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08-10-2019, 09:04 AM   #1
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Fuzzy 55-300

My Pentax 55-300 is not creating clear pics at max zoom. i suspect it may have been dropped or otherwise banged up. Is it worth the cost of having it repaired or do I just suck it up and replace it? I remember that sending my k3 body for repairs was going to cost almost as much as a new camera, is this the case for lenses as well?

08-10-2019, 10:09 AM   #2
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That is often the case but you can check with Precision Camera Repair for a quote if you want.
08-10-2019, 10:13 AM   #3
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try to take a picture using Live view (LV) and then, as usual (through the viewfinder), and then compare the sharpness of the resulting images
maybe pictures in Live view (LV) will be sharper
at maximum magnification it is better to take pictures with a tripod
if you shoot with your hands, you need the fastest possible exposure, short shutter speed (in this particular situation)

Last edited by Martin Stu; 08-10-2019 at 08:14 PM.
08-10-2019, 04:45 PM   #4
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by rocdoc1 Quote
My Pentax 55-300 is not creating clear pics at max zoom. i suspect it may have been dropped or otherwise banged up. Is it worth the cost of having it repaired or do I just suck it up and replace it? I remember that sending my k3 body for repairs was going to cost almost as much as a new camera, is this the case for lenses as well?
Got some examples to show us? Use the method Martin Stu suggested, so we can eliminate camera movement or missed focus as a cause.

BTW, which version of the 55-300 is it? (Might affect the economics of a repair.)

08-11-2019, 04:26 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Got some examples to show us? Use the method Martin Stu suggested, so we can eliminate camera movement or missed focus as a cause.

BTW, which version of the 55-300 is it? (Might affect the economics of a repair.)
Agree, need some examples, also you could try adjusting focus in the camera on a per lens basis.My K-70 has adjustment in camera, what body are you using?

Here is a sample of my k-70 with 55/300, NOT PLM
Attached Images
 

Last edited by SharkyCA; 08-11-2019 at 04:51 AM. Reason: Add photo
08-19-2019, 08:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Got some examples to show us? Use the method Martin Stu suggested, so we can eliminate camera movement or missed focus as a cause.

BTW, which version of the 55-300 is it? (Might affect the economics of a repair.)
It's a K3 body. The lens says SMC Pentax DA 1.4-5.8. It's only about 7 years old but it may have gotten banged up on a rockhounding trip last fall.
First photo is of quail 30' from my porch, taken with the 55-300. And they were sitting still. 2nd photo is a hovering hummingbird about 20' from the porch, taken with my 50-200 lens, and cropped. It's much sharper, so I'm pretty sure the lens is jacked up.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
08-19-2019, 02:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rocdoc1 Quote
I'm pretty sure the lens is jacked up.
I think so too. Although the focus point seems to be behind the birds, no part of the image is sharp. At 1/5000th second, that can't be due to camera shake. But I'd suggest a few test "still life" type shots, using a tripod, to be sure.

It looks to me like the rocks on the right are a lot better than the birds on about the same focal plane. It's hard to say from one sample, but that suggests massive decentering/misalignment.

I suspect a repair is likely to be uneconomic (the DA 55-300 f4-5.8 non-WR goes for around $US120 second hand), unless anyone here has any bright ideas for a cheap fix. I would have thought that a repair attempt would cost at least $80-$100 and might not be successful anyway.

I'd suggest replacing it with the HD-DA 55-300 f4.5-6.3 PLM. It's a better lens too.

Last edited by Des; 08-21-2019 at 05:18 PM.
08-19-2019, 02:49 PM - 1 Like   #8
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this appears to be the OP's lens, the user reviews and in depth review of it

SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Production Years
2008 to 2013

_______________

as Des mentioned, the most recent " edition " is the PLM

in depth review:

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 PLM WR RE Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

user reviews:

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database


NOT COMPATIBLE with the K-500 and with Pentax DSLRs launched before 2013.

Firmware update needed for compatibility with the Pentax K-S2, K-S1, K-3 II, K-3, K-50, and K-1. Fully supported by newer bodies..
________________________

since the OP lives in the US there is a choice to try renting a copy

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/137-photographic-industry-professionals/...nses-rent.html


Last edited by aslyfox; 08-19-2019 at 03:50 PM.
08-19-2019, 03:37 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
NOT COMPATIBLE with the K-500 and with Pentax DSLRs launched before 2013. Firmware update needed for compatibility with the Pentax K-S2, K-S1, K-3 II, K-3, K-50, and K-1. Fully supported by newer bodies.
The second and third sentence might be missed because of the yellow font. The PLM works very well with my K-3 and K-S2 with the firmware updates and with the KP out of the box.

The big gains from the PLM, compared to the screwdriven AF versions, are fast and silent AF, better resolution wide open (although slightly slower maximum aperture), more pleasant bokeh, compactness when retracted, shorter minimum focus distance. Compared to the non-WR versions of the screwdriven 55-300, the PLM also has the advantages of weather resistance and HD coatings (these features are on the last of the screwdriven models, which was released in 2013). The resolution at the long end, particularly stopped down, is comparable between the screwdriven models and the PLM. The screwdriven models don't exhibit focus breathing, but with the shorter MFD the difference is not field-relevant. The maximum magnification is about the same.

I got a very good run from the DA-L version (now in the hands of another member), but overall the PLM is a nicer lens. See this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/365761-hd-...what-cant.html

Last edited by Des; 08-19-2019 at 03:45 PM.
08-19-2019, 03:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
The second and third sentence might be missed because of the yellow font. . . . ..
thanks Des

I removed the colored font which I had intended to be helpful
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