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07-29-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
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Pentax DA 55 -300 Vs Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO

Hi I have a pentax k200d. I am looking to buy a telephoto lens that is not expensive but will be good for wildlife photography.

I am looking at these two lenses.
- Pentax DA 55 -300
- Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO

I was wondering if someone can tell me

a- which lens is better for my k200d

b- whether I can fix a teleconvertor to the pentax lens

c- or any other lens that you recommend around the same price tag

Thanks

CJ

07-29-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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A lot of people would choose the 55-300 over the Sigma 70-300. I heard the 55-300 had really good image quality. But it depends whether you want to pay that extra 150 for it or not.
07-29-2009, 09:30 PM   #3
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(a) The Pentax is the better lens. You can see the test results at Photozone

(b) You might be able to find a teleconverter that will work, but your image quality will suffer, your AF will be slower, and your viewfinder will be dimmer. If you must get a teleconverter, get a 1.4x.

(c)The Pentax is the probably the best solution in the ~$300 price range. Your mileage down under may vary
07-29-2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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There is a DA 55-300mm for sale in the Marketplace currently for $275. I don't want to dash your hopes on a TC but I found that even a decent 1.4x TC degrades the IQ more than just resizing the image with the DA 55-300mm. Its not a huge difference but enough that I now only use the TC on my lower IQ lenses.

07-29-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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Thank you for your valuable comments. Really appreciate it.
07-29-2009, 11:02 PM   #6
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I have the 55-300. I tried cropping some images at 300mm and was surprised how sharp the images were at such magnification.
07-30-2009, 12:35 AM   #7
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I've used a kenko SHQ-PZ 1.5X with a 55-300 at 300mm, f:5.8 without immediately obvious image degradation, but I haven't critically inspected the images.
07-30-2009, 05:44 AM   #8
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As I said, not a huge difference, plus you shot wide open so the IQ was already slightly compromised compared to detail at f8. My testing was not not totally scientific but enough to fit my uses. I used the DA55-300 plus a DA*300 and 2 other off-brand lenses to see which fits for the TC, if any. All shots were at max range and f8. Target was Phillips head screws in bulkhead across a canal from me, about 70m. Shooting with tripod and quickly so the shadows did not change I both upsized and downsized shots to compare with and w/o TC. The two Pentax lenses looked better overall w/o the TC.

Your mileage may vary with a different TC I guess. Most don't support SDM so I was limited in my choice for the DA*300mm.

Yes it was pixel peeping...i only did this once officer i swear...everyone is doing it...just wanted to see what its all about...never happen again!

07-30-2009, 06:30 PM   #9
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Thanks Lee;

I guess I cant fix a TC to my normal Pentax DA 55 -300??

or you wouldnt recommend it?
07-30-2009, 09:50 PM   #10
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I would highly recommend try it before you buy it and compare the TC version of a static object with an upsized version without the TC. I was disappointed to find the TC actually gave me a slightly worse quality picture. It works great on my Rokinion 800mm reflex lens where the IQ is already low but not the DA 55-300mm. I know I have a good copy of the 55-300 from comparing shots with other forum members. I DON'T know if my TC is the best. I really got the TC to test with the DA*300 anyway where as you guess, the IQ is also worse and I don't use it.

Long story short, please try before you buy and compare results to avoid disappointment.
07-30-2009, 09:54 PM   #11
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I have the Sigma

I have the Sigma, and have been quite happy with its performance. I have a thread here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/68024-sigma-70...ens-shots.html
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