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01-31-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
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DA* 300mm or Sigma 100 - 300mm Which one?

Price is about equal. Both have terrific reviews. Can't decide which one. Will be used mostly for wildlife and birds. Im sure the DA* lens has slightly better IQ. Will the Sigma TC's work with the Pentax?

01-31-2010, 09:18 PM   #2
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I had both and each has advantages. The sigma is almost as sharp at 300mm f4 (mine was) but I liked the color and contrast of the pentax . The sigma worked well with the 1.5x kenko I had, but the only auto focus TC I could get to work reliably was the pentax 1.7x afa (nice combo) Sigma is bigger and heavier but the zoom is great to have. I don't think you would be disappointed with the IQ of the sigma. Too bad sigma jacked up the price last year.
Oh, my sigma focused faster than the DA, but the DA was fast with the 1.7x afa on it.(it acts as a focus limiter too)
Tough choice, weather sealing on the DA is nice to have also.
01-31-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
I had both and each has advantages. The sigma is almost as sharp at 300mm f4 (mine was) but I liked the color and contrast of the pentax . The sigma worked well with the 1.5x kenko I had, but the only auto focus TC I could get to work reliably was the pentax 1.7x afa (nice combo) Sigma is bigger and heavier but the zoom is great to have. I don't think you would be disappointed with the IQ of the sigma. Too bad sigma jacked up the price last year.
Oh, my sigma focused faster than the DA, but the DA was fast with the 1.7x afa on it.(it acts as a focus limiter too)
Tough choice, weather sealing on the DA is nice to have also.
I have the DA*300 and it works pretty well with the Tamron 1.4 TC. I also had the Sigma for a short time, and at least for the copies I've handled, I like the Pentax better. Yes the zoom is nice to have, but that Sigma is a monster compared to the DA*300, not to mention, like Borno said they have increased their prices substantially (AFAIK, close to 2 grand currently). If you want it for birds I can't see you using it at the short end ever, more likely always cranked to 300 (and wishing for more!).
01-31-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
I have the DA*300 and it works pretty well with the Tamron 1.4 TC. I also had the Sigma for a short time, and at least for the copies I've handled, I like the Pentax better. Yes the zoom is nice to have, but that Sigma is a monster compared to the DA*300, not to mention, like Borno said they have increased their prices substantially (AFAIK, close to 2 grand currently). If you want it for birds I can't see you using it at the short end ever, more likely always cranked to 300 (and wishing for more!).
Absolutely wishing for more reach but I'm willing to sacrifice some reach for the IQ because most of the birds I will be shooting are on my feeder which is about 20' outside my bedroom window. I am also trying to consider that my only two other lenses are a Tammy 28-75 f/2.8 and Pentax K 50m so the 100-300 seems appealing due to that, but on the other hand it is a monster and the DA* would be easier in the field. Currently Adorama had the DA for about $80 less.

01-31-2010, 10:19 PM   #5
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Also as far as TC's go..my dumb butt sold my Tammy 1.4x about a year ago. DOH!
01-31-2010, 10:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dws1117 Quote
Also as far as TC's go..my dumb butt sold my Tammy 1.4x about a year ago. DOH!
So did I (self-kick)

Size is something to consider - both are probably about equally good with regards to IQ.

I think the DA 300 is around the same size as the Nikon 300 f/4 pre-AFS, and here's how that compares to the 100-300:



01-31-2010, 10:44 PM   #7
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Big size difference.
02-01-2010, 03:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
So did I (self-kick)

Size is something to consider - both are probably about equally good with regards to IQ.

I think the DA 300 is around the same size as the Nikon 300 f/4 pre-AFS, and here's how that compares to the 100-300:

The comparison seems a bit unfair to me, because of the huge lens hood of the Sigma. The Nikon could do with a longer and more effective hood. A shot with both lenses without the hood (which after all do not add much to the weight) would be more telling, I think and the difference would still be there, but less pronounced.

Ben

02-01-2010, 03:40 AM   #9
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I own both and optically they are both fabulous lenses and sharp enough wide open to be very satisfying, although I think the DA*300 has a slight edge on sharpness.

I bought the 100-300 f4 first and used it for most things, but noticed that when I was chasing birds I was not using 100-299mm of the zoom, so I was carrying around a bunch of weight and size for no real value. I like the reduced weight and size of the DA*300 and it now lives on my K20D with the Kenko 1.5x TC.

The 100-300 is really great for sports and depending on where you are standing can cover my son's soccer pitch with or without a TC.

The Sigma TC will not work with the DA*300 because it does not have SDM/HSM contacts (the old Power Zoom contacts I am told). I also found the Sigma 1.4x TC to be not very robust when fitted to the 100-300 f4. It is susceptible to pin drop outs and I also had one fail structurally. So, after 2 failures, I have now replaced it with a Kenko 1.5x TC (P-AF 1.5X TELEPLUS MC)which is available from photo4less and has so far appeared to be much more reliable. I also have the Sigma 2x TC but have never really managed to get good results with it - always too soft, but maybe I just haven't found the conditions in which it works well.

The TCs that I know to be compatible with the DA*300 are the Kenko Pz 1.5x TELEPLUS SHQ or the Tamron 1.4X Pz-AF MC4. I don't think these can be bought new. I bought mine second hand. These also work with other SDM lenses such as the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 II HSM.
02-01-2010, 05:22 AM   #10
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Here are two photos of the 100-300 f4 and the DA*300 f4 side by side on my K10D and K20D.

Whether you buy one or the other depends on both what you are going to use it for and what other lenses are in your bag. I am happy that I have both, but the versatility of the zoom would probably suggest to buy that one first. I would still buy both.
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02-01-2010, 06:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dws1117 Quote
. Currently Adorama had the DA for about $80 less.
Was that $80 or $800? I thought the Sigma had really jumped in price.
02-02-2010, 04:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Was that $80 or $800? I thought the Sigma had really jumped in price.
what, since when!?! the Sigma 100-300/4 is currently $1,199 at B&H

Sigma | 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF HSM Autofocus Lens | 134109 | B&H

The Pentax is on special at $1,120.

personally I'd go for the zoom for the flexibility it gives. It is an excellent lens.
02-02-2010, 11:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by flash1100 Quote
what, since when!?! the Sigma 100-300/4 is currently $1,199 at B&H

Sigma | 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF HSM Autofocus Lens | 134109 | B&H

The Pentax is on special at $1,120.

personally I'd go for the zoom for the flexibility it gives. It is an excellent lens.
Wow I must've read that wrong then!!! Well if the prices are similar that IS a tough decision!
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