sigma vs Tammy 70-300 vs Pentax da 50-300


walt

Link Posted 20/04/2015 - 23:49
I've got both the tamron 70-300 LD Di and the pentax 55-300 WR and had the Sigma 70-300 APO, without a doubt the Tamron is the best at AF. The pentax is so disappointing at AF that I've started using it in manual focus for birds in flight shot. Here's one that was taken with the Tamron that I just couldn't imagine getting anywhere near with the Pentax:


It's not a great shot but shows that the tamron can do fast moving creatures.
Walt
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johnha

Link Posted 21/04/2015 - 00:58
My only contribution is that I have an old Sigma 70-300 Apo Super (circa 2000), it is my only AF lens that goes out to 300mm. It appears to lose IQ once you get above 200mm, I think my Tamron AD2 60-300 SP is sharper but it's manual focus. Given that Sigma don't seem to want to support the K mount, I don't see any reason to buy their lenses at the moment.
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richandfleur

Link Posted 21/04/2015 - 01:50
I went with the Tamron initially as I wanted cheap and sharp right to 300mm, which it does do.

These were all on the Tamron:
fantail
duck
parrot

And this one was with the Pentax 55-300 DA-L

michaelblue

Link Posted 21/04/2015 - 06:12
These were taken last week with the Pentax 55-300 (non WR) using autofocus, it takes a bit of practice but it is possible to get birds in flight with this lens.




Regards,
Michael
My new website:link

richandfleur

Link Posted 21/04/2015 - 08:10
michaelblue wrote:
These were taken last week with the Pentax 55-300 (non WR) using autofocus, it takes a bit of practice but it is possible to get birds in flight with this lens.

Nice

gwing

Link Posted 21/04/2015 - 16:11
The Pentax 55-300 is a nice lens with an exceptionally useful focal length range at an absolute bargain price which I thoroughly recommend.

but

If you are really interested in birds in flight this is not the lens for you but really neither is anything else that is cheap either. It is possible to get some decent BIF shots with this lens, but many/most are missed and it is an exercise in frustration.

Using this lens for BIF AF I recommend you do everything you can to make the camera more responsive i.e. take off any lens filters, preset exposure manually, go down to single AF point and prefocus to somewhere that is somewhat beyond your target focus point but ideally not too far off focus and make absolutely sure you don't press the focus button without the target being properly centered in the viewfinder. That way you may get one or two nice frames before the lens goes off on a wild hunt while you have a cup of tea or two. If you are *really* good at holding the bird firmly on the focus point you can probably do better than me but you have to be good - at the small maximum aperture the lens offers AF is too unresponsive to use with multiple points and once you ask for AF with the focus point off target the lens travel is so slow you are lost.

McGregNi

Link Posted 21/04/2015 - 18:01
I'm sure that to an extent Rob, those points would apply to all of the budget options on the table. As I've said, on the K7 I have found the Tamron 70-300 AF snappy and accurate, but I'm not a bird shooter, and I would never seriously have expected it to perform well for any fast moving action situation ...I would expect to be spending much more if I had ambitions to achieve much in that type of field.

Because my expectations were not high, I was pleasantly surprised for what I'm using it for ... That's the key to a happy customer!
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richandfleur

Link Posted 21/04/2015 - 21:30
I tried birding once with the Tamron and it matched everything you described gwing

Fast small Swallows would have been a challenge for anything, but especially anything in the lower budget range that I can afford.

gwing

Link Posted 22/04/2015 - 09:42
McGregNi wrote:
I'm sure that to an extent Rob, those points would apply to all of the budget options on the table. As I've said, on the K7 I have found the Tamron 70-300 AF snappy and accurate, but I'm not a bird shooter, and I would never seriously have expected it to perform well for any fast moving action situation ...I would expect to be spending much more if I had ambitions to achieve much in that type of field.

Because my expectations were not high, I was pleasantly surprised for what I'm using it for ... That's the key to a happy customer!

Yes I think the problems are endemic to any budget long/slow zoom. I think the primary problem is that at 300mm the lens aperture is on the limit for AF and hence AF response is slow, which is why I recommend using single point AF, it does also greatly help if you have bright sunny conditions and a contrasty subject. The secondary problem is that the lens has a long and slow mechanical travel so that once it starts winding in and out you are lost hence my recommendation to start out focused just beyond the anticipated focus distance (the camera electronics first start trying to achieve focus in this direction, if you start initially focused too close rather than too distant the camera continues to wind in and you never achieve focus).

In the end I weakened and snapped up a Siggy 100-300 f4 that came up. This is as expected night and day for BIF compared to the budget lenses, it is mechanically faster of course but I think the real reason it is so much better is simply that it is f4 and at that aperture the AF sensors work vastly faster which in turn makes multipoint focus viable. Even the focus tracking on my K30 works properly

For everything else except BIF I like the 55-300. Its IQ is good enough that I can carry it instead of the SIggy and save a lot of weight.
Last Edited by gwing on 22/04/2015 - 09:46

jeallen01

Link Posted 22/04/2015 - 10:06
Many years ago, I tried (and then bought) the 55-300 against the non-APO Sigma (SRS in Ruislip only had that one) and there was "no contest", especially at the long end where the Pentax was very sharp (and the Sigma was heavier too).

Never bought the Tamron because of the reported fringing - and did not like the manual focus ring rotation either.

Also have the 100-300 and agree with gwing about their relative operations and applications - but would also not use the 55-300 for any other fast action shots unless (and in extremis, like I'm on holiday and travelling a lot where weight counts) the action motion was purely at right angles to me (so also not a good choice for airshows, car/bike/boat racing, etc..)
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 /"K-50" to a backup body), & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)
Last Edited by jeallen01 on 22/04/2015 - 10:28

michaelblue

Link Posted 22/04/2015 - 10:07
Our camera club was once lucky enough to be invited by AP magazine to spend a day with a professional wildlife photographer photographing Red Kites, he suggested using multi AF points if the sky was clear blue or white/grey but single point AF otherwise, this was great advice and worked well even with the 55-300 and K10D (if you think about it, it makes sense)
Of course the 55-300 isn't the best for this and there will be many 'duds' but at the moment I can't afford anything better so I have to 'make do' with it.
Regards,
Michael
My new website:link

jeallen01

Link Posted 22/04/2015 - 11:41
michaelblue wrote:
he suggested using multi AF points if the sky was clear blue or white/grey but single point AF otherwise, this was great advice and worked well even with the 55-300 and K10D (if you think about it, it makes sense)
.

Think/personal experience with the GX10 (a K10D with a different "paint job"!) is that using multiple AF points is OK if they are close enough together on the sensor and the bird/plane (etc.) you are shooting covers occupies a large section of the frame - otherwise not
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 /"K-50" to a backup body), & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)
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