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09-26-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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DA 50-200mm or DA 55-300mm?

I have the DA 50-200 ED.
I have the opportunity to sell it and get the DA 55-300 ED.

Would I be losing anything (lens wise) by this deal?

I know I would gain 100mm of zoom, but how does the 55-200 part of the DA55-300 zoom compare to the same range on the DA50-200 ? Any better or worse?

09-26-2009, 12:57 PM   #2
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A well discussed topic.
Most people would agree that the 55-300 is a significant improvement on all other consumer telezooms, including the 50-200. Couldn't speak for the new 50-200 WR, though (not sure if it's optically the same as the first 50-200).

In any case, I can't think of anything you would 'lose' by trading in your 50-200 for the 55-300.
09-26-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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I haven't heard anyone claim the 50-200 beats the 55-300 at any focal length or aperture. Only thing you'd be losing is a few dollars and a little space in the bag, since the 55-300 is a bit bigger (and heavier). Maybe AF isn't quite as quick since the screw has to drive more glass?
09-26-2009, 04:11 PM   #4
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I sold my DA 50-200mm soon after I acquired the DA 55-300mm. I have never regretted selling the 50-200mm. The 55-300mm is definitely sharper and gives better color compared to the 50-200mm.

09-26-2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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i haven't tried the 55-300, but i'm guessing its better by enough to justify the added cost. i kept my 50-200 for about a month before selling it
09-26-2009, 04:34 PM   #6
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I bought the 50-200 first, and was quite happy with it. I decided to keep it when I got the 55-300, since there is a noticeable size and weight difference. I'm thinking for urban travel, at times when I do want a zoom, 200 will be long enough, and I'll appreciate the smaller size.
09-26-2009, 04:49 PM   #7
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When I pack the DA 55-300mm it's because I want something compact and light.
09-26-2009, 05:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by johngs Quote
.........but how does the 55-200 part of the DA55-300 zoom compare to the same range on the DA50-200 ?
You gain ~ 1/2 - 1 f-stop (depending on how well you believe the lens/camera handshake
The 50-200 is f5.6 at 200mm
The 55-300 is f4.5 at 190/200mm (as shown by my k200d info). At 210mm and above it shows f5.6
It doesn't show f5.8 until ~ 260mm
You also gain weight:
DA 50-200 306g
DA 55-300 484g

For size comparison: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/68884-da-50-20...m-comparo.html

Bottom line for me - I sold the 50-200 to get the 55-300. However, for me it was because I have the A70-210 f4

09-26-2009, 06:18 PM   #9
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Sold 50-200 and bought 55-300

Very happy with the extra reach. Picture quality is about the same however.

See samples (K20D, Tripod, Pipeline, Oahu):

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3012/3087273623_155694e6c5_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3239/3070585688_f27b88bcd1_o.jpg
09-26-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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I haven't had the opportunity to own a DA 50-200 but was able to test it nonetheless. IQ is fine but not excellent for my taste, focus quite faster due to shorter fl and lighter. on the otherhand, the DA55-300 is a bit longer and a bit heavy. it is also slower to focus due to the longer focus throw and more expensive than the 50-200. but it has an IQ that is way better than 50-200. excellent performer under daylight, use with external flash at night concerts and it would produce excellent results. the price is a steal if we are talking about optical performance. the cheaper build (though the zoom ring is tight and firm) and mediocre aperture speed kept the price at an affordable level. otherwise it could had been more expensive. don't let the added weight fool you. it is still light and handy and is only about 1/2 or 1/3 the weight of other telephoto zooms.

overall, if I want to bring one lens to cover most types of photography, I would bring this one for it's versatility and IQ. of course, a prime will always be my first love.
09-27-2009, 02:38 AM   #11
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I have still to receive my K20 with 18-55 ( i have alrady a 35-80 and a 50 a 1.7 ) but i already think about a telezoom.

Unfortunatly i still haven't found a review of a good copy of the 55-300, the only one i have found is on photozone ( Pentax SMC DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED - Review / Test Report ) but they say the lens had a centering defect ( and if happens to a people that bought one, what he can do??? ) so it's quite pointless.

For the 50-200, i have found out slrgear review, and the result doesn't seem that good for me, especially near 50mm in the corners... ( Pentax Lens: Zooms - Pentax 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED SMC P-DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com! and also confirmed by Pentax SMC-DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED - Review / Test Report ).

I would shot far and quite big subjects ( especially trains ), let's say not nearer than 20 meters, and i would care about good resolution even in borders.

Actually, in my country they sell the 50-200 in the 150-240 ( the difference is huge! ) range, and the 55-300 in the 290-370 range.

