Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-29-2011, 04:50 PM   #1
Veteran Member
stormtech's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In the boonies (NW Penna)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,670
A*300 f4 vs DA 55-300 F4-5.8

Now that I've learned what "LBA" means.........

Anyway, my main shooting is between 300mm & 500mm. I am treading in very serious territory here - I want sharp images at these focal lengths but can no way afford sharp/fast lenses in these lengths.

My favorite lens thus far into my journey back into photography is my DA 55-300. I'm getting great results with it especially when I run the images through DxO. But....I wonder if there is more. As said above - I want as sharp as possible within what I can afford.

Enter the A*300 - I've read the reviews here on the sight, but it just isn't enough to sway me. I love to feel of the M and A series glass, and want to start adding to my meager collection with some prime glass.

The question (finally..) - Would I see a great difference in IQ with the A*300 compared to my DA 55-300 @ 300MM? I wouldn't be parting with the DA lens as it is currently my main walk around lens.

Sorry to have to ask these questions, but I am hoping someone who has used both lenses could help me out - if only I could take a few shots with the A* to see for myself!

06-29-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
personally, it doesn't look to have a really big significant difference other than fast aperture. if you want or need something with a really convincingly high resolution 300mm lens, you have no choice but to break the bank with more expensive lenses.
06-29-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
Veteran Member
Laurentiu Cristofor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: WA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,044
The A* is not inexpensive at $500 average price. If it were autofocus I am sure it would be sold for significantly more, at which point it would compete with the DA* 300/4. One issue I see with the A* is that in order to make it compact, the minimum focusing distance is a huge 4m. If you're used to get close to a flower or insect to snap a photo with your DA 55-300, you can forget that with the A*. The DA has great magnification for a non-macro lens.

I have no personal experience with it, but as a * lens, I would expect it to be good optically. At 300mm, your DA is wide open at f/5.8 - the A* would be stopped down - I can't imagine how it could be less sharp. It might have more CA though, which might force you to stop it down, and then it could become a wash, as the DA would be fairly decent at f/8. With that huge MFD on top of this dilemma, my suggestion would be to look for another option and stick with the DA for now.
06-29-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
The A* is not inexpensive at $500 average price. If it were autofocus I am sure it would be sold for significantly more, at which point it would compete with the DA* 300/4. One issue I see with the A* is that in order to make it compact, the minimum focusing distance is a huge 4m. If you're used to get close to a flower or insect to snap a photo with your DA 55-300, you can forget that with the A*. The DA has great magnification for a non-macro lens.

I have no personal experience with it, but as a * lens, I would expect it to be good optically. At 300mm, your DA is wide open at f/5.8 - the A* would be stopped down - I can't imagine how it could be less sharp. It might have more CA though, which might force you to stop it down, and then it could become a wash, as the DA would be fairly decent at f/8. With that huge MFD on top of this dilemma, my suggestion would be to look for another option and stick with the DA for now.
I think it is one * lens undeserving of such distinction. the compactness of the lens had led to optical performance compromises. it is not as good as the AF versions fwiw. it doesn't really sell that high and I think it would be insane for someone to buy it at such price. personally, it's not even better than the K300/4 which is significantly cheaper.

06-29-2011, 10:55 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ferguson, Mo.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,348
Have Both.Images through A*300 superiour to DA hands down.DA might have
an advantage with ED glass in situation where flare tends to occur,pointed
skyward at a bird in sparse tree top for instance.Havent encountered
situation were its happened,guess its plausible.DA of course offers varible
focal length which is advantage over prime which is obvious.DA will focus closer
but minimum focus of A* at around 12 feet has never been a problem to me.
Slap some extension tubes on A* and hold on for the ride.In using AFA 1.7x
with A* and comparing autofocus speed and lock to DA (big qualifier-->)my K20,A*
is better.No comparison wide open,A* comes into its own there.Its in overall build quality
where most substantial difference is,resolution and dampening of A* focus helicoid is superb,
one of best manual focus mechanism Ive ever used,have M* also(my favorite).
Dont have much to show you currently,all on other computer.
One thing Ive added is a plastic 77mm sigma hood wittled out to sleeve over
integral metal hood of A*,does much to reduce flare to non-issue except wide open.

