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12-11-2008, 03:35 PM   #1
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DA 55-300 vs FA-J 75-300


I just bought a K2000 and am looking into a good starter zoom lense. I have read reviews of the DA 55-300 and was thinking of buying it but then found the Pentax SMC P FA J - Telephoto zoom lens - 75 mm - 300 mm - f/4.5-5.8 AL. The latter is much cheaper, but I don't know what the main differences are. Can someone help me out?


12-11-2008, 03:41 PM   #2
Ed in GA

I don't have, and haven't had, the FA J 75-300.

However, I do have the DA 55-300. In addition to the extra 20mm at the short end, the DA has Quick-Shift auto focus, non rotating front element (I think the 75-300 rotates) and it holds the f/4.5 a long way into the zoom. My lens stays at f/4.5 to aroung 190mm.

I think it is also smaller and lighter.

You might check out Welcome to Photozone! for test results on the DA 55-300.
12-11-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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I have the FAJ 75-300 and I've been thinking about upgrading to the DA 55-300 because of the large range of focal lengths, the non-rotating front element, and especially the quick-shift focusing. The shots and accords I've seen have helped too.

The FAJ seem to have a rather spotty reputation, but I've been pretty happy with it. There's certainly nothing that comes close to it for the price (which is literally half of the 55-300). Here are a couple of shot I took with it on my K100D Super:

12-11-2008, 06:52 PM   #4
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I have the FAJ. Lens sharp up to 200mm, after which you need to really step down. It is very light, good walk about lens if you tend to shoot long. Auto focus is a little on the loud side.

I bought mine from fellow forum member, but I never really got to use it. If you are interested, I can sell you mine. PM me if you do.

12-11-2008, 08:31 PM   #5
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Have both lenses. The faj is going bye bye. The 55-300 is noticably sharper and greater in contrast. Especially in the 300mm range. Of course the 55-300 cost a lot more.

Check out POINT & SHOOT CONTEST #13 WINNERS in P&S forum. Enter #14.
12-11-2008, 08:59 PM   #6
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You may also want to consider FA 80-320. It's about half the price of the DA 55-200, and while you lose quite a bit on the short end, I don't think there is much of a drop of in IQ.
12-11-2008, 09:51 PM   #7
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Have you considered the Tamron 70-300mm Macro? Great image quality, a quality 1:2 macro at the telephoto end and are typically around $130 new, $100 or so used.
12-11-2008, 10:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the helpful info

Thanks! This is all helpful information. Sounds like I should bite the bullet and go for the DA 55-300. I'm going to Tokyo at the end of the month...does anyone know if Pentax lenses are going to be cheaper there?


12-12-2008, 12:10 AM   #9
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The DA 55-300 is one of those Pentax lenses that is well priced and not much said against it.

I have it and use the long end the most as I have the DA 50-135.

Its a very good lens

Last edited by nulla; 12-12-2008 at 12:49 PM.
12-12-2008, 02:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jglover Quote
Have you considered the Tamron 70-300mm Macro? Great image quality, a quality 1:2 macro at the telephoto end and are typically around $130 new, $100 or so used.
Not to overwhelm the OP with too many choices, but... The Sigma 70-300 APO is a great and cheap lens too. Worth considering.

12-12-2008, 02:25 PM   #11
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Definitely bite the bullet and get the 55-300. It doesn't do you a whole lot of good to buy the cheap lens now, get it, use it a while, and decide that you'd rather have the better lens; on top of that, you'll probably want to sell the lens and have to deal with the hassle of that--believe me, I've done it multiple times...

Right now, B&H has the 55-300 for $299.95, shipped, so the price is really starting to come down...
Pentax | SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Autofocus Lens | 21720


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