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11-30-2017, 06:54 AM   #31
Bui
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They have a section to simulate the cost on the site, so no need for email or phone. Shipping to France, for example, would cost at least 50$ ship + 149$ tax. But thank you anyway for your suggestion ;-)

11-30-2017, 07:37 AM   #32
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The DA 50-200 is very small and light. It is well worth the 40 euro. If you hate it, sell it.

The DA 55-300 I have is better, particularly at 200mm, but it isn't so much better that you'd notice immediately on viewing a photo without both to compare.

The extra reach of the 55-300 however is pretty useful.

If I were you I'd probably buy that 50-200, try it, and save money towards another lens in the future, which could be a 55-300, or something else. But the more efficient purchase is likely to grab a 55-300 as the quality is higher and you are more likely to keep it.
11-30-2017, 08:24 AM - 1 Like   #33
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I've toyed with the idea of buying a 55-300 for years, but I never could find images from the lens on flickr that impressed me all that much. Recently, I've been looking at flickr images of the PLM version and I have to say I'm impressed. While there might not be much difference in center sharpness, I'm seeing improved resolution toward edges, and improved contrast (at least over the SMC versions of the non-PLM version).

I've just moments ago purchased the PLM version for myself.
11-30-2017, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Thank you for your advice. I don't do a lot of action photography, but say, I'm in a stand watching a kids show, or a football match, is the non-PLM 55-300 AF fast and accurate enough?

Also I currently have an offer of a DAL 50-200 for just 40 euros, now after reading all of your advises, doing a bit of search, knowing that for sure one day I will get the 55-300, I don't know that 40e would be a good "interim" investment, or a waste of money anyway, it's still money at the end of the day
The DAL 50-200mm, or DA 50-200mm is of comparably flimsy construction, and loses significant IQ performance at longer range shots. I can assure you, the DA 55-300mm HD WR is a very solid lens of high quality construction.

For action sports, you will no doubt get some misses along with some hits, but the PLM lens has superior AF for this purpose and would outperform the others. Some of this is also due to the skill of the photographer, which is developed through experience. I have seen good action sports shots and BIF shots from the HD WR version posted. The AF will be faster with the PLM, but there are other variables for action photography, as also with other pursuits. If at an outdoor venue under good lighting, that is one less issue, although if a surprise sprinkle of rain should arise, you'll be glad to have WR. The PLM lens will shift to f/6.3 max at around 280mm, but when does it go to f/5.6? Also, if some of your shots will be at a range at the near part of the field, you will need to use a longer zoom length to get the same size subject in your picture with the PLM, which might make that 300mm f/6.3 zoom photo the same size as the HD WR version would be at 190mm and f/4.5! This means you are able to get a much higher shutter speed for action clarity using the HD WR lens, without having to raise your ISO upward. Things even out more between the two lenses if all shots are at some greater distance. Even the HD WR AF performs better out where there is less change of distances relative to your shooting position.

If you rarely do action photography, I would think the HD WR represents the best value, but if your interest does include this to any significant degree, the PLM version is certainly a worthwhile consideration.


Last edited by mikesbike; 11-30-2017 at 02:23 PM.
11-30-2017, 11:08 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
The PLM lens will shift to f/6.3 max at around 280mm, but when does it go to f/5.6?
f4.5 55-135mm (approx)
f5.6 136mm-260mm (approx) - not 280mm as I stated above (although frankly the difference in FOV is minimal)
f6.3 260-300mm

Edit: For comparison, here are the maximum apertures of the DA-L:
f4 55-98mm (actual reading is 97.5mm!)
f4.5 99-190mm
f5.6 191-260mm
f5.8 261-300mm
These switch points are a bit odd, but they are actual readings using the K-S2 and nudging the zoom ring. The zoom ring on my lens is a bit jerky - for example the slightest movement takes it from 190mm to 210mm and I can't set it for anything between. Maybe other models/copies of the screw-driven 55-300 allow for finer adjustment, and finer nuances of the switch points.

QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Also, if some of your shots will be at a range at the near part of the field, you will need to use a longer zoom length to get the same size subject in your picture with the PLM, which might make that 300mm f/6.3 zoom photo the same size as the HD WR version would be at 190mm and f/4.5!
As a quick and dirty comparison I just fired off some handheld shots with the DA-L 55-300 and the 55-300 PLM (using each on the K-S2) to compare the field of view. The subject is about 6 metres away. (Don't draw any inferences about the image quality - it was just a test for FOV, using low-res jpgs SOOC.) I have labelled them but in case you can't read it easily on your device the order is:
1. PLM at 260mm
2. DA-L at 260mm
3. PLM at 300mm
4. DA-L at 300mm

In these shots I'd say the PLM at 300mm has just a little more magnification (narrower FOV) than the DA-L at 260. The difference between the PLM at 300mm and the DA-L at 300mm is apparent, but not massive. (Other IF lenses I've used, like the Tamron 18-250, are a lot more prone to focus breathing than the PLM is.) Of course focus breathing is generally more pronounced when the subject is closer, and less pronounced when further away, but I think these relativities are indicative. Personally, in choosing between a screw-driven 55-300 and the PLM, I wouldn't give a great deal of weight to the difference in FOV.
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Last edited by Des; 12-02-2017 at 01:02 PM.
12-01-2017, 06:57 AM   #36
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At 10m my DA* 60-250 which has major focus breathing is almost back to normal, can you repeat the test at say 1.5m?
12-01-2017, 02:41 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
At 10m my DA* 60-250 which has major focus breathing is almost back to normal, can you repeat the test at say 1.5m?
Sure - good point. I did this test at about 1.6m. Got my tripod out for these ones and used the popup flash (small jpgs SOOC). Sorry they are all underexposed, but still readable.

Sequence:
1. DA 300 PLM at 260mm
2. DA-L 55-300 at 260mm
3. DA 300 PLM at 300mm
4. DA-L 55-300 at 300mm

The focus breathing of the PLM lens is, predictably, much more pronounced at 1.6m that in the comparison at 6m. At 1.6m, even with a focal length of 260mm, the screw-driven version has a significantly narrower FOV than the PLM does at 300mm.

But to give some more perspective on this (so to speak), I took another shot with the PLM at its MFD (just under 1 metre). It's the fifth photo. I also took one more shot with the DA-L at its MFD (about 1.4m) [in next post]. This does illustrate the way that the shorter MFD of the PLM compensates for the focus breathing. I guess that's why the PLM is rated for maximum magnification of 0.3x and the screw-driven versions are rated for 0.28x. For use in the field, for pseudo-macro/close focus shots with a non-macro lens, personally I find it easier to use a lens with a shorter MFD than a lens with the same magnification but a longer MFD. (Unless the subject is something that might bite me.)
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Last edited by Des; 12-01-2017 at 02:57 PM.
12-01-2017, 02:54 PM   #38
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Sixth shot - DA-L at 300mm, at its MFD.

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12-01-2017, 04:25 PM   #39
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Awesome @des Can you also just do one more test? At the short distance range - maybe 2-3 meters max can you show what the effective focal length of the PLM is compared to the DA/L? Use 300 on the PLM and then whatever is needed on the DA/L to give the same field of view? This is very helpful and I appreciate it even if everyone else may have lost interest <LOL>.
12-01-2017, 06:15 PM - 1 Like   #40
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Pretty good tests, and not everyone has both lenses to perform such a test! So when it comes to a maximum closeup, the PLM can provide slightly more magnification, but one must get under 1 meter to get it, while the DA/L gets its max shot about .5 meter farther away.

Also indicated is the PLM lens goes to f/5.6 max at around 136mm. I observe my HD WR version does not go to f/5.6 max until it hits approx. 200mm. Up to that point it keeps to f/4-4.5 maximum aperture, at which point it will also provide a larger rendition of the subject in the frame compared to the PLM lens.

I bring this up because the op has addressed at least occasional use for shooting action sports such as football. I have shot some action sports and still do- usually indoor roller hockey and college or high school wrestling. The hockey is usually shot with a shorter FL lens, one favorite is my Sigma 24-60mm f.2.8 EX DG. Sometimes I go to my DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 for wrestling, depending on the venue, and once in a while my DA* 200mm f/2.8 prime. These being capable of f/2.8 with my K-5 IIs this is essential for getting adequate shutter speed under artificial lighting. The same could be true for out-of-doors daylight on a cloudy day. Less so for the wrestling, which is not as fast-moving as hockey, or as football can be, and I can usually use flash as well.

