Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-28-2009, 01:29 PM   #1
Senior Member
Rich_A's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Montana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 213
Experiences with DA* 300mm and Sigma 100-300mm?

Okay, in an effort to round out my Pentax kit, I'm looking for people with hands on experience with both lenses. My primary focus will be wildlife, both large and small types out in the wilds (National Parks, primarily). I have used a fixed 300mm Canon L lens in the past and really loved the versatility when combined with a teleconverter on an APS-C sensor. The difference now is that I don't have a 70-200mm in my current kit and really don't know if I'm going to either. Any thoughts on a lens selection? Should I look at a 70-200mm + the DA* 300mm or go with the 100-300mm as well as a gym membership to be able to lug it around? Joking aside, wouldn't the 300mm + another lens really be the same weight? Help needed here...

I'm interested in both optical quality (fairly high if not the highest priority) as well as handling / versatility. I'd be interested if anyone moved from one lens to the other or how they supplemented their kits to work around the limitations of either lens.

08-28-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,411
That's an excellent question--I've been pondering the same thing! I have the Sigma 70-200mm and the DA 300mm. I like 'em both but I can't carry both so there's always an decision. I like to think I get better IQ at 300mm (or 420mm with a tc) from the DA than I would from the zoom but I really don't know (and I'm not up for detailed testing). If I were making the purchase now I'd probably go with the 100-300mm, which I understand is very, very good, but I think I'll stick with what I've got.
08-28-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,551
I find that I use the M 400/5.6 and really don't miss the focal lengths between there and the 200 mm I can get with my other lenses. Perhaps I got used to 23/55/135 and expect the focal lengths to be in mutliples of 2 or more.
08-28-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Eaglerapids's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Idaho,USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,588
QuoteOriginally posted by Rich_A Quote
My primary focus will be wildlife, both large and small types out in the wilds (National Parks, primarily).
I have the DA* 300/4 but not the 100-300.
Now, there are people here who love the 100-300 and compare it favorably to the 300.
In your situation my reasoning would be this. The only problem with my DA* 300/4 is that it's not a 400mm or 600mm. For wildlife and especially birding it is just not long enough. I don't want to carry around that other 100-299mm because I want the 300mm or even more, if that makes any sense. Now, I kept my K10D when I bought the K20D so when I'm out in the woods I keep the 300/4 on the K20D and whatever other lens on the K10D, but if I only had one body I'd still go for the prime, but that's just me YMMV.

08-28-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,411
QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
I have the DA* 300/4 but not the 100-300.
Now, there are people here who love the 100-300 and compare it favorably to the 300.
In your situation my reasoning would be this. The only problem with my DA* 300/4 is that it's not a 400mm or 600mm. For wildlife and especially birding it is just not long enough. I don't want to carry around that other 100-299mm because I want the 300mm or even more, if that makes any sense. Now, I kept my K10D when I bought the K20D so when I'm out in the woods I keep the 300/4 on the K20D and whatever other lens on the K10D, but if I only had one body I'd still go for the prime, but that's just me YMMV.
Makes perfect sense to me. I use my Sigma 70-200 and DA*300 for very different kinds of shooting of course. I think each is better suited for its specific role than the 100-300m but I can see the logic of having one lens which can fill both roles almost as well. I also agree with CR that 300mm is really kind of short for wildlife, btw.
08-29-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
Senior Member
Rich_A's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Montana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 213
Original Poster
I actually find that 300mm with a 1.4x teleconverter is fine for my type of wildlife shooting. I backpack and do a lot of stalking in the wild so I've never really needed or wanted anything longer than the 630mm equivalent that the 300+1.4x gives me. I mean, 600mm used to be the standard for wildlife lenses before cropped sensors came along.

That's kind of what has me concerned about the DA* 300mm, NO TELECONVERTER on the roadmap!? That's really concerning for me, especially when I can get a 100-300mm and have a 1.4x right away. It gives me an effective 100-300mm (150-450mm) along with a 140-420mm (210-630mm) That seems pretty great expect for the slight loss that a teleconverter causes and the weight of such a lens. I guess my question is, does anyone have positive results with the DA* 300mm and bad results from the 100-300mm or is the major difference mostly weight?

