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SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

Reviews Views Date of last review
119 522,716 Thu March 30, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $313.04 8.53
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

The Pentax DA 55-300mm telephoto zoom lens was released in 2008 and retired in 2013 in favor of a WR variant.

SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 6 blades
12 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
140 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29-5.4 ° / 25-4.6 °
PH-RBG 58 mm
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
71 x 111.5 mm (2.8 x 4.4 in.)
440 g (15.5 oz.)
Production Years
2008 to 2013
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:4-5.8 55-300mm ED
Product Code
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★★☆ Full coverage at some F-stop and focal length combinations
Show details
Two ED elements.
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 119
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 32

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 30, 2023 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well made, light, sharp, fast focus, It's a bargain.
Cons: I have no complaints.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3 & K3II   

I love this lens. I have several lenses that should be more sharp. However, this is very often difficult to detect without careful study. I think every Pentax owner needs one of these or one of its variants. My model doesn't have WR. That is the only thing lacking in this lens.

Registered: February, 2020
Location: Smoky Mountains, NC
Posts: 1,540

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 5, 2022 Recommended | Price: $119.00 | Rating: 9 

Cons: NONE
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K70, KP   

Got this lens used from a Forum member. It is in excellent condition, no zoom creep, and everything is tight and fits well. The focus speed is fast and accurate, though a little noisy, but reliable. I also have the HD version and this lens is just as good. IQ is very, very good!! My son used this on his K70 with great results. Not too big or heavy, great for hiking, and very versatile. These can be found cheap, but the IQ is NOT lacking. Get one, use it, love it!!

f8 ISO500 1/500th sec 300mm


Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2017
Posts: 295

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 11, 2021 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, light and reasonably sharp.
Cons: Edge to edge sharpness at longer focal lengths
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

Unless a wide angle shot is called for, this lens is on my K-1. It is compact and not heavy. It will handle most shooting situations with ease.
It's affordability makes it a great choice for those without tons of money. It's sharpness is more than adequate for most shooters. I don't over analyze except for image quality. I find it a very capable lens. I cropped he submitted image, and this lens paired with my K-1 makes for a formidable duo.
Master of the obvious

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Lowlands of Norway
Posts: 18,095

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 4, 2020 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, reasonablt sharp
Cons: Noisy focus, and at times slow

Probably my most-used lens by number of pictures taken, even though I rarely shoot with tele (or zoom) at home. It's my go-to travel lens and safari lens. The small size makes it perfect for travel and for carrying on walking safaris.

I find the sharpness quite good at all focal lengths (including at 300mm) and all apertures. It does sharpen up some when stopped down to f/8, but it's good enough at 300/5.8 that I don't hesitate to use it when needed.

It has a long focus throw, so if it misses focus and has to rack all the way to minimum and out again it's slow - and noisy. This was mostly a problem I had with the K-5 in low light, though, and not so much on the K-3 - and even less on the K-1.

Yes, I use it on the K-1, and in FF mode. It does vignette some at 300mm (more near infinity than at closer range, I think). Crop to 4x5 or 16x9 and it's mostly gone. Around 200mm I can't see any vignetting at all. At the short end it's somewhat more. Note: I have not tried to shoot without the hood at the wider end; it might be that it would help. Until a compact full-frame tele zoom is released this will cover my needs well enough.

The bokeh isn't too bad even at f/8.
K-3, 300mm f/8
Cape fox pup by -savoche-, on Flickr

The somewhat slow autofocus can be remedied with a bit of planning.
K-3, 230mm f/8
Pale chanting goshawk by -savoche-, on Flickr

K-3, 300mm f/8
Gemsbok by -savoche-, on Flickr

K-3, 300mm f/5.8 (ISO 3200)
Kalahari lion by -savoche-, on Flickr

K-1, 300mm f/11 - FF mode, uncropped
Sommelier by -savoche-, on Flickr

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,766

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 4, 2019 Recommended | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wide range, sharp image, light
Cons: AF hunts
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5II   

Very good tele-zoom lens fro every day photos
Got it used to replace an aging FA80-200

Sharp. good color rendition
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 14
Review Date: June 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp lens
Cons: sometimes visible CA's at 300mm in the edges, slow AF,sometimes unsure
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-5 k200d Fuji x-e1 and x-t100   

+ Due to the good optical construction of 4 (!) achromatic lenses and 2 ED-lenses is the optical quality of this lens in the center very nice / fine.

+ I take photos with aperture 8-11, so bokeh and sharpness are nice in the center - but sharpness only in the center !, edges are somewhat weak, especially wiede open

++ very good CA correction at 55-70 mm

O/+ CA's are well reduced and in the edges but a few visible at 300mm

++/+ good colors, sharpness, contrast and bokeh with f 11

O/+ sometimes slow and not so shure AF

for the low price nevertheless my recommendation !!! this lens is better than the new version 4.5-6.3/55-300, but not so good as the excellent 4.7-5.8/100-300 - which is my AF favorite

My first exemplary of this lens was excellent, the next one was not so good - unfortunally, perhaps a few decentered
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Quebec City, Quebec
Posts: 6,212

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 5, 2019 Recommended | Price: $230.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp in the lower ranges. Very good with the K5.
Cons: A little soft @ 300 mm and disappointing on the K3.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K20, K5   

Senior Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Malmö, Sweden
Posts: 126

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 16, 2018 Recommended | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, compact & lightweight, price/quality ratio
Cons: Autofocus noisy & a bit slow, sticky zoom ring
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5, K-x   

Very good telezoom and excellent value for money. Pictures are sharp with good saturated colours and contrast. (I also have the M*300mm, and while the 55-300 isn't quite as good as that at the long end, it's actually not that far off). It's great as a walkaround lens thanks to compactness and low weight. I'm not a pixel peeper but in practical use I really haven't had any problems with aberrations of any kind.

