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06-20-2020, 12:42 AM   #1
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HD DA 55-300PLM + HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter vs DFA 150-450

I've been really impressed with the HD DA 55-300PLM, a fairly recent purchase, my 'first real zoom' you might say. I've never enjoyed my KP that much, with this lens attached I feel the two are a fantastic pairing and thus the KP has seen a lot more action. The PLM has even seen a fair bit of action with the K-1 as well, if happy to mindful of vignette or use the crop mode and I'm treated to very fast burst rates and dual card reading.

It's got me wondering, where to next. If I want more reach it feels the DFA 150-450 would be the real only lens from Pentax to provide that longer reach? But that's a lens in a different stratosphere, both in terms of weight and price!

I paid $500AUD new for my PLM, and I think I could get a 1.4 converter for a similar price. That would make that combo about $1k all up, a third of the price of the DFA 150-450, and may even be a more comfortable shooting experience (lighter etc). Factoring the 1.4 converter could then be used with other lenses... it's making me think this might be a real option.

A recent Pentax shooter here uploaded a DFA 150-450mm shot at 450mm and used f9. I think f9 will be the minimum f stop for using this combo but I do live in Australia and thus do get quite a lot of bright shooting condition days.

I'm wondering what peoples thoughts on that combo are, terrible, good? Anyone done it? Does it work well? Care to share samples?

What should I be aware of when considering the 1.4? Pros and Cons etc. Does it help or worsen vignette for example for those crop lenses that are semi passable on FF, does it make matters worse or actually in fact better?


TIA

BB

06-20-2020, 01:59 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I've been really impressed with the HD DA 55-300PLM, a fairly recent purchase, my 'first real zoom' you might say. I've never enjoyed my KP that much, with this lens attached I feel the two are a fantastic pairing and thus the KP has seen a lot more action. The PLM has even seen a fair bit of action with the K-1 as well, if happy to mindful of vignette or use the crop mode and I'm treated to very fast burst rates and dual card reading.

It's got me wondering, where to next. If I want more reach it feels the DFA 150-450 would be the real only lens from Pentax to provide that longer reach? But that's a lens in a different stratosphere, both in terms of weight and price!

I paid $500AUD new for my PLM, and I think I could get a 1.4 converter for a similar price. That would make that combo about $1k all up, a third of the price of the DFA 150-450, and may even be a more comfortable shooting experience (lighter etc). Factoring the 1.4 converter could then be used with other lenses... it's making me think this might be a real option.

A recent Pentax shooter here uploaded a DFA 150-450mm shot at 450mm and used f9. I think f9 will be the minimum f stop for using this combo but I do live in Australia and thus do get quite a lot of bright shooting condition days.

I'm wondering what peoples thoughts on that combo are, terrible, good? Anyone done it? Does it work well? Care to share samples?

What should I be aware of when considering the 1.4? Pros and Cons etc. Does it help or worsen vignette for example for those crop lenses that are semi passable on FF, does it make matters worse or actually in fact better?


TIA

BB
I do not think that the PLM matches with the converter. The converter lacks the electromagnetic diaphragm technique so you can only shoot wide open. And as you stated that you have a lot of bright shooting days, so wide open will cause a problem, you will always have to rely on high shutterspeed and low iso. Pictures always have a shallow DOF.
06-20-2020, 02:04 AM   #3
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I think @normhead has used the plm with the converter, got some excellent result but also has reservations about it.
06-20-2020, 02:48 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Hi, The PLM works well with the teleconverter. The teleconverter transfers all data and everything works as would be expected including aperture control. I used the combinations last Autumn for an early morning deer walk in the rutting season in absolutely awful conditions - it chucked it down with rain the whole time. The camera worked faultlessly - the weather sealing was 100%. Attached a few photos all with the teleconverter some are cropped.


Attached Images
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PENTAX KP  Photo 

Last edited by wooly11; 06-20-2020 at 03:00 AM. Reason: spelling
06-20-2020, 02:52 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
I do not think that the PLM matches with the converter. The converter lacks the electromagnetic diaphragm technique so you can only shoot wide open. And as you stated that you have a lot of bright shooting days, so wide open will cause a problem, you will always have to rely on high shutterspeed and low iso. Pictures always have a shallow DOF.
Not so. As I understand it, the teleconverter is just a conduit of electrical signals (and light of course) from lens to camera; as long as the camera works with the lens, putting the teleconverter in between makes no difference.

To confirm this, I just checked with my own KP, 55-300PLM and 1.4xTC, and they work fine together, including aperture control. Significantly, the blazingly fast autofocus seems unaffected, even in the dim indoor light in which I made the test shots.

I won't bore you with the images, but on the camera's rear LCD they all looked well exposed and acceptably sharp.
06-20-2020, 04:39 AM   #6
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The only issue might be the ability to achieve AF confirmation the combined lens With TC will be about F9

This is at the limit of even the most modern AF capabilities.
06-20-2020, 04:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
I do not think that the PLM matches with the converter. The converter lacks the electromagnetic diaphragm technique so you can only shoot wide open. And as you stated that you have a lot of bright shooting days, so wide open will cause a problem, you will always have to rely on high shutterspeed and low iso. Pictures always have a shallow DOF.


QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Not so. As I understand it, the teleconverter is just a conduit of electrical signals (and light of course) from lens to camera; as long as the camera works with the lens, putting the teleconverter in between makes no difference.

To confirm this, I just checked with my own KP, 55-300PLM and 1.4xTC, and they work fine together, including aperture control. Significantly, the blazingly fast autofocus seems unaffected, even in the dim indoor light in which I made the test shots.

I won't bore you with the images, but on the camera's rear LCD they all looked well exposed and acceptably sharp.
Ok, thanks for testing. Have you ever used those pairings together for real outdoors?

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The only issue might be the ability to achieve AF confirmation the combined lens With TC will be about F9

This is at the limit of even the most modern AF capabilities.


Are we saying a certain f number and AF confirmation no longer works? Huh... like as in any lens even without TC?

06-20-2020, 05:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote









Are we saying a certain f number and AF confirmation no longer works? Huh... like as in any lens even without TC?
Yes, but when you look at AF lenses, they are all normally below F6.3-F6.7 for a reason.

I began actually exploring this in 1990 when I bought the 1.7x AF converter to ass limited AF capability to my legacy lenses on my PZ1.

At the time the converter was rated for use on F2.8 and faster. But it works very well on F4 lenses, and didnít work with f5.6 lenses at all.

Since then people have reported limited success on lenses on F4.5 and intermittent work on F5.6 lenses. If you consider the 1.7x converter adds about 1.5 stops f4.5 plus TC is F8 and F5.6 plus the TC is About F9.5-10

There are lots of discussions about the minimum aperture needed to get AF lock, or with manual lenses Focus confirmation. They all center about F8. As a max aperture limit
06-20-2020, 05:13 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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I checked AF at 300mm, where with the teleconverter the maximum aperture is 9.5

It locked focus in low light with no problem. It isn't 1990 any more
06-20-2020, 05:44 AM   #10
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So... now we know it works fine with the PLM, I'm just interested to hear the opinions of some DFA 150-450 users that might also have the PLM +1.4TC, how much better is that 150-450 when factoring it's 3x the price of the other two combo?

What are my other options for longer than 300mm without stepping up to the 150-450?
06-20-2020, 06:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote

What are my other options for longer than 300mm without stepping up to the 150-450?
Sigma 50-500?
Sigma 150-500?
Sigma 120-400?
Sigma 135-400?
Sigma 170-500?

Or a 300 prime or 400 prime on apsc?
(With or without teleconverter)
06-20-2020, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #12
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What do you intend to shoot? Maybe get a second hand DA 300, FA F* 300... a cropped 300 image from these would probally be better then a 55-300 plus 1.4 image.... for same FOV.... plus you get more f stop flexability at 300.... so much small long stuff is in tree canopy etc.

Anyway, I recon the dfa 150-450 is 1.427x better..... (my wife says I procrastinate.... so no more... even if I dont know anything.... notice it is better then a good pi). Also.... it is cheap.... if the new 85 is the comparison.

PS... still loving the S screen you made me get....

Signed.... F9

Last edited by noelpolar; 06-20-2020 at 04:30 PM. Reason: naughty word
06-20-2020, 07:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Not so. As I understand it, the teleconverter is just a conduit of electrical signals (and light of course) from lens to camera; as long as the camera works with the lens, putting the teleconverter in between makes no difference.

To confirm this, I just checked with my own KP, 55-300PLM and 1.4xTC, and they work fine together, including aperture control. Significantly, the blazingly fast autofocus seems unaffected, even in the dim indoor light in which I made the test shots.

I won't bore you with the images, but on the camera's rear LCD they all looked well exposed and acceptably sharp.
Very similar observation for me on my K-3. I did find there was some resolution loss with the TC such that it was no better than cropped images of the lens without the TC. Since I have a DA* 300, I just use that lens with the TC where there is no loss in resolution that I can see. My telephoto kit is the PLM for 55-almost 300mm which keeps the max aperture below the 6.3 and the DA* for 300mm and 420mm
06-20-2020, 07:13 AM   #14
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Hi, See photos I attached in post 4 the conditions were really poor but af was totally unaffected and remained snappy. The final shot of the dear were belting along at about 30mph but focus was spot on. I tried the f1.7x teleconverter but did not like it at all - sold it straight away at a significant loss.
06-20-2020, 07:25 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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Bruce,
I had mediocre to poor results with two different TCs and my PLM, and my DFA 150-450 is amazing, and I suspect at least a little better then the PLM, while being faster, longer and full frame compatible. The fact that it weighs as much as five PLMs is the biggest negative. But my happiness with the images and pretty much every one who has used it is at the extreme upper end for happiness. (Per reviews everywhere.)

---------- Post added 06-20-20 at 10:26 ----------

In other words, save up your money for the DFA if you want to do some wildlife shooting. You live in a great place for that!
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