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04-21-2009, 08:09 AM   #1
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DA 55-300 or Tamron 75-300?

After searching the threads here for the last half hour, I've decided to just post my question and hope for an answer.

I am needing a longer lens for shooting sports. I was looking at these two options, but need help deciding which would be best, or if there is a better option I should consider. Price is, of course, an issue. I will be shooting outdoors, so app. isn't much of an issue, though I did shoot my son's baseball game the other day and found I had to kick my ISO up to 1600 on my K10D to get in enough light with a 5.6 app.

Thanks to anyone who can offer some advice!

04-21-2009, 08:55 AM   #2
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My best suggestion is to read the reviews on the lens review forum here. They would be the reviews by real people. Then make your choice informed by the reviews and your banker's advice. LOL
04-21-2009, 08:59 AM   #3
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Thanks Canada...I read the reviews on the DA55-300-can't find anything on the Tamron, which is why I posted here.
04-21-2009, 09:05 AM   #4
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I don't have either lens so I can't comment on their specifics ( I have the sigma 70-300 APO). I think either lens will probably serve you well (and to get any significant improvement in quality you will have to pay a lot more), however if you shoot sports take into consideration what people say about focusing speed. A faster focusing lens may make your life a lot easier.

for image quality comparisons you are fortunate that they both have a review on photozone on the k10d:
Pentax SMC DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED - Review / Test Report
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro (Pentax K) - Review / Lab Test Report

04-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
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75-300

QuoteOriginally posted by strictlypentax Quote

Thanks to anyone who can offer some advice!
I have the Tamron 70-300 and the 75-300 (both non-Di). On a cost vs. results basis, for ~$110 US or less I can't fault either for my uses. My 75-300 is subjectively, marginally sharper than the 70-300 at all useful settings. The 70- uses a 58mm filter and the 75- is a 62mm filter size. I have very little PF/CA with this lens in practical applications.

I don't know what improvement the Di upgrade(?) to the 70-300 might have, but I offer this thought: the 75-300 is still in production without tweaking or re-labeling, the 70-300 isn't. Whether this is because it benefited from the Di-coating effect before the DSLR era and Tamron saw no sense in the expense of re-labeling it, or possibly it was "good enough" as it was and they didn't want both lenses to compete in the DSLR market with a Di label.

I'd LIKE to have the DA 55-300, but I simply can't justify the $200+ cost to upgrade a lens that is already the benchmark for my four older 300's.

Attached is the closest I can come at the moment to an example that matches your interests. This is the 75-300 at 64 feet, HQ JPG, ISO 400, 300mm, F8 and 1/250 on a K100DS.

H2
Attached Images
 

Last edited by pacerr; 04-21-2009 at 08:07 PM.
04-21-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
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I have the DA 55-300 and its great lens for value.

I shoot mainly birds with this lens using the long end mostly as I have the da 50-135 and have never had cause to complain.

I have used it a few times as well for aussie rules football


Neil
04-21-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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Thank you all so much for these helpful links/tips/examples. I am still considering what to do. I will need to make a decision by tomorrow as I want to use this lens this weekend if possible.
04-22-2009, 07:35 AM   #8
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I just bought the DA 55-300 to replace an old Quantaray 70-300. I used it for the first time last Saturday shooting soccer. No regrets. I'm decently happy with the lens. Though I must say, I did shoot my DA* 50-135 during some of the game as well. And even though it doesn't have the reach of the 55-300, the images, even greatly cropped, well, wow.



04-22-2009, 08:23 AM   #9
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Hi Mel.

Thank you for the post and the example. So was this shot with the 55-300 or the 50-135? What were your settings...if you have time.
04-22-2009, 09:03 AM   #10
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This was the 55-300. I made sure I posted one from that lens and not the other since it's the one in question.

ISO 200, f/8, 1/750 sec shutter.

