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Thread: ??-300mm Zoom Lens for a Pentax K-x, Looking for Recommendations

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    Question ??-300mm Zoom Lens for a Pentax K-x, Looking for Recommendations

    I was considering purchasing a SMC PENTAX DA 55-300MM F4-5.8 ED zoom lens but then got to thinking that there may be some more cost effective lenses in the same class from other manufacturers. I took a look at some Tamron and Sigma lenses but I'm more than a little confused at all of the technical specifications and abbreviations. So my question is, should I stick with the PENTAX branded lens that I know will work out-of-the-box or should I purchase a ??-300mm zoom lens from another manufacturer? I'm just starting out in photography and have no allegiance to one lens brand over another, I just want a lens that works well and one that should significantly outlast it's warranty period.

    If anyone has any lens recommendation consider that the lens(es) should fit directly onto the PENTAX K-x without using any funky adapters and be available on-line for less than my budget of $350.00 US. For reference, I can get the PENTAX DA 55-300mm lens NEW for $339.00 US and with free shipping to boot!

    Looking forward to hearing what you more experienced 'togs have to say.
    .
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    PENTAX K-x black body, smc PENTAX DA 18-55mm and 55-300mm AL II lenses & smc PENTAX-A f/1.7 50mm Prime lens

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    Hi HayTay - have you had a look at the lens review on Pentax Forums (I hope its okay to mention another site here) - they have a wealth of information about different lenses as well as third party manufacturers and you would probably get a better response rate asking your question there as well as you have dedicated Pentax users replying? Also - you may want to consider some older second hand glass as Pentax has awesome backward compatability if you want to save some money.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Pixley; 15-08-2010 at 8:49am. Reason: spelling error
    D800 Nikon 70-200 VR II, Nikon 105 2.8, Nikon 24-120 f4,
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    It's all about the Light!
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    I had the Sigma 70-300 (the APO version) and for the price is very good.
    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/70-30...dg-macro-sigma
    The non APO is no where as good according to reviews.
    I sold mine for budgetary reasons.
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    This thread on Pentax Forums may be useful to you -
    http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...apo-macro.html

    I have been lusting after the Pentax 60 - 250mm F4 but could not seriusly justify the cost for this lens for just hobby photography shots.

    So I have chosen the Pentax 55 - 300mm ( there are some really cheap ones going on ebay at moment ($305Aus - inc postage) couldn't resist at that price.
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    The other more expert Pentax posters here will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm reasonably sure that the stock Pentax DA lenses are built by Sigma anyway?

    The 18-55mm Pentax lens that came with my K-x kit was a Sigma, according to the included documentation, so I think I'm on reasonably solid ground.
    Waz
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoDo View Post
    The other more expert Pentax posters here will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm reasonably sure that the stock Pentax DA lenses are built by Sigma anyway?

    The 18-55mm Pentax lens that came with my K-x kit was a Sigma, according to the included documentation, so I think I'm on reasonably solid ground.

    No, sorry you are way off base with that one. Sigma does not make Pentax lenses, pentax makes most of their Pentax branded lenses (the only one I know of that wasn't was the 18-250mm which was a rebranded Tamron.) I am pretty sure the Schneider Kruznach lenses for Samsung are rebadged Pentax lenses also.

    Pentax technology is used in 3rd party lenses from Tokina but as far as I a aware Sigma does not utilise any Pentax technology.

    In Australia CR Kennedy is the distributor for both Pentax and Sigma so in a move that helped them push both brands they married Pentax cameras with K mount Sigma lenses and push that combination through to most Australian distributors (which also keeps the price down.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcons View Post
    In Australia CR Kennedy is the distributor for both Pentax and Sigma so in a move that helped them push both brands they married Pentax cameras with K mount Sigma lenses and push that combination through to most Australian distributors (which also keeps the price down.)
    So that means my kit is an Australia-only aberration? I'm not unhappy with getting a Sigma 18-55mm lens on my K-x body, but I'm certainly surprised they went to the trouble of branding it Pentax on the lens itself when it is still shown as a Sigma in the documentation.

