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09-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #16
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Hi! It's nice to have you here

I know what you mean about all the numbers, I didn't understand them either until about 6 months ago, but it's pretty simple really. Just, the higher the mm, the more zoom

For this, the 55-300 DA-L is the best option.

Good Luck!!

Gil

09-05-2012, 07:08 AM   #17
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Here's your link:

NEW PENTAX DA L DAL 55-300mm F/4-5.8 4 K-5 K-7 K-r K-x K-01 | eBay

09-05-2012, 07:13 AM   #18
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You'll need a hood if you buy the DA L version. Lens Hood f Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 PH-RBG 58mm | eBay
09-05-2012, 07:53 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Off topic, but some 'internal focus' lenses are actually just normal designs with an extra tube around the inner barrel, thus appearing to be internal focus.
Didn't know that, but the IF lenses I was testing were genuinely IF.

QuoteOriginally posted by HenrikDK Quote
Note that the DA (without the -L) comes with quick focus and the hood, plus the metal mount. The hood alone is at least $20+.
I have the DA-L version. Paid $160 for it here on the forum. The DA version goes for around $300. A couple of things:

1) You can easily work around the lack of quick shift on the DA-L by pressing the lens release button if you want to turn the focus ring. I do it all the time. No biggie.

2) An exact replacement hood (minus the Pentax logo) is available on eBay for around $5. These are exactly the same as the original DA Pentax hood, even with the removable filter access cover. The lack of the logo is the only difference.

3) True, the DA version has a metal mount. But unless you abuse it, the plastic mount should be fine.

09-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #20
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Thank you everyone for the tips/recommendations!
I have been looking at the options and have pretty much ruled out the Tamron and Sigma that I had originally been looking at. I'm still doing my research with ~10 tabs open in my browser!

So far, I have yet to find a DA 55-300mm for less than $360, does anyone know of any good places to buy new lenses with good deals? Or a trustworthy used seller?
Amazon.com: Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo
Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Autofocus Lens 21720 B&H

Current thoughts:
- Is the DA-L harder to use than the DA? Why is a hood necessary for the DA-L?
- What does the part about the quick shift mean?
- Have not completely ruled out the FA 100-300 f/4.7-5.

As a beginner, I was hoping to stick with the simpler options and work my way up from there. Hope that makes sense!
09-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ambrosial Quote
Current thoughts:
- Is the DA-L harder to use than the DA?
Why is a hood necessary for the DA-L?
- What does the part about the quick shift mean?
The DA-L works the same as the DA, but other than the mount materials, the difference is in the QuickSHift which means that the lens allows you to turn it manually to refocus without having to use the switch on the body to go to manual.

If you want to manual focus the DA-L you have to use the switch on the camera body to free the mechanism.

The DA-L does not ship with a hood, the DA does include a hood. A hood is recommended so you have to buy it separately.

As far as reliable used sellers, the forum marketplace here maintains a feedback rating system so you can see the seller's history.
I have no complaints from buying used equipment from the members here.

I believe there are a few of these lenses for sale in the marketplace currently, see "55-300mm" - Search Results - PentaxForums.com
09-05-2012, 04:33 PM   #22
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The DA version comes with a hood, and has a metal lens mount. It has a green stripe around the barrel.

The DA L doesn't come with a hood (hence the need to add one and has a plastic lens mount. It has a silver stripe around the barrel.

Quick shift is the ability to manual focus on the fly without switching the camera to manual focus. Without it, you have to flip the switch on the camera to MF before you can focus for yourself.

Optically, the two versions are identical.

One other option you can look at is the Pentax F 70-210/4-5.6. You can get it for $100 or less used, it's optically pretty solid (really good control of fringing...I don't think I've ever seen it with this lens), and has nice bokeh thanks to its 9-bladed aperture. I have one and like it a lot. Downsides are it's a bit heavier than the 55-300 and AF is somewhat loud & clunky. I've toyed with the idea of switching to the 55-300 but haven't quite felt the need to urgently make the change.

SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
09-05-2012, 08:25 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
The DA version comes with a hood, and has a metal lens mount. It has a green stripe around the barrel.

