Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-25-2014, 05:14 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 10
prime lense

I own a K-5 ii and would like to know for bird, wildlife and nature photos what would be a good prime lens within reasonable cost?
Thanks
treeman

09-25-2014, 05:21 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
wizofoz's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Melbourne, Outer east.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,646
You had better define a range of "reasonable". Many beginners wince at the the thought of spending multiple hundreds of $$ on a lens, whereas long time wildlife shooters realise that for them "reasonable" going to cost multiple thousands.

There is a concept of the cost of diminishing returns that kicks in quite early on with photo gear.

But maybe you could start by looking at the DA 55-300
09-25-2014, 05:30 AM   #3
New Member




Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 10
Original Poster
thanks

Honestly, that is exactly the lens I have been looking at and zeroing in on.
thanks
treeman
09-25-2014, 05:32 AM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,413
There's a big gap in Pentax primes - lots of smaller ones, but not so many long ones. They get pricey quick. If you want a DA*300 for instance, be prepared to drop $1000.

A used DA55-300 would be a great starting point. It's a good long zoom and probably the most affordable modern zoom with reach. You can set up a keyword or two in the Marketplace here. I suggest adding '300mm' and you'll get notices. this will let you get an idea of the price it will require.

09-25-2014, 06:00 AM   #5
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,325
Prime lenses above 135mm become very expensive, but they also provide amazing quality.
The DA 55-300mm is the best bang per buck option of getting to 300mm. The DA L version is cheapest, but maybe you want a WR version or the latest HD version, which has improved coatings and might have slightly better optical performance.
09-25-2014, 07:01 AM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
narual's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: South Bend (Notre Dame), Indiana
Posts: 1,935
Lots of manual focus primes out there at 135 and over at price ranges that you might consider reasonable. It's just when you get into the size lenses that people use to take photographs of birds that it gets a little ridiculous in the pricing. Birds are small and fast and most of the time you're looking at them from far away. Even at 300mm, you'd probably be using a teleconverter *and* cropping the final photo. The 55-300 isn't a prime, but as everyone else said... it will serve your needs pretty well.

There's a DA L model on KEH that comes with caps and the hood (which isn't usually included in DA L) for $208 at the moment: https://www.keh.com/352642/pentax-55-300mm-f-4-5-8-smc-dal-ed-k-mount-autofo...ensor-dslrs-58

I've seen it lower on there, but not a whole lot and that one didn't have the hood.
09-25-2014, 07:10 AM   #7
Senior Member
devouges's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 188
I have the DA 55-300 and I do mostly birding. I am satisfied with it but if I do win a 1000$ in a lottery, I would probably get the prime.
09-25-2014, 07:19 AM   #8
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Parallax's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Dakota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,104
When birding you have little or no control over your subject distance so, in general, a zoom is better suited than a prime for birding.

09-25-2014, 07:37 AM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,413
Just addressing the novices out there:

The advantage of the zoom is you can find and track your subject better at the wide end, then zoom in for hopefully a more magnified, isolated image. It is not easy a lot of the time...
09-25-2014, 07:52 AM   #10
Senior Member
devouges's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 188
Well, my 2 cents: Usually, the birds are far away and I ___usually___ have my zoom at 300mm......

My fear of using a prime is the weight..... the 300mm prime is so much heavier.
09-25-2014, 08:06 AM   #11
Pentaxian
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,444
For what it's worth I feel 300mm is the starting point for birding. My longest lens is 400mm and to be frank it is too short for my liking. You can still find manual focus primes in this focal length for under $500 from time to time. Asdevouges noted above the birds are usually far away and you are using the long end of your zoom. A 300 or 400mm telephoto lens will always be better at that focal length than a zoom. Zooms are all about compromises throughout their range. Primes are about delivering optimum quality at only one focal length. If you want the best quality get the longest telephoto lens you can afford for birding.

Tom G
09-25-2014, 09:12 AM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 714
tokina 400 4.5 AF AT-X. better than the 55-300 at 300. Can find it used on ebay about once a month for 3-400/
09-25-2014, 09:47 AM   #13
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,296
The Sigma 500/4.5 is a nice lens and more reasonably priced than the DA 560/5.6...

I might be able to afford it someday if I should win the lottery. For now I have to make do with the Sigma 150-500. But I used the DA L 55-300 for several years and it rarely left my camera. Pair it with a cheap Vivitar Series 1 1.4x TC to get to 420. Then learn how to get close. All consumer telephotos are better the closer you get.
09-25-2014, 09:49 AM   #14
Site Supporter
MikeW's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Indiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 337
First, I am not attempting to hijack the thread. I, too, have a 55~300 lens and like it a lot. It does a very nice job for not so much money. 400 and up would also be nice, although certainly more expensive. But, it has occurred to me that it might be just as effective photographically and certainly so from a cost standpoint to set up a blind in an area where one is fairly sure the birds are going to be, bring a decent chair, a good tripod, and wait for them to show up. Have others tried this?

Great Portable Blind for Photographers | Cardinal Photo
09-25-2014, 09:55 AM   #15
Site Supporter
cali92rs's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,195
Dont forget a gimbal head on a good tripod
(For the big 500mm prime lens you will want after you realize the 55-300mm is too slow and short)
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, pentax help, photography, prime lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: NEW LOW PRICE Pentax Q with 01 Prime lense and Accessories pghwarrior23 Sold Items 7 08-01-2014 05:04 PM
lense hood help (50-200mm lense for k-30) obsidianjeff Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 5 05-06-2014 06:46 PM
Universal lense wide lense: Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8, DA 16-45mm F4, DA 17-70mm ? Vejas Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 02-11-2014 12:04 PM
Please recomend me a good prime lense for 28-50mm for k10d Asgaroth Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 05-22-2009 03:39 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:50 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top