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04-28-2007, 04:36 PM   #1
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How to spend $500 on a long lens?

I want a reasonably quick long telephoto lens. I currently have a SMC-A 70-210mm f/4, that, while nice, is not long enough for shots of things that are a little way off, and with a 2x converter, its too slow, and in poor light is difficult to focus.

I prefer a lens that is manual focus or is comfortable to manually focus. I would at some point, I am sure, use a 1.4x teleconverter. The alternatives I've come up with so far:

Pentax M* or A* 300mm f/4 weight ~850g
Pentax K 300mm f/4 weight ~1020g
Tamron adaptall 300mm f/2.8 weight ~2000g

The Tamron wouldn't be particularly convenient, but is the 1 stop advantage worth it? Would the * 300mm be so much better than the K lens as to make it worthwhile to spend the extra money? It certainly looks more compact and is lighter by not an insignificant amount.

And are there other 300mm f/4 primes of decent quality less than a kg that are available for ~$500 or less?

On the other hand, I could get one of the big consumer zooms that go from ~70 to ~300 and f4 to 5.6 and blow the rest of my money on pizza and beer.

Any ideas?

Robert.

04-28-2007, 07:32 PM   #2
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Sigma 100-300mm f4

Also, what would be a fair price for a used Sigma 100-300mm f4 non-DG lens in good shape?
04-28-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by theapodan Quote

And are there other 300mm f/4 primes of decent quality less than a kg that are available for ~$500 or less?
You should consider a Carl Zeiss Jena 300/4 for the Pentacon-6 mount. Really nice examples go for around $300 or less on eBay complete with case and hood. This is a very good lens and although its made for a medium format camera, it will work well with a Pentax using a Pentacon-6 to Pentax-K adapter. 300mm on a MF camera still equates to 300mm on a 35mm camera.
04-28-2007, 08:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by theapodan Quote
Also, what would be a fair price for a used Sigma 100-300mm f4 non-DG lens in good shape?
Tough to find. I've been looking for a used one with no luck for over a month.


You can find the K300mm f/4.0 for $300 or less. I bought mine on KEH.com, and they've had a few others there over the past few months. It's a good lens, but sometimes the CA can be pretty bad depending on the shot. Other shots are outstanding. It also works okay with the 1.7x AF converter, though it's not supposed to. To go from f/4 to f/2.8, you'll spend over twice as much money regardless of the manufacturer, with Pentax lenses being much, much more.

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