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06-01-2019, 02:20 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
What Sandy said, as well as others. Losing the fine DA* 50-135mm would mean you give up having the option of the f/2.8 aperture, and even that with very good quality. Nothing wrong with adding a 55-300mm PLM lens also! Another option is adding a DA* 200mm f/2.8 lens, which can also be used effectively with the TC. This would expand your f/2.8 range in a most effective way, and still keep the on-camera weight down.
The 55 1.4 will take care of that if you need fast.2.8 is orphan. Not really fast, not really slow,
Or the 35 2.4 or the 50 1.8.
For me taking 2.8 zooms hiking is just not going to happen. It used to but turning 70 does weird stuff to your muscle mass.


Last edited by normhead; 06-01-2019 at 06:28 PM.
06-01-2019, 03:11 PM   #17
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I took the 55-300 PLM with me on a hike yesterday. It's certainly an easier carry than the DA* 50-135, and the IQ is quite acceptable.

1/25 @ 300 hand held



I'll be taking it to Europe next week as my long option.
06-01-2019, 03:23 PM   #18
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Thank you all for great responses!

As for two bodies - I've done several times multi-day treks for which I have a big backpack (15-30kg) on my back and a big top-loading case strapped to my chest. I know from experience that if I put there one body and an extra lens, I will almost never use the other lens, because it is impractical for me to change the lens while hiking. Most of my shots are taken with the backpack still on my back, as my travels are never photography expedition, so time is limited. Therefore I stay with two bodies, accepting the weight implication. That doesn't mean I wont to drag another few kg of lenses though I thought earlier or going one body + ultrazoom, but the compromise on quality was for me too much. I also used to have Sigma 105/2.8 Macro and the distance was not really for me. As I say, even with the 50-135, vast majority of keepers are for me either landscape/portrait on the wide end, or close-up on the long-end.


I've been looking through the forum and elsewhere already for some time, so perhaps information overload caused that I missed the bit that the PLM version improves also the optics significantly compared to older versions. The autofocus improvement would not convince me to go for PLM, but improved IQ probably will. The point that I actually take most of my shots during the day is also speaking for 55-300. I could have the 55-300 on K-70 and strap the 15 Limited to K20D, with option of upgrading the second body later to one with PLM support. Has anyone compared the FOV on the wide-end (ideally with 50-135)? Do you think I will notice the difference 50 vs 55mm?


The Pentax HD TC is quite expensive (almost like the 55-300 ). I understand it's a quality piece of equipment, everything works natively and it's also quite light. But I am thinking whether I want to spend 400EUR on something that I will probably use only occasionally and does not add THAT much range. I was thinking about the Pentax 1.7X, which can go second hand for 200EUR and perhaps help with screwdrive when SDM dies one more time But I guess it doesn't pair that well. Alternatively a cheaper Kenko 1.4X, which could lead to no AF then (I could live with that). 2X would be something I would appreciate in terms of range, but I read/saw mostly negative results. Do you have experience with the 1.7X or cheaper 1.4X on 50-135? It is my understanding that differences can be significant model to model. Or have I missed something?

It seems the 60-250 is not so recommended here and indeed it is also not my favourite. Noone really also went with the 100-300 option, I guess mostly because the 55-300 PLM is a light and compelling option. So I guess I the choice is really narrowed down in my mind to 55-300 PLM or 50-135+TC.
06-01-2019, 06:35 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by maui Quote
Thank you all for great responses!

As for two bodies - I've done several times multi-day treks for which I have a big backpack (15-30kg) on my back and a big top-loading case strapped to my chest. I know from experience that if I put there one body and an extra lens, I will almost never use the other lens, because it is impractical for me to change the lens while hiking. Most of my shots are taken with the backpack still on my back, as my travels are never photography expedition, so time is limited. Therefore I stay with two bodies, accepting the weight implication. That doesn't mean I wont to drag another few kg of lenses though I thought earlier or going one body + ultrazoom, but the compromise on quality was for me too much. I also used to have Sigma 105/2.8 Macro and the distance was not really for me. As I say, even with the 50-135, vast majority of keepers are for me either landscape/portrait on the wide end, or close-up on the long-end.


I've been looking through the forum and elsewhere already for some time, so perhaps information overload caused that I missed the bit that the PLM version improves also the optics significantly compared to older versions. The autofocus improvement would not convince me to go for PLM, but improved IQ probably will. The point that I actually take most of my shots during the day is also speaking for 55-300. I could have the 55-300 on K-70 and strap the 15 Limited to K20D, with option of upgrading the second body later to one with PLM support. Has anyone compared the FOV on the wide-end (ideally with 50-135)? Do you think I will notice the difference 50 vs 55mm?


The Pentax HD TC is quite expensive (almost like the 55-300 ). I understand it's a quality piece of equipment, everything works natively and it's also quite light. But I am thinking whether I want to spend 400EUR on something that I will probably use only occasionally and does not add THAT much range. I was thinking about the Pentax 1.7X, which can go second hand for 200EUR and perhaps help with screwdrive when SDM dies one more time But I guess it doesn't pair that well. Alternatively a cheaper Kenko 1.4X, which could lead to no AF then (I could live with that). 2X would be something I would appreciate in terms of range, but I read/saw mostly negative results. Do you have experience with the 1.7X or cheaper 1.4X on 50-135? It is my understanding that differences can be significant model to model. Or have I missed something?

It seems the 60-250 is not so recommended here and indeed it is also not my favourite. Noone really also went with the 100-300 option, I guess mostly because the 55-300 PLM is a light and compelling option. So I guess I the choice is really narrowed down in my mind to 55-300 PLM or 50-135+TC.
The 50-135 only gets you to 200mm even with the 1.4TC. You'd be giving up a lot of range.
My solution before I got the 55-300 PLM and when my 60-250 was off at the shop was 18-135, and DA*200mm with 1.4 and 1.7 TC. The DA*200 2.8 is the lightest way to get into long glass

We also had a Sigma 18-250, but it only lasted a few years before it became decentered and un-useable for landscapes, even stoped down, but many are happy with that lens or lenses like them.

Also don't know if it was mentioned but the focusing speed on the PLM puts the boots to that old saying that Pentax AF is slow.

The DA* 60-250 is an amazing lens, but a bit too heavy for my liking on hikes.

06-02-2019, 12:12 PM   #20
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I agree- the DA* 200mm is the lightest way to get into longer fast glass. I have a shorter lens on camera, and can carry either a DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 and/or the DA* 200mm in mid-sized belt cases. But if not needing the faster aperture, a 55-300mm WR lens does very well, and is an easy carry.
06-02-2019, 02:45 PM   #21
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The lockable retractibility of the PLM is a really big plus as well. The older 55-300 zooms creep out to 300mm under gravity when carried.
06-02-2019, 08:51 PM   #22
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The lock works great for packing and travelling - just to give you a shorter piece of gear in your bag or pack. I am totally fine with carrying my PLM as my only long lens, but I will usually have a short, light and really sharp prime tele as well, such as the Tamron 90mm macro or the HD 70mm Limited, with which I can shoot and crop.
06-06-2019, 02:40 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Thanks everyone for advice, I'll most likely go with the 55-300 PLM.

The 200/2.8 is not suitable for my needs. I would have to constantly switch between it and a 40. The 50-135 + TC really falls on the fact that good TC is 1.4x only and it is quite expensive. The 60-250/4 is tempting, but indeed heavy, and has a risky SDM. And since I will use the lens outside, I will have the chance to stop it down.

The advantage is, that if I sell the 50-135 well, I can probably still throw in a 40 Limited/XS or something in that range for occasional use.

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