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

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR

Sharpness 
 8.4
Aberrations 
 8.5
Bokeh 
 8.2
Autofocus 
 6.9
Handling 
 9.1
Value 
 9.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
29 107,952 Fri September 1, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
97% of reviewers $361.83 8.61
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
supersize

Description:
This weather sealed version of the 55-300mm lens was introduced in 2013 with a US MSRP of $449.

The original version has been a favorite by many and with most Pentax DSLRs being weather sealed it makes a lot of sense that Pentax introduces it in a WR version.

Another upgrade is the lens coating which now is of the more flare resistant HD type. The front element is SP (Super Protect) coated like on the predecessor. SP coating repels grease and finger prints and is easier to clean should it get dirty.

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
12 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F4-5.8
Min. Aperture
F22-32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
140 cm
Max. Magnification
0.28x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29-5.4 ° / 25-4.6 °
Hood
PH-RBI 58mm
Case
S80-160
Lens Cap
O-LC58
Coating
HD,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
71 x 111.5 mm (2.8 x 4.4 in.)
Weight
450 g (15.9 oz.)
Production Years
2013 to Present
Pricing
$339 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:4-5.8 55-300mm ED WR
Product Code
22270
Notes
Two ED elements.

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR Buy the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 29
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 1, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, good range, quite sharp, nearly point and shoot
Cons: Screw AF thing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k-30   

Walking around outside type lens, plus boating, caravanning, four wheel driving, maybe biking. Not so much indoors. Trusty weapon.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 35
Lens Review Date: August 28, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $289.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Zoom Range, WR
Cons: Focusing, Sharpness, Performance
Sharpness: 4    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 4    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 6    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I hate to write this review. I had decent hopes for this lens, and it failed to deliver. I was not expecting performance on par with my DA* 50-135, but I was expecting decent performance.

Under 90mm, it was a good lens. Anything over 90 was not very good, with anything over 150mm being basically useless. I could not get a decent photo with different aperture settings, even when focusing manually.

Physically, the lens looked good and handled well. Optically, my copy, needed a lot of work.

This is the first lens that I returned to the retailer. I hope I was simply saddled with a poor copy of the lens. I suspect a misalignment issue.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 120

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 30, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $285.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, light, cheap, reliable
Cons: is not 55-300 f1.2
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3II   

Couple of things need saying. Camera bodies cause a lens to focus, and it is clear that this lens reaches focus faster with newer bodies. The means of getting to focus, under command of the camera, happens to be a very reliable, albeit audible, mechanical linkage. And trust me, when you are hearing this, or any other lens "hunt", it is because the active focusing point(s) are not happy with what they see -- you are shaking the camera, the subject is moving, or the focusing matrix choice may be inappropriate for the subject, etc.
Focus hunting may say something about your technique at that moment. Spot meter a hummingbird in flight with blue sky as the background and yeah, you are going to hear this lens hunt. Add a contrasty closer background, and things improve. Widen the metering slightly from spot, and all of a sudden this "lens focusses" the elusive hummingbird just fine. There are well-documented limitations in the Pentax focusing algorithms and sensor configuration that hopefully will improve, but shouldn't be protrayed as lens issues, per se. I suspect if you hung this lens from a Nikon D500 its focusing would be stellar. The newer PLM variant of this lens seems to be a step in the right direction with greater speed and low noise, assuming your camera is compatible.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2015
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 1,892
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, well made
Cons: Gateway to more expensive telephoto lenses

This is a really nice middle of the road lens. I hesitate to call it budget, both because it's not that cheap, and the build quality in my eyes is much too nice for the term budget. I own the Olympus m43 budget zoom, and the 55-300 HD WR is in a whole other class of lens.

People call this lens light... I'm not sure I could agree, but the build is nice and solid and it takes really admirable photos. It's not a great choice for dark days or indoors as you just can't get enough light to it hand held, but these are the trade offs you make. It excels on nice bright days where it makes a striking nice lens for outdoor sports, etc.

The only real con I can think of is that it gives you enough of a taste for the good stuff that you start to wonder about the faster glass in the system!
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WR, good optical qualities
Cons: Slow AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

Covers all my telephoto needs. A nice touch is the pretty good min focus distance of 140 cm. This comes in very handy when out on walks cause at 300mm you can do close-up photography of stuff lying on the ground without ruining your back! (See uncropped pic of leaf for example). Contrast, sharpness and flare resistance is very good, especially with the generous hood. See crop below for sharpness demonstration. Weather resistance is great to have with a larger lens like this, since they are harder to tuck under your jacket when it's raining. Highly recommended. Main drawback is noisy and slow AF which hunts a lot.

   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Saskatoon
Posts: 1,333

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: compact, sharp, great reach, price
Cons: hunting AF, slow aperture
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   

Screwdrive autofocus is a negative in my books especially in a long telephoto, although my experience would probably be better with a better camera body. This is the only lens where I frequently use Quick Shift to compensate for the camera not being able to find focus. On the other hand, relative to its price this lens can produce excellent images and it is much lighter than other long telephoto zoom lenses with faster apertures or better glass and those lenses are 3 times the price or more. I selected two pictures from the extremes of its focal length range; while it doesn't really qualify as a walk-around lens, it gives you great range in a two lens system.



   
New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Tromso
Posts: 4

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp, compact, great value
Cons: Autofocus could be better, sometimes awefull bokeh
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

I have used this lens for a year now and must say its awesome in good conditions, great value!
When used in the right way it can produce amazing photo´s. I even get very sharp results at 300mm.

Autofocus is a bit noisy and slow sometimes and in low light the lens is not so useful but that is to be expected
from f5.8 at 300mm.

So who ever wants a nice zoom lens for wildlife and hasn´t a budget of 1000$ or more then this lens will be an
awesome choice for you!

