Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-28-2008, 12:41 PM   #61
Veteran Member
dws1117's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Spring, TX.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,157
Anxiously awaiting first hand tests and evaluations. I am considering getting this to replace the Tamron as well.

04-29-2008, 01:35 AM   #62
Inactive Account




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Gloucester UK
Posts: 441
55-300 v. Tamron 70-300 + DA*300 as reference

As I posted in the other forum:

Today I had the chance to quickly evaluate the DA 55-300 against the Tamron 70-300 LD Di with regard to sharpness at the long end and wide open, and also for the dreaded purple fringing (PF). I was able to use a DA*300 as an ultimate reference.

Firstly the comparative sizes of the lenses without hoods:




Fully extended with hoods




The image tests were taken on a K10D, ISO 100, Raw, 2 sec delay on a sturdy tripod. Converted with SilkyPix v 3.0.18.3. No sharpening or post processing apart from cropping for the 100% shots. I did a quick comparison on a K20D, but the results were virtually indentical in respect of the PF and comparative sharpness, if anything the higher resolution of the K20D sensor tended to show a slightly larger gap between the lenses.

This test was for purple fringing (this is not lateral CA which is easily correctable):

Full shot (at 300mm):




100% crop with DA*300 @ f5.6




100% crop with DA 55-300 @ f5.8




100% crop with Tamron 70-300 LD Di @ f5.6




Next was for sharpness, no post processing sharpening was applied so that the lenses could be fully evaluated in their "native" state.

Full shot (at 300mm):





100% crop with DA*300 @ f5.6




100% crop with DA 55-300 @ f5.8




100% crop with Tamron 70-300 LD Di @ f5.6




Subjective handling and my initial observations:


The construction of the 55-300 was of a neat lightweight, tight and well made lens, there was minimal barrel movement even when fully extended, much better than some previous Pentax DA lenses (i.e. 16-45). The zoom action was a bit stiff but smooth and without roughness. The focussing was fast (quite a bit faster than the Tamron) and appeared quite accurate, there was no hint of hunting even indoors with a typical exposure of 1/4 sec at f4.0 at ISO 100, indicating that the high contrast of the lens really does aid the AF capability.

Minimum focussing distance is 1.4m. Sharpness across the frame appeared excellent with minimal distortion and vigneting.

Personally I feel it is a much better lens than my Tamron which was much sharper than the smaller DA 50-200 in my previous tests, so it would seem that the new lens from Pentax is a significant step forward, I was particularly surprised and pleased how sharp the 55-300 was wide open. The PF was also much improved which I know will be great news for those who like the Tamron but really hate it's PF achilles heel.

I had only about an hour to do these tests between meetings so wasn't able to do any more in depth trials, but the initial impressions are very encouraging. For it's anticipated cost of around 230 (UK inc tax) it would seem quite reasonable value and an attractive and very useful travel zoom, I found the range down to 55mm a useful feature.

This is the difference in FOV between 55mm and 70mm:

55mm




70mm




The DA*300 was a beautifully made lens and handled really well, it is quite a bit larger than the FA*300 f4.5 and a bit heavier, the tripod bush is a very nice design. The SDM was very quiet and snappy, you almost didn't notice it focus, very nice! The optical performance seems to be up to the same standard set by the earlier superb FA*300 f4.5, I didn't have that lens to hand to do any direct comparisons. I will leave that to Lance B as he should have his DA*300 very soon and will no doubt do the honours for us!

Interestingly, I also had a Canon 40D with the new Tamron 70-200 f2.8 to hand, and it too, had a nice quiet internal AF motor and was very well made, but it appeared to be a bit slower and actually hesitated on occasions compared to both the K10D and K20D with the DA*300. In fact the DA 55-300 seemed to AF better than the Tamron on the 40D, but this was just a subjective feeling. The Tamron isn't yet available in Pentax mount, it is scheduled for later on this year, I don't have a precise date.
04-29-2008, 03:55 AM   #63
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
Well It looks like a winner from these shots. I'm curious about the close focus ability of the Pentax. But the crops clealy show that it's sharper and has muxh better control of PF. The contrast looks better as well. Thanks for sharing your test and taking the time to do it.
04-29-2008, 04:11 AM   #64
Veteran Member
roentarre's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11,794
Seriously, I am so tempted by this comparison, Richard.

