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12-02-2017, 01:42 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote

Thank you for your advice, I will follow closely the price, and which I will get will be decided by which cheap one comes first (taken into account the difference in price between them)
Yes, please do let us know what you decide. If you DON'T need the fast auto focusing speeds meaning you aren't take photos of birds in flight etc. and don't mind the sound of the screen drive the non-PLM model is a bargain when on sale. Please advise what pieces of glass you end up with.

12-02-2017, 03:36 PM - 1 Like   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
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.
Des

Thank you, this is very much appreciated and useful information. I never found the focus breathing to be an issue at all. When I have the lens zoomed all the way out at 300 mm, I am shooting birds at a distance and almost always at infinity focus. Less than 300 mm, I just zoom to the point I want and don't mind what the focal length is.
12-02-2017, 06:35 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
Thank you, this is very much appreciated and useful information. I never found the focus breathing to be an issue at all. When I have the lens zoomed all the way out at 300 mm, I am shooting birds at a distance and almost always at infinity focus. Less than 300 mm, I just zoom to the point I want and don't mind what the focal length is.
I suspect your usage and mine would be fairly typical with xx-300 lenses. I guess someone will tell us if we are missing something.

I can only think of one situation that I might encounter in practice where it would (theoretically) be worth me taking off the PLM and using the screw-driven version instead. That would be one the @mikesbike referred to: where I could use the DA-L at 135-190mm to gain two-thirds of a stop advantage in aperture (f4.5 v f5.6) for the same FOV (which might, if the subject is quite close, mean the FOV for the PLM in the low 200s). (Let's put aside the fact that in using the DA-L I'd give up QS, WR and HD coatings - the screw-driven WR version would have all those.) An example would be indoor sport, or action photography of some other kind, or low-light wildlife close by, where the faster aperture could really matter - for example by pushing up the shutter speed, or lowering the ISO, by the equivalent of two-thirds of a stop. The camera's AF system might also be able to focus better at f4.5 than at f5.6, although of course I would have slower and noisier AF. (I haven't done any comparison to see whether the IQ would be as good.) The importance of this might depend on which body was being used.
12-03-2017, 08:52 AM   #49
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In general people would give the following ranking.
#1: DA 55-300 PLM
#2: DA HD 55-300
#3: old sigma/tamron 70-300 design & DA55-300
#4: DA50-200

Honestly my understanding is that #1 to #3, the picture quality is in the same ballpark and sample to sample variation may get your more differences. Among the Pentax lenses, the HD DA got HD coating and a much better build quality and the PLM got slower max apperture and improved AF. As such the older DA55-300 or DAL55-300 can provide similar quality as quite a bargain but as the expensive of build quality and inferior AF.

At least where I live, the sigma and tamron are available for 1/3 to 1/4 of the price of HD or PLM version of the 55-300 at a bit more than 100.

12-03-2017, 10:11 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
In general people would give the following ranking.
#1: DA 55-300 PLM
#2: DA HD 55-300
#3: old sigma/tamron 70-300 design & DA55-300
#4: DA50-200

Honestly my understanding is that #1 to #3, the picture quality is in the same ballpark and sample to sample variation may get your more differences. Among the Pentax lenses, the HD DA got HD coating and a much better build quality and the PLM got slower max apperture and improved AF. As such the older DA55-300 or DAL55-300 can provide similar quality as quite a bargain but as the expensive of build quality and inferior AF.

At least where I live, the sigma and tamron are available for 1/3 to 1/4 of the price of HD or PLM version of the 55-300 at a bit more than 100€.
Having both I would also say the PLM is yet another step up in better build quality over the HD 55-300 WR. In the US both of these lenses are selling at all time low prices making it a good time to buy either depending on the OP's priorities and budget. I do not know if the price reductions we are seeing in the US are occurring in other regions.
01-24-2018, 05:49 AM - 3 Likes   #51
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Hello,

After 1 month of considering and searching, I ordered a 55-300 PLM today, used but like new, 280 euros. I look forward to have fun with it. We will travel to Iceland and Maroc in the coming months so I already imagine how useful it will be.

