Sharpest, cheapest and fastest long zoom?


zealousdp

Link Posted 23/03/2010 - 23:21
Hi all. Not sure if this has been discussed recently, I had a little look but found nothing specific.

I've recently bought three 80-205mm to compare and will eventually buy THE ONE and ditch the others. I need some help before I go broke trying them all

What zoom lens (with any ranges between 50 and 250) is the very sharp, very cheap (under £40) and very fast wide open? It has to be all three to qualify.

Also, it has to be bayonet fit but can be third party brand.

If this has been discussed before, apologies. Please point me in the direction of the thread.

Many thanks. Enjoy the "talking" ("No children, mummy and daddy aren't fighting...we;re just talking loudly" springs to mind).

David

hefty1

Link Posted 23/03/2010 - 23:33
This is an easy one - it doesn't exist.

There are fast and sharp lenses out there but they aren't cheap (three or sometimes even four figures).

There are fast and cheap lenses out there but they lack image quality.

There are cheap lenses with good IQ but they're slow wide open.

Take your pick of which two features you need the most because you won't get all three I'm afraid.
Joining the Q

johnriley

Link Posted 23/03/2010 - 23:35
The SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm zoom is the best I've used for digital. The L version is relatively cheap, but nowhere near your £40 requirement.
Best regards, John

Anvh

Link Posted 23/03/2010 - 23:40
David, I think it will be hard to find such a lens.
The best might be a Tamron 70-300, DA 50-200 but above your price.
I think you should look for a prime, there are quite a lot of 135mm lenses I believe and they are sharp, fast and around the price you want.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
Last Edited by Anvh on 23/03/2010 - 23:43

womble

Link Posted 23/03/2010 - 23:50
The Copper Beech photograph I just posted in the "My Pictures" section was taken with my Tamron 70-300mm zoom which did cost forty quid. I got a bargain though, thanks to Jessops messing up.

If you want fast(ish) and cheap you need to think old primes, not zooms I'm afraid.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

andrewk

Link Posted 23/03/2010 - 23:57
zealousdp wrote:
What zoom lens (with any ranges between 50 and 250) is the very sharp, very cheap (under £40) and very fast wide open?

The Pentax-M 75-150mm f4 is sharp and under £40. Nice lens.


Andrew
Flickr photostream

Dangermouse

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 00:00
The Pentax-M 135mm f3.5 should be available for around that price, it's fast and sharp but all-manual. You should also be able to find a Pentax-M 75-150mm f4, again an excellent lens but manual. I have both and wouldn't sell either, but the zoom sees more use on my MX than my K-m simply as manual zooms are a bit of a pain with shake reduction. You should also be able to find the Pentax-M 80-200mm f4.5 - look for the earlier version with the chrome ring below the part of the barrel that has the lettering on. Again, all manual but a very solid performer.

I don't think you will find much worth owning in a modern AF zoom for that sort of money. Pentax have never offered many "very fast" telephoto zooms - usually you're looking at f4.5-5.6. The only way to get fast, sharp and cheap (relatively cheap) is to buy manual focus primes like the K 135mm f2.5 or K 120mm f2.8. Usually the faster versions of lenses are rarer - for the average person in the '70s f3.5 was perfectly adequate and they simply couldn't afford the extra for the faster lens, so there are fewer of them around now and those that do exist don't change hands often.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

mowog

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 01:05
Like Hefty says, Fast, long, sharp AND cheap, does not exist.

The closest I can think of, and that I have experience of, is the Pentax SMC PK-A 70-210. It is sharp, has a constant f4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range, focuses quite close... And if you're lucky, you might get one for £40. Mine cost £50. Second hand, of course.
No man is worth his salt, who has not been banned from at least one Forum, and two Flickr groups.

Mowog.

thoughton

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 01:48
Closest thing I've used is a Tamron Adaptall-2 80-210mm f3.8-4. Sharp, decent speed, good IQ. Manual focus of course. You should be able to find a second hand one for £10-20 on ebay, £30-40 from a shop.
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
FlickrFluidrPPGStreetPortfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!

DoctorJeff

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 08:15
There is a saying in the software business (and in several others, I think):
You can have it fast, you can have it cheap, or you can have it good.
Pick any one from three!
Geoff
Water can wear away a stone - but it can't cook lunch
X-5
istDS
K2000
P50.
Lenses Digital: 50-200, 18-55 KAF: 28-80.
Lenses KA & K: SMC-KA f2.0, SMC-K f1.4, SMC-K f1.7 Tokina KA 28-70 , SMC Pentax 70-210 F4, Sigma KA 75-300 , Hanimex 500mm Mirror, and the Tamron Adaptall-2 stuff.
and then there's all the M42 kit, and the accessories ...
Last Edited by DoctorJeff on 24/03/2010 - 08:15

robbie_d

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 09:01
DoctorJeff wrote:
There is a saying in the software business (and in several others, I think):
You can have it fast, you can have it cheap, or you can have it good.
Pick any one from three!
Geoff

I think the lens equivalent is something like this:

Fast
Cheap
Sharp

Pick any two. N.B. Choice may not exist for every brand of lens.



There's a similar one for tripods (cheap, light, sturdy).
If you can't say something nice about Pentax, you won't say anything at all.

Apparently.

zealousdp

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 09:44
Thanks everyone so far for your contributions. Its very interesting to see how people think.

I guess if a compramise has to be made, then rule out "VERY" fast as I'm sure all cheap lenses will be old, and within that focal range they were't very fast anyway (maybe except super expensive ones in the first place I don't know).

In regards to "it does not exist" and words to that effect, sorry to say, they're not really in keeping with the thread unless some kind of solution (or compromise/combo) is offered along with it. No offence intented, so please, no need to get all defensive.

Thanks again everone. Looking forward to reading more.

David

zealousdp

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 09:46
Oh, lastly, feel free to post a pic and 50% crop of a real world example of the lens in action along with EXIF.

Thanks

womble

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 09:52
For a cheap, fast-ish and sharp 200mm prime see this thread.

The results from the Tammy I have already mentioned.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

wadna

Link Posted 24/03/2010 - 09:57
"In regards to "it does not exist" and words to that effect, sorry to say, they're not really in keeping with the thread unless some kind of solution........"
The solution was staring you in the face, you just chose not to hear it - a compromise on your part is necessary.

Regards, Ian.
Last Edited by wadna on 24/03/2010 - 09:58
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