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10-19-2011, 01:36 PM   #16
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Mine was a K-x & DA L 55-300 with no filters. Apparently the DA and DA L 55-300s are optically identical. Not sure what happened to my exif on that - must have had a box checked I didn't intend when I exported it.

10-19-2011, 01:44 PM   #17
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My bird shot was a K-x with the DAL 55-300 and a eBay lens hood. No filters for me!
10-19-2011, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #18
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I guess at this point I should re-post my UV filters good/bad horror pic just to show what is at stake here when you choose UV filters:



(From the lenstip.com UV filters review article)
10-19-2011, 03:33 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Hoods rule. I have been using the 55-300 for 3 years with no major desire to put a clear glass or CPL on it.

10-19-2011, 04:01 PM - 1 Like   #20
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Marumi CPLs have a good reputation. (Cf. the Lenstip reviews) I got the:
Marumi 58mm Circular Polarizer/Polarizing CPL Filter (DHG = Digital High Grade)
Works well. Found it on $bay for ~$30 and located in USA.
I also bought a hood for my DAL 55-300, and it has the little part to remove so that the CPL can be adjusted.
10-19-2011, 04:39 PM   #21
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I have watched & listened to a couple of youtube vids listing the DA 55-300 and I can see what they mean about the sound from the lens, but what they don't mention is if they are on a tripod or not, I would have thought that if the camera is on some form of stable platform a lot of the noise would be eliminated, "or not" ?

I'm going to check out the lenstip review, because after seeing those pics above thats come as quite a shock. Forget ElCheapo, I'm going to spend a little bit more.

Have to admit, it would have been good to have seen the exif's on both, I can see why most of the upload image holders remove the exif info, but I think they should only remove what the uploader wants removed and to leave the important info especially for DSL learners like myself.
I can remember using my ME super and having to write down all the relevent info by hand so that if the image came out really well I would always know how to do the same setup (weather and light permitting) in the future.
Theres A free Exif editor over at http://www.colorpilot.com/load/exif.exe it's called Exif Pilot Editor, but I don't think it will make much difference to flickr or Photobucket. I tested it ealier and it allows you to edit any piece of the Exif rather than simply stripping the lot.

The one thing I'm pleased about is that I have the same equipment as both yourselves and i'm looking forward to getting some descent pics, but I may have to wait until next summer after seeing your images, (or move to sunnier climes) lol
10-19-2011, 05:36 PM - 1 Like   #22
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I bought the DA55-300 about a year and a half ago and got a UV filter at the same time. I was severely disappointed in my first images, then I read about filters degrading the IQ. So I took the filter off and loved the results. It's a great lens, I may have had a bad filter, but it's not needed, use the hood!
10-19-2011, 07:23 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by sadsack Quote
it would have been good to have seen the exif's on both
If you follow the image to flickr, under the 'Actions' menu above the photo, you will see a 'View EXIF info' link. Same with most flickr photos.

For the bird photo in question, it was:

Camera Pentax K-x
Exposure 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture f/9.0
Focal Length 300 mm
ISO Speed 1600

10-19-2011, 07:29 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Here's my exif. I usually leave it in but must have accidentally left it out of that export.

EXIF IFD0

Camera Make = PENTAX
Camera Model = PENTAX K-x
X-Resolution = 74/1 ===> 74
Y-Resolution = 74/1 ===> 74
X/Y-Resolution Unit = inch (2)
Software / Firmware Version = Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.5 (Windows)
Last Modified Date/Time = 2011:10:19 20:24:00
Artist = Matt Burt

EXIF Sub IFD

Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 1/750 second ===> 0.00133 second
Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 8/1 ===> ƒ/8
Exposure Program = aperture priority (3)
ISO Speed Ratings = 400
EXIF Version = 0230
Original Date/Time = 2011:05:22 13:45:15
Digitization Date/Time = 2011:05:22 13:45:15
Shutter Speed Value (APEX) = 9550747/1000000
Shutter Speed (Exposure Time) = 1/750 second
Aperture Value (APEX) = 6/1
Aperture = ƒ/8
Exposure Bias (EV) = 0/10 ===> 0
Metering Mode = center weighted average (2)
Flash = Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Focal Length = 19000/100 mm ===> 190 mm
Image Sensing Method = one-chip color area sensor (2)
Custom Rendered = normal process (0)
Exposure Mode = auto exposure (0)
White Balance = manual (1)
Focal Length in 35mm Film = 285
Scene Capture Type = standard (0)
Contrast = normal (0)
Saturation = normal (0)
Sharpness = hard (2)
Subject Distance Range = distant view (3)
Unknown tag, Tagnum 0xa432 = data ===> 550/10,3000/10,40/10,58/10
Unknown tag, Tagnum 0xa434 = data ===> smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
10-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #25
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Thanks chaps for the details....

