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06-25-2011, 09:27 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Solesy Quote
Hi,
I am wanting to buy a lense of up to 500mm and dont want to spend over $1200 aud who to buy from? I currrently have a new K-5 with a pentax 18-135mm wr lense with it...
As said by others, you have a choice of mirror, 4-element glass and zoom in this price range. Even if including used glass.

So, you may be better off using a DA*300/4 and combine with a 1.4x or 1.7x converter which you can find used. The final sharpness would still be better than any of the options above.

There is one exception: The old Sigma APO 500/4.5 lens. It is an 11 element design and therefore, it is pretty sharp. And even autofocusses with a 1.7x TC. AFAIK, it is the only lens outperforming a DA*300/4's resolution under $2000.

You can see an image I shot with such a combo here: http://falklumo.blogspot.com/2011/04/hypothetical-pentax-dfa-500mm-f56-edif.html (the cover image, when clicked).

However, the manual K-mount Sigma APO 500/4.5 is very rare. It was offered to me by a friend. I never saw it in the wild

Above $2000, you can use some very good 645 FA* tele lenses with adapter.

06-29-2011, 08:53 AM   #17
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Remember you will have a lot of cropping available. The K-5 images are huge. Trying to keep a moving soccer player in field and in focus at 500mm will not be easy. Being able to follow at a lower length and zooming in occasionally will be quite valuable, I think.

I'm getting good results with the 55-300 even at extreme range - aircraft flying high etc. At that point, I think air itself is making the images a bit blurred...
06-29-2011, 10:06 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Solesy Quote
I am wanting it for wildlife pictures and photos of my childs soccor and other sporting activities
I don't think you realize how tight a 500mm lens is on a cropped camera body. I've shot some sports like that, and even the DA* 300/4 is a little tighter than I'd want. It's also much more difficult than you would think to track motion, follow a certain person on a field, and getthe framing you want on a moving subject as your lens gets longer. I think 500mm is definitely way too much. I would get the DA* 60-250/4 if I were you. If give you great reach on the K-5, and also giveyou the option to zoom out, find your subject, then zoom back in, or just shoot at different focal length as people move up and down the field. I highly doubt you will need more reach than that.
06-29-2011, 10:33 AM   #19
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I have a 500mm Mirror lens...I dislike it very much. It's fixed aperture and manual focus of course, and not very sharp.
The positives of mirror lenses (small and cheap) don't nearly make up for their shortcomings, in my opinion.

07-04-2011, 11:58 AM   #20
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I need a heavier tripod, probably a ballhead but I'm not sure yet, but I've been trying to get the hang of the non-mirror 500mm Vivitar lens. My 5 yr-old great-niece wanted to get into the action, too, and didn't really get the hang of focusing - well, she understood the mechanics but not the specifics...

Anyway, she didn't get many worthwhile pictures but I did.



trumpet vine, shot with k5 - TER-OR's Album: Vivitar 500mm shots - PentaxForums.com

Last edited by TER-OR; 07-04-2011 at 12:01 PM. Reason: trying to get pictures to work
07-04-2011, 04:59 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Solesy Quote
wildlife pictures and photos of my childs soccor and other sporting activities
I'd suggest borrowing a lens that zooms across the range 50-300mm, or buying a lens off eBay in that range (eBay has DAL versions of the Pentax 55-300 available for less than $200 and LOTS of cheap Sigmas etc for <$100), then going to a typical soccer game that you might shoot, and taking a lot of shots, and then analyzing what focal length you used most. You may find that most of the shots you took were about 200mm. In which case a 70-200 f2.8 zoom like those from Tamron or Sigma might be great for you, or even the Pentax 60-250 f4 would just fit into your budget too.

For birding you may try out the same test - with a 50-300 zoom lens, shoot some birds and see if 300mm gives you what you want. If not, something like the Sigma 150-500 may be what you want, and it is within your budget, just.

The problem is getting one lens to do both sorts of shooting may not be practical.

For soccer matches a 500mm lens is overkill and the lens will be a big heavy beast to lug around.

For birding 200mm may not be enough, but birding can have very specialized shooting gear requirements depending on your targets and the locations you shoot from. I've shot a LOT of birds over recent years with nothing over 300mm, and while I lust after 400mm + I can get by with 300mm because I can get quite close to most of my subjects.

I think a good compromise would be something like (in order of price) the Pentax 55-300mm or the Pentax 60-250 f4 (Vanbar has the 60-250 for $1269).
07-13-2011, 05:50 AM   #22
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I have a 'Sigma 600mm f8 mirror', with a recently damaged mirror, so it's images are far from perfect, but can be useful despite this with a bit of EF juggling and glare avoidance, its a pleasure to carry and hand hold. I would love to find a mint condition one, as I would really like to replace mine. The 2m 1:3 macro is very handy too.
I really like using this lens, despite its horrible deformities.
However I also purchased a Japanese 'Pentax 1000mm f11 reflex' recently, has a little dust in it, but otherwise excellent condition. Very heavy, but built like a tank, and image quality is vastly superior to the poor old beat up sigma, and very acceptable for most purposes IMO.
Catadioptric lenses tend to polarize people very strongly; they either hate or love them. Personally I think they are an excellent alternative to spending 10 times as much on a non-reflex lens that weighs a lot more, and that you would NEVER be able to use in the situations I use a 'cat'.
I love them. I wish Sigma/Pentax would revive their cat manufacturing departments so I can buy one new, and maybe with all the new electronica like AF etc.