[IMG][/IMG]





   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,250

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $259.95 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WR, HD, light, compact, sturdily built, good IQ
Cons: screw drive, a little slow for indoor use
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

I already own the SMC version of this lens, but my son is taking it to Asia for 6 months, so I picked up the newer HD WR version from B&H in the post-Christmas sales for myself. The optical formula is identical, so it is not surprising that they produce very similar results. The construction of the HD version seems more robust, and the weather resistance is a major bonus. I haven't yet noticed any advantage from the HD lens coating compared to the old but still excellent SMC. I'm sure it is there, but I have never had any trouble with flare with this lens, partly due to the deep lens hood.

Overall, this is a lens that any Pentaxian shooting outdoors should carry. It is extremely compact and light for a 300mm zoom, and the WR makes it ideal for hiking. The image quality is not professional grade but is more than acceptable for most other users. The bokeh is really excellent, the aberrations mild, and the sharpness good.

The only disappointment is that it is STILL screw-drive. The DC motor of the DA 18-135 and other recent lenses would have been a welcome addition. Nevertheless, so far the autofocus has proved accurate and fast enough. I have experienced a little hunting of the AF on the SMC version, but haven't noticed it yet on the HD (I'm sure it's possible to provoke it, but only if swapping from extreme near to far focus or vice versa).

For the price, everyone who shoots outdoors should have this extremely useful lens. For indoor sports etc, I would suggest something faster.
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 29

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: build quality, looks, very little CA
Cons: sharpness, focus noise
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

After using the cheap Tamron 300mm, this lens has much better CA. Sharpness is not great on this Pentax lens though. Maybe I'm spoiled using mostly primes but all the Pentax WR lenses I have tried are soft. The 18-55 being especially bad. Some have said his may be due to the high reolution of the K3's sensor. Of course it's not all aobut looking at how sharp an image appears to be, but how the lens performs overall. The CA is excellent and the focus seems fine on my copy. The noise is bad as this is a screw drive lens, as others have said. For the money the lens is ok.
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Kalispell, MT
Posts: 29

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $258.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Light weight, no zoom creep, sharp, wr
Cons: slow AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

I LOVE THIS LENS! The last big range consumer zoom I had was a sigma 28-300 for my Nikon D90 and that was awful. This is a great lens. Very sharp, lightweight, and I love that the zoom is kinda stiff, but not too stiff, so that if you're on a tripod you and aiming down you don't have to worry about zoom creep. The only reason I'm giving it a 7 outta 10 is that the AF from close to infinity is very slow. It feels like an eternity when in reality it's about a 1-2 secs. Which is an eternity in digital terms. But how often am I shooting something at 4 feet then all of the sudden need to focus to infinity? So far, never. If I am it's usually controlled shots that I have plenty of time to compose.
All in all, for the price, you can't beat it. I had thought about saving my money for the 150-450 but since photography is a semi-hobby, I don't think I am sacrificing anything with this lens and I'm saving a butt-load.
   
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 62

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 20, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $274.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light,Great IQ,Fast AF
Cons: None to date.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3/K30   

After having a disappointing experience w/new Da*300, I decided to upgrade my SMC version to this HD model. I am really glad i did.
First session produced about 60 top quality shots at more than 500 yds. All suceeding session were the same. All aperture settings produced good results.
No really noticeable degradation at the various ranges.
I feel that I got more than my monies worth and I would recommend this lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 1,386

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 13, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WR, HD coating, size, weight, build quality.
Cons: Autofocus sometimes... long minimum focal distance
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I sold my SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm (green ring) to replace it with this, as I wanted the weather sealing.

I didn't expect any other improvements, but there are two, and in my mind, they justify the bump in price:
1. Build quality is vastly improved over the SMC lens. It matches the K-3, feels solid and looks great.
2. Benefit of HD coating is quite obvious when shooting high contrast scenes. Purple fringing is not an issue.

I have found autofocus speed is body dependent, it's slow on the K-7 and much improved on the K-3.
At 190mm, it's f/4.5. So in low light, there is the option to stay at or below 190mm and it behaves as a decently fast lens.
As with the previous model, the long minimum focal length of 1.4m can be a limitation sometimes.
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2015
Location: Washington
Posts: 267

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 4, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $249.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, sharp images, light, WR
Cons: autofocus hunts at low light
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

Just bought K-50 with 15-55mm and this 55-300mm lens. This lens is a must for
US $249.00. It produces very sharp pictures thru most of the focal range all the
way to 300mm if there is enough light.
I shoot lots of birds at close range at 300mm handheld and pictures are very sharp as long as I keep speeds above 1/500 sec.
Autofocus can hunt sometimes when there is not enough light and is slightly noise.
When I need it I switch to manual focus especially at 300mm.
I did use it today at my daughter's soccer match shooting "Sports Mode" in
autofocus mode in sunny day and it was focusing fine and was able to track and
shoot multiple frames per second without problems.
I highly recommend this lens. For the price and the overall very good quality of the
lens, this is a must have lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 1,074

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Light weight, WR
Cons: slow AF
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5II   

Quite sharp and easy of handle. The autofocus is a little slow particularly shifting form the widest range 55 to the longest range 300. The lens would hunt at times and it's a bit noisy. Pre-focusing on an area then refocusing on your subject helps to achieve focus faster.

Overall, it's a great value for money and it's WR. I recommend it to those working on a budget lens.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2012
Location: South Coast, NSW
Posts: 261

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, light, WR
Cons: Noisy autofocus that hunts
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

Auto focus hunts and scares the birds but when focused it is sharp and gives quite nice images

Other than the AF it seems to be a nice light versatile lens.

WR is a BIG plus and really, at this price it is very good value and probably a must in any travel kit.
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