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Old Jan 4, 2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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Hey there,

Sounds like you have convinced yourself that you need the lens and now you are trying to convince others that you need it. Let me tell you... you have made a strong case! Sounds like you are at the final stage before purchase.

Thanh

bigdawg wrote:
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Though I can do decently with my Sigma 100-300 with cropping...I'd rather not have to..The distant non-cropped photos are what I get now. The cropped ones are what I want to get with a good 500mm lens!
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 11:14 AM   #12
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Monza76 wrote:
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Trojansoc

How do you find the Phoenix lens overall? Do you think it is a big improvement over 300mm? I am forced to aim for more modest priced equipment since I just blew my budget (meagre as it was) on a new computer.

Ira

BTW, I just went for lots of RAM in my new computer, 2GB in a fairly basic 1.6GHz dual core with Windows XP and a 160GB hard drive. It has all of the popular memory card slots built in and a DVD burner for backup, finally a photography computer.
Ira, I'm certainly not a salesman for Phoenix lenses, and I've not heard a lot good about them overall, but I've had real good luck with this one, and my son's been very pleased with what he's done. Rather than post the same images again, I posted some better ones with the lens in another thread.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=94

Ira, congrats on the new computer. One of these days I'm going to have to do the same, but I just hate the thought of reconfiguring another one the way I like it.

Dawg, I'm certainly not claiming that the shots out of the Phoenix will rival the DA*50-130 but in crispness, but overall, I've had good from it. I look at it as a pretty good "make-do" till I can afford a Bigma.

Paul



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Old Jan 4, 2008, 11:17 AM   #13
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bigdawg wrote:
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Paul..How about a FA* 300mm F/2.8??? Or wait a little and Pentax may give you that 70-200 f/2.8 your looking for...I've seen some FA* lens out there but they all start at 1400 dollars and up! They usually finally go for $2500.00 on EBAY... I had a phoenix 100-500mm lens and sold it because it would never give me that really sharp photo...Was way too soft from zoom range to zoom range and edge to edge...Just couldn't get it to give me a sharp photo!

Dawg

Ed
I've decided to wait and see what Pentax announces before I see which way I want to go. the FA*300 is just way out of my price range. I'm hoping to be able to get something in the thousand dollar range. That's why I'm so p'd at Sigma for dropping the Pentax mount from their 70-200 f2.8.

Paul
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 1:42 PM   #14
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Hi Dawg,

It might seem like the impossible dream, but IMO the secret ingredient for reasonably affordable Pentax long AF glass is P F 1.7x Auto Focusing Adapter if you can get one.

Add a used Tamron SP300/2.8 LD (IF) ($600-800) and you have a very competent AF 510mm f4.8. Stack the AFA on the SP 140F TC that often comes with the SP 300 and you have a relatively compact AF 714mm f6.7 that gives surprisingly good results. Close to the same max aperture and weight as the Bigma, but about 40% more reach, and it doesn't have to extend to almost twice it's original length to do it, unlike the Bigma. As a bonus, you still have a MF 300/2.8 for those very low light days, and it focuses as close as 8.5 ft, even with the TCs. I can use it handheld, but have found that it's a whole lot easier to get great results with a tripod or monopod.

Add a very good 300 f4-4.5 (Sigma 100-300/4 ($1000), A*, F*,or FA* 300 ($600-1300), Tokina 100-300 f4 AT-X SD ($200-300) or AF ($600-800), or the coming DA*300/4) and you have an AF 510mm f6.8-7.7 that will work in all but the darker outdoor lighting situations, and is about 2.5 - 3.5 lbs for the best handholdable ~500mm alternative around.

Want a good fast portrait lens? Add any of the fast 50s (AF or MF)and you have an AF 85mm f2.4-2.9 with razor thin DOF. Want a very compact AF 306mm f4.3 or AF 340 f4.8? Add a Tamron SP 180 f2.5 or A*200 2.8 (or the coming DA*200/2.8 ) respectively.

Want a very good medium to long tele zoom? Add a Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 LD ($200-400), and you have a very useful AF 136-340 f4.8 that focuses to @ 6.5 ft. The inexpensive ($70-150), but great A70-210/4 becomes a very compact AF 119-357 f6.8.

Yes, the 1.7x AFA is relatively rare and usually expensive, but I was able to find a spare one this last year (when ebay prices were going $300-400) at an obscure online camera dealer in MN for $79 + shipping. Yes, you do have to fiddle with the lens to get the focus reasonably close to get within the AFA's focusing range, but with a little use, it becomes second nature, and then the AF is very quick and positive. The other good thing is that it doesn't transmit lens focal length to the camera body, so SR can be set manually, unlike most (all) of the other AF TCs, and it calculates the effective aperture (multiplying by 1.7) and transmits the corrected value to exif. The extra functionality it adds to fast glass of just about any FL makes it very valuable, IMO.

