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05-10-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Looking for more telezoom.

I currently use a DA 18-135 as my everyday lens and there have been times I would like some more range.

So far I have checked out the DA 55-300 and Simga 70-300.
First off the Simga comes in a few different styles; DG Macro $144, APO DG Macro $199, DG OS $259 (mother day sale).
For the DG OS, being that the camera has stabilization in it, having it the lens would be moot or would it be even better if they're both on?
For the other two, will the APO really produce better images or is it more of a marketing thing?

What are my other options in the under 250 range (new/used) with a decent autofocus?

05-10-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
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I own a DAL 55-300. I am very satisfied with the pictures taken with it. Even now I also own a DA* 50-135, which is a lot sharper, I still consider the 55-300 a very good lens. It is lighter, offers more range and produce good enough photos in most cases. Don't have any experience with the 70-300, so no comparison here.
05-10-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex Zhang Quote
I own a DAL 55-300. I am very satisfied with the pictures taken with it. Even now I also own a DA* 50-135, which is a lot sharper, I still consider the 55-300 a very good lens. It is lighter, offers more range and produce good enough photos in most cases. Don't have any experience with the 70-300, so no comparison here.
+1 for the 55-300. I use mine primarily when traveling, due to its compact size, but it comes close in image quality to my DA* 200.
05-10-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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I've got the DA 55-300 and it's been great. With a little patience you can get a used copy for around $250-275 and the quality is well worth it I think. There is also the DAL for a bit less but it lacks quick-shift, the metal mount, and doesn't include a lens hood.

I haven't heard much about the Sigma.

05-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dshombert Quote
+1 for the 55-300. I use mine primarily when traveling, due to its compact size, but it comes close in image quality to my DA* 200.
Well, I'd say the 55-300mm is a fairly clear choice of these lenses. The only real plus to the Sigma line would be the OS. When turned on, you will see a stabilized image in the viewfinder while shooting - this can be advantageous at longer focal length where your regular shake will be obvious (though not usually terrible). SR overcomes your shake, but only at the sensor level when the photo is actually taken. Optically the 55-300 is most likely the better performer though, however I am sure that sigma has made improvements to the 70-300 over the years (the OS version is less than a few years old). The OS version would also be cheaper than the regular DA 55-300mm, however the DAL version should be able to be found under $200 used (both 55-300s are the same optically, the DAL is a cheaper build and lacks quick shift focus)
05-10-2013, 07:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nervosa Quote
For the DG OS, being that the camera has stabilization in it, having it the lens would be moot or would it be even better if they're both on?
For the other two, will the APO really produce better images or is it more of a marketing thing?

What are my other options in the under 250 range (new/used) with a decent autofocus?
Definitely use one stabilization or the other, not both - rumor has it they will compete to stabilize and mess up the shot. I have never seen this proven , but one hears it often enough that I presume evidence can be revealed. In fact I'd like to see something shot all four ways so I know for sure that it's worse than no stabilization at all ...

The APO Sigma is better at the long end than non-APO versions; again this is second-hand but pretty much unanimous, so I dare to trust it

I agree with the group here that if you want to reach 300mm the DA or DAL 55-300 is the best choice. Focus isn't streaky fast but it sure beat my copy of the Tamron 70-300 that I had long ago. This is real first-hand experience in my case!
05-10-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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DA (or DAL) 55-300 is a good choice

Another (much pricier) option is the DA*60-250
05-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #8
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55-300 or the FA 80-320

05-11-2013, 02:59 AM   #9
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I read that in the 70-300 zoom range Tamron is better than Sigma, but the Pentax 55-300 beats both.

I had the Tamron, and still have the Pentax, and confirm this to be my experience, which is not to say that the Tamron was bad IQ wise (just not as good as the Pentax), but it was a bit of a PF monster!
05-11-2013, 05:24 AM   #10
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My old copy of the sigma APO DG 70-300 is rather poor beyond 250. If I tell you what the macro mode is like I will be censored. I couldn't with any conscience sell the lens so I gave mine away. I upgraded to more expensive lenses several times since then, but people who own the pentax 50-300 keep providing good reports.
05-11-2013, 02:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nervosa Quote
... would it be even better if they're both on? ...
Never.
05-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replys, guess I'll see about hunting down a DA 55-300 unless more people chime in with other recommendations.
05-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #13
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+1 for the 55-300.
FL in 55-200 is sharp. 200-250 is slightly sharp. 250-300 still gets acceptable sharpness.
Can get a good portrait photo in FL of 55-70.
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