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08-14-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Autofocus DA 300f4 vs DA 60-250f4

I'm finding the reach of the 60-250, even with the HD1.4x a bit too short. I'm very tempted by the DA300, but am concerned that the autofocus is sluggish. I'm quite happy with the autofocus performance of the DA60-250 on my K5, so I was wondering how the DA 300 performs in comparison to the DA 60-250?

At the moment the DFA 150-450 is just too expensive and heavy..... However, if the DA300 is much slower to focus than the DA60-250, I might just have to get the DFA.

I'm dabbling in bird photography, but not a true twitcher.

'I only need just one more lens, honest'.

08-14-2015, 09:57 AM   #2
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I find the af on the da*300 to be VERY fast. Certainly faster than my other da* lenses. I don't have a 60-250 to compare it to though
08-14-2015, 09:59 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Timd Quote
'I only need just one more lens, honest'.
LBA is a bear.
08-14-2015, 10:02 AM   #4
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DA*300 is faster than the DA*60-250, I have both. I really love the 60-250 but find the AF is just too slow for a lot of things. DA*300 is noticeably faster, still not as fast as I would like but definitely faster than 60-250.

If you are happy with the AF on the 60-250 you will be very happy with the DA*300.

08-14-2015, 10:14 AM   #5
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Thanks, jatrax for the quick answer. You have made me happy and sad at the same time. It's now very much on my wish list. UncleVanya, you are so correct. When I mentioned the DFA150-450 was discounted by $500, my dear wife said I could buy it. She's a keeper, but I can't justify the price to myself.....

(On second thoughts, perhaps my wife has something very expensive that she wants....)
08-14-2015, 10:30 AM   #6
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Do you really think switching from 250 to 300 is going to make a significant difference if you're looking for extra distance? It's 6.6 vs 5.5 degrees, 4.7 to 3.9 degrees with the TC.

The 150-450 will get you to 3.7 degrees (2.6 with the TC), which is pretty significant.
08-14-2015, 10:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
Do you really think switching from 250 to 300 is going to make a significant difference if you're looking for extra distance? It's 6.6 vs 5.5 degrees, 4.7 to 3.9 degrees with the TC.

The 150-450 will get you to 3.7 degrees (2.6 with the TC), which is pretty significant.
The 60-250 suffers from Focus Breathing - it loses magnification and acts like a less long lens when you shoot closer to the camera. This is noticeable by me out to about 10 meters. The DA* 200mm often seems to be "longer" at close distances than the 60-250. So the difference may be significant at closer distances.
08-14-2015, 10:49 AM   #8
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Just looked it up for you:



08-14-2015, 11:37 AM   #9
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I have also both the DA*300 and the DA*60-250 and share the same opinion with above members. Once in a while (when having enough light) I let the 300mm work together with the old semi-AF 1.7 TC, hence manual rough focus and let the TC do the rest - at times with great results. Nevertheless, the 150-450 is much more versatile and in terms of AF for sure quicker with its DC technic vs the older DA* lenses with the relatively slow SDM motors. I was going to have the 150-450 but got one of the early not-so-well-quality-controlled devices and sent it back without giving it a 2nd try yet. However, from what I read in several forums since then, once it's fine-tuned and working a supposed - it's top notch among the longer tele-zooms out there...! I'd recommend save your money and get the heavy beast... ;-))
08-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The 60-250 suffers from Focus Breathing - it loses magnification and acts like a less long lens when you shoot closer to the camera. This is noticeable by me out to about 10 meters. The DA* 200mm often seems to be "longer" at close distances than the 60-250. So the difference may be significant at closer distances.
Doesn't really matter for the OP's concern, does it? He wants more distance, not more magnification up close.
08-14-2015, 02:05 PM   #11
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If you have a K5ii or higher body, the F*300 4.5 is faster and sharper than the DA*300 F4. (I have both.) I use the F*300 for day sports and things that don't require a silent focus which is the only advantage of the DA*300. For me, DA 300 for wildlife, the old SHARP AND SPEEDY F 300 for everything else.
*worth noting- the new HD teleconverter is only reliable on the DA 300 .... FYI.
08-14-2015, 02:09 PM   #12
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Yup, focus breathing for me means my 60-250 with TC feels shorter than my 55-300. This ties into it acting like a 200.

I suppose I will always want more till I have the 150-2000 f2.8 (lightweight version), but realistically a 300 with TC is 420f5.6 which is very close to the focus-breathing of the 150-450 (it is internally focusing, isn't it?) and also f5.6...

Bird photos are at about 5-10m.

The DA*300 is cheaper and lighter.

---------- Post added 14-08-15 at 23:15 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kevwaly Quote
If you have a K5ii or higher body, the F*300 4.5 is faster and sharper than the DA*300 F4. (I have both.) I use the F*300 for day sports and things that don't require a silent focus which is the only advantage of the DA*300. For me, DA 300 for wildlife, the old SHARP AND SPEEDY F 300 for everything else.
*worth noting- the new HD teleconverter is only reliable on the DA 300 .... FYI.
For me in Cape Town, second hand is not an option. To courier it to South Africa costs a significant sum and many do not send out of USA or Europe.

I have the classic K5 and silent focus is an advantage. I have the HD TC, so the DA300 seem the best compromise.
08-14-2015, 02:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
Doesn't really matter for the OP's concern, does it? He wants more distance, not more magnification up close.
Where did you get that impression?

QuoteOriginally posted by Timd Quote
I'm finding the reach of the 60-250, even with the HD1.4x a bit too short. I'm very tempted by the DA300, but am concerned that the autofocus is sluggish. I'm quite happy with the autofocus performance of the DA60-250 on my K5, so I was wondering how the DA 300 performs in comparison to the DA 60-250?

At the moment the DFA 150-450 is just too expensive and heavy..... However, if the DA300 is much slower to focus than the DA60-250, I might just have to get the DFA.

I'm dabbling in bird photography, but not a true twitcher.
To me reach doesn't equal longer distance when talking lenses. Also my experience with bird feeder photography is that little birds - they need you to be quite close even with a 60-250 and a 1.4x TC - which I have. So focus breathing is a real issue for bird photography.
08-14-2015, 03:11 PM   #14
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Hi Tim,

I have the 300 and I think the AF is fast....accurate too.

I LOVE this lens. The colour rendition and sharpness is fantastic.

No clue on how to post a link but if you search by my handle, I have some recent photos of eagles.

Managed some great ones of osprey last night too. Just not done the PP.

PS. the 1.4x tc is on my list. If its quality holds true to the reviews and photos, I'll be shooting at 420mm soon enough

Cheers,
Keebler
08-14-2015, 08:07 PM   #15
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My DA*300 + 1.4x HD is my favorite birding lens, ever. (Well, maybe until I spring for a DA 560 some day) The quality, size and weight just can't be beaten, and it even works very well close in for small birds and even smaller winged creatures. I have had no issues with focus breathing. The fly shot below is a 70% crop at the minimum focus distance with virtually no PP. Of course at that distance and FL, there is virtually no depth of field and only the front legs is in perfect focus. Both it and the hummingbird were taken from a monopod within minutes of each other using the AF.

I was standing in the same position for both shots, and swung around about 160 degrees from the hummer shots to catch the fly. I could never be this agile with a bigger, heavier lens. This lens almost never comes off my one of my K3 bodies, and most of the time it is with the 1.4x.

I also find that I get better bird photos cropping this lens than by using the A400/5.6 or K500/4.5 with a TC. I really can't recommend this combo highly enough for birds and wildlife.
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Last edited by GeneV; 08-14-2015 at 08:36 PM.
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