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01-14-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
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Larger Zoom For K-50

I am wanting a zoom for my K-50 that that has more reach than the 18-135. I am thinking about the HD DA 55-300 Pentax. Can anyone give me some advice? I was also looking at the Pentax SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM which is almost $900 more. Will I really notice a huge difference in wildlife photography, i.e., birds in flight? Any and all discussion is appreciated.

01-14-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by WVRICK Quote
I am wanting a zoom for my K-50 that that has more reach than the 18-135. I am thinking about the HD DA 55-300 Pentax. Can anyone give me some advice? I was also looking at the Pentax SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM which is almost $900 more. Will I really notice a huge difference in wildlife photography, i.e., birds in flight? Any and all discussion is appreciated.
We'll have a comparative review of those two lenses on the homepage in the next few days, so stay tuned for that! In general I'd say that yes, the price difference is justified. But the 55-300mm is already a great upgrade over the 18-135mm, so I'd recommend starting there if this is going to be your first tele lens.

The key difference between the HD and the SMC version of the 55-300mm lens is the weather sealing. The coatings have been upgraded, but they're not that big of a deal. You won't see any differences in bokeh, sharpness, etc.

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01-14-2014, 05:47 PM   #3
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Hey there. I don't have those two lenses to compare, but I would like to show you some resources you can use
There is the lens review database, with the entries for those lenses (along with some sample photos). DA 55-300mm and then the DA* 60-250mm
There are quite a few differences listed. The DA 55-300mm might be the best bang for buck tele zoom, but the * 60-250mm is in a higher tier.
Then there is also the sample gallery where you can search for photographs taken with a specific lens (or camera). So you can look at photos taken with one and the other.
01-14-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
We'll have a comparative review of those two lenses on the homepage in the next few days, so stay tuned for that! In general I'd say that yes, the price difference is justified. But the 55-300mm is already a great upgrade over the 18-135mm, so I'd recommend starting there if this is going to be your first tele lens.

The key difference between the HD and the SMC version of the 55-300mm lens is the weather sealing. The coatings have been upgraded, but they're not that big of a deal. You won't see any differences in bokeh, sharpness, etc.
Thanks for the advice. I got the 18-135 with the camera and the SMC DA 50 MM 1.8. I was thinking about buying the 55-300 and a HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro or just the 60-250 since that would be my budget right now.

01-14-2014, 05:53 PM   #5
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Thanks, I'll check the resources. I am leaning toward the 60-250 at this point.

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Hey there. I don't have those two lenses to compare, but I would like to show you some resources you can use
There is the lens review database, with the entries for those lenses (along with some sample photos). DA 55-300mm and then the DA* 60-250mm
There are quite a few differences listed. The DA 55-300mm might be the best bang for buck tele zoom, but the * 60-250mm is in a higher tier.
Then there is also the sample gallery where you can search for photographs taken with a specific lens (or camera). So you can look at photos taken with one and the other.
01-14-2014, 05:56 PM   #6
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Hi Rick, fellow WVian here also looking to eventually buy a longer lens. First thought for me was the HD 55-300, but the reviews for the 60-250 indicate a big increase in IQ for the price difference. For Adam: I'm out in the woods a lot, and if I go for the much more expensive 60-250, I'm wondering if I would miss not having the extra 50mm. It may not be a huge difference in reach. I'm still pondering.

Tony
01-14-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by WVRICK Quote
Will I really notice a huge difference in wildlife photography, i.e., birds in flight?
Short answer is yes. Both lenses are quite good in their price range. But they are not intended for the same market. 55-300 is small, light and not too expensive. Easy to always pack along in your bag. 60-250 is big, heavy, expensive and has excellent image quality. In good light the 55-300 will serve you well and is much easier to tote along, but the 60-250 is in a different class.
01-14-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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If you REALLY like long then the Sigma 150-500 HSM is great. Of course it's like having a thermos filled with coffee stuck on the front of your camera, well, is the thermos had clear ends and the coffee provided good IQ...

01-14-2014, 06:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for that jatrax. The better IQ sounds tempting, but since my walks often go 10+ miles, adding a huge lens to the K-30 may not be the best way to go.

Tony
01-14-2014, 06:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TonyTurley Quote
Hi Rick, fellow WVian here also looking to eventually buy a longer lens. First thought for me was the HD 55-300, but the reviews for the 60-250 indicate a big increase in IQ for the price difference. For Adam: I'm out in the woods a lot, and if I go for the much more expensive 60-250, I'm wondering if I would miss not having the extra 50mm. It may not be a huge difference in reach. I'm still pondering.

Tony
Hey Tony, I used to live in Morgantown. It seems like there are some trade offs between the lenses like size and weight versus image quality. I tend to think of camera bodies as replaceable but lenses are long term. Also, would I miss the extra 50 mm or prefer sharper images. Lots to consider.
01-14-2014, 06:38 PM   #11
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Agreed.
03-02-2014, 03:31 AM   #12
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Both lenses are good in their own right. I have the shorter 50-200WR and wanted to get the 55-300 but at that time there was no WR version. Now that it is out, I am really thinking of getting it for my son to use.

Personally I use the DA*16-50, DA*50-135 and the DA*200, but my son uses the D18-135 and 50-200. I would like to get the 55-300WR version once it is out in Singapore.

This thread has got me thinking, but I cannot afford the price of the DA*60-250 as it would cost too much in Singapore brand new.
03-02-2014, 08:15 AM   #13
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250-300mm is somewhat short out in the wild. You will likely be cropping a bit, so the 60-250 may be better for that reason.

You could a buy a used 150-500 and 35 macro for about the same price as a 60-250.
03-02-2014, 08:23 AM   #14
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I would second that 150-500.
03-02-2014, 05:40 PM   #15
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I did end up buying the HD 55-300 WR. Autofocus is noisy, but otherwise a fine lens. I'm starting to use it in MF mode more and more, because the AF does hunt at times, and I've lost some shots because the AF spooked my intended subject. Wish the focus ring was a bit wider, but c'est la vie.
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