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01-05-2018, 08:17 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glen Quote
the rather small maximum aperture,
Don't forget that if you back off just a hair, probably something like 280mm, you speed up to f5.6, and the difference in FOV is minimal.

01-06-2018, 12:04 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by DrawsACircle Quote
Wow!

At first I thought the PLM lens wasn't working because it wasn't doing anything, just instantly beeping, but the viewfinder view - talk about jumping into focus.

I've never been impressed by my SMC 55-300 and am not a user of slow tele-zooms, but that PLM lens looks great if it can focus that quickly.
01-06-2018, 08:14 AM   #18
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The speed shown in the video appears to be very similar to what we get with competing brands. People have long argued that Pentax focus speed is more a factor of lens design than camera ability and this seems to confirm that. A reason for optimism about future releases.
01-06-2018, 08:43 AM   #19
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looks like the answer to the OP's question is 'yes!'

01-06-2018, 09:11 AM   #20
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Some dissent here. I am having more trouble acquiring focus lock with the 55-300 PLM than I did with my HD 55-300 WR. The DA*300 is easily faster than either at locking on to a bird in flight. I attribute this to the dark aperture at 300mm. Also the retractable feature causes me grief. My practice has always been to run focus out to infinity, or at least past my intended subject, because Pentax bodies initially search for focus by racking inward. With the retractable lens, I have to unlock and extend, which eats up time and throws my concentration off. As a result, I am missing more BIF shots than I did with the older 55-300.

The smaller size is not a feature I needed. My shoulder bag accommodated the old lens just fine. I bought the new lens for its faster AF, but unfortunately situations that require quick focus have been a mixed bag. Maybe I'll get used to it or find a work-around. I just wish I could lock the lens in shooting mode, so I could leave it extended in the field. As it is, putting the lens in my messenger bag causes it to retract and I waste time unlocking and extending it again while the bird flies past.

Once the PLM locks on to the bird, it does track better than my other lenses. OTOH, I can crop the DA*300 down to pixel level and still maintain sharpness, even with the HD 1.4X RC attached. No 55-300 is acceptably sharp at 300mm and heavily cropped.
01-08-2018, 04:29 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I just wish I could lock the lens in shooting mode, so I could leave it extended in the field.
But this is the way it works - if you extend the lens into the working position, it stays extended, unless you deliberately retract it.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
As it is, putting the lens in my messenger bag causes it to retract
The locking mechanism in your lens must be broken. There is virtually no way for the lens to retract itself just by sitting quietly in a bag.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I waste time unlocking and extending it again while the bird flies past.
Even if you keep the lens retracted, you can easily extend it while pulling the camera out of a bag and have it in a working position long before pointing at your target.
BTW, if I'm shooting wildlife pictures, I don't keep my camera in a bag, but I hold it in my hand or let it hang on a strap. I would lose at least 90% of opportunities if I had to rummage my bag for a camera every time I want to take a picture. YMMV.
01-08-2018, 07:37 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerebron Quote
But this is the way it works - if you extend the lens into the working position, it stays extended, unless you deliberately retract it.

The locking mechanism in your lens must be broken. There is virtually no way for the lens to retract itself just by sitting quietly in a bag.

Even if you keep the lens retracted, you can easily extend it while pulling the camera out of a bag and have it in a working position long before pointing at your target.
What I mean is, I would like to have to depress the lock for the lens to retract from shooting position, just like I do to extend. Are you saying that is the way my lens should work?

The camera sits vertically in the bag, with the hood mounted. It is long enough that it rests on the bottom of the bag. The weight of the camera pushes the lens past the shooting position, so I have to use the lens lock again for the next shot. First I have to remember the lock is there, which I sometimes don't.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerebron Quote
BTW, if I'm shooting wildlife pictures, I don't keep my camera in a bag, but I hold it in my hand or let it hang on a strap. I would lose at least 90% of opportunities if I had to rummage my bag for a camera every time I want to take a picture. YMMV.
There's no rummaging, the messenger bag top flap is open. I reach down and pull the camera out, extend to 300mm raise it to my eye, and focus. Except now I have to mess with a lock and the focus ring is small and inconveniently located. For serious birding, I carry the DA*300 on a Carry Speed sling or in a holster, with focus racked out to infinity.
01-08-2018, 08:55 AM   #23
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The lens should not collapse beyond 55mm position, unless the locking button is pressed. To extend the lens you have to hold the button, twist the lens and release the button when you reach the working range. The button should pop up. Then you shouldn't be able to retract the lens without pushing the locking mechanism button. Of course, for setting the desired focal length you don't have to push the button, you operate it like any other zoom lens.
I also find it strange that the lens collapses under camera weight - while focusing ring works with minimal friction, zoom ring is quite stiff and not as smooth working as I wished it to be. But I admit, I didn't try to transport my setup standing vertically on the lens. When I hold the camera in my hand (body or lens barrel) or it's dangling on a strap, I didn't notice any changes in set focal length, never.

