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12-19-2010, 04:06 PM   #1
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DA 55-300mm question

I was reading the review and one of the comments was that this lens is not "sealed" from the elements. I was under the impression that any Pentax lens with a green stripe around the barrel was sealed. The guy at my local store had advised that my K7 with this lens would be perfect for my tramping through the bush doing my nature work. I know it needs extra protection for really bad weather, but I was hoping it would be fine in snowy conditions.

Is there another line other than the DA line I should have looked at?

12-19-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
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My DA-55-300 is not sealed and I just got it 2 weeks ago. We lose out on that part.
12-19-2010, 04:36 PM   #3
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Yes, you could! The DA Star line is weather sealed. But there are also three weather resistant DA lensens; the 18-55 WR, the 50-200 WR (there are also non weather resistant versions of those lenses) and the new 18-135mm WR. The sealing of the DA Star lenses is believed to be better thought. You can look it up over here: Camera Lens - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

I hope this answers you question!
12-19-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
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The ones with gold rim, the DA* lenses are weather sealed.

He might've been referring to the DA 50-200 WR. That is a sealed lens.

The 55-300mm though, is not weather sealed, still an incredible lens for its price though.

12-19-2010, 04:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
I was reading the review and one of the comments was that this lens is not "sealed" from the elements. I was under the impression that any Pentax lens with a green stripe around the barrel was sealed. The guy at my local store had advised that my K7 with this lens would be perfect for my tramping through the bush doing my nature work. I know it needs extra protection for really bad weather, but I was hoping it would be fine in snowy conditions.

Is there another line other than the DA line I should have looked at?
55-300 is not sealed , closest thing in that focal length for a weather sealed, is the superb DA*60-250 f4.
12-19-2010, 04:41 PM   #6
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Nope, only lenses with WR or DA* in the title have the weather sealing.

I'd recommend:

SMC Pentax-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

All of the above are weather-sealed, so just pick what fits and go with it. If you're not expecting a ton of rain/dust, the 55-300 should be fine, but I wouldn't take it out in the rain without a cover (unlike the ones above). I don't own the 55-300 (yet), so others may have more comments about its durability.
12-19-2010, 04:50 PM   #7
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Glad I checked out the review. I'll have a little chat with my friend.. I'll check out these other lenses but I suspect they are a lot more expensive.....
12-19-2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
I suspect they are a lot more expensive....
Yup, they sure are. But the 55-300 is a fine lens for the cost of it.

12-19-2010, 05:02 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
Glad I checked out the review. I'll have a little chat with my friend.. I'll check out these other lenses but I suspect they are a lot more expensive.....
Your suspicions are correct. The 55-300 is one of be best deals going, but there is no WR version. Otherwise, the quality for the money can't be beaten. If waterprooging is important for you, you will spend a lot of money to get it in a longer lens, outside of the 50-200. The 50-200 gets mixed reviews around here. I think its a very compact, handy lens, with good IQ if you can keep the F-stop at 8 or 11, which is not that hard. Most of the other options mentioned are not only expensive but large and heavy.
12-19-2010, 05:10 PM   #10
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I'll check out accessories.. Maybe some kind of camera cover. Has to be cheaper than lenses..
12-19-2010, 05:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
The guy at my local store had advised that my K7 with this lens would be perfect for my tramping through the bush doing my nature work. I know it needs extra protection for really bad weather, but I was hoping it would be fine in snowy conditions.
You already received some good advice: the 55-300mm is not WR.

In fact, there are relatively few WR lenses and DA* lenses. Yet some non-WR lenses are very sturdy and can handle some really bad weather. Look at the DA18-250mm and how Steve Kroeger used it up to 6900 m:
K-7 and Steve Kroeger climb Aconcagua (6962m)
Steve Kroeger mit der Pentax K-7 auf dem Aconcagua | fotointern.ch - Fotografie Nachrichten
I have taken my DA18-250mm in some really bad sub-tropical weather. With some basic care, it performed very well. Similarly my Voigtlander Nokton 58mm is not officially WR, but it is a very sturdy lens. I took it in some atrocious conditions, worst than those I had with the DA18-250m, and it was faultless.

It would be worthwhile to read carefully the Users' reviews for the 55-300mm in this Forum.

To sum up: read more on the 55-300mm and ask those who use it outdoor how sturdy and solid the lens is.. They will tell you if you could consider the 55-300mm for bad weather conditions, or better not.
12-26-2010, 12:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
I was under the impression that any Pentax lens with a green stripe around the barrel was sealed.
All Pentax DA and DA* lenses have a green stripe. (D FA have silver stripe instead. DA* also have gold stripe.)
See: Camera Lens - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

That reminds me of the saying: Any stop sign with a white border is optional.

Greg
12-26-2010, 03:35 PM   #13
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I've successfully used my DA55-300 with a cheap plastic camera/lens cover, cost me $8US for a two pack.
12-26-2010, 06:43 PM   #14
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I carry a plastic shower cap that I liberated from a hotel room for my non-weather resistant lenses (including a DA55-300). Do a search on B&H using "lens rain protectors" for a bunch of other options.
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