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09-09-2016, 10:02 AM   #1
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Cheap telephoto lens for Pentax K-S1

Hey guys,
just wanted to ask you if anyone knows a good and good value telephoto lens for the Pentax K-S1.
I found some lenses on Amazon but I don't know if they are good.

I found a Fotga 420-800mm f/8.3-16 lens for the Pentax K50 and i heard that the mount is like the mount for my Pentax K-S1. What do you think is this a good lens costs only about 140$

Hope for some great info.
With friendly greating Stephane aka. Steewphotography.

09-09-2016, 10:32 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I didn't go that far. Tamron's 70-300mm macro lens does a pretty much decent job with some limitations. Got mine in mint condition for 70€ which is roughly half of the price of a new one. Don't use it often as I bought it only because it was cheap and I prefer using something different (Sigma 17-50mm F2.8) but when I do, that's usually for macro on not so friendly insects (wasps and similar) and it works well with my K-S1. Both K-50 and K-S1 have the same K mount, so whatever fits to K-50, will fit to K-S1 as well. Don't expect a really good lens for 140$ as they usually cost more than a new K-S1. Especially now when the prices are dropping as it's out of production. Actually, to get at least a decent lens, look at 300$ and up pricetags if new. The cheapest good lens is the DA 50mm F1.8 but that's nowhere near a telephoto lens
09-09-2016, 11:02 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Took me a bit of time to find a review of this lens. This is about as good as I've found;

Kenko 420-800mm Vari Zoom Lens, Requires a T-Mount KN420800TM

You can't control the aperature, it's "fixed", and varies with the zoom. It requires a T-mount adapter to be used. It apparently has a course focus adjustment and a separate fine focus adjustment. It... doesn't seem very good. Like, at all.

There are options if you go used. Using the bay of e's as a pricing guide, plastic mount DA-L 55-300's seem to be about the same money or maybe 20% more. Older DA 55-300's look to be about $200. Old school 400mm primes from 3rd parties like Sigma and Tokina look to be going for under $100 (I don't know how good those are, you'll need to research a bit, the user reviews here are good as always). I picked up a cheap little DA-L 50-200 WR for noticeably less than $100 using the Marketplace. All of these options seem much nicer than the lens at the start of this thread.
09-09-2016, 11:19 AM - 1 Like   #4
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There are several Pentax DA L 55-300s on evilBay for less than $150. If you need more than 300mm you might be able to find a 1.4x TC for ~$100 to make it a 77-420.

Tamron and Sigma made many different versions of the 70-300, most are usable (but not as good as the 55-300 at the long end). The Quantaray 70-300 was a rebadged Tamron/Sigma.

The Pentax FA 80-320 and FA 100-300 F4.7-5.8 are usually available for less than the 55-300 and almost as good. Probably on par with the Sigma/Tamron purple monsters.

The Cosina/Vivitar/Phoenix/Promaster 100-400 can usually be found for less than $100. I might be listing one in the Marketplace soon


Last edited by boriscleto; 09-09-2016 at 11:25 AM.
09-09-2016, 05:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stein Quote
I didn't go that far. Tamron's 70-300mm macro lens does a pretty much decent job with some limitations. Got mine in mint condition for 70€ which is roughly half of the price of a new one. Don't use it often as I bought it only because it was cheap and I prefer using something different (Sigma 17-50mm F2.8) but when I do, that's usually for macro on not so friendly insects (wasps and similar) and it works well with my K-S1. Both K-50 and K-S1 have the same K mount, so whatever fits to K-50, will fit to K-S1 as well. Don't expect a really good lens for 140$ as they usually cost more than a new K-S1. Especially now when the prices are dropping as it's out of production. Actually, to get at least a decent lens, look at 300$ and up pricetags if new. The cheapest good lens is the DA 50mm F1.8 but that's nowhere near a telephoto lens
Thank you all for the comments.Well I have to invest some time to see what I need. The products you showed me were interesting maybe I going to look for something like that.
Thanks at all and have a great day.
09-09-2016, 09:57 PM   #6
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Just a tip: when you find a lens you're interested in, search for it in the Pentax forum's database/reviews. Lenses that score 8 and more are great to have, those with 7-8 are good but have some strong limitations in some area (sharpness, CA...) and those with less than score 7 are usually better to avoid as you will most likely be disappointed in their performance. I bought a cheap Sigma 28-300mm with a long, fancy title and it was pretty much useless for anything from 100 to 300mm. I really tried and tried but couldn't get a really sharp image beyond 150-180mm. The 70-300mm Tamron is good as long as I keep the lens turned away from direct light to avoid chromatic aberrations (purple fringing) so I use it for shooting insects I don't feel comfortable approaching with my Tamron 90mm F2.8 Macro lens...
I was also looking at (mirror) lenses that are not really expensive and come with 400 and 500mm focal length (sold on ebay with 2X tele converters increasing the focal length to 800 and 1000mm respectively) but after listening to more experienced, gave up as I figure that so many people can't be wrong.

I made a compromise and kept my old Canon SX50 (1200mm equivalent) for telephoto shots. Nikon has P900 with 83x zoom (2000mm eqivalent) but both come with the small 1/2.3" sensor and K-S1 dances circles around both with image quality, even with the basic 18-55mm DAL kit lens. So, if ultimate image quality is something you are aiming for, look for a lens that can provide and match it with your DSLR, if it's not so important as reaching really far, get one of these powerful zoom compacts for telephoto shooting. They do make good images, no doubt, but lack the ultimate quality a good DSLR can give. That's the price of the compromise. That is why I bought my K-3 II even though I was really pleased with K-S1 and it's performance. Of course, kept my K-S1 and it's always in my backpack with the DA 50mm F1.8 attached.

