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09-14-2019, 05:21 AM   #1
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Traveling with DA* 50-135 or 55-300 PLM?

I own both, love both, fantastic lenses, though not using them much. I donít do much telephoto, except for traveling, we usually, for any city we visit, rent a car and spend some days exploring the country side area, where telephoto opportunity often presents.

Usually I choose to travel with the duo 15mm + 20-40mm ltd, plus a one of the above telephoto lens, or the 70mm if luggage is really tight. But I usually have a hard time picking one of them. The 55-300 is super versatile, very sharp, fast focus. The 70mm is beautiful but slightly limited in term of range, except for portrait. Usually when I feel I want a telephoto it falls into 80-120ish, that makes the DA star a perfect choice, it also sometimes delivers images with unique quality. If only itís lighter and smaller. For all of the 50-135ís quality, I usually question my self why carrying that heavy lens only for less than 20 shots per trip?

What is your preference? Do you travel with tele lenses? Which one?

And oh, recently I acquired a 16-85, so I have another non-limited but nearly-do-it-all option. LBA is nice.

09-14-2019, 05:39 AM   #2
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I nearly always travel with a 55-300. I have taken mine to Argentina, England, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, France and Alaska. The only big trips where I didn't have been China/Japan, where I took the DA*300 specifically for shooting theatrical performances on a cruise ship, and Antarctica, when I took the no-compromise option of the DFA150-450.

The 15 (or the 10-17 if you want more versatility), 20-40, and 55-300 make an exceptional compact travel kit. I would always pack a small fast prime or two as well, just in case; the FA31, DA*55 and/or FA77 are my favourite options.

I use my DA*50-135 for event shooting at home.
09-14-2019, 06:05 AM   #3
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I have both these lenses too, and am following in line with you all. The 15, 20-40, and 55-300 PLM combination is hard to beat. The DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 tend to see duty doing indoor events where I need the speed.
09-14-2019, 06:10 AM - 3 Likes   #4
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I don't doubt for a second that the DA*50-135 delivers absolutely stunning images. For nearly eight years now, my own telephoto workhorse and travel option has always been the smc DA55-300, which offers a very useful and versatile focal range indeed, without getting too bulky. For extra short-telephoto IQ, I usually find a way of smuggling my DA50 into my photo backpack, too. So, if I had your kit, I would most likely pick the DA55-300 PLM plus DA70 for telephoto, I guess. That way, I could comfortably shoot anything from seagulls to intimate landscapes to architectural detail to portraits.

Some travel shots I would have likely missed if I hadn't brought my 55-300:










Last edited by Madaboutpix; 12-27-2019 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Embedded links
09-14-2019, 06:17 AM   #5
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DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM on K-3 is my travel kit. Very versatile. My two K-1iiís are used with full frame lenses for local travel. The PLM is very compact for a telephoto and gives decent IQ. I sold my DA* 50-135 since I rarely use it. FA* 80-200 and DFA 150-450 are my other telephoto options but they are heavy and find use only when traveling by car.
09-14-2019, 07:27 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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I've drug my 55-300 all over the place, almost never use it. If I know I need telephoto, I figure out a way to take the Tamron 70-200. I've thought about getting the 50-135, but like you, I'm afraid it would just stay home because it's too heavy. Especially now that I've added the Sigma 18-35/1.8 to my bag, it's gotten very heavy already.

My two favorites with the 55-300 (HD/WR)



Last edited by Kozlok; 09-14-2019 at 07:36 AM.
09-14-2019, 07:33 AM   #7
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Another option is to grab an HD DA 1.4x to pop onto the da*. Then you have an f4 70-190...
09-14-2019, 08:33 AM   #8
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My travel lens has been the 18-55 WR for quite some time.

I also did some trips abroad with only the M 28/3.5, and brought back very nice pictures.

Then I bought an UWA and now my travel kit consists of Sigma 10-20/3.5, 40/2.8 XS and M 100/2.8, which is very nice because I've got a reasonably large FL range covered with three lenses, and two are maybe the smallest for their FL.

