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02-12-2014, 03:58 PM   #16
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+1 for the DAL 55-300, great lens, love mine. I use it for birding and sports

02-13-2014, 07:34 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by geezer52 Quote
The Pentax 55-300 (any version) is certainly a good lens as far as image quality goes. However I find the lens frustraing when it comes to shooting any kind of action. I find the lens tends to focus hunt and it when it does it is slow to cycle thru the entire range. I have much better luck with two Sigma lenses. The Sigma 70-300 APO macro is actually pretty good and maintains center image sharpness well all the way out. I find it focus hunts much less and if it does cycles thru the range much quicker. The macro is actually a close focus feature that is OK and occasionally quite useful. The other lens is the Sigma 55-200 w/ AF & OS. I have two copies of this lens, one bought new the other bought refurbed from Sigma website. With both copies I have been very surprised and pleased at how sharp and crisp the images have been. Focus can be a little slow sometimes but it rarely hunts. Just checked the Sigma website and a refurbished copy of this lens is now $119. At that price I'm tempted to buy a 3rd copy just to have it on hand because I use mine alot in dusty conditions.

FYI - I shoot the original K5, usually AV priority at F5.6-F8
I had this lens but it bit the dust after several years of use actually it was the auto focus that quit. One thing I liked about this lens was that the Micro setting could be used for portraiture as long as the light was good.

Here's an example taken with a Pentax k200D in 2010 with the lens micro switch on. The bokeh isn't the best but in this instance it served its purpose which was to hide the junk and dirty snow behind her.

Not bad for a cheap lens. My Granddaughter Emily

02-16-2014, 02:38 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I just remember to press the lens release button with my right ring finger.
+1 - And my DAL lens isn't so loose in the mount that it turns when I turn the focusing ring.

Using only AF works when the subject isn't surrounded by high contrast distractions. But for subjects like birds or squirrels surrounded by twigs, I use AF to get focus reasonably close, push the lens release button and make a small adjustment with the focus ring. For sure the lens isn't going to fall out of the mount using this procedure.

Would I like to have either the DA or WR version? Sure. But for the $100 difference in price when I purchased my DAL version, I was able to purchase an identical 3rd party hood for something like US$12 and pay myself about $90 to press the lens release button when necessary. I could care less about the all metal mount. Any impact strong enough to damage the plastic mount would also likely damage the metal mount versions of this lens in some way.
02-17-2014, 08:02 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
It's pretty hard to miss that the lens won't turn easily.
I got my first lens without quickshift, FA 77, and I see what you mean. Yeah it would be pretty hard to screw that up but it is kind of ironic that this doesn't have QS because the manual focusing on this is so much better than it is on DA series lenses and the focusing is a bit slower which would make QS so much more appealing since it could be a lot more effective at getting perfect focus or at prefocusing when a big change in focus happens before letting the AF system take over.

02-17-2014, 08:44 AM   #20
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Even though I didn't quite like it originally, the Pentax DA50-200 WR is slowly growing on me. It's compact, light, has weather seals and also has quick-shift focus. It can be pretty sharp, even wide open, stopped down it actually quite good. And it's cheap too. I bought mine for about $100. It can feel a bit cheap at times, there is a bit of a wobble when fully extended but for the price and how sharp it can be, to me it's a pretty good choice.

Here's an example, fairly low light, ISO800, 1/45 shutter, -1 EV, 67.5mm at f/4.5 (wide open) using a K-r
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02-17-2014, 09:15 AM - 1 Like   #21
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I think Pentax/Ricoh has pretty good inexpensive lenses, and much better expensive lenses. The only lens I have that does not have both AF and Quick Shift is the DA-L 55-300. It's optically quite good for the price, but I really miss the ability to turn the focus ring without turning off AF. Every other lens I use is either manual focus or equipped with QS, so I really notice the difference. I'll see how She Who Must Be Obeyed feels later this year and trade up to the DA 55-300 WR.
02-17-2014, 05:30 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Purevulcan Quote
Im wondering what the best consumer zoom ~$200, starting at around 50 or 60mm and anywhere from 150 to 200mm at the telephoto end.
For that price point you might start off finding some of the older Pentax SMC-F or FA lenses. Quite a few of them have great color and very decent sharpness. Look in Gear Database. YOu can usually find these on Ebay. Another good place to find them is at KEH under 35mm Pentax autofocus.
02-17-2014, 09:08 PM   #23
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I think I got my F 80-200 for about $35 on eBay.

