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03-22-2017, 11:13 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
What do you own now; do you have the 55-300? It sounds like you would be buying the TC, right?

If you're buying both, that's what, about $850 or $900 for the pair? A very quick search of that one big auction site says Sigma 50-500's for Pentax run under a grand (all USD of course) and that seems pretty tempting in comparison. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for asking. I already have the 55-300 (purchased new <$300 from B&H as they cleaned out for the PLM variant). My desire for more reach had me considering legacy 67 Takumar 400 and 500s, and the craziness of that pushed me back to the TC solution.

I am grateful to everyone for their fantastic input. It seems that my suspicion that the pairing could work seems vindicated, with reservations.
Since I'm forced to operate in the most economical mode at the moment, the suggestion of simply cropping down should not be ignored.

Again--thank you to ALL for setting me on the right path.

I think I'll just go outside and take some pictures, and ignore the whispering Lens Devil on my shoulder...

---------- Post added 03-22-17 at 02:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
I've tried it for a few days and came to the conclusion that cropping/rescaling was as good as, if not better, than using the converter. This was on a K-5ii. K-3ii should be even better.
You, sir, are making too much sense--thanks for that!

It seemed to me that this particular combination was going to be tempting to many beside myself, so this updated "survey" will hopefully be useful for others.

03-22-2017, 12:16 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I've used the DA L 55-300 with a Vivitar Series 1 1.4x TC (same as the Tamron/Kenko but without PZ contacts). In good light the results are fine. In poor light the AF will hunt.

Would I use the 55-300 with the Pentax TC? Probably not, just too expensive. I have a Sigma 150-500 now anyway...

Almost everything I shot in 2013 with the 55-300 had the TC attached. Unfortunately, since it isn't recorded in EXIF, I don't know on many of the shots if I was using it. This album is shot entirely with the TC...and most of the others in 2013...

Montezuma - Sep 15, 2013 | Flickr

There are certain shots I've always particularly liked...

There is a reason that a "picture is worth a thousand words". I was hoping to see actual usage of this combo. Thank you!
04-05-2017, 10:05 PM - 2 Likes   #18
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I am very impressed with my brand new DA 1.4X! I bought it for the *300, but I just did some test shots with my DA16-85, in 85mm "Macro" mode (119mm with the TC), and WOW, not bad at all! I'd say it works amazingly well on a zoom lens. Posted in another thread.

85mm, f5.6, closest focus


119mm, f8 (wide open again), closest focus with HD DA 1.4X attached
04-06-2017, 09:26 AM   #19
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Thanks for the images. Any issue attaining focus? I have that lens also, so am happy it too looks good.

04-06-2017, 09:44 AM - 1 Like   #20
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As the owner of a DA* 60-250, a DA*200 and a Tamron SP AF 300 2.8, I'm still considering a 55-300 PLM for focussing speed and for when i don't want to carry a heavier lens. The lens does have place in the world. If I had a copy, I'd do a few tests for you,

When you set up tests for a TC, you want to bak you lens up until it doesn't resolve some print in your test file, as in you can't read it anymore. The put the TC on and see if it makes it so you can read the print. Then you keep backing up until once again you can't read the print again. That establishes for you the exact range your TC will help you with.

If you can't read the print any further away with the TC, then it's worthless. However, I'm not sure I've ever tested a modern lens that bad. As I said, I wish I could help you out, I just don't own the lens.

Understanding folks saying a TC doesn't ad more detail. - PentaxForums.com

It is quite possible a lens won't give you any more resolution in some circumstances, it is unlikely it won't give you more resolution in all circumstances. The only question here is, is the 55-300 sharp enough to take advantage of a TC. After all, if the lens resolves more than the sensor can resolve, a TC will blow up unresolved detail to a size the sensor can resolve. But if the lens is so matched to the sensor that the sensor is already resolving all the resolution the lens is capable of, then the TC just enlarges what's there. A TC is only usefull when the lens out resolves the sensor.

So, I haven't seen the question answered as of yet.