I'm sorry if it's all evident, I don't want to sound like Cpt. Obvious.

01-08-2018, 09:10 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerebron Quote
The lens should not collapse beyond 55mm position, unless the locking button is pressed. To extend the lens you have to hold the button, twist the lens and release the button when you reach the working range. The button should pop up. Then you shouldn't be able to retract the lens without pushing the locking mechanism button.
What you are describing is exactly what I want, but this is not how my lens works. I need to depress the locking button to extend from fully retracted to shooting position. But to return from zoomed to fully retracted and parked, there's no need to touch the lock. There's no change in resistance going from zoom to park, just a slight click when it clears shooting position. Is my lock defective?
01-08-2018, 09:17 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
What you are describing is exactly what I want, but this is not how my lens works. I need to depress the locking button to extend from fully retracted to shooting position. But to return from zoomed to fully retracted and parked, there's no need to touch the lock. There's no change in resistance going from zoom to park, just a slight click when it clears shooting position. Is my lock defective?
Seems that it doesn‘t work the way it should. I can even rest my heavy K-1 with L-Bracket on the lens without retracting it past 55mm position.
01-08-2018, 09:23 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
There's no change in resistance going from zoom to park, just a slight click when it clears shooting position. Is my lock defective?
Yes, I'm afraid it is. It should have a hard stop like on the other end of zooming range.
01-08-2018, 09:47 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerebron Quote
Yes, I'm afraid it is. It should have a hard stop like on the other end of zooming range.
Awesome, thanks for persisting.
01-08-2018, 05:35 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Awesome, thanks for persisting.
After reading these posts, I did a quick check on my 55-300 PLM.
1. To take it from the retracted position to the 55-300 zoom range I have to press an hold the release button.
2. When it is in the zoom range my lens has hard stops at both 55 and 300 ends. To get it from 55 mm point to retract point I have to press the button while I turn the zoom ring. If I put into my camera bag in the 55mm zoom position, there is enough friction along with the hard stop at that point that it would stay there when I pull out of the bag.
I consider the operation of mine completely normal for this lens.
Mine also has a lot of friction in the zoom even after two years of use. It zooms smoothly but it takes more effort than my other zoom lenses. The upside of this, the lens has absolutely no barrel wobble, even when fully zoomed out. I really like mine for its compactness and it is a great travel lens. It does not compare in sharpness to my DA*300 for bird photography but for less serious sharpness needs this is my go to for its compactness and fast autofocus.
01-08-2018, 07:49 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
When it is in the zoom range my lens has hard stops at both 55 and 300 ends. To get it from 55 mm point to retract point I have to press the button while I turn the zoom ring. If I put into my camera bag in the 55mm zoom position, there is enough friction along with the hard stop at that point that it would stay there when I pull out of the bag.
I consider the operation of mine completely normal for this lens.
Thanks for confirming. That is what I want, and my lens isn't doing it. I will see about returning it for another under warranty.
01-10-2018, 02:04 PM - 2 Likes   #30
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OK, I just got my 55-300 PLM, and it's everything you guys said it was. I like how with the lens retracted and the hood on, it's the same length as the 55-300/4-5.8 was without its hood. Just testing it around the house, the focusing is extremely fast, even from minimum focus transitioning to infinity. Pre-focused from approximately the same distance range, it's instantaneous. The older lens feels ancient by comparison with its slow turning and noisy screw drive. I should have a chance to test this out with a friend's very active puppy this weekend. Thanks for the feedback!
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