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Old Jan 29, 2005, 3:26 PM   #1
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I am considering purchasing the Pentax *istDS dSLR with Pentax DA 18-55mm lens kit. For a second lens (telephoto), I was thinking either:

Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD ASPH IF
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Zoom Macro Super II

Which would you choose? Why? Any other suggestions?

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Old Jan 29, 2005, 6:03 PM   #2
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I am thinking of buying an *ist DS with those two lenses:
- Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro
- Tamron SP AF 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

I am not a particular Tamronite at all. I have just been scouting around for *ist DS lenses of speed and quality the last few days and those two struck me. The 28-75 seems particularly outstanding in its image quality and even compactness -- I can only report from reviews I've been reading -- so it's hearsay. I'd be very interested to hear people's experiences.

I'd personally much rather get very good image quality and lots of speed than endless focal length. This is obviously a very subjective issue.

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Old Jan 30, 2005, 10:15 AM   #3
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Yes, I agree about the speed vs endless focal length issue. I have the 18-55mm kit lens too, and I just purchased the Sigma 28-105mm f/2.8-4 Aspherical from Adorama. This lens has gotten good reviews and is pretty fast for the price. (I got it for $175).

Then I'll probably fill out my lens bag with something that is 100-300mm for longer telephoto shots. I'm going to try to find something that is f/4 constant or better without breaking the bank.

So this would give me:

Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens

Sigma 28-105mm f/2.8-4

and ? 100-300mm f/4

Should be pretty good I think. I might also pick up a Pentax 50mm f/1.4 for no-flash indoor shots/portraits.
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Old Feb 7, 2005, 1:04 PM   #4
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I have the Sigma 70-300 F/4.0-5.6 APO Macro Super (not II) that I am using on a DS. The lens seems sharp throughout the zoom range. My experience from 35mm photography is that this lens is sharper then the 28 to 200/300 zooms but not equal to the big f/2.8 tele zooms. The maximum aperture is small, but letting the camera shift to 400-800 iso has produced very nice images. And the lens is available used for around $100. I bought mine at KEH.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 7:57 AM   #5
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May I ask to what use you will put your 300mm lens? I say this because I once made the mistake of buying a huge telephoto lens, and after a short period it was consigned to the garage!

A 70-210mm lens is much more manageable, and you don't have to be a weight-lifter. Together with the basic lens I find all my interests - wildllife, rugby, etc. are catered for. And on those odd occasions when I could do with more, a resizing of the picture in Photoshop or whatever does the trick.

Unless you really have a specialist interest requiring it, my honest opinion is that you would find a 300m zoom limited in use.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 4:21 PM   #6
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A 70-210 lens would probably be sufficient for most situations, but occasionally it's nice to have someting longer like the 70-300. I've found the 300 helpful with nature/bird photography, and I'm sure it would be useful with some sports photography. Also, Sigma does not make a 70-210 APO.
I do plan to buy a smaller tele zoom at some point, but I'm holding off for now because I'm guessing that Pentax will soon put out a lens like that in their digital lens line in the near future. So far thier digital lenses have gotten good comments.
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Old Feb 27, 2005, 4:17 PM   #7
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In my view, the main points to consider are:

quality at 300 mm (expected to be better in the Sigma). If you often shoot at this focal length (equivalent to 450 mm on the *istDS !) this could be a reson to prefer the Sigma (it is also better than Tamron 28-300 on the other comparable focal lengths).


extended focal range in the Tamron: can be a good solution if you may want/needto carry with you only one lens (42 mm is not a wideangle but is often enough) or you operate in situations where it is not too easy changing the lens.

I'm now using with good satisfaction a 28-300 of the first serie on the *istDS (apart from certainpictures taken at 300 mm that came out somehow blurry in presence of high contrast).

I also read good comments on the XR in this forum.


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Old Mar 5, 2005, 10:42 AM   #8
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If I were you I would ge a Pentax 28-105, which is a very sharp lens and is about $200 and then save my money for a prime 300mm lens for longer shots if you want high quality photos.

My Pentax FA* 300mm lens if extremely sharp, much more so than any zoom, but it was fairly expensive.

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Old Mar 8, 2005, 11:44 PM   #9
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I have been shooting tele shots with my Pentax 80-200 AF I bought used at KEH for around $70.

The APS sensor sits right in the sweet spot of the optics, so a stop or two down gives very good results for very little money.

Here's a pic I shot handheld with the 80-200:


It's a low res jpeg, and the female duck is just out at the edge of the depth of field, but this pic is VERY sharp and the male duck has wonderful vibrant colors in RAW/TIFF.

I am looking for a used Pentax 80 - 320 AF as this would be a 120-480 on the istds and should give decent results stopped down a bit. They can be found used for a good price as well.

So far, all of my Pentax primes (50mm F f1.7, 50mm FA 1.4) and my zooms (Pentax AF 28-70 f4 AL, the 80-200, and a Tamron 28-105) have shown nice results with the little camera that could. Note that all of the zooms listed above can be had for little money at many places like KEH or Ebay.

Now if I could just get the istds flash TTL worked out with my AF400FTZ and my Metz 45 CT-4....

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