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01-19-2010, 08:20 AM   #1
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K-x: 55-200mm kit lens vs Sigma 70-300mm APO lens

I'm going to purchase a K-x very soon, and I'm wondering if I should go with the two-lens version (which includes a 55-200mm lens), or get the single lens version and a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Lens.

Right now I really like the zoom on my Sony superzoom, which ends up being 465mm equivalent. A 300mm zoom on a digital body will be 450mm equivalent - roughly the same maximum zoom.

Any thoughts? Price ends up being about the same, the Sigma is around $150, and while it's not praised, it's not universally disliked either.

I used my Sony DSC-H50 to do a lot of long zoom work to photograph high school plays for my friends' kids. Low light, high-iso, full zoom. The sony's ISO performance isn't up to that task. Not by a long shot. The K-x will be.

That being said, I expect the K-x to produce much sharper images, which will allow me to crop easily, so 200mm might be enough. (Sony loses so much detail at high ISO cropping really isn't a possibility).

Thoughts?

Charles.

01-19-2010, 08:56 AM   #2
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The Sigma isn't a bad lens at all, many of us use it and are happy with it. I haven't used the 55-200 so I can't comment on the quality but it is fairly well regarded. There have been some deals around with the 55-300 as part of a kit which would be a much better choice. If you are pretty sure you will be using the extra reach the 300 will offer, I think the 55-200 will be a disappointment. Go for the longer zoom.
01-19-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Do be sure you're reading the numbers correctly. The two telephoto kit lenses Pentax offers are 50-200 and 55-300. There is no 55-200.
01-19-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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The glass and image quality is going to be about the same either way. Unless you shell out some real cash into your lenses, you won't see quality improve. The difference is the Pentax lenses come with a 1 year warranty and you can send it in to an authorized repair center for repair in case something happens with the lens. (don't know what the sigma policy is or if there even is one)

01-19-2010, 02:08 PM   #5
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So if you're then comparing Pentax's DA 55-300 to the Sigma 70-300 APO, you'll find a clear advantage in every way (except perhaps build quality) with the DA 55-300.

The 50-200 is in a somewhat lesser league, but some amazing pictures can be captured with it as seen on this forum. It also is harder to compare given its 200mm limit.
01-19-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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Aaaaaah, ok. That explains the price differences on Adorama. I thought only a 200mm lens came in the kit, I need to pay closer attention. Wow, $549 with one lens, $639 with the 200mm zoom, or $719 with the 300mm zoom. Decisions decisions. Is the 300mm worth the extra $80?

Charles.
01-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #7
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Put simply, yes. The 55-300 is likely the best consumer telezoom you can find, and certainly a step above the 50-200 in every way.
01-19-2010, 03:08 PM   #8
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Well then, that makes the decision easy. This means the only lens I forsee needing in the future is a fast prime - either 30mm or 50mm. (I'll have to see what focal length I use most first)

Charles.

01-19-2010, 04:49 PM   #9
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I agree with the above posts. I have the 55-300 DA L with the K-X kit and think that the 55-300 is a superb lens. I am blown away with the clarity of the lens. If I were to do it over again, I would get the same K-X with the 18-55 and the 55-300, no question.
01-19-2010, 10:16 PM   #10
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I was in the same boat as you are in. I was considering the 2 lens kit for the KM or buying the single lens kit and the sigma lens. I eventually went with the Sigma lens over the 200mm zoom lens. The image quality with the 200mm lens is not awe inspiring. However, if the 300mm zoom lens is in the picture I strongly suggest that over the Sigma lens.

Have you considered the Tamron lens? Sharpness wise the Tamron is considered the better of the two and it should be similar in price. However, I must point out that the Tamron suffers from CA.
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