    Keeping "the price down" makes sense when I bought it cheap from J-B Hifi; I'm just glad it wasn't $200 dearer! Thanks for the clarification, Falcons.

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    I did a lot of research on the Pentax 55-300mm and it was a standout in the prosumer lens in that range.

    I didn't buy one coz I'm saving up for the DA* 300mm as I really only wanted the longer reach.

    Cheers

    Kevin
    Cheers
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    G'day HayTay,

    have a look at the reviews at http://www.photozone.de/ to guide your decision making

    you may have to go to canon or nikon lens mounts to find a review for some (most) of the lenses by sigma, tamron, tokina, zeiss etc (more frequently reviewed in these mounts due to sales volumes etc) and then go to the respective manufacture's site or your preferred retailer to see if they make the lens in a pentax k-mount. Noting that tokina don't make many lenses for pentax anymore but as Falcon's points out pentax and tokina do share some lenses & technology, confusing, yes! photozone is usually good at sorting this out

    all pentax mounts regardless of brand will work out of the box, some of the new autofocus systems will not work with old pentax bodies for eg Sigma's rather nice HSM system does not work on older penatx dslrs but you should be ok with K-x being a new model,

    Kym did I get this right?

    but always check with the manufacturer specs to see what camera bodies are compatible.

    cheers,

    Tim
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    Thumbs up

    Many thanks to everyone who posted lens recommendations and lens review links. Whew! I've read quite a bit in the last week, it's all been extremely helpful and I've learned a lot. It seems that the SMC PENTAX DA 55-300MM F4-5.8 ED zoom lens has received a slew of favorable reviews, is regarded as a good value for the money and is a great all around lens for a beginning/hobbyist photographer. I've come to feel much better about my decision to purchase one and have just shelled out the cash. The lens should arrive on my doorstep in 5-7 business days. Besides springing for a Remote Control F that'll have to be my last photography equipment purchase for a while.

    Now I just have to learn how to better use my DSLR and lenses.

    Thanks again, everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HayTay View Post
    Besides springing for a Remote Control F that'll have to be my last photography equipment purchase for a while.
    Be sure to take your K-x and test the remote in the shop, HayTay! I've just been through the exercise and neither of the two I tried worked with my camera. The 'F' is listed as the correct unit for the K-x so both the retailer and I are stumped as to why they wouldn't fire. Yes, we had the unit configured for "AF with remote" but nada, zip, nothing! Just a heads up is all.

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    WhoDo, thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to check the remote functionality out thoroughly.

    Just a thought since you didn't mention it, you did set the K-x 'Drive Mode' to 'Remote Control' in addition to configuring the camera for 'AF with remote', didn't you? For reference and additional details, see page 134 of the K-x Operating Manual. Usually it's the simple things, like that, that 'get me'.
    Last edited by HayTay; 23-08-2010 at 2:53am.

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    I can recommend the Pentax 300, excellent lens, if you want more scope go the Sigma 100-300 .IMHO
    a granddad and enjoying every minute of it.
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    Thumbs up

    olefella > Thanks for confirming that I made a good decision on the Pentax 55-300mm zoom lens.

    I'm still waiting for my new zoom lens, hopefully it will arrive tomorrow so I can have a chance to test it out over the weekend.

    I just got my new PENTAX Remote Control F today. Woo-hoo! I only had a few minutes to test it out and see if it worked... or not. I'm happy to report that after setting the K-x 'Drive Mode' to 'Remote Control' the remote worked as advertised. I even tried it out after setting the camera's BULB mode. One push of the remote to open the aperture, count a few seconds, and another press to close the shutter was all it took to shoot one severely overexposed photo. Not bad for $12.00 US (including shipping).

    WhoDo > The 'Remote F' definitley works with the Pentax K-x. You may want to go back to the camera shop and have another go with the two (2) remotes and your camera.

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