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11-23-2022, 08:03 AM   #1
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Tamron 70-200 vs. Pentax 80-200 vs. Sigma 70-200

All,

I have the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 A001, with the matching TC. I have been thinking about something slightly better for sports and longer portrait photography for my K-1 (other than switching to a K-1ii, also in the possible works). The SMC FA Star 80-200 F/2.8 seems to be going for about $400-$500 used. The same is true of the Sigma.

In the user reviews, the Sigma has the best AF, which might be good for sports. I've looked at the review of the three lenses together - for anyone in "real life," did you notice benefits of the Sigma over the others? Or, if you've only used the Pentax or Sigma, what was your experience like?

11-24-2022, 07:19 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I have used the Pentax FA* 80-200 on both the K-1 and K-1ii for horse shows ( with and without teleconverters (tamron 1.4 and 2X)). It was sharp and fast focusing. Because it focuses during auto zoom on the K-1 series, focus is impressive. I personally like the somewhat swirly bokeh of the Pentax better than the Tamron which I used briefly. Can’t comment on the Sigma. My Pentax 150-450 is superb and has displaced other long lenses for sports and wildlife.
11-24-2022, 08:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Syntax Quote
I have used the Pentax FA* 80-200 on both the K-1 and K-1ii for horse shows ( with and without teleconverters (tamron 1.4 and 2X)). It was sharp and fast focusing. Because it focuses during auto zoom on the K-1 series, focus is impressive. I personally like the somewhat swirly bokeh of the Pentax better than the Tamron which I used briefly. Can’t comment on the Sigma. My Pentax 150-450 is superb and has displaced other long lenses for sports and wildlife.
I have the 150-450mm, which I love. However, for basketball and portraits, it's a bit long. Thank you!
12-21-2022, 07:52 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
I have the 150-450mm, which I love. However, for basketball and portraits, it's a bit long. Thank you!
Just stumbled on this thread so I'm probably late to offer advice.

I also have both the Tamron and Sigma 70-200's, as well as both the 1.4 and 2x matched Sigma TC's. The image quality between the two is so close that I'd say you would not normally be able to tell which is which from a photo render. I prefer the handling of the Tamron, it's a bit lighter I think, and the finish is definitely nicer than the matte Sigma. But I have matched TC's for the Sigma which is why I keep it around. I had the 1.4 Tamron TC too but sold it since my Pentax HD TC works as well or better with it. If you already have one or the other 70-200 I don't think it would benefit you to sell it for it's cousin.

But I also have the Pentax DFA 70-200 which performs better than either of the third party lenses, and is by far my preferred lens for "people" stuff. It's what goes with me for outdoor model/portrait shoots. It's faster to focus and with more certainty, and better overall image quality for sure. So why keep the other two at all, right?

Well, that Pentax is a heavy beast, and if the use isn't critical, or it's a long event, I'd much sooner carry either the Tamron or Sigma. I did the Pentax for 6 hours (7??) essentially non-stop as a paid photog for a regional music fest and my arm loudly complained for the following two days. For that one, and what they did with the photos afterwards (90%+ social sharing), either third party lens would have been fine. I overthought it.

12-21-2022, 09:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Just stumbled on this thread so I'm probably late to offer advice.

I also have both the Tamron and Sigma 70-200's, as well as both the 1.4 and 2x matched Sigma TC's. The image quality between the two is so close that I'd say you would not normally be able to tell which is which from a photo render. I prefer the handling of the Tamron, it's a bit lighter I think, and the finish is definitely nicer than the matte Sigma. But I have matched TC's for the Sigma which is why I keep it around. I had the 1.4 Tamron TC too but sold it since my Pentax HD TC works as well or better with it. If you already have one or the other 70-200 I don't think it would benefit you to sell it for it's cousin.

But I also have the Pentax DFA 70-200 which performs better than either of the third party lenses, and is by far my preferred lens for "people" stuff. It's what goes with me for outdoor model/portrait shoots. It's faster to focus and with more certainty, and better overall image quality for sure. So why keep the other two at all, right?

Well, that Pentax is a heavy beast, and if the use isn't critical, or it's a long event, I'd much sooner carry either the Tamron or Sigma. I did the Pentax for 6 hours (7??) essentially non-stop as a paid photog for a regional music fest and my arm loudly complained for the following two days. For that one, and what they did with the photos afterwards (90%+ social sharing), either third party lens would have been fine. I overthought it.
Not late - this is exactly the type of advice I needed. I have two matching TCs for the Tamron (got an extra one as a random item in a bulk auction), and from what you said, I would be better focused on getting an upgraded body for focus speed (apparently, the K-1ii is a slightly better AF body) than lens.

Thank you!
01-05-2023, 11:58 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I think the reviews are possibly missing something. As I recall, that FA* 80-200mm f/2.8 lens is equipped with the power zoom feature. I have other lenses also equipped with power zoom, which I used to employ with my old PZ-1p 35mm film body. Currently, I sometimes use the FA 70-200mm PZ lens on my K-5 IIs, with great effect for AF. When zooming the lens using power zoom, this simultaneously actives AF, so when you get the framing you want you can be ready to instantly pull the trigger, since AF has already been achieved! This makes for blazingly-fast AF performance! A bit noisy and uses more battery power, but works like a charm for action shots.

I also have the K-1 II. I bought it with the very fine DFA 28-105mm DC WR lens, which is quite wonderful. But I have been thinking about trying my old FA 28-105mm with power zoom on the K-1 II, especially when I'll be dealing with moving subjects. The FA 70-200mm or the FA 100-300mm PZ lenses would partner up with it as well. I will first just take it out for a spin to see how well it functions with the K-1 II, just haven't yet got around to doing so. It should be every bit as good as on my K-5 IIs.

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-06-2023 at 12:07 AM.
02-09-2023, 06:43 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I acquired a Pentax FA* 80-200 mm f/2.8 a few years ago in totally pristine condition. This has been one of my best performing optics. I used it for a journey through the Gaspé Peninsula and another trip through the American Southwest with a K1. It gave me very sharp and colorful images.


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Last edited by RICHARD L.; 02-09-2023 at 06:48 AM.
02-17-2023, 01:36 PM   #8
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I've used the K-1 & both Tamron 70-200 & FA* 70-200 for sports. I leant my Pentax 70-200 to a friend that has the Sigma 70-200. He couldn't really tell any difference. Both the Tamron & Pentax are fast enough & sharp (maybe a slight speed advantage to the Pentax with it's internal focusing motor vs. the Tam utilizing the in body motor), but the issue I've ran into is buffering. The K-1 has a small buffer & is slow to write to the cards. So mine will lock up for several seconds when the buffer is full, even trying to be conservative on burst shooting. I thought that was addressed with the K-1ii but doesn't seem to be.
02-20-2023, 03:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdd29 Quote
I've used the K-1 & both Tamron 70-200 & FA* 70-200 for sports. I leant my Pentax 70-200 to a friend that has the Sigma 70-200. He couldn't really tell any difference. Both the Tamron & Pentax are fast enough & sharp (maybe a slight speed advantage to the Pentax with it's internal focusing motor vs. the Tam utilizing the in body motor), but the issue I've ran into is buffering. The K-1 has a small buffer & is slow to write to the cards. So mine will lock up for several seconds when the buffer is full, even trying to be conservative on burst shooting. I thought that was addressed with the K-1ii but doesn't seem to be.
I think you're right. I don't know how many shots I've missed with buffering, but it has been more than a few. I sit next to a guy with a 1Dx and he bursts at 14fps, and does not seem to have too many buffering issues.
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