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02-16-2011, 08:42 AM   #1
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Is this a good second lens for my K-x?

I'm looking for a second lens for my K-x, and I found this one available locally for $125:

Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 DL super macro lense

"This lense is in perfect shape, I bought it with the intension of using it on my Nikon, but it turned out that the mount was not compatible. It has the popular Pentax PK mount, which has been used by Pentax and many other big name manufacturers since 1975. It is a very large lense, with an option of macro mode, which allows for longer focal length, meaning you can focus on objects much nearer. It is the perfect lense for those who want more zoom, or want to try macro photography. I have the box, manual, and optional lense hood. The attatched photos are of this lense, and were just taken today (February 8, 2011). I would like $125 o.b.o. Please email or call me if you have any questions."

Is it a good option for my second lens, and is it a good price? I was thinking of offering him $75. I'm not sure if he purchased it new or used, but it looks good in the photos.


Last edited by Brenda Lee; 02-16-2011 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Possible spam
02-16-2011, 09:37 AM   #2
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It is perfectly acceptable to be a second lens. It gives you good range up till 200mm. Anything above that the photos get really soft. However at the lower end it's pretty good. My second lens was the revised version of this lens the APO version which they improved a lot from the reviews I have read. As for the price 125$ seems pretty high for it. My 2nd hand APO version was 180$ that was 1.5 years ago.

In your decision making you should consider if the focal length is something that you will need. The 300mm end isn't that great on the lens but the macro feature is 1:2 magnification and that is okay. I found it took better pictures in macro mode compared to the tamron version. However, when not in Macro mode the Tamron did do better. I'm not sure why though.
02-16-2011, 09:49 AM   #3
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Assuming that your first lens is your kit lens, this length can be good for a lot of things. It's a bit on the slow side but you have to expect that for an inexpensive zoom. Here is a link to reviews on Amazon.com on this.

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax and Samsung SLR Cameras

My second lens on my K10 4 years ago was a Tamron 70-300 (no macro) of about the same caliber (well perhaps not quite as good). I used it for awhile but moved on to better stuff, ultimately getting the Pentax DA 55-300. In retrospect, I should have just bought the DA 55-300. As I suspect price is an issue here. I'd have to say that any second lens is kind of the next step in ownership. It will of course lead to LBA (lens buying addiction) but it will give you options in your photography. So go for it. At either of those prices, you aren't going to go wrong and Sigma makes good lenses too.
02-16-2011, 09:50 AM   #4
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It is a budget zoom, so just expect budget results, in general. I had the APO version and the Pentax 50-200 and 55-300. The last one is significantly the best of that group.

02-16-2011, 10:36 AM   #5
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My old lens, bought with my * ist... what? maybe 6 7 years ago? Anyway, no APO no DL no nothing on the barrel except Sigma 70-300 1:4-5.6.

Heres a shot taken at a fair distance, I'd say at least 150 feet, hand held, 800 ISO so it's noisey, but still, not a bad shot.



What sold me on this lens in the first place was the macro. I took these butterflies from 7 feet away, that got me pretty much maximum magnification and didn't spook him/her at all.





Now that we are starting to sell pictures it's days are past, but for documentary use, a great little lens, one of the best features being the little bit of space it takes in your camera bag.

Last edited by normhead; 02-16-2011 at 10:43 AM.
02-16-2011, 10:57 AM   #6
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$125 for the non-APO version seem a bit high. You might also want to look at the Tamron 70-300 Xr Di-II. I have that lens and am happy with it. Besides purple fringing I think that lens renders some very sharp, clean and colorful photos.
02-16-2011, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thanks, Guys. All in all, I think I'd be better off saving my pennies and buying the Pentax DA 55-300. I love macro, but, more importantly, I want a good zoom to play with.
02-16-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brenda Lee Quote
Thanks, Guys. All in all, I think I'd be better off saving my pennies and buying the Pentax DA 55-300. I love macro, but, more importantly, I want a good zoom to play with.
The DA 55-300 is capable of macro as well, with the addition of a Raynox 150 (around $50). Check out the Raynox Club in the Lens Clubs forum.

Lens Clubs - PentaxForums.com

02-16-2011, 11:32 AM   #9
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I had to add one more photo. This taken a few days ago, this time on my tripod, off my back porch. As you can see, this lack of sharpness thing can be a bit relative. I'm sure there are sharper, but, how sharp does one really need?



QuoteQuote:
$125 for the non-APO version seem a bit high. You might also want to look at the Tamron 70-300 Xr Di-II
Why, do you have a handle on a copy of that lens for less? I'm sure the guy will settle for $100.
02-16-2011, 11:41 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I had to add one more photo. This taken a few days ago, this time on my tripod, off my back porch. As you can see, this lack of sharpness thing can be a bit relative. I'm sure there are sharper, but, how sharp does one really need?
You just swayed me a little!
02-16-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
You just swayed me a little!
ha ha
If you can get a better lens, do, if it's a choice between this and nothing.. it's not as bad as you might think. The position I was in, I was only taking pictures for web use and my own personal blogs and logs. It's a fine lens for that. If you're thinking of blowing your pictures up to 11x14 or bigger, maybe not so good. I'd hate to be the one who talked you out of getting the best lens you can afford.

But also remember I bought it for a 6mp camera, and that lens sold a lot of those cameras. My wife has a new K-x , I have a k20D and we're plunking down $1,800 on a DA 60-250, so as much as I love this lens, I should be the last one to tell you you'll never want better.
02-16-2011, 11:57 AM   #12
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Here are some samples of the APO version of the Sigma lens. Yes the 55-300 with the Raynox can do macro but not always convenient.

First one of the trees is at 70mm
Second one of the squirrel is at 300mm. White balance is really wrong on that one.
Third one of the spider is in macro mode at 300mm I believe.

Exif data should be intact.

As you can see at 300mm is gets really soft. Mind you all this is handheld so shakey shakey at 300mm is very pronounced.
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