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01-13-2010, 06:12 AM   #16
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I have the 100-300 f/4 and can highly recommend it, it was really a toss up between the Sigma 100-300mm, Pentax 60-250 DA*, Pentax 300mm DA*.

I went for the Sigma because I really needed a zoom, and in practical use I do use it between 100mm to 200mm quite a lot so I am glad I didn't go for the prime 300mm DA*. Additionally, there were no reviews available of the 60-250mm DA* and I didn't want to take a gamble on a lens so expensive. That narrowed it down to the 60-250mm and the 100-300mm and I chose the Sigma for the following reasons:

Pros of Sigma:

- longer lens, good for BIF
- build quality is excelllent, very solid
- fast, snappy autofocus - "ziiiiiiip, beep"
- the lens was very well reviewed and sharp straight from f/4 at all focal lengths
- internal focusing, no tromboning
- full frame image circle, future proofs for FF Pentax body

Cons of Sigma:

- it's big and it's heavy, hard to use handheld, best results with monopod
- not weather sealed
- not HSM

The focus speed, although screwdriven is very snappy indeed. When I bought my Sigma, the 60-250mm DA* wasn't reviewed, but Photozone have just reviewed and it looks truly excellent also.

Pros of Pentax (based on review):

- sharp, great IQ
- SDM
- more compact than the Sigma
- excellent build
- weather sealed

Cons of Pentax:

- expensive here in the UK
- question over SDM reliability
- tromboning
- proven not to cover a full frame image circle, so limited to APS-C

I think if I was buying again today, I might have gone for the Pentax 60-250mm given the excellent review, SDM and weather sealing; but I think i'd probably miss the 300mm of the Sigma and the fact I can use it with a potential full frame body.

Overall both brilliant.

01-13-2010, 06:33 AM   #17
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Although I like the long fast sigma zooms, This is a real tough call, because there is no HSM Teleconverter available from sigma at present.

If you have to purchase immediately, I would then recommend the tamron 70-200 F2.8 and their TC for HSM to get you to 300mm. (you could alternately go for a used sigma 70-200F2.8 non HSM)

It is just that for 200mm and less, I really find the F2.8 very useful and F4 is just not fast enough.

I use an origonal APO 70-200 Fe.8 EX (Non DG non macro) with both the 1.4 and 2X teleconverters from sigma, these TCs are made for a limited selectionof sigma's long fast lenses and nothing else. In fact due to the combination of lens and TC design, these TCs only fit on about 10 lenses, Long fast sigma sooms and primes, plus long fast pentax primes that can accept a TC protruding into the back of the lens, (300F3.8, 400 F2.8 etc.)
01-13-2010, 08:41 AM   #18
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I used 100-300 for last 4 years. My lens have has always quite strong BF so I use it mainly in MF mode. When I'm on trip I always have TC1.4 with me and 95% of my birds/animals shots are with TC1.4 and manual focus.

Here there are few examples:
Classic Polar Bear Photo Adventure Photo Gallery by Piotr Sobolewski at pbase.com
Puffins Photo Gallery by Piotr Sobolewski at pbase.com
Flying birds Photo Gallery by Piotr Sobolewski at pbase.com
Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands Photo Gallery by Piotr Sobolewski at pbase.com
Konie w Sasku Photo Gallery by Piotr Sobolewski at pbase.com

As stated before: sharp lens with extremaly good optics, heavy duty lens very well build, great hood, quite heavy and big but still handy. Overall I can't imagine anything else for trips with animals. And I had K500/4.5 and has now Leica 560/6.8 and Sigma 300/2.8 - so I have some comparision with other long lenses.

Now about Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX DG. I tested it for last week beacuse I want to take it on my next trip where I will rather take peoples's shots. Because of this I look for something smaller, shorter and brighter. It looks that Sigma 70-200 is exactly what I want. Sharp enough - especially sharp enough at f2.8. Much smaller that 100-300 and lighter. HSM AF works great. The only disadvantage is that it does not work with my old TC1.4. so I will take my AF1.7 and will have AF


To make short summary: these are different lenses for different purposes.
01-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #19
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Buy both ... I did (although I got the older MKI APO EX 70-200mm f2.8 as its sharper than the new HSM version).

