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03-16-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Pics with a couple underrated / obscure lenses

My lens collection for the K-01 has grown rapidly and contains two cheap lenses that receive little mention. I myself only bought these to justify (by bundling more lenses) the steep shipping cost for a different lens. Ridiculous reason I know but worked out really well. The lenses (both AF K-mount) are:

Sigma 75-300 F4.5-5.6 MACRO
Sigma 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 MACRO

I took a handful of test snaps immediately after receiving them (many weeks ago) but didn't pay much heed to them after that. Instead I used the K-01 mostly with kit lenses (40mm xs, 18-55 DA II). Yesterday, I went for a "nature walk" and found myself almost exclusively shooting with these two cheapo sigmas. The 28-80 at Macro setting, and the 75-300 for tele. Both lenses produced excellent pictures. Color and sharpness were both excellent. AF on both lenses works fine even if a tad slow. My preferred mode of shooting yesterday was to use "AUTO" camera setting except focussing for some macro shots.

A couple pics (and these are typical) are appended. At an artistic level, they aren't special. However, crop and/or look at them closely and the PQ becomes apparent. I don't believe any of the other Pentax lenses that I currently have (two DA kit lenses, and two Takumar primes) can replicate these (simply on spec basis). Pictures are uncropped.

75-300mm at 300mm
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28-80mm at 80mm MACRO setting.
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Last edited by harioharima; 03-16-2013 at 11:56 AM.
03-16-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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I also have the Sigma 75-300 macro. There was a thread a while back called something like "Lenses you love to hate or hate to love" or something like that. This was my entry in that thread.

To me, this lens just has a certain look to it that I really like with some photos. I can actually see that yours has the same look in your picture with it. It's my go to lens for taking pictures of my daughter when she's outside playing. But there is no way I'd use it when I need critical sharpness.

I also have the F100-300 and to me it's the better lens of the two. Since I don't use telephoto lenses that often I'd thought about selling the Sigma but it just has that special quirkiness that keeps it here and being used. It IS the lens I hate to love, but love it I do.
03-16-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Original Poster
The sharpness of the lens actually surprised me. The white crane pic to me is pretty sharp for 300mm or perhaps I am easily impressed. I do agree if the subject is moving the AF+shutter isn't swift enough to generate crisp pics. But this is so much easier to shoot than my previous long lenses (Tamron 500mm F8 mirror, 70-210mm Vivitar Series 1 -- both of which are full manual but have a cult following) and produces at least comparable results.

Will keep my eye out for the 100-300 as well. Is there a sleeper 500mm lens out there?
03-17-2013, 12:59 AM   #4
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Are there different versions of these (in particular the 70-300)? I have all 3 but they are quantaray brand (if we are talking about the same lenses). Mine are older film lenses and I have been plenty happy with them. The 28-80mm on mine is actually a 28-90mm. I remember quite a while back reading about someone who had the sigma 28-80mm and the quantaray 28-90mm and they were the same lens but one was slightly modified to go to 90mm. My 70-300mm is labeled 4-5.6 ldo macro. I am certain these are both sigmas. I was never quite as certain with the 100-300m but it looks identical to the picture in the data base down to every marking with one exception. The rubber ring on the zoom has q's stamped in it (for quantaray). It is labeled 4.5-6.7 ldo (non macro). Trying them really quick on the k-01 just now, the 100-300m does seem just a bit sharper/better contrast. They all do seem to be decent lenses.

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