Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-27-2014, 11:35 PM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 37
What makes the DA 60-250 so much more $$$$ ?

When trying to decide on a new lens or two, I have a hard time understanding why the DA 60-250 is SO much more $ than the 55-300. I was hoping to purchase two lenses for the price of the 60-250.

Also, will either one be enough length for bird shots?

Thanks!

03-27-2014, 11:49 PM   #2
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,309
The 60-250 is f4 up to 250, the 55-300 is not. It also has the SDM.
I have the 55-300 since I bought my K-x since it is a very versatile lens. It should do a good job provided there is enough light. I have not tried the 60-250.
03-28-2014, 12:04 AM - 1 Like   #3
Veteran Member
abmj's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 600
You got the answer above but a few other things to think about.

The 60-250 is pro quality - better build, weather sealed, better focusing motor, better glass. Those things cost money. On the down side, you pay more than just money for the better performance as it is noticeably bigger and heavier to carry around.

The 55-300 is quite good for the money but is consumer quality. Lightweight, smaller, much slower. If you are ok with bumping up the ISO a couple of stops to make up for the slower optics, it will give you good service. I had one and liked it for travel photography because it WAS smaller and lighter. I just had to make adjustments for weather and the slower optics.

As for length for birds, more is always better. The 55-300 mimics a 450 mm on a full-frame, so is not bad. Serious birders use much longer lenses but those REALLY cost more money.
03-28-2014, 12:39 AM - 1 Like   #4
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Speed?

Hello northmole, welcome to the Forum!
Along with the higher quality material and finer optics, the main reason the DA * 60-250mm is more expensive than the kit zooms can be summed up in one word; Speed. The more light-gathering ability a lens has, (smaller f-number) the more it's suited for sports, action and low-light , because usually, you end up needing a higher shutter speed, hence lenses of this type being called 'Fast'.
What that means to the photographer is, in a given lighting situation, you could have (either) a faster shutter speed for freezing action, or a lower ISO, for better image quality, than a 'slow' lens (higher f/number).
Light for photographic use is converted into a value, called Exposure Value. It's any number of combinations of ISO, shutter speed and aperture. The exposure triangle, all linked. Change any one, and something else must be changed to yield the same exposure.
F/5.6 at 1/125s, ISO 100 yields the same exposure as f/4, 1/250s, ISO 100. Why choose one over the other?
Because at 1/125s, you'll have trouble freezing human action or a bird's wings. There will be 'motion blur', usually ruining the shot.
At 1/250s, you have a much better chance of stopping fast action. Same ISO, so you don't sacrifice image quality.
But you can't shoot at the long end of a kit zoom at f/4, it's too slow. The long end is f/5.6, the lens won't let in more light at 250-300mm. Now your choices are motion blur or raising the ISO, slowly reducing the image quality.
For 2 or 3 times the price of a slow lens, you can have fast glass, an extra f/stop that can be used for lower ISO or faster shutter speeds. These faster lenses generally have other 'Pro' or high-end features like internal focusing (IF, lens doesn't extend or rotate when focusing), WR, better coating, quick shift from A/F to M/F, ED (extra-low dispersion glass elements) and other features that this market segment uses and demands.
I'm not a birder, but from what I've seen here, the entry for good BIF (Birds In Flight) shots is 300mm. Many use 400-500mm also. Not too much shorter.
Long telephotos, fast glass. The high-rent neighborhood, welcome to it!
Ron


Last edited by rbefly; 03-28-2014 at 10:04 AM.
03-28-2014, 12:49 AM - 2 Likes   #5
Forum Member




Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Great, a new lens to obsess over
03-28-2014, 12:58 AM - 1 Like   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
IMO the DA*60-250 doesn't quite live up to its promise. But it's certainly better than the DA55-300 (which is already good - at least for the price). And some users are very happy with it. I just think it needs to be stopped down beyond f/4.5 too much of the time. And since it may need to be stopped down this much, the inexpensive F70-210/4-5.6 can suddenly come surprisingly close to it in IQ (though certainly not quite as good).

For me a 200mm and 300mm prime are better (only my 300 is AF). But the DA*60-250 us still a * lens, so it could be used with the new HD 1.4x TeleConverter quite effectively (as can the *200 and *300 primes).


I'm not a birder, but from what I've read most birders would tell you the DA*60-250 or DA/FA/F*300 is the minimum lens to use for that.


I think the DA*60-250 - perhaps more than any other long Pentax lens - is a matter of personal preference. At its rather high price, you have to make sure it's suitable for you and has the appropriate level of IQ you want. But if it does, its 60-250mm range, WR, and constant f/4 aperture can make it quite useful.


The best place to start deciding for yourself - if you haven't already - is by looking here:

DA*60-250: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=3740
F70-210/4-5.6: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=930
DA55-300: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=3720

DA*300: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=3700
FA*300: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=1455
F*300: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=830

Last edited by DSims; 03-28-2014 at 01:16 AM.
03-28-2014, 01:08 AM   #7
Veteran Member
Barry Pearson's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Stockport
Posts: 870
QuoteOriginally posted by northmole Quote
When trying to decide on a new lens or two, I have a hard time understanding why the DA 60-250 is SO much more $ than the 55-300. I was hoping to purchase two lenses for the price of the 60-250.

