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07-08-2009, 04:33 AM   #1
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Wich lens for birding ? Please advise

Between this lenses, which one would you buy and why ?

Or do you advise other ? (budget is not an issue)

Observation: I have the 1.4 tamron adapter (works with sdm)


Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Pentax AF
Pentax smc DA 300mm f/4,0 ED IF
Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Pentax AF
Sigma EX 50-500mm f/4,0-6,3 DG Pentax AF

07-08-2009, 05:38 AM   #2
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budget not an issue EH?

yoou have expanded your list quite a bit when you say budget not an issue.

start with current production, sigma 500mm F4.5, or a sigma 300mm F2.8 with either 1.4x or 2x TC

Then look at any of the great and fast pentax lenses in various moounts starting with the KA mount 300 F2.8, 400 F2.8, and 600 F4. plus potentially a good TC or two

Then there are the tamron 300F2.8 and 400 F4 and SMC 500 F4.5 (all MF)

Seriously, I have none of the lenses you list.

My two main lenses (combos) are pentax SMC 300mmF4 and 1.7x AF TC, and sigma APO 70-200Fe.8 EX (non DG non macro) with sigma 1.4x or 2x TCs

my next step will be eventually into one of the beasts mentioned above with at least 112mm front element (300 F2.8 or more)
07-08-2009, 05:40 AM   #3
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has anyone tried this? it's second on my 'to buy' list; i'm hoping to get it by next year.



pentax pf-80ed, with the dslr mount it's a 1250mm/f12 prime. very sharp & bright irl.
07-08-2009, 06:02 AM   #4
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Ok, 1500 Euro top as a budget
(No point on getting a lens and then be killed by my wife lol)

07-08-2009, 06:15 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
Ok, 1500 Euro top as a budget
(No point on getting a lens and then be killed by my wife lol)
Well, that might make a down payment on the lens of my choice
For only $1,000 (US) per pound of glass you can own this beauty
07-08-2009, 07:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
Between this lenses, which one would you buy and why ?

........)[/SIZE]

Observation: I have the 1.4 tamron adapter (works with sdm)


Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Pentax AF
Pentax smc DA 300mm f/4,0 ED IF
Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Pentax AF
Sigma EX 50-500mm f/4,0-6,3 DG Pentax AF
What about some advice on topic ?
07-08-2009, 07:38 AM   #7
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I don't do digital, but I can tell you what I do know. Lenses that aren't zoom/tele, are better than those that are. If I had the money to spend, I buy a prime lens (the 300mm) you list.

Before I got into photogrpahy as far as I did, I have many pro photographers telling me, primes in larger focal length were better to handle nature photography than zooms with the largest focal length the same.
07-08-2009, 08:02 AM   #8
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Pentax smc DA 300mm f/4,0 ED IF with the 1.4x convertor seem ok (but I hate teleconverters ) but a friend of mine is always saying that I should go for the maximum reach I can on birding .... that's why I'm thinking about the sigma lenses.

And yes, prime lens are always supposed to be better optical quality. Too bad pentax doesn't have DA 400 or 500


Last edited by netuser; 07-08-2009 at 08:19 AM.
07-08-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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If you don't mind going manual, you can probably pick up a used Pentax 1000mm lens for that kind of money.
07-08-2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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I really want AF
07-08-2009, 01:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
Ok, 1500 Euro top as a budget
(No point on getting a lens and then be killed by my wife lol)
For that amount you might find a Pentax FA*300mm f2.8 or a FA*400mm f5.6

Pentax FA* 400mm f/5.6 ED IF Lens 400 f5.6 EDIF FA Star - eBay (item 260436176069 end time Jul-26-09 05:51:18 PDT)
07-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
With the Portuguese customs tax it gets out of the budget.
07-08-2009, 02:38 PM   #13
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Since you listed 300mm ( I find it a bit short at times ) I would add the Sigma EX DG 100-300 F4 to your list. Near as good as any prime and versitility of zoom. Its going to be sharper than the other sigmas on your list and with the Tamron 1.4X TC there is not really any IQ loss. I'm kicking myself for selling my TC.
07-08-2009, 02:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
Since you listed 300mm ( I find it a bit short at times ) I would add the Sigma EX DG 100-300 F4 to your list. Near as good as any prime and versitility of zoom. Its going to be sharper than the other sigmas on your list and with the Tamron 1.4X TC there is not really any IQ loss. I'm kicking myself for selling my TC.
I added 300 since it's the most reach Pentax has at the moment ....
07-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
Between this lenses, which one would you buy and why ?

Or do you advise other ? (budget is not an issue)

Observation: I have the 1.4 tamron adapter (works with sdm)


Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Pentax AF
Pentax smc DA 300mm f/4,0 ED IF
Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM Pentax AF
Sigma EX 50-500mm f/4,0-6,3 DG Pentax AF
I have bought the Sigma 50-500 for mainly the same application. And I would buy it again, even if it is a bit soft at the longest end. But softness in this lens usually is an indicator of a slightly misfocused image - the moment the focus is right, the contrast improves very obviously. The only drawback of that lens is its limited max. aperture, but that it has in common with all other zooms you list.

I would very seriously think about getting a used 300/2.8. The old FA is out of that price range, but a Tamron 300/2.8 (+ Adaptall PKA adapter) is easily within that range and you will be able to throw the excellent Pentax L tcs into that package, which would give you a max. reach of a 600/5.6. This is a combination that is really great and very versatile, though in that respect not quite as versatile as a zoom lens. The Tamron + the Pentax L tele converters give excellent image quality and serve me more often as for example the old Pentax 500/4.5. Though this latter lens is also a good choice and within your price range - just not a really flexible option.

The drawback of either fixed fl would be, that they are not AF. But depending on the birds, this is in reality not a big issue, as the AF will anyway not lock reliably on a bird, if there are branches or other smaller obstackles around it. Instead you'll get sharp foilage and a out of focus bird.

On the other hand, you could easily combine the Tamron 300/2.8 with the Pentax 1.7 AF-adapter, to make it a fast AF lens. With such a fast lens to start with, the AF adapter locks on fast and reliably.

I only mentioned combos I have and use - there might be others and even better suited ones (like the old FA 600/4 or the FA zoom 250-600)

Ben
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