Which f/2.8 telezoom would you choose?

Started Feb 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Which f/2.8 telezoom would you choose?
Feb 27, 2014

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM II Macro ($650)

Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro ($750)

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD ($1250)

(prices only provided to provide reference such as "is theSIGMA  HSM OS really worth twice the cost?")

Ultimately, I want the Sigma 100-300 F4, and Sigma 400mm f5/6 telemacro but until each of those graces the used market I am considering one of these lenses to improve my mid-telephoto range over my 170-500 (which I find to be sharp only if shot under very particular circumstances). How do all of these lenses compare to one another in IQ? To the 100-300?

I view the 100-300 as more versatile  due to the longer reach (a major plus, but is it better glass)?

I would also consider adding a 1.4 (1.5) TC to each of these lenses to provide a 98-280 f/3.8 but am not sold on that idea. I assume that would definitely make the 100-300 a better choice vs any of these with a TC?

Lastly, a very affordable Tokina 80-400 AT-X is on my radar as well. Very mixed reviews on that lens and I am assuming all of those above would greatly outshine the compact Tokina (even though I may grab it as it would sure be nice for backpacking trips)

What I am really looking for is a higher keep rate in my mid to long range telephoto shots vs the 170-500. The main issue I find with that lens is handholding generally produces poor results above 400mm, AF is slow, and shockingly a D3100 with a Sigma APO 70-300 telemacro produced crisper images than my K5 with the 170-500 at 250-300mm (both handheld).

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Pentax K5
Sigma 8-16 f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM
Pentax SMCP-DA 40 f/2.8 ED Limited Edition
Pentax D-FA 100 f/2.8 Macro WR
Sigma 170-500 5-6.3 Apo Asph F/px-af

Nikon D3100 Pentax K-5
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