The downside is that the autofocus is a bit slow and rather noisy. The slowness can be overcome to a good extent thanks to quick shift, it's easy to put it in the right range first and then AF. The focus ring is not really dampened and not much fun for precise manual focusing. At least on my copy the zoom ring isn't really smooth but tends to stick a bit during zooming, which is a bit annoying. But considering the low price this certainly is no deal breaker.

I'd wholeheartedly recomend this lens to anyone needing a bit of range without having that much money to spend.
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 146
Review Date: December 29, 2017 Recommended | Price: $201.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight and fairly small, Overall IQ, Simplicity
Cons: Dreadfull AF speed, Sharpness not great at max aperture at 300mm, Quite expensive (would never buy it new)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 8    Value: 6    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70   

Decent compact wildlife lens.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Odessa
Posts: 19
Review Date: February 8, 2017 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, Graet Reach, overall sharpness, Bokeh
Cons: Really NONE
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K30   

I rate this lens true 8.
It's nearly glued to the body. So great for walking! I do like it's bokeh and IQ. You can use it wide open and it will give you great results. There is no near any lens to compete with it. Solid build, nice look, easy to use.
I bought it instead of 70 lim which is limiting me a lot. And I am very happy.

What else I must say? It produces pics in cold tones with so sweet reds!
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 158

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 17, 2016 Not Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Long reach, light weight
Cons: slow af, variable sharpness, bokeh meh
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 7    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5 K5iis   

Got this lens for a bargain price. First off, this is way better than the 50-200, BUT the 50-200 is just so awful so that is saying not much.
The 55-300 is capable of delivering some very pleasing results, but within limited parameters> something like 55-180, at f8 you will get some really nice shots. Outside this you are going to have a lot of chuckers. Eventually this led me to get rid of the lens. For wildlife it is a non-starter really, too slow and not really adequately sharp wide open.
The AF is screw-drive, slow and noisy. The bokeh is not too pleasant to my eyes.
Weighs so little and it's cheap so it's a bargain if you need some drag anywhere lens, but I don't recommend it for critical work. I believe the Tamron 70-300 may be better, and perhaps even cheaper.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2011
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia
Posts: 1,331

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 13, 2016 Recommended | Price: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Serious telephoto reach, versatile zoom range, unusual IQ for a consumer zoom (including snappy contrast), light and compact, allows for flexible hand-held shooting, decent build, affordable.
Cons: Not the fastest aperture, fairly slow and noisy AF prone to some hunting (prefocusing helps a lot, though), no WR.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3, K-7   

Have been shooting this one since 2011; it was my first extra lens beyond the 18-55mm kit lens, and I've never looked back. It remains my telephoto workhorse, capabable of coping with pretty much anything you throw at it that requires a little more reach.

There sure are telephoto offerings out there with that nth-degree resolution, but they are easily three times the price of this immensely versatile piece of glass. Contrastwise, the lens does not disappoint, not even at the long end, where many zooms of this type struggle. Wide open at F5.8, the 300mm are usable, by stopping down to F6.3, my most-used aperture on this lens, perceived sharpness is actually quite decent, and at F7.1 I have no qualms about sharpness at all.

Likely due to its fairly low element count and dependable coatings, the lens renders lively colours. There is some distortion at both ends of the zoom range, but nothing that would cause particular concern. Likewise, the residual purple fringing is easily corrected in post. Flare resistance is about average, I'd say, but the hood that comes with the lens takes care of that in most situations.

Subject tracking may not be a forte of the DA55-300mm, but given that it is the only lens with this kind of reach I got, I have used it on moving subjects, and under less than ideal lighting conditions, at events, zoo outings, and on other occasions and did return with a fair number of keepers.

In fact, this lens is probably responsible for more well-received images than any other glass I own, in a kit that also includes two DA Limiteds, and it's also among those that spend the most time on my camera, which should be saying something, I guess.

Here are some zoo images I shot with the DA55-300mm:
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Bournemouth
Posts: 29
Review Date: August 13, 2015 Recommended | Price: $187.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light, durable construction
Cons: purple fringing in direct sunlight
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

I caught this lens at ebay UK and won the bid at £120 while I was preparing to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough last year (2014). I was impressed by the results having a light zoom lens which gives me the freedom to raise my camera for the whole day while pointing it on airplanes flying. As I have owned an earlier version of this lens with plastic mount I already had an idea what it could do and I was impressed that this metal mount version is a lot better. With the downside of purple fringing when shooting planes in direct sunlight with the reflection on the fighter jets canopies, the rest are desirable results you would have expected in images taken at high speed handheld without the burden of having a tripod or monopod because of the weight of the lens which allows you to save your effort in lifting it.

I have the image samples for your own consideration.

New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 2
Review Date: February 5, 2015 Recommended | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: range
Cons: hunts in low light
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K30   

New Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 11, 2014 Recommended | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Sharpness, colour
Cons: slow, aberation, good value for price
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K10D   

I used ordinary kit DA 50-200 previously. And to be honest, 55-300 beats it almost everywhere.
Sharpnes in much better, colours are more pleasen, more accurate. Abberation is simmilar, both lenses are slow - dofinitely not for sports.

I was using it half year for landscape photography and I can say - try it. It it not heavy, and around 200mm pretty sharp. And most important thing - you will learn how to select important things into your picture. Your eye will become more careful, more focused on details, curves.... I am not able to imagine landscape photography after spending so much time with this lens.

Portraits - also nice, bokeh is not creamy, but I like it. It is like Gaugains

in general - go for it. You will not regret money. Perfect update from 50-200mm, if you have limited budget.
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