Lenses in 100-200mm range


mecrox

Link Posted 30/06/2010 - 23:47
I'd like to acquire a longer lens, mainly for walk-about stuff and photographing wildlife (in particular butterflies). I already have the D-FA 100mm macro lens and it is excellent for close-ups but not so easy for longer distances (the macro focusing causes it to hunt too much). Sometimes, it is important to show wildlife in its context so the opportunity to step back a bit, but still using a telephoto, is very useful.

Any suggestions or experiences? At the moment I've noticed the 50-135mm, a Sigma 50-150 (I think) or the DA 200mm which I'll admit sounds tempting though I couldn't afford it new. I know there is the 55-300mm but I don't anticipate needing that 200-300mm length. The purpose, apart from a little nature photography, is pulling in street scenes and portraits. A quality prime lens with good bokeh would fit the bill, if there is one. I already have the DA 50-200mm lens but while it's not bad it's not that brilliant either, especially at wider apertures (imho). A step up from that would be good.

Anvh

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 00:09
Just get the DA55-300 it's the best "budget" zoom Pentax has to offer.

You could also look for 70-200 f/2.8 lenses from Sigma or Tamron, they aren't that super expensive either and there where a lot in the classified lately I believe.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

MrCynical

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 00:28
For wildlife 200mm isn't really long enough - even for the relatively tame squirrels and small birds round my neck of the woods.

Rees

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 08:25
I agree with MrCynical here, 200mm is not long enough for your requirements. You would certainly need 500mm plus, which is outside the Pentax stable and hardly classed as a "walk about lens". you would be looking to Sigma/Tamron.
With regard to you Pentax D-FA 100mm Macro, this is an excellent lens, try switching to manual focus, which for actual macro work, you should be doing anyway. Do not confuse "macro" and "close-up" they are very different techniques.
Not everything in life is Black & White, If only it were!
Kind Regards,
Rees

johnriley

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 09:01
300mm is long enough for a lot of wildlife. Don't forget the 35mm-equivalent is 450mm, so this is no mean magnification.

I'd rather carry a Pentax 55-300mm or 300mm f4 than a Sigma 50-500mm.
Best regards, John

mecrox

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 09:21
Thanks for replies. Yes, I do use my 100mm macro lens on manual focus for getting in very close, though I sometimes also use autofocus as there sometimes isn't time to fiddle with manual focus if a butterfly is feeling skittish. It's a superb lens and one of my most often used ones but it isn't designed - I take it - for general telephoto use.

I am really thinking of a different approach to a shot like the one below. The idea here was to show some context while isolating the subject. It's not intended to be a close-up.

If I step back a little more from right beside the subject I would still nail the butterfly sharply but also show more of the field and perhaps even the sky (though without pleasing bokeh this would not be so effective). What I have found with the macro lens is that there is simply too much hunting around on autofocus at longer distances. This shot could equally well be of an interesting face in a crowded street, so the same idea applies. I think a trip to SRS and trying out a few things is in order. I have an old km to trade which will help reduce the outlay a little.



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Last Edited by mecrox on 01/07/2010 - 09:27

Rees

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 09:39
johnriley wrote:
300mm is long enough for a lot of wildlife. Don't forget the 35mm-equivalent is 450mm, so this is no mean magnification.

I'd rather carry a Pentax 55-300mm or 300mm f4 than a Sigma 50-500mm.

It would all depend on what wild life you are after, I recently attended Gegerin Farm, a Red Kite feeding centre, were the subject, Red Kites, are in abundance. I had my K20D and a Pentax f series, 300mm prime lens and the option to fit a 2x converter. The kites swooped in on the food they were offered by the centre and we were positioned in various hides around the food source, average distance 50 yards.
I could not obtain one decent frame of a Kite, even with the 2x converter fitted. I am an experienced photographer of many years standing. During a break and in conversion with fellow photographers from all over the country, the average focal length lenses was 600mm.
I later borrowed a Sigma 500mm off a fellow Pentaxian and the results, while not perfect, were considerably superior.
So in the case of Red Kites, in a relatively captured environment I have to disagree, a focal length of 300mm, even with the crop factor and converter is was totally inadequate.
Not everything in life is Black & White, If only it were!
Kind Regards,
Rees

whelmed

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 11:26
Anvh wrote:
Just get the DA55-300 it's the best "budget" zoom Pentax has to offer.

You could also look for 70-200 f/2.8 lenses from Sigma or Tamron, they aren't that super expensive either and there where a lot in the classified lately I believe.

Shhhhhh! I'm not looking for competition for my search
K-5; Siggy 10-20 f4, 30mm f1.4, 18-50mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8; Tammy 400mm f4, 500mm f8

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 19:50
Rees wrote:
johnriley wrote:
300mm is long enough for a lot of wildlife. Don't forget the 35mm-equivalent is 450mm, so this is no mean magnification.

I'd rather carry a Pentax 55-300mm or 300mm f4 than a Sigma 50-500mm.

It would all depend on what wild life you are after, I recently attended Gegerin Farm, a Red Kite feeding centre, were the subject, Red Kites, are in abundance. I had my K20D and a Pentax f series, 300mm prime lens and the option to fit a 2x converter. The kites swooped in on the food they were offered by the centre and we were positioned in various hides around the food source, average distance 50 yards.
I could not obtain one decent frame of a Kite, even with the 2x converter fitted. I am an experienced photographer of many years standing. During a break and in conversion with fellow photographers from all over the country, the average focal length lenses was 600mm.
I later borrowed a Sigma 500mm off a fellow Pentaxian and the results, while not perfect, were considerably superior.
So in the case of Red Kites, in a relatively captured environment I have to disagree, a focal length of 300mm, even with the crop factor and converter is was totally inadequate.

I'd have to disagree with some of this, based on my experience at Gigrin Farm, but also because, depending on the way you're shooting the wildlife, 300mm can be plenty long enough. Certainly 300+TC should cover most decent encounters.

If someone's serious about wildlife photography, then field craft will get the shots much better than a long lens. For instance, I 'like' Andy Rouse on Facebook, and he posted that the Little Owls he's photographing at the moment are now completely happy in his presence, so much so that the mum of the family was sat 6 feet from his car, and he didn't have a lens with him that focused close enough to get her. His most used lens for these is the 600mm, but that's on a full frame Nikon. He's often using the 100-400mm too for things like Bullfinches etc.

I don't pretend to be a wildlife photog, and my shots of animals and birds are mainly fortuitous encounters.

For the sort of photos Mecrox describes in his original post, I would think anything up to 300mm would be fine, and the 50-135 would probably be ideal.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

K10D

Link Posted 01/07/2010 - 20:04
mm matter.

300mm is effectively 6x closer to object
450mm is effectively 9x closer to subject
500mm is effectively 10x closer to subject

how much you crop or enlarge after that is up to you

Long lenses, 400mm and up are difficult to use for consistently good focus and IQ. I have used a 400 f/2.8 and after I calmed down and managed to manually focus it, the results were very good, of static subjects.

This is one of those issues where some will find good results with one set up that others won't.

Regards
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