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Old Dec 6, 2006, 11:59 AM   #1
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I ordered from B&H the Pentax K10d with the 18-55 kit lens and a 2GB fast SD card for about $1050. It's coming in a few days!!

This lens will work for landscape and portraits.

But I really want to get into bird and wildlife photography, and in the next few months will need to upgrade to a longer zoom.

I've seen the Tokina 80-400, the Sigma 135-400, and others from Tamron, and of course some Pentax zooms. The Tokina and Sigma are in the $475 range, which is in my ballpark.

Of the ones I've mentioned, which would be the best choice for birding? What about softness at the long end, focusing speed, build quality, and any other issues? And are there any others in this general range that I should consider?

Thanks very much for any advice!

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Old Dec 6, 2006, 7:14 PM   #2
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I am sorry, I don't have either lens, or any zoom longer than 300mm, so I can't really help with your question. But I did want to say welcome to the board.

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Old Dec 6, 2006, 8:48 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard! This forum is full of great people with great advice, and we look forward to hearing from you also.

I haven't got any feedback in the lens department, other than to say I think that the Tokina 80-400 is not available in Pentax Mount, only Canon and Nikon. I have owned 5 different Tokina lenses, and have really liked each of them. I find their build quality as solid, and I like the characteristics in the images. I currently use their 400mm AF prime lens, and have gotten great shots. I also use their manual focus 100-300 zoom, which is very solid (sometimes too heavy), but is a very good lens.

Let us know what you settle on. I'm of the opinion that for the most part, today's lens manufacturers put out pretty good stuff. Whatever you get, don't be afraid to pay the little bit extra for APO, good coatings, LD/SD kind of glass, that kind of stuff.
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 9:28 PM   #4
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Welcome to the board!

Can't help you with the zooms - I have the DA 50-200 (OK lens) and the Pentax A*300 f4, a really wonderful long telephoto (and no longer made at the moment). It takes wonderful pictures and is long enough for me (I can't handhold anything longer than 300, and while I use a monopod quite often, I rarely go out with a tripod).
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 10:05 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum! Long lenses and Pentax...tough call. If you can find a 300mm prime of Pentax make - that would be a very good choice. As mntgal stated, having a 300 in the f/4 range is still a good walk around with very good reach. Won't break your back. Whereas if you get into the Sigmas and Tamrons you mentioned, they weigh a lot more, and are a little soft from what others have said about them, at the long end. You would most likely need a tripod or monopod at all times to use those longer zooms. If you found a Pentax f/4 300mm lens, and wanted more reach, you could always add a 1.4tc on to make it 420, and still not have to break your back hiking it around. Just my 2 cents worth...cheers........Don.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 6:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply! :-)

I'm really leaning to the Sigma DG 135-400 f4.5 - 5.6 APO. It's in my ballpark around $550 +/- and I've read some pretty good reviews about it.

Do you know anything about its merits or otherwise? Seen a good review?

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Old Dec 7, 2006, 7:09 PM   #7
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The Sigma 80-400mm Is also a good choice. The biggest I have right now is the 70-300mm APO Sigma. The Tokina lens that you had on your list is also good,But heavy. It is built like a little tank... :-)

I was looking at the Tamron 200-500, But that lens fully extended is 19" long!! It is a bit much to be hand held...

Good Luck,

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