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10-15-2012, 07:01 PM   #1
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DA L lens: 55-300

I'm thinking of purchasing a DA L 55-300 mm lens. I understand that this lens has a plastic mount, no lens hood and no "Quick shift" feature. I assume that I can buy a hood on Ebay or something, yes? Is it the same hood as the DA lenses? The part I don't understand is the quick-shift feature. This is to disengage the auto-focus system? Do I need or want this? I have a K-5 and there is a lever on the camera body that I use to disengage the lens auto-focus. Is this quick-shift a redundant feature? I don't get it.

10-15-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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Quick shift lets you focus manually without having to put the camera in manual focus mode by moving the focusing ring at any time (i.e. it doesn't make it necessary to flip the switch on your camera, saving you a lot of time). It's nice to have, but definitely not a must-have unless you're an action shooter.

The matching hood is here and it's the same as on the normal version of the lens:
Pentax PH-RBG Lens Hood (58mm Diameter) for SMCP-DA 38761 B&H

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10-15-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
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Edit: Adam beat me to it.

yes you should be able to get a hood for it.

Quick Shift, is a manual focus overide. In otherwords you can manually focus whilst the AF is still availiable (without having to take your hand off to flick the switch) hense the "quick" shift. For Example you are focusing on a bird in a tree with branches in the way, you could focus with AF to get in the ball park, then just twist the focus ring to make fine adjustments, or the other way around Pre-focus on a spot and half press the shutter to get a fast focus lock.

Quick shift is basically an additional feature that is not necessary but is handy in some situations. It is not redundant by any stretch.
10-15-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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A Chinese knockoff PH-RBG should be around $15. You might even get lucky and find a genuine one for less than $20.

10-15-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
A Chinese knockoff PH-RBG should be around $15. You might even get lucky and find a genuine one for less than $20.
Around $6 or so.
10-15-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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I have a basic knock-off with 58mm threads; by putting the cPL behind it, the entire hood rotates to get the right polarization. I find that handy, in fact handier than the original notched hood for most uses!
10-16-2012, 03:11 AM   #7
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IMO the quick-shift is a must with the 55-300, due to it`s long focus travel.
10-16-2012, 03:52 AM   #8
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What Ex Finn said. AF is frustrating with this lens sometines.

10-16-2012, 05:06 AM   #9
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There's a way to "cheat" the missing quick shift feature. Press your lens release button & you can turn the focus ring. I don't really miss the quick shift feature, since I can work around it this way.

It's true this lens does hunt a bit for focus sometimes, but when you consider the excellent image quality, it's certainly one of the best lenses in it's class.

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 10-16-2012 at 05:27 AM.
10-16-2012, 06:02 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
It's true this lens does hunt a bit for focus sometimes, but when you consider the excellent image quality, it's certainly one of the best lenses in it's class.
Agreed. I never really missed the quick-shift feature in using this lens to shoot thousands of shots, in part because I never owned any quick-shift lenses until recently. I also found focus hunting with the DAL 55-300 could be reduced by using centre-spot AF only.

My other observations about this lens are:
- don't use a UV filter - they can steal light and contrast
- it is not great for using with teleconvertors
- always use a hood
- the JJC 58mm LH-RBG hood I got from eBay for $5 is excellent and stays on the lens all the time
- the modest weight of the lens is great when packing light.
10-16-2012, 06:14 AM   #11
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The DA L 55-300 is a good lens for a great price. I use a collapsible rubber hood; the hood can stay on when I put the lens in my bag.
10-16-2012, 06:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I also found focus hunting with the DAL 55-300 could be reduced by using centre-spot AF only.
Yep. It helps.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
don't use a UV filter - they can steal light and contrast
They can... but they don't always. I had a Tiffen on mine that was a piece of garbage. Switched to a Zeikos from eBay ($1.50) and it's sharp as a tack. I did a lot of testing with & without a filter and there was absolutely no difference I could detect. So I keep the Zeikos on there to protect the glass.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
the JJC 58mm LH-RBG hood I got from eBay for $5 is excellent and stays on the lens all the time
Yep. It's the same one I have. I suspect it's exactly the same as the original Pentax hood, minus the logo. One guy said he lost his filter access cover on his original Pentax hood & replaced it with the generic cover. It fit perfectly. That kinda indicates to me that it's the same exact product. It's nuts to spend $44 on a piece of flimsy plastic.
10-16-2012, 05:20 PM   #13
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One clarification

So, just to be clear on the DA L manual focus option, one can always focus manually by turning the swich on the camera body to "Manual", and this would allow one to manual focus without any problems, yes?
10-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cacaueiro Quote
So, just to be clear on the DA L manual focus option, one can always focus manually by turning the swich on the camera body to "Manual", and this would allow one to manual focus without any problems, yes?
Yep. You can manually focus just like with the DA version.
10-16-2012, 06:19 PM   #15
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Thanks! Everyone in here is always really helpful.
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