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10-31-2015, 07:10 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
300 seems to be the longest I need now but sure in 3 years I will have a new post saying I can't get what I want across a soccer field lol.
Ha Well, with my limited knowledge, I can't think how you could get better IQ, with zoom functionality that long, at a low budget... I don't have experience of, or finances to allow, anything faster at this focal length. I'll follow the thread with interest, though... If there's a faster zoom than the 55-300 that is comparable in IQ and range for sensible money, I'd sell some gear and buy one

10-31-2015, 07:58 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
Keep in mind I'm low right now. But I was wondering if I had a windfall what would be the best zoom lens to get ? The HD 55-300 WR seems nice. But F 4 to F5.8 requires so much light to pop. Why don't they make a zoom that is 2.8 or 2.4 ?

I got a couple ok zooms including 55-135 WR. The performance is nothing like a fa31 or a fa50 1.4.

I can't always zoom with my feet. 250-300 is often needed to capture my daughter.
The DA* 60-250mm is a better choice if it's within your price range, and you get a lot more light and sharpness at the long end.

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10-31-2015, 08:27 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The DA* 60-250mm is a better choice if it's within your price range, and you get a lot more light and sharpness at the long end.
Amen. However with lots of light the 55-300 makes really nice pictures with ease. The DA* 60-250 can more easily work with the 1.4x HD TC which means an 84-350 f/5.6 for those times you need a little more reach and have enough light.
10-31-2015, 11:14 PM   #34
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I had no problems with the DA 55-300 on my K10, and even fewer on the K3 I am now using except that my new camera out resolves the lens a bit. That is not a bad thing - I have more detail than the 10 mpx sensor could put out, but I can sure see the difference against the DA 12-24 or DA* 16-50 when I do the stupid pixel peeking thing. I would much rather the 60-250 + 1.4x, but I don't have the $$$ for that right now.

11-01-2015, 06:31 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I had no problems with the DA 55-300 on my K10, and even fewer on the K3 I am now using except that my new camera out resolves the lens a bit. That is not a bad thing - I have more detail than the 10 mpx sensor could put out, but I can sure see the difference against the DA 12-24 or DA* 16-50 when I do the stupid pixel peeking thing. I would much rather the 60-250 + 1.4x, but I don't have the $$$ for that right now.
The upside to the 55-300 in weight and size is considerable. It is a nice lens and worth continuing to own if you get the 60-250.
11-01-2015, 07:35 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The upside to the 55-300 in weight and size is considerable. It is a nice lens and worth continuing to own if you get the 60-250.
I couldn't agree more. The shot of the Heron I took with the 55-300 was at a local garden and sculpture park. Lots of walking there since it is a huge place. Mainly I shoot with my 16-50 but I wanted one longer lens to put in a small bag just in case. That just in case happened when the heron landed. I couldn't imagine carrying a 60-250 all that time. That being said I still drool over the 60-250 and someday hope to own one, however I will hang on to my 55-300.
11-01-2015, 09:05 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
300 seems to be the longest I need now but sure in 3 years I will have a new post saying I can't get what I want across a soccer field lol.

---------- Post added 10-31-15 at 10:04 PM ----------

Maybe the answer I need to better master the smc 55-300 I have.

As a cruel side note it is worth mentioning one of my best lenses is the takumar 28-80. I'm astounded every time I have the chance to use it. It shouldn't be with a $50 lens but it is.
Well the issue is wider apperture make bigger, heavier more expensive lens. Because of all of this, even less people want one so you don't sell many and need to ask for even more.

- A 55-300 can be got used for 150$ without the WR. Optical performance is the same as the WR. It is light and small.
- a 60-250 new is 900$. It is better even for 300mm. Already 6 time more expensive.
- a 70-200 f/2.8 + TC so you get 280mm f/4. Depending on lense/TC cost range is 800-2600$. You best bet would be the DFA 70-200 + Pentax TC when available as I'am sure it will perform fine wide open with the TC but you must wait for it.
- DA*300 f/4. Similar price than the 60-250, better quality. Not a zoom, obviously.

