looking for feedback on the newer Pentax 50-300

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Keebler, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi folks,

    I'm wondering if anyone has this lens and looking for feedback:

    Pentax DA 55-300 F4-5.8 ED lens
    http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/st...rtmentId=10404&categoryId=11802&itemID=234756

    I currently have this lens by Sigma:

    70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO
    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_all_details.asp?id=3303&navigator=3

    It's a good lens - macro shots are great, but I find the results weaker at near to full zoom. It's just not as sharp as I think it could be.

    I had the Pentax 50-200 lens which came as a kit, but I traded that in for the macro feature of the Sigma, plus the small jump in extra zoom. The 200 lens was sharper. My rookie mistake I guess you could say.

    Anyhoo, I might just trade in or sell the Sigma to get the 50-300, but looking for user feedback so I don't make another mistake :)

    Cheers,
    keebler
     
  2. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #2
    I have the Sigma (gold ring) and it is a bit soft at 300mm (which sucks because macro is only at 300mm).

    So I find it pretty poor for macros, but action - soccer and surfing in my case it's not so bad. However I notice my best shots are at 70-200mm, and 300mm not bad for surfing when stopped down, sharpened and mounted on a tripod as close as the breaking waves permit.


    Try shooting at around f9.5 and < 200mm it improves.
    What are you shooting?


    If it was me (if I could warrant the purchase), rather than spending all that money on the DA 55-300mm, I'd save up and try to pick up a used DA* 200mm f2.8 which is said to be very sharp (and weather sealed! :D). You could keep the Sigma handy when you need convenience.
    You aren't going to get a great amount selling your Sigma (maybe $100 US).




    Here's is a users opinion on the DA 55-300mm
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=28229184
     
  3. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    thanks for the feedback and linky.

    i'm shooting kids sports, wildlife and scenery for the most part. I have used the macro feature a few times to snap pics of insects and flowers, but i don't use it regularly.

    I know i won't get much for the Sigma, but I need any trade-in value I can get to combine with some saved cash to pay for the new lens.

    I did find a used 50-200 for about $100 USD, but it sounds like the reviews and feedback about the 55-300 warrant the extra cost.

    i'll keep you posted for the fun of it :)

    thanks again,
    keebler
     
  4. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Hi Reef,

    I ended up buying this lens and trading in my Sigma - trade in value was pretty much what you thought. I needed the money so away it went. I may miss the macro feature, but we'll see.

    I like the 55-300 so far. I haven't tested it outside yet given we're in a major cold snap (-30C and below ) these days here in Canada :)

    Maybe next week :)

    Thanks again for the link and thoughts.
    Keebler
     
  5. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #5
    Congrats!
    Be sure to post in photo of the day! or even attach some crops here.

    I doubt you'll terribly miss the macro feature, I find it such a pain having to zoom into 300mm, then needing a tripod - I miss heaps of shots.

    If you haven't already, pick up an old M 50mm f1.4 or f1.7 and get some cheap extension tubes to give you close focus.

    TheReef
     

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