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02-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #16
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Kit lens stigma ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
....

And there's a certain stigma held against kit lenses, even though Pentax's are absolutely fantastic. Some people want to appear like more advanced photographers by having a bigger lens, a role which the 55-300 can fill quite handily.
Kind of my assessment, too ... that there's a certain "sub-par" quality associated with kit lens and maybe this one in particular ...

Salut encore, J


02-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #17
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The DA50-200WR is cheap, light, compact, and water resistant, but it is not very sharp, especially at the long end and especially at large aperture. I use it sometimes, but not when I want high IQ. I'll use my Tamron adaptall SP70-210/3.5 instead.
02-20-2012, 02:56 PM   #18
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I have the 50-200 (non WR) and though I wish I had the 55-300, I didn't have the monetary difference at the time, so I keep it. While indoors the AF speed makes you want to stab yourself in the eye, outdoors its perfectly capable.

FWIW, here are two shots I took with it this summer. This is the tower atop the Aguille du Midi in the French Alps:

50mm, f/10, ISO100 1/60

105mm, f/8, ISO100 1/60

Minimal if any PP in Aperture. Not the best shots, I'm sure, but I like the color rendering and the sharpness.

Its shortcomings become apparent at the long end:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-viUc4ZKEu4Y/TismuVRdb7I/AAAAAAAAE0g/Zj_j4.../Europe276.jpg
150mm, F5.6, Subject was about 3 miles away.
As I recall it took quite a bit of PP to get this shot to its current state (which I don't like at all). Probably should have shot this at higher ISO, but the darkness of the sky shows the overall dark tone I tend to get with this lens over 125mm. It just seems like it lacks some resolution in this shot.

With lots of light and a closer subject, things get better:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BlBJKaUoKlg/TisjitblrjI/AAAAAAAAEu4/_Ba87.../Europe203.jpg
200mm, f5.6, subject was about 250 feet down a cliff

If you have *plenty* of light it does well enough for me.

Last edited by Ryan Trevisol; 02-20-2012 at 03:08 PM.
02-20-2012, 04:43 PM   #19
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I have both the 50-200WR and the 55-300. Its horses for courses. I like the 50-20 *because* its WR, just a bit of additional insurance on wet/damp days, and whilst it may not be quite as good as the 55-300 its still pretty good, for a small lightweight weatehr resistant lens.

I don't think its given nearly enough credit.

The following was shot on an absolutely miserable day when it was bucketing down. I think the lens did exactly what it was supposed to do.




02-20-2012, 08:42 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
I think the extra reach of the 55-300 is why people take it instead of the 50-200, even if it's heavier, non WR and not optically dissimilar. If you need that reach you don't really have a choice do you?
Sure, you do: you can shoot the 50-200 at 200mm and then crop. Of course, it won't be quite a sharp as shooting the 55-300 at 300, but unless you are planning on making wall posters from the shot, chances are you'd never be able to tell the difference in a typical print or screen-sized image. I know I've done the comparison between the 50-200 cropped and the Tamron 70-300, and there was barely a difference at all even viewing at 100%.
02-20-2012, 08:52 PM   #21
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I have some lens test shots with the 55-300, I will see if I can shoot the same subject(s) tomorrow with the 50-200WR and post the shots here for comparison...
02-21-2012, 01:55 AM   #22
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The 50-200 has its flaws but if you are happy with the 18-55 WR then you'll probably be happy with the 50-200.WR.
I like it.

SMC Pentax-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
50-200mm Set - a set on Flickr
Search results for 50-200mm

and Collection: SMC Pentax DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 ED WR for some boring test shots.

Last edited by kh1234567890; 02-21-2012 at 03:48 AM.
02-22-2012, 06:44 AM   #23
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Aaah, but then the 300mm would give you extra reach with cropping too, so if you need that reach then you need the 300mm :P

I really like the rendering of the 18-55 kit lens, especially on the wider end, and the 50-200 seems to be similar.

