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11-07-2013, 09:27 PM   #16
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I got my HD DA 55-300 WR yesterday from B&H. Took it and the K-30 out to a park to photograph some birds. Results are very satisfactory. Shots are handheld with SR on. This combo of camera and lens has a nice balance to it. This lens is better than my FA 100-300 power zoom that I have had since the early 90's.
I am very happy that I bought this lens.

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Last edited by jb0501; 11-08-2013 at 10:54 AM. Reason: More info.
11-08-2013, 05:21 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jb0501 Quote
I got my HD DA 55-300 WR yesterday from B&H. Took it and the K-30 out to a park to photograph some birds. Results are very satisfactory. This lens is better than my FA 100-300 power zoom that I have had since the early 90's. I am very happy that I bought this len
Nice shots, dang, I kinda resigned myself to the fact that the results were going to be good, the ka-ching noise is from my pocket--here's one that's gonna be added to the bag!
11-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #18
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It's nice that we now have some example photos from the new version of the lens, but the key to the 55-300 is sample variation in terms of uniform sharpness across the field at all focal lengths. Obviously you don't expect corners to be the same at the center, but you need to check that all the corners are similar to each other throughout the zoom and focus ranges. Hopefully some purchasers will be able to test their copies for that in the near future.
11-10-2013, 03:49 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
It's nice that we now have some example photos from the new version of the lens, but the key to the 55-300 is sample variation in terms of uniform sharpness across the field at all focal lengths. Obviously you don't expect corners to be the same at the center, but you need to check that all the corners are similar to each other throughout the zoom and focus ranges. Hopefully some purchasers will be able to test their copies for that in the near future.
We'll be posting an in depth review on the homepage soon, and we'll be sure to cover that. Just don't expect too much from this lens, as it is a 5x consumer zoom, after all. It can't match the image quality of the 60-250 for instance.


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11-11-2013, 02:29 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
We'll be posting an in depth review on the homepage soon, and we'll be sure to cover that. Just don't expect too much from this lens, as it is a 5x consumer zoom, after all. It can't match the image quality of the 60-250 for instance.
To be fair not many lenses can match the image quality of the 60-250mm! However, as long as the IQ of the 55-300 is enough (which the original was) then it doesn't matter given the price and weight savings.

Although having said all this the 60-250 isn't massively heavy - a little big but not Bigma big.
11-11-2013, 02:39 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
To be fair not many lenses can match the image quality of the 60-250mm! However, as long as the IQ of the 55-300 is enough (which the original was) then it doesn't matter given the price and weight savings.

Although having said all this the 60-250 isn't massively heavy - a little big but not Bigma big.
Well, it certainly isn't getting any worse than the original!

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11-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #22
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Have you received the new lens.

I'm just wondering if it will be ANY different with the HD coating? I have the original, but if there is a plus beyond the WR then I would consider selling that and ordering the new model.
11-13-2013, 03:26 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by mysterick Quote
I'm just wondering if it will be ANY different with the HD coating? I have the original, but if there is a plus beyond the WR then I would consider selling that and ordering the new model.
I am curious about the same - if you read Adam's post #19 above, it looks like he will soon be doing some comparisons for us.

11-14-2013, 01:28 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I am curious about the same - if you read Adam's post #19 above, it looks like he will soon be doing some comparisons for us.
Yes, I plan on doing a few soon. I've done a few field shots with the HD vs SMC limiteds and to be honest, the difference is hardly of practical significance based on my first impressions. At least the 55-300mm has gotten weather sealing

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11-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
To be fair not many lenses can match the image quality of the 60-250mm! However, as long as the IQ of the 55-300 is enough (which the original was) then it doesn't matter given the price and weight savings.
I've owned several 300mm consumer zoom lenses, including both the DA and DA L versions of the 55-300mm, and none of them have really impressed me all that much. I liked the 55-300mm because of it's low weight and I thought the bokeh was nice, but I didn't find it all that sharp. But that's true of all the 300mm zoom lenses I've tried (not counting my Sigma 100-300mm f4). Unless they've changed the optical formula of the 55-300mm then I would not expect to see any significant difference.

IMO, the lens to beat in the class is the latest Tamron 70-300mm Di VC USD. Unfortunately, they aren't sharing it with us. If they did make a Pentax version, I would own it to use anytime I did not need the speed of my 100-300mm f4 since it is smaller and lighter, and would not hurt nearly as much if it were lost or damaged in the field.

Here's a good review of the Tamron, with full-size sample images:

Tamron SP70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Interchangeable Lens Review

I've already written Tamron a few times, but the responses have not been very encouraging. But it can't hurt to keep reminding them that Pentax exists! If anybody else is interested in this lens, then please take the time to send Tamron a note.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 11-14-2013 at 05:52 PM.
11-14-2013, 05:49 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jb0501 Quote
I got my HD DA 55-300 WR yesterday from B&H. Took it and the K-30 out to a park to photograph some birds. Results are very satisfactory.
I love the picture of the parrot on the head! It seems to be a bit underexpsoed though, so I think it could benefit greatly from a little brightening and a bit of a crop too. Here's the result of my 60-second edit:

11-15-2013, 04:47 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
We'll be posting an in depth review on the homepage soon, and we'll be sure to cover that. Just don't expect too much from this lens, as it is a 5x consumer zoom, after all. It can't match the image quality of the 60-250 for instance.
Since the major change is the WR, perhaps you could try taking it out in the rain - if there is such a thing where you are. I'd be interested in how they've managed to get something that just about doubles in volume between the zoom ends from acting as a rather efficient water pump.
11-15-2013, 04:52 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
Since the major change is the WR, perhaps you could try taking it out in the rain - if there is such a thing where you are. I'd be interested in how they've managed to get something that just about doubles in volume between the zoom ends from acting as a rather efficient water pump.
The reviewer should be able to get it rained on Then again, the WR performance should be about what you'd expect for a lens without internal zooming.

It would definitely be a bit tough to come across some rain where I live. We're still looking at temps close to 30C during the day.

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