Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-11-2014, 10:25 AM   #1
Forum Member
Bertminator's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 80
Pentax WR lens quality

I have a Pentax k-50 with the kit lens (18-55mm), and am thinking of purchasing the Pentax 55-200 DA WR lens, and I was wondering really, how good is the lens quality in the WR series? I have to be honest, so far (I know it's ONLY a kit lens), but I'm not that impressed with some of the photos coming out of it. Now maybe it's just because some of the photos I see on this forum, are post-processed to look AWESOME!, but mine are not that great. Maybe I should get into Post processing more, but I don't know. My point & shoot Canon, took AWESOME photos, and it has (at least in my mind), a lens that should not even touch the quality of ANY dslr lens (my WR kit lens included). .....Anyway...my questions are simple, How really IS the quality of the WR lenses? Would the 55-300 DA WR lens be better quality than the 55-200 DA WR? I would like the 55-300, but I cannot justify it's double price tag. The 55-200 is only $219.00 CDN, and the 55-300 is $449.00 CDN. If the quality of both lenses are the same, then why would I want the double price tag? ANY advice & comments would help me in my decision in buying my very future lens purchase.

Thanks in advance for your help / comments.

06-11-2014, 10:35 AM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,032
QuoteOriginally posted by Bertminator Quote
Would the 55-300 DA WR lens be better quality than the 55-200 DA WR?
From an optical standpoint, yes, the 55-300mm is superior to the 50-200mm and I'd recommend getting it if you're serious about shooting tele shots. You could opt for the DA non-WR version or even a second-hand DA L version to avoid paying the premium (all 3 variants are identical optically).

Post-processing is an important step in getting your photos to pop. However, if you're shooting in JPEG, you also need to configure the camera's Custom Image settings to your liking. Scroll halfway down this page to see all the different presets:
Pentax K-50 Review - Image Quality - Pentax Camera Forums

Within each preset, you can change parameters such as contrast, sharpness, hue, and saturation. Play around with a real photo or with a RAW file in the Pentax desktop software until you find a preset that really works for you

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

06-11-2014, 10:45 AM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 644
Personally, I would avoid the 50-200. I had the non-WR version (optically they are both the same) and the image quality wasn't very good. Probably along the lines of what you get with your 18-55 kit lens. The 55-300 is a much better lens, image quality is significantly better in addition to more range than the 50-200. If you don't need the weather sealing you can pick up the DA L (grey ring, plastic mount) 55-300 for under $200 used or the DA (green ring, metal mount) 55-300 in the mid-$200 range used. Also, the 55-300 retains is value whereas the 50-200 not so much if you ever decide to upgrade and sell it. Hope this helps in your decision.
06-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #4
Forum Member
Bertminator's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 80
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
From an optical standpoint, yes, the 55-300mm is superior to the 50-200mm and I'd recommend getting it if you're serious about shooting tele shots. You could opt for the DA non-WR version or even a second-hand DA L version to avoid paying the premium (all 3 variants are identical optically).

Post-processing is an important step in getting your photos to pop. However, if you're shooting in JPEG, you also need to configure the camera's Custom Image settings to your liking. Scroll halfway down this page to see all the different presets:
Pentax K-50 Review - Image Quality - Pentax Camera Forums

Within each preset, you can change parameters such as contrast, sharpness, hue, and saturation. Play around with a real photo or with a RAW file in the Pentax desktop software until you find a preset that really works for you
As far as my searches go, there is no DAL WR lens in the 55-300, at least at the places I'm looking at. Do you know for sure if there is such a lens option for that range zoom lens?

