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06-07-2020, 12:15 AM   #1
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Advice asked on buying Sigma 70-300 DG APO Macro lens or using my SMC DA-L 55-300

January this year I bought a FF Pentax K-1 with the D FA 28-105. I already have a Pentax APS-C K-S2 for 4 years. I used my SMC DA L 55-300 lens on the K-S2 and also before on my K-X.

But I can buy a Sigma 70 - 300 APO DG Macro lens for about $ 67 . Is it worth the hussle of buying it and is it more LBA than need?

Who has both lenses and is willing to test if the Sigma is that much better in this case for me.

I am aware of the fact that the DA 55-300 is for APS-C and there will be some or more vignetting when I use it on the K-1 in FF mode.

But how is the Sigma regards handling, Sharpness and so on.

The main plusses are FF and the Macro. But do I need it ?

Please give me some thoughts and may be some examples of the difference between them on the K-1

06-07-2020, 03:03 AM   #2
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I had a Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro lens - I bought it new.... and hated it...

the build quality was just sloppy - was OK for photos...

I replaced it with a DA L 55-300 and it's a much better zoom....

if you are looking for sharpness at 300mm, however, you won't find it in a super-zoom - you'll be wanting a solid prime lens at 300mm....
06-07-2020, 03:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by krgroothuis Quote
January this year I bought a FF Pentax K-1 with the D FA 28-105. I already have a Pentax APS-C K-S2 for 4 years. I used my SMC DA L 55-300 lens on the K-S2 and also before on my K-X.

But I can buy a Sigma 70 - 300 APO DG Macro lens for about $ 67 . Is it worth the hussle of buying it and is it more LBA than need?

Who has both lenses and is willing to test if the Sigma is that much better in this case for me.

I am aware of the fact that the DA 55-300 is for APS-C and there will be some or more vignetting when I use it on the K-1 in FF mode.

But how is the Sigma regards handling, Sharpness and so on.

The main plusses are FF and the Macro. But do I need it ?

Please give me some thoughts and may be some examples of the difference between them on the K-1
I never really liked that lens very much. Handling is OK and it does focus closer than the Pentax 55-300, but the contrast in particular is just not great and the colors are sort of muddy. Never felt like my copy was very sharp past 200mm. I'd probably save the money, but certainly it isn't much if you want to try it.
06-07-2020, 03:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by krgroothuis Quote
January this year I bought a FF Pentax K-1 with the D FA 28-105. I already have a Pentax APS-C K-S2 for 4 years. I used my SMC DA L 55-300 lens on the K-S2 and also before on my K-X.

But I can buy a Sigma 70 - 300 APO DG Macro lens for about $ 67 . Is it worth the hussle of buying it and is it more LBA than need?

Who has both lenses and is willing to test if the Sigma is that much better in this case for me.

I am aware of the fact that the DA 55-300 is for APS-C and there will be some or more vignetting when I use it on the K-1 in FF mode.

But how is the Sigma regards handling, Sharpness and so on.

The main plusses are FF and the Macro. But do I need it ?

Please give me some thoughts and may be some examples of the difference between them on the K-1
Hi,

I should not waste any money on that lens. Your current APS-C lens will do the job. I would personally like a sharp contrasty image more with fewer megapixels, than a muddy one with more megapixels. I still shoot nice macro shots with a K-01 or K-3. Figure out what you want to do. If you will do a lot of macro photography you will probably wanting a dedicated macro lens. Your current lens is also light, and may always find a spot in your camera bag.
Go out shooting and enjoy. You will experience if you want a telephoto, and if it has to be quiet. Then you can make a more profound selection, and your investment will pay off.

Kind regards, Ron


Last edited by Zijspoor; 06-07-2020 at 03:54 AM. Reason: typo
06-07-2020, 04:20 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by krgroothuis Quote
January this year I bought a FF Pentax K-1 with the D FA 28-105. I already have a Pentax APS-C K-S2 for 4 years. I used my SMC DA L 55-300 lens on the K-S2 and also before on my K-X.

But I can buy a Sigma 70 - 300 APO DG Macro lens for about $ 67 . Is it worth the hussle of buying it and is it more LBA than need?

Who has both lenses and is willing to test if the Sigma is that much better in this case for me.