If I had had money to splurge back when I started, I'd have bought a 18-135 as well, but after the 16-85 came out, that one took the place of "dream one-lens setup" in its place.

09-14-2019, 08:55 AM   #9
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If you want a more compact longer lens then you could get a 135 mm prime. I travel with an F 135 instead of a telephoto zoom. Superb IQ and f2.8. It's also very compact, but not exactly light-weight.
09-14-2019, 06:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qman Quote
If you want a more compact longer lens then you could get a 135 mm prime. I travel with an F 135 instead of a telephoto zoom. Superb IQ and f2.8. It's also very compact, but not exactly light-weight.
Yep. My FA 135/2.8 often finds its way into my travel bag. Great lens!
09-16-2019, 02:14 PM - 3 Likes   #11
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For longer trips, the DA 55-300 PLM, paired with the KP, becomes mandatory. I rarely use it otherwise, as for local shooting and shorter trips, I tend to use only the K-1 and I'm not into shooting APS-C lenses on FF bodies. On my recent trip to Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons NPs, I took over a thousand shots with it. It makes a great companion for the DFA 28-105 on the K-1 as it enables me to easily switch from a standard to a telephoto zoom without swapping lenses.

Lake McDonald in Glacier NP:

09-16-2019, 02:43 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
It makes a great companion for the DFA 28-105 on the K-1 as it enables me to easily switch from a standard to a telephoto zoom without swapping lenses.
^This.

Add the DA* 11-18 in a backpack and you're good for anything. Substitute the DFA 24-70 for the 28-105 and a couple of 82mm filters will work on both wide lenses.
09-19-2019, 12:33 AM   #13
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Thanks a lot for your comments. I think the 55-300 for traveling is a very good choice. It has basically booked a place in the bag for my next trip next month ^^. Also, I found the suggestion of the 1.4 converter interesting. Does it work well with the 55-300 too? Or I mean can my 55-300 be used with the teleconverter, or it would be come too slow for anything?
09-19-2019, 04:02 AM   #14
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If I am not too late, here are my thoughts -

1 what are your expected " targets " ?? will you need the " length " of the 300mm and don't forget about cropping your photos

2 is there any reason why you would not feel comfortable changing lenses in the " field "

3 any weight consideration to plan for

4 any " speed " consideration to plan for

5 your ability to haul your gear

I took the PLM and the 16-85 to Tanzania the PLM was invaluable when my 150-450 fell apart half way through the trip.

I also rented the 20-40mm limited to try it out

all worked well. I primarily went with zoom because I was worried about dust and speed in exchanging lenses.

_________________________________

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
T. . . . Also, I found the suggestion of the 1.4 converter interesting. Does it work well with the 55-300 too? Or I mean can my 55-300 be used with the teleconverter, or it would be come too slow for anything?
QuoteQuote:
Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter
Introduction
Pentax released the long-awaited 1.4x autofocus teleconverter in March, 2014. This handy accessory mounts between your existing DSLR lens and the camera mount to increase the effective focal length by 1.4x, giving you extra reach at the expense of one stop of light. For example, a 300mm F4 lens paired with the teleconverter would give you the same field of view and maximum aperture as a 420mm F5.6 lens. We feel that the teleconverter is an important addition to the Pentax lens lineup, which currently has a limited number of extreme telephoto lenses. . . .

This teleconverter is compatible with nearly the entire current Pentax lens lineup, and also with most legacy lenses. There is a handful of modern lenses with which the converter is not compatible, but fortunately, most of these lenses are wide-angles that wouldn't normally be used with a teleconverter. However, we still recommend that you check the specifications for compatibility before investing in the converter or a new lens. . . .
Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/pentax-da-14x-aw-af-rear-converter/conc...#ixzz5zy3ZZRAt

Last edited by aslyfox; 09-19-2019 at 04:07 AM.
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