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06-09-2010, 04:54 PM   #1
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College student budget 100-300mm lens?

I'm a poor college student, and I would love a higher zoom than what I currently have (18-55). I've found somethings on eBay, but I'm not 100% sure of their quality. Does anyone have any help? Tips and tricks that I missed when reading the forum? Thanks a bunch for any help.

06-09-2010, 05:45 PM   #2
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When I was in college, If I found $1 in the laundry, I considered myself rich. How poor of a college student are you? On a budget (not to break the bank) I don't think you can go wrong with the Tamron LD Di 70-300..

Show Tamron - a set on Flickr

Pentax Lens Review Database - Lens Listings

06-09-2010, 06:16 PM   #3
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You can always go for the manual focus lenses.
There are Vivitar 70-300mm lens that are surely less than $100.
They are "A" lenses too that let you have control of the aperture opening via the DSLRs dials if in "Av" mode much like the manual focus Pentax-A lenses.
Once you go AF you are talking about over $100 for sure.
You might even get these MF lenses for less than $60 total including shipping.
06-09-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Best bet is probably the FA 100-300 f4,7 (NOT f4,5). I got mine for 90$ IIRC and it's definitely worth it. Very low CA, very sharp, good not amazing, but good) colours, compact and light. It's an excellent lens in the right hands. Better for sharpness and CA than the Tamron and Sigma 70-300s.

06-09-2010, 06:46 PM   #5
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Well, not that poor.
I'm back at my summer job now, so I've got some cash to spend before I really have to save for next semester.
I found a few and got a PM about one that I'm looking into.
06-09-2010, 07:17 PM   #6
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The FA-J 75-300 sells for about that at KEH. It is an under-rated lens and (having owned both) I prefer it to the Tamron mentioned earlier. Here a a couple of samples taken with the FA-J:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/93500-nature-just-watching-people.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/93499-nature-macaw-zoo.html


The Tamron is sharper at the long end but mine was terrible about purple fringing. The killer was the zoo pics that made the zebra look black and lavender striped. :-) He was in the sun, and at an angle so his stripes looked narrow, and the PF covered the entire stripe.
06-09-2010, 08:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Best bet is probably the FA 100-300 f4,7 (NOT f4,5). I got mine for 90$ IIRC and it's definitely worth it. Very low CA, very sharp, good not amazing, but good) colours, compact and light. It's an excellent lens in the right hands. Better for sharpness and CA than the Tamron and Sigma 70-300s.
I'll vote for the FA100-300 too. I overpaid at US$120 but I'm not sorry, it's vastly underrated and quite good, about equal to my best 200mm primes. Read the user reviews and you'll see that it doesn't get a 9.6 rating mostly because it looks cheesy on a black camera. As if that matters...

For something rather different and totally manual, look for a legendary Vivitar Series 1 70-200 zoom (versions 1 or 3 preferred). My Version 1 f/3.5 cost under US$33 a couple years ago. Here are the reviews which mostly ding it for being manual. So, use Catch-In-Focus and it's almost as easy as AF.

Last edited by RioRico; 06-09-2010 at 08:42 PM.
06-09-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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If you search this forum and the lens forum for discussion of cheap telephoto lenses,you'll see the two that come up over and over and voer are the Sigma and Tamron 70-300's. Unlike some of the others being mentioned here, these are both readily available new.

06-09-2010, 10:26 PM   #9
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Another good word for the FA100-300 4.7 (link to the review in my sig line). At this rate we're going to drive up the price on this lens, you guys Well, considering it gives the image quality of a lens 3x its price, can't complain

300mm f/8
06-10-2010, 01:11 AM   #10
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I just made a really good deal the other day. I traded my DA L 18-55mm for a SMC Pentax A 50mm f/2... Not only that i've had it on my K-X since, but it has also changed my look on photos. the DOF, sharpness, and clarity is amazing.

I still have my 50-200mm DA L, so I guess i had a WIN to OWNAGE situation there.. lol
06-10-2010, 04:40 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
Another good word for the FA100-300 4.7 (link to the review in my sig line). At this rate we're going to drive up the price on this lens, you guys
considering that us commenters already own it, we might as well create a "legendary" status for it and drive the prices up :P Seriously, every comment about that lens does mention that it sells for around 100$. It wouldn't be a good purchase if it was much more expensive (then again, maybe it would. It just wouldn't be a good deal anymore).
06-10-2010, 04:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by flipdan2 Quote
I just made a really good deal the other day. I traded my DA L 18-55mm for a SMC Pentax A 50mm f/2... Not only that i've had it on my K-X since, but it has also changed my look on photos. the DOF, sharpness, and clarity is amazing.

I still have my 50-200mm DA L, so I guess i had a WIN to OWNAGE situation there.. lol
There was something seriously wrong with that DA-L if you are getting visibly better images from a 50/2. There is no difference between the two lenses in DOF at 50mm at any given lens opening.

Paul
06-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
There was something seriously wrong with that DA-L if you are getting visibly better images from a 50/2. There is no difference between the two lenses in DOF at 50mm at any given lens opening.

Paul
How can there be no difference at 50mm, as the A 50 f/2 is 3 stops faster? There will be greater background blurring with the A lens wide open, all else being equal.
06-10-2010, 11:12 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
There was something seriously wrong with that DA-L if you are getting visibly better images from a 50/2. There is no difference between the two lenses in DOF at 50mm at any given lens opening.

Paul
Idk, but i like sharper images, and that DA-L was just not working for me...
06-11-2010, 08:21 AM   #15
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At f/4 or f/5.6, the 50/2 would outperform the 18-55. At f/8 and above, it wouldn't. Of cours,e the 50/2 has the option of shooting 2/8 or f/2 that the 18-55 doesn't. But the 1855 has the option of shooting the whole 18-50mm range that the 50/2 doesn't. Trading either lens for the other is a big mistake - you want *both*. The 18-55 for the shots that require a wider angle than 50mm provides, and the 50mm for the shots that require a larger aperture or more sharpenss at the specific aperture where it does indeed outperform the 18-55.
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