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11-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
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pentax DA L 55-300 vs DA 55-300

please help me. i have to decide quickly if it is worth to upgrade from DA L 55-300 to DA 55-300. i am satisfied with my DA L lens performances, but i wonder if the DA lens has better optical performance (i know it is not a plastic mount). thank you

11-05-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
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I donīt think so. Itīs the same optical design.. Same coatings... Perhaps the new HD WR version would be more of an upgrade with the new coating and being wather resistent...
11-05-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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the mount itself can be a reason for an upgrade from DA L to DA?
11-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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Not really, but the quick shift would be a good reason.



11-05-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by piskota Quote
please help me. i have to decide quickly if it is worth to upgrade from DA L 55-300 to DA 55-300. i am satisfied with my DA L lens performances, but i wonder if the DA lens has better optical performance (i know it is not a plastic mount). thank you
Optically, both are the same. If you want to upgrade, then I'd suggest taking a look at the new WR version:
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR Lens Announced - Pentax News - PentaxForums.com

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11-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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if the lenses are almost the same what means the difference if are looking at the prices of both?
11-05-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Just because they have the same optical design does not automatically mean they will have the same optical quality, particularly in the case of zooms. The lenses need to be very accurately positioned as the zoom and focus are changed. The quality of the mechanism can affect the precision of the distance between the various lens groups (which can be critical for zooms) and also how well they are kept on axis.
Some things that can make a lens much cheaper are using molded vs machined parts, use of plastics instead of metal or carbon, allowing wider tolerance in dimensions and so on. It is also likely that the glass for the DA will be from the closes tolerance lenses while the DA-L will be the ones which are less close to specification.
11-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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thanks so my question is: if for the same money for which i can sell my DA L i can buy the DA version it is worth changing it?

11-05-2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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Yes it would be.

11-06-2013, 04:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
Yes it would be.
Second that.
11-06-2013, 05:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Just because they have the same optical design does not automatically mean they will have the same optical quality, particularly in the case of zooms. The lenses need to be very accurately positioned as the zoom and focus are changed. The quality of the mechanism can affect the precision of the distance between the various lens groups (which can be critical for zooms) and also how well they are kept on axis.
Some things that can make a lens much cheaper are using molded vs machined parts, use of plastics instead of metal or carbon, allowing wider tolerance in dimensions and so on. It is also likely that the glass for the DA will be from the closes tolerance lenses while the DA-L will be the ones which are less close to specification.
I donīt think you can apply this reasoning so lightly. Take a look at lens rentals blog about lenses. There are several parts adressing mount and elements alignment, resolution, centering, etc..
11-06-2013, 05:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by piskota Quote
thanks so my question is: if for the same money for which i can sell my DA L i can buy the DA version it is worth changing it?
If I had the option to do a non-cash switch from the DA L version to the DA version, yes I'd do it provided the DA version was in as good shape as the DA L version I was losing.

As a DA L 55-300 owner, and having an opportunity to use a DA 55-300, the only feature improvement worth mentioning is Quick Shift. And the fact is I can fake Quick Shift with any screw drive AF lens by holding in the lens release button while I manually tweak focus. Metal mount? Bah! Anything that hits the lens hard enough to damage the DA L plastic mount is likely to damage something else regardless whether the lens is a DA L or DA version. Hood? The nearly identical 3rd party hood costs almost nothing, certainly a lot less than the typical price difference between DA L and DA versions.

I agree with the folks above who mention the brand new WR version of the 55-300. I have a K-30 and WR 18-135. Adding the WR version of the 55-300 would be a no brainer - except for the upgrade cost.
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