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10-31-2006, 06:38 PM   #1
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recommendations on a tele zoom

can somebody recommend me a budget tele-zoom? ($100-$300USD) I am looking at both AF and MF models. At this price range AF ones are rated average/poor optics and the MF (2nd hand esp) have nice optics, but less convenient.

I am a wide angle fan, so I dont see too much usage from the tele, but its handy to cover all ranges as I am going travelling soon.

Candiates I'm looking at are:

AF:

* Sigma 70-300 AF f4.0-5.6 DL Macro Super : Cheap, average to poor optics (From reviews), $100

* Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro $330AUD, seems okay choice, high range of budget

* Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG Macro $250AUD , non APO version of above... this might be the one to get

MF:

* Pentax-A Manual focus 70-210. seems good optics from samples on pbase... $100 or so used

* Vivitar Series 1 70-210 - there are so many of these its confusing! i lost out a bid on ebay for the earlier f3.5 ones, but then saw that they still seem to make these new. how do the new ones compare to the first few versions?

10-31-2006, 07:00 PM   #2
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What about Pentax DA 50-200? about $170 or so after rebate

no text....
10-31-2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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I suggest that you include these in your considerations:

* Pentax-F 70-210/4-5.6
* Pentax-DA 50-200/4-5.6

The "F" is supposedly slightly sharper than the A 70-210, and more compact.
On the other hand the "A" is beautifully finished, a joy to handle, and has a built-in lens hood.

The DA is digital only and has a good reputation.

I have no experience with the Sigmas so I'm in no position to make a recommendation.
10-31-2006, 07:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by shoey Quote
can somebody recommend me a budget tele-zoom? ($100-$300USD) I am looking at both AF and MF models. At this price range AF ones are rated average/poor optics and the MF (2nd hand esp) have nice optics, but less convenient.

I am a wide angle fan, so I dont see too much usage from the tele, but its handy to cover all ranges as I am going travelling soon.

Candiates I'm looking at are:

AF:

* Sigma 70-300 AF f4.0-5.6 DL Macro Super : Cheap, average to poor optics (From reviews), $100

* Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro $330AUD, seems okay choice, high range of budget

* Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG Macro $250AUD , non APO version of above... this might be the one to get

MF:

* Pentax-A Manual focus 70-210. seems good optics from samples on pbase... $100 or so used

* Vivitar Series 1 70-210 - there are so many of these its confusing! i lost out a bid on ebay for the earlier f3.5 ones, but then saw that they still seem to make these new. how do the new ones compare to the first few versions?
how about the tamron 70-300 LD Di? its brand new. i tested it (well, sort of) here: Tamron 70-300 LD Di - first mandatory pics: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

pros: light weight, cheap, very sharp, good colours, pictures usually look like haven been taken by an expensive lens (except for: cf. below
cons: CA at tele (purple fringing at contrasty edges at bright sunlight), front element turns (this isn't uncommon though, i have been told, with teles).

----

the manual pentax smc-m 200/f4.0 isn't bad at all. the pentax-world-day 2005 saw me taking pictures with this superb lens. if these links work, try them (all smc-m 200/f4.0):
http://pentaxium.webvision.co.za/photos/days/2006-03-19/large/145-1142810268-5.jpg
http://pentaxium.webvision.co.za/photos/days/2006-03-19/large/145-1142810268-4.jpg
http://pentaxium.webvision.co.za/photos/days/2006-03-19/large/145-1142810268-3.jpg
http://pentaxium.webvision.co.za/photos/days/2006-03-19/large/145-1142812382-5.jpg

10-31-2006, 10:58 PM   #5
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I will second the suggestion for A70-210/4, F70-210/4-5.6, DA50-2004-5.6 and Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 LD Di. I have used all 4 of them (the Tamron I had was the non-Di version though) and all of them are good. I have sold Tamron because it is a little bulky for my liking but it has the advantage of 1:2 macro. I have also sold F70-210 because I know a friend was looking for it and I don't really need it since I have A70-210 and DA50-200.

Also, if you compare F70-210 with DA50-200, DA is lighter in weight but the rendering (color and out of focus area) from F is more pleasing.

Ole: I think the A70-210/4 is sharper than F70-210/4-5.6 from what i have read. I think somone on dpreview also claimed that the A70-210/4 is sharper than the M200/4. Sorry don't have the URL handy here.

cheers
Kenny
11-01-2006, 05:56 AM   #6
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I think I am convinced on the Tamron =)

I'm sure the pentaxes are great, but they are rarer to come by. The Tamron (and Sigma) I can rock up to a shop and get instant satisfaction (aka a 'fix' for my LBA?!)

the Tamron is almost identically priced to the Sigma 70-300 non APO version... hmmm.

my final question is whether the Tamron a full frame but digi 'optimized' lens, or is it a digtial only lens ? (I get the impression that Di is digital optimized, and Di II is digital only)
11-01-2006, 01:16 PM   #7
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and how would it perform at the 300 end with a 2x TC (tripod of course), would that still be usable?
11-01-2006, 06:10 PM   #8
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Hi
QuoteOriginally posted by shoey Quote
I think I am convinced on the Tamron =)

my final question is whether the Tamron a full frame but digi 'optimized' lens, or is it a digtial only lens ? (I get the impression that Di is digital optimized, and Di II is digital only)
You are right there. The "Di" is optimized for digital but still usable on film. The 'Di II" is for DSLRs with APS-C-sized sensor.

cheers
Kenny

11-01-2006, 06:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjao Quote
I will second the suggestion for A70-210/4, F70-210/4-5.6, DA50-2004-5.6 and Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 LD Di. I have used all 4 of them (the Tamron I had was the non-Di version though) and all of them are good. I have sold Tamron because it is a little bulky for my liking but it has the advantage of 1:2 macro. I have also sold F70-210 because I know a friend was looking for it and I don't really need it since I have A70-210 and DA50-200.

Also, if you compare F70-210 with DA50-200, DA is lighter in weight but the rendering (color and out of focus area) from F is more pleasing.

Ole: I think the A70-210/4 is sharper than F70-210/4-5.6 from what i have read. I think somone on dpreview also claimed that the A70-210/4 is sharper than the M200/4. Sorry don't have the URL handy here.

cheers
Kenny
I have the both the A and the F 70-210. My experience is, that the F has an edge in sharpness. That's also supported by user comments on Stan's site and elsewhere. I have not carried out any real "scientific" tests.

Stan's Pentax Photography
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