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12-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #1
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The reach of the DA* 60-250

Having noticed that the DA* 60-250 was not really getting me 25% more reach than the DA* 200 in my initial comparison shots, I did a little test to compare reach. As an internal-focus zoom the 60-250 will be effectively shorter than 250 at less than infinity focus, but I wanted to find out how much. Somewhere around 6m (20'), the 60-250 fully zoomed has the same magnification as the 200. Closer than that, the 200 has higher magnification. Farther than that, the 60-250 wins out. I wasn't expecting this strong an effect, although I could have figured it out by looking at the published maximum magnification figures -- the 60-250 has a (slightly) smaller max mag despite having a (slightly) shorter MFD.

The 60-250 is undoubtedly an excellent lens. I really enjoyed using it both on the Q and on the K-5 during my recent trip. But for birding its best use is going to be in the range where the 200 gives more or less equal reach. Once I get the tripod foot for the K->Q adapter I will have a hard time justifying the 60-250. The zoom is handy but on this trip at least, I found myself nearly always using the lens fully zoomed in when on the Q. On a DSLR it is a fantastic landscape lens for wide-open mountain terrain, which I had on this trip, but don't have much of close to home.

12-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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Thanks for your thoughts on the 60-250 fitted to the Q - I haven't tried mine yet.

The 60-250 is my most used lens on my K-5, but one does have to consider the magnification at closer distances due to being IF.

While the DA*200 would undoubtedly do better on the Q, I could never part with my 60-250 for APS-C. And because of the magnification factor, I am glad to have my FA* 300 to get the true 300mm all the time. Plus so far in my testing the FA*300 4.5 has been great on the Q.
12-20-2012, 12:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
While the DA*200 would undoubtedly do better on the Q
I'm quite sure the 60-250 has better-controlled longitudinal CA and PF, so that is another factor to consider.
12-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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so why did you guys got the q..i know it's smaller but the k5 is awesome...what i didn't realize was the zoom capability based on the smaller sensor and the pentax lens?? does it really give you that much more distance (i think i saw 5.5x??)..it is intriguing but it is also manuaL focus with the da lens, right?
amy

12-20-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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The Q only does AF with Q-mount lenses, so all adapted lenses will be MF. Personally I got the Q after seeing so many outstanding bird and macro shots taken with it and adapted lenses. I have since discovered how much fun it is on its own, with native Q-mount lenses.

5.5 is the "crop factor" as compared to full frame, but given that most of us are already using Pentax DSLRs with APS-C sensors, 3.6 or 3.7 is a more relevant crop factor. I think the real-world advantage is closer to 2x, considering that you can't enlarge a Q image file nearly as much as, say, a K-5 file and still have a pleasingly sharp and noise-free image. But that is still a huge advantage, and a very attractive alternative to the big, heavy, expensive rigs required to get similar reach and speed with APS-C.
12-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
so why did you guys got the q..i know it's smaller but the k5 is awesome...what i didn't realize was the zoom capability based on the smaller sensor and the pentax lens?? does it really give you that much more distance (i think i saw 5.5x??)..it is intriguing but it is also manuaL focus with the da lens, right?
amy
I hesitated for a long time before buying one myself Amy. I have no need for a pocket style or street shooting camera. But the fact of the crop factor with the adapted lenses finally swayed me. In fact, I sold the kit lens that came with mine and am just going to use it with the adapter with my FA*300 4.5 lens. And, I really hesitate with any manual focus lenses anymore as I have a hard time with them - getting older and wearing eye glasses is part of the reason I guess. Also because of the high end result magnification, for me it is mandatory to have it mounted on a tripod. But, I do 90% of my shooting on a tripod anyway.

The manual focusing really surprised me. You can set the camera to change the view on the LCD screen to 2x or 4x when focusing. Plus it has focus peaking, but I've found that I do better without that feature. Take a look at the "reach of the Q" thread in this section - really quite impressive results!

Also what helped sway me was the price - you can get the Q kit for $247 shipped right now. And as others have said many times - you have to hold this camera in your hands to appreciate it. Hard to put into words, but the magnesium body and build quality are excellent. Plus, the menu system is quite familiar to that of the K series cameras.

I have a lot of wildlife that I just can't get close to around here so this will be a lot of fun to experiment with this coming summer down by the river.
12-20-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Thanks for your thoughts on the 60-250 fitted to the Q - I haven't tried mine yet.

The 60-250 is my most used lens on my K-5, but one does have to consider the magnification at closer distances due to being IF.

While the DA*200 would undoubtedly do better on the Q, I could never part with my 60-250 for APS-C. And because of the magnification factor, I am glad to have my FA* 300 to get the true 300mm all the time. Plus so far in my testing the FA*300 4.5 has been great on the Q.
am planning to get either the 60-250 or DA300,but cannot decide.Have no chance to test or even see these so must depend on info here.would the 60-250 with 1.4 TC at 250 have the same IQ as the DA300 w/1.4TC ? like the option of more FL choices with the zoom,but don't want to lose IQ.Will use these on my new K5II when it arrives soon,and also on a Q .Price is about the same here, so any help would be great
12-21-2012, 06:25 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shanti Quote
am planning to get either the 60-250 or DA300,but cannot decide.Have no chance to test or even see these so must depend on info here.would the 60-250 with 1.4 TC at 250 have the same IQ as the DA300 w/1.4TC ? like the option of more FL choices with the zoom,but don't want to lose IQ.Will use these on my new K5II when it arrives soon,and also on a Q .Price is about the same here, so any help would be great
I've never used a TC on my DA*60-250 or FA*300 - just received one yesterday to try out (Tamron 1.4x).

As for a question like that, you probably will get a lot more information/answers in the lens forum as I know a lot of folks here have used a TC on both lenses.

Pentax SLR Lens Discussion - PentaxForums.com

12-21-2012, 06:54 AM   #9
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The DA* 300 has exceptional IQ, and TCs as a rule degrade IQ at least a little. Maybe less in the center than at the edges, though, and on the Q it's all about the center. But the 60-250 is f/4, a 1.4x TC makes that f/5.6, so that you are already getting into diffraction softening. OTOH, Larry (crewl1) has found best results from the DA* 300 at 5.6, so diffraction isn't always the most important factor. As always with lens choices, there's no free lunch, so pick your priority. If you need the zoom, whether on the Q or the K-5, get the zoom. If you're after maximum reach and IQ, get the 300.
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