Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-28-2014, 08:38 AM   #1
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Homesick Canadian in New York City
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 658
Objective observer expresses love for the 55-300

Last night, I had a portfolio review/mentoring session with an experienced pet photographer. She shoots with a Canon. As we were going through my portfolio, she picked out a number of images that she thought were my strongest photos and voila, they were all taken with the newish WR DA 55-300. (And she didn't stint on constructive criticism regarding other images so this wasn't a general "ooh love everything you do" session.) She particularly liked a number of images where I recall photographing the animal from about 20 or so feet away, with a focal length of about 250-300mm. She noted how crisp the subject appeared and how nice the bokeh and background were.

It's nice to know that an affordable, easily portable and WR lens can produce such high quality images. I knew that, of course, but it's nice to hear it from someone else.

05-28-2014, 09:06 AM   #2
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
good to know! But... Why not share the pictures with us!?
05-28-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Homesick Canadian in New York City
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 658
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
good to know! But... Why not share the pictures with us!?
These are two of the photos she liked (not pets, actually, even though it was a mentoring session about pet photography):

Catskill Animal Sanctuary - frogoutofwater

Zoo animals - frogoutofwater
05-28-2014, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #4
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,285
Shouldn't be too long before tibbitts tells you how wrong this is because of all the "Quality Control" issues...

05-28-2014, 09:59 AM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: GMT +10
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,576
I'm not surprised.
Even the cheapo version of the 55-300 (the DAL 55-300) is, IMHO, a great little lens. Shot well, it can really deliver some nice results.

Scarlet Honeyeater w Orange Marmalade grevillea on Flickr
05-28-2014, 10:33 AM   #6
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
These are two of the photos she liked (not pets, actually, even though it was a mentoring session about pet photography):

Catskill Animal Sanctuary - frogoutofwater

Zoo animals - frogoutofwater
Off topic but, a little contradiction shooting in an "animal sanctuary" and a zoo, donīt you think?
05-28-2014, 10:46 AM   #7
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,717
The DA 55-300 seems to be the best (affordable) lens I never owned. Unfortunately owning a DA* 60-250 and 1.4 TC means I'll probably never own it.

I feel like I'm missing out. When I started out in digital with my *ist the Sigma 70-300 was the greatest thing since sliced bread. My how times have changed. It's looking like the 55-300 is one of those lenses capable of standing out and selling cameras. ( As in people will buy the camera to get the lens.) Usually the issue with zooms is not as good bokeh compared to DA*s or primes. The DA 55-300 does' seem to suffer from that.

I wonder if it works with the 1.4 TC.
05-28-2014, 11:34 AM - 1 Like   #8
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Homesick Canadian in New York City
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 658
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Off topic but, a little contradiction shooting in an "animal sanctuary" and a zoo, donīt you think?
I'm not sure I understand your comment. Did you simply mean it's odd to use the word "shoot" when talking about sanctuaries and zoos? If so, then yes, it's an awkward term to use - I feel kind of the same way about the phrase "nice capture" ...

Or are you making a reference to the ethics of organizations that keep animals (including possibly wild animals)? In particular:
1) Do you mean it's a bit of a contradiction to photograph in a zoo when you also are a supporter of an animal sanctuary?
2) Or do you mean that the zoo and the sanctuary are similar in that they both have captive animals and organizations that keep animals captive are doing something inappropriate?

If you are talking about ethics and your question is more along the lines of (1), then I can see your point. I have been thinking more about this issue lately but haven't decided yet how I feel about the role and practices of zoos (even zoos like the NYC zoos that say they are dedicated to the conservation of wild species). I am debating whether to renew my membership this year.

If your question is more along the lines of (2), I don't agree. The Catskill Animal Sanctuary exists to rescue and rehabilitate abused and neglected farm animals. They're domesticated animals and they live out their lives in peace, doing what they want to do, once they are at the Sanctuary. There are opportunities to view and interact with the animals under controlled circumstances as part of the Sanctuary's education and advocacy function but in those circumstances, the focus remains on protecting the animals and respecting how they want to be. (Some of the animals are more people-oriented than others, and the ones that aren't interested in people aren't pushed into interacting with people.)

I'm aware that there are so-called animal sanctuaries out there that are operated just as a way for the "owners" to possess wild animals (and sometimes make a profit from putting them on display). And there are also some really sad cases of hoarding, where people collect wild animals, farm animals or pets because they can't control themselves - and then neglect or abuse the animals. (A number of the animals at CAS were rescued from hoarders.)

So with respect to the CAS, although I took the photographs for my own pleasure, I have shared all of the "keepers" with the CAS and told them that they can use them for educational or promotional purposes.

---------- Post added 05-28-14 at 02:41 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The DA 55-300 seems to be the best (affordable) lens I never owned. Unfortunately owning a DA* 60-250 and 1.4 TC means I'll probably never own it.

I feel like I'm missing out. When I started out in digital with my *ist the Sigma 70-300 was the greatest thing since sliced bread. My how times have changed. It's looking like the 55-300 is one of those lenses capable of standing out and selling cameras. ( As in people will buy the camera to get the lens.) Usually the issue with zooms is not as good bokeh compared to DA*s or primes. The DA 55-300 does' seem to suffer from that.

