Need advice re long telephoto lenses

Started Jan 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
JeffAHayes Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: Need advice re long telephoto lenses

It's a bit more than you've indicated you're want to spend, but WAY longer in focal length, and the person who convinced me to buy the following lens is the same one who just suggested you perhaps wait to see if Pentax comes out with a 1.4 TC and pair that with the DA* 300mm F4, which will make it almost as slow of a lens at 420mm as the lens I'm about to reccomend is at 500mm (750 effective)... That lens, is, of course, the Sigma 50-500 F4.5-6.3, aka the Bigma...

It's almost $100 less than it was when I bought mine a little more than a year ago. This lens is a bit heavy, but no beast, and it comes with its own well-padded case with a carry strap, so you don't have to put it in your main bag, if you don't have the room. Pretty decent lens, although you need fairly good light. But then the 300 with a 1.4 TC is going to be effectively a F 5.6 lens (or thereabouts), which is only half a stop faster than 6.3, and still 80 mm (120 effective) smaller. And I'm guessing that if you buy a DA* 300 new, plus the TC, you'll spend very close to as much as what the Bigma costs. Also, if you go to Sigma's website and look at their video for this lens, they say this is in their "pro" line of lenses and it therefore comes with a 3-year warranty -- not the paltry ONE year we get with ALL the Pentax lenses!

As for the 55-300, for the $$$ you can't beat it. I have one, and it's a great lens to have for when you want to go for a walk with just one lens and have a decent telephoto range and get at least decent quality pictures. Only at full crop will you see much difference between it and the DA* 300.

Apologies for all the bolding in the last part of the paragraph above. I tried to bold just the word "great," and the BOLD stuck on me... Couldn't get it to UNDO.

At any rate, the Bigma is your other best option. I have all three of those lenses... 55-300, DA* 300 and Bigma. Lately I've used the DA* 300 the most, but that's primarily because my gimbal head on my big tripod is set up for it, so I'm keeping it mounted on that.

Ron, what was that mount I should get for the Bigma, again? You told me when I bought the Gimbal head, but I forgot. I need to get it so I can use that. When the camera is mounted with that lens on that head, the balance is PERFECT! I can hope only that I can get the Bigma to balance that well, as my prior attempts with the Bigma on a tripod have been somewhat less than spectacular.


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A word is worth 1/1000th of a picture... Maybe that's why I use so many words!

 JeffAHayes's gear list:JeffAHayes's gear list
Pentax WG-3 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-30 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM +8 more
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