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06-30-2008, 07:24 PM   #1
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Lens test: A100/4 macro vs. DA55-300 @ ca. 100mm

Since my LBA has flared up again, I did this little unscientific test to see if I should hang on to the A100/4 macro or sell it to help fund another lens purchase. I couldn't get the 55-300 to set exactly on 100, but I came close at about 97-98mm. All pics were taken at f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO 200, with onboard flash. See the results for yourself...

Orange rose taken with A100 full size...


Orange rose DA55-300 cropped...


Orange rose A100 cropped...


Basket taken with A100 full size...


Basket DA55-300 cropped...


Basket A100 cropped...


After looking at these pics, I think the answer is obvious.
Along with the DA35, fast 50, and possibly a DA21, this will be a nice part of my prime kit.

Heather

06-30-2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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Wow!

I didn't think the difference was going to be so obvious - the zoom is much sharper!

Just kidding.

This was an eye-opening test.

Thanks for posting it, Heather.

I think there will be a few more primes in my future.

Mike
06-30-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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Looks like the A100 is as safe as you can be


cheers
06-30-2008, 08:41 PM   #4
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macro features really stands out...

06-30-2008, 09:01 PM   #5
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i'm surprised that with everyone saying how good the 55-300 is, that is a very poor showing
where was your focus target for this test?
06-30-2008, 09:52 PM   #6
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I don't doubt the 100mm is sharper, but neither looks lens good here, which makes me wonder about the setup. Did use a tripod?
06-30-2008, 10:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I don't doubt the 100mm is sharper, but neither looks lens good here, which makes me wonder about the setup. Did use a tripod?
That's what I'm wondering. It looks like the 55-300 is out of it's field of focus. I've got a 55-300 and the pictures I've got from it are fine.

Something doesn't seem right (sharp), with as audiobomber says with either lens, especially that fabric rose.
06-30-2008, 10:37 PM   #8
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All the photos seem generally flat in appearance but that could just have to do with the lighting. Having never shot with the 55-300, I cannot speak to what it *should* be. OTOH, I don't necessarily disbelieve these tests. The basket, especially looks like the kind of low-contrast that doesn't come from being out of focus. The only thing I wonder is if the 55-300 has any tendency to block the on-board flash - which might color the results.

I've found that often a lens looks great until compared directly with another exceptional lens, especially a prime. In any case, it sure doesn't make me want to go out and buy a 55-300!

Thanks Healther, for putting these up.

07-01-2008, 02:05 AM   #9
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those 55-300 shots look really bad!!!
So far I have heard only good stuff about that lens, but those pics...
Now there's something wrong for sure...
07-01-2008, 05:38 AM   #10
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prime vs. zoom = no contest
07-01-2008, 05:48 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
prime vs. zoom = no contest
agreed, but the results shouldn't be that different, something is going on with either the setup or the 55-300 itself. I can get better results with the kit 50-200 particularly concerning the fabric rose.
07-01-2008, 07:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
prime vs. zoom = no contest
I agree with you that a prime, is probably still going to be better than a zoom. But some zooms are excellent.I have an old 35-105 Macro Zoom A lens, bought new in '84 and some of the pictures that old zoom has given me, especially back in film days were quite good. Still use it with my K10D. These 35-105 Macro A's lens have a bit of reputation.

This 'test' in this thread just doesn't gel with my experience with my 55-300 As another poster said, the lighting isn't good. I agree it sure isn't in that fabric flower test.

It also look like the tester took the shot too close with the 55-300, it isn't a macro and the picture was not within the 55-300's ability to focus.

The modern K digitals have shake reduction and I use it all the time, as I'm no spring chicken and I figure I need all the help I can get. But I do find the 55-300, especially with the lens all the way out, a heavy lens for me, so shake reduction and a tripod make a difference. The prime, I would think, being smaller and lighter, would be easier to hold, well for someone like me, anyways.

Too many questions. I think both pictures of the flower were 'not good' to understate and not representative of either lens.

I would not make any decision buying either lens using this info. Too many unanswered questions in my mind.
07-01-2008, 07:12 AM   #13
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No, I didn't use a tripod for either set of shots, so a little bit of camera shake might be possible. The basket was up on a shelf, so I had to point the camera up. As I said, this was a very unscientific test. As for the focus, I used spot focus. Also, another thing you need to consider is that the cropped area that I used was very small in comparison to the overall picture. Chances are, in real life, I wouldn't be using an area that small for cropping.

I may try this again outside with my tripod and see if there's any difference.

Heather
07-01-2008, 07:13 AM   #14
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rally action ,perhaps the car is going 70-80km/h




07-01-2008, 03:24 PM   #15
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Let's try this again...

I went outside this afternoon and tried the same test using a tripod at a greater distance from my subject. Here are both the original and crops for both lenses...

DA55-300 original...


A100 original...


DA55-300 crop...


A100 crop...


While I did get better results from the DA55-300 this way, I still think that the A100 edges it out by just a smidgen. As I mentioned in an earlier post, ordinarily, I wouldn't be cropping such a small part of an image, though, so I guess it doesn't matter so much. The 55-300 is still a fine lens in it's own right.

Heather
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