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11-24-2010, 01:44 PM   #1
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IQ DA-55-300mm vs A-35-105mm f3.5

Does anyone have experience with both lenses, how does the IQ compare?

I have a chance to buy the A series 35-105 f3.5, which from the reviews sounds like an amazing lens. I am also planing on purchasing a the 55-300 f4 eventually to get me up to 300mm range. I am just not sure if I can justify buying the 35-105 if the 55-300 is covers the range and has roughly the same IQ. Yes, the 35-105 is a little faster (f3.5 vs f4) but that's not a huge concern for me.

Opinions folks?

Thanks

11-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #2
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I've owned both of these lenses and I'd never think of rating them against each other nor using one versus the other. They are just different lenses. To me, the DA 55-300 was my last stop in this range of telephoto zooms. I went through the DA 50-200, a Tamron 70-300, and a FAJ 80-300?, a A-200 f4 and a few others looking for a decent modern tele zoom. Short of the DA*60-250, the DA 55-300 is tops.

OTOH, the A-35-105(sort of a macro too as I recall), was really more of a mid range manual focus zoom. It was my first Pentax A lenses and I've found them (I have more now) to be really excellent quality and are only missing AF to make them perfect with a DSLR. It's kinda heavy but it's buttery smooth focusing (or at least mine was). It too is very sharp and I believe a tad sharper than the DA 55-300. Ultimately I traded it for partial payment of a DA 12-24, not because I didn't like it but because I really found that range covered by other lenses I had.

Not knowing what other lenses you may own, you'll have to decide what kind of coverage you need. With an APS-C sensor, the 35-105 length just wasn't that useful to me. The DA 55-300 comes out when I want to get close to something like wildlife. The 35-105 doesn't have that range and was sorta useful in walk around shooting in daylight but not as useful as my DA 17-70 f4 is.

YMMV
11-25-2010, 01:06 AM   #3
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I have both. I like the 35-105 for indoor shots, and as a decent walkabout / macro lens. The 55-300 is excellent for wildlife, especially on APS-C.
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