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08-04-2014, 05:27 AM   #16
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The Tamron 70-300 is inexpensive and performs well with one exception, there's a lot of "purple fringing" which might not be a big problem on the Kx, and there are post-processing solutions for this.

Another option to the 100-300 mentioned above is a DAL 55-300, good optics and budget friendly, but you'll want to buy an aftermarket hood. Check out the used marketplace here, it's very trustworthy.

08-04-2014, 05:50 AM   #17
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Thanks a lot for your advice!
I've been considering all the options you have presented.
I came across this one : Pentax SMC Da 50 200mm F 4 5 6 Ed Zoom Lens for AF K30 K R ?167 0000270751411 | eBay

What do you think, it goes a little over my budget actually... but if it's worth it I could make the effort.
08-04-2014, 06:04 AM   #18
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If you're not in a huge hurry, set up a watchlist in the Marketplace - I'd add 300 and 300mm and see what pops up. There's a 55-200 in there now for $55 and here's a DAL 55-300 for $200 and one for $165
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/245884-sal...ale-trade.html

The 55-200 isn't bad, but the 55-300 is better.
08-07-2014, 02:22 AM   #19
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I have had some very good results with a Tamron 28-200mm Macro Zoom. I was fortunate to find my excellent copy at a yard sale for $15.00, but I see them on eBay quite frequently well within your budget range. There are several currently on eBay for less than $100.00. This is not to say that some of the other suggestions aren't viable as well, only pointing out my experience with the Tamron. I also have the Pentax 80-200mm mentioned and it is good also. As Kayaker-J said, some of the third party lenses can be had for as little as $15.00. Some of the Vivitar lenses are quite good as are some of the Sears lenses, especially the 60-300mm Macro-focusing zoom lens. If you were to select one of the Macro-focusing zoom lenses, then you would have the advantage of both macro photography AND telephoto shooting. Again, I refer to the Tamron.

Good luck.

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08-07-2014, 02:52 AM   #20
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Among your listed lenses, I think the Pentax DAL 55-300 is the best!
08-07-2014, 08:21 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by edgaus Quote
Thanks a lot for your advice!
I've been considering all the options you have presented.
I came across this one : Pentax SMC Da 50 200mm F 4 5 6 Ed Zoom Lens for AF K30 K R ?167 0000270751411 | eBay

What do you think, it goes a little over my budget actually... but if it's worth it I could make the effort.
Pentax has made four slightly different versions of that lens. They are the same optical parts in different packages. Prices will vary for different versions. There are two DA versions. The original lens had a metal mount, Quick-Shift focusing, distance scales marked on the focus ring and a reversible hood. The hood is nice. Quick-Shift focusing allows the autofocus to work, but you can adjust the focus yourself if the AF didn't focus exactly where you wanted, without disabling AF. The features are not absolutely necessary but all together, they are nice to have. Later on, Pentax made a WR version of this lens with weather resistance and different exterior styling. The WR lens also has a slightly smaller filter size, 49mm instead of the original 52mm. Your camera is not WR so right now, a WR lens is not important. Later on, it might be nice if you get a WR camera.

Pentax made a cheaper version of each lens, the DA-L version. They used a plastic mount and eliminated Quick-Shift, scales and the hood. The WR version has the 49mm filter size. The DA-L WR version is very recent so may be harder to find used. These lenses were mostly sold as a package deal with the camera body.

I have the DA WR version and it works great for me. I mostly wanted the WR in a small light inexpensive package for travel. I can put the lens in a larger pocket and go hiking or walking in a city. I have had some of the other lenses mentioned here and they are all too big for that use. (The Pentax-F 70-210mm is about the same size but twice as heavy.) The lens is slightly better or worse optically than the alternatives mentioned here, but for my purposes, ultimate optical quality is not a big deal. I have other bigger heavy stuff for that.

The DA 55-300 (also has an L version and a WR version) is a little better optically, and only a little bigger. That would be my choice for a lens to go to 300mm.
08-07-2014, 04:55 PM   #22
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Another vote for the DA-L 55-300, if you can possibly stretch to about $150. It's amazing value, compact and light weight. Unlike a lot of telephoto lenses, it produces good sharpness at the long end (300mm), even wide open (f5.8).

For birds and other wildlife 300mm is a signficant advantage over 200mm. If you really can't go beyond $100, hold out for the best 300mm lens that you can get within your budget. (Lots of helpful suggestions above - make sure you read the reviews carefully.) You could get a shorter lens with a teleconverter (e.g. 200mm lens with 1.4x TC, which would be the equivalent of 280mm), but such a lens and TC together for under $100 would not be likely to produce better results than a budget 300mm lens. (TCs, especially cheap ones, generally degrade image quality.)

