150-450mm vs DA*300mm


Link Posted 25/03/2016 - 23:04
OK I know this has been asked before, but the 150-450 has been out and owned by a number of members for a year or so for wildlife how do these 2 lenses compare. Lots of questions, but hopefully other will find useful. Thanks in advance !

From what I gather online here and elsewhere, the image quality on the 150-450 is nearly as good (or as good or possibly better!?) as the excellent DA*300mm (which I own) and at 450mm holds its own against the DA*300mm and HD Pentax 1.4x teleconvertor. Do owners of both find this?

The AF on the 150 to 450mm is supposed to be faster (and more accurate) than the Da*300m with and without the teleconvertor? Have you found this?

Also has the f5.6 maximum aperture on the 150-450mm been a hindrance compared to f4 on the DA*300mm? And do you find you have to stop down to F6.3 on 150-450mm?

Having got used to using a prime for the last 4 years, do you find the zoom useful or do you shoot at 450mm all the time? Recently I have been caught out while photographing tamer larger wildlife being stuck at 300mm and unable to move back to frame the subject correctly. If I could zoom out without to much or no compromise this lens could be a good investment.
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Link Posted 25/03/2016 - 23:10
I've never owned either, but I doubt anyone would even need to ..... The answers must all be yes! I don't think anyone is going to have much trouble convincing you that the new zoom is an essential ...
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Last Edited by McGregNi on 25/03/2016 - 23:10


Link Posted 25/03/2016 - 23:28
Hi, I own the superb 300 F4 and the 1.4x tele adapter. I find them excellent for photographing small wildlife (the K3 sensor allows further cropping) and they fit easily in my small Tamrac shoulder bag. I can understand the need for a zoom for say big game as i gather you are often closer than expected. I've found the tele adapter ok on the 18 - 135mm in my bag albeit F8 at full telephoto.

I carry to complete my current setup a 12 - 24 F4 as well and am happy with the compromise between weight and full range coverage. If starting again now i think i would find the big zoom mentioned a lot to carry weight and size wise so would perhaps go for the 60 to 250 F4 DA star instead (but only when price right) to go with the excellent 1.4x adapter.
Last Edited by wvbarnes on 25/03/2016 - 23:42


Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 00:46
I am a "prime fanatic" of many years, zooms were never in my vocabulary having been more than disappointed with them over the years.

My appreciation of the superiority of primes was further underlined by the DA* 200 and DA* 300 ; they are stunning lenses in every respect; however I have to say , I eventually broke my own rules and bought the DA* 50-135 Zoom based purely on so many universal accolades from the reviewers and the users; this lens changed my view of zoom lenses for ever.

I realised very quickly that this zoom was truly comparable with prime lenses and I in no time added the 16-50 then the wonderful 60-250 DA*'s to my toolbox.

So, here we are with the 150-450: all I can say it is breathtaking, particularly wide open (check my portfolio shots); even making very large crops it is just fantastic.

I have used and abused this lens ( not physically) but in poor light, hand holding, wide open, slow shutter speeds, awful weather, where you just don't expect a "good image" and this big zoom never ceases to amaze even on insects.

Before it was released, being very frustrated by the delay in the K1 launch and fed up of endless waiting for Pentax I decided to buy a Canon or Nikon FF for wild life;

It was a big ( and costly) decision, so I decided to try out the cameras with the big zooms they were offering in both the pro grades and the " non- pro" grades

I did extensive field testing of the big Sigma and Tamron zooms too, as well as the big zooms from Nikon and Canon; The Canon/Nikon Pro versions were "nice" ( and that is all) but horrendously expensive; the "budget versions" were optically and from a user point of view, not as good as the Tamron, which was much brighter in the viewfinder and much quicker to focus, but the lens seemed flimsy compared to the others; the Sigma felt like an RPG Launcher but was optically up there with the rest.

I was now even more frustrated, as none of these lenses really impressed in the field so I parked that idea.

But, some months later, by pure chance, being in the right place at the right time, I tested the Pentax 150-450 on a K3 II; what a revelation; no contest, the big Pentax was simply stunning; I bought the K3II as well, to permanently mount solely on the big zoom.