I was trying to keep my aperture wider open but messing with the preview thing and zooming in and out I kept inadvertantly changing it and not realizing it until after several shots. Then I'd discover it and change it back, then messing around accidently change it again. It's a pretty fast game and I get rather focused on the action and forget the camera while I'm shooting. I need to work on that. But the kids and the parents like the shots so I guess that's what matters.
04-22-2009, 09:24 AM   #11
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As you may have noticed if you've browsed the many other threads regarding these and other relatively inexpensive telephoto lenses, I've been trying to sort out these issues too. Also comparing against the DA50-200 and an old M200/4, and also experimenting with using a Kenko 1.5TC. I don't have the 55-300, but have followed with interest the reviews and the comparison images posted on this forum and elsewhere.

At this point, my feeling is that all of these lenses are "pretty good" but not stellar (that being defined as comparable to DA70, DA*50-135, etc). Depending on who is doing the comparison, how they are doing it, what conditions the comparison is done under, whether they happen to have a slightly better-than- or worse-than- average copy of one or more of these lenses, etc - one might find someone concluding *any* of these is better than others. That is, some conclude the 50-200 wins; some conclude the 70-300 wins, others the M200/4, others the 55-300. At this point, my money is on the 55-300 as probably having the best IQ, but apparently by a small enough margin that many doing the comparison don't see it that way. Some day I might borrow one and try to do a comparison myself, but I'm pretty sure I know what I'll find - a win over the 70-300 or simply cropping the DA50-200, but not enough to make me run out and buy one.

So my advice is: buy based on price, based on size/weight, based on focal length range, based on focus speed, based on features like the quasi-macro mode of the 70-300 or the quick-shift focusing of the DA lenses, based on ability to use the 50-200 with a Raynox to get *real* macro capabilitiy, based on brand loyatly even - but probbly not a lot of difference there in terms of IQ. If there were, we wouldn't see such difference of opinion on the matter (even if *most* agree the 55-300 wins - but is also quite a bit more expensive).

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 04-22-2009 at 09:32 AM.
04-22-2009, 09:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
I just bought the DA 55-300 to replace an old Quantaray 70-300. I used it for the first time last Saturday shooting soccer. No regrets. I'm decently happy with the lens. Though I must say, I did shoot my DA* 50-135 during some of the game as well. And even though it doesn't have the reach of the 55-300, the images, even greatly cropped, well, wow.
QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
I was trying to keep my aperture wider open but messing with the preview thing and zooming in and out I kept inadvertantly changing it and not realizing it until after several shots. Then I'd discover it and change it back, then messing around accidently change it again. It's a pretty fast game and I get rather focused on the action and forget the camera while I'm shooting. I need to work on that. But the kids and the parents like the shots so I guess that's what matters.
May I suggest setting the aperture to what you want, and letting the shutter speed goes where it will? Use Av, set your 55-300 to say, f/5.6 and let the shutter speed fall where it wants to. You will get high shutter speeds - the highest available for the light - and barely enough depth of field to cover the action.

The alternative, which I use, is to set the program line to MTF and use program. My 50-135 stays right around f/4 - f/5.6. This trick only works with Pentax lenses, and only with the later versions.
04-22-2009, 09:45 AM   #13
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Interesting that strictlypentax is considering Tamron

I can't speak for Tamron but my 55-300mm has done wonders for me. I've been able to get awesome backyard portraits (in decent light, of course) between focal lengths 55mm-135mm, and of course of some wildlife and a few fast moving objects such as one below...



I have a few other lenses and they do well in their own special applications, but the 55-300mm can compete in most of those areas except going wide, and do it really well. This versatile lens has given me the best bang for my buck out of everything in my camera bag so far.

Last edited by EsBee; 08-19-2009 at 08:08 PM.
04-22-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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I may have just got taken.

I called to order the DA 55-300 and ended up buying the Tamron 75-300 plus a teleconverter. The salesman (who does a lot of sports photography) swears I will only lose one fstop with the converter. He talked so fast I said yes before I knew what I was doing! I'm not usu. so gullable. He DID give me a 30 day money back guarentee...so I thought "what do I have to lose," other than the shipping cost. Thanks for the help everyone. I guess I'll see what happens.
04-22-2009, 09:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by EsBee Quote
Interesting that strictlypentax is considering Tamron
My choice of name was in reference to my camera loyalty. I don't do Nikon or Cannon.
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