Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-10-2009, 01:53 PM   #16
Veteran Member
Nitrok's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Finland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,273
Original Poster
Ok seems like im down to two lenses here.

1. Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF
++ Versatility (Zoom)
+ Still sharp with 1.4x TC
+ AF Speed
- Weight
- No weather sealing
- No HSM (?)
- $60 more expensive than Pentax 300mm (on B&H)

2. Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM
+ Weather sealing
+ Still sharp with TC
+ Slightly better image quality (?)
+ HSM
+ Lighter weight
-- Versatility (No Zoom)

I did pros and cons quickly so if anyone has something to add please tell me now.
Though the Pentax has more pros, the versatility of Sigma looks more tempting to me.
This is hard choice.

11-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #17
Site Supporter
Ex Finn.'s Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Maryland.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,296
Birds, longer the better with steady tripod. What kinda other wild life did you plan on shooting?. Something safe or something that could have you for lunch!.

Cheers, Mike.
11-10-2009, 05:57 PM   #18
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 530
QuoteOriginally posted by Nitrok Quote
Ok seems like im down to two lenses here.

1. Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF
++ Versatility (Zoom)
+ Still sharp with 1.4x TC
+ AF Speed
- Weight
- No weather sealing
- No HSM (?)
- $60 more expensive than Pentax 300mm (on B&H)

2. Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM
+ Weather sealing
+ Still sharp with TC
+ Slightly better image quality (?)
+ HSM
+ Lighter weight
-- Versatility (No Zoom)

I did pros and cons quickly so if anyone has something to add please tell me now.
Though the Pentax has more pros, the versatility of Sigma looks more tempting to me.
This is hard choice.
I would take the Pentax. I have the F*300/4.5 and it is definitely a stunning lens. The DA*300 should be at least as good from what I've heard and that means better image quality than even the better zoom out there. As you noted, it's very important if you plan to use a teleconverter to gain more reach.

To me the other important point in your list is the lighter weight. A little less weight can make quite a difference after a day long hike. It might also make the difference between a lens that goes with you on a trip vs. a lens that stays at home.

If you need the versatility of a zoom, you can always add the very good Pentax 55-300 later. It doesn't cost a lot of money and it covers the useful 55-100 range, which the Sigma 100-300 doesn't. The 55-300 also delivers pictures virtually indistinguishable from the Sigma up to 200mm and, at 300mm, you will have the DA*300 .

Cheers!

Abbazz
11-11-2009, 12:58 AM   #19
Veteran Member
Nitrok's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Finland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,273
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Birds, longer the better with steady tripod. What kinda other wild life did you plan on shooting?. Something safe or something that could have you for lunch!.

Cheers, Mike.
Definitely something safe at first.

QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
I would take the Pentax. I have the F*300/4.5 and it is definitely a stunning lens. The DA*300 should be at least as good from what I've heard and that means better image quality than even the better zoom out there. As you noted, it's very important if you plan to use a teleconverter to gain more reach.

To me the other important point in your list is the lighter weight. A little less weight can make quite a difference after a day long hike. It might also make the difference between a lens that goes with you on a trip vs. a lens that stays at home.

If you need the versatility of a zoom, you can always add the very good Pentax 55-300 later. It doesn't cost a lot of money and it covers the useful 55-100 range, which the Sigma 100-300 doesn't. The 55-300 also delivers pictures virtually indistinguishable from the Sigma up to 200mm and, at 300mm, you will have the DA*300 .

Cheers!

Abbazz
You have many good points there.
So what TC should i get for DA*300 (if I buy it)?
Would Kenko AF Teleconverter 1,5x MC DG work with it and is there any compatible 1,4x TC for this lens?

11-11-2009, 01:34 AM   #20
Loyal Site Supporter
AdrianM's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 567
I have both the Sigma 100-300 f4 and DA*300 f4 which I generally use with Kenko 1.5x TCs (the PAF MC for the 100-300, and the Pz SHQ for the DA*300). Both are fabulous lenses and really sharp, even with a TC. I have found the Sigma 1.4x TC really sharp optically but not very rugged and after a while the contact pins drop and the drive mechanism gets messed up. After breaking two in just over a year, I gave up and bought some Kenkos. The advantage of the TC is that you can take it off if you need more light compared to longer lenses and it has a better wide open aperture than some of the bigger lenses. I find that focus on the DA*300 focus hunts a little bit on the K20D when the TC is used, but this doesn't occur on the K-7 or K-X under similar conditions (tried it in the shop, but haven't yet got approval from the boss to buy!). The reason I bought the DA*300 was for birds and bushwalking. I found that I was rarely using anything less than 300mm, and the weight was getting to me when going walking. The 100-300 is really useful for sport and aircraft, and birds.
11-11-2009, 02:29 AM   #21
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 594
I used to use a Bigma, but now I mainly use a Sigma 300 f2.8 with a Tamron 1.4 TC or the Pentax 1.7 TC. It gives me results like these.

Sigma 300


With 1.4 TC


With 1.7 TC


EDIT: All of these were taken on a Bogen 680B Monopod. I also use this lens for my surfing shots.

