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05-12-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
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Quantaray 70-300F/4-5.6 vs?

I bought a new Quantaray 70-300F/4-5.6 from a Wolf Camera store that is closing at a smoking deal.

The lens has a *Macro* mode that locks the lens to 180-300 focal range which throws the barrel out even further. It works great in Macro mode but in regular mode and macro it takes the camera's moter a long time to autofocus the lens.

This hurts when trying to capture moving small subjects such as birds.

Has anyone had any experience with lens?

Is the Pentax 55-300 better?

Does it have a good close focusing abilities?

Does it autofocus faster?

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The lens' *Macro* mode.

05-12-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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Robert:

I never shot with this lens, but have with a Tamron 70-300mm LD Macro. I believe the macro on the Tammy locks in place @ 180 to 300, just like the Quantaray does. To be honest, I have similar problems with the lens and rarely use it anymore--I prefer to manually focus now. But I prefer manual focus in most of my shooting--that is just a personal preference. When I do go to autofocus, I do not want to listen to a lens that hunts.

The Pentax 55-300 is a better lens for sure, but it is more money as well and lacks a macro feature.
05-12-2009, 10:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Robert:

I never shot with this lens, but have with a Tamron 70-300mm LD Macro. I believe the macro on the Tammy locks in place @ 180 to 300, just like the Quantaray does. To be honest, I have similar problems with the lens and rarely use it anymore--I prefer to manually focus now. But I prefer manual focus in most of my shooting--that is just a personal preference. When I do go to autofocus, I do not want to listen to a lens that hunts.

The Pentax 55-300 is a better lens for sure, but it is more money as well and lacks a macro feature.
Once again! Thank you Jewell!

I think this may be a rebadged Tamron.

If the Pentax 55-300 has faster AF and better IQ, then I need to seriously consider it.

LBA in full effect!
05-12-2009, 10:34 PM   #4
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The Quantaray seems similar to the Sigma 70-300 macro I bought with my K20D. Compared to the Pentax the Sigma suffers at the longer range in IQ. As for AF, there's times I tust switch it off to get a decent manual focus especially when there's a lot of foliage around the birds I want to photograph. I'll probably get pounced on for this comment but there are times AF is a right proper pain when it's trying to decide on where it should focus and birds in trees are some of those times.
A couple of recent bird pics with the Pentax



05-12-2009, 10:36 PM   #5
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The 55-300 is great for it's class but you can't get too close to the action.
05-12-2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by res3567 Quote
I bought a new Quantaray 70-300F/4-5.6 from a Wolf Camera store that is closing at a smoking deal.

The lens has a *Macro* mode that locks the lens to 180-300 focal range which throws the barrel out even further. It works great in Macro mode but in regular mode and macro it takes the camera's moter a long time to autofocus the lens.

This hurts when trying to capture moving small subjects such as birds.

Has anyone had any experience with lens?

Is the Pentax 55-300 better?

Does it have a good close focusing abilities?

Does it autofocus faster?

Attachment 34472
The lens' *Macro* mode.
Yes I had your lens and the Tamron, they are one and the same. However the older Ritz 70-300mm telephotos where Sigmas they way you can tell is the filter size. If your lens uses a 62mm filter its the Tamron, if it uses a 58mm filter its the Sigma. The Tamron is the better of the two. And you got a great bargain. Its the one thing I wished my Pentax 55-300mm could do, "Macro" I tried calling around to get the 70-300mm just to get the macro function of that lens which is great, but no one had it in stock enjoy the lens for what you paid .

BTW the Pentax is no faster in AF moving objects, forget about BIF with the DA55-300mm. Its a bit better in the 200-300mm range, but for the price its not worth upgrading yet, get your moneys worth. Its really a good lens, you have to learn its limits and how to deal with them in PP and you can make some great pics with it.

Last edited by jamesm007; 05-12-2009 at 11:49 PM. Reason: BTW
05-13-2009, 03:47 AM   #7
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I have a version of that lens (I'm guessing now it's the Sigma) that I got about 9 years ago. For all the disparaging that it takes, it's been a good lens. I used it almost exclusively at the Presidential Inauguration in January, as well as for countless soccer and baseball games. It's a bit soft at the 300 end of course.

I now have the DA55-300 and I'm finding that the limitation of of that lens are similar to the Quantaray. However, the color seems to be better and I don't think I'm getting as much fringing. But what I do prefer with the DA is that it goes back to 55 rather than 70 which works well for me with soccer for the near side of the field.

