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08-10-2013, 10:11 PM   #1
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dal 55-300 or da 55-300

I,m using k5iis with da 18-55wr now. I,m considering to buy a 55-300 lens. And now, I,m stuck in buying a dal55-300 or da 55-300.
I do not know how big the different is among them. the only difference i know is that the price is very different. Is there any one who can give me some advices? Or someone who has used both of them can post some pics here, I,ll appreciated.

08-10-2013, 10:25 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Optically they are identical.

The DA version has quick shift, metal mount and should come a hood. The DAL version has no quick shift, a plastic mount and no hood.

DAL is the budget version. If you can get the DA version the quick shift is very nice to have otherwise no real difference.
08-10-2013, 11:56 PM   #3
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Hi chrisan,

You can overcome the lack of included hood for the DA L model by buying a 3rd party hood which is very close if not an exact replica of the OEM hood for under $6 USD.

Amazon.com: Portable PH-RBG 58mm Lens Hood For Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 ED: Camera & Photo

My choice would be the DA version though because of the Quick Shift focusing. There are two significant advantages with this feature. The more obvious is that you can tweak critical focus after the AF system has locked by simply turning the focus ring to your satisfaction. The less obvious, but possibly more useful aspect of this feature is that you can manually prefocus the lens close to the target distance before activation AF. This makes a focus lock faster and significantly easier for the AF system in low light. If you've ever had a your camera just rack back and forth without being able to lock focus in low light, you know how frustrating that can be. Prefocusing can be accomplished with a lens with no QS feature by either turning the switch on the camera to MF or by pressing and holding the lens release button while manual focusing, but QS is quite significantly more convenient.

Both lenses are excellent for their class, and you won't be regretting getting either. I now have 9 lenses that cover 300mm, with some of them being very rare and expensive. The DA 55-300 is the latest acquired and often gets the call because of its size, light weight, and excellent performance.

Scott
08-11-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
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I've used the DAL for several years and can confirm that it is a good lens and I have noticed no problems with it. But yeah, if you have the funds, spending a little extra for the additional features of the DA version is probably a good investment.

08-11-2013, 01:04 AM   #5
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Couldn't afford the DA so opted for the DAL in spite of the plastic mount.
Happy with the optics (it does f/focus a little but that's fixed in the K-7 AF adjustment setup), still a bit nervous of the plastic mount but no problems so far.
QS isn't an issue for me personally.
08-11-2013, 02:03 AM   #6
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I have a DAL and can confirm that it is still very rugged despite not having a metal mount. My K-x with the DAL on took a fall on to concrete nearly 2 years ago and amazingly no ill effects! Still use it quite a bit.
08-11-2013, 03:36 AM   #7
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You really should consider using the K-5 IIs with better lenses. In particular, the 18-55 should probably be upgraded to something like a DA16-45 (or DA17-70), at a minimum.

The 55-300 is a (not great, but still) very good lens, especially for the price. I'd suggest saving money by getting the DAL version of the 55-300, and applying the savings to upgrading the 18-55.


Alternately, you might just pick up a DA35/2.4 (less than $200 new right now!) to get a flavor for what a better quality lens can do for you.
08-11-2013, 06:28 AM   #8
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Choose DAL if in the future you'll be upgrading to DA* 60-250. Choose DA if you don't want upgrade. Quick shift is important (this lens fucus hunt at long end and when low light).


Last edited by lumbangorat_16; 08-11-2013 at 10:07 AM.
08-11-2013, 06:49 AM   #9
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After more than two years with the DAL 55-300 I'm more than happy with it. As everyone has said there are advantages like quick shift and metal mount but I've made do without it. I like what lumbangorat_16 says so take that advice. For the price and size it really can't be beat.
08-11-2013, 08:16 AM   #10
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agree with you. i'm considering to buy a 16-50 to replace the 18-55. don't really know if this one is better than 16-45, but i like the price of 16-45. someone said i really need to buy a good one for my K5 IIs. Maybe i will buy a second hand one.
QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
You really should consider using the K-5 IIs with better lenses. In particular, the 18-55 should probably be upgraded to something like a DA16-45 (or DA17-70), at a minimum.

The 55-300 is a (not great, but still) very good lens, especially for the price. I'd suggest saving money by getting the DAL version of the 55-300, and applying the savings to upgrading the 18-55.


Alternately, you might just pick up a DA35/2.4 (less than $200 new right now!) to get a flavor for what a better quality lens can do for you.
08-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #11
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tks, i think i wouldn't upgrade to DA* 60-250, since it's not long enough for me, as 300 is just fine for me. Thinking about if Pentax has any long lens just like the Canon white one (70-200, 70-300).
QuoteOriginally posted by lumbangorat_16 Quote
Choose DAL if in the future you'll be upgrade to DA* 60-250. Choose DA if you don't want upgrade. Quick shift its important (this lens fucus hunt at long end and when low light).
08-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #12
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I'm surprised no one mentioned this thread about a broken DAL 55-300mm plastic lens mount.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-30/232711-broken-lens-mount.html

08-11-2013, 12:42 PM   #13
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I'm surprised that no one mentioned centuries old saying :"You get what you pay for"
08-11-2013, 06:18 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I'm still of the opinion that any abuse strong enough to break the DA L plastic mount is also likely enough to damage other internal components - and other than quick shift, the rest of the DA L and DA models are the same.

I have the DA L version. A quick substitute for quick shift is to either move the AF switch to MF, or simply temporarily press the lens release button while turning the lens' focus ring. Either technique disengages the screw drive while focusing manually. Since your left hand is on the focus ring when you press the release button, even if you DID accidentally turn the whole lens in the mount, it is in your left hand. Plus, I'd like to think I would notice if I was turning the whole lens in the mount.
08-11-2013, 07:49 PM   #15
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I'd say buy the dal used for less than 200, try it it really bugs you to miss any feature it doesn't have. Then resell it for almost the same amount and try the da.
Chances are you'll keep it if you use it or may even find out you don't really use it and be glad you only have bought the dal.
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