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Thread: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

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    Default Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Hi everyone, need advise on which telephoto zoom to get? The Sigma seems to be half the price (based on Amazon pricing/havent had chance to check local prices) of the Pentax and looks tempting. Appreciate any comments and advice. Thank you.

    Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro

    or

    SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

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    Member PhilipKr35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnotsniw96 View Post
    Hi everyone, need advise on which telephoto zoom to get? The Sigma seems to be half the price (based on Amazon pricing/havent had chance to check local prices) of the Pentax and looks tempting. Appreciate any comments and advice. Thank you. Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro or SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
    Pentax is better, I had the sigma , it was not sharp.
    GR,K2,K3, DA15Ltd, 10-24 f 3.5-4.5, K135 f2.8, K55 f1.8, Q, Q2K, Q10, 01020306,FA31,FA100WR

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    Senior Member sunnycamera's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    55-300 is better, there are three version of it, Dal, Da, Da WR.

    2nd hand is around, 200, 300, 500 for each.
    K-01: S8FE, DA35, DA70 Flickr

  4. #4

    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipKr35 View Post
    Pentax is better, I had the sigma , it was not sharp.
    I have to agree Pentax glass is sharper. U will need to experiment to see it for yourself.
    If you have a large budget a Pentax prime tele-photo lens will go a long way

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    Senior Member sunnycamera's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    I also had both, pentax is lighter and smaller, while sigma is full frame lens, and heavier
    K-01: S8FE, DA35, DA70 Flickr

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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I am also contemplating whether I should jump straight into the super zoom lens 'Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM APO' since I already have a 18-135mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnotsniw96 View Post
    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I am also contemplating whether I should jump straight into the super zoom lens 'Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM APO' since I already have a 18-135mm.
    Wah thats a much larger and heavier lens.. Also the sigma 50-500 is better rated iirc?

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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by darrrrrrrrrr View Post
    Wah thats a much larger and heavier lens.. Also the sigma 50-500 is better rated iirc?
    Sounds good, and a whole lot more expensive too

    Keep the suggestions/comments coming. Thank you.

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    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnotsniw96 View Post

    Sounds good, and a whole lot more expensive too

    Keep the suggestions/comments coming. Thank you.
    What exactly do you shoot/want to shoot? Your preferences will determine what type of lens suits you best.

    Events? Concerts? Sports? Wildlife? Birding? Zoo shots? Landscapes? Portraits?

    If you really just need a "general purpose telezoom lens" then maybe just go straight for the pentax 55-300.

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    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
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    Btw I've had the sigma and tamron 70-300 lenses.. They are cheap and not too bad. Tamron has serious purple fringing but supposedly sharper than sigma.

    Made the jump to tamron and sigma 70-200 f2.8 lenses, while bigger and more expensive they are much better optically and expand the range of possibilities in low light, shallow DOF, etc.

    But the original manufacturer lenses (pentax 50-135, nikon 70-200) are even better in build quality than the third party lenses, so that's my final preference.

    Tamron and sigma may have improved their build quality in recent years though?

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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by darrrrrrrrrr View Post
    What exactly do you shoot/want to shoot? Your preferences will determine what type of lens suits you best.

    Events? Concerts? Sports? Wildlife? Birding? Zoo shots? Landscapes? Portraits?

    If you really just need a "general purpose telezoom lens" then maybe just go straight for the pentax 55-300.
    I'm thinking more of wildlife & fauna - safari, zoo, parks.

    The 55-300 seems to be a good option, if i get the lowest price band one, but the longer reach seems so tempting.

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    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by cnotsniw96 View Post
    I'm thinking more of wildlife & fauna - safari, zoo, parks.

    The 55-300 seems to be a good option, if i get the lowest price band one, but the longer reach seems so tempting.
    Unless you plan to print big big to exhibit and sell, I think cropping is a perfectly valid way to keep cost and weight low, if your photos are mostly for screen display or small prints.

