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07-27-2011, 02:37 PM   #1
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Extreme slow focus with the DAL 55-300???

Got this lens with my k-x kit. This lens got a lot of good reviews, and I really want to love it but it is hard.

yes, optically the photos look very sharp and contrasty out of the camera, but the focus can be amazingly slow.

whenever i want to focus something on the 200+mm, the focus ring will turn all the way to the end and back again. it takes about 4-5 seconds to focus something far away, and sometimes it can't even focus right. this is absolutely no good.

i found one way to solve it which is first focus on the 55mm end, and then zoom to 300mm and focus again, that way the focus ring won't be turning back and forth.

so does anyone having the same problem? or am i just getting a back copy or something??

Thanks.

07-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
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Cameras are not the most intuitive of machines - they often don't spin the focus ring the right way when autofocusing. Around where the focus point is, the camera has a better chance of getting it right. So, the virtue of quick shift in the DA version comes into play, but for yourself you may have to pre-focus on something near your subject to get faster AF locking.
07-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
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Mine is pretty slow too. I think it's just the nature of this beast. Good light helps, and focusing wider like you mentioned also helps. Are you using any filters? If there is light loss or you use a linear polarizer instead of circular that will make things worse in this respect.
07-27-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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under bright sunlight it haunts a lot too.
which my fd's nikon 55-200 never has such a problem.
of course i don't expect it to focus fast like a prime, but taking 4-5 sec to focus sth is just way too long....
if i were to capture a rare bird on the road, it'll be very likely flied away before the lens get to focus it.

07-27-2011, 03:12 PM   #5
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Are you using multi-point AF or center focus?
07-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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i am only using the center point focus
07-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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I also find the 55-300 very frustrating sometimes. What I noticed that if I select the focus point right above the center focus, it does much better with less hunting. Many times I resort to auto 5 focus and it helps.
07-27-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by telly0050 Quote
under bright sunlight it haunts a lot too.
which my fd's nikon 55-200 never has such a problem.
of course i don't expect it to focus fast like a prime, but taking 4-5 sec to focus sth is just way too long....
if i were to capture a rare bird on the road, it'll be very likely flied away before the lens get to focus it.
I have a 55-300 and it's no where near this bad. So long as I give the AF a good chance by putting the point over something with some contrast it takes well under < 1 sec to lock. It rarely has to rack the focus. It also makes no difference I've noticed in AF speed whether I'm zoomed in or not.

I think something sounds no quite right with your copy.

07-27-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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agsy: thx for your advise!
it does seem focus a lot faster wit 5 pts auto
i'll bring it outside for a test when i get a chance.

twitch: yea tat's why i am suspect my lens is a bad copy, that's why i posted it here and ask for everyone's opinion.
07-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by telly0050 Quote
agsy: thx for your advise! it does seem focus a lot faster wit 5 pts auto i'll bring it outside for a test when i get a chance.
I'm glad it helped. When I shoot action especially (such as at a water skiing event recently), auto 5 is the way to go for me. Thanks to the awesome high ISO performance of the K-x, I can keep my shutter speed high enough with this lens.
07-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #11
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It certainly doesn't take 5sec to focus on my copy, And it's not often I'd miss a shot I want to get with the lens. But then I'm not using it in low light situations.
07-27-2011, 04:57 PM   #12
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maybe i am exaggerating the time a bit
with enough light and contrast it does a pretty good job on focusing.

what is the problem is that when you hold up the camera and look into the viewfinder on 200mm+ focal length, and if the viewfinder shows totally out of focus, the AF will mess up (focus ring turning all the way to the end and forth, and maybe focus right at the end), under that situation, it really takes a long time to focus.
07-27-2011, 05:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by telly0050 Quote
maybe i am exaggerating the time a bit
with enough light and contrast it does a pretty good job on focusing.

what is the problem is that when you hold up the camera and look into the viewfinder on 200mm+ focal length, and if the viewfinder shows totally out of focus, the AF will mess up (focus ring turning all the way to the end and forth, and maybe focus right at the end), under that situation, it really takes a long time to focus.
OK that sounds a bit more plausible. My 55-300 is the one lens I use quickshift on a lot to avoid this problem. Do you have the DA L version (grey stripe on barrel, plastic mount) or the DA version (metal mount, green stripe on barrel)?
07-27-2011, 06:33 PM   #14
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As per title, DAL - hence quick shifting not an option for the OP. Nevertheless, prefocus on a similarly distanced target and then time your shot for quicker locking.
07-27-2011, 07:08 PM   #15
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so sounds like there's no best way to solve the problem
does sigma or tamron 300mm telescope lens have the same problem? will they go faster?
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