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Tulips and more (55-300mm PLM)
Lens: DA55-300mm PLM Camera: KP 
Posted By: newmikey, 05-03-2020, 09:18 AM

So, a first day with the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE and I noted initial thoughts in the lens review section as well. All in all I find the lens an extremely good buy. Not because it has absolute star-quality sharpness (it doesn't stand a chance at 135mm against my DA*50-135mm, or at 190mm against the 50-135 with the HD1.4x converter). Also not because of its wide aperture range (reasonably speaking there is a very small "window of opportunity" between f8 and f13 where this lens is at its best). Not even because of its zoom "lock' which prevents zoom creep (but I keep forgetting to unlock it when shooting).

Not, this is a very good lens in terms of bang for your buck when you do not often need the 200-300mm range but want to have something in the bag just for those incidents when you need the range. This is also an awesome lens when out and about because of its diminutive form factor and light weight on an equally compact APS-C body such as the KP or K-70. It is an outstanding lens in terms of color rendition (although I tend to ignore OOC jpegs anyway). And what surprised me most is its bokeh quality and foreground separation and depth - they can even be called outstanding. The lens also does not have the same fatal murky and muddy contrast above 200mm that both my FAJ75-300 and the Tammy 70-300 suffered from, It "sparkles" for lack of a better word.

All in all, I'm quite sure the lens will not stand up to either the 60-250 or the newer DFA telezooms and it also offers a very restrictive aperture range at full zoom extension (forcing some high-ISO trade-offs) but it does fit a niche for me in terms of cost versus IQ and opportunity. Here's a few of today's shots. The ones without EXIF were actually multiple handheld exposures blended in Photomatix for Linux, the others straight raws converted with Darktable and Gimp.

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55-300mm, aperture, bing, camera, flickr, lens, mike, photo, plm, range, terms
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