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01-25-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
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55-300mm vs. 18-250mm vs. 70-300mm

Looking at the new lens lineup:

5 New Pentax Lenses - PhotographyBLOG

I'm puzzled by the $400 price for the 55-300mm lens. Why is it so expensive relative to the, in my opinion, much more versatile 18-250mm ($500) and the various very inexpensive 70-300mm lenses from Sigma and Tamron and Pentax's own 50-200mm offering? It doesn't seem to offer special features, such as SDM, and is quite a bit longer and bulkier than any of these other lenses. So what gives?

Is anyone planning to buy the 55-300?

01-25-2008, 12:29 PM   #2
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I would say that due to the reduced zoom range of the 55-300 over the 18-250, and possibly better optics, it commands a premium price. the 18-250 is in essence a tamron lens with pentax coatings, but the 55-300 seems to be a Pentax own model. It will be interesting to see how it compares with the Sigma 70-300 and the Sigma 70-300 APO lens which are very reasonably priced. It will be interesting.

Oh BTW I see you are a fellow manc, are you interested in a mini shoot at some point?
01-25-2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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55-300 is a heavier and larger beast.
To me, this suggests more glass and better optical quality. I think it is that simple.

Tim

EDIT: Typo

Last edited by Fototim; 01-25-2008 at 02:25 PM.
01-25-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Fototim Quote
55-300 is a heavier and larger breast.
To me, this suggests more glass and better optical quality. I think it is that simple.

Tim
More optical quality maybe, but not more glass:

Pentax 55-300mm 12 elements in 8 groups
Tamron 70-300mm 13 elements in 9 groups
Pentax 18-250mm 16 elements in 13 groups
Pentax 50-200mm 11 elements in 10 groups

01-25-2008, 01:55 PM   #5
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My bet is that it will not be priced anywhere near what the MSRP is.
01-25-2008, 02:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fototim Quote
55-300 is a heavier and larger breast.
To me, this suggests more glass and better optical quality. I think it is that simple.

Tim
Larger breasts? I guess I better start saving up.
01-25-2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogger Quote
Larger breasts? I guess I better start saving up.
LOL

Tim Typo
01-25-2008, 02:30 PM   #8
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It'll sell for $349 when it hits the market. At least thats what my slaes guide says

01-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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This is another Pentax lens decision I don't understand. If I wanted an "all-in-one" lens and were willing to forego the wider angle of the 18-250 in favor of some additional telephoto length, I wouldn't be looking at a 55-300 for $400 (or $349) for that matter. I'd simply buy the Tamron 28-300 XR Di (about $380). Although it is a "full frame" lens, it is almost the same size as the 18-250, gives you the same telephoto length as the 55-300, and much better coverage on the wide angle side (42mm equivalent as opposed to 82mm equivalent). And, I'd wager that the overall image quality won't prove to be a whole lot different. I believe that a major benefit of these all-in-one lenses is that you don't need to change lenses so often, which cuts down the chance of getting dust on the sensor. It makes sense to have such a lens extend into wide angle territory, as much as possible. If you have a strictly telephoto zoom, it should have a serious telephoto length. For me, Pentax needs to get a longer telephoto zoom into the market; a clone of the Tokina 80-400 would be nice.
01-25-2008, 02:55 PM   #10
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The onloy thing you're no considering is the 55-300 is an extremely sharp lens and overlap wise provides the least amount of overlap with the new kit lens. The 55-300 is designed to be sharper edge to edge for the K20D and I don't think any of the Tamron super zooms will compete with contrast and sharpness with this lens. It's just my opinion but I loved it and the build quality is great.
01-25-2008, 04:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mechmike10 Quote
This is another Pentax lens decision I don't understand. If I wanted an "all-in-one" lens and were willing to forego the wider angle of the 18-250 in favor of some additional telephoto length, I wouldn't be looking at a 55-300 for $400 (or $349) for that matter. I'd simply buy the Tamron 28-300 XR Di (about $380). Although it is a "full frame" lens, it is almost the same size as the 18-250, gives you the same telephoto length as the 55-300, and much better coverage on the wide angle side (42mm equivalent as opposed to 82mm equivalent). And, I'd wager that the overall image quality won't prove to be a whole lot different. I believe that a major benefit of these all-in-one lenses is that you don't need to change lenses so often, which cuts down the chance of getting dust on the sensor. It makes sense to have such a lens extend into wide angle territory, as much as possible. If you have a strictly telephoto zoom, it should have a serious telephoto length. For me, Pentax needs to get a longer telephoto zoom into the market; a clone of the Tokina 80-400 would be nice.
If the 55-300mm comes out as "comparable" to the Tamron, THAT would be a real shot in the foot. That lens is awfully soft after 200mm, and not great at any length. The 18-250 is much better but not stellar either. I think they're aiming for high quality glass, not just another consumer zoom.
01-25-2008, 04:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ricardobeat Quote
If the 55-300mm comes out as "comparable" to the Tamron, THAT would be a real shot in the foot. That lens is awfully soft after 200mm, and not great at any length. The 18-250 is much better but not stellar either. I think they're aiming for high quality glass, not just another consumer zoom.
you are talking about the 70-300 ? If yes, then is not in any way "awfully soft after 200mm", maybe you are talking about the sigma, but the tamron 70-300 has decent quality all over the range. It is not stellar but no soft either.
Here is a shot at 300mm f/5.6 no sharpening, no nothing

http://raz.ro/pentax/70-300/imgp6047.jpg
01-25-2008, 05:03 PM   #13
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If its being designed to match the new sensor than i would expect it to be of a much higher caliber than the lenses you have listed. The MKII (16mp) had the same effect on lesser lenses exposing flaws that were not otherwise apparent or at least minimal on a smaller pixel count.
01-25-2008, 05:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
The onloy thing you're no considering is the 55-300 is an extremely sharp lens and overlap wise provides the least amount of overlap with the new kit lens. The 55-300 is designed to be sharper edge to edge for the K20D and I don't think any of the Tamron super zooms will compete with contrast and sharpness with this lens. It's just my opinion but I loved it and the build quality is great.
Chris: Would you consider this to be a good upgrade over the 50-200mm?? I am considering one of the two for occasional tele zoom. I've used the Canon 70-200mm f/4L in the past. Loved the IQ but not the size and weight.

mark
01-25-2008, 08:15 PM   #15
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Once you go beyond a 3:1 zoom ratio, image quality tends to suffer. I'd rather have lenses that keep the more conservative zoom ratio and exhibit high image quality throughout their range than the "do everything" wide to long tele types that are implemented only by accepting too much image quality compromise. They can keep the variable aperture crap too - I don't want to have to interpolate to figure out what damn f-stop I'm at after I've got the correct exposure from my hand-held incident light meter
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