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04-18-2010, 07:27 PM   #1
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55-300 da vs da l

Is there any difference optically or is the difference only in the metal / plastic mount?

04-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #2
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From other posters, seem to be only the mount
04-18-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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And the DA-L lack the quick-shift focus and doesn't come with a lens hood.
04-18-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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No hood, plastic mount and most importantly, no Quick-Shift Focus.

Cosmetically, the DA got a metallic green belt line whereares the DA L got a silver one.

Optical fomula is the same according to other posts

04-18-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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What exactly is quick shift focus and what does it do?
04-18-2010, 09:06 PM   #6
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I believe that's a feature of the lens, when you're in AF mode. After the lens has auto-focused, you can fine-tune the focus afterward as if it were manual.
04-18-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
What exactly is quick shift focus and what does it do?
Quick-shift is a feature where you don't need to flip the AF/MF switch on the camera body in order to manually focus the lens. It's nifty, but irrelevant for the vast majority of users. If you lock focus with AF, chances are you won't be "fine tuning" it with MF. However, it can sometimes be quicker to do a real quick MF fist, then allow the AF to lock focus.

IMO, the biggie is the lack of a lens hood. The official lens hood is over $50, and I just can't tolerate the $8 rubber hoods.
04-18-2010, 10:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
Quick-shift is a feature where you don't need to flip the AF/MF switch on the camera body in order to manually focus the lens. It's nifty, but irrelevant for the vast majority of users. If you lock focus with AF, chances are you won't be "fine tuning" it with MF.
If that's all it was, I'd agree it wasn't that important. Although still useful to fix focus if the camera guess wrong about exactly where I want focus, or if I introduce a slight focus error via focus recompose. But for me, the *real* value of quick shift is that with the button on the back of the camera set to cancel AF, I can switch to manual focus mode with just a twitch of my thumb. And I do this all the time.

04-19-2010, 12:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
No hood, plastic mount and most importantly, no Quick-Shift Focus.

Cosmetically, the DA got a metallic green belt line whereares the DA L got a silver one.

Optical fomula is the same according to other posts
and no lens pouch for the L version either.
04-19-2010, 03:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
and no lens pouch for the L version either.
Yup, that too.
04-19-2010, 04:42 AM   #11
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The quick shift is really useful with this lens. There are all sorts of times when you are trying to capture a bird on a branch, etc that the camera focuses on the wrong thing. Rather than drop the camera into manual mode, you just tweak the focus a little one way or the other and then shoot. I use this all the time, even when shooting portraits. Often cameras choose the most contrasty thing close to the focus point and a little tweak makes the eyes come into focus where they would have been just out of focus otherwise. I find it annoying when I use my FA lens, because I go to do that and it isn't there.
04-19-2010, 06:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
Is there any difference optically or is the difference only in the metal / plastic mount?
I've just posted this in another thread but it's just as relevant here.

I have become very sceptical about lens tests. I have two copies of the 55-300. The first is the original, the second is the cheapo with the plastic mount, and came with my K-x.

They could be utterly different lenses. The original went back to Pentax because I wasn't happy with it above about 150mm - centering problems towards the edges at certain focal lengths and even the centre wasn't really up to snuff. They said buzz off - it's within spec.

The second still has some centering problems, but on different sides and at different zoom positions; but at least the centre is sharp throughout and the lens is thoroughly useable, if not ideal at longer zoom lengths for architecture and landscapes where the edges matter. It's excellent at the shorter end.

So I've come to the conclusion that due to sample variation all comparisons of consumer-level zooms are basically meaningless.

(Incidentally the M200/4 performs much more reliably across the frame than my original 55-300. Haven't tried it against the newer one. My 50-200 becomes unacceptable on one side as you get to 200, but up to about 150mm it's pretty good.)

So as far as my particular examples are concerned, the plastic-mount version is not inferior, even if you lose quick shift etc.
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