Last edited by HawaiianOnline; 11-11-2009 at 02:31 AM. Reason: Did not want to double post
11-11-2009, 02:51 AM   #22
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 530
QuoteOriginally posted by Nitrok Quote
So what TC should i get for DA*300 (if I buy it)?
Would Kenko AF Teleconverter 1,5x MC DG work with it and is there any compatible 1,4x TC for this lens?
I don't know the Kenko. I have a Tamron-F 1.4x Pz-AF MC4 that reportedly works with the DA*300. It delivers very good results with the F*300/4.5 but it seems that Tamron doesn't make it anymore.

Cheers!

Abbazz
11-11-2009, 04:10 AM   #23
Veteran Member
borno's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: md-usa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,580
I tried a couple different kenko 1.5x pz shq TC's on my da300 and they hunted too much for me (I thought it might not be good for the motor) but the 1.7x afa was a great match with it. I sold the DA and kept the sigma 100-300mm because the zoom is handy and the IQ is almost as good (not up close though) I might sell that too because I really would love a long lens for my 40d

11-11-2009, 04:50 AM   #24
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,410
If the objective is wildlife, go with the DA*300mm. It's simply better at that FL than the Sigma and therefore better when used with a TC. I use mine with the Tamron-F 1.4x Pz-AF MC4 and the Pentax AF 1.7 with good results. The DA 55-300mm is a good alternative (less expensive and easier to carry) to the Sigma zoom.
11-11-2009, 05:46 AM   #25
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
there is a similar post running

see this link with shots from my 2 "go to" solutions

SMC 300 F4 and 1.7x AF TC and Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX with sigma APO 2X DG teleconverter
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/806229-post9.html
11-11-2009, 06:05 AM   #26
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,454
After looking at Marc' Languille's "preliminary" images with the 600/4 I've concluded it is the best lens for birding. I know it's not on the list but WOW what a lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/79357-nature-new-superte...ary-shots.html

Tom G
11-11-2009, 06:12 AM   #27
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,410
QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
there is a similar post running

see this link with shots from my 2 "go to" solutions

SMC 300 F4 and 1.7x AF TC and Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX with sigma APO 2X DG teleconverter
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/806229-post9.html
Yeah I have both but use the Sigma (sans TC) for sports & such--rarely wildlife. I never carry both at the same time, though--I'm robust but there are limits ;~) Nice shots, btw!

Then there's this 1000mm
11-11-2009, 08:16 AM   #28
Veteran Member
Nitrok's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Finland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,273
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
I don't know the Kenko. I have a Tamron-F 1.4x Pz-AF MC4 that reportedly works with the DA*300. It delivers very good results with the F*300/4.5 but it seems that Tamron doesn't make it anymore.

Cheers!

Abbazz
Ok, i'm leaning towards the DA*300 now. Mostly because of it's light weight and weather sealing (and SDM). And I also think I will be using my lens @300mm even if it was the Sigma 100-300mm. I also have Sigma 105mm if I need shorter fl.
The TC is my only problem now. Where to get that Tamron?

QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
After looking at Marc' Languille's "preliminary" images with the 600/4 I've concluded it is the best lens for birding. I know it's not on the list but WOW what a lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/79357-nature-new-superte...ary-shots.html

Tom G
That's a beauty - too bad it's waaay beyond my budget.
11-11-2009, 08:24 AM   #29
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,410
QuoteOriginally posted by Nitrok Quote
The TC is my only problem now. Where to get that Tamron?
Just keep an eye on the used equipment outlets (PF marketplace, eBay, craiggslist, KEH?) and be ready to pounce.
11-11-2009, 08:58 AM   #30
Veteran Member
Eaglerapids's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Idaho,USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,588
I'm glad to see you're leaning to the DA* 300/4. It may not have the versatility of a zoom but to me that's made up in it's close focusing abilities which may be overlooked sometimes. And it's close focusing abilities are very very good.
I have a Tamron-F 1.4x Pz-AF MC4 and it works fine on the DA* 300.
There is one thing to remember as you begin this journey. The longer the reach the rules change and everything gets very anal. It may not be bad if it takes a little while before you find a teleconverter. You mentioned 500 shots with the big zoom. There will also be a learning curve with just a 300mm. I blew more shots just yesterday, BIF shots are still very iffy for me and all this without the converter. You will have your hands full with just the 300mm in the beginning.
I hope you have a good tripod and head, if not be prepared to spend more money. There seem to be plenty of people who use these lenses handheld successfully, maybe so but I'm not one of them. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket here but just want you to be aware of what you're getting yourself into:-). When you nail a bird shot it's sweet but my "nail" rate is pretty low, lol.
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, apo, bird, bird and wildlife, dg, f/4, hsm, k-mount, lens, lens for bird, pentax lens, sigma, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K7 + Bird/Wildlife lens (My first lens) Freak Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 06-30-2010 07:42 PM
Pentax system for wildlife/bird photography.. Reportage Photographic Technique 59 01-18-2010 08:59 PM
Wildlife photography skebenga Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 01-10-2010 11:38 PM
Animal Photography Cloudy Wizzard Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 25 10-20-2007 01:27 PM
Lense for wildlife photography harv3589 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 08-16-2007 03:12 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:41 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