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08-22-2016, 04:11 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Sometimes one just has to ask oneself.. "What features of $5K to $15K camera system can I reasonably expect to find in a $1k camera system? " There's the perspective you should be looking at.
Great looking pics Norm! Love that DA*200!

08-22-2016, 04:13 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Great looking pics Norm! Love that DA*200!
As do I. It's my 2nd favorite lens.
08-22-2016, 04:18 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
As do I. It's my 2nd favorite lens.
What is your first?
08-22-2016, 04:28 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
What is your first?
D FA100WR. If I could only have one that would be it. IMO heavily cropping an image from it very often renders a better image than using my HD DA 55-300 (so that it ended up very rarely used), and cropping one from the *200 was always better than one I got from the A400. YMMV of course as I've seen several comments about the quality images from the HD version of the 55-300. I've just not been personally impressed by it. I'm guessing it's still a better quality lens than the older DA 55-300? Dunno.


Last edited by gatorguy; 08-22-2016 at 04:39 PM.
08-22-2016, 05:56 PM   #35
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It remains to be seen, but, it's quite possible the new 55-300 with the Pulse Motor and KAF4's ability for cross talk between camera and lens will make it really good for tracking, although that remains to be seen.
08-22-2016, 06:32 PM - 2 Likes   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Davidparis Quote
Howdy folks,
I'm a die-hard Pentaxian, for better or worse, and generally try to defend the brand and promote its numerous qualities. Using Pentax has forced me to become a better photographer and I'm thankful for that.

However, today I do want to ferociously complain about the DA 55-300 HD version. While the lens can indeed produce a sharp image with somewhat pleasing bokeh on still life and other non-moving subjects, for sports or anything moving the lens is an absolute loser. I've practiced enough throughout the years with my previous version. We all know the screw drive is slower than molasses and louder than a train wreck. We anticipate and compensate for that. Earlier this year, I spent about 5 hours shooting a (horse) polo match from the field using AF.C and all the proper settings. Focus hit rate and keeper ratio were acceptable and I did get some sharp shots of a very dynamic sport. Pretty confident, once again, that I could tackle situations with this lens.

HOWEVER, just got back from 3 weeks in Peru. Dustier than hell, but the K-5IIs performed admirably as expected. The failure occured in the Colca Canyon region while shooting the Andean condors. Had good early-morning light, blue sky, no clouds, Condors were flying and I had several good spots to shoot from. The birds were soaring peacefully anywhere from 30 to 80 meters from my shooting position.

The DA 55-300 HD was literally an absolute catastrophe. Hunting, whining, whirring, spitting, coughing and protesting continuously. Jumped from AF.C to AF.S and myriad complmentary settings to get it right for the conditions. Lots of thinking and anticipation coupled with many years of experience produced very poor results. Of about 350 shots of condors in flight, I swear I may have 10 keepers, none of which I'd dare publish here for fear of being ridiculed to no end...It was an unbelievable session. The lens was just clearly out of its league. The challenge was too great and the lens failed miserably. OOF rate was astronomical.

The Canon guys with their long white lenses seemed content enough, probably due to the quick focus capability of their equipment.

My gripes here are known to all of us. When will Pentax produce an AF system capable of rivaling Canikon and allowing action/sports shooting on a reasonable level? Why didn't Pentax produce this updated lens with the same motor drive as the DA18-135 and DA16-85? Why is the newest 55-300 PLM incompatible with my K-30 and K-5IIs? Will it perform better on an appropriate body?

I still enjoy Pentax and am pleased with my other shots. However, it is disappointing to realize that action/sports remain a serious shortcoming for the brand. Hopefully, Ricoh will make some progress on this aspect in the future.

OK, my group therapy session on PF was successful as I feel better now...but it still sucks thinking about those amazing condors I attempted to capture with an inadequate lens.

Good day to all.
Don't let all these Positive Pollyannas tell you you're wrong. I have owned both versions of the DA55-300 and found both disappointing. But I bought it, I brought it, and I used it, so I can't blame the lens for my poor keeper rate. I learned my lesson. I'm renting the D FA 150-450 for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout this weekend because I intend to turn in 2500 good images. Meanwhile, I sent the HD-DA55-300 along with my K-50 to my sister for her trip to Niagra Falls. At least she will get some use out of the WR.
08-22-2016, 06:37 PM - 2 Likes   #37
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I am reluctant to weigh in on this, but here goes. I currently have a k-3 and a few lenses, including the 300mm f4. The 300mm has a questionable SDM motor at this point. If left to sit for a few days, it won't focus until you hold the shutter button down half way and then manually focus, which wakes it up. Once awake, it works fine. I have tried the conversion to screw drive, but that was much slower and much noisier; not what I signed on for with a lens at this price point. I will live with it until it goes completely bad. I had the original 55-300, and it wasn't bad, but forget about BIF. Frankly, I don't trust Pentax at this point with the more expensive gear. Frankly, my Sigma 18-200, which has the HSM motor focuses about as well as the 300mm when it is working. Long before I spend $2500 on the 150-450, I would buy a Canon 80D for $1200 and a Canon 100-400 Type I for $1300, and walk away from Pentax entirely. If I wanted to spend more I'd go for the Canon 7d and the 100-400 Type II. With either of those BIF would be doable, and either lens would be a lot more hand holdable than the 150-450.
08-22-2016, 07:10 PM   #38
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I think what you want (since you are envious of the canon L lenses) is a DA* 60-250 or D-FA 150-450. The 55-300 isn't a bad lens, but you are asking a lot for a consumer quality lens, and the K5iis is getting a bit older now. Might want to look into a newer body and the D FA 150-450 if you are super serious about wildlife and sports.