02-22-2012, 07:10 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
Aaah, but then the 300mm would give you extra reach with cropping too, so if you need that reach then you need the 300mm :P

I really like the rendering of the 18-55 kit lens, especially on the wider end, and the 50-200 seems to be similar.
Not to mention that, at 200mm, the 55-300's maximum aperture is likely larger, the vignetting is no doubt less, and the sharpness is greater than with the 50-200. So even if you don't need 300mm, the 300mm will perform better at 200mm. But he said the WR is really important, so all this could well be moot.

Also, agreed on the wider-end comment. At the 50-100mm range I couldn't be happier with the 50-200.
02-22-2012, 06:10 PM   #25
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I have the 50-200WR and although I don't use it often it (for the most part) maintains it place in my bag... I've gotten plenty of good images out of it and I find it sharp enough (it's not a patch on my FA-primes) and it's easily as sharp as the 18-55 kit imo...
02-23-2012, 12:48 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Trevisol Quote
Not to mention that, at 200mm, the 55-300's maximum aperture is likely larger, the vignetting is no doubt less, and the sharpness is greater than with the 50-200.
All I can do is repeat what I said before: while no dou t theory the 55-300 can do ever so slightly better if you pixel peep hard enough, I've yet to see a single real world co parison that shows a difference big enough to care about if you also value the smaller size / lighter weight of the 50-200, or the WR. If someone would like to post such a comparison, I'm sure we'd all love to see it. I'm guessing no one here will be able to tell the difference at screen resolution or ordinary print size.
02-23-2012, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #27
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Here are some comparison shots with LIKE subjects. The 55~300 I do not have anymore so those pics were taken a while ago (well, not a long while ago maybe 6 weeks ago), today I went down to my beach with the 50~200WR and took the like shots. As you will notice, the 55~300 are more close up because of the extra reach. Here are the settings:

Lightroom (Import from RAW)
Adjusted exposure the same for all pics (I shoot under to avoid blown highlights)
25 Sharpness (as imported from camera settings embedded in RAW file)
1.0 Sharpness Radius (as imported from camera settings embedded in RAW file)
Cropped to 8x10
All shot at 200ISO
Exported @ 800px width, 300dpi

[NOTE: No need to post crops as the comparison is done as an IQ reference for screen and normal size print purposes.]

Marc is right, there is no difference on these screen images - overall IQ appears to be exactly the same across both lenses (@ 7.1, 9.0 and 11 apertures).


50~200 WR Test Image Set

f/7.1 [115mm]


f/7.1 [68mm]


f/9.0 [180mm]


f/7.1 [200mm]




55~300 Test Image Set

f/9.0 [260mm]


f/9.0 [210mm]


f/9.0 [300mm]


f/11 [300mm]
02-23-2012, 02:36 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
Here are some comparison shots with LIKE subjects. ...

Marc is right, there is no difference on these screen images - overall IQ appears to be exactly the same across both lenses (@ 7.1, 9.0 and 11 apertures). ...
Bonsoir joe.penn,

Thanks a lot ... I'm pretty much convinced for the DA 50-200 WR. It'll fit my needs well and optically similar to the DA 55-300 which I already have.

Also, many thanks to all for their input to my question/pondering ... PF is really great IMHO. Thanks Marc, Dave, Ryan, kh, kyte et al. ... and anyone that I may have overlooked.

Allez et merci encore - Je vous souhaite des bonnes photos ... J
02-23-2012, 02:45 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I've yet to see a side by side comparison between the 50-200 and 55-300 that gives me any reason to believe the difference in opitcal quality is enough to make up for the rather large difference in size and weight, or of course the WR.
Just shot a lot of candid portraits (at a carnival) with the 55-300 two days ago, and I must say I'm beginning to love this lens. There's something about the looks of the pictures that places it closer to the league of the DA70 (which I also have) than the league of the DA50-200 (which I've used frequently). Still, I'd maintain that the DA50-200 is good value for money, especially when considering the small size and low weight.
02-24-2012, 11:42 AM   #30
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Thanks for the sample images! Even though they are obviously not exact controlled A/B comparisons, it might be still useful to post some "enlarged" (actually, less reduced) crops just to see how far you have to go before the superiority of the 55-300 begins to assert itself more obviously.
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