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07-22-2007, 03:00 PM   #1
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Seeking advice: ideas on a zoom sought

I'm still loving my K10d, and with a trip to Europe about a month or so away, I'm thinking of adding a zoom lens to the bag for the trip.

I'm seeking input on what to consider in the up to 300mm range. (70 - 300, etc.).

Ideally, I'd like to keep the price around or under $300 - but the usual concern about overall image quality needs to be mentioned. I know this lens will inherently be a compromise, but really, shouldn't I still be able to have decent outdoor shots?

So, my local shop mentioned a Sigma zoomer (topped at 300mm) and it had a Macro setting (nice feature I'd use). Can't recall the model, though.

So, let's hear your thoughts on a decent zoomer for my trip please.

Open to non-Pentax branded lenses, too.

So, the deets again:
  • K10d
  • up to about 300mm
  • $300-ish dollars (US/Can.)
  • Not brand snobish.

Thanks gang.

Duane

07-22-2007, 04:08 PM   #2
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Well be sure to bring a bl....dy great umbrella with you if you're visiting the U.K., because it's fairly pi.....ng down over here at the moment ! An inflatable dinghy might well come in handy too due to the widespread flooding, because 'cat's & dog's' is a massive understatement......and you can definitely leave the suncream at home !!!!! Incidentally, if you get as far north as Scotland, try to avoid sneaking up on the fearsome HAGGIS.....I took aim at one last night with my Pentax........and shot him right in the left buttock....or was it left in the right (photographically speaking !) LOL.
I've recently bought a K10D fitted with Tamron's 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DiII LD zoom lens and I am truly smitten ! Admittedly a walkaround lens isn't going to be quite as sharp as a number of equivalent dedicated primes, but do you REALLY want to be carting loads of heavy stuff around on vacation and forever swapping over lenses every 5 minutes ? The Tamron 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 cost me 299.00 sterling, but I'm afraid I have no idea what it might cost in Canada at present ? I think it retails for around US $449.00 in the States from Adorama the last time I looked, but it's probably too new find a secondhand example yet !

Last edited by Confused; 07-22-2007 at 05:28 PM.
07-22-2007, 04:26 PM   #3
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Well, I went fishing yesterday and my journey took me over Moon Pass in Idaho which connects Wallace,Id to Avery,Id. I love this trip but my oh my is Moon Pass dusty right now. In fact they banned camp fires this weekend because of the fire danger which is off the charts.
Anyway I took these pics with my Sigma 70-300mm APO DG macro lens which I hope will give you some idea of what to expect from this lens.
@70mm:


@300mm:


@75mm:


@300mm:


@93mm: In fact, this pic is of some old trees left over from the Great Fire of 1910 that burned Wallace, Id. This was a terrible fire that killed many and we hope to never see again.
07-22-2007, 04:49 PM   #4
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Your local shop was probably refering to the Sigma 70-300mm APO. Although not the best lens in the world it's incredible for the price range.

I have it's older brother the 75-300 APO, and it's ideal for most of my wildlife photography.
I stopped using it for a short while after I bought my 135-400, but it's back on my camera again and spent most of the last week on there

07-22-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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I have a Sigma 70-300apo-dg and even though I have the longer Tokina ATX 80-400 I still enjoy this lens for it's excellent macro abilities and the clean shots it will allow. I think it can be had new for under 300 dollars american and is well worth the cost. There are several other models that are less expensive but I think they might be best avoided from what I have read. The macro from 200-300 is very handy.
Best of luck and good traveling.
Kenn
07-22-2007, 06:08 PM   #6
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For that price I would say either the

Sigma APO DG 70-300

or the

Tamron 70-300 LD DI

Just make sure if you get the Sigma to get the APO version.
07-22-2007, 06:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Your local shop was probably refering to the Sigma 70-300mm APO. Although not the best lens in the world it's incredible for the price range.

I have it's older brother the 75-300 APO, and it's ideal for most of my wildlife photography.
I stopped using it for a short while after I bought my 135-400, but it's back on my camera again and spent most of the last week on there
Stu:

I'd be interested in knowing why you shelved the 135-400 in favor of the 75-300. Does the 135-400 not have Macro capability? Thanks for your response.

Clem Nichols
07-22-2007, 09:05 PM   #8
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It isn't really designed for macro capability Clem, although I've used it for macro's. It's min focus distance is around 2 meters.
I should point out that I just love the bokeh while using it for macro photography
I don't think that you get much better bokeh than this


I just haven't needed the length the last little while, and I wanted more background than you get at 135mm

This was largely due to the event that I was photographing. It served as a reminder how much I like the 75-300

Don't worry, you'll see more pictures from my 135-400 soon enough

07-23-2007, 04:28 PM   #9
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Excellent - thanks gang. I'll checking with my local shop again to see if that Sigma was the APO version.

If anyone else has ideas, feel free to post up - even if it's just to cast a vote for one already mentioned or to post a sample picture.

...and confused - you have until Sept 6th to get things straightened out there weather-wise! We'd appreciate anything you could do to help out...
07-25-2007, 05:28 AM   #10
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Any thoughts on this one gang?

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 Zoom for Pentax
A lightweight, compact, high-image-quality telephoto zoom lens with macro capability of 1:2 that can also be used with digital cameras-the AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 (Model A17).
$219.95 CDN


One poster mentioned it above. Anyone have any feedback on this one from experience with it?
07-25-2007, 02:09 PM   #11
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Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro

I recently purchased this lens and have found it to be quite satisfactory, considering it is really a budget lens.
Personally I am quite happy with it.
I experienced some purple fringing in a couple of shots (see earlier post) but that is somewhat my failing as well. Also a minor bit of QA.
A couple of example shots here, taken with this lens on my K10d
Best of luck, and enjoy your travels (despite the weather we hear about over in old blighty)
Tower taken :300mm at distance of about 200 mtrs (am not totally pleased with this one!)
Grass taken in Macro at a distance of about 1 mtr

Last edited by Bramela; 10-06-2007 at 04:34 PM.
07-25-2007, 03:29 PM   #12
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Thanks Bramela - just the sort of feedback I was hoping for.

Duane
07-25-2007, 06:52 PM   #13
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I have the Tamron also, and i like it, it does suffer from the dreaded purple fringing if you use it on contrasty subjects, but other than that, it is a STEAL for the price. Here are a few i took with it at the ball game last month, check post #3 in this thread, that's me https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/9597-need-budget-tele-help.html
07-30-2007, 05:06 AM   #14
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Well, I ordered the Sigma on the weekend. Should be here in about 2 weeks the shop tells me. I'm really hoping it's the correct one, as they have a Sigma APO DG 70-300 4.5 - 5.6 in their system.

I pointed out that I thought the one I wanted was the 4.0 - 5.6 and was told "that's what's in our system" (the 4.5)...

Here's hoping they entered it wrong in the first place...

Guy was a bit of a doink, and not the usual gent I deal with, but whatever, we'll see what we see in a couple weeks I guess.
07-30-2007, 06:12 AM   #15
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Hey Doggydude,
don't worry about the weather, it usually clears up for september cause the kids will be back in shcool then! enjoy the lens, and the trip!
oink
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