Next steps are:
- 100-300 f/4 from sigma. Don't know the price but that expensive I think.
- 300 f/2.8. Nothing in Pentax mount new. 2000$ used I would say or you go Nikon/Canon to buy new and add a body for 4500$. Not a zoom.
- 150-450 f/4.5-5.6 + upcoming FF for 300mm APSC framing and great high iso performance. That arround 5000-6000$ I'd guess counting lens + body and in a few months, no Pentax FF yet.

If that's not good enough:
- 200-400 f/4 + integrated and dedicated TC (for 280-560mm). Put that on an FF and you get lof of high iso possibilities... $10000
- 500mm f/4 + FF body - 8000$...

So you see really the price/weight are exponential, but not the quality you get out of it. People that need speed and don't shoot 300mm all the time may prefer really a 70-200 f/2.8 + TC, some other will go 60-250. Many will say the 55-300 is good enough finally. Some that need more range will go for a 150-450 or 150-600, but this is not fast. If you ask for more than that then you really spend lot of money on it... Hopefully you really intend to use it !
11-01-2015, 09:41 AM   #38
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I think I will not change out the 55-300; when I have the $$$ I'll add the 150-450 for those special birding expeditions. The only major problems I have with the M 400 is the manual exposure because of the way the new cameras meter not quite right with them. I have to remember to double the shutter speed (a good thing for birds1). With the K10 I had changed the focusing screen to the LL-60 from the *ist-D and that improved the metering to "close enough" but I don't think I will change out the screen in the K3. I'm finding that with the stock screen and the O-ME53 magnifier, plus of course the new lenses inside my eyes (cataract surgery several years ago) I can manually focus just fine using the viewfinder.

The upside to the K3 aside from the 24 mpx is the clean shots at ISO 3200. That is twice the ISO that the K10 could even be set to. The f/5.6 becomes much less limiting at ISO 3200. I'm not shooting professionally, so the 55-300 is just fine for me.

11-02-2015, 08:17 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
I have the 18-135 f4.5 and the 55-300 f4.
I've read that there isn't enough difference, image wise; between the regular 55-300, and the HD 55-300 with the exception of WR. I'm absolutely thrilled with the results I get with my regular 55-300. For me, however, I do plan on getting the HD, simply for the WR. Since I would be purchasing another lens, might as well make it the HD, rather than the regular WR.

Last edited by csa; 11-02-2015 at 08:24 AM.
11-02-2015, 08:56 AM   #40
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I have the regular 55-300 as well. I upgraded from the L version. I was unhappy without quick shift.

I am tempted by the WR for the WR, but I used the regular 55-300 on a whale watching cruise in Hawaii on a miserable windy and wet day around Christmas. My brother's widow took a cell phone snap of us after the cruise and posted it on her Facebook page. My son commented: "Mr. and Mrs. Claus lost there hats over Maui today. More at 11 ..." That described our wet and bedraggled look quite accurately. I still have the 55-300 and it still works just fine.
11-02-2015, 10:39 AM   #41
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Hey Condor,
I feel I need to interject something that hasn't been said and I learned the hard way. You mentioned your daughter as a primary subject and Thomas the Train so I'll assume she is young. There are some dynamite zooms available in the f3.5 ,F4 and up range at reasonable prices. They will work fine for outdoor daylight ocassions but eventually there will be more indoor or under the lights events you will want to shoot (school plays , dance , band , sports etc.). Even though mommies get "great" pictures with their Iphones , you will really need something f2.8 or faster to do what you want.
I guess where I'm going with this is a good deal on a tool that will limit you down the road really isn't a good deal at all.
My advice is save up and get the right tool for the job.
FWIW I shoot almost exclusively manual focus in part because of what I do and how I learned but also because older top quality fast glass is much easier on the wallet.
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