Take it from a guy who has always been searching out longer reach. This is the single most important lens accessory in my kit (the only thing I chose to buy a spare of), and its unique qualities will much more likely than not keep me with Pentax for quite a while since no other mfg made one (except for Nikon, but that one is even harder to find, apparently). This is one guy who doesn't need to lament the lack of quality long glass for Pentax.

Scott
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 2:38 PM   #15
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snostorm wrote:
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Hi Dawg,

It might seem like the impossible dream, but IMO the secret ingredient for reasonably affordable Pentax long AF glass is P F 1.7x Auto Focusing Adapter if you can get one.

Add a used Tamron SP300/2.8 LD (IF) ($600-800) and you have a very competent AF 510mm f4.8. Stack the AFA on the SP 140F TC that often comes with the SP 300 and you have a relatively compact AF 714mm f6.7 that gives surprisingly good results. Close to the same max aperture and weight as the Bigma, but about 40% more reach, and it doesn't have to extend to almost twice it's original length to do it, unlike the Bigma. As a bonus, you still have a MF 300/2.8 for those very low light days, and it focuses as close as 8.5 ft, even with the TCs. I can use it handheld, but have found that it's a whole lot easier to get great results with a tripod or monopod.

Add a very good 300 f4-4.5 (Sigma 100-300/4 ($1000), A*, F*,or FA* 300 ($600-1300), Tokina 100-300 f4 AT-X SD ($200-300) or AF ($600-800), or the coming DA*300/4) and you have an AF 510mm f6.8-7.7 that will work in all but the darker outdoor lighting situations, and is about 2.5 - 3.5 lbs for the best handholdable ~500mm alternative around.

Want a good fast portrait lens? Add any of the fast 50s (AF or MF)and you have an AF 85mm f2.4-2.9 with razor thin DOF. Want a very compact AF 306mm f4.3 or AF 340 f4.8? Add a Tamron SP 180 f2.5 or A*200 2.8 (or the coming DA*200/2.8 ) respectively.

Want a very good medium to long tele zoom? Add a Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 LD ($200-400), and you have a very useful AF 136-340 f4.8 that focuses to @ 6.5 ft. The inexpensive ($70-150), but great A70-210/4 becomes a very compact AF 119-357 f6.8.

Yes, the 1.7x AFA is relatively rare and usually expensive, but I was able to find a spare one this last year (when ebay prices were going $300-400) at an obscure online camera dealer in MN for $79 + shipping. Yes, you do have to fiddle with the lens to get the focus reasonably close to get within the AFA's focusing range, but with a little use, it becomes second nature, and then the AF is very quick and positive. The other good thing is that it doesn't transmit lens focal length to the camera body, so SR can be set manually, unlike most (all) of the other AF TCs, and it calculates the effective aperture (multiplying by 1.7) and transmits the corrected value to exif. The extra functionality it adds to fast glass of just about any FL makes it very valuable, IMO.

Take it from a guy who has always been searching out longer reach. This is the single most important lens accessory in my kit (the only thing I chose to buy a spare of), and its unique qualities will much more likely than not keep me with Pentax for quite a while since no other mfg made one (except for Nikon, but that one is even harder to find, apparently). This is one guy who doesn't need to lament the lack of quality long glass for Pentax.

Scott
Scott I'd like that adapter and will have one, one day to go along with the Bigma. I posted these with the above title not to convince anyone to get a longer lens but rather to show a comparison between the distance I have to shoot from and the way I wish I could shoot these...It's just a title folks not a declaration!

Dawg
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 4:18 PM   #16
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bigdawg wrote:
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Scott I'd like that adapter and will have one, one day to go along with the Bigma. I posted these with the above title not to convince anyone to get a longer lens but rather to show a comparison between the distance I have to shoot from and the way I wish I could shoot these...It's just a title folks not a declaration!

Dawg
Hi Dawg,

Unfortunately the AFA won't AF with the Bigma as it would have a max aperture of f10.8 at the long end. Though Pentax recommends using it with f2.8 max lenses, I've found that it works well with apertures as slow as f4.5 if the lens is sharp.

I was trying to illustrate how versatile the AFA is, and how it allows, with some moderately priced lenses (expensive ones still, admittedly) a whole lot of versatility. Even at the inflated prices it is commanding, it's a viablealternative (IMO a better one) for those seeking long glass for the Pentax DSLRs. Personally, I'd rather have either of my ~500mm alternatives than the Bigma, and have not even thought of getting one afterdiscovering how good my SP300/2.8 is with the AFA.

Even considering that the SP300/2.8 + AFA combo might end up costing as much or more than the Bigma, and the FA* 300/4.5 + AFA combo would probably be considerably more, they'd still be my choices, being both a lot faster and more compact in use in the case of the Tamron, and much more compact and much, much lighter for the FA*.

Just statingmy experience and the reasons I made my choices. . . with a very good understanding of why you want to go longer.:-)

Scott

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Old Jan 4, 2008, 11:27 PM   #17
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Thanks for the insight Scott. I'm always in learning mode and have a very open mind to the recomendations and experiences of folks on this forum. Thank you again!



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