sadsack


I did go to lenstip and had a good look at the filter tests, also had a look at the review of the 55-300mm (but it wasn't reviewed by lenstip, it was reviewed by a user instead, and he said some rather bad things about Pentax quality standards, I.E. not all 55-300mm are built to the same exact standards and if you get a moody one return it immediately. --- but that is only one persons review.

this was the review on the DA:

Cons: The manual focus ring does not have enough resistance. Image quality can be variable from lens to lens. The lens hood bayonet action could be better.
Pros: Good general image quality for the price. Good colour. Good contrast. Full time manual focus override. Smooth, well damped zoom action. No zoom creep. Metal bayonet. That extra 15mm on the wide end is more usefull than you think. Great price.
Summary: This is the only Pentax lens I have owned that I decided to keep (17-70/12-24/55-300). It really is a great lens to 210. The extra 15mm on the wide end is very usefull and stops you from having to swap lenses so often. Although the quality does vary from lens to lens. If you get a below par one make sure you send it back to Pentax and punnish them for poor Quality Control. Once corrected you will be very happy.




and the only two others for the DAL:


1st:

Cons: Does not come with lens hood - this is the most annoying point. Could be faster but then It would be in a different price bracket. Likewise for plastic mount - which to be fair seems to be standing up to the job fine.
Pros: Great zoom range. Good optical quality.
Summary: Like this lens much better than the 18-55 kit zoom. Have had some great results from it and it proven to be sturdy too. Great value for money




and 2nd:


Cons: No lens hood included. Slow AF. Noticeable CA. Loss of sharpness @ 300mm, although any stopping down at all helps alleviate this. No "pseudo-macro" 1:2 mode like competition.
Pros: Great range. Little distortion. Sharp to 260mm. Good color and contrast. Good flare resistance. Small amount of PF.
Summary: My Optical Quality rating of 4 is relative to it's cost; in absolute terms it's more like 3-3.5. When you buy a Pentax DA L, you know you are getting a budget version of a lens. This means plastic mount, no Quick Shift, and no lens hood. I understand this, but the fact that a genuine Pentax lens hood retails for $50 is ridiculous. The good news is that I was able to pick up a knock-off for $8. The plastic quality of that hood isn't great, but it's good enough. This is a real good lens to have due to it's versatility. 55mm is very useful, and has considerably better IQ than the kit lens at that focal length. AF is every bit as slow as the Tamron and Sigma 70-300's, but the Pentax seems to have better sharpness than the Sigma (especailly @ 300mm) and better color and PF control than the Tamron. I've had 2 copies of the Tamron 70-300mm, and I really liked using the 1:2 "pseudo-macro" mode. For me, this is even more useful than the Pentax's wider 55mm. I simply got tired of the Tamron's PF, and even the purple color cast to gray tones. I use the Raynox DCR-150 macro adapter. On this lens it vignettes at some focal lengths, unlike when used with the Tamron 70-300, probably because the Tammy is a FF lens.


Any one know of any magazines that did a test...?


ttfn
sadsack
10-20-2011, 01:29 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Sadsack

As far as Jessops are concerned I bought mine there back in April. They were the cheapest at the time.

I ordered online to be picked up at my local Cardiff store. It showed that they had one in stock so I reserved it and collected it the following lunctime. I dislike Jessops but that wasn't enough to justify paying more elsewhere.

When I picked it up the kid behind the counter could have been handing over a box of Smarties for all he knew. Totally useless.

The lens itself is really excellent.

The Hoya Pro Digital CPL I got was from Amazon for about 30 but I only use it when I want to cut down reflctions, etc
10-20-2011, 08:46 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by sadsack Quote
Any one know of any magazines that did a test...?
Sigh. Just buy it. Whether you buy a DAL or DA 55-300, it's a good lens.

PS: there is a whole section on pentaxforums devoted to lens reviews and sample photos.

There are, for example, 19 user reviews here of the DAL 55-300:
Pentax-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA L Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

and 61 reviews of the DA 55-300:
Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

photozone.de has a review of the DA too, if you want another review to look at.
10-20-2011, 01:41 PM   #28
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Hi JimD,

I was talking to the wife about the filter situation and she said more or less the same as yourself. Have you taken some good pics with it?

Thanks for the links rawr, appreciated.

On a side note, the last time I used anything over 300mm was a 500mm mirror lens (I only wish I could remember the name of it) It was enormous, Think I brought it S/H from a dealers that used to go by the name of Percivals.... Very knowledgeable staff from what I can remember. My Me Super looked like a dinky toy on the end of it,....
You could only use it from a tripod due to the incredible weight. and the pics, well they were shi*e.... lol
Vaguely remember it being russian, The only good thing about it was when I made an extra 20 when I resold it back to another camera shop.
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