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01-18-2014, 06:53 PM   #1
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long zooms

I have a K-5 and mostly shoot an 18-135. But there are times when I need a longer focal length, I believe that I want 300 at the long end, just don't see that 200 would be much advantage over the 135. Has anyone tried/compared the Pentax 55-300 either DA or DA-L, to either Tamron or Sigma 70 - 300? Would like to hear what others think of these. Thanks.
'

01-18-2014, 07:06 PM   #2
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A lot of people have, the consensus is that the 55-300 is much better and is actually a bargain in the Pentax world.
01-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #3
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+1 Just get the 55-300 and don't look back.

Although now you have three versions to choose from: DA L - no quick shift but much less expensive, DA SMC - quick shift and lens hood, DA HD - quick shift, lens hood, HD coatings and WR.
01-18-2014, 10:06 PM   #4
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Yep, I use the 50-300mm on my K-7 almost exclusively. Excellent lens for the price.
(Re: Quickshift. You can depress the lens release button for fake QS on lenses without it.. Works very well, especially as your right hand is right there. Another plus for Pentax, other brands have the lens release button on the other side)

01-18-2014, 11:12 PM   #5
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I have the HD DA 55-300 and I see no problems with it. I have not tried the Tamaron or Sigma lenses of similar size. The only thing I can compare it to is the Canon EF75-300 on my 70D and I can't tell a difference between them optically.
01-19-2014, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quick shift

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
+1 Just get the 55-300 and don't look back.

Although now you have three versions to choose from: DA L - no quick shift but much less expensive, DA SMC - quick shift and lens hood, DA HD - quick shift, lens hood, HD coatings and WR.
I am not familiar with quick shift, could you explain what it does and what the benefits are?
01-19-2014, 10:22 AM   #7
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During autofocus, some lenses do not allow you to manually override where the camera thinks you should focus - you have to flip one/two switches.

'Quick shift' lenses allow you to just grab the ring and 'adjust' it after the A/F has gotten you to where it thinks you should be.

Say, for instance, the camera locks focus on the nose of something, or on one of two birds, and you want to focus somewhere slightly different - just grab the ring and go.

Doesn't sound like much but it's much quicker/more versatile than having to switch the AF lever.
01-19-2014, 10:57 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wiley old goat Quote
I am not familiar with quick shift, could you explain what it does and what the benefits are?
Another benefit of QS is that it allows you to easily manually prefocus the lens in low light situations where the relatively slow max aperture of a particular lens might otherwise make AF struggle. When roughly prefocused, AF can sometimes get a critical focus lock while when the lens starts in a severely out of focus state, it might only hunt full lock back and forth.

Personally, I use QS for this much more than to correct misfocus.

Scott

01-19-2014, 11:04 AM   #9
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+1 on the 55-300mm. I have owned the tamron in the past. The pentax is a better lens.
01-19-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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+1 For Pentax 55-300, I used the Sigma APO 70-300 f4-5.6 DG Macro and I argue that Pentax is better
01-19-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
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+1 for Pentax DA 55-300 which I bought after owning Tamron. I still have the Tamron 70-300 Di and although sharp, it is a purple fringe monster in harsh contrast images. Can't comment on latest Sigma. Tamron and Sigma main advantages are some Macro ability; aperature rings and lower price.

Pentax advantages: better image quality; larger range; QS & WR available

IFAIK the only 3rd party lens in this class that likely matches the Pentax IQ is the Tamron 70-300 SP, but this is not offered in K-mount and is a similar price to the Pentax.
01-19-2014, 02:39 PM   #12
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+1 again for the 55-300. I purchased mine as used but it came with the original box and bag in perfect condition. I don't use it much as I prefer wide lenses but it is a good addition to my lens collection when I need a long lens.
01-20-2014, 12:43 PM   #13
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I found the Tamron 70-300 which performed well on my K-10D was unusable on the K-5. I switched to the DA 55-300 and it has be a solid performer.
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