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04-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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55-300 Zoom: DA vs. DA L

I'm considering a 55-300 for SWMBO. I see that the L version is a massive 15gm lighter than the other, so the weight difference is not really significant. But what I'd like to know is a bit more about the lack of quick-shift focus with the L. Does this mean there is no focussing ring or that when in autofocus you can't turn it (but you could turn it in manual mode), or does it mean you can't manually focus it at all, ever?

I looked at the in-depth review here but found it slightly ambiguous on this point.

Thanks.

04-09-2012, 03:12 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The DAL has a manual focus ring but it does not disconnect from the drive shaft as you adjust the focus when you are in AF mode. The DA version does disconnect - hence the "quick shift" label for the DA version.
04-09-2012, 03:14 PM - 1 Like   #3
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The L has a focusing ring, but you can't turn it while the camera is set to AF. That plus the plastic mount are the main differences.

The L also doesn't come with a lens hood but you can get a chinese knock-off on eBay.
04-09-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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The quick shift is worth it, full stop. IMHO!

* If you're trying to snap birds or anything where the auto focus could easily miss...
* Rather than wait for the auto focus to run full cycle, you can just flick it back to focus yourself.
* It's also great when you're close to the bird (or whatever) and want to keep the focus noise down.
* Also good if you want to shoot video, because as you know video is manual only and it's a pain to start recording and then realize that you forgot to flick the AF/MF switch to MF

Ever since I got my first DA lens, I've not bought anything except DA lenses because I love quick shift so much.

04-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
The quick shift is worth it, full stop. IMHO!

* If you're trying to snap birds or anything where the auto focus could easily miss...
* Rather than wait for the auto focus to run full cycle, you can just flick it back to focus yourself.
* It's also great when you're close to the bird (or whatever) and want to keep the focus noise down.
* Also good if you want to shoot video, because as you know video is manual only and it's a pain to start recording and then realize that you forgot to flick the AF/MF switch to MF

Ever since I got my first DA lens, I've not bought anything except DA lenses because I love quick shift so much.
You cannot manual focus during AF, you are breaking the AF system.
Quick shift is for manual focus adjusting after the AF is done.

If you have K10D, K20D, K7, K5, I suggest you to use the AF button (to disable AF). Then, you can manual focus quickly (on DA).
On the DAL, I think you still need to flip the AF/MF switch.
04-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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I heard the DAL version focuses slightly better w/ less hunt. That might be a advantage imo, if it's true.
04-09-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MegaPower Quote
You cannot manual focus during AF, you are breaking the AF system.
Quick shift is for manual focus adjusting after the AF is done.
... If you're not actually auto focusing, you can use quick shift. I guess that's the whole point.
04-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I heard the DAL version focuses slightly better w/ less hunt. That might be a advantage imo, if it's true.
That can't be the case if they're optically identical?

04-09-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
That can't be the case if they're optically identical?
I never compared them myself, but it's from some reputable Pentax users. Maybe we should give it a try during our next Pentax Outing here
04-10-2012, 12:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The DAL has a manual focus ring but it does not disconnect from the drive shaft as you adjust the focus when you are in AF mode. The DA version does disconnect - hence the "quick shift" label for the DA version.
QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The L has a focusing ring, but you can't turn it while the camera is set to AF.
Thanks guys.
04-10-2012, 03:42 AM   #11
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Quick-shift tends to be over-rated but it's actually useful with the 55-300.
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