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10-20-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
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Looking to pick up a 55-300mm (questions)

I haven't bought any lenses in the year that I've had my camera. I tend to use the 50-200mm kit lens quite a bit. I also have the 18-55mm kit lens and an old 50mm from my dad's ME. Since I use the 50-200mm a lot I've been thinking about picking up the 55-300mm and selling my 50-200mm as I'd like to have the extra range. As this is my first lens purchase I'm not to familiar about costs and what woudl be the best way to sell. I've found a DA 55-300mm on craigslist for $275 and ebay seems to have the DAL 55-300mm for ~210. Is there really a $60 difference between the two? Also, how much and where would I sell my DA 50-200mm?


Thansk for any replies. And any recommendations on other lenses I should be looking at are fine as well.

10-20-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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It depends on whether the lack of quick shift, lens hood and soft case are worth the difference to you. I believe the optics between the two lenses are identical.

Why not sell your DA 50-200mm lens here on pentaxforums?
10-20-2011, 10:50 PM   #3
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I think the differences listed by IIGQ4U are REALLY worth it - the quick shift in particular is useful when birding. I wouldn't go without this - or the lens hood!

Why not hang onto the 50-200 too? It's very small so you can always keep it for travel or when you're going light and don't necessarily think you'll be shooting telephoto - but can bring it along anyway. You also won't get so much for this lens second hand, so you may as well hang onto it.
10-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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Have you read our 55-300mm review?
Pentax-DA 55-300mm Review - Introduction


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10-21-2011, 04:39 AM   #5
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I went the same way on telephotos. I bought the da 50-200 and found it to be a fine lens but just not enough reach. When I got the DA 55-300 it gave me what I needed in length and subsequently I found the da 50-200 was not needed any more so it got sold off. As far as the difference between the DA and DAL models, you want the DA because the quick shift system and lens hood are really essential in my opinion. I miss both on any lens I have that doesn't have it.
10-21-2011, 05:44 AM   #6
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Also, if you're a frequent lens changer(FLC), the durability of the plastic mount on the DA-L may be suspect. All that was already mentioned, along with the metal mount, were all worth the extra $$ I spent on the DA, to me .
10-21-2011, 08:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
I haven't bought any lenses in the year that I've had my camera. I tend to use the 50-200mm kit lens quite a bit. I also have the 18-55mm kit lens and an old 50mm from my dad's ME. Since I use the 50-200mm a lot I've been thinking about picking up the 55-300mm and selling my 50-200mm as I'd like to have the extra range. As this is my first lens purchase I'm not to familiar about costs and what woudl be the best way to sell. I've found a DA 55-300mm on craigslist for $275 and ebay seems to have the DAL 55-300mm for ~210. Is there really a $60 difference between the two? Also, how much and where would I sell my DA 50-200mm?


Thansk for any replies. And any recommendations on other lenses I should be looking at are fine as well.
This is a popular concern and has been addressed many times in more than a few threads. Let me help answer your question with another question. What would you do with $60?

The DA 55-300 gets high marks in it's role as a less expensive, quality zoom lens with great image quality and relative wide range in focal length. There is no doubt when looking for a telephoto zoom lens that the 55-300 is a winner.

You may well know the physical differences between the DA and the DA L version of the lens but optically, they are the same. This is important.

Neither the DA L version 55-300 nor your DA 50-200 have quick shift. Maybe even 98% of the lenses most of us posses do not have quick shift. It is a luxury. Nice to have but you can certainly live without it. A lens hood can help improve contrast and color in images by reducing the amount of direct sunlight that enters the lens at unfavorable angles. Another luxury. Nice to have but you can certainly live without it.

Having said that, all the lenses I use most often do have hoods. I have lenses that do not have hoods and can see a difference in image quality but this does not prevent me from using the lenses. Plastic mounts are really no issue. I, and others have FA and other lenses with plastic mounts that we have been using for 20 years without issues concerning mounts.

You can always get the DA L version, maybe find a hood for $20 and curse it often when it will not connect quickly and easily and you still have about $40 for... Well let's stay a little more on track.

But a DA version will have a little greater resale value of course in the future. It is in greater demand in the eyes of many by comparison to the DA L version. If any of that is any concern to you. The "extra $60" you spend today could mean an "extra $60" you will recover should you have some strange reason to sell such a groovy lens. What would you do with $60?

Reselling your DA 50-200. I just sold mine for probably a little less than I could have. Most resell for close to $100. Part of that reason is the preference for the 55-300. I think you can search the Marketplace archives and see listing of previous sales and get ideas of their value around our community or watch a few ebay auctions and see the going rate in that community. I think the general consensus is that once you buy a 55-300, you will find very few reasons to use the 50-200 again.

Last edited by Nowhere Matt; 10-21-2011 at 08:36 AM.
10-21-2011, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quick shift=focusing while in Auto Focus mode?


Also, how do cheap ebay hoods compare to the one that comes with the DA?

10-21-2011, 07:52 PM   #9
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The trick with the cheap hoods is finding one that is actually correct length and diameter for the lens on APS-C. If you want the hood simply to save the front element, it does not matter, but when you need a hood for image quality, you need one that is the correct design. It should not vignetter, but if you put it on the front of a UV or "protective" filter, it should vignette ever so slightly at 55mm.
10-21-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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I think I'll probably just go with the DA L version. Quick Shift doesn't seem that important. Don't really see why you can't just switch to manual real quick if you need to change the focus. Is there a thread with 50-300mm pictures? There seems to be a lot of lens specific threads but I can't seem to find one.
10-21-2011, 08:05 PM   #11
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I posted one of the weekend of a sparrow - called the post Sparrow. Not very imaginative sorry. It was shot with a DA L 50-300mm through a dirty glass window: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/162459-nature-sparrow.html#post1682685
I am very new at this so there was more luck than skill in this one.
I hope it helps.
bigted
10-21-2011, 08:09 PM   #12
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Part of the reason I really want the extra reach is because of birds, lol. We get tons of hummingbirds.
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