As for auto or manual focus, I used manual focus lenses for 25 years, but I would much prefer an autofocus lens for moving objects like birds and animals.

Ideally you would buy from the PF marketplace or a reputable dealer, but if you are prepared to take your chances on eBay, try a sniping service like www.ezsniper.com/ You might score something that would not be affordable from a dealer - perhaps even a 55-300!

Good luck.

Last edited by Des; 08-07-2014 at 05:18 PM.
08-10-2014, 05:39 PM   #23
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I had great results dipping my toe into macro by finding an inexpensive fast 50mm and extensions tubes. It's especially nice because it was a Tak so I could adjust the focus, then the aperture to get the desired exposure and depth of field.

Best of all, it's super cheap for the beginner.

08-10-2014, 05:53 PM   #24
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I'd personally recommend manual macro lenses, either the M 50mm f4 (or the m42 takumar version) You can probably find the 100mm f4 for under $100. The older Tamron 90mm f2.5 1:2 macro (or the 72E 90mm f2.8 1:1 if you're lucky) adapt-all are also very good and can be had around $100.
08-11-2014, 04:15 PM   #25
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While some other factor(s), advertised or not, might make a DA or DA WR work out a bit better in the IQ department, I wouldn't be that negatively influenced by the plastic bayonet on the L versions of Pentax zooms -- or anywhere else a plastic bayonet turns up, for that matter. Roger Cicala at lensrentals.com in his blog points out that the vast majority of lenses these days have 'bayonet' pieces that attach with screws to..... a plastic 'mount'! Yep, the $1.5K lenses, et.al., too. And Roger ought-a know. Think about it...
08-12-2014, 12:07 PM   #26
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Hi guys, thanks a lot for all your input. In the end I couldn't stretch my budget right now
So I decided to go for a Tamron AF 70-300mmF4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 for $50, found it on ebay. It includes a lens hood.
It arrived just today, I'm going to test it out as soon as I get the chance! Any tips or advice are welcome
I also found, as Dewman said above, a Sears Auto 50 mm F/2 Prime Lens w/t Pentax K mount for $19

As I said, I'm just a beginner and very enthusiastic about photography (my field is illustration, painting, animation, 3d modeling and the like) maybe in the future if I get the chance I'll explore better options!
thanks a lot for your time everybody!
08-12-2014, 11:58 PM   #27
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Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro (Pentax K) - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis gives it a nice review.....
08-13-2014, 06:16 AM   #28
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When I used the Tamron 70-300, I'd snap a couple shots at 180-200mm before zooming all the way. The lens is softer above 200mm (not a surprise for a long zoom), and sometimes the 200mm shots were more appealing. I did find the lens quick to focus and pretty accurate.

Investigate software tools to remove the purple fringing, you will find this in high contrast situations like a bird on a wire against the bright sky.
08-13-2014, 06:35 AM   #29
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The Pentax DA-L 55-300 is a great tele zoom. Very sharp from about 85mm on out to 300mm, and good contrast. It's also lightweight and fairly compact. I'd save a bit longer 'til you can afford one. If you buy a lesser quality lens now, you're probably going to want something better later.

If you're willing to use an all-manual lens, the Tamron SP 23A 60-300 is a similarly excellent performer, PLUS it's a true macro lens that offers up to 1:1.55x magnification. Most zoom lenses that say "macro", aren't. This one's an exception. It's also cheap. You should be able to get a good one for $60 or so. You'll need to pick up an Adaptall mount to go with it, too. Those can be had for about $10. Even though I have the Pentax DA-L 55-300, I'm also hanging onto my Tamron 60-300.
08-13-2014, 08:57 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by edgaus Quote
Hi guys, thanks a lot for all your input. In the end I couldn't stretch my budget right now
So I decided to go for a Tamron AF 70-300mmF4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 for $50, found it on ebay. It includes a lens hood.
It arrived just today, I'm going to test it out as soon as I get the chance! Any tips or advice are welcome
I also found, as Dewman said above, a Sears Auto 50 mm F/2 Prime Lens w/t Pentax K mount for $19

As I said, I'm just a beginner and very enthusiastic about photography (my field is illustration, painting, animation, 3d modeling and the like) maybe in the future if I get the chance I'll explore better options!
thanks a lot for your time everybody!
I think you did fine!
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