Theres a lot of good examples on flickr.. i think I am in most of the 'cat' groups:
http://flic.kr/betlog
But most of my images go here:
http://oh-hi.info
..and pretty much everything I have shot for weeks is hand-held with the 600mm or the 1000mm (yes really). I have a monopod as of tonight, so in theory my keep:delete ratio should improve. :)
07-13-2011, 03:49 PM   #23
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If you keep your eyes open, you can sometimes get a good deal... I bought a mint Sigma 170-500 for under $400/shipped. Not terribly sharp over 400mm, but focus is good and at only 3lbs it's easy to hand hold. Thanks to the Pentax SR I can routinely get reasonably sharp photos @ 1/200s. I would imagine that with the K-5's superior ISO performance over my K-x even a relatively slow lens like the Sigma 170-500 would be good enough for all but the most demanding situations.

I never use a tripod, since I like to keep the shutter speed up anyway to compensate for subject movement.

1st shot taken on a cloudy evening, dialed in -2/3 EV in order to quickly boost the shutter speed. This is the full frame.

2nd shot taken on a sunny afternoon. This one's been cropped.





07-14-2011, 05:33 AM   #24
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My two cents... 500 will be useless without a tripod or at least a sturdy monopod. Also, when you nail the shot, which I think is very possible at 7 frames per second, cropping is great. What do you intend to do with these photos? If they are mostly for viewing on a screen and maybe the occasional 8 x 10 I think you'll do fine cropping. Also there is a good review on this site on the 70 - 200 f 2.8 options. Check it out!
07-14-2011, 05:55 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmort Quote
My two cents... 500 will be useless without a tripod or at least a sturdy monopod. Also, when you nail the shot, which I think is very possible at 7 frames per second, cropping is great. What do you intend to do with these photos? If they are mostly for viewing on a screen and maybe the occasional 8 x 10 I think you'll do fine cropping. Also there is a good review on this site on the 70 - 200 f 2.8 options. Check it out!
As I stated in my above post, I shoot at 500mm all the time w/o a tripod or monopod, as do many others, so 500mm is clearly not "useless without a tripod or at least a sturdy monopod."

07-14-2011, 10:50 AM   #26
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Depends where you will be shooting. In the open with good light. Or in a thick forest or Under a lot of trees. Both hand held and tripod will work. Just depends where you are.
My opinion only.
07-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #27
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Whether or not you can get decent results hand holding a long lens depends a lot on you. There are big differences in steadiness between individuals, and there are differences in one individual depending on time of day, diet, fatigue, strength, etc. With my M 400 f/5.6, I can sometimes (1 out of 5, I'd say) get a usable photo at 1/200s, but most of the time, I have to step it up to 1/400s.
07-14-2011, 05:48 PM   #28
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Whether you use or don't use a tripod, wildlife phtography success is going depend on how co operative your subject is. Faster shutter speeds will always help and a boost in ISO helps to compensate. I personally find tripods and monopods awkward to use so opt for hand held. The longest focal length I use is 600mm being an old Tamron SP300 f2.8 with a 2x teleconverter with no AF. The Bigma I own is used af as where the focus ring is is too close to the camera body to get the lens reasonably balanced.
07-14-2011, 09:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
Whether or not you can get decent results hand holding a long lens depends a lot on you. There are big differences in steadiness between individuals, and there are differences in one individual depending on time of day, diet, fatigue, strength, etc. With my M 400 f/5.6, I can sometimes (1 out of 5, I'd say) get a usable photo at 1/200s, but most of the time, I have to step it up to 1/400s.
I agree - 1/400s is almost always enough for me to get a sharp photo unless I'm real sloppy of the subject moves. I'm probably about 50% on 1/200s. I try to hold my Sigma 170-500 on the hood, it's much steadier than if I hold it near the camera body.
07-14-2011, 09:28 PM   #30
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Sigma 50-500 or 150-500...just get it, it is a great lens at a very reasonable price. Unless you are going to shoot for Nat Geo.....it will get you the shots you are only dreaming of now.

1/20 Hand Held F6.7 (wide open) @ 500mm For less than $1K what else can you get that will do this with ease....and on the K5, even easier with faster focus and more speed due to the High ISO availability. I'd give up Squirrels before I would give up my Bigma!

[IMG] [/IMG]


Well...I might not give up Otis.
1/200 ISO 800 ( you get speed with theK5) Hand Held @420mm
[IMG] [/IMG]

Best Regards!
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