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11-25-2008, 09:28 PM   #16
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Do you where Glasses?

11-25-2008, 10:41 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobloadmire Quote
the focal point seemed to blurry to be acceptable to me, but maybe i have have high standards, but my 18-55 is really sharp to me, so i don't think so, even at 55mm.
You really think the 18-55 does better wide open than these? You might want to do some side-by-side comparisons to test that theory.
05-27-2009, 05:38 PM   #18
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I don't wear glasses, and %100 crop with my 18-55 II and 55-300 both set at 55mm FL, F5.6, ISO 200, 1/500. The 18-55 kicks its butt all over the place. I have tried manual focusing but no avail. I can't get a sharp picture. Either my 18-55 is a really good copy, or the 55-300 is a dud.
05-27-2009, 06:33 PM   #19
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I didn't look at all of your samples, but they don't look too good, huh?

One question I can think of is, are you using Picassa to edit the images? Or, perhaps some other program with an "auto" button? That, may be "pushing" the exposures a bit.

I don't know, but I wouldn't be happy with those results. Perhaps Pentax should take a look at it.

Regards,
Mike

QuoteOriginally posted by bobloadmire Quote
I don't wear glasses, and %100 crop with my 18-55 II and 55-300 both set at 55mm FL, F5.6, ISO 200, 1/500. The 18-55 kicks its butt all over the place. I have tried manual focusing but no avail. I can't get a sharp picture. Either my 18-55 is a really good copy, or the 55-300 is a dud.


05-29-2009, 09:26 AM   #20
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no, i am using lightroom 2, and its not the expures and stuff i am worried about, its general sharpness of the photos.
05-29-2009, 10:12 AM   #21
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I have once chased around a soft lens and it's not fun. I did notice most of the exposures were long for the FL you were using. Look how much sharper your 1/125 shots at 300mm were over the 1/40 at 300mm. The grass moves even if you didn't.

On a bright day take some shots at 1/1000 or more, which should be easily achieved wide open. Once you rule out any possibility of shake, you can examine the IQ. The lens shows symptoms of astigmatism, but it's hard to say till shake is totally ruled out.

In the end, it is you who has had the most experience with the lens. If it has been soft 100% of the time, then there's no point in fooling yourself. I had a 500mm that ghost even at 1/3000th speeds, many questioned my technique, ultimately, the lens was found to be out of collimation.

If you bought it at a b&m store, I would just exchange it.

Last edited by boom; 05-29-2009 at 11:20 AM.
05-29-2009, 10:16 AM   #22
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Let's eliminate the most probable variable - vibration. Tripods are useful tools but they certainly leave pleanty of possibility for unexplained issues.

Build yourself a couple of "sandbags". Ziplock plastic bags filled, literally, with dry sand work well. I've one 1/2 gallon sized heavy canvase sack filled with lead shot that provides a VERY steady platform. Put the plastic bags in cutoff pants legs or large socks if you chose to use smaller plastic bags.

Use a solid table, window sill, etc., for the base. Put one or two "sandbags" under the camera to isolate it from outside vibrations. Get a gnat's a$$ fine focus on whatever and set up for the 2-second delay shutter mode. Now carefully lay a second, lighter "sandbag" on top of the camera and have at it.

If you're still having questions about camera motion vs. lens performance with that setup, you either have vibration sources in the building or mechanical issues with the camera itself. You'd be surprised how much vibration a highway, a motor or an A/C compressor can cause. "Sandbags" can effectively dampen that, or at least change the harmonics to a harmless frequency. In any case, you've eliminated a major variable.

Another good vibration isolation trick is to use gel-type mouse pads - these are very useful in the field too.

When picking a test target, if you can lay a piece of window screening material beside the target and almost parallel to the sight axis you have a pretty good indication of practical DOF if the target's within the useful resolution of the image. I often used a 12-inch, fine thread brass rod from a broken lamp laid on a piece of screening as a quick 'n dirty, but consistent, DOF gage for bench-top close-up/macro work.

H2

That plastic water jug hung under the cheap tripod is a great "force-multiplier" too.

Last edited by pacerr; 05-29-2009 at 12:11 PM.
05-30-2009, 05:52 AM   #23
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The DA 55-300 likes bright conditions.

Leafs look sharp.

The pool shots almost look like you did not have the lens shade on, they also focused in different places with fairly shallow DOF.

