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04-07-2009, 06:56 AM   #1
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Looking to reach the 300mm range [CLOSED]

Hello to everyone,

I have been looking to get a lens with a range of around 300mm. Actually 300 would be a must, anything higher would be good. Regarding the cost, I would like to be around $100 and I have seen the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro being sold here at that price.

What I am looking for a is a lens for birds, Zoo, anything that is it hard to reach. Also, I would like to have some macro or close up feature with it, but I can skip that if needed. Quality wise, I know I cannot expect that much for the price I am asking, but better is always better. I won't mind getting a lens from one of you guys.

From what I have read, I am looking at the following lens:
- Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro
- SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8

If you think of anything else, please let me know.

I heard about CA problem on the Tamron and I know stepping it down will help. What are you though of that lens? How does the sigma compare?

Thank you for your time and the information.
YJD


Last edited by YJD; 04-26-2009 at 06:17 PM.
04-07-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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If you can afford to go a bit more expensive, I'd really recommend the DA 55-300. It's been a great lens to me. I don't know anything about those cheaper zooms, but I do have a Quantaray 100-300 that is, I believe, a rebadge of a Sigma. It's quite nice for the $60 I paid for it.
04-07-2009, 08:03 AM   #3
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The Sigma APO will have the best CA reduction of any of them. I was recently out shooting in some extreme conditions trying to get some, and quite honestly couldn't. Some will say that it's not as sharp as the Tamron, and that may or may not be true, but the difference isn't drastic and it's by no means soft. On the other hand the CA issues on the Tamron can be quite significant compared to the Sigma.
04-07-2009, 08:07 AM   #4
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If you are looking to shoot long on a budget, the 55-300mm is a much better lens. The Tamron 70-300mm has very good IQ up to about 210mm, then softens quite a bit.


Last edited by ivoire; 04-07-2009 at 08:16 AM.
04-07-2009, 08:19 AM   #5
YJD
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Thanks guys!

I know the 55-300 and I which I could buy it, I really do. But my budget doesn't allow me to spend $350 on a lens.

Any other idea for a cheaper lens?
04-07-2009, 08:52 AM   #6
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I was contemplating playing around with one of those 500mm f6.3 mirrors lenses from eBay. I have the sigma 70-300mm macro and 300mm just isn't enough reach for me.
04-07-2009, 09:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
Thanks guys!

I know the 55-300 and I which I could buy it, I really do. But my budget doesn't allow me to spend $350 on a lens.

Any other idea for a cheaper lens?
I got mine for $250 here on the marketplace.

Just sayin'...
04-07-2009, 09:30 AM   #8
YJD
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$250 is still too much. I could go up to $150 but that will be it.

How about manual focus lens (with K mount if possible)?

04-07-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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If $100 is your set budget and you have a method of correcting 'purple fringe' I'd go for the Tamron 70-300mm and be prepared to shoot at f8 for those 300mm shots. The IQ will be good at those settings. You can opt for a manual 300mm lens as an alternative. Heres an example, tho I have no idea of image quality. I suspect it will be good as it is a prime (you can always ask the seller for crops before buying).

PENTAX 300mm f5.6 PRIME LENS EX+ 5.6 aperture - eBay (item 130282982118 end time Apr-21-09 17:36:01 PDT)

If you know you are going to shoot routinely at 300mm, I suggest amassing more cash and purchasing a 55-300 or better.

Last edited by ivoire; 04-07-2009 at 10:11 AM.
04-07-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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Thanks ivoire!

I'm not that experience in fixing purple fringe, but I can learn.
I would like to get a 300mm for the end of the spring and the summer, and I know I won't have the money for the 55-300.. maybe I need to buy some patience first :-)

I will check about that lens on ebay.
04-07-2009, 09:54 AM   #11
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We all have our different tools and experiences. Mine in the 300mm range include:

MANUAL FOCUS, M42:
* Enna Tele-Ennalyt, 240/4.5, US$27 - lightweight but not the sharpest
* Alpa (Chinon) MC, 300/5.6, US$27 - heavy, sharp, not the fastest
* Spiratone telephoto 400/6.3, US$15 - light, long, not the sharpest

MANUAL FOCUS, KA:
* Promaster (Tamron), 60-300/4-5.6, US$13 - moderate weight & sharpness
* Sakar MC Mirror, 500/8, US$13 - lightweight, all the usual mirror pros & cons

AUTO FOCUS, KAF:
* Pentax FA 100-300/4.7-5.8, US$121 - light, fast AF, very sharp & clear
* Sigma DG 170-500/5/6.3, US$1000 - heavy, sharp, slow, expensive

I'm happiest with the FA 100-300, which gets high user ratings in the lens DB here. Check eBay and Craigslist, of course.

Last edited by RioRico; 04-07-2009 at 04:11 PM.
04-07-2009, 09:57 AM   #12
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Some sample shots from my Quantaray/Sigma 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/453022-post9.html

*note that the one for sale in that thread sold for just $55.
04-07-2009, 10:05 AM   #13
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Indeed, the Pentax 55-300 is the best choice of them. It might cost a little more but it's totally worth every penny.
04-07-2009, 10:16 AM   #14
YJD
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Thank you both RioRico and deadwolfbones.

I have seem the Pentax FA 100-300/4.7-5.8 but cannot find it on eBay. The Quantaray/Sigma 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7 look really good for a great price! I'll be OK with one of the 2 since I cannot tell which one is the best.

I've looked at eBay and Amazon and cannot find any of them.. any other palce where I can get one?

There is no Craigslist for my region...

Last edited by YJD; 04-07-2009 at 10:23 AM.
04-07-2009, 10:17 AM   #15
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For the price, I have been very happy with the Sigma 70-300 APO. It does everything I would expect it to do and is quite sharp.
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