I have also seen a Sigma 50-200 dc 4-5.6 ( rated quite well in terms of sharpness on photozone with canon at Sigma AF 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC - Lab Test Report / Review but for example has a rotating front element ) for about 150, and a new Sigma 50-200 with internal autofocus motor and internal optical stabilizer ( who cares? i have already it, but the version without os and only hsm is only for nikon... ) for about 290 ( no review, Sigma - Lenses ).
09-27-2009, 03:21 AM   #12
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Pop photo reviewed the 55-300 awhile back (Pentax - Lens Review from Experts at Popular Photography- Photo Tips). They liked it optically, although they did comment on the slow auto focus.

I think it's pretty good for what it is -- a consumer zoom. I don't think you'll find anyone selling their DA *60-250 or DA* 300 to get one, but stopped down a little bit, it's pretty sharp. Just remember, you'll easily pay 3 to 4 times as much to move up to a Da* lens with similar reach.
09-27-2009, 04:08 AM   #13
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Thank you Rondec, but the Pop Photo page is not what i'd call a review, it lacks real data.

By the way, now i have a Canon 70-210 F4 fd manual focus and i still use slides. A cheap 50-150 or even 50-135 F4 would interest me, but i doubt anyone will sell such a lens ( yes, there is the 50-135 2.8, but it costs too much for me ). And the 55-300, as far as i have understood, should be an f4.5 in the 55-135 range ( still, i haven't seen a site with such aperture datas ) so quite comparable with the lens i use now.
09-27-2009, 11:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ggc Quote
I have still to receive my K20 with 18-55 ( i have alrady a 35-80 and a 50 a 1.7 ) but i already think about a telezoom.

Unfortunatly i still haven't found a review of a good copy of the 55-300, the only one i have found is on photozone ( Pentax SMC DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED - Review / Test Report ) but they say the lens had a centering defect ( and if happens to a people that bought one, what he can do??? ) so it's quite pointless.

For the 50-200, i have found out slrgear review, and the result doesn't seem that good for me, especially near 50mm in the corners... ( Pentax Lens: Zooms - Pentax 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED SMC P-DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com! and also confirmed by Pentax SMC-DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED - Review / Test Report ).

I would shot far and quite big subjects ( especially trains ), let's say not nearer than 20 meters, and i would care about good resolution even in borders.

Actually, in my country they sell the 50-200 in the 150-240 ( the difference is huge! ) range, and the 55-300 in the 290-370 range.

I have also seen a Sigma 50-200 dc 4-5.6 ( rated quite well in terms of sharpness on photozone with canon at Sigma AF 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC - Lab Test Report / Review but for example has a rotating front element ) for about 150, and a new Sigma 50-200 with internal autofocus motor and internal optical stabilizer ( who cares? i have already it, but the version without os and only hsm is only for nikon... ) for about 290 ( no review, Sigma - Lenses ).
do not concern yourself too much on the reviews. reviews can be insufficient. what is more important is the actual or real world results coming from the photographers themselves. online reviews can be helpful, but personal reviews or experiences of the lens by users is a must if you want to have confidence with your buy rather than gambling or betting it on a few online reviews. AFAIK, there hasn't been a significant problem or complaint regarding the IQ of the 55-300, except for a possible defective lens (center defect as you've mentioned) used by the reviewer? this is one of the pitfalls of first time buyers who haven't tested the lens personally. before you do or make your conclusion, you can test the lens personally. or you may check out some of the photos, and read the recommendations and word of mouth said by the lens users here themselves. I'm sure that you would see nothing but admiration and the lens doesn't have a significant or real problem with the lens. if you could see or pinpoint out the so-called defects of the 55-300 photo results, then it is really pointless to have it. otherwise, a non-existent problem shouldn't be a cause for you not to purchase the lens unless you are justifying your reasons not to buy it.
09-27-2009, 11:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ggc Quote
Thank you Rondec, but the Pop Photo page is not what i'd call a review, it lacks real data.

By the way, now i have a Canon 70-210 F4 fd manual focus and i still use slides. A cheap 50-150 or even 50-135 F4 would interest me, but i doubt anyone will sell such a lens ( yes, there is the 50-135 2.8, but it costs too much for me ). And the 55-300, as far as i have understood, should be an f4.5 in the 55-135 range ( still, i haven't seen a site with such aperture datas ) so quite comparable with the lens i use now.
I guess I would just take a look at real world photos -- Pentax photo gallery or p base and see if it looks like it fits with what you want to shoot. I haven't heard a lot of negatives on this lens. Sigma makes a 100-300 f4 zoom, but it is huge and costs over 1000 dollars. Sounds to me like the 55-300 may be the best you can get in that price range.
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