As far as the last images of the grass, to me they look like a mix of OOF and motion blur.
Take some pictures in sunlight, colorful flowers and such, see how they come out.

Cheers. Mike.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3368/3563468837_b2ce74f429_o.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3654/3577841953_ed35cff685_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3558/3578688630_63f74c2f19_o.jpg

second edit, all the images in flickr links were taken hand held while panning like crazy.


Last edited by Ex Finn.; 05-30-2009 at 06:06 PM. Reason: link to some images taken with 55-300
06-01-2009, 04:24 AM   #24
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There are quite a few people using this lens including myself with zero problems and only have enthusiastic comments about this lens at all apertures and focal lengths.

I can say with ease that the 55-300 is better than my kit 18-55 in terms of sharpness.

Also I have achieved really sharp results at very low shutter speeds - hand held.

Some of your shots do show motion blur, the isolated leaf series seems ok and just needs proper sharpening, the lifeguard's chair & pool steps seem totally out of focus.

Have you tried making a static shot of the same subject at 55 (kit lens) F8/250sec then straight after with the 55-300 @ 55mm with F8/250sec - autofocus, centre point only and focussed on the same point? This can easily be done handheld and would quickly show you if the 55-300 is faulty.

Regards

Dylan
06-01-2009, 07:09 AM   #25
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I'm with Dylan.

Just got this lens a week ago, and i'm quite impress at the overall IQ of the lens.

Maybe you got a bad copy? Maybe borrow another copy from someone to compare?
06-01-2009, 01:15 PM   #26
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i'll try the suggestions above. Like i said the test i ran was this:
%100 crop with my 18-55 II and 55-300 both set at 55mm FL, F5.6, ISO 200, 1/500. The 18-55 kicks its butt all over the place. I have tried manual focusing but no avail. I can't get a sharp picture. Either my 18-55 is a really good copy, or the 55-300 is a dud. Although i did notice that the 55-300 @ 55mm has mor magnificatioin than the 18-55mm @ 55mm.



I also notice to day, focusing on a high contrast object, a lit up exit sign in our building, when i autofocus on it at 55mm, and then zoom in to 300mm, its out of focus. If i focus at 300mm and zoom out to 55mm and take a shot, its better. I tried editing the zoom options in the camera for the lens, trying +5,-5,+10,-10, but it focused better at zero.

i have also been taking the handheld rule of 1/focal length = shutter speed. and i have even been trying to use 1/ [(1.5)(FL)] because of the 35mm conversion.
I have also tried with SR on and SR off.

Last edited by bobloadmire; 06-01-2009 at 01:21 PM.
06-01-2009, 01:54 PM   #27
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It just sounds like your 55-300 is not quite up to scratch. That would be unfortunate.
You really shouldn't have to struggle to get a sharp photo with this lens at almost any aperture or focal length as long as the focusing has been calibrated with the camera.
06-02-2009, 01:57 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobloadmire Quote
i'll try the suggestions above. Like i said the test i ran was this:
%100 crop with my 18-55 II and 55-300 both set at 55mm FL, F5.6, ISO 200, 1/500. The 18-55 kicks its butt all over the place. I have tried manual focusing but no avail. I can't get a sharp picture. Either my 18-55 is a really good copy, or the 55-300 is a dud. Although i did notice that the 55-300 @ 55mm has mor magnificatioin than the 18-55mm @ 55mm.



I also notice to day, focusing on a high contrast object, a lit up exit sign in our building, when i autofocus on it at 55mm, and then zoom in to 300mm, its out of focus. If i focus at 300mm and zoom out to 55mm and take a shot, its better. I tried editing the zoom options in the camera for the lens, trying +5,-5,+10,-10, but it focused better at zero.

i have also been taking the handheld rule of 1/focal length = shutter speed. and i have even been trying to use 1/ [(1.5)(FL)] because of the 35mm conversion.
I have also tried with SR on and SR off.
Below is one of my 1st test shots with the 55-300



another at 55mm



These are basically p&s with this lens, so I reckon if you are not getting close to the above amateur pics - we must then assume that yours is a dud

Regards

Dylan
06-02-2009, 02:13 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobloadmire Quote
i realize that the minimum focal range is around a yard, and iwas using the 2s timer with a remote! i figured at that setup, shutter should be a nonissue.
Minimum focusing distance is 55.2 inches that's quite a bit more than a yard, are you sure you weren't too close. That would explain the problem if you were focusing manually.
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