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10-22-2010, 11:48 PM   #1
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Pentax 55-300 vs Tamron 70-300 ?

I read the Tamron has better resolution, but more CA than the Pentax. The current price of the Tamron is hard to beat.

I like the 55mm range of the Pentax - more versatile.

Any advice on which one to get? I did a lot of reading on the subject and cannot make up my mind.

BTW, a Tamron 28-75 is my main lens.

10-23-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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i have a tammy, it seems so so lens but not sharp from 200. therefore over 200 is not usefull for still photo but may be to catch the instance.
if you can expand your budget, 70-200s are stunning.
btw, did you happy with 28-75? i am interested in with it. i need a sharp and fast zoom.
10-23-2010, 12:48 AM   #3
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I tried the Tammy recently and it wasn't as bad as I expected, plus it has the "Macro" feature. But I had a DA55-300 and I think it's better. However, I found that I wasn't taking really great shots over ~135mm anyway, so I sold it and got DA*50-135 to get optimum speed and IQ - among the best available in a zoom. But with both DA lenses I found the ability to go down to about 50mm was a huge advantage I often used.
10-23-2010, 03:56 AM   #4
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The DA 55-300 is sharper at all focal lengths, especially beyond 200mm, performing very well even wide open.

It's worth the investment over the Tamron IMO. It doesn't have the pseudo macro close focusing ability the Tamron has but it still does very well at minimim focusing distance (1.4m).

10-23-2010, 05:29 AM   #5
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I confirm Ash's lines. I my experience, although the Tamron 70-300mm is not bad at all, my DA L 55-300mm has better resolution at all focal lengths and apertures, and doesn't produce that annoying CA of which the Tamron is susceptible in many situations.
10-23-2010, 06:15 AM   #6
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I had the Tamron rebadge Quantaray version of this lens and now have the 55-300mm. I think the 55-300mm is sharper and has better contrast. The 70-300mm is a good lens that took some very good pictures for me, I just think the 55-300mm is better.
10-23-2010, 07:59 AM   #7

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We need a "Just get the 55-300" sticky thread. It's not even a close race IMHO.

10-23-2010, 08:02 AM   #8
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Pentax trumps it, in IQ and in price:

<100 vs 250+
10-23-2010, 09:41 PM   #9
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Thank you for your responses.
They confirm, that in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is

Hers are the synthetic tests from Photozone
Pentax SMC DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro (Pentax K) - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis

According to the numbers, the Tamron 70-300 has better resolution, lower distortion and vignetting than the Pentax. The Tamron only falls short with pronounced CA.
Maybe Photozone had a defective Pentax lens?
10-23-2010, 09:55 PM   #10
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Pentax Baby.
10-24-2010, 01:15 AM   #11

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Get both, see how you like them, then sell the one you don't like. You may lose a bit of money, but you'll gain first-hand experience.
10-24-2010, 06:57 PM   #12
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25 threads already on the xx-300 lenses. Pentax is preferred.
10-24-2010, 09:51 PM   #13
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for a consumer grade lens, it surely can pack a punch.

DA 55-300 at 135mm/f4.5

FA135 at f4.5

although the FA135 here wins, the DA55-300 is not left in smoke but held out on it's own just fine.

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