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11-18-2015, 12:13 PM - 1 Like   #31
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Read this:
HD vs. SMC Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

The DA-L version of the 18-50 is only OK. It isn't as good as the regular 18-55 at 18mm and is also 10% ( 5mm ) short of the 18-55 on the long end.

The HD version is a good upgrade but ergonomics are a mixed bag..

Which version does the KS-2 bundle come with?

Also since the K50 is routinely available for around $300 or less new right now - the combo of it plus the Tammy may be overpriced unless the KS-2 bundle is super cheap.

I have a K3 and K50 and unless I look at EXIF I'm not immediately able to pick the K3 shots out. The K3 excels in many areas and certainly is able to be cropped more and has higher quality raw files (14 bit vs. 12 bit) but the lowly K50 is a treasure. As long as the purchase is cheap enough it is well worth it. You will only be disappointed if your expectations are crazy or you need a lot more cropping where the extra 4mp and the lack of AA filtering will help a bit.

I have zero experience with the Tammy lens. By reputation it is very nice. I have zero experience with the KS-2 but as I said I have a K3 and while AF performance is better and the images are sharper it's hard to know what shot what without looking deep under the covers in the EXIF.

11-19-2015, 09:03 AM   #32
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After seeing these great deals I've decided to go with the Costco K-S2 bundle. Seems to be a lot of bang for the buck at $499. There's a good chance that I'll try to sell the 18-50 and upgrade to something better. Don't know about the 50-200 though, is it any good?
11-19-2015, 09:10 AM - 1 Like   #33
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Not particularly. It gets you reach for cheap. It's good enough for starting out.
11-19-2015, 10:34 AM - 1 Like   #34
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I think the 50-200 is a nice lens. I sold mine just to avoid duplication and thin down the lens herd. I know of some great photos made with that lens.

The 55-300 gets all the glory but the compact 50-200 is quite a lens for the size weight and cost.

11-19-2015, 10:45 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Not particularly. It gets you reach for cheap. It's good enough for starting out.
How would you rate the HD DA 55-300mm WR vs the 50-200 in terms of IQ? Does Sigma or Tamron have anything that compares favorably to the 55-300?
11-19-2015, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tclaw Quote
How would you rate the HD DA 55-300mm WR vs the 50-200 in terms of IQ? Does Sigma or Tamron have anything that compares favorably to the 55-300?
The HD DA 55-300 is probably measurably better. The coatings are better (HD). It lets in slightly more light at 200mm.

I have the DA 50-200 WR for these non-IQ reasons. It's smaller and lighter, so I can carry it on a hike or on vacation in a pocket. I think I won't need up to 300mm when it's wet or snowing. I have some other lenses at 300mm or more so I can use them in dry conditions. I figure in my use, IQ is close enough.

At the time the DA 55-300 was $450 and I got a used DA 50-200 WR for less than a third of that. Pentax did not release the DA 18-135 WR until later. Today the HD DA 55-300 is $260 and the DA 18-135 WR would probably handle my vacation needs in one lens. I probably wouldn't get the DA 50-200 WR unless I was really budget limited.

Sigma and Tamron have 70-300s that are older designs. They're cheaper and get you to 300mm but far less popular than the DA 55-300 versions.
11-19-2015, 02:29 PM - 1 Like   #37
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I don't have the HD 55-300. I have the older DA L non-WR version. It's a great lens. My daughter uses it a lot.
11-19-2015, 06:36 PM   #38
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The HD 55-300 is majorly better than the sigma/tamron versions, especially at 300, at least by what i've read

11-19-2015, 08:33 PM   #39
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I had the DA 55-300 briefly but sent it back for a refund. It was purchased as a "refurbished" lens from a major retailer but I could never get sharp images with it. It was noticeably sharp on one side and soft on the other so I suspect decentering. A new copy would probably not have those same issues. Other that the image issue the autofocus was noisy and slow and under some conditions it was unable to find optimum focus at all. Again, a new copy might well be fine and the lens is highly regarded but that was my experience. I ended up getting a DA 18-270 SDM instead and I am very happy with it. My understanding is that it is a rebranded Tamron.
11-19-2015, 08:35 PM - 1 Like   #40
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1008125-REG/pentax_hd_pentax_da_55_300mm_f_4_5_8.html
At $US259 for the 55-300 WR, there is no decision to be made. Don't hesistate.

BTW, at 200mm it is about a stop faster than the 50-200.

See what the 55-300 can do: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/304151-pentax-55-300-lens.html

---------- Post added 11-20-15 at 02:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dakight Quote
I had the DA 55-300 briefly but sent it back for a refund. It was purchased as a "refurbished" lens from a major retailer but I could never get sharp images with it. It was noticeably sharp on one side and soft on the other so I suspect decentering. A new copy would probably not have those same issues. Other that the image issue the autofocus was noisy and slow and under some conditions it was unable to find optimum focus at all. Again, a new copy might well be fine and the lens is highly regarded but that was my experience. I ended up getting a DA 18-270 SDM instead and I am very happy with it. My understanding is that it is a rebranded Tamron.
Sorry to hear you got a bad copy.

I also have a soft spot for Tamron-sourced 18-250/18-270 superzooms (I've got the Tamron-badged 18-250). They are amazing for what they are. I actually prefer my Tamron to the 55-300 up to about 70mm or so. But for sharpness they can't match the 55-300 at the long end - and that's where that lens gets used most. (All this is assuming good copies of course.)

I guess the AF on the 18-270 is quieter. Noisy AF is one disadvantage of the 55-300. The other is MFD - it's why I like the superzoom better for pseudo-macro shots even though the magnification is about the same. But the flipside is that because the 55-300 is not an internal focus lens, it doesn't have "focus breathing". In other words, 300mm means 300mm, whereas with the Tamron 250mm only means 250mm at infinity (if at all).

Last edited by Des; 11-19-2015 at 08:50 PM.
11-19-2015, 09:13 PM - 1 Like   #41
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I found the 55-300 great for pseudo macro...and the working distance is a plus.
11-19-2015, 11:20 PM   #42
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Nice pics @UncleVanya.

Nothing wrong with the optical qualities. I just find it easier to take a handheld shot of a flower from 40cm than 1.4m.
11-20-2015, 07:46 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Nice pics @UncleVanya.

Nothing wrong with the optical qualities. I just find it easier to take a handheld shot of a flower from 40cm than 1.4m.
My point is that distance makes some shots easier, so the mfd may not matter. Those are tiny hydrangea flowers above my head. (How could you know - lol - I forgot to mention it!)
11-21-2015, 03:15 PM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
the 21 or 15 piss on any zoom at the wide end - even the really good ones
Love the possum-stirring Rob, but I don't agree. I love primes too, but I'll admit that a good zoom can often at least be in the same park for IQ as a prime. I reckon the DA 12-24 is at least competitive with the DA 15 and DA 21 for IQ. (Compactness and flare resistance favour the primes but that's another story.) And personally I find the versatility invaluable at the wide end - e.g. you can't zoom with your feet when you are standing on stones in a river (well unless you are really prepared to test the WR!).

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I think my advice to someone getting their first DSLR is to get a good zoom to begin with, and then they may or may not go down the path of primes as you and I have, Rob. :-)
As usual @Clackers, I couldn't agree more.

For one thing, people starting out don't necessarily know their most preferred focal lengths until they use a zoom for a while. Then they are better placed to choose a suitable focal length prime if they wish. And to choose a prime that brings something unique, whether it be compactness/light weight, speed, bokeh, rendering or whatever.

Last edited by Des; 11-21-2015 at 03:25 PM.
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