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Old Mar 21, 2007, 7:03 PM   #1
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Which setup do you think would give me better images, the Bigma or the 80-400 Tokina with a 1.4TC? I have the newer version of the Tokina (tripod collar) and like it a lot, but seeing everyone's images with the Bigma is making me want one too. Do I really need to spend a grand for the extra 100mm or will the Tokina give me equal quality with the TC? With the TC I'll have 560mm but will the quality match the Bigma? On the plus side, the Tokina is smaller, but some PF on rare occasions. Anyone here who have or used both?

cheers, Wayne
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 12:35 AM   #2
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Did you post this in the wrong area? I don't recall that tokina lens for the Pentax mount.
http://www.thkphoto.com/products/tokina/afl-08b.html
:lol:

But if you have that lens already, personally I think it is a waste to buy the sigma to gain an extra 100mm. If you didn't have it already than it would be a different story.
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 7:24 AM   #3
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Hi,

I like the Tokina better than the Sigma for its size and weight. Also the results to me are better.

On a side note, The newer Tokina 80-400mm is not available for Pentax. Only the older versions of them.

Rudy
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 10:21 AM   #4
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superakuma wrote:
Quote:
Did you post this in the wrong area? I don't recall that tokina lens for the Pentax mount.
http://www.thkphoto.com/products/tokina/afl-08b.html
:lol:
Rudy,

The above lens is the one I have. When I purchased my K10D the local camera shop had a "new-old stock" Pentax mount version, so it is new, but old ;-) Have you had or have both? And you think the results are better with the Tokina? Don't you get PF with the Tokina? I haven't seen anyone complain about it with the Bigma. If I get more comments like yours I'll have an extra $500 floating around....hmmm, I do need a macro lens

cheers, Wayne
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 4:33 PM   #5
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Hi Wayne,

Let me offer another perspective. I've been trying to find the best long FL alterntative for me for about two years and here's my thinking.

I have the famed FA*300/4.5, and have used it with the Pentax F1.7x Auto Focusing Adapter to give me an @2 lb limited AF 510mm f7.7 with very good IQ wide open, but it's kinda slow. I also have a Tokina 80-400 AT-X AFII. Add the Tamron F 1.4 TC, and I've got a 2.3 lb 560mm f7.9. It's a little soft at 400, so adding the TC doesn't really help things, even tho there's more reach (but 60mm doesn't really mean anything at over 500mm FL), and again kinda slow.

I've been looking at the Bigma from the beginning, and just couldn't justify the weight (IIRC 4.2 lbs) considering the speed of the lens (listed as f6.3, but many have said it's closer to f6.7). I like to hand-hold if possible, so I want light, and if I can't have that, then fast is second choice. I saw some examples shot with the Tamron SP300 f2.8 LD IF, and was impressed enough to buy one last fall. I had some problems with the Adaptall II P/KA adapter, so held off on final judgement until I could resolve the adapter problem over the winter.

After reading your post, I decided to try something today, and hopefully it'll give you another alternative to consider. I added the SP 1.4x Adaptall II TC which came with the lens, and then added the P F 1.7x AFA to make it an @ 4.7 lb 714mm f6.7 -- very fast and light for this FL. Relative to the Bigma, an extra 1/2 lb, the same effective max aperture, but almost 1.43 x the reach. It is a prime, so the framing convenience of the zoom is lost, but I think that the IQ is there. The other thing is that you'd have an f2.8 300mm manual focus, a 420mm f4 manual focus, a 510mm f4.8 AF, and an AF 714mm f6.7, and a pretty impressive looking lens (it's got a hood that looks like a 1.5 qt saucepan, and takes 115mm filters in front.

Here are a few examples from today -- excuse the exposures and framing -- I was only trying to get some decent shots, and the pickings here are still pretty slim. All shot with the DS, Tamron SP 300/2.8 LD IF, Tamron Adaptall II 1.4x TC and P F 1.7x AFA (714mm - 1092mm 35mm EQ). Assume that it'd be a bit sharper without the 1.4x at 510mm and f4.8 with the only the P F 1.7x AFA.



Some blown HLs, but I was trying to get the detail of the black feathers and the eye. These details are better on the full sized frame. This is full frame, straight out of the camera, just resized for the web. f5 corrected (almost wide open on the lens), 1/640, handheld with the DS (no SR), ISO 800.




Couldn't get this guy to come out in the open, but I think that the feather detail is more than adequate. Another full frame, only resized. f 4.5 corrected (wide open on the lens), 1/1250 sec, ISO 800, handheld.



This guy was hard to shoot, kept moving, and the DS doesn't have the fastest AF. Full frame again, only resized. f7.1 corrected (f4.2 on the lens), 1/640, ISO 800, handheld.

There is some PF evident, but I've learned to live with it with the long glass -- even the FA*300/4.5 exhibits some, especially with the K10.

