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View Poll Results: Pentax or Sigma lens?
Pentax 60-250 & 300 mm lenses 758.33%
Sigma 100-300 APO HSM lens 541.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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09-13-2009, 04:52 AM   #1
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insight wanted on lens purchase decision

It's time to upgrade some lenses and I'm struggling with the decision. I originally was going with the new Pentax 60-250 F4 DA lens (~$1200) and then follow it up a year or so later with the Pentax 300 F4 DA lens (~$1300). Both appear to be solid lenses (but expensive...).

Then I start reading about the Sigma 100-300 APO F4 (~$1400) that has ratings on par with the two pentax lenses and I could also use with Sigma's 1.4 tele extender with no loss of autofocus.

I am rough on my lenses. I hike, hunt, ride horses, and basically beat the crap out of them as I search for the perfect spot and the perfect picture. That being said, the weather sealing is a big deal - hence Pentax, right? Or, does someone think the Sigma would hold up to the abuse? Any insight would be appreciated. These are big dollar purchases and I want to make the right one...

09-13-2009, 08:56 AM   #2
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I use only Pentax lenses by choice. I have tried several Sigma lenses over the years, and they just don't cut it for me. Expensive way to test, I know, but ...
09-13-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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I am also looking at both those 300mm lenses currently trying to obtain best capability for walking around as well as mounting on the tripod with a 1.4x TC. By renting, I have been able to narrow the field but have not seen the Sigma for rent otherwise I could give you some real 1:1 comparisons.

Between your two choices I can't imagine carrying 2 heavy lenses when 1 would handle your telephoto needs so your poll is a no brainer. As many threads as we read comparing these lenses and the output I don't remember seeing discussion praising the weather proofing after the purchase. I don't see any of the pictures posted in dust storms or rain so as much as I think we all really like the idea, and it can only help, the weather proofing of the lens just does not seem to be a deal breaker. Especially if i carry around a TC that leaks like a sieve anyway. Once I can either rent or borrow a Sigma my testing will be complete and I can finally spend money. Although I do not expect it, if I rate the Sigma as strong as the DA*300, I will go with it in a heartbeat simply for the zoom. Yes, I have stalked TOO close to a large subject before with a 300 prime. I know you don't plan to change lenses at that point!
09-13-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
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but what would I know -- I don't shoot tele

QuoteOriginally posted by opiet70 Quote
It's time to upgrade some lenses and I'm struggling with the decision. I originally was going with the new Pentax 60-250 F4 DA lens (~$1200) and then follow it up a year or so later with the Pentax 300 F4 DA lens (~$1300).
Why would you pay double and carry double the weight to get only 50mm more in the long end? That doesn't make much sense to me.

Maybe consider instead the DA*200/2.8 for ultimate quality and speed. And then get a 1.7x SDM TC later to extend your reach further than either of the lenses you mention. Much less to carry in your bag, and I'm sure you can find something really nice for the smaller focals, if you need them. (DA*50-135 anyone?)

09-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #5
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Hiking around 2 heavy lenses would eventually take its toll, and the 100-300 is no slouch when it comes to IQ. On the other hand, I too opt for Pentax glass if I had the choice, not as a matter of principle, but simply for optical quality, weather sealing and even build quality. I do find spending >$1000 on a Sigma a worrying thought, but that's just me.
09-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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see, told youI don't know from tele

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
And then get a 1.7x SDM TC later to extend your reach further than either of the lenses you mention.
Um, except there is no 1.7x SDM TC. There is however a Tamron 1.4x MC4 TC.
09-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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I'm all for Pentax lenses but the Sigma 100-300 F4 image quality kicks ass but I don't think HSM is avalaible for Pentax mount. Is it?
09-13-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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I'm inclined to second Lee's comments. I have the DA*300mm and Sigma 70-200mm: I like 'em both--for different kinds of shooting--, but it's certainly an either/or proposition. And he's right--I usually have a TC on the 300 and there ain't no weather-sealed TC (yet? :~)

09-13-2009, 03:54 PM   #9
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The TC is a very good point - although I will need weather sealing. I've had twice this year and once last year where my equipment is been pretty well soaked. The worst was hiking down to the bottom of Jog Falls in India in July (I can post the pictures if you want - the non-edited ones). Your point is well taken though and I appreciate the input.
09-13-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiet70 Quote
The TC is a very good point - although I will need weather sealing. I've had twice this year and once last year where my equipment is been pretty well soaked. The worst was hiking down to the bottom of Jog Falls in India in July (I can post the pictures if you want - the non-edited ones). Your point is well taken though and I appreciate the input.
Don't get me wrong. I can appreciate sealed lens I just don't remember seeing threads where people mention putting them to use although I am sure they must at least TRY it in the drizzle sometime. Now when I rented the DA*300 and had it on my K20D, I almost danced for joy the last day I had it and it started to drizzle so I could enjoy shooting in the wet for the first time. The sealing is just another parameter to weigh, but nowhere near the heaviest weight.

I'm with ya!
09-13-2009, 07:26 PM   #11
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Weather Sealing is Great

This image was one of a series I took after passing between the falls and the cliff. You can see the path on the far side, low on the falls. I was soaked, as was the camera and lens. Other than keeping the lens pointed down so that the water did not get on the front, I took no precautions. K10D + DA* 16-50/2.8. Some of us actually do use the weather sealed lenses.

09-13-2009, 07:36 PM   #12
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Hot damn! Everybody is coming out of the woodwork with pics and stories about the value of sealed lenses. My plan is working.....bruhahahaha!!
09-13-2009, 07:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
This image was one of a series I took after passing between the falls and the cliff. You can see the path on the far side, low on the falls. I was soaked, as was the camera and lens. Other than keeping the lens pointed down so that the water did not get on the front, I took no precautions. K10D + DA* 16-50/2.8. Some of us actually do use the weather sealed lenses.


That actually looks like a whole lot of fun!
09-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #14
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I got a B+W filter for my DA* 300/4 and there is no hesitation bringing it out in any kind of weather. I also have a Tamron 1.4X converter and if the weather is that bad I just don't use it or it's always possible to drape a towel over it. It's not like it's used everyday but if the need arises the capability is there. I was out shooting the eagles last November on a cold rainy windy day. The camera and lens was soaked with no ill effects. I would have sat in the truck with any other lens.
09-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
That actually looks like a whole lot of fun!
It was a blast. We had some people that were older than I, and a whole lot of kids. 17 kids out of 52 attendees at a family reunion. More than half of us hiked in to this falls. Chilly, despite the hot day. Ice water, you know.
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