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12-30-2009, 10:42 PM   #1
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Help with Lens question regarding IQ

could someone tell me if having less zoom range = better image quality? I am considering between 4 lenses, the DA 55-300 / Tamron 18-270 / Tamron or Sigma 70-300

I am in limbo here as I already have the 18-55 kit lens. Also, it seems the 70-300 has the best macro ratio of 1:2. If someone can answer the op question and give me a good recommendation it's be appreciated. I plan to do a lot of wild life shooting. And they all have similar ranges for that.

Thanks

12-30-2009, 10:48 PM   #2
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Well guys I have found the exact tread I need to check out. TESTED: Pentax 55-300 vs. Sigma 70-300 vs. Tamron 70-300

But if someone would tell me if having fewer zoom range typically means better image quality, i'd appreciate it.
12-30-2009, 11:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by joodiespost Quote
could someone tell me if having less zoom range = better image quality? I am considering between 4 lenses, the DA 55-300 / Tamron 18-270 / Tamron or Sigma 70-300

I am in limbo here as I already have the 18-55 kit lens. Also, it seems the 70-300 has the best macro ratio of 1:2. If someone can answer the op question and give me a good recommendation it's be appreciated. I plan to do a lot of wild life shooting. And they all have similar ranges for that.

Thanks
Yeah, that's a pretty good rule of thumb. From what I remember, DA 55-300 is the best of the three, though.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/57560-tested-p...-70-300-a.html (The test to which you referred, in the second post.)

No zoom range = best image quality, most of the time, as well. For this reason, I picked up DA* 300 f/4 for wildlife...before the price hikes, though. EDIT: FA* 300 f/4.5 is very good as well (and probably very expensive and difficult to find, too): http://www.photozone.de/pentax/131-pentax-smc-fa-300mm-f45-ed-if-review--lab-test-report

Last edited by asdf; 12-30-2009 at 11:18 PM.
12-30-2009, 11:52 PM   #4
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thanks a bunch. now I am in the limbo and deciding [just like many of you guys were] if I want soft + low ca = sigma or sharp + high ca with tamrom or pay extra for Pentax, which is considered the best one out of these 3.

12-30-2009, 11:56 PM   #5
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Save up for the Pentax - you will be much better off in the long term.
I have it, even though I have a great Tamron 70-200/2.8 + 1.4x TC combo, which certainly blows away the 55-300, particularly in low-light situations, but the Tamron is a beast and not appropriate to carry around in most circumstances. So the 55-300 stay with me in my mobile kit for candid telephoto shots - and it does an excellent job in good light.
12-31-2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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I'd say your basic premise - less zoom range means more IQ - holds for the most part (with inevitable exception) if you are comparing lenses of the same price. But a more expensive longer range zoom might well outperform a shorer range zoom that is cheaper. And that's the case with the 55-300 versus the rest.
12-31-2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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yeah Marc, my friend recommend the 200-500 sigma 2.8. He was joking as i found out it was almost 30,000 dollars ^^. Ash, your 70-2002.8 sounds very reasonable too. Maybe I should just go your route and get the TC later on. Say, will the TC still give me all the regular functions? If so, what tc are you using?
12-31-2009, 06:00 PM   #8
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The Tamron 1.4x TC will allow the lens to function as normal, the only difference is just a slightly longer FL (obviously).
AF function is preserved well, only hunting in very low light conditions.
The Tamron 70-200 and Tamron TC are well suited to each other.

12-31-2009, 06:38 PM   #9
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A lens with a longer reach will always degrade in quality more the farther it goes. However, if the quality is exceptional enough to start with, the degradation will not be noticeable. Also, there are other factors that may make the wide end look worse on a zoom.
12-31-2009, 08:37 PM   #10
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yeah, i understand wally. i'll let you guys know which I go with.. ah choices choices ...
12-31-2009, 08:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The Tamron 1.4x TC will allow the lens to function as normal, the only difference is just a slightly longer FL (obviously).
AF function is preserved well, only hunting in very low light conditions.
The Tamron 70-200 and Tamron TC are well suited to each other.
ash! your tamron 2.8 lens is over 700 dollars Waay over my budget. Haha,
01-01-2010, 11:57 AM   #12
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Fast (f/2.8) telephoto zooms aren't cheap. If you need f/2.8, cheapest way to get that are old manual focus 135mm lenses - well under $100. Otherwise, it's the 55-300 for best quality, with the other options you list worth considering if price of size is more important. As for macro, a $40 Raynox 150 or other good quality achromatic closeup lens fitted to any of them will give better that 1:1.
01-01-2010, 12:37 PM   #13
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One thing to keep in mind is that lenses are tools. If you use them once in a while cheap is OK but if you intend to use them for the long haul there is far more value in getting the good stuff.
Both 70-300s =OK
DA55-300= better
Tamron 70-200= Good stuff
*300s =very good stuff
You may also consider going with older manual focus lenses to stay in budget.
01-01-2010, 02:56 PM   #14
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thank you brothers for the help. Say Marc, why are these raynox lenses achromatic? What happened to the color?
01-01-2010, 04:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by joodiespost Quote
thank you brothers for the help. Say Marc, why are these raynox lenses achromatic? What happened to the color?
Achromatic means the glass is designed to reduce or eliminate Chromatic Aberations / Purple Fringing.

Natural light, as you know, is made up of a continuum of colors (think rainbow) whose photons travel in differing wavelengths. What we see is the light photons that are NOT absorbed by whatever we are looking at.

A lens contains a number of glass elements that, combined, bend and focus the light photon waves (semi) precisely in a circle on the film or sensor plane. An image is the reflection of the non-absorbed light photons from that object. The photons are "captured" on the "sensor" in a chemical or electronic process.

Since parts of the light (the different colors) have slightly different wavelengths, sometimes some of the individual light color waves are slightly separated, producing visible "color aberations" in the image. A common visible effect is a purple fringe around the edges of a subject when viewed against a high-contrast background, frequently found when photographing birds at telephoto lengths (Eek! )

This can be pronounced on digital sensors where film was more forgiving, and even more pronounced when you add another piece of glass to the front of a lens (a Close-Up filter).

An Achromatic Close-Up filter is specifically designed to compensate for this effect.

A = (something like) "Not" or "No" or "Anti"
Chromatic = (something like) "Color Aberations" (Chroma = color in Greek)

A-chromatic

Last edited by monochrome; 01-01-2010 at 09:34 PM.
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