Wildlife telezoom advice needed

Started Mar 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Wildlife telezoom advice needed
Mar 3, 2014

I have poured over many forums and reviews and asked for advice here recently in the past. Thus far, untill I can find a used Sigma 100-300 f4 and 400mm telemacro, for a sharper, faster alternative to my 170-500 I have reduced my list to three lenses:

Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro Lens

Sigma EX 70-200mm 2.8 f/2.8 APO or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM II Macro Zoom Lens

Pentax SMC DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED IF SDM Telephoto Zoom Lens

These are all readily available and all gooop lenses but I do have some questions from users with experience with these lenses. Please note I am trying not to repeat my previous post and ask more specific questions.

My primary targets are mid sized wilflide (wolf, bear, ect) and larger birds (eagles, osprey, heron, ect) outdoors and I equally enjoy portraits and body shots in motion thus the desire for a zoom and not a prime. I would also be looking to combine whatever I get with a TC so I am interested in best TC performance (I know some TCs work better than others) and minimal loss of IQ.

Do all three lenses show neglibigle difference in IQ or is there a true stand out winner?

I can acquire either of the Sigmas used for about the same price ($700). Is the Macro version notably inferior at 200mm as some say? Some says this lens has better build quality and edges out the Tamron on IQ, is this true? For the macro version?

The Tamron size and weight is desired over the Sigma as I will be taking this lens backpacking. Will the build quality hold up. I hear the sharpness and IQ are excellent.

ThePentax 60-250 has advantages of length at both ends and is WR which can be a major plus. I also believe it is smaller and lighter, when not zoomed to the long end. However, the price is also significantly higher ($1200) and the lense is f4 vs f2.8. Worth the trade off?

I fear I will miss the f2.8, but I would also miss the extra 50mm reach. In practice, what do others recommend in my situation???

Either way, very excited to get any of these and pair with a 1.5 PZ_AF or 1.7 AF adapter and a K3!!! I am sure this combo will outshine the 170-500 and K5 even when cropped to 500.

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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

Pentax K-5
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