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10-12-2011, 06:10 AM   #1
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Zoom lens up to 300mm?

Evening all.
After extensive use and travelling, my Pentax FA 100-300 4.7-5.8 has packed up...
Well, the AF motor has broken;manual mode is still ok.
Such is my technique, that I'm missing far too many shots trying to focus manually.
Time for a new(used) zoom lens.

At the top of my list is another FA zoom like I have.
I got some good shots with that and I was pleased with it for price and weight.
Or the DA/DAL 55-300.

I've read some of the reviews for pentax and 3rd party zooms.
I know that not everyone posts a review, so I'm interested in any recommendations.

Thanks.

10-12-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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With 7 photos in PPG with your 100-300 I think you'll be able to get the best of a DA 55-300 (or a DAL)

The Quickshift on this lens is handy( in my opinion) but you dont seem to have needed it so far so save around $100 iwith the DAL model instead.
10-12-2011, 06:51 AM   #3
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I don't have experience with the FA but the DA/DAL 55-300 is an outstanding lens in terms of image quality. AF can be noisy and a bit slowish. Depending on your needs, those may be important factors. I find it comfortable in terms of weight and size. I bought the DA L version and got an aftermarket hood that works great. Differences between DA and DAL are quick shift focusing, metal vs plastic mount and original hood. Optics are identical. I think it is a very good choice.

Thanks,
10-12-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Thanks chaps.
Yeah, the DAL does seem like the new zoom on the block.
Noise isn't a factor, as the FA was noisy. AF was also a tad sluggish in low light, but to be expected I guess.
The FA has a platic mount, same as the DAL. Again, not a major concern.
The FA was sharp at 300mm after finding the right settings.
I liked the colours, so it really comes down to whether or not the images are sharper with the DAL.

10-12-2011, 07:07 AM   #5
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Have a look at our review
Pentax-DA 55-300mm Review - Introduction
10-12-2011, 07:45 AM   #6
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I think it all depends on whether you want to get additional capabilities.

You could consider the origonal sigma APO 70-200F2.8 EX (non DG non macro) along with a sigma 1.4x teleconverter.

I use this pairing and have many excellent shots.

the plus points are
- with the lens alone you gain about 2 stops over the FA,
- even with the TC you still gain .5-1.5 stops

the minuses are
- weight
- cost (may be out of your price range)
- flash exposure with the TC trakes some work because the TC does not correct for true aperture and this leads to errors in flash

Later sigmas got a little soft but this one is sharp even wide open, You can also add a 2x TC for reach to 400mm

I have both and have posted many results with both
10-12-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mickey Quote
Evening all.
After extensive use and travelling, my Pentax FA 100-300 4.7-5.8 has packed up...
Well, the AF motor has broken;manual mode is still ok.
Just for clarification, there's no motor in the lens; it's in the camera body.

So, is it the lens screw-drive that no longer works, or the motor in the body?
10-13-2011, 02:58 AM   #8
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+1 for the Sigma 70-200 non HSM, OS, Macro. Fantastic lens, and still great with the 1.4 tc.

Regards

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