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11-19-2011, 04:35 AM   #16
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I've been quite happy with my APO version of that Sigma. I wouldn't hesitate a bit to go with the Pentax (from what I've seen), but if it's not in your budget, there is nothing wrong at all with the APO Sigma. No other lens I've used can beat it for CA and PF control. Not even my $700 each DA* 16-50 or Tamron 70-200 (and they are by no means bad), nor the Pentax 55-300(not all that bad either, from what I've seen).

11-19-2011, 06:03 AM   #17
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The tamron and the sigma 70-300 are both decent lenses however the pentax gives better sharpness at the longer end. However it will be hard to find at sub 200. I own the sigma apo version and anything below 150 is really sharp but past that the sharpness drops butstill decent. The tamron seems to hold the long end better then the sigma but macro wise the sigma seems better. It is as if sigma optimzed for macro while tamron for just long end. As for pf and ca the sigma wins out over the tamron atleast apo version.

If you cant afford the pentax the altermatives are still very good options.
11-19-2011, 09:45 AM   #18
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There are reviews of all the lenses in question in the Lens Review section of this site - see the menu at the top of this page. Plenty of sample images hee. Also, about a hundred previous threads on the same (cheap telephoto zoom lenses) to peruse.

Really, though, the differences between any of these lenses is miniscule in the grand scheme of things. As you'll see when you check out the reviews and look at the samples posted thee and in the many previous threads, they can all take perfectly fine pictures. The diffeences show up only when you start doing extreme pixel peeping, not in ordinary prints or display on screen.
11-19-2011, 06:07 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The diffeences show up only when you start doing extreme pixel peeping, not in ordinary prints or display on screen.
The only thing I will disagree with in that regard is the horrible PF on the Tamron.

11-20-2011, 01:54 AM   #20
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Here are the mtf chart for the Tamron 70-300 and the Pentax Da 55-300 at the 300mm end (Tamron top, Pentax bottom). Where do you see the big difference in the DA 55-300's purported sharpness?
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11-20-2011, 02:16 PM   #21
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I will agree that the Tamron Di 70-300 is not all together terrible in it's price point. It may even be sharper at 300mm than my Sigma 28-300 is at 300mm.
Tamron - 1:2 macro? Nice. Telephoto range? Average. Image sharpness? Respectable. Price? What, like $180?
Pentax - 1:4 macro? Average. Telephoto range? Nice. Image sharpness? Respectable. Price? Close to $220?
I have used both the Di 70-300 and the DA L 55-300. I have not witnessed the purple fringing in the Pentax images as apparent as it can be sometimes in the Tamron images.
I don't care much for pixel peeping or very close scrutiny otherwise. The original poster suggested that this would be a Christmas present so perhaps he is spending someone else's money.
In one of the thread creator's posts, there was a link to a Marketplace listing for the Di 70-300. If that was sold in good condition for $95, I would say the buyer will be happy. I certainly would have earlier in my development of preferences.

Last edited by Nowhere Matt; 11-20-2011 at 02:26 PM.
11-20-2011, 11:29 PM   #22
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I have used the Sigma 70-300 for 4 years with decent results. It does a great job for the price. I have shot a lot of sports with it, mostly rowing as I followed my daughters crew team around while she was in college. The macro mode is excellent. I did one night baseball game, a Red Sox/Blue Jays game at Fenway and got some decent shots although a faster lens would have been better. I had to crop a lot as my seat was in the right field bleachers. Fenway is not a large ballpark and 300mm required 100% crops. Still, for the under $200 price, the lens is a steal.
11-21-2011, 02:41 AM   #23
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For your reference, here are some pictures from the Sigma that I have taken. Mind you some have been sharpened way too much now that I reexamime them.

* Full resolution not resized so warning on bandwidth *

http://dwo.net23.net/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=3&image_id=41
http://dwo.net23.net/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=3&image_id=43
http://dwo.net23.net/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=3&image_id=42
http://dwo.net23.net/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=3&image_id=46
http://dwo.net23.net/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=3&image_id=20
http://dwo.net23.net/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=3&image_id=15
http://dwo.net23.net/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=3&image_id=11

Exif data should be intact still if you want to know the focal length and aperture values.

11-21-2011, 09:10 AM   #24
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Sigma APO DG 70-300

One of the first lens I purchased for my K100d was a Sigma 70-300 APO-DG version. I mounted it to my camera and rarely took it off. It did not play as well with my Kx for some reason, and just felt better on the K100d. After 5k+ photos I dropped it on its nose and messed up the auto focus. Not worth fixing, I immediately ordered a replacement. This photo was hand held at 300mm, approx 60' from the base of the tree. The eagle was probably 80'. high. Not bad for a $230 lens. I probably could have gotten a used version on ebay for less, but I didn't want to wait.
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11-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #25
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Nic shot wsteffey.

To the OP: My DA 55-300mm has slightly better resolution at 300mm than my Tamron 70-300mm Di. More important for me is the better colour and contrast of the 55-300. Also, I value the 55-70mm range more than I value the Tamron's 1:2 macro feature. If I want macro, I pop the Raynox 150 on the Pentax. PF is lower with the Pentax, but fringing honestly didn't bother me much when I was using the Tamron. I took a lot of nice pictures with it. It's a great lens for someone who doesn't want, or can't buy, a DA 55-300.

I would recommend the DA over the DA L. You can get a hood for the DA L for not much money, (and you need one), but quick shift focus is not retrofittable and is a really great feature for birds and wildlife. The camera almost always focusses on a branch instead of the bird, and QS allows you to correct. Lack of of QS was something that always bugged me with the Tamron.

Last edited by audiobomber; 11-21-2011 at 12:04 PM.
11-22-2011, 05:06 PM   #26
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Wow, thank you to everyone who posted! All of this was a HUGE help. I was able to find THIS LENS on Newegg for a good price. Photography is a hobby for me. I don't intend to sell my services. I am just am avid Cardinals fan and love captuing/sharing my memories. With what everyone has said, I am confident I made a good choice!! Thanks again. I never expected this kind of a response!
11-22-2011, 05:25 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hollywood Quote
Wow, thank you to everyone who posted! All of this was a HUGE help. I was able to find THIS LENS on Newegg for a good price. Photography is a hobby for me. I don't intend to sell my services. I am just am avid Cardinals fan and love captuing/sharing my memories. With what everyone has said, I am confident I made a good choice!! Thanks again. I never expected this kind of a response!
Just wanted to mention this to you that the lens you have listed is not the APO version. Which may or may not make a difference there was a post awhile back comparing the two versions and here was little difference. Personally the APO version theoretically should have better image quality in terms color distortion. You should be able to find a copy of the APO for althe same price range I know in Canada brand new the sigma is going for 199.
11-22-2011, 05:55 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hollywood Quote
Wow, thank you to everyone who posted! All of this was a HUGE help. I was able to find THIS LENS on Newegg for a good price. Photography is a hobby for me. I don't intend to sell my services. I am just am avid Cardinals fan and love captuing/sharing my memories. With what everyone has said, I am confident I made a good choice!! Thanks again. I never expected this kind of a response!
Exact same one I have, and I haven't found CA/fringing to be too terrible in most conditions, but of course it does happen in some. I'm still very satisfied with it, considering the price vs. my budget. Hope your experience is similar.
11-26-2011, 11:44 AM   #29
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If you don't mind manual everything, might look for older film lenses on EBay.

I found a Pentax Sears 60-300mm zoom multicoated for $30 on EBay.
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