The DA L doesn't come with a hood (hence the need to add one and has a plastic lens mount. It has a silver stripe around the barrel.

Quick shift is the ability to manual focus on the fly without switching the camera to manual focus. Without it, you have to flip the switch on the camera to MF before you can focus for yourself.

Optically, the two versions are identical.

One other option you can look at is the Pentax F 70-210/4-5.6. You can get it for $100 or less used, it's optically pretty solid (really good control of fringing...I don't think I've ever seen it with this lens), and has nice bokeh thanks to its 9-bladed aperture. I have one and like it a lot. Downsides are it's a bit heavier than the 55-300 and AF is somewhat loud & clunky. I've toyed with the idea of switching to the 55-300 but haven't quite felt the need to urgently make the change.

SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Okay I will look into the Pentax F 70-210/4-5.6. Thanks for the suggestion!! (:

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
The DA-L works the same as the DA, but other than the mount materials, the difference is in the QuickSHift which means that the lens allows you to turn it manually to refocus without having to use the switch on the body to go to manual.

If you want to manual focus the DA-L you have to use the switch on the camera body to free the mechanism.

The DA-L does not ship with a hood, the DA does include a hood. A hood is recommended so you have to buy it separately.

As far as reliable used sellers, the forum marketplace here maintains a feedback rating system so you can see the seller's history.
I have no complaints from buying used equipment from the members here.

I believe there are a few of these lenses for sale in the marketplace currently, see "55-300mm" - Search Results - PentaxForums.com
So the only differences between the two are really just the quickshift and the hood? So much more expensive for small differences.. ):

09-05-2012, 08:45 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ambrosial Quote
So the only differences between the two are really just the quickshift and the hood? So much more expensive for small differences.. ):
The DA-L was intended to be sold as a package in a 2 lens + camera combo. It was not sold separately so is not under the pricing structure of the standard DA lenses.

Sellers who sell new DA-L's have taken a combo apart to sell it as pieces.

I don't know what other construction economies are employed for the lens that may not be apparent.
09-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ambrosial Quote
Okay I will look into the Pentax F 70-210/4-5.6. Thanks for the suggestion!! (:

So the only differences between the two are really just the quickshift and the hood? So much more expensive for small differences.. ):
Also the mount on the back of the DA L is plastic vs. metal on the DA.

You can get the hood that comes with the DA separately. It's the Pentax PH-RBG 58mm lens hood. (don't worry about the ridiculous price from Pentax) PentaxWebstore.com:Lens Hood PH-RBG 58mm Lens Hood PH-RBG 58mm

They sometimes pop up at KEH for cheap, otherwise there's cheap eBay knockoffs. 58mm Lens Hood PH-RBG For Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED | eBay

One other thing I should mention about the F 70-210 is the front element rotates when focusing. So bear that in mind if you're planning to use a polarizer. It uses a 49mm thread which is shared with a bunch of primes, but I don't have any other lenses with a 58mm thread, so it kinda balances out for me.
09-05-2012, 10:59 PM   #26
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To everyone suggesting the 55-300mm especially, can I get your opinions on why not the 50-200mm? I've read a lot on the two and there's back and forth disagreement on the IQ. Some people say that IQ difference is very small between the two although 55-300mm IS better "by a little". Some people say that there is a big difference in the IQ. Opinions please? (:
09-05-2012, 11:18 PM   #27
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I owned the 50-200 previously in both DA-L and WR versions.

Frankly I saw better IQ out of my DA 18-250 which has a lot going against it as a superzoom.

The DA 55-300 has better IQ than all three lenses above.

The only reason I don't own a DA 55-300 any longer is I have duplication at that focal length, so I kept the cheapest and what I felt was most versatile in the zooms and that was the Tamron 70-300 which you are no longer considering.

The 50-200 is not bad, but the 55-300 makes more sense if you can afford it. It depends on the type of shooting you do or plan to get into. 300mm is at the start of a wildlife focal length if you think you might ever want to try that.
09-05-2012, 11:40 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I owned the 50-200 previously in both DA-L and WR versions.

