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05-25-2011, 05:02 AM   #1
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ephotozine reviews DA55-300mm

Sorry if this was posted allready; as I can't find it if it was, so...

SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens Review

This backs up what I and others have been preaching and moreover showing for over 3 years now!

(from my post on DPR)

This backs Photozones review but is a bit more in depth in numbers and subjectively. Klaus said the lens shines in the field with snappy contrast. This review backs that finding. I have not seen many lens reviews using the words strong contrast as much as with the Pentax DA55-300mm ED. The reviewer has some nice pics that shows and explains how its snappy contrast and good Pentax color go a long way toward making this lens just really good.


Its a lens that is good enough to keep 'many' enthusiasts happy. It has great to good IQ from 55-300mm; and wide open(!), controlled CA/PF that's not intrusive, very contrasty (probably did help me in the BIF shooting/tracking), great Pentax colors (I believe its a real thing), small and light to carry because it was not made for FF! That's the key for its price to performance ratio. I believe a lens optimized for one sensor is better than one used on both APS and FF; you lose value or some other trade off to do so.


This lens offers enough IQ at telephoto (take a look at the reviews pics, or pics here at DPR) all the way to 300mm wide open that many just can't justify paying $1000 more for a FF lens. Yes it will be better. But darn are they close when it comes time to look at the pics, close enough many a time, sure not everytime. But the Pentax DA55-300mm does not make a bad pic at any setting if everything else is right the pic will be good.

05-25-2011, 06:58 AM   #2
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Cool, thanks for posting! I'm intending to pick up a copy of this lens, but I've got to let the dust settle from my last LBA attack.

The only other lens I'd consider for this range is the Sigma 100-300 APO F/4 HSM, but then again that's 3x the price and significantly larger. Pentax most definitely has the most bang for the buck.

I'd love to see a DA 120-400 WR based on the 55-300 optical design with the new DC AF motor to compliment the 18-135.
05-25-2011, 08:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Cool, thanks for posting! I'm intending to pick up a copy of this lens, but I've got to let the dust settle from my last LBA attack.

The only other lens I'd consider for this range is the Sigma 100-300 APO F/4 HSM, but then again that's 3x the price and significantly larger. Pentax most definitely has the most bang for the buck.

I'd love to see a DA 120-400 WR based on the 55-300 optical design with the new DC AF motor to compliment the 18-135.
I have this lens and have been extremely pleased. Alot of bang for the buck though no WR. I'd like to see a 120 - 400 as well. Alot of folks want something even longer, but then the lens gets so big it a pain and the cost goes way up. A 400 should keep you far enuf away from the grizzly and still get a good shot!
05-25-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
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for the price, this lens is unbeatable. I did some past comparative test between this lens at 135mm against the AF-speed demon FA135. and we all know that the prime 135mm has a great IQ. not surprisingly, the 55-300 performed very well against the daunting prime. the zoom lens strong points are from 55mm to 210mm (approx.). sweet spots are from 75mm to 150mm.

I'm not surprised why this lens has garnered a very strong popularity among Pentax users. I think it is the most well-recognized zoom lens for the budget.

oh, did I mention that the colors rendered by this lens are wonderful ?


Last edited by Pentaxor; 05-25-2011 at 08:46 AM.
05-25-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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I got the DAL version (plastic mount, no hood) and for $200 it is absolutely unbeatable in my opinion. For someone like me who rarely shoots long (not much into nature or sports), it's a no-brainer to have as part of my kit for those occasional times I need it!

I recently posted a bunch of kids-sports photos I took with it here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/144806-dal-55-...-acrollet.html

And I unexpectedly took this one over the weekend...



I don't think you'll find a better lens for the price honestly!
05-25-2011, 03:45 PM   #6
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The DA55-300 is the only cheap lens I'm happy to shoot with, all other cheap lenses are sitting unused having been replaced by much better glass. The 55-300 though just keeps delivering great results everytime I use it, for $340 it's a bargain.
05-25-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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*looks with contempt at his DA 50-200*
Cripes, I wish I had waited a little longer and spent a little more!
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