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12-15-2013, 02:53 PM - 1 Like   #31
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The 60-250 is a better lens than the 55-300 at the same aperture. But the thing is, with a modern DSLR you can raise the ISO quite a bit without getting (much) noise. Then close down the aperture a few stops, let the rest of the excess exposure value go into a shorter shutter time, and you can get tack sharp shots out of the 55-300, at least if there is enough light. The effect kind of wears of towards longer focal lengths though. But other than that, I think the 55-300 can hold its own.

Where the 60-250 wins out is sharpness wide-open and probably bokeh quality. But you pay a price for that performance, both in weight and money.

Also, there are situations where the bigger aperture of the 60-250 won't matter anyway. I used my 55-300 as a semi-macro solution while shooting a gecko in Thailand, and I had to close down to f/16, which meant raising the ISO to 3200, to get enough DOF at near minimum focus distance. For that matter, the 60-250 couldn't have done it because the IF design means it wouldn't effectively be at 250mm anyway.

So for versatility, the 55-300 is a great lens, maybe even better than the 60-250. The 60-250 rocks, but only when it can.

12-16-2013, 12:34 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
The 60-250 is a better lens than the 55-300 at the same aperture. But the thing is, with a modern DSLR you can raise the ISO quite a bit without getting (much) noise. Then close down the aperture a few stops, let the rest of the excess exposure value go into a shorter shutter time, and you can get tack sharp shots out of the 55-300, at least if there is enough light. The effect kind of wears of towards longer focal lengths though. But other than that, I think the 55-300 can hold its own.

Where the 60-250 wins out is sharpness wide-open and probably bokeh quality. But you pay a price for that performance, both in weight and money.

Also, there are situations where the bigger aperture of the 60-250 won't matter anyway. I used my 55-300 as a semi-macro solution while shooting a gecko in Thailand, and I had to close down to f/16, which meant raising the ISO to 3200, to get enough DOF at near minimum focus distance. For that matter, the 60-250 couldn't have done it because the IF design means it wouldn't effectively be at 250mm anyway.

So for versatility, the 55-300 is a great lens, maybe even better than the 60-250. The 60-250 rocks, but only when it can.
Well, I guess my work here is done

-Heie
12-16-2013, 04:48 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
Well, I guess my work here is done

-Heie
LOL! Still looking forward to your review though.
12-16-2013, 05:28 AM   #34
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Did you also test the bokeh of the lens? While I generally like the results of my DA 55-300, in my experience it can have very harsh bokeh in some situations, e.g. at 55mm wide open and also towards the long end. In-between it generally seems to be smoother.

12-16-2013, 07:38 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by sTi Quote
Did you also test the bokeh of the lens? While I generally like the results of my DA 55-300, in my experience it can have very harsh bokeh in some situations, e.g. at 55mm wide open and also towards the long end. In-between it generally seems to be smoother.
You won't notice a difference in bokeh between the smc and HD 55-300 - the blades are the same shape (rounded) and number (6). But yes, there's a whole section dedicated to the bokeh at various apertures and focal lengths

-Heie
12-19-2013, 03:01 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
Currently working on the HD 55-300 WR in-depth review. I thought I'd throw it out to y'all to see if there are any specific requests for the review to better maximize it's potential (as well as to let you know it's being worked on ). Before anyone asks, yes the smc version as well as the DA* 60-250 are being compared to the new HD 55-300.

Here's some lens porn for you, taken an hour ago

Attachment 197707

For those curious, 2 shoot through umbrellas, 45 deg on either side. The camera is tilted up by the 60-250's tripod foot under the corner

-Heie
Heie,
Not much would bring me back here but the idea of you reviewing the 55-300WR is one. I eagerly await your review.
Merry Christmas,
-Robert
12-20-2013, 07:22 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Heie,
Not much would bring me back here but the idea of you reviewing the 55-300WR is one. I eagerly await your review.
Merry Christmas,
-Robert
Thank you, Doc. That's a tremendous compliment. I really appreciate your support, ever since before the vacation to Afghanistan

And to wet everyone's palette a bit and ensure that this still has my attention, there's a section dedicated to the magnification differences between the HD 55-300 and the DA* 60-250. One of those examples includes a shot of the moon, and now the Pentax HD DA 560 F5.6 has been added for comparison, totalling 6 moons (three lenses x 2 camera bodies (K-5 IIs and K-3)). There may or may not be the 100% crops of all six moons

Thank you for your patience!

-Heie
12-20-2013, 09:07 AM   #38
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inb4 the 560 finally used for what it was made for
inb4 the 60-250 is better when resized
inb4 lots of inb4s

12-22-2013, 02:40 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
inb4 the 560 finally used for what it was made for inb4 the 60-250 is better when resized inb4 lots of inb4s
I have no idea what that means....I searched google and was unable to extract how any definition would apply.