Frankly I saw better IQ out of my DA 18-250 which has a lot going against it as a superzoom.

The DA 55-300 has better IQ than all three lenses above.

The only reason I don't own a DA 55-300 any longer is I have duplication at that focal length, so I kept the cheapest and what I felt was most versatile in the zooms and that was the Tamron 70-300 which you are no longer considering.

The 50-200 is not bad, but the 55-300 makes more sense if you can afford it. It depends on the type of shooting you do or plan to get into. 300mm is at the start of a wildlife focal length if you think you might ever want to try that.
When you say you saw better IQ, do you mean like blatantly obvious differences in IQ or do you mean when you zoom in during the post process?

Honestly, this is a birthday present that my boyfriend is trying to get me (he's even more lost on this whole lens buying thing than I am, haha.) He's willing to spend the money on the lens but I'm not exactly that comfortable letting him spend almost $400 just for my birthday. On the other hand, I don't want to get a used one and have it die on me 3 months later, I would feel so bad for wasting his money. ): Which is why I have now gone from seriously considering 55-300mm to 50-200mm.

I don't plan on doing anything too crazy in photography, just simple shots when I go out and enjoy nature once in awhile. Like trips to the Golden Gate Park or Japanese Tea Gardens, museums, aquariums, cars, people, wildlife but it doesn't have to be pro like chasing after seagulls. Sunsets, the cityscape at night. If I do seriously go into wildlife photography (which isn't impossible), I expect it to be a good 5-10 years from now considering how busy I am with school work ):

Aside from the zoom, the sharpness and contrast of colors BEFORE editing is also important for me. I think that's as far as my knowledge of photography goes );

Last edited by Ambrosial; 09-05-2012 at 11:45 PM.
09-05-2012, 11:50 PM   #29
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In my opinion the main selling point of the 50-200mm is its light weight and compact size. I had it before the 55-300mm and I can tell you the difference in IQ does exist but is not very obvious at first sight. I'd say this is probably an excellent and cheap option to get started and see wether or not a telephoto zoom suits your needs!
All that is -- if you're fine with losing the 300mm at the long end...
Also, just like the 55-300mm, it exists in two versions: DA (fully equipped, green band) and DA-L (economy, silver band -- see earlier posts). The preference depends on your budget and your needs. Yes, a hood and the quick-shift are indeed very desirable to me, but they are definitely NOT required to be able to enjoy the lens and make good pictures! Don't let all the gear-talk turn your head like it did so many of us here!

EDIT: oops, there is actually a 3rd version of this lens, the most expensive, and that is the DA bla bla WR (weather resistant). However this is useless to have a WR lens with your K-x (not WR) unless you plan to upgrade to a WR body in the future.
09-06-2012, 02:16 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by victordeamorin Quote
In my opinion the main selling point of the 50-200mm is its light weight and compact size. I had it before the 55-300mm and I can tell you the difference in IQ does exist but is not very obvious at first sight. I'd say this is probably an excellent and cheap option to get started and see wether or not a telephoto zoom suits your needs!
All that is -- if you're fine with losing the 300mm at the long end...
Also, just like the 55-300mm, it exists in two versions: DA (fully equipped, green band) and DA-L (economy, silver band -- see earlier posts). The preference depends on your budget and your needs. Yes, a hood and the quick-shift are indeed very desirable to me, but they are definitely NOT required to be able to enjoy the lens and make good pictures! Don't let all the gear-talk turn your head like it did so many of us here!

EDIT: oops, there is actually a 3rd version of this lens, the most expensive, and that is the DA bla bla WR (weather resistant). However this is useless to have a WR lens with your K-x (not WR) unless you plan to upgrade to a WR body in the future.
Thank you, victordeamorin! That was the confirmation I needed to go for the cheaper 50-200mm (: If the difference in IQ isn't TOO great, I think I can just start out with this cheaper lens and maybe upgrade later on if photography becomes a more serious thing. & If I don't, then the 50-200mm should be fine for my needs for awhile, from what I am reading on the forums!

I will probably get it early tomorrow and use it all day on my birthday adventures and see how I like it! (:

Thank you everyone!
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