Mar 8, 2017

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 PLM WR RE

Introduction

If you're a Pentax shooter who's not quite ready to step up to a professional lens like the DA* 60-250mm f/4 or D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8, there are only two homegrown options to scratch the telephoto itch: the DA 50-200mm or the DA 55-300mm. For years, the DA 55-300mm f/4–5.8 was the better of the two choices. This consumer zoom provided ample telephoto reach, weather sealing, and good-enough image quality, all in a portable package.

But it's 2016, and though the DA 55-300 f/4-5.8's image quality is still fine, its autofocus system is definitely showing its age—particularly for the sorts of subjects you're likely to shoot with a telephoto zoom.

The K-70 and 55-300 PLM in profilePentax K-70 with the 55-300mm PLM set at 55mm

Enter the HD Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.5–6.3 ED PLM WR RE, featuring a retractable design and a new Pulse Motor (PLM) system powering the autofocus.

Smaller, lighter, and 100% more silent than its predecessor, the new DA 55-300mm looks to be an upgrade in every way but one—its narrower aperture range. Still, we had to put it to the test to find out whether it can best a time-tested favorite. Come along as we find out!


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