So, is it as good as the fabulous DA* 300mm ?

For sure it is; as zooms go the lens is as good as the DA* 50-135.

There are shots in my portfolio which are not taken in ideal lighting conditions, which show what it can do at it's limits; in fact I posted some huge crops in there too just as an example of the way it handles such conditions (poor light , hand holding very large crops) - check to gallery submissions from me just this week ( Reed Bunting and Long Tailed Tit)

This lens is so good on both my K3 and dedicated K3II , I have just committed to a K1 and Four lenses but can't wait to try the big zoom on FF.

SO HOW GOOD IS IT; That good I will not ever again consider leaving Pentax.

Hope this helps and read the EXIFs if you check out some of the shots in my portfolio; case in point this weeks gallery submission of Long tailed Tit ( wide open F4.5, hand holding 800 ASA) that is as "bad as it gets" on this lens.



Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 09:07
I have both and since buying the 150-450mm I have to say the 300mm has not left the house. I am a big fan of Pentax DA* zooms anyway and the 150-450mm definitely has the same IQ as those lenses. I nearly always used the 300mm with the 1.4x so the f5.6 isn't a hindrance and the output from both is very similar at 420/450mm with the added bonus of being able to get an extra 200mm from the zoom with the 1.4x

Definitely a worthwhile purchase at what I paid when it first came out, even more so with the prices SRS are charging atm with their discount codes.
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Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 16:04
Damn it Mike, you don't make it any easier for us sitting on the fence, I am used to getting splinters now.
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
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Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 16:12
All very useful everyone, much appreciated
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Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 16:24
A slight deviation and possibly covered elsewhere, but has anyone compared the Sigma 150-500 1:5-6.3 APO HSM? I have one and really pleased but nothing to compare it with; one drawback is it's not WR. Would it be worth trading in for the 150-450 despite the slight loss in focal length?
Last Edited by RobL on 26/03/2016 - 16:27


Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 16:47
Judging from the experience of a few people I know, the 150-500mm Sigma is not in the same league as the 150-450mm Pentax, so the slight loss in focal length won't be a huge drawback.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 17:14
Thanks John, not really what I wanted to hear but probably what I expected! As I have been using it on a K50, and on occasion got sharp shots, it will be interesting to see what happens with a K-1. I expect the sensor will be a real test for a lens.


Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 17:43
I have the older version of the Sigma 150-500mm and it has rarely been used since I got my DA*300mm. I found the images were better cropped on the DA*300mm than on the SIgma at 500mm or cropped at 400/420mm (where the lens was sharper) . Combined with it being restricted to f8.0 to get sharp shots, the DA*300mm won out, as I can get sharp shots at f4.5, and even better at f5
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Last Edited by NeilP on 26/03/2016 - 17:46


Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 18:01
ilovesaabs wrote:
Damn it Mike, you don't make it any easier for us sitting on the fence, I am used to getting splinters now.

If I didn't enjoy swapping lenses around so much (that's just my excuse for GAS) I could easily get away with using only 4 now.

16-50mm/60-250mm/150-450mm and the 100mm WR macro.
Add the 1.4x and a flash and I'm good to go.
. My Flickr


Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 20:08
Mike-P wrote:
[quote:3496ace15f="ilovesaabs"]Damn it Mike, you don't make it any easier for us sitting on the fence, I am used to getting splinters now.

If I didn't enjoy swapping lenses around so much (that's just my excuse for GAS) I could easily get away with using only 4 now.

16-50mm/60-250mm/150-450mm and the 100mm WR macro.
Add the 1.4x and a flash and I'm good to go.[/quote)

1 slikght problem with that there is a 10mill gap in there unless you are taking the 1.4 in to concideration


Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 20:37
The 150-450 makes an awful lot of sense on full frame. From what I have seen it is superb. My only concern would be the bokeh - very important to the kind of photography that the long lens suits and the DA*300 performs particularly well. Often the achilles heel of the zoom, so an opinion would be interesting.
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Link Posted 26/03/2016 - 20:53
My only concern would be the bokeh



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