For those who say it adds nothing, maybe they just didn't take the right image that shows off it's capabilities. But maybe they are pointing out the lens isn't sharp enough to benefit from a TC. It could go either way.

IN any case we can probably all agree that you'd be better off with DA*200 and the TC or the DA*300 and the TC than a 55-300 and a TC.

There does seem to be a consensus that a 150-500 or 50-500 might be as good or better than the 55-300 with the TC, but for me the whole advantage of the 55-300 is telephoto capability without a lot of weight. Something to throw in your bag in case an unexpected opportunity comes along. I'm not going to carry my 6 pound Tamron 300 looking the un-expected but I might carry a 55-300. However throwing a TC into the equation, just doesn't work for me. It's just inconsistent with what I see as my possible use for the lens.

Last edited by normhead; 04-06-2017 at 09:59 AM.
04-06-2017, 10:35 AM - 2 Likes   #21
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I use both TCs though I tend to use the tamron with an assortment of lens reserving the pentax for a da*300...the pentax TC almost always is superior but the tamron was about 100usd vs 500usd for the pentax

with the hd55-300 everything is wonderful if it is bright, good if it's average, average if it's overcast and not good if dark (focusing and iq)

I've attached a cooper's I shot recently with the 55-30 + 1.4x tamron (distance = 30 feet)
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PENTAX K-3  Photo 
04-06-2017, 07:25 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ccc_ Quote
I use both TCs though I tend to use the tamron with an assortment of lens reserving the pentax for a da*300...the pentax TC almost always is superior but the tamron was about 100usd vs 500usd for the pentax

with the hd55-300 everything is wonderful if it is bright, good if it's average, average if it's overcast and not good if dark (focusing and iq)

I've attached a cooper's I shot recently with the 55-30 + 1.4x tamron (distance = 30 feet)
I sometimes get angry at pigeons raiding our feeder, but not *that* angry.

Nature can be a bit cruel, but I've been very impressed, and am thankful, for the input of everyone on this topic. The forum lives up to the tagline!
04-07-2017, 01:02 AM - 2 Likes   #23
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One thing in the crop-or-TC discussion that's rarely mentioned is the difference in perspective between the two modes.

Fill the VF with a subject - say a blossom - and shoot it. Then attach a TC and back up to fill the VF frame with the exact same composition. Because the camera is in a different position the perspective will be different - noticeable in the back-ground. This image relies solely on FL (300 vs. 16) to build a drastic example but illustrates the point.



One other factor -- sometimes the difference in camera location made possible by a TC determines if you can (safely?) get in position for the shot at all.

With the current high MPS sensors available for cropping my use of TCs is rare and almost solely for perspective or location.

04-12-2017, 08:54 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by FilmORbitz Quote
Thanks for the images. Any issue attaining focus? I have that lens also, so am happy it too looks good.
No focusing issues at all!
04-12-2017, 11:51 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by FilmORbitz Quote
So please let me have it--the good and bad of this particular pairing.
I'd been meaning to try this, so I took the 55-300 WR and 1.4x TC to the zoo this weekend, and have the following observations (body was the K-5 II):

The good: I actually forgot that I had put the 1.4x on the 55-300 the day before and thought the TC was in my bag (give me a break, I was tired and missed lunch). For the first half-hour or so, I was just happily banging away - the 1.4x is that good, that you might not notice it is there, IF the light is good. When the light was good, IQ loss was minimal, but when it was less-than-ideal, the loss was more obvious than I'd observed with the TC and a "star" lens. Things seem to fall apart quickly.

The bad: Eventually, I noticed that something was... different. AF was flakier than usual, especially if I was shooting through glass. There were some situations where things would just never get sharp, even when manual focusing (again, it usually involved shooting through glass). I thought I'd bumped the diopter adjustment. After I had my "duh" moment and removed the TC, things went back to "normal". Looking at the results, my "miss" rate was higher than usual, especially if the subject was moving. I guess I'd say the "iffy" shots were more likely to fail with the TC. The range of conditions that will work are smaller, and not always predictably so. In some ways, it was like learning a completely different lens.
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