Last edited by BillM; 06-29-2011 at 11:05 PM.
06-30-2011, 05:07 AM   #6
Veteran Member
stormtech's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In the boonies (NW Penna)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,670
Original Poster
Thanks for all the input folks.

This pretty much confirms what I was thinking in that it wouldn't be that great of a jump in image quality - at least not $500 worth.
06-30-2011, 05:23 AM   #7
Veteran Member
vrrattko's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 734
M*300

I don't have A*300, however M*300 is same lens optically.....main problem is focusing (long focus throw, not much time, shaky hands)....but i find it reasonably sharp.
Checkout the moon and the squirell photo here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/enter-giveaway/148235-wpd.html
Here you can see, that i missfocused a bit, so the tail is sharper than the face
06-30-2011, 08:29 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ferguson, Mo.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,348
$500 is a little steep St,money is tight for everyone,vendors included.Subjective to
say but,if I HAVE to have image through 300mm focal length I'll leave DA,and
K300/4 at home and pick between A* or M*,odd man out,depending on mood.
Cant trust DA in cold fridgid weather,do work in some work with dot orgs that requires
large amount time spent in those conditions,If your going to shoot in extremes
probably be good ideal to look at something manufactured for enviroment.

06-30-2011, 09:33 AM   #9
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
just my cents Bill, if only I'm as demanding as you with a 300mm, I would had picked a Sigma 100-300 or DA60-250mm by now. atleast those would I prefer. other than those two, a Sigma 50-500, 120-400, and 150-500 are also candidates and depends on which one is less expensive.
06-30-2011, 10:18 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ferguson, Mo.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,348
QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
just my cents Bill, if only I'm as demanding as you with a 300mm, I would had picked a Sigma 100-300 or DA60-250mm by now. atleast those would I prefer. other than those two, a Sigma 50-500, 120-400, and 150-500 are also candidates and depends on which one is less expensive.
Feel your spot on Pentaxor,had a sigma,nothing wrong with it.Have some other
'things' I turn to at times, fits my needs fine.Majority of stuff I have is Pentax
were Im 'rooted' from the beginning and not looking to dump or dis any of it.

Would'nt say Im demanding of 300mm focal length,overloaded more appropiate.
probably take care of that in future,I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Edit:Was trying to stay specific for OP,might as well throw DA*300/4 into fray.
Replacement hood for DA55-300 year and half ago was around $70 from B&H
Believe thats original reason for stumbling into pentaxforums,eventually found one
for about $10 less.Dont Know what they are now,pretty much soured me on new stuff.
Well invested in new system at and beyond 500mm focal length that Im very happy with.

Last edited by BillM; 06-30-2011 at 01:56 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
300mm, a*300, da, glass, images, k-mount, lengths, lens, lenses, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nikon D7000 + 70-300 VR vs. Pentax K5 + Sigma 100-300 highyellow1 Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 41 05-06-2011 07:40 AM
For Sale - Sold: Primes: F*300/4.5, A*300/4, FA35/2, Viv 105/2.5 Macro, A28/2.8, A135/2.8 (Worl thirdofthree Sold Items 5 10-23-2010 04:40 PM
SMC-K 300/4 vs Super Takumar 300/4 -- Tripod Mounts, image quality? tendim Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 03-20-2010 09:25 AM
I'm Traveling, Want Inexpensive Telephoto Zooms : Pentax 55-300 Or Sigma 70-300 APO Christopher M.W.T Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 32 01-01-2010 07:48 PM
TESTED: Pentax 55-300 vs. Sigma 70-300 vs. Tamron 70-300 falconeye Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 05-14-2009 04:01 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:13 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top