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05-09-2018, 01:20 PM   #1
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HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE - Show us what it can do, what it CAN'T!

I'm surprised that we haven't had a thread on this subject before!

Anyway, see the forum users' reviews here - and the latest (my!) post, in which I "point out" that it seems to have a "problem" when that lens get "confused" if the subject moves out of the chosen focus area.

Your comments please!

05-09-2018, 01:26 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
I'm surprised that we haven't had a thread on this subject before!

Anyway, see the forum users' reviews here - and the latest (my!) post, in which I "point out" that it seems to have a "problem" when that lens get "confused" if the subject moves out of the chosen focus area.

Your comments please!
Too many quotes (uncertainties) perhaps, but is the hold AF setting perhaps playing a role? Since the 55-300mm focuses so quickly, it might make sense to enable that setting.

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05-09-2018, 01:45 PM   #3
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@Adam

That could be a possible solution - but, I think, doesn't really explain why (as I said in the lens review post) the Sigma 100-300 F4 & 1.4TC didn't have the same problem (I just swapped the lenses between bodies, and made no other adjustments).
05-09-2018, 01:49 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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The AF speed is simply to die for. Since I don't use AF hold to increase my frame rate, you just have to refocus on a regular basis, but what a coincidence, I just got a second hand one today in the mail, and did some test images from the blind. If you are used to my usual images you have to realize, I usually shoot the Tamron 300 with the 1.7 on it for 510mm ƒ4.5, I bought the 55-300 as a telephoto walk around for when I don't want to carry the longer lenses, but today I tried it out in the blind. It's what I expected, a little less IQ compared to the DA*200 or DA*60-250 or Tamron SP AF 300 2.8 but given what it is, I'm sure it will get lots of use.

K-3 and DA 55-300 PLM

All shot at 300mm. Most shot at ƒ8 and 400 ISO, the wood pecker image was shot at 100 ISO, don't blame the lens, the softness is motion blur. Todays theme was "who likes the peanut feeder?" It looks like the answer is "just about everyone."















Most of my Pine Siskins are gone, I think I have a breeding pair still hanging out at the feeders, I did't get an image of it at the peanut feeder, but I have proof of it's existence. I did see it briefly on the peanut feeder but didn't get an image.


The Red Breasted Nuthatch was there before I went out to the blind, and he was there after I left. but wasn't there for a photo op. And I got no decent pictures of the six grackles that are still hanging around.

And of course this guy can't get onto the peanut feeder. But I'm sure he'd love it if he could.


All these images were hand held. I don't have another telephoto I can even hold for as long as it took to get these images. As far as I'm concerned, it's great addition to the arsenal, even if in the future, it does see a lot of time in the blind. My other three telephotos get better IQ but need the tripod. But as sample images, if you look at the sharpest images, you can get'r done with this lens.


Last edited by normhead; 05-09-2018 at 02:07 PM.
05-09-2018, 01:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote

All shot at 300mm. Most shot at 8 and 400 ISO, the wood pecker image was shot at 100 ISO, don't blame the lens, the softness is motion blur. Todays theme was "who likes the peanut feeder?" It looks like the answer is "just about everyone."
Nice pics Norm, particulalrly #3. I have a similar feeder in my backyard but never thought to put peanuts in it. It seems to work quite well! I will certainly give it a try to see if the birds here like it as much as they seem to like yours...
05-09-2018, 02:01 PM   #6
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Great shots, but on relatively static subjects.
05-09-2018, 02:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
Nice pics Norm, particulalrly #3. I have a similar feeder in my backyard but never thought to put peanuts in it. It seems to work quite well! I will certainly give it a try to see if the birds here like it as much as they seem to like yours...
I chop them up in the food processor first, I don't think full sized peanuts would go through the holes.

---------- Post added 05-09-18 at 05:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
Great shots, but on relatively static subjects.
Birds in flight images will be coming. Hopefully.

For starters though, I was totally impressed with how I was able to focus on a very small bird head, with lots of competing scenery trying to grab the camera's attention.

---------- Post added 05-09-18 at 05:09 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
Nice pics Norm, particulalrly #3
It took more definition and some sharpening. I almost never use sharpening with my DA* lenses, it helped with this image. But as long as I can bring it up to standard in post, I'm a happy camper.
05-09-2018, 02:21 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote

For starters though, I was totally impressed with how I was able to focus on a very small bird head, with lots of competing scenery trying to grab the camera's attention.
I second that. This shot absolutely convinced me of that. At 300 + 1.4x tc and I could focus on this anoles eye. Talking about threading a needle!


05-09-2018, 02:50 PM   #9
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Great shots, - but STILL doesn't explain the problems I had at the airshow
05-09-2018, 03:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
Great shots, - but STILL doesn't explain the problems I had at the airshow
It might help to create a thread specifically for this issue, not just a "show us what it can do" - which is likely to get a broader range of responses.

I read a review on amazon.com (by Tulsaghost dated March 18 2017) which said "if you are following something moving, hold your focus lock button." presumably in addition to setting af.c. Were you doing that?

Last edited by eyrr; 05-09-2018 at 03:44 PM. Reason: to complete 2017. I have no idea why /tag= etc is there but I can't get rid of it
05-09-2018, 03:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I chop them up in the food processor first, I don't think full sized peanuts would go through the holes.

---------- Post added 05-09-18 at 05:05 PM ----------



Birds in flight images will be coming. Hopefully.

For starters though, I was totally impressed with how I was able to focus on a very small bird head, with lots of competing scenery trying to grab the camera's attention.

---------- Post added 05-09-18 at 05:09 PM ----------



It took more definition and some sharpening. I almost never use sharpening with my DA* lenses, it helped with this image. But as long as I can bring it up to standard in post, I'm a happy camper.
Glad to see you made the leap Norm! You already have some very nice images with it. I think it has fairly nice contrast, but I am sure we all wish it was a stop or two faster. For the price it is a winner in my book.
05-09-2018, 04:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
For the price it is a winner in my book.
Ditto.
05-09-2018, 05:48 PM - 1 Like   #13
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For anybody to help you, we need to know your camera settings, especially your AF settings.
05-09-2018, 08:53 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
I "point out" that it seems to have a "problem" when that lens get "confused" if the subject moves out of the chosen focus area.
No problem with my copy of a used PLM that I just purchased on the P F Market place. I noticed the speed difference from my screw drive which I have shot the same situation Winter & Summer of the following Kite Boarders. Took 140 shots of kite surfers last weekend with the PLM. 99% satisfactory Focus a little problem with composition because of the action and distance of the Kites ( sometimes a kilometer away). I used a mono pod , back focus & spot focus for all; heavy cropping in PP. And for those of us who have to adapt I bought a walker to sit on beside my truck; big difference from shooting through the window It was cold enough to put the Brass Monkeys inside with the breeze blowing off the Big Lake. Couple Examples of the Week Ends catch to follow:

P.S> and yes that is ICE on the shores of the islands in the background these guys are exuberent surfers

Last edited by honey bo bo; 08-07-2018 at 04:30 AM.
05-10-2018, 09:28 AM   #15
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P.P.S. I'm legally blind in my right Eye & the Left is corrected so the machine has to do the heavy lifting when it comes to focusing !
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