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10-13-2008, 11:12 AM   #1
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Do I need a 55-300mm Lens?

I need some feedback about the additional lens. The kit I am looking at comes with a 18-55mm lens. There is an optional 55-300mm lens kit I could add. What would I need that for? Is the supplied lens ok for everyday shots? I am not a professional but have a toddler that I am contantly chasing around with the camera. What do you think?

10-13-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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I think that if you dont see the need for 55-300mm lens, then just use the 18-55mm and after a while, you will realize whether or not you need the tele zoom.
10-13-2008, 11:47 AM   #3
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I agree with BBear, the 55-300 would be a great later addition if the range then suites.



Neil
10-13-2008, 11:56 AM   #4
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Thank you both. Can anyone tell me what that lens is for? We are taking our son to Disneyland next month and I want to take loads of shots. Especially when he is on a ride and is fairly far away. Will I need the other lens for that? Is the supplied lens sufficient? Sorry for the lame questions but this is sort if important for me!

10-13-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
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To put it as concretely as possible:

With the 18-55 lens, at the 18 end, you can take a picture of your kid from a few feet away and see most of the room with the kid in it. At the 55 end, the kid will more or less will fill up the frame.

With the 55-300, you'd be taking the same shot at the 55 end as with the 18-55 at the 55 end. At the 300 end, you'd be filling the frame with his nose at that distance.

Outdoors, if your subject is many yards away, then 55 will not let you get close-ups. 300 will. But on the flip side, the 55-300 would not let you get the pictures of a whole room, or a whole outdoor scene, that you could get at 18. So you would definitely want both lenses. Or, there is a single 18-250 option that gives the best of both worlds that some folks prefer to having to switch lenses. The advantages of two lenses is theoretically better image quality (although the 18-250 is arguably about as good), potentially cheaper, and 18-55 at least is considerably smaller/lighter, which can be nicer to have on the camera most of the time.
10-13-2008, 12:03 PM   #6
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Gotcha. That was a great explanation. Now....do I want the vertical grip??!! That is my next problem!
10-13-2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dillpicklemom Quote
Gotcha. That was a great explanation. Now....do I want the vertical grip??!! That is my next problem!
Are you buying from a local store or online? If you're lucky enough to be able to buy from a local store then try the camera out in the store with and without the grip. For me, I like having the grip as my hands spill over the bottom of the body alone. I also do a bit of portrait oriented shots and having the shutter release on the grip is much more comfortable.

But, not everyone likes or wants the added weight of the grip. I guess the upside is that if you buy the grip and then decide later you don't want it you can sell it for near the original price as long as you haven't abused it.
10-13-2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dillpicklemom Quote
Gotcha. That was a great explanation. Now....do I want the vertical grip??!! That is my next problem!
My suggestion is to leave the vertical grip for the moment. Don't get me wrong - it's nice to have... but it doesn't really do anything for the image itself...

In fact, I'd buy the 55-300 over the vgrip. Do you need either one? No.

The 55-300 will let you shoot a bird (or a child) at 50 paces. The original kit lens will make that bird look like a speck.

10-13-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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I tried a 55-300 for a couple of weeks. Found that I really didn't use focal lengths above 70mm. It was not a very special lens. (such as A*135mm) Did not buy it. Got a 10-17mm instead.
10-13-2008, 06:31 PM   #10
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I strongly recommend the 18-250 for your uses, you sound unlikely to get too serious and this lens covers day to day family shooting well.
10-13-2008, 06:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dillpicklemom Quote
I need some feedback about the additional lens. The kit I am looking at comes with a 18-55mm lens. There is an optional 55-300mm lens kit I could add. What would I need that for? Is the supplied lens ok for everyday shots? I am not a professional but have a toddler that I am contantly chasing around with the camera. What do you think?
I would get the 55-300 as you will be able to take pictures of your child in the 20-100 foot distance more easily. Another option is the shorter and less expensive 50-200.

I am getting the grip only to try to stabilize my vertical shots with the telephoto. In the horizontal postion I can squeeze my elbows against my body, but in vertical orientation, it gets a bit wobbly...
10-13-2008, 06:53 PM   #12
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On the 55-300, it depends on the price. It doesn't sound like you need the upper end much. I have the 50-200 and like it very much. It sells for around $220 right now.

For kids, I also like my 35mm f/2 because it's fast enough to use in well-lighted interiors without a flash.

I don't have the grip and won't get one. I don't need the added weight and bulk. I can change batteries in about 15 seconds.

You will want to get another SD card or two. I would also strongly recommend getting an extra battery. I have three batteries. One is in the camera, one is in my bag charged and ready to go, and the third is in the charger. I rotate them and am always ready to go.

You will also want a better camera strap. I like Op/Tech for comfort and convenience.
10-13-2008, 07:30 PM   #13
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If you find you do need the Telephoto zoom, but the 55-300 Pentax is a bit too rich for your blood, you can get the Tamron 70-300 LD Di, it is a damn good lens for the price you pay. All of the photos in this set were taken with the Tamron on my K10D. http://www.flickr.com/photos/77145824@N00/sets/72157605256607853/

Last edited by Stratman; 10-13-2008 at 07:39 PM.
10-14-2008, 12:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I strongly recommend the 18-250 for your uses, you sound unlikely to get too serious and this lens covers day to day family shooting well.
I agree with this.

It would be nice if the original poster told something about his previous P&S? camera.

What zoom range did it have? Did you find it lacking?

I personally find that a 50-200 or 55-300 (or 18-250) is essential for photographing people outside and that the 50 side will still allow creating an impression of the park.
10-14-2008, 12:34 AM   #15
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The 55-300mm was my second lens or the first purchased after the kit as I like shooting birds and sporting events. ( I had SLR experience before DSLR)

It then gave me the full range that I thought I needed. After having such a wide range covered 16-300 I started to learn more about what I liked shooting most and what focal length was my preference and most used

It would be fine to have this range and stick with it, but once you find the need or desire to shoot in low light you will fall short, ...but at least with such a focal range covered you will be able to see what is your most used focal length and then maybe later on look at a fast prime or faster zoom in that most used range to fill that gap

Dont rush and use what you have to better your skills to the fullest
There are lots of threads here to help and some wonderful helpful very knowledgeable Pentax users always just a post away




Neil
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