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11-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
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55-300DA performance issue - 2nd copy

I've just received my second new 55-300DA. The first one I returned a while ago, because the left side performance was horrible at multiple focal lengths and apertures. I've been waiting to see if some competitive product would be released, but that hasn't happened.

This second copy is a lot better. But in initial testing, the left side is fairly obviously softer than the right at 55mm f4. It seems to be much improved by f8, and I can't detect issues at other focal lengths (I've only tested 55, 200, and 300mm so far.)

I've only had a couple of hours to test the lens, and haven't tested at a subject distance of other than 10ft. so far. I'm using my hefty bogen 3036 with two camera bodies, swapping between the new lens and the 50-200mm DA, 100-300F, and 50/1.7A. Only the 55-300 shows the left side issue, and it's the same on both bodies. Overall the 55-300 seems to be a very good performer; unlike the first copy, this copy is better overall than my 50-200 and 100-300 combo.

Assuming further testing verifies this limited left-side issue, any thoughts as to whether to return the lens, try again (or not), just put up with it, etc.? I don't live anywhere near a retailer, so there is a not-totally-trivial cost to the buy/test/return process. The first copy came from Amazon, so there was no cost to me to try that one, but Amazon no longer sells the lens, leaving me with at least round-trip shipping charges to pay for every trial. I assume everybody else who has this lens has tested theirs, and found symmetrical performance?

Paul

12-27-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
Ole
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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I would not put up with it. You could consider to send it in under the warranty - at least you'd save the shipping cost back to you.
01-11-2013, 10:07 PM   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
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Original Poster
Update: I obtained a third copy of the 55-300mm, and it's obviously more consistent across the field than the previous two copies, so I'm keeping it. It's very convenient to not have to switch between 50-200DA and the 100-300F. It was still frustrating that I had to spend the time/money returning the previous copies.

Regarding the warranty, I've had some experience attempting to rectify what I felt were fairly obvious performance problems with other brands of lenses previously, and didn't want to have to fight with Pentax over what was "within tolerance" or not. I've learned that it's important to test a lens thoroughly upon receipt, and take advantage of the return policy if required, because you just can't count on the manufacturer to acknowledge or repair any except the most severe defects.

Paul
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