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03-10-2010, 06:53 PM   #1
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DA 50-200mm Versus DA 55-300mm

This is going to be my first telezoom lens. Now I have a bigger decision, between a 50-200mm and a 55-300mm DA.

Do I really need the extra 201-300mm? What situations would I need the 201-300mm? and is it going to be hard to hold steady at 201mm or more?

Side question : Suggestions for a PENTAX macro lens? (is there such thing? if not is there a suggestion for one?)

03-10-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
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No comparison.

I have a very good copy of the 55-300 and picked up a 50-200 WR for beach shots. I found the difference in IQ between the two lenses more than I could stomach and after a month returned it to Adorama for a refund. YMMV.

If you have the funds and don't need WR I recommend skipping the 50-200 and going straight to the 55-300 for the quality as well as the reach.

If you can shoot steady at 200mm then I would wager that 300mm will be a piece of cake. The SR in your camera does a good job of seeing to that.

Pentax does indeed manufacture macro lenses. Check the Lens review section to see what people think of them versus the 3rd party selection.
03-10-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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I sold my 50~200 and bought the 55~300. The 200 is a great value, saturated colors and sharp enough in bright sunlight, but the 55~300 is generally thought a better all-around lens. My opinion is

  1. I don't need the extra reach - except when I need it
  2. +1 for all the positive comments in the Reviews linked below
PentaxForums Lens Reviews


DA 55~300

Yes, Pentax has Macro lenses in all the various series. Click the link and scan the related links for the spec.s, and read the reviews here. They are generally quite good lenses. The FA50/2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses ever made by anyone. People hunt for the A* and FA* 200 Macros literally for lifetimes.

Normal Primes

Short Telephoto Primes

Telephoto Primes
03-10-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
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If you don't use tripod, and handle the camera and lens, I recommend you 50-200, it is really in light weight

03-10-2010, 10:03 PM   #5
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Bought 55-300 to replace the 50-200 and Sigma 70-300 APO. 55-300 is much better than either.
03-26-2010, 06:20 AM   #6
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I own both lenses, and I have been trying to decide which to bring for traveling. The 50-200 is half the size of the 55-300, but the 55-300 has more range. The 55-300 has slightly better IQ, which is more noticeable if you are taking a scene at longer lengths that needs to be sharp from corner to corner--that does not actually happen too often in my shots.

As I was trying to make up my mind, I came across this shot taken with the K10d/50-200 at 200 (f:6.7), 100% center crop of the shot below. If the subject is around the center, you really don't lose much with the smaller lens--except a good deal of size and weight. This is not an easy choice for someone who likes to travel light.
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