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12-04-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Inexpensive 70-300mm lens for Pentax K-r recommendations?

I recently purchase a Pentax K-r and now am looking for an inexpensive 70-300 mm lens. My wife and I are taking a wilderness trip and I would like to take photos with my new K-r. any suggestions on zoom lenses? I see a Tamron 75-300mm f4-5.6 LD 1:3.9 macro Pentax K for sale here on the Pentax Forums marketplace. Would that be a good lens to start with?? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


12-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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I have the Sigma 70-300mm APO version and it's a decent lens for the price. Nothing spectacular. Avoid the non-APO version as it's supposed to be optically worse. For most of these lenses you'll get the best result from 70mm to 200mm. They are usually pretty poor after that.

From the list kindly provided I would suggest the DA 55-300mm. It's probably the best of the bunch. The L version is cheaper but has a plastic mount and no hood. Optically it is the same though.

Last edited by Sol Invictus; 12-04-2011 at 08:18 PM.
12-04-2011, 08:26 PM   #4
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I like tamron-70-300mm-f4-5-6-af-di-ld-macro listed above.

It is sharp, focuses fast and has a decent close focus feature.

It can be had cheaper than the pentax 55-300.

It does show purple fringing in high contrast situations but that is easily fixed in post if it ever shows up.

Oh and don't put any filters on it, I think many of the complaints with this lens are due to cheap filters being slapped on it.


Last edited by crewl1; 12-04-2011 at 08:32 PM.
12-04-2011, 11:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I like tamron-70-300mm-f4-5-6-af-di-ld-macro listed above.

It is sharp, focuses fast and has a decent close focus feature.

It can be had cheaper than the pentax 55-300.

It does show purple fringing in high contrast situations but that is easily fixed in post if it ever shows up.

Oh and don't put any filters on it, I think many of the complaints with this lens are due to cheap filters being slapped on it.
I can second this one. I have it and its quite nice. It can suffer severe CA sometimes. But most tele zooms do. Its also cheaper than the pentax as mentioned.
12-04-2011, 11:42 PM   #6
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Here's a sample of the Tammy I referenced at 300mm.


12-05-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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I second that Sigma, and I like mine, but it's definitely no match for the Pentax 55-300. It makes a good starter lens though because it's cheap to acquire.
12-05-2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG Macro is the first lens I got and I still use it regularly. An excellent lens for the price.

12-05-2011, 01:33 PM   #9
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I also have the tamron 70-300. Picked it up for about £130 from jessops so it's very good value. I know it's not got a great reputation but I've really found it pretty good.
12-05-2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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I am also very happy for the Tammy 70-300 - especially for the price and the close-up feature is nice too.
12-07-2011, 12:41 PM   #11
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Have you looked at the lens reviews at photozone.de? They give MTF numbers so you can easily see if the extra $$$ on a lens is for the name or better quality.
12-07-2011, 03:55 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The best bargain option is the DAL version of the Pentax 55-300. I've seen it around on eBay and some online retailers for about US$230 new. It's the same optically as the DA 55-300, but has a plastic lens mount and lacks the quick-shift focus to cut costs.

I've been using a DAL 55-300 nearly every day for over year now and it's a very nice lens:


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12-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #13
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I've had several Sigmas, Tamrons, Tokina (100-300), Promaster, and Quantaray. The Promasters and Quantarays are normally rebadged Sigmas. I think with all of these there is a variance from lens to lens, you may get a good one or bad one. The best of these I had were a Promaster and and a Sigma Super Macro. None are as good as the DA 55-300, but they can still produce good results with good light and a steady hand or tripod, and you might get a real bargain on one.
12-11-2011, 06:48 AM   #14
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I have had good results with the Sigma 70-300. Mine is the non APO. It's best in good light and stopped down and the macro/close up mode is excellent. I have moved on to a couple of long primes but the Sigma is still used for close ups when I'm paddling The macro mode is 200-300mm range and thats just right for canoe and kayak shots.
12-11-2011, 01:09 PM   #15
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Your K-r's Catch-in-focus feature will not work with DAL lenses. (If you like using CIF)
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