Shutter speed for hockey, and also for football, for good clarity and freezing of action, would be at least 1/500 sec. Even then, there may sometimes be a slight blur of the puck or ball and the foot or stick, which can be good. If wanting a bit more such blur, I can lower shutter speed slightly. I use my f/2.8 lenses because slower lenses just cannot cut it for this kind of use. My K-5 IIs performs very well at higher ISO with very good detail preservation, and I typically run 2,000-2,500 ISO with the lens wide open or nearly so to get my shutter speed. With the KP, however, which I have yet to use for this purpose, its high ISO performance is even significantly better than the very good K-5 IIs. I therefore believe this can equate, to a large degree, a lens having a 4-4.5 max aperture to one having f/2.8 on a less-capable camera body, from 55 up to 200mm. This can make a much less expensive lens useful for such purposes, which can make the KP quite a bargain from this point of view, and the DA HD WR 55-300mm as well! I've seen many a football game carry on in a sudden light rain.

I just did a preliminary test for AF. I put the DA 55-300mm HD WR onto my KP, stood outside the front door to take shots of passing autos, which are traveling about 25-30 MPH or around 40-50 KPH? Anyway, as they pass the house, I get a shot of the rear end, then right away again as it proceeds down the street. So far, I've gotten good results. But I will do some more of it. The first shot is at around 10 meters. Sometimes I can get in 2 more shots as it goes down the street. But runners on a field do not travel at that speed.

Last edited by mikesbike; 12-01-2017 at 06:29 PM.
12-01-2017, 11:04 PM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Awesome @des Can you also just do one more test? At the short distance range - maybe 2-3 meters max can you show what the effective focal length of the PLM is compared to the DA/L? Use 300 on the PLM and then whatever is needed on the DA/L to give the same field of view? This is very helpful and I appreciate it even if everyone else may have lost interest .
Done. Here are three comparisons in which I have tried to replicate with the DA-L the FOV of the PLM at 300mm: one with the distance to subject at about 1.4m, one at 2m, and one at 3m.

Summary:
- At 1.4m from the subject, the FOV at 300mm on the PLM is equivalent to 210mm on the DA-L.
- At 2m from the subject, the FOV at 300mm on the PLM is equivalent to 230mm on the DA-L.
- At 3m from the subject, the FOV at 300mm on the PLM is equivalent to 260mm on the DA-L

Sequence of images:
1. PLM 300mm, distance from subject 1.4m
2. DA-L 210mm, distance from subject 1.4m
3. PLM 300mm, distance from subject 2m
4. DA-L 230mm, distance from subject 2m
5. PLM 300mm, distance from subject 3m
6. DA-L 260mm, distance from subject 3m
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12-02-2017, 12:33 AM   #42
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Thanks very much.
12-02-2017, 03:47 AM - 2 Likes   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Thanks very much.
Hope members will find these comparisons useful. For me, some focus breathing with the PLM at distances to subject between 1.4m and 3m is not greatly significant. The maximum magnification of the PLM for close subjects is about the same as, or slightly greater than, the screw-driven version. And by typical distances for birding (e.g. 5m or more), where you want maximum magnification at 300mm, focus breathing is negligible. (Sounds like a very different story with the DA*60-250.) YMMV.
12-02-2017, 05:29 AM   #44
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which is best ?

I have the SMC Pentax-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED which I purchased used from KEH.com

to me, it simply came down to what I could afford at the time.

some time, perhaps I will move up to the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE if I find a good price for an experienced one or a new one.

but with my other lenses basically bracketing the " range " of the lens, perhaps not

often budget and other considerations make us choose one option over another



that is life.
12-02-2017, 06:36 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Nice price, but I'm living in Europe, unfortunately
Considering that the B&H price only comes with limited 1y warrantary and exclusive of taxes, 399EUR (currently 50EUR instant rebate) including 63,70EUR VAT, 2y warrantary, European customer rights (esp. full refund returns within 2 weeks) and usually free shipment isn't too bad.
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