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12-18-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
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Keep my 55-300mm kit DA L?

After months on dpreview.com I switched and have been lurking on this site for several weeks. I started at dpreview to get a sense of which entry level (w/room to grow) dslr would suit my purposes. Once I settled on the K-x (after battery issue was resolved) I basically devoted my research to this site.

So today I made the leap, my first Pentax purhase since my Spotmatic w/Super Takumar 1.8/55 in high school, circa 1970.

Enough background.

I purchased the K-x with the 18-55 DA L and 55-300 DA L. Good deal at Amazon these days!! I am having trouble deciding whether to sell the 55-300 zoom and get a Tamron zoom.....either the:

70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens for Pentax AF
75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF

I understand the Pentax kit "L" version is a cheapened version of the regular DA.

Could somebody help differentiate the two Tamrons and tell me if it would make sense to replace the Pentax DA L. I like the idea that the Tamrons come with a 6 yr USA warranty. They seem to get very positive reviews at the B&H photo site with people mentioning good build quality.

Thanks in advance. This site has been a tremendous resource.

12-19-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
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The Pentax zoom is better than either the Tamron or Sigma alternaives, for shapness and chromatic aberrations and purple fringing. If I owned it I would see no reason at all to replace it. It's an excellent lens.
12-19-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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Keep the 55-300mm. The best (and much more expensive) replacements for it would be:

Tamron 70-200 f2.8 plus 1.4 or 1.5x teleconverter

Sigma 70-200 f2.8 plus 1.4x teleconverter

Sigma 100-300mm f4
12-19-2009, 07:49 AM   #4
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Sell the 55-300mm to me!

Ok just kidding..
It is true that the Pentax L version is the cheapened version, just like.. I mean unlike Canon L Lens..
But the optical part is exactly the same like the actual 55-300mm, which is on similar level, or even better, than the tamron 70-300mm, both version.

Pentax cut the cost by, as far as I know, removing the quick-shift and replacing the mount and some other part to cheaper plastic. But, optical quality should be still the same.

In fact, I'm planning to get upgrade from my old *istDS and I'm really really considering getting K-x double lens kit bundle (my previous plan was to get a used k20d, cheaper and more features), because I also want the 55-300mm and the real 55-300mm version is out of my budget. I don't mind plastic mount and lost of quick shift.

So, I wouldn't advice you to sell and upgrade to the Tamron. You might as well upgrade to faster, fixed aperture lens like Sigma 100-300mm F4, for example.

12-19-2009, 07:54 AM   #5
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I've got the 70-300, and while a good lens for its price, the AF is quite slow, large amounts of purple fringing in high contrast situations, and it is quite weak at the long end. The build quality isn't bad for a USD$ ~100-150 lens, but I don't think it is better than the DA.

A couple of things should be noted, however, the Tamron has a metal mount and the "macro mode" allows 1:2 magnification, which is quite useable. The plastic mount will most likelylast quite some years even with heavy use, and if you want to play with higher magnifications, get yourself a Raynox close-up filter.
12-19-2009, 09:49 AM   #6
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Overall, I do not really understand your reasoning. The 2 lens kit is at a wonderful price point, providing a substantial discount to the lenses. Yet, you are considering selling off both lenses. The Kit lens, even with the plastic mount is very serviceable and will perform well. In time, you might replace it with maybe a faster lens, or WR or whatever - but this is aimed at a particular functionality.

The 55-300 is really a very good lens. Again your selection alternatives offer nothing superior to your present lens. Going to a faster lens or something with a longer reach is a reason, but trading to your indicated alternatives is somewhat trading down - at least in my opinion.
12-19-2009, 11:55 AM   #7
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If you ever want to sell your 55-300mm DA-L for cheap, please PM me. And I have my purple monster Tamron 70-300mm Di LD 1:2 Macro if you ever want to trade.

Read everyone's comment in detail. Your DA-L 55-300mm is the best option to keep.

Hin
12-19-2009, 12:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dzn465 Quote
After months on dpreview.com I switched and have been lurking on this site for several weeks. I started at dpreview to get a sense of which entry level (w/room to grow) dslr would suit my purposes. Once I settled on the K-x (after battery issue was resolved) I basically devoted my research to this site.

So today I made the leap, my first Pentax purhase since my Spotmatic w/Super Takumar 1.8/55 in high school, circa 1970.

Enough background.

I purchased the K-x with the 18-55 DA L and 55-300 DA L. Good deal at Amazon these days!! I am having trouble deciding whether to sell the 55-300 zoom and get a Tamron zoom.....either the:

70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens for Pentax AF
75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF

I understand the Pentax kit "L" version is a cheapened version of the regular DA.

Could somebody help differentiate the two Tamrons and tell me if it would make sense to replace the Pentax DA L. I like the idea that the Tamrons come with a 6 yr USA warranty. They seem to get very positive reviews at the B&H photo site with people mentioning good build quality.

Thanks in advance. This site has been a tremendous resource.
replacing your 55-300L with those lenses is like downgrading. if you want a significant upgrade, you need to get something like a zoom with a constant aperture or a prime with a constant aperture which don't come cheap.

mind you that buying those 2 Tamron lenses just because it has a macro capability feature, doesn't really give a real 1:1 magnification ratio but rather a 1:2. if you want to shoot macro, you'd be better off with a real prime macro lenses or get an add-on diopter lens that you could attach to your 55-300 for doing macros with a magnification of 1:1 or more.

12-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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I think responders have been pretty unanimous in their opinions. I am pretty new to this and just thought that build quality and warranty may have swayed people. I will keep the the Pentax zoom and look forward to using it and learning more about its capabilities and limitations. Should be fun.
12-19-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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Warranty, schmarranty. Aside from SDM (not an issue with any of these lenses), a lens doesn't tend to go bad after the first year - it either works or it doesn't. As for build quality, I'd call them all similar. Sure, the 55-300 L has a plastic mount, but as for losing quick shift, the other lenses never had it in the first place, so you aren't gaining anything by going with a non-pentax lens. And aside form the one issue of the mount, really, there's all rpetty similar in overall build. Absolutely no way does the metal mount on those other lenses trump the better IQ of the Pentax.
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