I purchased the DA as replacement for the Quantaray because the latter was starting to experience some coating separation on one of rear internal elements. So it won't last as long as your average Takumar but you'll get your money's worth out of it for sure.
05-13-2009, 08:04 AM   #8
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I have the Sigma 70-300 which is probably the same lens. It is a good lens considering the price. I find the macro works pretty good, probably better than telephoto in that same zoom range. On the shorter end of the zoom range it is a very good lens. At 300 it is kind of soft, especially wide open. I am considering the 55-300 because it is much better as a telephoto but I will keep the Sigma anyhow because I have had very good results with the macro feature.

05-13-2009, 08:23 AM   #9
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Robert:

While I made it clear I did not like this lens' AF performance at times, especially while hunting, I should have also made it clear the lens offers tremendous value for the money. It sometimes gave me very nice shots--I too enjoyed its macro feature. Here it is @ f 5.6, with no post processing, just a Raw cropped and downsized. Dollar for dollar it is tough to beat!

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 09-25-2009 at 09:09 AM.
05-13-2009, 10:48 AM   #10
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I've got one of the Tamron-made versions of the Quantaray 70-300 as well (62mm filter, 180-300 macro range - those are, I believe, the quickest ways to tell).

I'd agree with everything said here. It's a pretty good lens in lots of ways. It's got pretty bad CA/PF issues in high contrast situations (eg, twigs against the sky) but not noticeable in "most" situations, and it's quite sharp. But I replaced mine with the DA50-200 shortly after the latter came out, for two main reasons: size & AF speed. I enjoy using the DA50-200 much more than the 70-300, so I barely use the latter any more. I did go through a period a month or so go of using it again when thinking about the possibilty of getting a longer telephoto lens for occasional birding use (an idea I still haven't completely abandoned). This pretty much confirmed my initial impressions: it's a fine lens, but not really as good as the 50-200, and the latter is just *much* smaller and focuses much faster. I'm not sure the 55-300 would improve so much on the 70-300 on either count, although by most accounts it's an even better lens optically (some find the opposite, though, so I'm sure it's close). The big advantage of the 55-300 over the 70-300 for me would be quick shift, to allow me to easily take over if the AF system decides to go hunting.

Really, though, I find MF more convenient than AF for birds (including birds in flight), at least when using a lens with a decent MF ring - which none of these zooms have. My M200/4 is my favorite lens for that purpose, but it's enough bigger & heavier than the 50-200 - and of course, not as flexible - that I'll still take the 50-200 with me more often.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 05-13-2009 at 03:51 PM.
05-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by res3567 Quote
Has anyone had any experience with lens?

Is the Pentax 55-300 better?

Does it have a good close focusing abilities?

Does it autofocus faster?
DA 55-300 has slow and loud AF (although, not louder than other long zooms driven by the built-in motor).

FA 70-200 seems faster:
YouTube - Pentax FA 70-200 AF speed (k10d)
EDIT: Here's DA 55-300 hunting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qQPyK0iEYw

DA 55-300's fine, if you're tracking objects traveling perpendicular to your line of sight. Here's a crop (not 100%) of a shot my wife took:


Last edited by asdf; 05-14-2009 at 02:25 AM.
05-13-2009, 07:46 PM   #12
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Here is a Macro shot of that lens.

Yea it is noisy, but combined with a K100D or a K20D, the Macro feature could be usefull indoors under tungsten lighting.

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05-13-2009, 11:11 PM   #13
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I got the exact same lens, it's a Tamron rebrand, It's slow in AF, specially in 180-300mm , so I only use it for telephoto still shot, I can't use it for any fast closeup moving shot. But for it's price, it's ok.
05-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by winglik Quote
I got the exact same lens, it's a Tamron rebrand, It's slow in AF, specially in 180-300mm , so I only use it for telephoto still shot, I can't use it for any fast closeup moving shot. But for it's price, it's ok.
Do you shoot macro?
05-14-2009, 07:42 PM   #15
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Yes, the Macro works well at f8 or higher, so limited to outdoor still shooting. AF is too slow with moving object. For telephoto macro, you might want to use with a tripod. You can search around here,there was older topic discussed about this lens under Tamron 70-300. I think most of these telephoto zoom lenses are slow in AF. Maybe a prime telephoto lens will have faster AF.
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