06-11-2014, 10:57 AM   #5
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 644
Just DA L (not DA L WR), there is only one DA WR (red) version. The DA L (grey ring) and DA (green ring) are not WR. It was the non-WR version Adam mentioned above.
06-11-2014, 10:58 AM   #6
Forum Member
Bertminator's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 80
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by transam879 Quote
Personally, I would avoid the 50-200. I had the non-WR version (optically they are both the same) and the image quality wasn't very good. Probably along the lines of what you get with your 18-55 kit lens. The 55-300 is a much better lens, image quality is significantly better in addition to more range than the 50-200. If you don't need the weather sealing you can pick up the DA L (grey ring, plastic mount) 55-300 for under $200 used or the DA (green ring, metal mount) 55-300 in the mid-$200 range used. Also, the 55-300 retains is value whereas the 50-200 not so much if you ever decide to upgrade and sell it. Hope this helps in your decision.
Thank you for the info. I just contacted my local camera store and they inform me that they do have a USED 55-300 DA WR lens for $349.00 CDN, which isn't bad. If I get a gift certificate for father's day I may be able to get that one. I just hope used is still good. He assured me that it's in A+ condition, so that may be the way to go. How much longer is that lens vs. the 50-200?
06-11-2014, 11:19 AM   #7
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,858
I like my DA 50-200 WR, but I accept the forum consensus, it isn't as great as the 55-300. I needed to fix mine to get it to focus to infinity - not difficult, but it was wrong from the factory. Still, it's the right size and weight for me, and in use I only notice two optical issues: some vignetting wide open, and once I got some veiling flare pointed right at the sun. Either one is avoidable. It was worth the used price for me. They are available used because people get them in package deals.

If you don't have anything else as a long telephoto, the 55-300 fits that very well. It justifies its price because you don't buy the 50-200, then find it's not long enough and have to buy something else. It can even satisfy you for a while until you decide to get the DA* 300/4.
06-11-2014, 11:20 AM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,828
The magnification on the DA55-300 is quite good, and it's the best for the price range in quality. I just bought a new one from B&H for $380, so your used one is a good enough deal, well below list price of $445.

Spend the extra money, you'll really like the 55-300. I'd still be liking mine if it weren't trashed (long story), and I'm buying the WR version now.

06-11-2014, 02:03 PM   #9
Forum Member
Bertminator's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 80
Original Poster
How much longer is the 55-300 vs the 50-200? Is it too cumbersome? I liked that the 50-200 wasn't much bigger than the 18-55 kit lens.

---------- Post added 06-11-14 at 04:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I like my DA 50-200 WR, but I accept the forum consensus, it isn't as great as the 55-300. I needed to fix mine to get it to focus to infinity - not difficult, but it was wrong from the factory. Still, it's the right size and weight for me, and in use I only notice two optical issues: some vignetting wide open, and once I got some veiling flare pointed right at the sun. Either one is avoidable. It was worth the used price for me. They are available used because people get them in package deals.

If you don't have anything else as a long telephoto, the 55-300 fits that very well. It justifies its price because you don't buy the 50-200, then find it's not long enough and have to buy something else. It can even satisfy you for a while until you decide to get the DA* 300/4.
How do you fix your lens to focus to infinity properly? sometimes I wonder about mine.
06-11-2014, 02:47 PM   #10
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,858
QuoteOriginally posted by Bertminator Quote
How do you fix your lens to focus to infinity properly? sometimes I wonder about mine.
Funny story: I bought the 50-200 used on eBay, took about a hundred shots with it to compare it with a lens I wanted to sell, looked at it really carefully, but never noticed the infinity focus was off. Then I took it on vacation and felt kind of dumb.

An obvious warning sign is autofocus working well at 100 feet but struggling at 1 mile. You'd want to do that on a bright day and have decent contrast and size on both the near and far subjects. The full moon is good for distance, but works best with CDAF (AF in live view), especially if you select the moon as a target. With PDAF (what you normally use) It's too small in the frame at 200mm or below, and the bright moon/black sky seems to confuse the PDAF logic. I usually have something around that works to compare with an unknown lens, to see if it's close enough. That is another reason for using the moon - lots of other people take shots of it, so you can get an idea of the detail you should see. (But people only post their perfect shots, not the 1700 crappy ones before that.)