I sound like I'm talking myself into the 100-300mm and I guess I'm looking for someone to offer a better option based on practical experiences.
08-29-2009, 07:36 PM   #7
Veteran Member
palmor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA
Posts: 798
QuoteOriginally posted by Rich_A Quote
I actually find that 300mm with a 1.4x teleconverter is fine for my type of wildlife shooting. I backpack and do a lot of stalking in the wild so I've never really needed or wanted anything longer than the 630mm equivalent that the 300+1.4x gives me. I mean, 600mm used to be the standard for wildlife lenses before cropped sensors came along.

That's kind of what has me concerned about the DA* 300mm, NO TELECONVERTER on the roadmap!? That's really concerning for me, especially when I can get a 100-300mm and have a 1.4x right away. It gives me an effective 100-300mm (150-450mm) along with a 140-420mm (210-630mm) That seems pretty great expect for the slight loss that a teleconverter causes and the weight of such a lens. I guess my question is, does anyone have positive results with the DA* 300mm and bad results from the 100-300mm or is the major difference mostly weight?

I sound like I'm talking myself into the 100-300mm and I guess I'm looking for someone to offer a better option based on practical experiences.
If you backpack a lot the weather sealing of the DA*300 would be enough to push me to it. Also, if you can find one of the TCs that work with it the IQ is very good.



John
08-29-2009, 08:14 PM   #8
Veteran Member
borno's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: md-usa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,580
Hi Rich,
I have both lenses and was trying to decide which to sell, and actually listed the 100-300mm f4 but had to pull it when I thought the sdm quit on my da. (It turned out to be the contacts). They are both really nice even at f4 but the pentax is more flare resistant and better up close. (really good up close!) I think the sigma focuses faster and works with a ordinary TC. The DA works with the 1.7x afa very nicely though and I haven't had luck with two kenko TC's I tried on it. The zoom is really nice to have but it is alot bigger and heavier. I think you would be happy with either but for hiking the DA and pentax f1.7x afa is a nice combo. I don't know if I helped much as I still don't know which one I want to keep.

tom

08-29-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
Senior Member
Rich_A's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Montana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 213
Original Poster
Thanks, John and Tom. You both have great advice. I think I would be sold on the 300mm if Pentax had a teleconverter out for it already. I was curious, Tom, when shooting wildlife, did you find that you were basically set on 300mm with the 100-300mm all the time anyway? I would be concerned that this would be the case for me even if I did have the other focal lengths available...

Hmmm... some way to get a teleconverter for the Pentax without pulling in a favor from the Pope.... hmmmm.
08-29-2009, 09:09 PM   #10
Veteran Member
borno's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: md-usa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,580
hi Rich,
There are times when having the zoom has made the shot possible, sometimes you just can't back up.
08-30-2009, 12:53 AM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Prince George, BC Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 644
I had the Sigma 100-300 but found I was using it at the long end only so I traded it with another member of this discussion group for the DA*300 and much prefer the later. I tend to use both on a tripod so the weight was not a particular issue for me ...but certainly the Pentax lens is not as big and heavy as the Sigma. I might add, I have the DA* 50-135 that provides me with the modest tele zoom I need and I do not really miss the range from 135 to 300 but plan to eventually get the DA* 200 but there are a couple of other lenses I want first.
08-30-2009, 11:48 AM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,551
I prefer fixed focal lengths for animal photography, even when I am sometimes too close for a full frame image. I have the A 70-210/4 as the maximum zoom, and hardly ever use it. For zoom flexibility, I use the DA*50-135/2.8 by preference. On film cameras, the 70-210 comes into play. The field of view is what I am looking for, and they are equivalent on the two sizes of sensor/film.

In my gallery, the latest two photos (as of today) show the fields of view of the 400 with and without the AF 1.7X on a Plains Bison that showed up on a trail we were taking in Elk Island National Park, Canada. The head shot is at 680mm on sensor, the full bison is at 400mm (1.7X removed) at about twice the distance.

