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05-29-2010, 08:46 AM   #1
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IQ: Pentax DA 55-300mm vs Pentax-F 70-210mm

For those that have owned both, which one has the better IQ (at the over lapping focal ranges). I know the 55-300mm is faster at 200mm. Would I see an increase in image quality on the 55-300mm over the 70-210mm?

I have the Pentax-F 70-210mm, but was thinking about consolidating some lenses. I also have the DA 16-45mm and I could cover 4 lenses with the 16-45 and 55-300mm.

Lens I have that cover 16-300mm:

Pentax-F 70-210mm (which I use a lot)
Pentax-F 35-70mm (which I use very little)
Vivitar 200mm f3.5 (which I use very little)

I would lose a little speed on the vivitar (at 200mm), but gain on the other 2.

I am very frugal when it comes to lens purchases also, otherwise I would just buy the 55-300mm and try it out. So my plan would be to sell the other lenses and then buy the 55-300mm.

What do you think?


Last edited by 7.62lew; 06-17-2010 at 04:32 PM.
05-29-2010, 09:44 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if you'd get better IQ with the DA zoom, as the F is pretty good. I only have experience with the F, though, and not with the DA, though, so I can't help you there. However, I think your best bet would be to try the 55-300mm and see if it works out for you. Adorama has a great 14-day return policy that allows you to use something and return it if you don't like it, as long as you return it in the same condition as you got it. Remember to check my signature if you decide to go down that route

I'm the kind of person who goes for IQ over focal length coverage, so if I were you, I'd stick to the DA 16-45 and F 70-210. Personally, I'm not even that liberal, though. I just use three primes now: 35mm, 85mm, and 200mm

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05-30-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'm not sure if you'd get better IQ with the DA zoom, as the F is pretty good. I only have experience with the F, though, and not with the DA, though, so I can't help you there. However, I think your best bet would be to try the 55-300mm and see if it works out for you. Adorama has a great 14-day return policy that allows you to use something and return it if you don't like it, as long as you return it in the same condition as you got it. Remember to check my signature if you decide to go down that route

I'm the kind of person who goes for IQ over focal length coverage, so if I were you, I'd stick to the DA 16-45 and F 70-210. Personally, I'm not even that liberal, though. I just use three primes now: 35mm, 85mm, and 200mm
I didn't know about Adorama's return policy, that's pretty good. Yes I would consider IQ first, then focal length. I already have an FA* 300mm, but I could see situations where I could carry two lenses and cover 16-300mm (but not at a loss of IQ.)

Thanks for your reply.
06-17-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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I know this thread died a good while ago but I want to give something back if anyone else is considering the pentax-f 70-210. I think the pentax-f 70-210mm is a fantastic lens. I've just posted a review and some examples in the lens reviews. Yeah, its a bit heavy and a noisy but the image quality is wonderful. Have a look if you're interested.

06-17-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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for kit lens, usually newer would be better with modern glass and coatings used.

so when it was new, just which niche was the 70-210 in?
06-17-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
for kit lens, usually newer would be better with modern glass and coatings used.

so when it was new, just which niche was the 70-210 in?

I think it was considered "prosumer" being that it is a slow lens but an "ED" lens. I thought I read that they went for around $400 new, but I searched and could not find where I saw it. I bought mine like new in the box a few years ago from someone who rarely, if ever, used it. It had three price stickers on it: the first one, which I can't see because it is covered by the the second one at $229, then a third at"red tag" $199.
06-18-2010, 02:09 AM   #7
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Well, whatever it cost new, I think it is a fab piece of glass. Much better than the DA 50-200 and Tamron 70-300 I have used. I love it as much as my Pentax-F 50mm 1.7 and that is saying something.
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