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04-27-2011, 03:49 PM   #1
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? re, 55-300 on the K5

I have extensively used both the DA and DA-L versions of the 55-300 on my K2000. While the lens is prone to occasionally hunt I found it a very good lens (in fact my former favorite). So I was looking forward to using them on my K5. but they drive me crazy because the are constantly going into focus hunt mode (all the way in, all the way out) and while the shots I do get are fine I'm missing way too many (I shoot a lot of moving targets)

In desperation I tried my older Sigma 70-300 APO and to my surprise found it a much more reliable (for my purposes) lens. Due in part I suspect because the whole focus range is covered in a 1/4 turn. And for my purposes the IQ is mostly very good. It's almost as if the K5 improves the lens performance rather than emphasizing its limitations.

Now I'm not trying to argue the Sigma is optically superior to the Pentax but the constant focus hunt makes the Pentax much less useful. I should point out I've tried many different lenses of different focal lengths on my K5, older, newer, Sigma, Pentax, and Tamron, and none of them focus hunt like the 55-300.

On the K2000 I usually have it set continual focus, using the 5 point AF grid. It really acts more like a large center point and really seems to help lock on my targets quickly (skydivers coming in for a landing). On the K5 I've tried both 5pt and single center pt CAF and the lens just likes to hunt.

Does anyone else have this problem with this lens or have suggestions to fix?

and just to add.. On my K5 in single AF mode (versus CAF mode) the 55-300 performs pretty well but still likes to hunt more than I appreciate.

04-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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I had a Tamron 70-300 and a DA L 55-300. You are right: the latter's hunting habits are pretty bad--I don't think it's your copy. The Tamron was much better in this respect. I have a Viv 70-210mm now. No hunting
04-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #3
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I just tried out the K-5 + 55-300 combo and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary when I tried to replicate what you described. It's dark out now so I had to do it indoors so it may not be representative of real conditions. I can try it again in the morning and report back.
04-27-2011, 06:05 PM   #4
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I don't notice any difference in AF accuracy or hunting between my K20D and my K-5 with my well used da55-300. Recently while shooting day old goslings in AF-C mode the lens was almost constantly adjusting focus but the objects were always in motion. In fact, I would have worried some if had NOT been constantly adjusting but it never did just miss the focus and rack all the way out or in. But without a K2000 I can't advise on any difference in the way the cameras work with that lens.

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