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04-26-2011, 07:15 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I forgot to mention that, assuming you have an 18-55mm, the Tamron does leave a considerable gap in coverage. For 35mm, I had a 55-70mm gap, and it was only slightly irritating, but no gap would be better.
I would not worry about that.

And in my opinion gaps only exist between the ears The gap in my standard setup is 69mm (standard to light tele)

04-26-2011, 07:58 AM   #17
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I own the DA 55-300mm and 70-300mm. I used the Tamron for a couple of years but now I just keep it as a backup. Here's my list:

1. 55-300 has much better colour and contrast
2. 55-70mm range is useful and important to me
3. Less purple fringing with Pentax lens
4. Tamron focusses closer
5. Pentax quick shift is very useful, allows you to get back to the target when focus starts to hunt (a common occurrence with either lens)
6. My 55-300mm is slightly sharper at 300mm than my 70-300
7. 55-300 is smaller
8. Tamron is great value if funds are limited

Last edited by audiobomber; 04-26-2011 at 08:24 AM.
04-26-2011, 08:19 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by creigm Quote
Hey all,

I recently bought my first dSLR, the pentax kx, and am considering a buying a telephoto lens. I'm trying to decide between these two lenses and wonder if you guys can provide some input?

Thanks,
Malcolm
I chose the Tammy on price. I do not experience PF unless under very poor conditions but then my daughters 55-300 does too. My version takes great images some of which have been posted on this site. While not a true Macro, I enjoy having this capability. Truly a great lens for the money.
04-26-2011, 08:59 AM   #19
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I've had the 55-300 for a year now and very happy with results, one of it's benefits is it's relatively light to carry around, Gary.

04-26-2011, 10:00 AM   #20
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Been following this with interest as I am making the same sort of decision - probably going for the Pentax. The DAL is a load cheaper, but how useful do folk find the quick-shift focus? Is it worth paying the extra for the DA?

Alan
04-26-2011, 10:06 AM   #21
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I have the Tamron 70-300 and get a lot of PF above 180mm in high-contrast conditions. I've seen it with many lenses, but it's guaranteed with the Tammy. On the plus side for me the focus is pretty darn good and it's quite light.

I did rent a 55-300 but the weather wasn't good enough and I didn't have enough time to really examine it in the similar conditions. I think it exhibited less purple fringing, and I was satisfied with the focusing.

If you have the money, go with the Pentax lens. If you don't, just remember to fire shots at 180ish before zooming all the way out. That's worked well for me.
04-26-2011, 10:06 AM   #22
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04-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alan Bird Quote
Been following this with interest as I am making the same sort of decision - probably going for the Pentax. The DAL is a load cheaper, but how useful do folk find the quick-shift focus? Is it worth paying the extra for the DA?

Alan
It actually depends (how's that for a waffle?) If you get a good copy of the DA L, it doesn't matter a whit. If you get a copy that doesn't focus precisely (and this does happen) than the feature is a godsend. In the latter scenario the AF get you close and then you tweak to get precise focus. Without quick-shift you have to switch both camera and lens to MF which is a real pita after you've done it for the 1000th time.
Quick-sift is also nice when you have a busy photo (for instance a bird in a bush) Obviously you want the focus on the bird but your camera might decide that a nearby twig is what you want, the quick-shift allows you to do a quick correction.

NaCl(I'd say that the DA is worth the extra, but then again I like gizmos)H2O

04-26-2011, 12:41 PM   #24
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I buy your second argument (bird in bush) but not the first one (yet). Can't that be solved with AF finetuning (either if the camera provides that functionality or send it in for a service)? You can say the same about FA31Ltd and (possibly) other lenses.
04-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #25
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The 55-300 has a strong tendency to hunt if you try to focus starting from a closer distance than your subject. To clarify, let's say my subject is at 30 feet and the lens is set to focus at 10 feet. If I aim at the subject, the lens will usually start off in the wrong direction, i.e. it will try to find a subject down to minimum focus, then move out. For some reason it will often miss the subject going from short to long, and rack out all the way, then start back to the right spot. This is what happened to me before I developed a hair trigger for using quick shift. Now as soon as I see the lens is lost, I grab the ring.

If I reset focus to infinity before I try to AF, the tendency to hunt is no worse than most lenses.
04-26-2011, 01:41 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alan Bird Quote
Been following this with interest as I am making the same sort of decision - probably going for the Pentax. The DAL is a load cheaper, but how useful do folk find the quick-shift focus? Is it worth paying the extra for the DA?

Alan
Don't forget that the DA also has a metal mount and comes with the dedicated lens hood. It's not JUST the quick shift focus.
04-26-2011, 01:54 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alan Bird Quote
Been following this with interest as I am making the same sort of decision - probably going for the Pentax. The DAL is a load cheaper, but how useful do folk find the quick-shift focus? Is it worth paying the extra for the DA?

Alan
I think quick-shift is very essential thing to have in 55-300. I use it all the time. Lens is very noisy and quite slow in focusing. It really helps when you can adjust the rough focus manually and camera then makes only finer focusing. No loud noise and focusing is quite fast when you learn to do it! And I have to say I really like my 55-300 :-)
04-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by robroy Quote
I think quick-shift is very essential thing to have in 55-300. . . It really helps when you can adjust the rough focus manually and camera then makes only finer focusing. No loud noise and focusing is quite fast when you learn to do it! And I have to say I really like my 55-300 :-)
I'm with rr here. This is my main use for QS, not making manual adjustments after the fact. Prefocusing helps in situations where there is confusion in the AF sensor area, and with dark or low contrast conditions. If the VF image is not completely blurry OOF, the AF system has a lot less tendency to overshoot and hunt.

Scott

BTW, I have both an old model Tamron 70-300 and have just obtained a DA 55-300, and the DA is hands down a better lens, both functionally and optically.
04-26-2011, 07:18 PM   #29
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I use the quick shift a lot to pre-focus as stated above, or to very quietly focus when that is important, such as wildlife. If that is not important, reasonably priced knockoff hoods for the DAL are available on ebay.
04-26-2011, 07:37 PM   #30
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One thing I find very useful is that the 55-300 is F4 until about 105mm and can reliably used wide open, making it a useful portrait lens.

I find it a great value.
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