I wonder if it works with the 1.4 TC.
Even though you have the 60-250 + 1.4TC (and make wonderful images with it), you might want to consider the 55-300 for some purposes. The specs suggest that it weighs less than half what the DA 60-250 weighs, and so for you it could be a decent walk-around outdoor/nature lens when the primary goal isn't to photograph birds at a distance.


Last edited by frogoutofwater; 05-28-2014 at 12:31 PM.
05-28-2014, 12:19 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Tako Kichi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: SW Ontario, Canada (ex-pat Brit)
Posts: 1,012
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The DA 55-300 seems to be the best (affordable) lens I never owned. Unfortunately owning a DA* 60-250 and 1.4 TC means I'll probably never own it.

I feel like I'm missing out. When I started out in digital with my *ist the Sigma 70-300 was the greatest thing since sliced bread. My how times have changed. It's looking like the 55-300 is one of those lenses capable of standing out and selling cameras. ( As in people will buy the camera to get the lens.) Usually the issue with zooms is not as good bokeh compared to DA*s or primes. The DA 55-300 does' seem to suffer from that.

I wonder if it works with the 1.4 TC.
It's a pity we don't live closer to each other Norm. I'd happily let you try your 1.4 TC on my DA 55-300.

I have a Kenko 2x TC but I've not tried it on the DA 55-300 (yet). I did try it on a Tokina 70-210 but the results were less than stellar as CA was a big issue.
05-28-2014, 01:07 PM   #10
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,285
QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
I have a Kenko 2x TC but I've not tried it on the DA 55-300 (yet). I did try it on a Tokina 70-210 but the results were less than stellar as CA was a big issue.
The 55-300 will not autofocus on any 2x converter at more than about 200mm. The F 70-210 will autofocus on my 2x converter, and the FA 80-320 will autofocus out to about 300mm (but not a 320mm). On the other hand, the 55-300 works just fine on my cheap Vivitar 1.4x TC. Fringing is a bit stronger and the autofocus isn't quite as fast, but in the right conditions it will give good results.
05-28-2014, 02:23 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 3,012
Agreed that the 55-300 is a good lens (the DA, DA-L, and the latest WR variant). Good optics, very reasonable price, and compact enough to always carry in the bag just in case a telephoto opportunity presents itself.

The only significant weakness I've noticed is recovery time from a misfocus on a bird in flight or airshow. [Whirrr sound] ... rack focus point from distant to near ... [pause] [more whirring] ... rack focus point back to where it started. If I set my camera correctly and keep my target within the autofocus area this rarely happens so it's a manageable limitation, but the lens is unforgiving of user error in AF.C.
05-28-2014, 02:32 PM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,821
I've had my 55-300 since June, 2008...right when they came out.

I find it's an excellent lens that punches well over it's weight, considering it's a consumer level lens. I've always been very pleased with it's performance.

---------- Post added 05-28-14 at 04:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The 55-300 will not autofocus on any 2x converter at more than about 200mm. The F 70-210 will autofocus on my 2x converter, and the FA 80-320 will autofocus out to about 300mm (but not a 320mm). On the other hand, the 55-300 works just fine on my cheap Vivitar 1.4x TC. Fringing is a bit stronger and the autofocus isn't quite as fast, but in the right conditions it will give good results.
I have an old Pentax 2X converter and my 55-300 seems to work fine with this unit. I'm not sure, but I think I may have picked up this converter...new... sometime in the '80's.
05-28-2014, 06:00 PM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nelson B.C.
Posts: 3,211
I borrowed a Canon entry level with their 300mm zoom last summer when my K5 was in for repair; I was shocked at how bad it was. The Pentax is capable in good light when you can stop down.
05-28-2014, 07:27 PM   #14
Pentaxian
mgvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 825
I have the rather highly regarded Kenko Pz-AF 1.5X Teleplus SHQ and a DAL 55-300.
Using them together:
  • Lose a little light, at most a stop
  • Autofocus sometime hunts a bit but gets there eventually
  • Significant loss of contrast
  • Mixed results on whether 'enlarging' pics w/out the converter is better than ones w/ converter
>> There may be some advantage to use the Kenko 1.5x to get longer w/ the 55-300, but it usually isn't worth the bother.
05-28-2014, 07:45 PM   #15
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
Mixed results on whether 'enlarging' pics w/out the converter is better than ones w/ converter
Thatīs my expierence testing FA80-320 and DAL55-300 with the Pentax AFA 1.7x. I found out that I got the same result by cropping the photo without adapter.
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!
2x, animals, autofocus, cas, converter, da, images, k-mount, lens, love, objective observer, observer expresses love, pentax lens, people, portfolio, purposes, sanctuary, slr lens, tc, wr, zoo
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much better Is the DA* 300mm than the DA 55-300 for cropping bird pics in PP pearcemi Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 03-11-2014 04:52 PM
Is the k511s too much camera for the 16-45 abd the 55-300? Flyfisher22 Pentax K-5 4 02-10-2013 11:59 PM
What's the difference? 55-300 DA vs 55-300 DA L tenthumbs Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 05-25-2012 07:59 PM
55-300 for the birds. IowaBoy Post Your Photos! 2 07-06-2009 04:24 PM
Is the Pentax DA 55-300 mm lens worth the $300+?...No choubacca Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 44 04-14-2009 09:01 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:34 PM. | See also: NikonForums.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