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12-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #31
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Wrt sharpness of the DA 55-300 @ 300mm, I've taken some shots on my K100D Super with that lens at that focal length that were very sharp. But that's with 6MP (and maybe in landscape orientation, I'm not sure).

12-05-2013, 01:47 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I do wish I could say otherwise, but I'm afraid your 300mm samples are no better than what I see in mine. And whereas I can accept the notion that sometimes an unsharp shot is better than no shot at all, I don't believe the IQ of this lens at 300mm would be considered acceptable for anything approaching professional standards. This makes one reluctant to use this lens for what is probably its most needed purpose. At lower focal lengths I believe what I just said would not hold, as I get excellent contrast and colour, which translate into very pleasing results.

I have yet to make a serious effort in establishing at what FL my lens start to show its relatively poor side. So, having said all of the preceding, I could debate with myself and say that if the IQ is OK at say, 250mm, then the lens is good value even for a 55-250mm, which is still a useful range.
Enjoyed your reply, bxf, and am not surprised that my 300mm samples are no better than yours with the 55-300, and that you find the shorter focal lengths of the 55-300 sharper. Per photozone.de again, the sharpest resolutions for the 55-300 at selected FL are as follows (all out of 2350, all center): at 55mm, 2090 at F8; at 100mm, 2056 at F8; at 200mm, 1940 at F8; and at 300mm, 1892 at F11. So the 55-300 will indeed clearly lose resolution as you zoom out, and what degree of zoom you find acceptable will of course be determined by your own particular needs and tastes. Moreover, my 300mm shots were all handheld (by a 65-year old, with varying degrees of camera shake), and taken at F8 rather than F11, where the resolution per PZ is 1856 rather than the 1892 noted above. What is even more dramatic about the 55-300 at 300mm, though, is the very steep drop off in border resolution with FL (which you can also see in my photos), from a best of 1849 at 200mm to a best of only 1588 at 300mm. So I just use the HD 55-300 at 300mm for subjects centered in the frame (at least if I care about sharpness), and will try to take my 300mm center-frame shots at F11 when resolution is especially important. On the days when I took the samples you viewed, I actually just set the 55-300 at F8 to make things simple, since I was taking shots at a wide range of FL, and am far from a professional photographer. The fact that your goal seems to be "approaching professional standards" makes me think that you might want to check out the resolution figures for the 55-300 in greater detail than I summarized above in the this thread (there are several reviews which provide such data online). In any case, I am indeed happy with the HD 55-300 K-3 combination for days when I want something better than my Panasonic FZ35 superzoom, but don't want to carry much weight. To me, that is the 55-300's "most needed purpose." When I want to use a telephoto zoom and really care about getting the best possible IQ, on the other hand (and on days when I can manage the weight), I'll use the DA* 60-250, which is clearly the better choice for "approaching professional standards," and a lens that it seems you may want to consider (see all the great photos and comments on this site, by normhead and others). Of course even the 60-250 won't, at its short end, equal a lens like my Sigma 70mm EX DG Macro for overall sharpness, so if you insist on the very best IQ, primes would appear more appropriate for you.
12-05-2013, 02:06 PM   #33
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This is a very interesting conversation. I have the older 55-300, which I really liked on the K7 but not on the K5. I never tried to figure out why the pictures from the K5 were so much worse, the lens pretty much stayed on the K7 and was my husband's favorite lens.

I was thinking of selling or otherwise getting rid of it when I sold the K7 but decided to try it out on the K3. I was very surprised that the pictures were significantly better than what I had remembered from the K5, so it's gone back into my camera bag. It doesn't come close to the DA*300 at 300 (it doesn't even have the same field of view as the DA* so I suspect that it's more like 290 than 300) but then, it's a whole lot lighter and plenty good enough for walk-about use on the K3. That's when I'm most likely to leave the DA300 home, due to size and weight. Different horses for different courses as they say.
12-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #34
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Interesting, for sure.

This point(light weight and K-3 added resolution, and that I cannot afford 60-250 nor 300) is one of the reasons that I bought 55-300 HD(still waiting for it to come). It is quite small and light and it can fit along with my other lenses and it is AF and WR. Pictures that I have seen from it so far seems to go along with my idea of why I wan't to have in my bag. Just to get that shot. I have huge gap betweem 150 mm -> 400 mm. This lens is there to fill it and replace my M75-150, which I like, but I want something more practical time to time.

