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11-03-2008, 10:42 PM   #1
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What are the benefits??

I am gathering information on a couple of lens, the Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 and the Pentax smc P-DA 300mm F4, obviously looking for the 300mm long shooting.

My question is what are the benefits if any to having a fixed telephoto, verses a telephoto zoom?

11-03-2008, 11:01 PM   #2
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The image quality of the DA* 300mm F4 is in a different class than the 55-300. A fixed lens will always be far better than a zoom lens. But it also requires a lot more of you as a photographer. But if you know for sure that you will be using the lens mostly at 300mm the DA* is the best choice, it is faster, weather sealed, has sdm and a tripod collar. But it weighs more, so if you are looking for a lightweight lens then the DA* might not be the right choice for you.

The da* is also a lot faster at the 300mm F4 vs 300mm F 5.8. Id go for the da* if your wallet can support it.
11-04-2008, 06:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertwalker Quote
I am gathering information on a couple of lens, the Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 and the Pentax smc P-DA 300mm F4, obviously looking for the 300mm long shooting.

My question is what are the benefits if any to having a fixed telephoto, verses a telephoto zoom?
Generally a faster maximum aperture, and better contrast, sharpness and less flare.
Zoom lenses are getting much better on the test bench, out in the field is another matter though.
I keep testing telephoto zooms, and keep leaving them on the store shelf.
11-04-2008, 07:26 AM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
A fixed lens will always be far better than a zoom lens.
This is a generality that is not always true. There are crappy fixed lenses and excellent zooms.

Obviously, the advantage of a zoom is that it allows you to choose a range of focal lengths with one lens.

In this case, I certainly hope the 300 (at 3-4 times the cost) has a bit better image quality over the 55-300, which is pretty good in itself, as well as being faster than the zoom at the long end.

11-04-2008, 07:48 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info, it is certainly some food for thought.
11-04-2008, 10:47 AM   #6
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I would think the f/4 versus f/5.6 would probably trump any IQ differences between the zoom and the prime. I've seen some great pictures come out of both lenses
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