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06-22-2007, 07:58 PM   #1
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Good Pentax-mount Telezoom? (in the 55-400mm range)

What are the best bargains in the telezoom category for the Pentax mount? I am looking for something that stretches to at least 300mm. And is AF, I already have an off-brand 70-210mm that just doesn't cut it for aerial or railroad photography.

06-22-2007, 09:11 PM   #2
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Humm very subjective question. First would be the DA 50-200. Considered a very good lens and at an excellent price. The older F SMC 70-210 is also a great lens.

When you say "bargain" that depends on; cheap and as good as possible or really very good at a higher price. I have the Sigma 50-500 EX and although $1000 and a large heavy lens, you couldn't take it from my hands. The range is awesome and it is actually hand holdable for regular daylight shooting. Sharp and very few issues with CA etc.

For a more moderate price range I'd suggest looking at the following thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/8582-tamron-70...-75-300-a.html

and

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/8323-cheap-lon...rime-ones.html

last have alook at the following reviews on Photozone:

PhotoZone

and Stans:

Brief Comments

hope some of this helps
06-23-2007, 04:25 AM   #3
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The Sigma 70-300 APO DG is quite a reasonable price for what it is and it does a decent job. If you want to go longer but haven't got the money for the 50-500 or 70-200 with tc then the 135-400 is OK as is the 170-500 both are in the 400 region.

Carl
06-23-2007, 09:00 AM   #4
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What's the difference between the APO and non-APO versions of the Sigma 70-300?

My upper attainable limit is ~$300.

06-23-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
APO (APO Lens)
In order to attain the highest quality images, the APO lens has been made using special low-dispersion (SLD) glass and is designed to minimize color aberration
Sigma - Lenses

I bought the Pentax K100D plus the Sigma 70-300mm 'APO' DG Macro lens for the extra quality .
You can see my K100D +Sigma 70-300mm 'APO' lens photos at -
Flickr: Photos from rodney9

or search Flickr: Search for a group for Sigma 70-300mm 'APO' lens to see others photos


I Love My K100D and Sigma 70-300mm 'APO' DG Macro lens
Rodney
06-24-2007, 12:53 PM   #6
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Gotta say the DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 to start, especially if bought with the body/kit

QuoteOriginally posted by Matthew Roberts Quote
What are the best bargains in the telezoom category for the Pentax mount? I am looking for something that stretches to at least 300mm. And is AF, I already have an off-brand 70-210mm that just doesn't cut it for aerial or railroad photography.
I'm an utter photonoobie, and just went dSLR with the K100D only 6 weeks ago.

You'd be surprised how good the DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 is for aerial! I know, I just did my first sets yesterday with F-15s, F-18s and F-22s buzzing at 300 to 400+ knots!

At 200mm f/5.6, you're shutter speed is going to be limited to 1/750-1000 in pretty good lighting. That's pushing it, but it's "good enough" for 300-400+ knots. If you put a circular polarizer on it, forget it, as capturing anything traveling more than maybe 200 knots is not feasible at the resulting 1/250-350 shutter. I found out first hand yesterday and couldn't use a lot of F-22 shots (at least not without resizing down).

If the sucker is moving well beyond 500 knots, like #5 and #6 do in the Blue Angels sometimes (low and very, very fast'n loud), it's not possible at f/5.6. You're going to need to get more of a f/4.0, if not f/2.8, at that speed. Made me appreciate all the aspects of what dSLRs can give you, for a price, and where the limits of Point'n Shoot really are (even on a $400+ "bridge" Point'n Shoot).

Blog article on this ...
BS' Blog: What a cheap lens can give you (and not)

And the related Flickr set ... (which will be resized, sorry) ...
Rhode Island National Guard Airshow (2007Jun23) - a photoset on Flickr

In all honesty, I only bought the DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 expecting to use it for American football, much slower speeds. I.e., even a "throwing arm" is only about 100mph and can be easily caught at a shutter of 1/250th, and possibly much less. That means I can use the circular polarizer for outdoor as well as still get limbs motionless with typical indoor lighting as well (without the polarizer, of course).

Another side bonus is that it uses the same 52mm filters as the DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 "kit" lens. And at 52mm, such a polarizer is cheap -- the sub-$25 Hoya are just fine.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Humm very subjective question. First would be the DA 50-200. Considered a very good lens and at an excellent price.
Especially with the $150 rebate if you happen to buy it with the body or body+kit lens. That's the whole reason I went Pentax -- $500 for the combo after rebate baby! I have been overselling this to my fellow Point'n Shoot users, and even got some of the Canon/Nikon guys here at work recommending everyone talk to me if they want to enter dSLR without dropping the $2K+ they did.

QuoteOriginally posted by Matthew Roberts Quote
When you say "bargain" that depends on; cheap and as good as possible or really very good at a higher price. I have the Sigma 50-500 EX and although $1000 and a large heavy lens, you couldn't take it from my hands. The range is awesome and it is actually hand holdable for regular daylight shooting. Sharp and very few issues with CA etc.
For a more moderate price range I'd suggest looking at the following thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/8582-tamron-70...-75-300-a.html
Everything I've asked and read says the Pentax FA-J 75-300mm is not as good as the Pentax FA 80-320mm. And then the Pentax FA 80-320mm image quality "gets soft" beyond 200mm that you probably don't want to even bother if you already have the DA 50-200mm anyway.

I'm waiting on the DA 55-300mm myself, which won't be around until 2008 (mid?). If the reviews don't come out well for it, I might just drop the money for a DA*60-250mm f/4.0 or the planned DA*300mm f/4.0. I find I'm doing aerial photography at the full 200mm on the DA 50-200mm, so having a fixed 300mm prime is not a worry -- especially if they can keep it around $500 (after any rebates). That would make it well worth it IMHO. I bought a Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 manual focus off of eBay for $125 and while it's pretty sharp (when metered and focused correctly), I'm really just too much of a Point'n Shoot guy to even consider it for sports (much less aerial photo).

So if I'm going to drop $500, I'd rather it be a Pentax lens. Yeah, I know, seems stupid and blind brand alignment, but I just don't like the quality I'm seeing from other options. But that's just my opinion. Others that have the Bigma (Sigma 50-500mm), Sigma 135-400mm, etc... can tell you what they think. I'm a noob, so I could be quite ignorant on and of so many things. I only have the K100D and shoot a lot of JPEG just because I don't want to process much (although I did fire off about 400 RAW pics out of the 1,000 I took at the show).

Last edited by bjsmith; 06-24-2007 at 01:04 PM.
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