    But if you can afford the big glass, then go ahead! Why not the FA* 250-600mm? LOL

  13. #13

    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    My vote too goes to the Pentax 55-300.

    I have been continually amazed by the IQ of the DAL 55-300 that had come along with my K-x as a "kit" lens. The K-x and 18-55 is now long gone, but the 55-300 is still with me.
    F5.8 300mm
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    f11 300mm
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by darrrrrrrrrr View Post
    Unless you plan to print big big to exhibit and sell, I think cropping is a perfectly valid way to keep cost and weight low, if your photos are mostly for screen display or small prints.

    But if you can afford the big glass, then go ahead! Why not the FA* 250-600mm? LOL
    Darren, are those beauteous FA* yours??!! Wow!

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    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSiGuy View Post

    Darren, are those beauteous FA* yours??!! Wow!
    Of course not! Never owned a FA* before

  16. #16

    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by cnotsniw96 View Post
    I'm thinking more of wildlife & fauna - safari, zoo, parks.

    The 55-300 seems to be a good option, if i get the lowest price band one, but the longer reach seems so tempting.
    things to take note when going long range
    Sigma 150-500 DG OS HMS is about SGD1k to 1.2k from ebay
    Sigma 50-500 DG OS HMS is about SGD 1.5k also from ebay

    of the 2 the 50-500 is the heavier and both will have zoom creep issue to the the weight of the front element.
    The the F-stop is 6.3 at 500mm u will need a higher ISO setting when in low light.

    As for cropping u will never go wrong with Pentax glass with TC.
    DA*300, FA*300 and F*300 all are sharp lens that can be use with TC and u can still crop after that.

    If u have a really big budget Sigma 500mm F4.5 and DA560 will be the top choice lol
    Last edited by trowa77; 8th December 2014 at 02:15 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member oceanpriest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by cnotsniw96 View Post
    I'm thinking more of wildlife & fauna - safari, zoo, parks.

    The 55-300 seems to be a good option, if i get the lowest price band one, but the longer reach seems so tempting.
    for safari/zoo/park, i think 50-135 will be good option, can use it to shoot events also

    once u go birding then get another > 400mm

  18. #18

    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    Zoo only for animals that don't move about that much, the Q7 with a good long lens is really good.
    But you do get what you pay for wrt using a good long lens on it.


    IMGP2279-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr


    IMGP1899-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr


    No cropping done to get to these 2 shots.
    Taken with FA*80-200 IIRC
    Last edited by pinholecam; 8th December 2014 at 03:38 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member sunnycamera's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Telephoto Zoom to get?

    it is always the battle between Image Quality + Reach vs Weight,

    to get Big Reach:
    - Big sensor -> Big image quality -> Big Body -> Big Lens -> Big weight
    - Smaller sensor -> Less image quality -> Smaller Body -> Smaller Lens -> Smaller weight

    For 800mm equiv.
    - full frame means 800mm lens, super heavy
    - crop snesor, 500mm lens, manageable heavy
    - micro 4/3, currently, the longest micro 4/3 lens is 300mm, that is equiv. 600mm reach, so micro 4/3 doesn't have a suitable solution here.
    - 1 inch sensor, only nikon 1 system, with cx 70-300mm, eqvui. 800mm reach, so portable solution with acceptable-ok image quality result.
    - 1/1.7 inch sensor, pentax Q system now only have a 200mm equiv reach with native AF lens.

    unless Q has a equvi 600mm or 800mm lens coming out, nikon 1 system still have the best weight/reach balance for now
    K-01: S8FE, DA35, DA70 Flickr

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    Member PhilipKr35's Avatar
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    In case anyone wants to have a one year multiple entry Jurong bird park admission at $28 per adult. Since all discussing long tele
    http://www.birdpark.com.sg/m/events-...friend-14.html
    GR,K2,K3, DA15Ltd, 10-24 f 3.5-4.5, K135 f2.8, K55 f1.8, Q, Q2K, Q10, 01020306,FA31,FA100WR

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