02-17-2014, 09:15 PM   #24
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I was surprised at how well my F70-210 does. It's much sharper than I figured and can be had cheap.
02-17-2014, 10:35 PM   #25
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The A 70-210/4 is also rather good, and has f/4 all the way to 210mm, which can be an advantage compared to the F 70-210 which is f/5.6 at 210mm. That gives one more stop of shutter speed. The tradeoff is that it is a manual focus lens. My daughter is using my cast off one on her K200D and likes it quite a bit, particularly for closeups of flowers and the like: 1:3 at 70mm.
02-17-2014, 10:41 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
You would need to crank it pretty hard but I suppose you could do damage.
Yep, but that does not stop people from doing it. I caught my daughter really cranking the manual focus on her Tamron 28-200 one day. Noooooo!


Steve
02-17-2014, 11:13 PM   #27
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+1 for DA/DAL 55-300mm. Nice sharp image with good subject isolation wide open. I would just add a bit sharpening in post.
02-18-2014, 02:41 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgaudet Quote
Even though I didn't quite like it originally, the Pentax DA50-200 WR is slowly growing on me. It's compact, light, has weather seals and also has quick-shift focus. It can be pretty sharp, even wide open, stopped down it actually quite good. And it's cheap too.
You know, I sold off my DA-L 50-200 recently and I thought I wouldn't miss it much because I have a DA 55-300. But there are definitely reasons for owning the 50-200 for the positive attributes that you mentioned, particularly the compact size and light weight. Not that the 55-300 is a huge beast but it is certainly larger than 50-200 and can't be nearly as easily tossed into a camera bag. I'm seriously thinking of acquiring a DA 50-200 WR if there is a cheap one for sale someday...
02-19-2014, 05:07 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The A 70-210/4 is also rather good, and has f/4 all the way to 210mm, which can be an advantage compared to the F 70-210 which is f/5.6 at 210mm. That gives one more stop of shutter speed. The tradeoff is that it is a manual focus lens.
To my mind, the big advantage of that extra stop is the extra brightness you get in the viewfinder. I don't think I ever shoot any of my lenses wide open, but having a nice bright viewfinder is what draws me to a fast lens.

I guess the other tradeoff of the A lens would be that you have to manually enter the focal length if you're using the SR. Doable, but limiting in some situations. I'd much prefer the build of an A series zoom over the F, especially WRT the focus ring. I own the F 70-210, and I don't like the dim view through the viewfinder and the crap focus ring. But it's nice to NOT have to enter the focal length.

One thing to be careful of is that I don't think all the A series 70-210/f4 lenses are created equal. I think there are some "Takumar-A" versions whose coatings aren't up to the usual Pentax standards. I played around with one once, and it was very prone to flare - bright scenes were often washed out.
02-19-2014, 05:38 AM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
You know, I sold off my DA-L 50-200 recently and I thought I wouldn't miss it much because I have a DA 55-300. But there are definitely reasons for owning the 50-200 for the positive attributes that you mentioned, particularly the compact size and light weight. Not that the 55-300 is a huge beast but it is certainly larger than 50-200 and can't be nearly as easily tossed into a camera bag. I'm seriously thinking of acquiring a DA 50-200 WR if there is a cheap one for sale someday...
I have both the SMC DA55-300 and the DA 50-200 WR. Image quality wise there is not that much difference between the two. There is however a considerable difference in size and weight, especially when fully extended and with the hood on. Whenever I travel I end up taking the DA50-200 WR (and the DA18-55 WR and a DA21) - the prospect of dragging the DA55-300 along across some sweaty hot city just to get that extra reach puts me off. It depends on whether you like big lenses or not, I don't. The DA50-200 WR can be picked up quite cheap new or used. If you do get a good one don't put a UV filter on it and use the hood - it does make a difference.



Last edited by kh1234567890; 02-19-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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