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01-24-2010, 12:35 PM   #1
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55-300 mm lens for K-x?

Looks like the price for the k-x twin lens kit has gone up to somewhere between 750 and 800 bucks. The single lens kit can be had for around 550. I'm a beginner, so some guidance is needed and appreciated. Is the 55-300 lens that comes with the kit worth the extra 200-250 bucks or would you recommend another lens to buy separate of the kit? I definately want to pick up a lens with that range one way or the other. Just not sure whether to go kit lens, another pentax or one of the third-party ones. Budgetwise, I'd be looking at something comparable to the 200-250 upcharge or less placed on the kit, preferably, but would entertain something up to maybe 300 or 350 if the lens is that much better than the kit.

That was a long way of asking, is the kit lens worth 200-250 or can a better lens be had for right around that price range?

01-24-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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One word, yes.
It's even worth the $350 odd that it costs on its own.
It's sharp throughout its focal range and in all apertures, and is to me the best in consumer telezooms available. Its main shortcoming is speed, so it's not for sports/fast-action or low-light telephotography, but it does a stellar job in most other telephoto applications.

I'd suggest to pick up the twin lens kit if you can afford it. You'll find the 55-300 useful in more ways than you thought.
01-25-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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I agree with Ash, and would say you have it backwards in the OP:

You'll never improve on the 55-300 by spending the same money on another lens. The only thing you'll be able to do is find something cheaper but not as good. And it will cost you a lot more than $300 to find something *better* than the 55-300. Actually, I'm not even sure if you had more to spend you'd find soemthing that it beat it in all departments - you might get better IQ or a larger maximum aperture in part of the range, but a much smaller range overall, or greater range but worse IQ and/or much greater size/weight, etc.
01-25-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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Totally agree with Ash and Marc there.

01-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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I have not shot with the 55-300mm. However, enough people, for whom I have respect, here at the forum have and always report two, big thumbs up for the lens. I have to believe it is a winner.
01-28-2010, 06:07 AM   #6
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the lenz is way too much fun to pass up.. you will regret it if you don't pick it up, with the kit you have a starter to see how much you shoot at what mm, then it will help you decide what lens to get later on if you decide to upgrade...

i have used it for sports on cloudy days... shoot in raw and bring the exp back up and you get some pretty good pictures!

Buy it.... you know you want to!
01-28-2010, 08:11 AM   #7
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What about the "or" part of the question, it was never really answered. In the "kit" the 55-300 adds about $225 to the price but it is a DA-L. The DA version with a metal mount, a hood (I think) and a "quick shift function" can be bought for $350.

How do you all feel about the value proposition here? Are the extra features worth $125? What does the "quick shift function" do for you and how often does anyone use it?
01-28-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Virago Quote
What about the "or" part of the question, it was never really answered. In the "kit" the 55-300 adds about $225 to the price but it is a DA-L. The DA version with a metal mount, a hood (I think) and a "quick shift function" can be bought for $350.

How do you all feel about the value proposition here? Are the extra features worth $125? What does the "quick shift function" do for you and how often does anyone use it?
The hood in itself is already around $45: Pentax | PH-RBG Lens Hood (58mm Diameter) for SMCP-DA | 38761.

01-28-2010, 04:16 PM   #9
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As others have said, the 55-300 is a remarkably good lens in it's own right. I started off with it and the 18-55. This gives good coverage over a range of focal lengths. By looking at the pictures you take you can start to work out what other lenses you will need. Well worth the money.
01-28-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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I have a 55-300...get it, buddy tried my 55-300 on his K200D for one afternoon and that night went out and bought his own copy, he liked it so much.

His 50-200 sits in a closet, now that he has his 55-300.

I love my 55-300...great lens.
01-29-2010, 09:22 AM   #11
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I'm in a similar boat. I got the plain K-x white kit with the 18-55 and bought the DA version of the 55-300 afterwards. I was thinking about going with the L version to save by buying with the body, but the quick shift and hood were beckoning me.

I'm thrilled with the IQ and focal range. It is a touch slow if you're doing any indoor shooting, but with the high ISO capability of the K-x, you can still manage some good shots.

This is my primary portrait lens if I'm not using my SMC M 75-150 f/4.
01-29-2010, 09:44 AM   #12
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Agree with other posters here. It's worth it if you want a lens in that class. One possible alternative is if you prefer something smaller like the 50-200. It is not better than the 55-300, but it's not too shabby and significantly smaller and lighter--something to consider for travel. A used one wouldn't be a bad deal either (and if you're considering this, I have an extra DA 50-200/4-5.6 in great shape that I'm planning to sell).

The question between the two in my mind is just how seriously are you planning to use the longer part of the zoom range. If you're thinking of shooting wildlife, the 300 is a better idea. If you're using the more moderate part of the zoom range, the 50-200 is pretty handy.

K20D + DA 55-300 @260mm:


K10D + DA50-200 @125mm
01-29-2010, 04:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Virago Quote
What about the "or" part of the question, it was never really answered. In the "kit" the 55-300 adds about $225 to the price but it is a DA-L. The DA version with a metal mount, a hood (I think) and a "quick shift function" can be bought for $350.

How do you all feel about the value proposition here? Are the extra features worth $125? What does the "quick shift function" do for you and how often does anyone use it?
Quick shift comes in handy when the lens/camera misses focus and goes to never never land looking for some sort of contrast,(takes a while to get there too) just ease off shutter button and turn the focus ring to bring it back to a workable position. IMO, QS focus is a must with this lens, if you shoot in less than OK contrast situations.
As far as the lens hood goes, never tried shooting without it.
Yes, worth the extra $.

Cheers, Mike.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 01-29-2010 at 04:19 PM.
01-29-2010, 06:40 PM   #14
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I hate telephoto and I hate zooms. But I own the 55-300mm and it does the business. So that would be another endorsement.
01-30-2010, 05:05 AM   #15
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I'm thinking about buying an "as new" DAL 55-300mm to go with my K-x (originally I only got the 18-55mm & 50-200mm kit lenses).

I'm curious what peoples' thoughts are regarding whether a DAL 55-300mm is a better option over either:
(a) Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro
(b) Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2

These lenses can be bought (new) for a similar price to a 2nd hand DAL 55-300mm and have the option of 1:2 "macro" as well as coming with a lens hood.

I'm a beginner and imagine I would mainly use one of these lenses for some bird and other wildlife photography and perhaps try some (daylight) sports photography. The faux macro feature on the Tamron and Sigma might be fun.

I'd love to hear any comments on how image quality compares between these three or thoughts on which would be the best option (in this price range).
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