Thank you again for all advices :-)
01-24-2018, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Hello,

After 1 month of considering and searching, I ordered a 55-300 PLM today, used but like new, 280 euros. I look forward to have fun with it. We will travel to Iceland and Maroc in the coming months so I already imagine how useful it will be.

Thank you again for all advices :-)
Good luck! I'm sure you will enjoy it.
02-09-2018, 03:08 PM - 1 Like   #53
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I have the 55-300 PLM, actually just received it the other day and took some test shots and focus tests yesterday. The people claiming extremely fast auto focus, just know... IT IS TRUE! It's so damn fast, ridiculously fast at least compared to the 16-45mm and the 50mm 1.8 I have.

I was actually saving up for it since I want the fast AF, and ended up finding an amazing deal on eBay which I just could not pass it. Used, like new, no problems at all and it came with the box, hood, and all caps for $250. I could not pass it up.

02-09-2018, 04:31 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by janelgreo Quote
sed, like new, no problems at all and it came with the box, hood, and all caps for $250. I could not pass it up.
That does seem a great deal. Enjoy your new lens.
02-17-2018, 02:31 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by janelgreo Quote
I have the 55-300 PLM, actually just received it the other day and took some test shots and focus tests yesterday. The people claiming extremely fast auto focus, just know... IT IS TRUE! It's so damn fast, ridiculously fast at least compared to the 16-45mm and the 50mm 1.8 I have.

I was actually saving up for it since I want the fast AF, and ended up finding an amazing deal on eBay which I just could not pass it. Used, like new, no problems at all and it came with the box, hood, and all caps for $250. I could not pass it up.
Ditto on the autofocus speed. Having shot with SONY and Canon, I felt like I was sacrificing fast autofocusing by going back to Pentax. Since I got the 55-300 PLM, I don't feel that way anymore. My keeper rate with the PLM has gone way up. This lens has really restored my confidence in Pentax as an option for photojournalism.
Pentax already beats other brands on price, WR, and ergonomics. A system of rugged PLM lenses would level the playing field. Pentax absolutely MUST put out more PLM lenses.
02-17-2018, 07:34 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by larryaustin3 Quote
Ditto on the autofocus speed. Having shot with SONY and Canon, I felt like I was sacrificing fast autofocusing by going back to Pentax. Since I got the 55-300 PLM, I don't feel that way anymore. My keeper rate with the PLM has gone way up. This lens has really restored my confidence in Pentax as an option for photojournalism.
Pentax already beats other brands on price, WR, and ergonomics. A system of rugged PLM lenses would level the playing field. Pentax absolutely MUST put out more PLM lenses.
YES! I was thinking the same thing, they SHOULD put out PLM lenses in every range. I would no doubt spend the little bit extra and drop my other lenses for more PLM lenses.

This is my first DSLR but after using the PLM lens, it's so weird hearing the loud screw noise, it's SO NICE to have a silent lens. But like you said price, WR, and especially ergonomics for me makes me a Pentax keeper! Can't wait *hopefully* for more PLM lenses!
02-17-2018, 12:32 PM   #57
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Just a reminder, PLM requires a very specific lens design. Small lightweight elements in the focus group are required. Expect slow aperture and limited designs using this.
02-17-2018, 06:49 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Just a reminder, PLM requires a very specific lens design. Small lightweight elements in the focus group are required. Expect slow aperture and limited designs using this.
I would be crushed if this was the only PLM lens introduced. Once you go with a silent lens, there is no going back to screw drive either.
02-17-2018, 07:21 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by larryaustin3 Quote
Once you go with a silent lens, there is no going back to screw drive either.
There are quite a few 'silent drive' lenses. Just only one PLM. The da 18-135 and the da 16-85 are both relatively modern lenses with in lens silent motors. And all of the SDM lenses are effectively silent.
02-17-2018, 07:25 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by larryaustin3 Quote
I would be crushed if this was the only PLM lens introduced. Once you go with a silent lens, there is no going back to screw drive either.
I'm sure more will come out but don't expect miracles. Slow lenses with new optical designs will be required.
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