The Tamron SP 300/2.8 LD IF Adaptall II is commonly available for between $600-$800 on ebay (the MSRP new was @ $2700), the P/KA adapter is getting tough to find, but they are still around (especially in older independent camera dealers), and the P F 1.7x AFA is unfortunately only occasionally available, and the prices can be ridiculous, but it's a very desireable piece if you're serious about birding. I have 2 -- bought for $162 and $175 respectively, and IMO they are worth every penny, and then some. I'd say a realistic expectation would be that you could get all three pieces for less than a Bigma.

Here's a link to some info on the lens:

http://www.adaptall-2.com/lenses/60B.html

Scott

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Old Mar 22, 2007, 5:30 PM   #6
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Scott,

Like yourself, I prefer to hand hold, birds and animals are just too skittish for a tripod. Thanks for a very in depth description of another option. I also have the Pentax F*300, when added with the 1.4TC it's fine in decent light but I'm always looking for more reach. Today for the first time in what seems like weeks, the sun finally came out and I went out with the Tokina and 1.4TC. Initial impressions were mixed. In bright sunlight, no problems, when the sun went behind the clouds, AF hunted but not as much as I expected.

I haven't heard many complaints from Bigma users about AF hunting. The setup you suggested is not much different weight wise to the Bima, but yes, it is faster! So for now I think I'll try the Tokina and TC combo through spring and judge from there. Those are some excellent shots BTW! I've been lurking on ebay too looking for a Pentax 1.7, and yes the prices through the roof. Any chance you would part with one of yours? If so, please shoot me an email @[email protected]

Once again thanks for your suggestions and now off to ebay to check prices on a Tamron 300. But you say it needs an adapter correct?

cheers, Wayne
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 6:29 PM   #7
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waynespixels wrote:
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Scott,

Like yourself, I prefer to hand hold, birds and animals are just too skittish for a tripod. Thanks for a very in depth description of another option. I also have the Pentax F*300, when added with the 1.4TC it's fine in decent light but I'm always looking for more reach. Today for the first time in what seems like weeks, the sun finally came out and I went out with the Tokina and 1.4TC. Initial impressions were mixed. In bright sunlight, no problems, when the sun went behind the clouds, AF hunted but not as much as I expected.

The cool thing about the F1.7x AFA is that it acts as a focus limiter in that it has only a limited AF range. You have to pre-focus to get it reasonably close, then let the TC's AF take over from there. If it hunts, it's not the full lock to lock hunt of a normal AF lens, it's a relatively narrow range, and the camera can do it very quickly -- even the DS. The AFA is supposed to be teamed with lenses with a max aperture of at least f2,8, but I've found that it works fine with sharp lenses up to f4.5 max.

I haven't heard many complaints from Bigma users about AF hunting. The setup you suggested is not much different weight wise to the Bima, but yes, it is faster!

At a certain point in my lens acquisitions, sharpness at max aperture and lens speed became a priority in my searches. The ability to effectively use the lens with a TC became VERY IMPORTANT, and with the light loss with the TC, speed became a priority.

So for now I think I'll try the Tokina and TC combo through spring and judge from there. Those are some excellent shots BTW!

Thanks! -- These were really just snaps to give you an idea how this lens performed -- especially with stacked TCs. They did come out pretty good tho.

I've been lurking on ebay too looking for a Pentax 1.7, and yes the prices through the roof. Any chance you would part with one of yours? If so, please shoot me an email @[email protected]

Sorry, after using one all last season, I decided to try for another as a backup, as I really depend on it, and can't imagine being without one. Then the K100 and K10 came out and the asking priced started to go crazy. There is possibly hope though, I've heard rumors (totally unsubstantiated tho) that Pentax might be considering re-introducing the 1.7x AFA, or possibly a 1.4x AFA, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I would advise you to try to obtain one. For me, it's a perfect accessory for my FA*300, and would work equally well with your F*300/4.5. Most of my best results have come with this combo.

Once again thanks for your suggestions and now off to ebay to check prices on a Tamron 300. But you say it needs an adapter correct?

There are two Adaptall II adapters that would work. P/K and P/KA. The first turns it into a "K" or "M" equivalent lens (and is still easily available), the latter and "A" equivalent with three visible electical contacts. For me, the "A" functionality is important, but Tamron no longer makes any of the mounts, and the P/KA is sold out from the factory, and no longer can be ordered. I have, however, been able to find a number of them available from the older independent camera dealers around Chicago (one guy sold one to me for $15, and was glad to get rid of something he never thought he'd be able to sell). I assume that they might be still available in other areas from old stock still on dealer's shelves. You might have to scrape the end of one of the screws on the mount to allow it to make contact, but it's super easy and quick (even for the mechanically challenged!)

BTW, thanks for offering some motivation to try this -- I think that this combo might prove to be a very valuable alternative for me to use extensively.

Scott

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Old Mar 22, 2007, 9:31 PM   #8
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Scott, those are some great shots for two teleconverters. Also, as someone who has recently been watching Adaptall 300mm f2.8 lenses, I can add that $650 seems to be the going rate, although one without any teleconverters went for just under $500 recently.

Tim
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