200-ish mm recommendations for Pentax k100d?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com], Mar 1, 2009.

  1. I have a Pentax k100d that's a little over a year old.

    I received excellent advice in here on buying the Pentax 16-45mm so I
    thought I'd give it another go.

    I'd like a lens with a decent zoom so I can take pictures outdoors of
    mostly wildlife: birds in the backyard, zoo visits, that sort of

    Price-wise I think I'd be most happy in the $400 area and I could
    probably stomach up to $600.

    Lenses I've been looking at:
    Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED
    Pentax DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL IF
    Pentax SMC DA* Series 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM

    It doesn't necessarily have to be a Pentax branded lens though.

    Thanks in advance.
    Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com], Mar 1, 2009
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  2. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    Ron Recer Guest

    I take a lot of wildlife photos and in my opinion the 55-300 might be
    enough, but just barely. I use a 100-400 IS and often wish I had more

    Ron Recer, Mar 1, 2009
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  3. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    Get lost Guest

    Get the last one. It's quality is impeccable, as good as high end
    lenses from the other marks. Plus, it's not that expensive.
    Get lost, Mar 2, 2009
  4. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    Bruce Guest

    But it doesn't go near 200mm, or even 200-ish.
    Bruce, Mar 2, 2009
  5. Judging by the price difference and more limited range, I suspected
    the 50-135 was in a higher league than the other two lenses I

    I don't know if 135 would be adequate or not. Is there any way to
    judge that without actually using the lens first? :)

    I'm still an SLR newbie.
    Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com], Mar 2, 2009
  6. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com] wrote:
    135mm might be adequate of you have a bird table outside the window.
    Otherwise the 300mm would be better for things at the bottom of your
    garden. I have a 70-300mm zoom (Nikon, lower-cost, image stabilised) and
    that's a fair compromise as it provides good zoom and long reach, but it's
    not too heavy to hand hold for extended periods. Having the image
    stabilisation in the lens makes the image in the viewfinder more stable,
    which helps me a lot.

    You may be able to get something similar for Pentax.

    David J Taylor, Mar 2, 2009
  7. I understand that for birding, you cannot have too long a

    You could take your longest current lens and crop so you get the
    same field of view as with e.g. 135mm. You could look at other
    peoples' photographs and see what lens they did use. You could
    rent a lens and test it. You could consider a non-zoom lens for
    less cost and more image quality. :)

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Mar 2, 2009
  8. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    OG Guest

    Pentax has in-body VR. This means that the OP can use any K-Mount lens
    (except Ricoh lenses) from the last 30 years or so - maybe with manual zoom
    and manual exposure, but looking on ebay or second hand sites means that
    he's not limited to new lenses.

    I get adequate shots using an old Vivitar 75-205 mm lens - but would still
    prefer either something longer or a walkaround 18-200/250mm .

    Use of a monopod or tripod is suggested for wildlife shots at that level of
    OG, Mar 2, 2009
  9. OG wrote:
    Agreed, a major advantage of in-body VR is the ability to use existing
    non-VR lenses, but the snag is that the image in the viewfinder is not
    stabilised, and this becomes increasingly significant at focal lengths
    beyond 200mm. Lens design hasn't become stagnant in the last twenty
    years, and modern lenses can offer significant advantages over some older
    versions, for example better performance, lighter weight faster auto-focus
    etc., but it's nice to have the choice. Most lenses still have manual
    zoom - I guess you meant manual focus! <G>

    I have used an 18-200mm VR lens, and it's great for a walk-round lens, or
    when you are in a hurry and don't have the time to change lenses or the
    conditions are not right (dust, rain etc.).

    I find that a tripod or monopod isn't as necessary with the modern DSLR,
    where you can let the ISO drift towards 800 or even 1600 with little loss
    of quality.

    David J Taylor, Mar 2, 2009
  10. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    Guest Guest

    some ricoh lenses will work fine, namely the early mechanical ones.
    ricoh then made a slight change to the mount (auto-aperture pin if i
    recall) that can latch into the pentax autofocus hole and the lens can
    no longer be removed without cutting.
    Guest, Mar 2, 2009
  11. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    OG Guest

    If you're interested
    Here are some cropped images taken with my K100 D super and the lens
    mentioned above

    All taken at 200mm focal length, with the bird feeder about 4.5 metres from
    the camera. Camera is tripod mounted and I made myself a cable release so I
    can fire off a burst whenever a bird sits.

    I'm not sure of the cost, but Sigma have a long zoom (something like a
    300-500mm) that is known as the Bigma. AFAIK, it's not available to us
    leftponders, but seems to be favourite of those buying in USD.
    OG, Mar 3, 2009
  12. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    OG Guest

    Treat it like picking mushrooms in the wild - unless you know what you're
    doing, it's not something you would recommend to beginners.
    OG, Mar 3, 2009
  13. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    Paul Arthur Guest

    USD is a leftpondian currency, so your statement is a bit difficult to
    Paul Arthur, Mar 3, 2009
  14. Stilgar[bbs.iscabbs.com]

    OG Guest

    Ooops. very true* - lots of my family have problems with using 'left' &

    *I could argue that I was facing the equator at the time, but (although
    true) it wouldn't excuse it :)
    OG, Mar 3, 2009
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