Also, will either one be enough length for bird shots?

Thanks!
It is worth reading the Pentax Forums review of the DA* 60-250mm f/4 lens in full.

I have had this lens since 2009, and it is my most used lens. If I could only keep one of my current lenses, it would be this one.

I've shot birds with this lens, but I normally use something a bit longer, such as the DA* 300mm f/4 or the Sigma 500mm f/4.5. And now I'll sometimes add the Pentax 1.4x teleconverter.
03-28-2014, 05:02 AM   #8
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,753
QuoteOriginally posted by northmole Quote
When trying to decide on a new lens or two, I have a hard time understanding why the DA 60-250 is SO much more $ than the 55-300. I was hoping to purchase two lenses for the price of the 60-250.
build quality, materials (metal), aperture (plus the cost of associated glass), all weather seals (tighter than WR), internal AF, removable foot, better coatings, SDM, cost of R&D for the design. The biggest contributor is probably the aperture.

QuoteOriginally posted by northmole Quote
Also, will either one be enough length for bird shots?
It depends on the birds. Some birds let you come quite close

With a body like the K-3, which can let you crop a lot, you should be able to get good images with either lenses. In bright conditions, the 55-300 will deliver. As soon as it gets cloudy or slightly dark it will struggle more (it's a full stop slower, and it's not really sharp wide open). The 60-250 is perfectly usable wide open, and you couple it with the HD 1.4x teleconverter to get a lot of reach if needed.

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
IMO the DA*60-250 doesn't quite live up to its promise.
QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I just think it needs to be stopped down beyond f/4.5 too much of the time.
I disagree. It's better when closed down some, but it's already quite good when wide open.

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I think the DA*60-250 - perhaps more than any other long Pentax lens - is a matter of personal preference.
I think it is one of the safest bet in the Pentax lineup.

03-28-2014, 05:56 AM   #9
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,047
The DA*60-250 is probably the one lens in the Pentax line-up there is no equivalent for among other manufacturers. IN other words, it's worth getting a Pentax just to be able to use this lens. But as with all things, once you get into the high end, you pay a lot for a little.

IN the thread below, you have Tessfully and I shooting side by side... and the difference is that the 60-250 has smoother bokeh, and another, not apparent from these photos is better control of CA, to the point I've never seen purple fringing from this lens.If I were to print these images i'd print the 60-250 image... the bokeh is less distracting, but if you as a consumer are willing to pay for that, that's a personal opinion. The $400 Sigma 18-250 did quite well in these images.

The one difference you own't see in these images would be the slightly better resolution from the 60-250 will look better in large size prints, but you can get more resolution gain switching from a k-5 to a K-3 than you can going from a budget zoom to a 60-250 or DA*300. There's always more than one way to skin a cat.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/227006-lens-comparison.html

Which is the DA* 60-250....

Lens A



Or lens B



You might want to read through the responses.

Last edited by normhead; 03-28-2014 at 06:02 AM.
03-28-2014, 06:05 AM   #10
Pentaxian
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,109
The DA* 60-250 is higher quality lens. It's relatively fast with a constant f/4 throughout the zoom range. That means larger lens elements. It's also weather sealed and that means tighter tolerances and the sealing. It's bigger, heavier, and comes with a tripod foot. These things are just scratching the surface but they are biggest reason for the higher price. It's more versatile for shooting in less than ideal light. The price is right in line with Canon's EF 70-200/4 and gives you a little bit more range. If you spend a little time browsing the online vendors, you will see pricing like this across the board from every camera manufacturer and third party lens makers. There is a lower cost line of lenses and a high end line. All the DA* lenses fall in the high end category.
03-28-2014, 06:14 AM   #11
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 309
It's just a better lens in just about every way. Having both, I can tell you the DA* lens is considerably larger and heavier than the DA lens. It feels premium. Is it worth $1000 more? Well for me, I am going to use it as a sports lens, which means sometimes not great weather conditions. It's also pretty dusty here in Oklahoma. I bought it almost entirely because it was All Weather. The WR 55-300 was not available when I bought it about two years ago. I think I probably would have made the same decision just for its dust sealing.
03-28-2014, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,434
QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello northmole, (if you want) long telephotos, fast glass. (You are entering) The high-rent neighborhood, welcome to it!
Ron
That about sums up the world of birding/wildlife shooters. For landscape work, you can get away with a couple good lenses for about 500-600 each, plus a tripod, shutter release etc.

If you want a pro level wildlife lens, the 60-250 is actually short AND cheap, compared to the rest of the universe. The Sigma 300 f2.8 is 3000, the Sigma 500 f4.5 is 5000, which are really your only options at the moment in k-mount, not counting what you might find on the used market.

