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09-09-2018, 02:46 PM   #1
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Pentax Lens assistance - seeking a lens around 400mm

I'm new to the site and just wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of a lens that has recently broken.

I had a Tokina 80-400 mm Pentax K mount lens and cannot find one anywhere as these are no longer made.

A replacement lens is going to be the 150-450 mm Pentax lens which is in the region of 2,000 GBP!

Many thanks for your help!

09-09-2018, 02:53 PM - 1 Like   #2
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An affordable option could be the DA55-300mm. It is not 400mm but it is very cheap and very well regarded.

I had another take: I bought a FA*300mm f4.5. And I use sometimes a TC for longer reach (600mm with TC 2x). I chose the FA*300mm over the DA*300 f4, for its lighter weight: it is easier to use handheld and it is a really nice lens IMHO.

My 5 cents on two alternatives to the 150-450mm lens.
09-09-2018, 02:55 PM   #3
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what camera body?

new or used?

manual or autofocus?
09-09-2018, 02:56 PM   #4
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I was also going to suggest the Pentax 55-300 PLM. From the reviews of the Tokina lens, you may get results from the PLM shooting at 300mm and cropping.

09-09-2018, 02:58 PM   #5
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Your options really depend on your needs and budget for this. My solution at the long end is a variety of single-focus lenses and tele-converters, such as hcc has suggested above.

However, a friend with similar kit to mine also has the Sigma 150-500, which appears for sale occasionally here but more regularly on eBay secondhand, but which I believe may still be obtainable new, either way at considerably less cost than the Pentax 150-450.
09-09-2018, 03:04 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forums

Assuming that we're talking about a Pentax camera body with AF, I too would recommend the HD DA 55-300, or the PLM version if the body is compatible.

The difference between 300 and 400mm really isn't that much, and the quality of results from these modern tele zoom lenses combined with modern high resolution sensors is such that a little cropping of the final image can more than make up for the slight difference in magnification.

If your budget stretches to considerably more than this, then a DA*60-250 and HD DA 1.4x rear converter will give you 350mm at the long end, although the lens exhibits focus breathing at shorter distances - so your intended application becomes quite important. However, it'll give very good results wide open (f/5.6 with the rear converter attached), and incredible results stopped down just a tiny bit. It's not an inexpensive option, but it makes for a very versatile kit, giving you 60mm to 350mm depending on your use of the zoom and rear converter...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 09-09-2018 at 03:13 PM.
09-09-2018, 03:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
However, a friend with similar kit to mine also has the Sigma 150-500, which appears for sale occasionally here but more regularly on eBay secondhand, but which I believe may still be obtainable new, either way at considerably less cost than the Pentax 150-450.
The 150-500 has been discontinued for several years. Sigma is only selling it in SA mount...
09-09-2018, 09:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The 150-500 has been discontinued for several years. Sigma is only selling it in SA mount...
Thanks. We can show our appreciation for their lack of support then, by buying secondhand, or looking elsewhere at the other options not that they would care.

09-10-2018, 12:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Di Scollon Quote
seeking a lens around 400mm
Welcome to the forum, if you can live with manual focus... there's older prime glass out there that will meet your needs.
09-26-2018, 02:24 AM   #10
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G'day mate and welcome to the forum
09-26-2018, 01:43 PM   #11
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If you can get along with manual focus, check out the SMC Pentax A 400mm f/5.6. I have one that I bought new in the late eighties. Still delivering great images after all the years!
09-27-2018, 06:02 AM   #12
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The 55-300 is good, but eventually I decided to get a DA300 when Pentax was offering their rebates last year. This lens is everything I'd hoped.
09-27-2018, 04:13 PM   #13
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Welcome to PF.

I assume that your Tokina was the AF version and you are looking for an AF replacement.

There are not a lot of xx-400mm AF zooms available in K-mount as cheaper alternatives to the DFA 150-450. There's this Sigma: Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database But it weighs 1.75kg, and if you are going to carry that sort of weight you might as well get the Sigma 150-500 or 50-500 ("Bigma") for the extra reach.

I used to have a Sigma 170-500 (Sigma 170-500mm F5-6.3 APO Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database). It weighed about 1.4kg. While it was fun to use its resolution at the long end wasn't great. The DG version gets higher user ratings.

A 300mm f4/f4.5 prime (with or without teleconverter) or a 400mm f5.6 prime is a lighter option. I've got the FA*300 f4.5 (SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database) and the (hard to find) Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro (Sigma 400mm F5.6 APO (AF) Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database). The FA*300 weighs just under 1kg and the Sigma about 1.3kg. The IQ from the Sigma is very good, and the FA*300 is outstanding. The FA*300 does well with a 1.4x TC for an effective 420mm f6.3. I tend to use that combination more often than the Sigma 400m f5.6 these days, because it is lighter and even though it's 1/3 stop slower the IQ is a little better.

Sample images here:
Pentax FA*300mm f4.5 samples - Des(Australia) - Flickr
Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro samples - Des(Australia) - Flickr

There is also the FA*400 f5.6 but it's rare and expensive.

Personally I'd say that one of the 300 f4 or f4.5 primes (Pentax or Sigma) with a teleconverter gives the best mix of portability, weight and affordability. The DA*300 f4 with the Pentax DA 1.4x TC is the gold standard (and WR), but the (hard to find) Sigma 300mm f4 tele macro or the F*/FA*300 f4.5 is an excellent more affordable alternative which will work with a wider range of teleconverters.

As others have said, one of the DA 55-300 zooms would be a lighter weight and cheaper alternative. The AF on the PLM version is sensational, and it's very compact. The resolution on these lenses can't match that of a 300mm prime, and the zoom is a stop slower, but in good light with subjects that are not too far away they can do very well, and of course they also bring great versatility.

Last edited by Des; 09-27-2018 at 07:02 PM.
09-27-2018, 05:40 PM   #14
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The DA*300 and 1.4 TC is your best bet. With a TC the extra half stop of the ƒ4 is definitely worth it.
09-28-2018, 02:01 PM   #15
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for your responses. I haven't been on here for a while.

I already have a 300 mm lens so don't want to duplicate on that size.

My actual camera (I forgot to say!) is a Pentax K3 Mk II.

I don't want a manual focus lens and I also don't understand all the technical language a photographer uses. I am a "pick things up as I go along" type of photographer and learn one or two new things to do every so often until I master those and so on. I do however have a brilliant brother in law who does know this technical language who teaches me these things.

He has also looked at the teleconverter options for me and it seems the 150-450 is the more reasonable option for me.

Many thanks everyone again for your input - it is much appreciated.
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