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07-21-2007, 04:43 PM   #1
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A silk purse out of a sows ear

Hi,
I've been at this hobby for a little over 8 months now and have learned a lot but need some more help. Up to this point I've stayed with Pentax prime lenses because it seemed this was a safe way of making sure any lack of quality in my pictures was not an equipment problem, but one of my lack of ability.

If you take a bad image with a K10D and a 43mm LTD lens you can only blame it on the operator. Now I want a zoom telephoto but can't find one that is equal to the primes I've been using. Today I went to my local camera store and snapped off a couple of quick photos with a Sigma 70-300 APO lens. When I got home and looked at them on the computer they did not have the contrast or the sharpness of my primes. I then played around with them a little by adding some contrast and sharpening. By the time I got done they looked very good, maybe as good as I could have gotten with a prime. The Bokeh wasn't as good but everything else seemed to be close to my primes.

Since I know so little my first inclination is that I'm just missing something but to tell you the truth I'm starting to think that if you are willing to do enough post processing you can get some equal to prime photos out of a $200 telephoto. I'm hoping some of you will take the time to tell me why I'm wrong so I can start seeing what I'm missing.

Thanks,
Ken

07-21-2007, 05:27 PM   #2
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Most times, you get what you pay for! First, what focal length zooms do you want to have? I shoot primarily landscapes, so use wide zooms when I use them. BUT, and this is a big but, I have succeeded in obtaining not only the Three Amigos, but the Pancake Stack (which phrase I coined) of Pentax Limiteds and to those I've added the 100mm/f2.8 Macro and a couple of older primes up to 200mm, which covers everything I want to shoot with a K10D. I ALSO have the 16-45mm/f4 and the 12-24/f4 zooms, which are sharp, superb and really do finish the whole range I need/want.
If your shooting needs fall toward the wide end, you should seriously consider saving the money and getting the new DA* zooms that are available in the next few weeks and then adding the 60-250/f2.8 when it becomes available to cover the long end.
With these and your primes, what more would you really need unless you shoot wildlife and birds? Just my 2 cents!
MacDaddy
07-21-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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With these and your primes, what more would you really need unless you shoot wildlife and birds? Just my 2 cents!
MacDaddy[/QUOTE]

That is the problem. I'm going out to Baxter State park a lot because there are so many moose there. Some of the time they will be far enough out in the pond that I need 300mm but they also move toward you with a great deal of speed and before you can do anything other than zoom out you need to be at 60 to 100mm. that makes a 70-300 ideal. The other day I had a manual 300mm lens on and a cow moved so close my last shot was of a blurred set of ears.

I agree the new 60-250 would most likely do the trick but who knows when that will be available and I'm not sure if I want to drop $1,000 to $1,200 on one lens.

Ken

Last edited by regken; 07-21-2007 at 06:17 PM.
07-21-2007, 07:40 PM   #4
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I've heard many good things about the Sigma 135-400 and the "Bigma" (Sigma 50-500). I'm using a Tamron 70-300 while I wait. It's not the best lens but it's OK.

07-22-2007, 05:19 AM   #5
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Hi Ken
Do you need to go all the way out to 300? If not I'd suggest the Pentax DA 50-200. It's a pretty good lens, I'm thinking a bit better than the sigma 70-300, leastwise that's what ppl say who have both. I have the 50-200 and it's not a stellar lens, but it's "good enough" thru the whole range and very good below 100mm (least wise my copy is). Many others have had even better experiences with it.

NaCl(better yet it's light and small...good for Baxter park schlepping)H2O
07-22-2007, 05:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Hi Ken
Do you need to go all the way out to 300? If not I'd suggest the Pentax DA 50-200. It's a pretty good lens, I'm thinking a bit better than the sigma 70-300, leastwise that's what ppl say who have both. I have the 50-200 and it's not a stellar lens, but it's "good enough" thru the whole range and very good below 100mm (least wise my copy is). Many others have had even better experiences with it.

NaCl(better yet it's light and small...good for Baxter park schlepping)H2O
Hi,

I'm afraid 300 is a must. As a matter of fact 400 would be preferred. I might have to look at the Sigma 135-400.

Regards,

ken
07-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #7
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Hi Ken,
Definately check out the 135-400, used within its capability its a good lens and the SR on the K10 should extend that capability.
Now I am going to try & post a link to my album for some samples....have not tried a link before....so here goes nuthin'
Grant
Image of Sigma 135-400 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
07-23-2007, 06:05 PM   #8
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Grant,
Thanks for the link! The images are great. Don't know which way I'm going to go yet. Both the 135-400 and the 70-300 have strong advantages.

Thanks,

Ken

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