08-22-2016, 07:29 PM   #39
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Hopefully you can view this 20 shot sequence of a gull in flight with a K-3 and DA 55-300mm. The images are loaded at full resolution. Only one is a miss, IMO.
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMLCNem2vo5PR1be1Ov_YeQFuC7H0HPz3YvWxoy...pZbHY5VnNEeXdn

I suspect the settings used by the OP are the issue, not the lens. Although the K-3 is superior as is the DA*300, I've shot BIF with a K20D and the 55-300 as well.
08-23-2016, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Exactly. It's a $150 LENS! CONSUMER GRADE! Hello.......is anyone listening?
Ahem ... B&H sells the HD DA 55-300 WR (which the OP is referring to) for $396, I bought it for 325. It's most certainly not a $150 lens, unless you're talking about the price for a used copy in a rather bad state.
08-23-2016, 05:53 AM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Hopefully you can view this 20 shot sequence of a gull in flight with a K-3 and DA 55-300mm. The images are loaded at full resolution. Only one is a miss, IMO.
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMLCNem2vo5PR1be1Ov_YeQFuC7H0HPz3YvWxoy...pZbHY5VnNEeXdn

I suspect the settings used by the OP are the issue, not the lens. Although the K-3 is superior as is the DA*300, I've shot BIF with a K20D and the 55-300 as well.
There ya go, being a Positive Pollyanna again.

I guess it's better to be a Negative Nellie.

That would be someone who says stuff like "I couldn't get this gear to work for me, therefore you won't be able to get it to work for you." Oh ye of little faith.

QuoteQuote:
I intend to turn in 2500 good images.
What's with that?

Is there a price if you turning 2500 images?

Who's going to even look at those?

I'll look at your 2500 images, but, I want $120 an hour.

Last edited by normhead; 08-23-2016 at 06:04 AM.
08-23-2016, 06:35 AM - 2 Likes   #42
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I never had much interest in BIF shooting or other moving objects, but assume it takes a lot more skill than I have and the lens is only a part of the equation?

I tried to shoot squirrel races long ago....

Get ready, get set....


Go!


I wasn't very good at it so I found that if I fattened them up they would stop all that racing nonsense and just be nice still subjects, easy to shoot!


I guess this technique wouldn't work as well with birds as it did for squirrels?


Regards!
08-23-2016, 06:50 AM - 1 Like   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
I'm renting the D FA 150-450 for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout this weekend because I intend to turn in 2500 good images.
I'm with Norm here. For the love of (insert deity here), why would anyone, EVER, want 2500 good images from a weekend shoot? No one in their right mind is going to trawl through that sort of catalogue.
Even if you are selling them for a living, a dozen or so would be plenty.
08-23-2016, 07:52 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Btw OP, if you want, you can post some of your photos and we can give tips on PP to help them. Applying good digital sharpening, adding contrast, lens profile to remove CA and purple fringing can go a long way. Dunno how skilled you are in that department, maybe you already know what you are doing, just throwing out some ideas. Sounds like you had a really cool trip and there is still stuff you can do with the images
Hi again,
Thanks to you and the others for all the interesting and useful comments. I'm fully functional in LR and PS and my pics from this trip are just fine, including the dozen or so that I salvaged from the condor shoot. In Peru as in some other destinations, the locals sometimes want to be paid for having their photo taken or simply do not care to be photographed. The incriminated DA 55-300 proved very useful for stealth shooting while keeping a discrete distance from subject. (For the uptight folks, yes I did pay a few elderly people whose facial features were outstanding and slipping them a few coins made me feel it was a fair deal...) I witnessed many tourists snapping away in people's faces without any concern which subsequently appeared to P.O. the subject. I decided not to be that guy.
Anyway, the DA 55-300 is fine for some subjects, which is clear for everyone, and simply incapable of performing in other more challenging instances. That is equally clear and rightfully so as it is a budget consumer lens.
That said, it was the longest lens I had with me and I had hoped for better statistical results even if I finished with more than enough keepers of the BIF. I'd also like to state that despite what some reponses alluded to, the K-5IIs is no slouch and in fact is one damn fine camera. I feel no need to upgrade to the K-3 series although I will be attentive to the K-3 APS-C successor if one ever is relased by Ricoh.
Finally, I spend much more time shooting from 10mm to 135mm and my Pentax lenses at these lengths never frustrate me as I can just worry about the story, composition and light.
One of these days I'll splurge for the appropriate big gun when the time is right.
Thanks to all,

---------- Post added 08-23-2016 at 08:05 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by GateCityRadio Quote
I think what you want (since you are envious of the canon L lenses) is a DA* 60-250 or D-FA 150-450. The 55-300 isn't a bad lens, but you are asking a lot for a consumer quality lens, and the K5iis is getting a bit older now. Might want to look into a newer body and the D FA 150-450 if you are super serious about wildlife and sports.
For the record, I cannot say that I'm envious of Canon shooter or their lenses, they can keep them. I did say that they appeared to be struggling less than I was with a screw-drive chasing condors against a bright blue cloudless sky.
08-23-2016, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #45
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I guess I could of worded it differently, the Canon L glass is much nicer and is designed to work better than the 55-300, mainly because the L lenses are designed with pros in mind and the 55-300 is just a consumer lens, which has seem to been said several times in this thread already lol, so by design it makes sense that the L glass worked much much better. The comparable lenses from pentax are the DA* line. The longer Sigma and Tamron lenses are also options that are available.
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