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06-01-2011, 12:35 PM   #1
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da 55-200 4.0-5.6 or fa-j 75-300 4.5-5.8

Hi All,
I'm interested in a longer reach lens. I had the Tamron 18-200mm for about a month and while neing ok i really wasn't happy with the results. I like my kit lens better!
So now I'm looking at these 2
da 55-200 4.0-5.6
fa-j 75-300 4.5-5.8
It's going on a K-x and I want to make sure I'm going to get the sharpest resolution I can between these 2 lenses.
Does anyone have experiance with them?
Much appreciated!
Jake

06-01-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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There is no 55-200, but there is 50-200 and a 55-300 (the latter generally considered better). See the Lenses link above for reviews of all these lenses and more, but I think you'll find the 55-300 the consensus favorite.
06-01-2011, 02:00 PM   #3
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The FA-J (for junk) 75-300 is really inferior to any DA lens. I have both and I can assure you of that.
06-01-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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Between the 50-200 and FAJ, go with the 50-200 particularly if you need no more reach than 200mm. If you want the extra reach, I'd suggest to invest into the 55-300.

06-04-2011, 10:42 AM   #5
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My FA-J 75-300 is pretty good, especially at the shorter end. I wouldn't call it junk, it is at least comparable with the 18-55mm DA lens. I haven't used the 50-200, so I can't compare.
06-04-2011, 01:56 PM   #6
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Put in a few more bucks & pick up the 55-300 DAL, which is quite a bargain in it's DAL form. I recently picked up a new copy for $199 (plus the obligatory $8 Chinese hood)..... much better IQ than the other two you're considering. This one you'll probably keep, while the others are more likely to eventually be traded in for a higher IQ lens (quite possibly the 55-300 you should have purchased in the first place).
06-04-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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I like my DA 50-200mm and use it in instances where I deem it necessary.
I also have an FA J 75-300mm and like it too and never compared the 2.
I also use the FA J 75-300mm when I need the 300mm reach.
When I need more reach I use a 1.7X TC.
My copy (FA J) seems to be a good copy and I can never let go of it since I can use it for my Pentax SLR film bodies too!
Everytime I think about getting a DA 55-300mm, I always remember that I already have a DA 50-200mm AND an FA J 55-300mm.
Every lens can be made to sing and there is no such thing as a junk lens not unless you got a poor copy or you are using it in the wrong way.
A lot of people here want to buy the 24mm f:2.8 that it drove the prices of these up. These are suited for full frame SLR's.
One time I got to see an FA J 18-35mm AL and to my thought, 18mm was actually wider than a 20mm or a 24mm (for film of FF) so I went for that. Now, I'm a happy camper since I have lenses that can work for both my Pentax DSLR's and my Pentax SLR's.
One of my best photos of my daughter where from the DA 50-200mm and the FA J 75-300mm. These are great at blurring the background and make the subject pop from the background.
If you have a Pentax film SLR too then I would suggest to go with the FA J 75-300mm since you can use it for Digital AND film..just my 2 cents.
If you want to see how these lenses can perform then go to the Pentax Photo Gallery: PENTAX Photo Gallery
..go to image data..then go to lens
I hope this helps..
06-04-2011, 04:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Every lens can be made to sing and there is no such thing as a junk lens not unless you got a poor copy or you are using it in the wrong way.
Absolutely true. Usually the biggest difference between a good lens & a better lens is the performance at the limits of it's focal length &/or it's max aperture settings. Just about any modern lens should perform quite well enough stopped down to the mid apertures. I have a couple of good, but not great, lenses that I use semi-regularly for convenience sake (18-250 DA comes immediately to mind, & even the kit lens when I'm venturing into uncomfortable lens territory, such as the beach), & manage to eek out some very good IQ by taking care to avoid the extreme settings whenever possible.


Last edited by raymeedc; 06-05-2011 at 03:10 AM.
06-05-2011, 07:12 AM   #9
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Thank You all for your input. I was given a 35-70 "F" series lens, and I liked it alot. So I thought perhaps the FA-J 75-300 would be a good companion to it and I could get it relatively cheap.
I did realize that I can get good Sharp pics from my kit lense if stopped down to 7.1, otherwise my there's a halo if magnified.
I was doing some more testing yeterday and noticed many of my pics were sharp & many were not and I attributed this to the autofocus of the camera.
I was using a flash at synced at 180th of a sec. at different f stops, to test the sharpness of the lenses.
I tried with SR, and without it and pretty much got similar results.
Being that it was indoors I imagine the auto focus is not that accurate. But that was dissapointing to me.
That's for a different thread!
Thanks again!
Jake
06-05-2011, 09:22 AM   #10
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I might add another thing.
The DA 50-200mm is dedicated for digital APS-C and is IF or internal focusing which means that the front of the lens with the filter mount won't turn either which way when you focus.
The FA J 75-300mm can be used for digital APS-C and Full Frame digital or film and does not have IF, so when the lens focuses, the filter mount would turn either way.
The IF is only important if you have and are using a PL or polarizing filter.
06-05-2011, 05:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrumPilot Quote
Being that it was indoors I imagine the auto focus is not that accurate.
It's generally not accurate, but unfortunately, can't read your mind about exactly where to be accurate. Point at a face, and it doesn't know if you want to focus on the nose of the eye - both would normally be in range of the same focus sensor.
06-06-2011, 05:34 AM   #12
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if you are considering the 50-200, you might as well just get the cheaper version 55-300 for the same amount that you'll pay for the 50-200.
06-07-2011, 09:03 PM   #13
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Yeah, if I was doing it again I would go with the DA 55-300. If they would ever make a WR version, I would grab it.
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