The DA 50-200 WR has a label around the front element that's glued on and can be peeled back off. Under that there's four screws holding the front lens group to a metal piece. The metal piece is threaded just like a filter. I unscrewed that and found a couple of shims behind it. After some experimenting, I removed one shim and now it's fine. I posted some photos at the time but can't find them right now.
06-11-2014, 03:20 PM   #11
Forum Member
Bertminator's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 80
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Funny story: I bought the 50-200 used on eBay, took about a hundred shots with it to compare it with a lens I wanted to sell, looked at it really carefully, but never noticed the infinity focus was off. Then I took it on vacation and felt kind of dumb.

An obvious warning sign is autofocus working well at 100 feet but struggling at 1 mile. You'd want to do that on a bright day and have decent contrast and size on both the near and far subjects. The full moon is good for distance, but works best with CDAF (AF in live view), especially if you select the moon as a target. With PDAF (what you normally use) It's too small in the frame at 200mm or below, and the bright moon/black sky seems to confuse the PDAF logic. I usually have something around that works to compare with an unknown lens, to see if it's close enough. That is another reason for using the moon - lots of other people take shots of it, so you can get an idea of the detail you should see. (But people only post their perfect shots, not the 1700 crappy ones before that.)

The DA 50-200 WR has a label around the front element that's glued on and can be peeled back off. Under that there's four screws holding the front lens group to a metal piece. The metal piece is threaded just like a filter. I unscrewed that and found a couple of shims behind it. After some experimenting, I removed one shim and now it's fine. I posted some photos at the time but can't find them right now.
When and if you find them can you post the link in this thread?

Thanks
06-11-2014, 08:54 PM   #12
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,858
OK, here is the label peeled off. Something plastic and sharp would be useful here, because the edge of the front element is right there. The four screws are JIS type, a little annoying if you don't already have a JIS screwdriver. They weren't too tight.


IMGT9405
by just1moredave, on Flickr

The part with the 8 holes is the threaded carrier. You can see a felt seal drooping down in the upper left, part of the WR. This part unscrews.


IMGT9407
by just1moredave, on Flickr

The shims are gold colored, so easy to spot here. The front element needed to be closer to the sensor for infinity focus, so a shim had to be removed. I took one out and that was enough to allow the lens to focus slightly "past" infinity. I think that AF lenses need to be able to overshoot and back up, so they are supposed to be set up this way. It keeps the AF motor from frequently hitting a hard stop.


IMGT9408
by just1moredave, on Flickr
06-11-2014, 09:30 PM   #13
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,010
QuoteOriginally posted by Bertminator Quote
How much longer is that lens vs. the 50-200?

Not much more. The 55-300 is an excellent size and weight and is affordable.


A 300 prime is much bigger, faster, has better IQ and a price tag to match.


BTW, if you're flaunting your credit card, the * series lenses are WR too ... 16-50, 55, 50-135 ... pro quality.
06-11-2014, 09:36 PM   #14
Forum Member
Bertminator's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 80
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Not much more. The 55-300 is an excellent size and weight and is affordable.


A 300 prime is much bigger, faster, has better IQ and a price tag to match.


BTW, if you're flaunting your credit card, the * series lenses are WR too ... 16-50, 55, 50-135 ... pro quality.
...but I WISH I could flaunt my Credit card...sadly NO.
06-11-2014, 09:50 PM   #15
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,010
QuoteOriginally posted by Bertminator Quote
...but I WISH I could flaunt my Credit card...sadly NO.
Amen. I have a second hand 50-135, but may have to sell a kidney for the 16-50 as well.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af, camera, cdn, comments, contrast, da, exposure, flickr, focus, front, infinity, kit, lens, mine, pentax help, people, photography, photos, price, quality, stop, wr
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanted - Acquired: Pentax 18-55 WR lens bdery Sold Items 2 08-20-2013 05:08 AM
K-30 WR body + spare battery + 18-135mm WR lens + 18-55mm WR lens = 738 jido Pentax Price Watch 4 01-16-2013 04:36 AM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax 35mm f/2.4 DA L, Pentax 18-55 WR, Pentax 50-200 WR rrwilliams64 Sold Items 11 01-11-2013 05:28 PM
A-Series Pentax Lens Quality baltochef920 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 07-16-2007 03:12 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:08 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top