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11-30-2009, 07:16 AM   #1
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Christmas gift to myself

Upgrading my glass for my K20 and older film, and I'm looking at telephotos.
The two that I've narrowed it down to are:
  • Sigma Zoom Telephoto 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF
  • Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR

Both have good pros and (comparatively) no cons.

Has anyone out there have used both and can offer some insights?

Thanks!

11-30-2009, 08:27 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hank Quote
Upgrading my glass for my K20 and older film, and I'm looking at telephotos.
The two that I've narrowed it down to are:
  • Sigma Zoom Telephoto 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF
  • Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR
Both have good pros and (comparatively) no cons.
Has anyone out there have used both and can offer some insights?
Thanks!
Hank,
I had both lenses as recently as lask week but I have sold the Sigma 100-300 F4 because there was redundancy in the focals used.
I chose to keep the DA*300 f4 partly because of its smaller size and weight - I do a lot of outdoor photo and hike unbeaten paths quite often - and the fact that the Sigma is not weathersealed. However, and don't get me wrong, the Sigma is an excellent lens.
As far as IQ is concerned, I would say that I have been getting great results with both, equally. The DA* is a tad faster in AF, but not that much and it is quieter because of its SDM.
Now, of course, I find myself "short" at the 100-250/300 focal lengths ... the Sigma was very versatile that way.
So it depends what you really want this lens for: both will do the same job, but the Sigma will be covering a broader range of focals. If you are after a "zoom" covering such focals, then get the Sigma. If you know you will only shoot at 300mm and don't need the extra latitude, get the DA*300 f4.

Hope this helps.

JP
11-30-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
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Alot depends on what you will be using it for, If your not carring it hiking around I would go with the Sigma. At 100mm it's a great portrait lens. It just a great lens but remember it's 10 inches long too.
11-30-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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Its been discussed a few times now, 2 page thread HERE.

Personally I kept the 100-300mm, quality is 99% there and the added versatility is a big bonus.

12-03-2009, 11:04 AM   #5
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Thank you for your advice

Thanks everyone for the advice. My decision was difficult to make, but in the end I purchased the Sigma for the extra focal lengths offered.

It arrives tomorrow, and I expect to have a fun weekend playing around with it (a local chocolate factory is having an open house on Saturday, should be interesting to try it out).
12-03-2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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I'm sure that you'll like it, however any long lens would be my last choice while touring a chocolate factory.
Although I imagine that you'll have a few opportunities to use it.

Please post some pic's from the tour, it could be interesting.
12-06-2009, 12:44 PM   #7
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Follow up

Hello all,

So, I've the new lens for 2 days now and here's my initial thoughts.
It's big. Yes, the nickname Bigma really does hold true. It's actually so large that it now requires a new camera bag- perhaps for my birthday I'll have to buy a F4 from Domke.

It's heavy. At 4 pounds, 10 & 1/4 oz., (not including the lens cap), it demands a tripod or monopod. This is not a lens that you can easily handle while walking around and not get tired. Perhaps a new strap to hold the camera is also in the cards- the Pentax one started to dig into my neck with this monster on the camera. My poor girlfriend Jenny will need to start lifting weights here when she wants to use it for more than an half an hour.

It's solid. Everything on this lens is smooth and has a great feel to it.

It's fast. The 4F across the full range is just awesome.
It's sharp. Ouch.

It's a stopper. While drinking some hot chocolate at Harvard Sq.'s LA Burdick's today, the server stopped and asked all sorts of questions. He was quite taken by the lens. Yesterday the people at the chocolate factory where all very wide eyed.

Here is a link to the photos that I took- nothing too serious yet.

Thanks again for the opinions and advice.

Hank
12-06-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I'm sure that you'll like it, however any long lens would be my last choice while touring a chocolate factory.
Although I imagine that you'll have a few opportunities to use it.

Please post some pic's from the tour, it could be interesting.
Exactly what I was thinking, but:

QuoteOriginally posted by Hank Quote
Here is a link to the photos that I took- nothing too serious yet.
Really cool photos. I never would have guessed the lens you used.

12-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hank Quote
Yes, the nickname Bigma really does hold true.
I believe the name Bigma is reserved for the 50-500mm, although it weighs over 1/2 lb. less than the weight of your lens.
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