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01-17-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
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Pentax DA 55-300 F/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE lens ????

I will be getting the K3 II camera shortly. I will be getting it with the 18-135 lens. Is the above 55-300 lens is this a good lens? I want a good 300 mm lens for this camera. I see there are not a lot of 300mm lenses for this K3 II camera. Feedback greatly appreciated Bill

01-17-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gold Coast Quote
I will be getting the K3 II camera shortly. I will be getting it with the 18-135 lens. Is the above 55-300 lens is this a good lens? I want a good 300 mm lens for this camera. I see there are not a lot of 300mm lenses for this K3 II camera. Feedback greatly appreciated Bill
Yup, it's really good, especially in the AF department. See:


Hands-On with the Pentax DA 55-300mm PLM WR RE - Hands-On Tests | PentaxForums.com

That said, if you're looking for premium image quality and want to spend more, the DA* 300 mm or DA* 60-250mm F4 will do a bit better.

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01-17-2017, 11:39 AM   #3
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Thanks Adam for that info. That looks like what I want. What a difference in the old and new lens. Thanks again for that feedback. Bioll
01-17-2017, 12:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gold Coast Quote
I will be getting the K3 II camera shortly. I will be getting it with the 18-135 lens. Is the above 55-300 lens is this a good lens? I want a good 300 mm lens for this camera. I see there are not a lot of 300mm lenses for this K3 II camera. Feedback greatly appreciated Bill
Some pics with the lens mounted on a K-70 from around Newfoundland...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/193-pentax-k-70/330715-pentax-k-70-photo-...ml#post3785712

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/328778-opin...ml#post3764266

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/328778-opin...ml#post3765912

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/96267-da-zoom-club-post388...ml#post3884252

01-17-2017, 12:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gold Coast Quote
I will be getting the K3 II camera shortly. I will be getting it with the 18-135 lens. Is the above 55-300 lens is this a good lens? I want a good 300 mm lens for this camera. I see there are not a lot of 300mm lenses for this K3 II camera. Feedback greatly appreciated Bill
It's pretty good; not up there with the 60-250 but a whole lot better AF than my older 80-320.
Images from December - Single in December 2016 | Flickr

Overall nice bokeh, fairly sharp - only losing a bit at the long end. Crops are better than the image quality in combo with the HD 1.4x AF Rear Converter. Balances nicely on the K-3. Good feel to the zoom ring.

Last edited by W412ren; 01-17-2017 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Spelling!
01-17-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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So...what is an alternative to this lens? Not the 60-250 which is good but big and heavy. The 55-300 is an easy lens to take on a hike.
Are there options from other manufacturers which rival the 55-300 series for cost/performance?

I think I have issues with my 55-300 WR focus at long range, it's soft. I need to do some tweaking I think, or send it for calibration.
01-17-2017, 02:06 PM   #7
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Is there really a big difference in IQ from the DA L the other DA WR and DA PLM reviews seem a about the same other than the AF system. Difference from bottom to top is 300 dollars in NZ for me
01-17-2017, 02:35 PM   #8
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I did not think about the 15-85 lens. I had a Canon 60D few years back and had if I remember it was an excellent lens for a walk around lens. This may be the way to go along with the 55-300. This will not give me hardly any overlap to deal with. I thank you for this suggestion it makes a good combination. Thanks again Bill

01-17-2017, 05:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gold Coast Quote
I will be getting the K3 II camera shortly. I will be getting it with the 18-135 lens. Is the above 55-300 lens is this a good lens? I want a good 300 mm lens for this camera. I see there are not a lot of 300mm lenses for this K3 II camera. Feedback greatly appreciated Bill
I got it for my K-3 after the firmware upgrade. It may not be as sharp as DA* 300 and DA* 60-250 but it is sharp enough for me and it is easy to carry around. It is the fastest and quietest autofocusing lens that I have being both faster and quieter than DA 21 and DA 40 Limiteds (fast but not quiet) , DA*200 and DA 17-70 SDM (quiet but noticeably slower). The sharpness at 200 mm looks as good as the DA* 200 unless you crop heavily and with the much better AF it is becoming my go to lens when I need 200 mm or greater.

---------- Post added 01-17-17 at 07:57 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
So...what is an alternative to this lens? Not the 60-250 which is good but big and heavy. The 55-300 is an easy lens to take on a hike.
Are there options from other manufacturers which rival the 55-300 series for cost/performance?

I think I have issues with my 55-300 WR focus at long range, it's soft. I need to do some tweaking I think, or send it for calibration.
Is yours the PLM version? I have the HD DA 55-300 version and it autofocuses with some difficulty at 200 to 300 mm just due to the slowness of the screwdrive motor and the long focus throw. Quick shift helps. The PLM version is a completely different story. It locks focus so fast that I get more subjects at 200 to 200, even those that are moving in focus.

Last edited by jddwoods; 01-17-2017 at 05:58 PM.
01-18-2017, 04:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gold Coast Quote
I did not think about the 15-85 lens. I had a Canon 60D few years back and had if I remember it was an excellent lens for a walk around lens. This may be the way to go along with the 55-300. This will not give me hardly any overlap to deal with. I thank you for this suggestion it makes a good combination. Thanks again Bill
If you're into any sort of landscape photography the 16-85 is a far better bet than the 18-135.As you say coupled with the 55-300 you have a good range covered with very little overlap.
01-18-2017, 07:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote

Is yours the PLM version? I have the HD DA 55-300 version and it autofocuses with some difficulty at 200 to 300 mm just due to the slowness of the screwdrive motor and the long focus throw. Quick shift helps. The PLM version is a completely different story. It locks focus so fast that I get more subjects at 200 to 200, even those that are moving in focus.
No, It's the WR version. I think my older green version was better at 200-300 infinite distance. That's why I think maybe something is off with the adjustment. maybe not.
I've thought about getting the PLM version, and selling the WR version.
01-18-2017, 05:22 PM   #12
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I used the old version at a motorcycle race last year with the 1.4x teleconverter. It drove me crazy. It could not focus well at all and I only got a few good shots. This new one would have been faster/better.
01-19-2017, 02:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloyd_Christmas Quote
I used the old version at a motorcycle race last year with the 1.4x teleconverter. It drove me crazy. It could not focus well at all and I only got a few good shots. This new one would have been faster/better.
I have both the screw drive and PLM versions and yes I'd say you should find things easier.

That said, test your lens with fine detail like distant text and see if the 1.4x teleconverter really adds anything. When I've tested I get maybe a bit more detail with the PLM version, but the DAL version does not. I get the same detail by simply cropping. You may just be making things dimmer with the tele

Last edited by jgnfld; 01-19-2017 at 04:09 AM.
01-23-2017, 01:40 PM   #14
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Thanks, I'm not planning to use the 1.4x on my next trip and will do as you suggest, crop. K-3 is pretty good about that.
01-23-2017, 02:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgnfld Quote
I have both the screw drive and PLM versions and yes I'd say you should find things easier.

That said, test your lens with fine detail like distant text and see if the 1.4x teleconverter really adds anything. When I've tested I get maybe a bit more detail with the PLM version, but the DAL version does not. I get the same detail by simply cropping. You may just be making things dimmer with the tele
I've had the original screw drive non-HD version and now have the PLM. The PLM does focus much faster and more decisively--I don't know yet if the IQ is significantly better, but the old one was pretty good.

I think the 1.4X TC doesn't add any value to the PLM. There may be a tiny bit more detail, but it's not sharp. In fact, detail that is sharp without the TC becomes less sharp with it.
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