I am aware of the fact that the DA 55-300 is for APS-C and there will be some or more vignetting when I use it on the K-1 in FF mode.

But how is the Sigma regards handling, Sharpness and so on.

The main plusses are FF and the Macro. But do I need it ?

Please give me some thoughts and may be some examples of the difference between them on the K-1
I would not waste money on the Sigma. It is a cheap lens and that is apparent in the results. Your 55-300 is much better and has the advantage that you can use, if necessary, the in camera lens corrections. And if your question "But do I need it?" is serious, the answer is no. Otherwise you would have come up with arguments why you want that particular lens. This is how it usually works for me, first I convince myself that I need a lens or a camera, and I keep weighing the arguments and feel o so lucky if the offer expired or has sold out. Because it kicked in that I do not need that lens or camera, because it will not make me taking better pictures. But to be honest, I bought the yellow K-01 because I wanted to buy a yellow K-01. And it turned out to be one of the loveliest camera's I own. So got lucky that time. But my advice is you better spend your $67 on a Pentax lens. (And if you want to spend money on a Sigma look for a 18-250 HSM Macro, that has a lot more macro than the 70-300 and it has better optics.)

Last edited by Unregistered User; 06-07-2020 at 07:51 AM. Reason: A "the" too much!
06-07-2020, 05:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for posting the question as it's caused me to reflect on the one I've had for many years and can agree with most comments. That being said, it had served well, for it's time. Today, it's been relegated to a "B" or a "C" consideration as my collection has moved ahead with superior lenses.
What I liked about it; if on a casual photo walk, then it's got a pretty comprehensive range and that macro switch is a nice "extra"; kind of like a Swiss Army knife of lenses. It isn't of an obtrusive size and this Sigma, and an original Tamron 28-75, are the only two lenses remaining that match the control-vintage of my MZ-S (the Tamron is preferred).
Today, the Pentax 28-105 has become the go-to lens. Finally, and this is very subjective, even for it's time, the 70-300 looked and felt "cheap" although it never has an operating issue.
06-07-2020, 10:30 AM   #7
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I tried 3 different DG 70-300 and sent them all back. Then I tried the pre DG APO and there was a world of difference, I'm really happy with this one.
06-07-2020, 12:22 PM   #8
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Allowing for the above, I have an earlier version. It's not the best lens in this range, but $69 is a very cheap price for it.

06-07-2020, 12:37 PM   #9
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I would pass on any of the Sigmas and Tamrons in that range. You might get a good one, more likely not.
06-07-2020, 01:53 PM - 1 Like   #10
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From an older post.... same basic information.

Buying a Tamron Sigma 70-300 type of lens, you may well throw out a lot of images when you get the same critters with better glass. Mine ended up being a waste beyond establishing that I'd like to use longer glass. But once that was done, I wish I'd bought something better a lot sooner.

K-5 and Sigma 70-300..


K-3 and DA 55-300 PLM


There is absolutely no comparison, based on my copies of these lenses. This image taken a few days ago (May 18). I had my choice of the DA*60-250, DA* 200, Tamron 300 2.8, F 70-210, in good light, the DA 55-300 is right up there with them. I do leave it home on over cast days or in low light situations.

Even with the HD DA 1.4 TC on mine produces acceptable images, as long as you have enough light.


The best thing about the DA 55-300 PLM, when you do decide if you do, you won't be throwing out your images when you get a faster lens. Any image you get will stand up, no matter what else you get. Your problem will come from when you don't have a fast enough aperture to actually get the image in the first place.


I even use it (carefully to avoid vignetting) on my K-1.

it

K-1 and Tamron 300 2.8 with Tamron 2x TC
For when you get serious.



Or Tamron 300 2.8 and 1.7x AF adapter on my K-3




Even though I'm still using the image, the Sigma 70-300 just didn't meet minimum standards.

Last edited by normhead; 06-07-2020 at 02:03 PM.
06-07-2020, 01:55 PM   #11
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Well I think its worth it personally (its pretty low risk at $69).

Maybe I was lucky by I find my Sigma 70-300 APO is surprisingly good on my K-1. Use it quite a bit. I also have a DA 55 - 300 but quite frankly I'm not very happy with it on FF - yes it covers FF over most of the range but sharpness towards the edges is not that great.

