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10-11-2010, 10:51 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
Oooo, the DA 16-50mm... I haven't considered that, but then I already have the DA 18-55mm that came with the K20. Is there much difference?
Are you referring to the DA 16-45 F4 or the DA* 16-50 F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM?

SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database

SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database

The 16-45 actually gets a slightly higher average rating despite being half the cost of the 16-50. Must be the SDM failures

10-11-2010, 10:53 AM   #17
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Don't forget the 16-45 as a budget zoom instead of the 16-50. A lot of bang for the buck IMHO.

Definitely 55-300 over the 50-200.
10-11-2010, 11:09 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
Errmm, no!

Please take into account that I'm a newbie to all this and will more than likely ask ridiculous questions!
Sorry, Didn't mean to imply anything. Being a newbie here doesn't always mean a newbie to photography or even to Pentax.

To better answer your question, from my experience with both lenses, On the k20d, the kit 18-55 amounts to a doorstop compared to the DA*16-50. I'm not saying you cannot get decent images with the kit lens but in this case, you do get what you pay for. The sharpness, color, rendering, bokeh, and every other photographic aspect of the DA* simply blows the kit lens away. The physical difference is quite large if that matters to you. The DA* is about twice the size and weight of the kit lens.

As with the other range zoom lenses, there are third party options that are also nice. The single real complaint about the DA* lenses is the SDM. If it fails, and in some cases it does, you are stuck with a manual focus lens. The k20d (or any other camera that has SDM enabled) will not revert to the screw drive. This failure will usually occur (IF it's going to happen) After the warranty expires. I've owned mine since the lens was released, used it A LOT, and haven't experienced any of these problems. However, just to be safe, if you go after one (new) I would suggest an extended warranty.

There are people here who get far more out of the lens than I do but here are some photos from mine (on all 3 cameras from K10d, K20d, and K7).

Pentax DA*16-50 SDM - a set on Flickr

Of course once you start down the DA* path, there is no turning back

10-11-2010, 02:43 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Of course once you start down the DA* path, there is no turning back
Unless you turn to the dark side. The FA Limiteds.

You taste it and next you are doomed forever.

10-11-2010, 03:16 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Of course once you start down the DA* path, there is no turning back
QuoteOriginally posted by ilya80 Quote
Unless you turn to the dark side. The FA Limiteds.

You taste it and next you are doomed forever.
And if you still can't gain control of your LBA after buying up the DA* and FA limiteds, you start shopping around for FA* lenses
10-11-2010, 03:23 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
Oooo, the DA 16-50mm... I haven't considered that, but then I already have the DA 18-55mm that came with the K20. Is there much difference?
If you're willing to wait a week or so I'll probably put together a comparison of the DA*16-50, DA 16-45 and DA 18-55 II.

As for the 55-300 vs the 50-200, I'd go with the 55-300 unless you expect to get soaked constantly. The 55-300 is technically better in pretty much every category: it's sharper, suffers from less vignetting and CAs, and is 100mm longer. Also, if you decide to sell it down the line it'll hold its resale better since the 50-200 is kind of considered a kit lens.

I have a 50-200 and honestly I've never liked it. It produces pretty nice contrast, but there's a nervous quality to the bokeh that always bugged me. That and the color reproduction is a little cool for my tastes. From what I've seen of the 55-300, it has some pretty nice bokeh at 300mm.
10-11-2010, 03:33 PM   #22
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Thanks everyone, I'm sold on the 55-300mm.

My local shop is selling the f/4.0-5.8 ED at 289 and the DAL version (non metal mount), which is unboxed, and has no lens hood or pouch for 169. Another newbie question, but why the difference of metal and plastic mounts?
10-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
Thanks everyone, I'm sold on the 55-300mm.

My local shop is selling the f/4.0-5.8 ED at 289 and the DAL version (non metal mount), which is unboxed, and has no lens hood or pouch for 169. Another newbie question, but why the difference of metal and plastic mounts?
The DAL version has a plastic mount, doesn't come with a hood, doesn't come with a pouch and doesn't have quick-shift focusing. The regular metal mount DA version comes with a hood, pouch and quick-shift focusing. Optically they are the same.

Here in the US the spread between the two lenses is much less (about $40-50 on the used market) so I would have a hard time recommending the DAL version if you were shopping here. At a spread of 120 I might think twice.

10-11-2010, 03:51 PM   #24
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Ah well, there's another dilemma then... I do like the quick shift focusing, but do I like it enough for an extra 120? Think I'll keep an eye on ebay!
10-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
Thanks everyone, I'm sold on the 55-300mm.

My local shop is selling the f/4.0-5.8 ED at 289 and the DAL version (non metal mount), which is unboxed, and has no lens hood or pouch for 169. Another newbie question, but why the difference of metal and plastic mounts?
Cost and weight savings, mostly cost. The metal mount is more durable, but at the same time I haven't really heard of problems with Canon's 50 1.8 plastic mount. Quick shift is a nice feature, but I'm not sure I'd pay 120 for it..
10-11-2010, 04:03 PM   #26
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The reason you might like the quick shift focus on the 55-300 lens because the focus throw is quite long therefore you can set your focus roughly before auto focusing. I have the DAL version and sometimes if I focus on something closer and then change the focus on a far object, the lens tends to take a while to lock. Hope that makes sense .
10-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ilya80 Quote
Unless you turn to the dark side. The FA Limiteds.

You taste it and next you are doomed forever.
Fortunately there are only 3 of them and they currently occupy space in my bags.

QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
And if you still can't gain control of your LBA after buying up the DA* and FA limiteds, you start shopping around for FA* lenses
I side stepped the DA*200 and went right to the FA*200 (non macro ). The 60-250 has never really called my name so I think I can resist that one. The FA*85 on the other hand screams at me every time I get a little extra cash.

10-11-2010, 10:02 PM   #28
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I did not know there was a DAL 55-300; only know about the DAL 50-200; something learned again. Don't forget that a lenshood is more-or-less a must and the originals don't come cheap.

If weather resistant is important, you only have two options: either the WR versions or DA* versions.
10-11-2010, 11:46 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
Another newbie question, but why the difference of metal and plastic mounts?
Virtually none. The plastic mount may last 50 years instead of 100.
10-12-2010, 05:00 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I side stepped the DA*200 and went right to the FA*200 (non macro ). The 60-250 has never really called my name so I think I can resist that one. The FA*85 on the other hand screams at me every time I get a little extra cash.
The DA*60-250 never really called my name either, but once I found one and tried it out, it became one of my favorite lenses. The FA*85 is the only FA* lens I currently own and I will say it's pretty fantastic. There's good reason it screams your name
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