Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-06-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 23
Pentax zoom lens suggestions

I am beginning to look for zoom lenses for a K20D. I plan to use this lens primarily for wildlife photograpy. I would like a maximum zoom length of at least 300mm but preferably 400-500mm of F4 or less. I would also prefer that the lense be a Pentax lens but would be happy to hear about any other brands that would give equivalent results. Any suggestions and experiences would be greatly appreciated.

12-06-2009, 02:49 PM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 173
To my knowledge there isn't a zoom lens that stretches to 400-500mm at f/4 or lower. With your criteria, the only lenses that fit are the Sigma 100-300 f/4 and the Sigma 120-400 f/4.5-f/5.6 (kind of, but not really).

Now if by "zoom" you meant "telephoto," there are a couple of primes that would match your criteria:
DA* 300mm f/4
Sigma 300mm f/2.8
Pentax A* 400mm f/2.8
Sigma 500mm f/4.5
Pentax A*/F*/FA* 600mm f/4

The old Pentax A*/F*/FA* glass will set you back a pretty penny, though, that is if you can even find them for sale.
12-06-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
Veteran Member
Steinback's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: GTA, ON, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,673
How much your are willing to spend quickly becomes a limiting factor in the class of lens you are looking for. There are some good options in the $1k range but they tend to be either primes in the F/4 range or zooms that are slower. If you are thinking more along the lines of $7k to $10k that opens up some more exotic options.
12-06-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
pacerr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Henry, TN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,910
Deep in it!

Sounds like your first coupl'a hundred hours in the field with extreme tele-photo lenses are going to be very...ah, 'instructive'? Yeah, hundreds, 'cause you'll spend a LOT more time lugging awkward gear around and sitting with it than shootin'.

May I suggest that you invest a few hundred (rather than a few thousand!) bucks in a Tamron, Tokina, Sigma or Pentax xx-300 zoom, a good tripod and a quality 1.4 - 2x tele-converter and spend some time learning how and what you want to shoot. And what time of day.

You won't really understand what you need until the gear you have in hand in YOUR particular situations highlights the frustrations over the lack of the stuff you actually need. You'll know soon enough exactly what you need if you start out simple.

Trust me on this. I know three people that invested in a used car's worth of gear before they discovered they weren't willing to pay the price that early dawn hours, slogging through mud, and lots'a insect repellent was necessary to get the pictures they envisioned while sitting in their living room.

Hints:
- hip waders may be more important than long, fast zoom lenses depending on your goals.
- a moderately good, long, fast lens, with camera and tripod weighs about the same as a large sack of groceries -- and is about as awkward when carrying them through brush.
- There's 104 week-end days in a year. How many will you be able to spend where you want to shoot divided by the cost of the equipment you're wanting to buy times the number of shots that 'll be keepers in the first five years plus the blow-back from your spouse or other social commitments if any.

OK, that's my attempt to be a GOOD SAMARITAN for the year. Now go buy whatever you had your sights set on and if it doesn't work out, you can sell it here for not too-much of a loss. Or just keep it like the rest of us?

Me? Well, I finally decided a Tamron 300/2.8 + accessories was finally warranted. But then I've got 2000 wild acres out the back door to wander in when the weather and mood suits me. When you know what you're goin' a medium-fast f3.5/70-210 or generic 70-300 or DA 55-300 may suffice with today's DSLRs. I kind'a like an old SMC-M 80-200/f4.5 and a Vivitar/Tokina 400/f5.6 with a tad of fungus I paid <$60 for too . Your YMMV.

H2

If you're not havin' fun takin' pictures in the out-back, you're in deep doo-doo! AND ya probably have to go back to work on Monday as well.

12-06-2009, 05:30 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Steinback's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: GTA, ON, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,673
I suppose I should add that I decided to start with an older manual 400mm to keep costs down, plus a solid tripod and a remote to reduce vibrations. I get good results in my backyard and at the moment I'm not motivated enough to lug my long lens setup around in the field looking for animals.

If I were to go longer than 400mm or with a faster, heavier lens then I would seriously consider a gimbal head and long lens support. Depending on the combined weight of the body, lens and head picking up a heavier tripod would also be necessary. To make carrying things in the field bearable a backpack sized to fit the lens and tripod and quick release plates to help with setup and teardown would also be a priority.

This article is an interesting read and covers some good long lens techniques: Luminous landscape
12-07-2009, 10:28 AM   #6
Inactive Account




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Outside of Philly
Posts: 1,564
Canon 500mm f/4 IS paired with their new 7D will be a GREAT combo for wildlife.

You didn't mention anything about budget, right? Just at least 300mm (but longer would be better) and f/4.

Remember, you only need ONE kidney
12-09-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
Veteran Member
Ben_Edict's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SouthWest "Regio"
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,303
QuoteOriginally posted by ljlayne Quote
I am beginning to look for zoom lenses for a K20D. I plan to use this lens primarily for wildlife photograpy. I would like a maximum zoom length of at least 300mm but preferably 400-500mm of F4 or less. I would also prefer that the lense be a Pentax lens but would be happy to hear about any other brands that would give equivalent results. Any suggestions and experiences would be greatly appreciated.
You know, that such a long lens at f/4 or faster might set you back thousands?
Your only current choice is Sigma:

100-300/4, the faster option: Sigma | 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF HSM Autofocus Lens | 134109 | B&H

50-500/4-6.3, longer but slower: Sigma | 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG AF Lens for Pentax AF | 736109

120-400/4.5-5.6, not quite as versatile: Sigma | 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM APO Autofocus Lens | 728109

150-500/5-6.3, compromise: Sigma | 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM APO Autofocus Lens | 737109

300-800/5.6 not for Pentax...: Sigma | 300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG APO IF HSM Autofocus Lens | 595306

Pentax has no current production lens, but you could get something on the used market:
250-600/5.6 the best solution for your requirements, apart from being 1 f-stop slower

Otherwise there are only prime (fixed focal length) lenses available:

300/2.8 (sometimes you can find a Pentax FA modell for a reasonable sum on ebay -otherwise youi can get the Sigma new)

500/4.5 Sigma AF new

500/4.5 Pentax, an old lens, but cheap and slow to use (everything full manual), fairly sharp and good contrast

600/4 Pentax FA, sometimes to be found used, may be some far east dealer has still a new one, as production ceased only recently.

But we are here talking about lenses, starting around 1000 USD and going up well beyond 10,000 USD. Is that withing your range?

Ben
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!
k-mount, lens, pentax, pentax lens, pentax zoom lens, slr lens, suggestions
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need suggestions about zoom lens for K7 blatfish Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 10-08-2010 05:52 PM
Suggestions for a Wide Range Zoom Lens Needed Tamia Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 08-17-2010 05:04 AM
New Pentax user. Just got a K-x and need lens suggestions... dotsync Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 01-14-2010 04:57 PM
Suggestions for a longer zoom to go with the 50-135mm? jfsavage Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 0 02-12-2009 07:34 AM
Is the Pentax - 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 SMCP-FA J AL Zoom Lens a good budget zoom? Kornbread Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 01-16-2009 03:45 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:54 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