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02-02-2009, 05:04 AM   #1
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DA 55-300/F4-5.8 verses DA* 300mm F4

I'm looking to buy a fairly long lens and I'm looking at these two. Is the prime DA* worth the extra money? Seems like the 55-300 may be a more versilte lens and its a good price, about a third of the DA*. I own two other DA* lens and love them. I heard nothing but good reports on the 55-300 but I know the quality of the * lens are great and the weatherproofing is a plus.

02-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #2
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The obvious difference is speed: the zoom is more than one full f-stop slower at the long end. As I see from your signature, you have the shorter focal lengthes already covered with good quality lenses, so you wouldn't need the zoom's versatility. The DA* 300/4 seems to offer really superior image quality and could be used fully open, as I deduce from the many high quality images posted here and elsewhere. In fact it seems to be so good, that I too contemplate to buy it, despite already owning four 300mm lenses and also the Bigma...

Ben
02-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #3
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Looks like you've already got all focal lengths covered with your current equipment to 250mm. Do you just want something longer, or do you want to fit a lens that can zoom and reach 300mm?

What are you looking to capture at that FL? If you 'need' the speed, nothing can come close to the DA* 300 IMO. But with what I want to capture the 55-300 is doing the job for me, and has surpassed my expectations compared with my previous experiences with the Sigma 70-300 and Tamron 70-300 lenses.

If you've got the bucks, sounds like you'd be leaning towards the DA*s.
02-02-2009, 05:37 AM   #4
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I was also in 2 minds as I had nothing above 200mm apart from a Sigma 135-400mm (which is average at best) and was undecided whether to pay the extra (a hell of a lot extra tbh) for the DA*300mm.
In the end I found a F* 300mm f4.5 for not much more than the 55-300mm and I find it a fantastic lens.

02-02-2009, 05:39 AM   #5
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Now where did you find such a bargain on the F* 300, Mike?
02-02-2009, 06:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Now where did you find such a bargain on the F* 300, Mike?
On the UK Pentax forums.
No tripod collar, case or box and the body has some marks but the glass is clean and its a cracking lens.
Its as sharp as a very sharp thing ...

02-02-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
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I own the 55-300, have never tried the DA* 300. I would have to guess the * offers better image quality (how much, I don't know), but for me it came down to cost vs. use. When I travel to National Parks, I love to get wildlife shots, but that's a max of three trips per year. Plus, I usually shoot wildlife when I'm hiking. Those two facts led me to the conclusion that the size/weight and cost of the 55-300 was better for me. Now, I've come to find over the past few months that stopped down the lens does a very nice job with landscapes and daylight action shots. I looked at some of your photo galleries, and it doesn't seem as though the 300mm length would be a workhorse length for you, so maybe not worth the cost and size. Just some thoughts.

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02-02-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Apples and oranges.......

........is my thought on your query. I have both the DA*300 and the DA55-300. The latter is light, comparatively inexpensive, flexible in use and quite a good lens overall. The * 300 is heavier, more than twice the 55-300 price, half as flexible in use and at least twice as good in IQ in my opinion. Having said that, the 55-300 spends more time on my K20 than the DA*.............good luck!

02-02-2009, 11:06 AM   #9
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The other thing to consider about the DA*300 is that you can add a 1.4x TC to it without much degradation in IQ. Not sure if that is important to you or not but I thought I'd throw it out there



John
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