need to talk to my girlfriend about it before committing to anything, though, since she's been using it on her K100D when I'm using the 55-300.

Let me know if you're interested, YJD. That said, if you can find a Pentax 100-300mm I might go for that one first if I were you.

A little help w/ reviews from the review database:

PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 100-300mm F4.5-6.7 LDO
Pentax Lens Review Database - 100-300mm F4.5-5.6
Pentax Lens Review Database - 100-300mm F4.5-5.6
Pentax Lens Review Database - 100-300mm F4.7-5.8

04-07-2009, 11:20 AM   #20
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I have used my 50-200 with my promaster x1.7 and it didn't look very sharp, though everything was hand held. Maybe I need a tripod or even a monopod to improve that.

Someone from eBay will send me pictures taken with the SEARS 300mm f5.6 Prime Lens EX+ and according to him the quality is really good. Though I don't know if I really one a prime... zoom as so practical. What do you think?
04-07-2009, 11:23 AM   #21
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Thanks Deadwolfbones, I might be interested but as you said I'll prefer to get the Pentax 100-300 if I can find one.

Do you have specification about your lens that I could look at it? Like is it all manual?

EDIT: Should have click on your links before asking... sorry!
04-07-2009, 11:25 AM   #22
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I've got a manual focus/K-mount (no "A" setting) lens in the marketplace right now, might be something you are interested in. If you want more info or more shots with it, I could get that to you.

Takes great pictures if you can deal with the manual focus, and I never noticed any serious CA or PF with it.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/56377-sale-rmc-...0mm-5-6-a.html
04-07-2009, 11:30 AM   #23
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Thanks Jim for the offer, it looks like to be the same one than the SEARS 300mm f5.6.

I still have question about prime vs zoom for the use I will have of it. I'll let you know if I came up with the prime over the zoom. I prefer to buy among us than going to eBay, not that I don't trust eBay but I like the people here.

04-07-2009, 11:37 AM   #24
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hi... check keh.com for the pentax 100-300mm f4.7-5.8, they have two for
sale, in ex condition, which should be acceptable....
Cameras and used cameras available from KEH Camera Brokers.
04-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #25
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Realitically, I'm not sure any of the other options suggested (aside form the 55-300) are going to be enough better than the Tamron 70-300 to be worth the hassle. The CA/PF issues with the Tamron tend to be exaggerated, IMHO. Sure, they are there, and it you piel peep, you'll see them clearly, but chances are pretty good you'd never notice, either. I used the Quantaray version of this lens for a year and shot wide open at 300mm a lot and was perfectly happy with the results viewed full screen most of the time. Sure, in certain cases you can see problems if you look for them, but it's not like it's incapable of taking good pictures at any focal length or aperture.
04-07-2009, 12:08 PM   #26
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Thanks Dcmsox2004, I forgot about that site, I need to use it more.

Marc, I though, but not 100% sure that the Quantaray version was the same as the Sigma, which should have less PF (again not 100% sure).
04-07-2009, 12:12 PM   #27
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Many Tamron, Sigma, Promaster 70-300mm lenses on ebay for $90-140
04-07-2009, 01:34 PM   #28
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The problem with the sigma, tamron and especially promaster, is to know which one is the best one, they have different names. I think for Sigma it is the APO version I need to look for, for Tamron it is the Di LD, but for Pro Master I don't know. Could you guys help?
04-07-2009, 02:03 PM   #29
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I'd say far from exaggerated. It's pretty obvious in the posted examples, and that's far from the worst seen from it. If you don't want the hassle of CA, get the Sigma APO. If you don't mind CA and want to save a few bucks, get the Tamron. Sharpness IMO is a wash because I've seen examples from both besting the other.
04-07-2009, 02:36 PM   #30
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I have been looking around, and have seen people saying like Jodokast96 that the sigma is better regarding the CA. Now I need to find a cheap one...
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