BTW. Only thing that I don't like of A 400/5.6 is that it takes so much room. So more compact lens is really welcome. I do hope that it will be good on K-3.

12-05-2013, 11:04 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryk Quote
But a 55-300, together with an 18-135, is still my two-lens kit for travel. Weight makes a difference, and the F* 300 is a heavy lens. But I'm happy with the images I'm getting from the 55-300.
Funny, when I'm using my F*300 I always think how light and small it is (after all, it's only f/4.5, which gives it a huge size and weight advantage, while maintaining excellent IQ).

QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I agree. Mine yields surprisingly good results - up to some yet-to-be-determined FL. However, though I understand the concept of using a lens within its limitations, somebody is going to have to explain to me the logic in buying a 6x zoom, but "not zooming too much". After all, I bought a 300m lens because I wanted 300mm reach, no?
That's exactly why I sold my DA55-300 and got the DA*50-135 - because they were both strong in the exact same 50-135mm range, yet the DA* is so much better.

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I find the 55-300 can be very sharp, depending on how you use it. Close the aperture a few stops and don't zoom in too much, and this is a very sharp lens.

I took this one in Africa at f/9, 1/640 and ISO 400. Focal length was 120mm.
That's a cool shot, but just think of how much better it would have been with a *200 or *300 lens. At least that's what I thought with my own shots, until I decided to just get and use the better lenses. I realized that (for me, at least) it was worth accepting the limitations of e.g. no zoom to have a high percentage chance of getting a shot I really liked. As long as I could afford the better lenses (and I was able to, fortunately) I was mostly wasting my time shooting with a lens I was only moderately happy with. And with the better lenses I've settled in - none is close to perfect, but all are very good, and I'm content with that and treat them as useful tools which even create beautiful images some times.

Last edited by DSims; 12-05-2013 at 11:19 PM.
12-06-2013, 02:50 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
That's a cool shot, but just think of how much better it would have been with a *200 or *300 lens. At least that's what I thought with my own shots, until I decided to just get and use the better lenses. I realized that (for me, at least) it was worth accepting the limitations of e.g. no zoom to have a high percentage chance of getting a shot I really liked. As long as I could afford the better lenses (and I was able to, fortunately) I was mostly wasting my time shooting with a lens I was only moderately happy with. And with the better lenses I've settled in - none is close to perfect, but all are very good, and I'm content with that and treat them as useful tools which even create beautiful images some times.
Thanks, but actually, I now have the DA* 50-135/2.8 as well. And that covers 120mm too. Still, I know the 60-250 is a better lens for these kinds of environments (outdoor, wildlife shooting). But it's sooo big!

I may get one after all. Not to sure about the DA* 200 or 300 though. I don't want to carry around too many big heavy lenses.
12-10-2013, 05:17 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal Quote
This is a very interesting conversation. I have the older 55-300, which I really liked on the K7 but not on the K5. I never tried to figure out why the pictures from the K5 were so much worse
.
Im planning to buy HD 55-300 soon, now you got¸me worried, I have k5. Does K5 has issues with 55-300? Any similar experiences?
12-11-2013, 01:10 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mimesha Quote
Im planning to buy HD 55-300 soon, now you got¸me worried, I have k5. Does K5 has issues with 55-300? Any similar experiences?
I wouldn't be too worried, Mimesha, you should still get a lot of fine shots, but I do find that the HD 55-300 focuses faster and more often right on target with the K-3 than the older 55-300 did with the K-5.

12-11-2013, 03:21 PM   #39
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I was very happy with my DAL 55-300 on the K-x and the K-5, even at 300mm. It's a keeper lens for me. I haven't had the chance to use it on the K-3 yet, but I also expect it will perform competently.

The main reason I got a DA*300 a while ago for my K-5 was not any particular inadequacy of the 55-300. It's just when I looked at my EXIF I realised (at the time) that for the previous year most of my shots had been at 300mm. So it made sense to get a lens that worked best at 300mm. The new WR 55-300 would seem to be a great complement to the DA*300. It's a pity the new 55-300 is still screw drive though. Faster, snappier, quieter AF would transform the 55-300.
12-12-2013, 08:21 AM   #40
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?????? | KASYAPA | 174:??????????????HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm WR? | Pentax

the page has many image samples from K3 + HD 55-300mm and it assures me to go for that combo
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