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02-16-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
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zoom lens face off - tamron vs sigma vs pentax

Well, I was all set to buy the Tamron 70-300mm Macro DI lens today but the private sale i had lined up.... guy sold it on me so now i gotta look at something different.

I can get for a similar price the Sigma 70-300mm Macro equivilent, special order the Tamron, or buy a blow out priced NIB FJ series 70-300mm Pentax no Macro.

I'm mostly interested in the Macro capabilities seeing as how i have no Macro lens at all... just the Hoya macro filters for my M 28 and 50 primes.

Between the Sigma and the Pentax 70-300mm which would be the perfered lens?


Or is there a good entry level macro for sub $200?

02-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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I had the Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro for a little while. It's a decent performer for the price, but I wasn't too impressed with the macro on it. If I remember correctly it was a 4:1 magnification which is more of a close-focus lens than a macro.

If you're into macro, I'd suggest buying an actual macro lens. Consider the Pentax DFA 100mm, Sigma 105mm or maybe a manual focus macro lens if price is an issue. The IQ is leaps and bounds better than the Sigma 70-300mm and you can use it as a short tele as well.

I just unloaded my DFA 100mm and got the Sigma 105mm and I couldn't be happier. Really impressed with it.
02-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #3
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I'd recommend searching this forum and the beginner's forum as this subject has been discussed many times before. Bottom line: few like the FA J, many prefer the Tamron over the Sigma unless you can't get past the urple fringing, but virtually everyone says the DA55-300 is significantly better still.

As for macro, that should be a non-issue, since a $40 Raynox 150 will give any telephoto lens far better macro capability than whatever might be built in.
02-16-2010, 03:03 PM   #4
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Thanks!

I ended up getting the Sigma ordered in, gonna be dirt cheap ($75 CAD) because it's a clearance price on the lens, plus I get addition trade in value coupon for my 35-80mm.... so not too bad. I'm picking it up tomorrow. The Tamron is special order only, and $200 CAD and it needs to be paid in full before I can order it... at least the Sigma I can look through.

I'll also be ordering a Raynox 150 when I go into the shop tomorrow too for my macro needs.

02-16-2010, 08:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Thanks!

I ended up getting the Sigma ordered in, gonna be dirt cheap ($75 CAD) because it's a clearance price on the lens, plus I get addition trade in value coupon for my 35-80mm.... so not too bad. I'm picking it up tomorrow. The Tamron is special order only, and $200 CAD and it needs to be paid in full before I can order it... at least the Sigma I can look through.

I'll also be ordering a Raynox 150 when I go into the shop tomorrow too for my macro needs.
If you get Sigma make sure it's the APO version. It does not have purple fringing issues like the non-APO lens.
02-17-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoso Quote
If you get Sigma make sure it's the APO version. It does not have purple fringing issues like the non-APO lens.

its not the APO.... so maybe I'll see if I like the FAJ lens better and decide between the two...
02-17-2010, 01:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
its not the APO.... so maybe I'll see if I like the FAJ lens better and decide between the two...
Just get the right one fromt he get go, you're gonna buy one of two poor lenses then sell it then buy the 55-300. They go used for about $300.
02-17-2010, 10:25 PM   #8
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I don't know about that... I honestly do mind the FAJ so far... I did get it, and 14 days to return it or exchange it if I end up not liking it.

The Sigma had nasty purple fringing, and they had the APO version too, and it was okay, but I found strange distortion, almost fish eye like, around the center... it could be the copy, but it put me off...

The DA 50-300mm I tried out as well, and compared to the FAJ I found a couple of differences. The FAJ was defiantly softer, and the DA had much better close focus capabilities. But thats now what I'm looking at this lens for. I'm gonna be using for auto-cross most likely.

I did order a DA40 while I was there tho... I think thats a better use of my money.

02-18-2010, 12:36 PM   #9
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FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8

Let's not forget this very much underrated zoom from Pentax. It seems that reviewers agree to the "light" build quality and awkwards looks on the black body. I haven't noticed many (any?) complaints on the IQ from this lens though.

I took this lens (together with my K10 and tripod) to the photo show to compare it first hand with 55-300mm. Was I surprised by the results?! After pixel-peeping into series of locked-up mirror images done with both lenses at various focal lengths and mostly open apertures I've found that my old trusty 100-300 is actually better by a very noticeable margin!
The test was suppose to "justify" my next purchase (of 55-300), but insted it made me hold on to my 100-300. Probably forever.

Recently I ended up buying a 80-320 as a part of the package. I tested it against my zoom using all means possible (ML, tripod, hi res test board). This time the difference was like different class lens. I've got rid of the 80-320 quickly.

Keep in mind that there were three versions of the 100-300mm zooms from Pentax and they are all different optically.
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