They compliment each other very well and take the 1.4x teleconverter as well as each other (and the 2x to a lesser degree).

01-13-2010, 12:44 PM   #20
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I plan on picking up the DA* 50-135 as well, the real choice is the 70-200 + TC or a 100-300mm. It comes to about the same price in the end but I am starting to lean towards the 300mm. I shoot most of my motorsports shots between 150-300mm, so for me i think the 100-300mm might be the better choice

QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
Damn, I drrol for that lens
Then you'll hate me when I tell you i picked it up for $150 It's an older version but has never let me down
01-13-2010, 01:06 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gaelen Quote
I plan on picking up the DA* 50-135 as well, the real choice is the 70-200 + TC or a 100-300mm. It comes to about the same price in the end but I am starting to lean towards the 300mm. I shoot most of my motorsports shots between 150-300mm, so for me i think the 100-300mm might be the better choice
If you are decided about the 50-135, than the 100-300 would make much more sense than a 70-200. I decided against the 50-135 and am very happy with the exact same kit as Lowell (Sigma 70-200/2.8 pre-HSM pre-Macro, 1.4x Apo tc and 2x Apo tc) But if I had the shorter Pentax zoom, I am sure I wouldn't buy a 70-200 on top.

Ben
01-13-2010, 01:32 PM   #22
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Just for some info, here's a video I made of my 100-300mm Sigma autofocus on a K20D from infinity to around 6 ft infront of the lens.



Sorry for the ropey quality, was filmed with a phone which only focused on infinity.
01-13-2010, 02:04 PM   #23
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Another even stronger vote for the 100-300 from me also. Having the 50-135 will not make you want to pick up a 70-200 very often. May as well complement the 50-135 with a 100-300, especially if you're after the 200-300mm range.

Remember that a 1.5x TC on the 70-200/2.8 renders the lens a 140-300/4 lens - i.e. no optical OR speed advantage to the 100-300/4 lens...

01-13-2010, 02:24 PM   #24
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Isn't the advantage that you have the option available?

edit: oh he is getting a 50-135mm. If you're not going to take advantage of the 2.8 on the 70-200mm, go 100-300 w/o the TC..
01-13-2010, 02:33 PM   #25
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Yes, but for someone who would definitely use 300mm often, having the 100-300 makes more sense, plus a 1.5x TC on that lens makes it a 150-450/5.6 - versatility that any wildlife/sports guy would love to have. Then again the OP already has that 400/5.6 - but is it AF?
01-13-2010, 02:47 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gaelen Quote
I plan on picking up the DA* 50-135 as well, the real choice is the 70-200 + TC or a 100-300mm.
I have the 50-135mm as well as the 70-200mm and 100-300mm.
I hardly use it as the Pentax AF is painfully slow compared to the Sigma lens (on a K10D).
01-13-2010, 02:53 PM   #27
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Thanks Mike, That's good to know. The 50-135 will probably be a portrait/event lense more than anything. Motorsports I need longer.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Yes, but for someone who would definitely use 300mm often, having the 100-300 makes more sense, plus a 1.5x TC on that lens makes it a 150-450/5.6 - versatility that any wildlife/sports guy would love to have. Then again the OP already has that 400/5.6 - but is it AF?
It is an AF version, it has served me very well for the price i paid for it
01-13-2010, 03:01 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gaelen Quote
Thanks Mike, That's good to know. The 50-135 will probably be a portrait/event lense more than anything.
In that case the 100-300mm f4 and Sigma 1.4x/2X TC ... nice combination.
06-03-2010, 04:07 PM   #29
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I was having the very same dilemma and got myself a very simple solution - although 100-300 is bigger, it has almost the same weight, that 70-200 and IQ seems to be better too.

Adding the DA*50-135 that I already have, the decision was quite simple, so the order for 100-300 is pending right now.
06-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #30
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Curious where you found the Sigma 100-300? Every site I have looked for it has said it is now discontinued. Meaning the only option really available in this range now is the DA* 60-250 which has a lot of overlap with my DA* 50-135mm. Unless you go with something that has a variable aperture and slower on the longer end. I actually used to own the Sigma 100-300 and sold it. REALLY wishing I had not now!!
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