The Sigma is still relatively compact (I carry it walking quite a bit) and surprisingly decent IQ. I have had quite a few photos I like with it. Maybe I just got a good copy?

However the downside is build quality. The zoom operation is not smooth - it sticks in places. I don't expect this lens to last forever but it certainly fills a gap in my needs at the moment.
06-07-2020, 01:59 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlwaysAl Quote
Thanks for posting the question as it's caused me to reflect on the one I've had for many years and can agree with most comments. That being said, it had served well, for it's time. Today, it's been relegated to a "B" or a "C" consideration as my collection has moved ahead with superior lenses.
What I liked about it; if on a casual photo walk, then it's got a pretty comprehensive range and that macro switch is a nice "extra"; kind of like a Swiss Army knife of lenses. It isn't of an obtrusive size and this Sigma, and an original Tamron 28-75, are the only two lenses remaining that match the control-vintage of my MZ-S (the Tamron is preferred).
Today, the Pentax 28-105 has become the go-to lens. Finally, and this is very subjective, even for it's time, the 70-300 looked and felt "cheap" although it never has an operating issue.

Thank you for giving this answer.

---------- Post added 06-07-2020 at 11:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
I would not waste money on the Sigma. It is a cheap lens and that is apparent in the results. Your 55-300 is much better and has the advantage that you can use, if necessary, the in camera lens corrections. And if your question "But do I need it?" is serious, the answer is no. Otherwise you would have come up with arguments why you want that particular lens. This is how it usually works for me, first I convince myself that I need a lens or a camera, and I keep weighing the arguments and feel o so lucky if the offer expired or has sold out. Because it kicked in that I do not need that lens or camera, because it will not make me taking better pictures. But to be honest, I bought the yellow K-01 because I wanted to buy a yellow K-01. And it turned out to be one of the loveliest camera's I own. So got lucky that time. But my advice is you better spend your $67 on a Pentax lens. (And if you want to spend money on a Sigma look for a 18-250 HSM Macro, that has a lot more macro than the 70-300 and it has better optics.)
It strikes me that I had the same feeling, hoping that the lens was sold already. I got two raw files from the kindly seller. But it convinced me of staying with the 55-300 lesn. I also saw that I still own A Pentax SMC FA 28 - 70 F4 AL Lens. I tested this one years ago but never used it again. It can be a better option for doing a bit af "Macro". Only 1:4 though.

So I told the seller that I won't buy his lens.

---------- Post added 06-07-2020 at 11:06 PM ----------

thank you all for giving me hints and your thoughts
06-07-2020, 02:06 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Below is a screen capture of the Sigma 70-300 APO and Pentax HD DA 55-300 wide open and for good measure the Sigma 100-300 f/4 at f/5.6 and f/4 all at 300mm.

I also included a screen capture showing the vignetting of the Pentax at 300mm and 100mm wide open.

If you didn't already have the pentax and you like flowers or small things, the sigma's "macro" capability might tilt favor its way.

Based on most of the reviews I have seen of the sigma 70-300, it is better than I thought it would be but depending on your use probably not better than the pentax 55-300 since at the center the pentax is definitely sharper with better contrast plus it is weather resistant.
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06-07-2020, 02:20 PM   #14
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The Sigma is very good from 80 to 180. It can produce some great images. At 300mm, not so much.
06-07-2020, 03:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by krgroothuis Quote
Thank you for giving this answer.

---------- Post added 06-07-2020 at 11:04 PM ----------



It strikes me that I had the same feeling, hoping that the lens was sold already. I got two raw files from the kindly seller. But it convinced me of staying with the 55-300 lesn. I also saw that I still own A Pentax SMC FA 28 - 70 F4 AL Lens. I tested this one years ago but never used it again. It can be a better option for doing a bit af "Macro". Only 1:4 though.

So I told the seller that I won't buy his lens.

---------- Post added 06-07-2020 at 11:06 PM ----------

thank you all for giving me hints and your thoughts
The SMC FA 28-70 F4 is a wonderful lens, was sold with the MZ-5 as the "kit" lens. I am glad I still have it.
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