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Old Mar 19, 2007, 3:11 AM   #1
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Hi there,
since I am not satisfied with the image quality of my Voigtlaender 28-210 zoom I plan to sell that one and get a better and "tele-only" zoom lens.

I read in other posts that the
- Pentax 80-320
- Sigma 70-300
- Tamron 70-300

lenses have a good reputation. A good macro capabilty would be a plus.

Now my questions:
- are these the 3 I should look for or are there other good budget choices? For example I saw a 80-320 "Quantaray" lens, there is Tokina, Vivitar and lot's of other choices.
- are they all the same or should I avoid certain models of the same lens? (because of coating, build/optical quality etc.)
- other things to consider (like compatibility with tele-converters, AF speed etc.)

Thanks in advance,
Th.
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 12:26 PM   #2
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I've had the Pentax 80-320 for about 5 yrs. It's an ok budget lens. Image quality seems to be fine on the long end. As far as a tele-extender. I have used a 2x on it many times with satisfactory results (at least for me). Not as sharp as I wish, but acceptable.

Recently purchased a couple Sigma lenses and am very happy with them. I do not know if the Sigma 70-300 is any better than the Pentax though.
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 2:35 PM   #3
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I would stay away from the Quantaray, even their filters have a pretty mediocre reputation.... Vivitars can be pretty good though, though don't think I have seen any images from one of that range.

Sigma is probably the best bargain with the Tamron a close second, but a bit more money usually. Yet IQ and specs nearly identical.

Be sure it is the 70-300mm Tamron though... the 75-300mm is considerably less of a lens. (like only half the macro magnification.... nearly 1:4 rather than 1:2)

Not sure I have ever seen any examples from the Pentax.

Speaking personally I have had the SIGMA 70-300mm on both the Canon and Pentax platforms... and in fact instantly bought it for the Pentax 10D (before I even actualy had the camera) when I decided to dump Canon (and its Corp arrogance), for lack of mid level DSLR development... just rehash after rehash and ever tiny'r plastic Rebels on the low end.... and no 40D even in rumored sight ... even 30D somewhat aging... and P K10D beats its ass.... for hundreds less. (Actiually even told that by a 30D pro working owner)
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 7:10 PM   #4
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I don't have any experience with the three you asked about, but pbase has examples of photos with a Pentax 80-320mm.

http://www.pbase.com/cameras/pentax/..._80_320_f45_56

If you click on your refresh button this page will randomly give you more thumbnails.

pbase isa good site to see sample photos from various cameras and lenses.

http://www.pbase.com/cameras
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 1:58 PM   #5
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Both the Sigma and Tamron 70-300mm lenses have been made in many different versions. Earlier Sigmas would only go into macro mode at 300mm. Early Tamrons did not go to 1:2 macro but instead were something like 1:3.8. In both cases, a more recent lens seems to be better than the earlier lens.

Quanteray is a store brand. I seem to remember someone posting here that their 70-300mm was made by Sigma or Tamron, I don't remember which.

Tim
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 3:04 PM   #6
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While the Sigma does have a range to its macro it is only 1:2 at 300mm still , at 200m it drops to 1:5

There seem to be two current Tamrons. One is 70-300mm 1:2 and the other is 75-300mm and only 1:3.9
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 5:46 PM   #7
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Currently, I've got my Promaster 70-300 (don't know the actual manufacturer) tele-macro(1:2) on my ist-dl but I keep switching back & forth with my Tamron 70-300. Both are OK but I just won a Sigma on Ebay an hour ago so I'm really hopeful that I'm going to like it better. Don't ask how I got both a Promaster & a Tamron of the same lengths....LONG STORY...LOL!

Good Luck!
Ron
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 10:23 PM   #8
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i use a Pentax 80-320 that i got from a pawn shop for $70 au

it works pretty good, autofocus


here are a couple of pics with it

http://johndolphin.net/photos/details.php?image_id=1719

http://johndolphin.net/photos/details.php?image_id=1709

the last one is heavily cropped

and this one is 100% crop the tower is about 2 kilometres away

http://johndolphin.net/photos/details.php?image_id=1700
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Old Mar 21, 2007, 3:27 PM   #9
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Hayward wrote:
Quote:
While the Sigma does have a range to its macro it is only 1:2 at 300mm still , at 200m it drops to 1:5

There seem to be two current Tamrons. One is 70-300mm 1:2 and the other is 75-300mm and only 1:3.9
Actually, at 200mm the Sigma macro is 1:2.9.

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...mp;navigator=3


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Old Mar 21, 2007, 3:46 PM   #10
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OOPS my bad, read the lens tube markings wrong, you are correct.
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