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11-25-2012, 03:57 PM   #1
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Decisions, decisions...

I'm not new to Pentax, having gotten my first K1000 29 years ago, but I am new to the world of DSLRs. I recently picked up a "Used - Like New" K110D for $200 with a 18-55 zoomie, and now I'm looking for a telephoto lens. Due to budget constraints, I am limited to the following:

A. Pentax 21870 DA 50-200mm F/4-5.6 AL Weather Resistant Lens ($179)

B. Pentax DA L 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens (used, $130)

C. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens ($144)

D. Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens ($199)

Was curious to see how the more experienced folks here would rank these (1-4, in order of preference).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

11-25-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
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I'd say go for either 70-300mm over the shorter Pentax lenses, just because you'll get more reach and because the Pentax 50-200mm lenses aren't exceptional.

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11-25-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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You might give this one a look, it's very well thought of and rather inexpensive too.
SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8 Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
11-25-2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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I would personally vote E: save a little more and wait for a good deal on a second hand DA 55-300, which is optically superior to all of the above, has a better range and is simply a better value lens.

11-25-2012, 05:22 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I would personally vote E: save a little more and wait for a good deal on a second hand DA 55-300, which is optically superior to all of the above, has a better range and is simply a better value lens.
+1 You should be able to get a used DAL version for not much over $200 - 225 if you shop carefully. Second choice would be the F 70-210 which is often available for under $100.
11-25-2012, 05:28 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rlg118 Quote
I'm not new to Pentax, having gotten my first K1000 29 years ago, but I am new to the world of DSLRs. I recently picked up a "Used - Like New" K110D for $200 with a 18-55 zoomie, and now I'm looking for a telephoto lens. Due to budget constraints, I am limited to the following:

A. Pentax 21870 DA 50-200mm F/4-5.6 AL Weather Resistant Lens ($179)

B. Pentax DA L 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens (used, $130)

C. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens ($144)

D. Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens ($199)

Was curious to see how the more experienced folks here would rank these (1-4, in order of preference).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
A) Your camera isn't weather-sealed so it doesn't need the WR version of the 50-200.
B) The price seems a bit high for the L version. Look at this listing, the DA version. That has the hood, the quick shift, distance scales and metal mount missing from the L.
C) and D) The other posters correctly suggest that the Pentax DA 55-300mm (also in L version) is better than either of these. That's $275-300 tops, less for the L version. The Pentax will be better at 300mm, which is the whole point of a zoom that goes to 300mm. It's a lens you could use for many years without outgrowing it.

Since you have 6Mp, cropping a 200mm image to resemble a 300mm shot is not the best solution. I've used older versions of the Sigma and Tamron and they're not so terrible. The 50-200 is a better idea if 300mm is just a cool idea, not something you really need. Either Sigma or Tamron should be an OK stopgap if you need 300mm right now. Remember you'll need to be pretty steady to handhold a 300mm lens, and you don't have SR on the K110D.
11-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #7
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I appreciate any and all advice... "I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." I probably should have mentioned that this is a "Christmas list" item, which is why I was trying to keep the prices down. The purchaser might not have a clue about any of this, or where to find good bargains.

I only hope that it's not too long before I can sort out all of the letter codes - DA, DAL, DG, ED, LD, etc... it's all like alphabet soup right now.
11-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #8
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I love my DAL 55-300. Other than this month when I've been doing a single challenge with my DA 10-17, it's usually the lens you would always find on my K-r.

11-25-2012, 08:20 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rlg118 Quote
I only hope that it's not too long before I can sort out all of the letter codes - DA, DAL, DG, ED, LD, etc... it's all like alphabet soup right now.
Here you go: Pentax Lens Terminology
11-25-2012, 11:57 PM   #10
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Cool! That will shed some light on it.
11-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
You might give this one a look, it's very well thought of and rather inexpensive too.
SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8 Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Seconding this Just bought this lens for the 2nd time cause it's such a smart lens for so little money! Only $75 at KEH. Nicer bokeh than the DA L 50-300, too
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