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08-21-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
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DA 55-300mm opinions/recommendations

I am thinking about purchasing a zoom lens for my K-7. At present I only have the DA 18-55 which came with the camera. I am considering the DA 55-300. The best price I have found is on Amazon.com for approximately $380 including shipping. For a zoom lens in this price range, is this a good choice or would you recommend something else? Any advice is appreciated.

--Jim

08-21-2010, 07:21 PM   #2
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Yes, it is not bad.
Do a search for " should I get the 55-300".
Cheers, Mike.
08-21-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
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The price seems reasonable. I paid about $360 for my 55-300 a year ago and that was the best price new that I could find at the time. You might find a better price here on the Marketplace, if you want to wait.

I like the lens a lot and I've gotten a lot of good shots from it, even some good soccer pics (in good light) with it on my K100d Super.
08-21-2010, 08:06 PM   #4
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DAL is out there too

IF you can survive w/ an off-brand hood and tolerate a non-metal mount and no quick-shift focus, the DAL is optically the same according to every opinion I've seen. I picked up a breakout kit version new for under $260.

And if you're comparing to the 50-200, consider this a 55-200 f/4-4.5 with bonus features

08-21-2010, 09:00 PM   #5
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I have the DAL version of the 55-300 and I am happy with it. Since the DAL version comes without a hood, I also got a hood for about $10 for it from eBay that works fine.

The 55-300 is a good lens - sharp enough at all focal lengths, contrasty, light and easy to handle. Reviews of it are mostly positive too - a few are below:

Pentax SMC DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED - Review / Test Report
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database

One nice feature of the 55-300mm (for me) is that DXO Optics Pro will soon have a module for this lens, as well as the K-x.
08-21-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
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This question is not about cameras, but rather about lenses, so this is not the appropriate forum. however, this exact question is also asked an average of two or three times a week by newcomers to Pentax. So I'm moving this to the Beginner's forum, where it seems most appropriate. Please consider using the Search facility before posting questions that are likely to have been asked many times before.
08-22-2010, 05:20 PM   #7
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I'm going way OT, but I feel a need to express. Sometimes, as my often wife tells me, the point of asking a question is not necessarily to get an answer, but to have a conversation. Sure the OP could have done a search for whether the 55-300mm lens is good, and he would have gotten a lot of information about how good it is, but where's the fun in that? But, that's where Marc is correct in moving this to the Beginner's Corner Forum, where redundancy doesn't matter so much and people are meeting and greeting.
08-23-2010, 12:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimmymack Quote
I am thinking about purchasing a zoom lens for my K-7. At present I only have the DA 18-55 which came with the camera. I am considering the DA 55-300. The best price I have found is on Amazon.com for approximately $380 including shipping. For a zoom lens in this price range, is this a good choice or would you recommend something else? Any advice is appreciated.

--Jim
Hi Jim,

Let's consider the options you have:

- Buy another lens for less money:
* The Pentax DA(L) 50-200mm (WR) There are 3 models available: low cost, weather resistant and standard.
* The Sigma 55-200mm F/4-5.6 DC
* The Tamron AF 70-300mm Di F/4.0-5.6 Macro 1:2
* The Sigma 70-300mm F/4.0-5.6 DG macro 1:2
* The Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di XR II
* The Sigma 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 DC iF SLD

- For more or less the same budget:
* The Sigma 70-300mm Pe F/4.0-5.6 OS HSM
* The Tamron 28-300mm XR Di F/3.5-6.3
* The Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 IF Di-II LD (There used to be a Pentax rebranded version (DA 18-250mm) of this lens on the market)

- If you want to spend more, the list becomes very long. A few examples:
* The Pentax 60-250mm F/4.0 iF SDM ED
* The Pentax 50-135mm F/2.8 ED AL iF SDM
* The Sigma 100-300mm F/4.0 EX DG APO iF
* The Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 II EX DG APO macro HSM
* The Sigma 150-500mm Pe F/5.0-6.3 DG HSM
* The Sigma 50-500mm F/4-6.3 EX DG APO
* The Tamron 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD iF macro
* .....

The problem here is what choice you would like to make:
- Better image quality, or: more zoom range, or: less money.

* Less money. You will see a better image quality with the DA 55-300mm.
Just look at the tests and the test images.
The DA 55-300mm is clearly a better lens than all the other cheaper models in the list above.

* Same money. I have both the Tamron 18-250mm and the DA 55-300mm.
The 18-250mm is a convenient walk around lens, no need to do lens changes.
However, it suffers from vignetting at the wide end (18mm) and softness at the long end (250mm).
A combination of the kitlens and the 55-300mm will give you much better IQ.

* More money. Now the choice becomes much more complicated.
It is either a much longer zoom range and faster lenses, or better IQ again.
I would no go here before getting more experience with a cheaper lens and find out if you would realy want to spend more.

Hope this helps you decide.

- Bert

08-23-2010, 01:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
- Buy another lens for less money:
* The Pentax DA(L) 50-200mm (WR) There are 3 models available: low cost, weather resistant and standard.
Unfortunately the low cost isn't entirely true when you speak about the above WR len.
At least on Italy the difference on price respect the 55-300 (a better lens, with even more focal range, despite don't WR) is very limited.
While different is the situation if you buy both kits on the same time with the k7.

I think this section is more adapt for speak about lens:
Pentax SLR Lens Discussion
08-23-2010, 03:17 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the advise. I am going to purchase one. Anyone have any experience with this place? Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Autofocus Lens for Select Digital SLR Cameras Under $300 including shipping and no sales tax. Price seems outstanding. I have a limited budget, so I have to try to keep the cost down.
08-23-2010, 07:06 AM   #11
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Emicrox reseller rating is 7.5 out of 10, which isnt that impressive...but what would concern me is that their former name (Micro X-press) had a rating of 3.9 which if correct, says to me...stay away.


Caveat emptor.

Jason
08-23-2010, 02:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by alexfoto Quote
Unfortunately the low cost isn't entirely true when you speak about the above WR len.
I think you might have misunderstood. He was saying there are three *different* versins of the lens. One is the low cost version (the DA L), one is the WR version (the DA WR), and one is the standard version (DA with no WR or L).

QuoteQuote:
I think this section is more adapt for speak about lens:
Pentax SLR Lens Discussion
It is in general, but since this probably the single most common question asked by beginners about lenses, I put it here.
08-23-2010, 03:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I think you might have misunderstood. He was saying there are three *different* versions of the lens. One is the low cost version (the DA L), one is the WR version (the DA WR), and one is the standard version (DA with no WR or L).
That at least was my intention.

- Bert

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-23-2010 at 07:26 PM.
08-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info guys. I did order it but not from the place I originally intended to. Instead I ordered it from www.adorama.com . They seem to have good customer reviews. I got for $363. I think that's a reasonable price.

Thanks again,

--Jim
08-23-2010, 04:45 PM   #15
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That seems reasonable, I paid ~ $350.00 from B&H last year.( might have been $330.00).

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 08-23-2010 at 04:54 PM.
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