And I also wanted to sadly announce that the review is being postponed until after the New Year. The reason, and I am sure you will agree, is because the review is waiting on one critical piece - another K-3. I have been wanting to do the AF comparison in a very controlled, deliberate manner - K-3/60-250 and K-5/55-300 both shooting the same exact subject (i.e. person running towards cameras) at the same time. This negates any and all variables (such as runner's speed between two different runs) as the subject is now the control - impossible to vary between iterations because each iteration is shot simultaneously by both set ups.

The unfortunate thing is that the mail system here on our humble piece of America in Germany is backed up 2-3 weeks (our base is inactivating permanently by next summer, so services have really dwindled), and thus I won't receive the K-3 until after I return from Austria (Jenny and I are spending the holidays with her family at their cabin in the Alps!)

In return for your patience, within the next several days there will be a homepage post with all the sample photos taken thus far with the K-3/HD 55-300 and a quick first impressions comparison between the smc and the HD. The sample photos are the ones that will be in the review's sample photo gallery towards the very end. Additionally, I will bring the HD 55-300 to Austria with me to see how it does skiing, hopefully able to get a few more sample shots of a different environment. And put the weather sealing to the test

Again, I apologize, but I wanted to give a thorough reasoning as to why, which I can't do on the homepage post in this amount of personal detail

Lastly, as another teaser and proof that the review is going to be as thorough as possible, here's the Table of Contents (those are page numbers)

Name:  review.png
Views: 1221
Size:  25.5 KB

If there's something I'm missing you want to see, let me know.

-Heie
12-22-2013, 09:18 AM   #40
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Thanks for the update, Heie. As someone who is mainly interested in the 60-250 vs HD 55-300 comparison, and needs to make a decision soon, I sure hope you'll include as much of pages 9-12 as possible in your first impressions. Much appreciate your hard work on this, and hope you have a great holiday in Austria!
12-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
The 60-250 is a better lens than the 55-300 at the same aperture. But the thing is, with a modern DSLR you can raise the ISO quite a bit without getting (much) noise. Then close down the aperture a few stops, let the rest of the excess exposure value go into a shorter shutter time, and you can get tack sharp shots out of the 55-300, at least if there is enough light. The effect kind of wears of towards longer focal lengths though. But other than that, I think the 55-300 can hold its own.

Where the 60-250 wins out is sharpness wide-open and probably bokeh quality. But you pay a price for that performance, both in weight and money.

Also, there are situations where the bigger aperture of the 60-250 won't matter anyway. I used my 55-300 as a semi-macro solution while shooting a gecko in Thailand, and I had to close down to f/16, which meant raising the ISO to 3200, to get enough DOF at near minimum focus distance. For that matter, the 60-250 couldn't have done it because the IF design means it wouldn't effectively be at 250mm anyway.

So for versatility, the 55-300 is a great lens, maybe even better than the 60-250. The 60-250 rocks, but only when it can.
For 'carrying' and walking around, the 55-300mm is much more practical. I'd be a little more adventurous with a ~$500 lens than a $1400 lens. I don't think I'd be hiking easily with a 60-250mm strapped around my neck, while its probably not too bad with the 55-300mm WR.
01-03-2014, 06:49 PM   #42
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You could just shoot the shots and have Twitch do the crop, since he seems to know what he's doing!

Er...scratch that, I was replying to what Twitch said on page one, apparently much too late by now!
01-05-2014, 03:39 PM   #43
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Still I own a very old fashion FA 100-300... Anybody tried a comparison??
01-12-2014, 02:45 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by wgb Quote
Thanks for the update, Heie. As someone who is mainly interested in the 60-250 vs HD 55-300 comparison, and needs to make a decision soon, I sure hope you'll include as much of pages 9-12 as possible in your first impressions. Much appreciate your hard work on this, and hope you have a great holiday in Austria!
I'm in the same boat with you. Need more reach than my 18-135 will give. Not sure yet if extra weight and considerably extra cost of the 60-250 is worth it for the constant f4 aperture. Also considering the Sigma 150-500 but the idea of a completely WR kit is what brought me to Pentax in the first place.

Thanks for taking the time to do such and in-depth review Heie. Looking forward to reading it.
01-12-2014, 06:29 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Italian-fellow Quote
Still I own a very old fashion FA 100-300... Anybody tried a comparison??
I don't have a comparison, but I like my FA 100-300 a lot. If you're an Italian fellow, you might recognise where this was taken.



But even though the 100-300 is nice, it only goes on my camera for the occasional shot. The 55-300 interests me because it would save me a lot of lens changes.
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