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07-04-2013, 11:23 AM   #1
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Next Lens Advice

Hey all,

Been using my new K-30 for a while now using the standard 18-55mm kit lens and have found myself yearning for a longer reach so I am looking to get a standard telephoto lens. Based on some quick research and experimentation with an old (was bought with an original Pentax KX in the 70's I believe) full manual Sigma 50-200mm , I reckon that something with an upper focal length of between 200mm and 300mm would be ideal in terms of reach. Unfortunately this lens was not an option to use as the focal length adjustments are jerky at best and the lens is in a state.

In terms of the types of photography I partake in it is very much varied at the moment as I enjoy trying a little bit of everything so would be looking for a good all-rounder. I do attend various air shows though and enjoy hiking so a lens that is very capable at taking landscapes and quick-shots of fly-pasts is pretty much a must for me. Ideally, it is also not an overly bulky/heavy lens to make it easier to take hiking though this is not critical.

I have been looking at a variety of lenses from several manufacturer's and would appreciate any input or other suggestions. My budget is ideally no more than 200 though would be willing to stretch this to 300 if I absolutely had to. The lenses I have been looking at so far (with best price I can find in brackets):

Sigma 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 APO Macro DG Lens (160, non-APO at 110)
Tamron Af 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens (130)

These are outside the 200 budget but would be willing to stretch if they are worth it:

Pentax smc DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED WR Lens (210)
Pentax smc DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 ED Lens (270)

Any advice/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

07-04-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
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You could get the DA L 50-200 for quite a bit less than the WR. Same optics, no weather seal, no quick shift, plastic mount. Goes for ~$100 stateside, so probably 70-100

The DA L 55-300 is likewise the same lens as the 55-300 with a plastic mount and no quick shift, goes for ~$225, so maybe just inside your budget.

If you can stretch to the DA55-300, It's the best of this list, and the quick shift really is nice for when the autofocus picks a tree branch or something stupid. Otherwise I'd probably opt for the DA L 50-200 and save up for something better if you really use the long end a lot.
07-04-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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I think there are a couple of threads on these lenses already, so feel free to search for them for detailed comparisons and reviews. I don't have them personally, though, so I cant help you much. Other than that I have read many times on these forums that the Pentax 55-300mm is probably best bang for buck that goes up to 300mm.
07-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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Every thread like this ends up in a praise for the DA and DAL 55-300 and it's almost always the winner. I guess that says something.

07-04-2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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you can get this lense for less than 100 american dollars.

SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8 Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

it has good reviews and some of the images look preety good (there are many on the link)
Mine should arrive tomorrow (it cost me 118 shipped from japan with filter and hood)
Just an alternative.
good luck
07-05-2013, 09:44 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice everyone. Did some more reading around and have decided to look at getting the DA 55-300 if I can find one new at sub-250.
07-06-2013, 06:21 AM   #7
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You can also consider the DA L 55-300 too
07-06-2013, 06:27 AM   #8
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I did consider the DA-L model but as I use the quick-shift feature fairly regularly I am not too sure that i would want to be losing it.

07-07-2013, 07:20 AM   #9
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Quick question kind of related to the original question.

I saw a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 in excellent condition (looked almost pristine to me) at an absolute steal of 30 at a local shop and was extremely tempted by it. I had a look at reviews and it certainly seems like a good lens but I was wanting to double check as to whether it works well on a K-30 and if it is worth 30 (about US$45)? Thought it might be a good lens to start with for a prime.
07-07-2013, 07:51 AM   #10
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It's a good lens so you wont be disappointed!
07-07-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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Thanks. Would I require any adapters or is it a straight up K-mount?
07-07-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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No adapter needed, you just need to work it either fully manual or with the green button. I have the M 50/1.4 and it's really nice and some ranks the 50/1.7 even a bit higher. Build quality beats most new lenses on the market so It's a joy to use.
07-07-2013, 09:33 AM   #13
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Thanks again. Will definitely pick it up then next chance I get.
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