I know there's the FA* 250-600 which went for about 10 grand a month or so ago, and there's been other F/FA* 400mm+ lenses sold over the last year for 2500-5000. And with the bigger glass comes the REQUIREMENT for a tripod that can support it. The tripod and the accompanying head for heavy lenses can run you close to 500 or more alone.

So the hand-holdable 60-250 is actually a pretty good bang for the buck compared to what you CAN spend. (You should see the cost of some Nikon and Canon long L glass. Some cars don't cost as much!)

For the most part, lenses are like electronics, you get what you pay for. It's a matter of your demands and tolerances.
03-28-2014, 09:27 AM   #13
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,047
QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
That about sums up the world of birding/wildlife shooters. For landscape work, you can get away with a couple good lenses for about 500-600 each, plus a tripod, shutter release etc.

If you want a pro level wildlife lens, the 60-250 is actually short AND cheap, compared to the rest of the universe. The Sigma 300 f2.8 is 3000, the Sigma 500 f4.5 is 5000, which are really your only options at the moment in k-mount, not counting what you might find on the used market.

I know there's the FA* 250-600 which went for about 10 grand a month or so ago, and there's been other F/FA* 400mm+ lenses sold over the last year for 2500-5000. And with the bigger glass comes the REQUIREMENT for a tripod that can support it. The tripod and the accompanying head for heavy lenses can run you close to 500 or more alone.

So the hand-holdable 60-250 is actually a pretty good bang for the buck compared to what you CAN spend. (You should see the cost of some Nikon and Canon long L glass. Some cars don't cost as much!)

For the most part, lenses are like electronics, you get what you pay for. It's a matter of your demands and tolerances.
Exactly, the DA* 60-250 is apart from being a great lens, on it's own, will help you understand whether you're the kind of guy who needs to get into the high rent district. It's the bottom of high end. If you get one, and you don't appreciate it's advantages or can't handle the weight, you'll be safe from ever wanting a 250-600 or Sigma 500 4.5, but then on the other hand if you get one and decide it's not "high end" enough... then your gonna find out what the prices are like in the long range section of the village. And you probably won't be thinking the 60-250 is very expensive at that point, you're going to have to sell two of them and throw in some change to step up to 300 2.8.

Personally I'd probably really enjoy a Pentax 300 2.8 especially if it works good with the 1.4 TC. That would give me 420 ƒ4. It's currently going for around $3.5k
SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F2.8 ED [IF] Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Or Sigma 300 2.8
SIGMA 300MM F2.8 APO EX DG HSM PENTAX EX300DGP

If I make $70 to $100 a print, how many prints do I have to sell to pay for one of those? Darn close to 50.
03-28-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,434
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Personally I'd probably real enjoy a Pentax 300 2.8 especially if it works good with the 1.4 TC. That would give me 420 ƒ4. It's currently going for around $3.5k. Or Sigma 300 2.8
Norm, I have the Sigma 100-300 f4, I plan on being buried with it, but I'm trying to find a way to sell a kidney so I can get the Sigma 500 f4.5.

The worst thing I ever did for my LBA was play with a friends D800e and 600mm f4. OMG, for 15 grand that's one amazing body/glass combo
03-28-2014, 09:55 AM   #15
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,047
QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
Norm, I have the Sigma 100-300 f4, I plan on being buried with it, but I'm trying to find a way to sell a kidney so I can get the Sigma 500 f4.5.

The worst thing I ever did for my LBA was play with a friends D800e and 600mm f4. OMG, for 15 grand that's one amazing body/glass combo
The nice thing about APS-c is, with my A-400 ƒ5.6 I have the same effective reach at a fraction of the weight, and for $4000 I can add an FA 300 2.8 and TC and have more reach and the same ƒ stop.

DA 55-300 ƒ5.6 = $500
To get a lens that's ƒ4 between double and triple that
TO get to 2.8 between double and triple again.

$469 to $1,399, to $3,500
Every stop adds 150% to the price. And the simple fact is, that low light situations often produce much better pictures than bright situations because of shadows etc. I have a picture taken where my subject was very small because I had to take the TC off the 60-250 just to lock focus. If all I had was a DA 55-300 I would have gotten nothing. If I'd had a 300 2.8 and TC, I would have a useable file to make a print from. Once you've been in this situation a few times, you start experiencing the need for faster glass. Those images you missed because you're glass wasn't fast enough, often they were so spectacular, you'll never forget the scene yourself, but no one else will ever see them. "I saw that moose standing right of there at first light with the mist rising all around him and the sun rising over the horizon and a beautiful sunrise behind him.... picture? Oh no, didn't get a picture, lens was too slow. " Guaranteed, it's going to happen sooner or later.

Then the question becomes, how many times until I get another chance to take that picture, and often the answer is "never,"

Last edited by normhead; 03-28-2014 at 10:12 AM.
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, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DA* 60-250 owners: How do you carry your 60-250 at the ready? apisto Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 23 03-13-2013 05:42 AM
What makes the Q so much fun? Amaroq Pentax Q 8 12-23-2012 10:01 PM
Nature More from Opeongo and the 60 - 250 tessfully Post Your Photos! 8 10-26-2012 05:29 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:35 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