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03-26-2013, 10:22 AM   #16
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I have a DA-L.
As others have said, the DA-L and DA are identical optically.
The differences are:
1) Plastic as opposed to Metal lens mount (I've never heard of any problems with the plastic mount)
2) No lens hood (available on ebay very cheaply)
3) No quick shift - which allows you to fine-tune the focus manually without the need to switch the camera to manual focus mode. But there is an easy workaround for this on my K-5 - just press and hold the lens release button, which will disengage the autofocus motor. Very easy.
4) Probably the most important - a lot cheaper! Use what you save to go towards another lens.

03-26-2013, 10:47 AM   #17
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One really good thing about the plastic mount on the DA-L is that if you somehow end up dropping the camera with the lens attached, you will most likely only damage the lens.

If you have a metal mount, and it hits hard enough, it is more likely to bend the mount on the camera as well.

I have the DA-L 55-300 which I bought with a broken mount. $7 + shipping for the new mount from Pentax and it is as good as new except for the filter ring being cracked.

I have the Samsung Xenon 18-55 which has quik shift and have never really used the quick shift on it when actually taking pictures.

If you really want to go manual focus with a DA-L, all you have to do is flip the AF/MF switch on the camera anyway.

I also have the Pentax 10-17 which also has quick shift. I don't really see a point for quick shift on the 10-17.
03-26-2013, 11:58 AM   #18
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I've always thought I should get a hood for my DA-L 55-300, but here I am - 3 years later it is my most-used lens and I still have to take a single shot that makes me say 'geez, I wish I had a hood for this baby'. I find it to be amazingly flare-resistant, and I can't say the same for many of my other lenses.


03-26-2013, 12:13 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
I've always thought I should get a hood for my DA-L 55-300, but here I am - 3 years later it is my most-used lens and I still have to take a single shot that makes me say 'geez, I wish I had a hood for this baby'. I find it to be amazingly flare-resistant, and I can't say the same for many of my other lenses.


A hood would have helped with the upper portion of that photo as well as with the sails. They don't just impact flare, they also improve contrast across the frame in general. Buy and use a hood, you will not regret it.

03-27-2013, 05:49 AM   #20
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AND the hood is the best protection for that front element. A scratch or two will make you wish you spent the money.
Here's the info:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/expired-listings/207311-wanted-expired-ph...-55-300mm.html
03-27-2013, 11:39 AM   #21
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And the ebay one for the 55-300 costs like $7 - 10. There is simply no reason not to have a hood on that lens, it does improve the image.
03-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #22
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I can attest the cheap one I linked to does fit securely to the lens. It's as good as the original one I broke.
03-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #23
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I have decided on the DA

Thanks all for insight. Looks like the group is split on the most significant difference (the quick shift feature) the others being insignificant relative to cost. Since I plan on having my K5 and lenses a long time, and since I plan on shooting wild life in flight during the summer in the smokies I have decided to go with the DA. I know if I would miss just one shot of wildlife in flight, because of not having the quick release feature, I would regret not getting the DA. . Hopefully I can keep the spread to around + $100 for the DA thanks again, Barry
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