The noise in the head shot was caused by an underexposure of a very dark subject. I had set my manual exposure only 400mm lens when he was in the sun, but his head was in shadow. The light was coming from his right rear, leaving the very dark head fur in shadow. The head/face is about 2 stops underexposed, and there is some noise showing up. I will be working on the head shot to reduce the noise, but I have "several" shots to work on today. That is several dozen, as you can imagine.
08-30-2009, 04:09 PM   #13
Veteran Member
68wSteve's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hurst, Texas 76053
Posts: 474
QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
Hi Rich,
I have both lenses and was trying to decide which to sell, and actually listed the 100-300mm f4 but had to pull it when I thought the sdm quit on my da. (It turned out to be the contacts). They are both really nice even at f4 but the pentax is more flare resistant and better up close. (really good up close!) I think the sigma focuses faster and works with a ordinary TC. The DA works with the 1.7x afa very nicely though and I haven't had luck with two kenko TC's I tried on it. The zoom is really nice to have but it is alot bigger and heavier. I think you would be happy with either but for hiking the DA and pentax f1.7x afa is a nice combo. I don't know if I helped much as I still don't know which one I want to keep.

tom
I have had the same problem with Kenko 1.5tc with the DA*300mm. I can try it again if you want to give you better feedback.

QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
I had the Sigma 100-300 but found I was using it at the long end only so I traded it with another member of this discussion group for the DA*300 and much prefer the later. I tend to use both on a tripod so the weight was not a particular issue for me ...but certainly the Pentax lens is not as big and heavy as the Sigma. I might add, I have the DA* 50-135 that provides me with the modest tele zoom I need and I do not really miss the range from 135 to 300 but plan to eventually get the DA* 200 but there are a couple of other lenses I want first.

I was the other member that Mike traded with. The sigma 100-300 is a great lenses but i love the DA*300 alot more and actually went back to it. Its a great handheld lens and it is super sharp! If you need sample images, i have some great ones from a Seattle Mariners game i went to in june. I walked around all night with the lense and couldnt have been more please. That being said if you will being doing alot of tripod work for wildlife i think the sigma will be a great lense and i hear the sigma TCs work really well. If you want handheld, compact and don't mind being a prime lense definitly get the DA*300mm. Im not going to make the mistake of trading or selling the lense again. I just need to find a good TC to try to get more length.
08-30-2009, 04:51 PM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Prince George, BC Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 644
QuoteOriginally posted by 68wSteve Quote
I have had the same problem with Kenko 1.5tc with the DA*300mm. I can try it again if you want to give you better feedback. ......If you want handheld, compact and don't mind being a prime lense definitly get the DA*300mm. Im not going to make the mistake of trading or selling the lense again. I just need to find a good TC to try to get more length.
Steve, I am with you on this ...would really like a good 1.4 TC. Some time ago Pentax had one on the lens roadmap, but it disappeared and I have been hoping that it will become available as it would undoubtedly be compatible with SDM etc..
08-30-2009, 05:00 PM   #15
Veteran Member
borno's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: md-usa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,580
Here is a crop with da300 and 1.7x afa at f8 (2/3 stop down i think) and I think my usual light sharpening (that is walleye on his beak)



here's a pretty heavy crop at f9



wide open f6.7



I usually stop down to f9 or 10 if I can if a bird is flying so I can try to get something in focus. I would post some with the sigma and kenko but I don't know which had the TC as the exif (and SR) don't change
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
300mm, 70-200mm, da*, da* 300mm, k-mount, kit, lens, pentax lens, slr lens, versatility
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
sigma 100-300mm f4 or pentax 300mm f4? powdablu21 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 09-08-2010 05:14 AM
For Sale - Sold: Traded: DA*300mm for Sigma 100-300mm 68wSteve Sold Items 0 08-18-2009 06:18 AM
pentax 300mm f4 or sigma 100-300mm f4 kuau Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 11-29-2008 09:05 AM
Sigma 100-300mm f/4 versus Pentax DA* 300mm f/4 Tbear Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 03-26-2008 07:24 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:38 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top