I think the difference is minor and the price is not dear at all.

04-29-2008, 04:31 AM   #65
Pentaxian
cardinal43's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,353
QuoteOriginally posted by Ed in GA Quote
UPS was just here.

My package is on his truck but I can't get it until he comes back this afternoon.

Guess we'll have to wait.

Yep, doesn't that just tick you off. I missed delivery (DHL) of my new computer by 10 minutes this past Friday morning. I was able to call them and make arrangements to pick it up Friday evening, between 6:45 pm and 8:00pm. It was nice that I could do this, but keep in mind, this is in northern VA traffic on a Friday evening.
04-29-2008, 09:19 AM   #66
Veteran Member
heatherslightbox's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,595
I wonder how the 55-300 stacks up against the Sigma APO 70-300. I know the biggest complaint with the Sigma is that it tends to be soft on the 300 end. If the Pentax is sharper on the tele end, that would definitelty sway me in the direction of the 55-300--that, plus the expanded focal range, plus the non-rotating front element.

Heather
04-29-2008, 09:30 AM   #67
JMS
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 273
QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
As I posted in the other forum:
Interestingly, I also had a Canon 40D with the new Tamron 70-200 f2.8 to hand, and it too, had a nice quiet internal AF motor and was very well made, but it appeared to be a bit slower and actually hesitated on occasions compared to both the K10D and K20D with the DA*300. In fact the DA 55-300 seemed to AF better than the Tamron on the 40D, but this was just a subjective feeling. The Tamron isn't yet available in Pentax mount, it is scheduled for later on this year, I don't have a precise date.
I have found this also. I've been using the Tamron 70-200mm on a Canon XTi (400D) at work and have noticed that it hunts a bit at the long end of the range. However, the MF damping is very nice, although not up to full manual-focus standards.
04-29-2008, 09:32 AM   #68
Veteran Member
dws1117's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Spring, TX.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,157
Thanks for the report. It looks like it may be a viable option to replace my Tamron 70-300 but I'll wait on more reports.

04-29-2008, 08:08 PM   #69
Pentaxian
ivoire's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: chicago burbs
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,366
I sharpened your crops in cs3, for lens blur, 2 pixels, 75%, to see what they would look like. based on the test, the 55-300mm should give very good result for the birders (feather detail) in this group. thanks for the post. It would be great to see a few bird pics when you get the time. In order, da*300mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm

Last edited by ivoire; 04-12-2009 at 10:29 AM.
04-29-2008, 08:26 PM   #70
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: CT / NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 822
I have a feeling Ed is trying to get off the hook now that someone else posted some photos...

Come on Ed... give us your input as well!


04-29-2008, 08:33 PM   #71
Veteran Member
dws1117's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Spring, TX.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,157
QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
I have a feeling Ed is trying to get off the hook now that someone else posted some photos...

Come on Ed... give us your input as well!


Yeah! Come on Ed!


It is looking like a pretty good lens.
04-27-2009, 09:35 AM   #72
Forum Member




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 76
You can find some test shots with the DA 55-300 f/4-5.8 here.

Welcome to the Foblivio Home Page

I'm very happy with it.

-Gavin
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
da, k-mount, lens, pentax, pentax da, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I'm Traveling, Want Inexpensive Telephoto Zooms : Pentax 55-300 Or Sigma 70-300 APO Christopher M.W.T Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 32 01-01-2010 07:48 PM
TESTED: Pentax 55-300 vs. Sigma 70-300 vs. Tamron 70-300 falconeye Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 05-14-2009 04:01 PM
Pentax A*300 vs. DA*300 (8 large photos) TomInJax Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 08-14-2008 05:49 PM
Sigma 100-300 APO vs New Pentax 300 dylansalt Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 07-24-2008 05:44 AM
Pentax FA J 75-300 lens vs. Sigma 70-300 APO DG Clem Nichols Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 04-09-2007 07:51 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:13 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top