Last edited by stein; 09-09-2016 at 10:26 PM.
09-10-2016, 02:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stein Quote

Just a tip: when you find a lens you're interested in, search for it in the Pentax forum's database/reviews. Lenses that score 8 and more are great to have, those with 7-8 are good but have some strong limitations in some area (sharpness, CA...) and those with less than score 7 are usually better to avoid as you will most likely be disappointed in their performance. I bought a cheap Sigma 28-300mm with a long, fancy title and it was pretty much useless for anything from 100 to 300mm. I really tried and tried but couldn't get a really sharp image beyond 150-180mm. The 70-300mm Tamron is good as long as I keep the lens turned away from direct light to avoid chromatic aberrations (purple fringing) so I use it for shooting insects I don't feel comfortable approaching with my Tamron 90mm F2.8 Macro lens...
I was also looking at (mirror) lenses that are not really expensive and come with 400 and 500mm focal length (sold on ebay with 2X tele converters increasing the focal length to 800 and 1000mm respectively) but after listening to more experienced, gave up as I figure that so many people can't be wrong.

I made a compromise and kept my old Canon SX50 (1200mm equivalent) for telephoto shots. Nikon has P900 with 83x zoom (2000mm eqivalent) but both come with the small 1/2.3" sensor and K-S1 dances circles around both with image quality, even with the basic 18-55mm DAL kit lens. So, if ultimate image quality is something you are aiming for, look for a lens that can provide and match it with your DSLR, if it's not so important as reaching really far, get one of these powerful zoom compacts for telephoto shooting. They do make good images, no doubt, but lack the ultimate quality a good DSLR can give. That's the price of the compromise. That is why I bought my K-3 II even though I was really pleased with K-S1 and it's performance. Of course, kept my K-S1 and it's always in my backpack with the DA 50mm F1.8 attached.
thank you stein for the great help.
09-10-2016, 03:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by STEEWPHOTOGRAPHY Quote
thank you stein for the great help.
Just trying to be of use here as I'm also one of those who are "always on budget" It's really easy to be wise when funding is not an object... In such case, I'd have the D FA 100mm macro lens from Pentax, but I'm really pleased with the Tamron 90mm macro lens because I could afford to have it while the 100mm Pentax macro lens just keeps slipping out of my reach...

09-11-2016, 04:21 AM   #9
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Tamron 70 - 300mm gets my vote, if you get a good one and massage the best out a raw file you can get this @300mm

IMGP6991 on Flickr
09-11-2016, 04:42 AM   #10
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I just saw Sigma 18-250 Macro HSM going for AU$112 on AU e-bay, not sure about Germany but this is a great lens ( I have two) and incredible value for money!
09-11-2016, 05:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
There are several Pentax DA L 55-300s on evilBay for less than $150. If you need more than 300mm you might be able to find a 1.4x TC for ~$100 to make it a 77-420.

...
I am presently selling one of these here. I have been very satisfied with it and am only selling it as I recently got the K70/55-300PLM combo. It has delivered very good quality pics, and I can recommend it as a good and economical consumer-grade telephoto.

For my part, though, I cannot recommend using a 1.4TC (I have the current Pentax-branded version) with the idea of getting a 420mm. I have experimented with this and with this lens I just cannot get more actual detail at all at the top end over simply cropping a 300mm shot. The mileage for others and for other copies of other telephoto lenses may vary, of course.

Last edited by jgnfld; 09-11-2016 at 05:11 AM.
09-11-2016, 06:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The Pentax FA 80-320 and FA 100-300 F4.7-5.8 are usually available for less than the 55-300 and almost as good. Probably on par with the Sigma/Tamron purple monsters.
I've actually found the FA 100-300mm f/4.7-5.8 to be a little better towards the long end than either the SMC 55-300 or HD 55-300. I think the center is a little sharper and the bokeh smoother, giving a little more "pop". Note that's the f/4.7-5.8, not the various f/4.5-5.6 100-300mm zooms, which are generally mediocre. The biggest complaint I've seen about the eff-four-seven is the plasticky build.
09-12-2016, 11:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barso Quote
Tamron 70 - 300mm gets my vote, if you get a good one and massage the best out a raw file you can get this @300mm

IMGP6991 on Flickr
That photo looks amazing. And the lens is also cheap in comparison to other lenses. A special lens I think. Maybe the right for me. I will go to the local electronic market and ask them if they have / get one of these lenses. Thx Barso
09-13-2016, 05:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by STEEWPHOTOGRAPHY Quote
That photo looks amazing. And the lens is also cheap in comparison to other lenses. A special lens I think. Maybe the right for me. I will go to the local electronic market and ask them if they have / get one of these lenses. Thx Barso
Good luck with your choice. I think it's a lottery these days for getting a "Good" copy of a lens, some people are pleased with their purchase while others are left scratching their heads as to why theirs doesn't perform the same. This is my second copy as I returned the first, this from me on another post on here.

On the plus side, the first lens was good for clarity & sharpness on anything up to 10ft away up to 135mm after that everything went downhill fast, 300mm looked like a foggy oil painting, the replacement lens is good throughout except when on f4, the higher lengths of 180mm - 300mm are very usable and surprised me when used on a tripod

The problem I have with this one and the previous one is that it won't AF between *135 - 160, the camera seems to lose touch with it and I have to resort to MF but I cast that aside for the image quality at the long end. This is a good lens on the K-S1 but you to have to be patient when editing to extract the most out of it.

* I tried the lens on a K-5 and the AF was fine, the AF issue must be related to my camera only.

Last edited by Barso; 09-13-2016 at 05:42 AM. Reason: typo(s)
03-22-2017, 02:11 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Have the Tamron 70-300mm now a long while. Your help was worth gold.... The lens is awesome for the price !!!!
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