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Old May 19, 2008, 10:58 AM   #1
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need a lens for above camera, to use on safari in africa.



local big supplier has following in stock



1) sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 DG macro AF

2) APO Macro DG AF (what does APO addition imply?)

3) sigma 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 Macro (attraction seems shorter length and lighter than previous)

4) tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 DI LD Macro (more expensive hence better??)

5)Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di

6) Pentax SMC-DA 55-300 ED f/4-5.8 (2.5x price first one, worth it??)



so, how does one choose, anything else i should consider for the purpose??



thanks



gerbo
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Old May 19, 2008, 4:15 PM   #2
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The Sigma 70-300 APO has a pretty good reputation, it's better than the non-APO version. The Tamron also is supposed to be quite sharp, but suffers from purple fringing (some people have ones that have less than others, but it seems like the majority have quite abit).

Both the Tamron andSigma 28-300 seem way too soft, from examples I've seen, and you'd be much better off with the 70-300 (Tamron or Sigma APO).

The samples of the DA 55-300 show a significantly less amount of PF than the Tamron, and is also quite sharp through it's range. It looks like a real nice lens - whether it's worth the premium or not is partly up to the individual and the particular Tamron lens.

The other lens you might consider is the Tamron/Pentax 18-250. It isn't as long a telephotowhich would be a significant disadvantage on a safari, but if you want an all-in-one lens, it appears better than the 28-300 lenses from either Sigma or Tamron.

I don't have any of these lenses you are considering - just formed an opinion from what I've seen posted here. If it were me, I think I'd opt for the DA 55-300, unless my budget were more limited. Then I'd probably have a hard time deciding between the Sigma APO and the Tamron 70-300.
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Old May 19, 2008, 5:04 PM   #3
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From the options you have listed I would go for #2, as long as you have another lens to cover the wide to normal angle, i.e. 18-55 or something similar. If not, then the Tamron/Pentax 18-250 that Harriet suggested would be the better decision. I would also consider adding a 1.4x teleconverter to expand your lens reach outthat much further for when you really might want/need it.

If your price range was higher,the ultimate safari lens might just be the Sigma 50-500, a.k.a. the Bigma. How many times do you get to go on a safari to Africa? If your like me, once in a lifetime, andto some it might be worthspending the extra on.
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Old May 21, 2008, 3:36 AM   #4
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never looked at that 18-250 lens, looks very nice as a "one size fits all" lens. Will be missing out on a bit of magnification compared to 70-300 lens, and ranges overlap too much to buy the both. Any lens beyond 300 mm gets too expensive for my budget.

Or just to buy the additional teleconverter to extend the range of the 18-250 a bit? decisions, decisions.



ps, is 1.4 teleconverter best to go for , rather than 2x. anyone specific to look at?



gerbo
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Old May 21, 2008, 8:55 AM   #5
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I'd hesitate to suggest a TC with the 18-250. You always lose light when you use a TC and the 18-250 isn't the fastest lens in the world, especially at the long end. I'd be concerned that you would be disappointed with your results. Another thought might be to get the 18-250 and then a 300 prime, perhaps with a TC. But then you are carting around a lot of extra weight/bulk.
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Old May 21, 2008, 9:45 AM   #6
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wittetulp wrote:
Quote:
need a lens for above camera, to use on safari in africa.



local big supplier has following in stock



1) sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 DG macro AF

2) APO Macro DG AF (what does APO addition imply?)

3) sigma 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 Macro (attraction seems shorter length and lighter than previous)

4) tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 DI LD Macro (more expensive hence better??)

5)Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di

6) Pentax SMC-DA 55-300 ED f/4-5.8 (2.5x price first one, worth it??)



so, how does one choose, anything else i should consider for the purpose??



thanks



gerbo
Just got my 55-300 last Friday and haven't tried it yet. Bought it thru a local Pentax dealer - paid $349.00. I don't know anything about the other lenses-but if I were spending the money to go to Africa I would buy the best lens I could get.
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Old May 23, 2008, 3:35 AM   #7
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would the consensus be that the pentax 55-300 is a better lens than sigma APO 70-300(whatever APO means)?



If so would be inclined to go for that one and leave the close ups to the P&S cameras of children....



There is an attraction in that 18-250 lens though....
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Old May 23, 2008, 4:05 AM   #8
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wittetulp wrote:
Quote:
would the consensus be that the pentax 55-300 is a better lens than sigma APO 70-300 (whatever APO means)?



Hi, APO = Apochromatic

From wikipedia ...

An apochromat, or apochromatic lens (apo), is a photographic or other lens that has better color correction than the much more common achromat lenses. Chromatic aberration is the phenomenon of different colors focusing at different distances from a lens. In photography, it produces soft overall images, and color fringing at high-contrast edges, like an edge between black and white. Astronomers face similar problems, particularly with telescopes that use lenses rather than mirrors. Achromatic lenses are corrected to bring two wavelengths (typically red and blue) into focus in the same plane. Apochromatic lenses are designed to bring three wavelengths (typically red, green, and blue) into focus in the same plane.[1][/suP] The residual color error (secondary spectrum) can be up to an order of magnitude less than for an achromatic lens of equivalent aperture and focal length. Apochromats are also corrected for spherical aberration at two wavelengths, rather than one as in an achromat.

All clever stuff, I'll leave opinions on lenses to others. Personally I have the Tamron you list in 4, I like it, but it can suffer from colour fringing in high contrast shots, I haven't found this too much of a problem ... it's just a bit more time needed in PP.... Jack.
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Old May 23, 2008, 4:32 AM   #9
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thanks Jack

in general; do you feel your 300 mm brings your faraway subjects close enough??
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Old May 23, 2008, 4:53 AM   #10
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wittetulp wrote:
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thanks Jack

in general; do you feel your 300 mm brings your faraway subjects close enough??
Hi again, I guess the answer to that is dependent on the subject you're shooting at, for larger animals 300 mm isn't too bad, but again a lot depends on how close you can get. I'm mainly shooting at smaller birds just locally, or animals in zoo situations. In a safari situation I don't know, that's something I've no experience of.

Bear in mind (I think I'm right, someone will correct me if not.)the Tammy 300mm is rated as a 35mm lens so that on a DSLR it's effectively a 450mm, I have on occasion used a TC...the Tamron-F 1.4 Pz-AF MC4 behind it which works mainly OK in good light situations, it can hunt a bit on AF at long range the lenses smallest aperture. Just my thoughts for what they're worth. ... Jack
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