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04-04-2008, 08:39 AM   #1
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Pentax-55 - 300-mm-smc-da-

Pentax 55-300 mm SMC DA 4-5.8 ED - Foto Erhardt

Is this the lens that the Pentax roadmap still shows as a "future lens"?

I don't read German, but it appears to be on sale at 300 Euro's ( £236 - $471 ) which doesn't seem a bad price.

04-04-2008, 09:39 AM   #2
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should be out very very soon
pentax japan's been fiddling with their roadmap so the usual English roadmap is in a different spot
http://www.pentax.jp/english/imaging/digital/lens/roadmap.pdf
04-04-2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
Pentax 55-300 mm SMC DA 4-5.8 ED - Foto Erhardt

Is this the lens that the Pentax road map still shows as a "future lens"?

I don't read German, but it appears to be on sale at 300 Euro's ( £236 - $471 ) which doesn't seem a bad price.
Due in the UK very soon (May?), SRS has an initial retail price of £229 inc VAT, and is taking deposits, I'm sure that many other Pentax Centres will be much in line.
SRS Microsystems - camera and computer retail

From some information I have:

● Usable at the telephoto extreme (300 mm actual focal length), as lack of usability at the telephoto extreme was a source of dissatisfaction for users of the DA 50-200mm F4-5.6ED.

● Use of ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass to reduce chromatic aberration, while maintaining a reasonable price.

● Use of SP Coating on the front surface of the first lens.

It features a non rotating front element, unlike other budget tele-zooms of comparable focal lengths, plus it's also smaller & lighter and has a 58mm front filter thread.

Also features Quickshift manual focus override and close focus distance is 1.1m

No SDM or sealing. Think of it as a "Super" DA 50-200 with improved performance. A very worthwhile upgrade and a great companion to the 18-55 mkII kit lens.

Some images:

04-04-2008, 03:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for that information Richard. This lens is starting to look more appealing to me. I've been looking for a lens that will perform decently at 300mm without killing my bank account. And the Pentax offerings alway look a little better to me because of the Quickshift focusing. It is very handy!

And although I'm generally happy with my DA 50-200, the 200mm end of the range is not it's strong point.

04-04-2008, 03:09 PM   #5
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No sealing is an issue for me, I want something as weatherproof as the K10.

I'm considering the 50 - 135 f2.8, which I believe is weatherproof, and the Tamron / Pentax 18 - 250, which I'm not sure is weatherproof or not.

I'm not going to drown my equipment, but my hobby is off road 4x4 competition driving, so mud and bad weather is something I enjoy!
04-04-2008, 04:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
I'm considering the 50 - 135 f2.8, which I believe is weatherproof, and the Tamron / Pentax 18 - 250, which I'm not sure is weatherproof or not.
only the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 are sealed
04-04-2008, 06:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the report, Richard. I have one question, however. When you write:

QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
● Usable at the telephoto extreme (300 mm actual focal length), as lack of usability at the telephoto extreme was a source of dissatisfaction for users of the DA 50-200mm F4-5.6ED.
Do you mean wide-open ? Because I've had good results with my DA50-200mm stopped down to f/8.0 at 200mm.
04-04-2008, 07:16 PM   #8
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I'm looking forward to this one... non-rotating front element alone is almost enough to make it worth the $$$ over Sigma/Tamron 70-300mm, for me.

04-04-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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04-05-2008, 01:23 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
Thanks for the report, Richard. I have one question, however. When you write:



Do you mean wide-open ? Because I've had good results with my DA50-200mm stopped down to f/8.0 at 200mm.
This is a statement by Pentax, I expect they mean it will be somewhat better than the 50-200 which was overall not a particularly highly resolving lens.

For example the Tamron 70-300 is considerably sharper overall than the 50-200 and has a more even distribution over various apertures as well, it's achilles heel is PF, although the CA is well controlled (they are two different things).

Most tele-zooms perform best stopped down by at least 1 to 2 stops, the DA 50-200 is no exception and I dont expect the 55-300 will break any new ground here, but I do hope for a higher resolution and better PF than the Tamron. Coupled with Quickshift and non rotating front element, it could be a very attractive, lightweight, tele-zoom.

I expect we're all looking forward to seeing how this, and also the long awaited DA*60-250 f4.0, are going to perform. My main concern is control over QC and sample variations, we've had enough of those gremlins already!
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