Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots


Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots
1/800 sec, f/7.1, 260mm, iso 200

I got the DA zoom as a replacement for my previous zoom with Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 zoom. I have been missing my old Tamron zoom for its lightweight, good image quality and surprisingly good close up at 1:2. The DA zoom is priced higher as in two times the cost of Tamron Zoom and it is without the close up in Tamron zoom. In terms of build quality, the Pentax DA zoom is better especially in the zoom ring that is tight and unlike the Tamron zoom, the zoom position pretty much stays in place reliably.

Both zooms share the quality of sharp images and good to use in traveling with single zoom lens that cover the long end needs while my short ends are covered with primes. The DA zoom has another positive advantage in not fringing which I have a difficult time with the Tamron zoom.

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots
1/125 sec, f/6.3, 260mm, iso 200

In terms of value, I think the cheaper Tamron zoom is more a value lens if one can live with occasional fringing. There is no doubt that I miss my old Tamron zoom especially on the quality with its close up photos. When I carry one tele zoom in outing, it is quite ready for both tele and close up needs on flowers.

Golden Gate Bridge in Fog

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots1/40 sec, f/5.0, 120mm, iso 640

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots
1/250 sec, f/8.0, 107.5mm, iso 400

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots
1/500 sec, f/7.1, 55mm, iso 100

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots
1/100 sec, f/8.0, 150mm, iso 100

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots
1/160 sec, f/6.3, 230mm, iso 320

Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 Test Shots
1/500 sec, f/6.3, 260mm, iso 320

Impressions & Notes
  • Build quality is better in the Pentax DA zoom than the Tamron zoom especially on the zoom ring

  • Close up is a disappointment when compared to the Tamron zoom that can go to 1:2.

  • Fringing is absent in my use with the Pentax DA zoom

  • Auto Focus is just as slow and noisy if not slower than the Tamron zoom

  • Quick Shift focus is handy with the Pentax DA zoom

  • Size is small and compact in the Pentax DA zoom

  • In terms of value, I favor the Tamron zoom as I do like the close up ability in the Tamron zoom for half the cost of the DA zoom.



Yael DeFaye said...

Thanks for the review Hin. Are you still with your K-x or have you upgraded to something else?

I have that DA 55-300 which I love but I use the Sigma 17-70 for my close up which is really nice.

LaRee Brownell said...

Thank you for the review Hin. I've always been quite happy with my tamron 70-300. I experience fringing too, but I'm careful not to expect too much of it under challenging conditions. I love the close focus ability of it too and it is sharp!

VinceChu said...

Hi hin, great to see you're updating your site again - I followed it quite a lot in the past prior to buying my Pentax equipment, and got the Sigma 17-70mm after reading your post.

The 1st and 3rd photos of the bridge are stunning, the portrait is also very nice. Keep up the good work!

Have to say I'm considering the 55-300mm or the 50-200mm WR, do you have any experience with the 50-200mm?

Hin Man said...

@Yael, I no longer have my K-x. I am looking to upgrading to K-5 and keep my K20D as a backup body.

@LaRee, I will suggest to keep the Tamron zoom. The Pentax DA zoom is a good lens but I don't see it worth costing more than twice as the Tamron zoom. The close up and sharpness in the long end seem more appealing to me in the Tamron zoom.

@Vince, the range in 55-300mm is more usable but I do have positive experience with the 50-200 with lighter weight and smaller zoom. If WR is important to you, the 50-200 with WR is a good candidate to consider. The few complaints that I have on 55-300mm is the occasional AF hunting, lack of close up and a higher price tag.

Thank you for all of your comments.

Miserere said...

Golden Gate Bridge in Fog #1 is a subtly beautiful photo, Hin.

Glad to see you back on the wagon :-)

Anonymous said...

Hin- Great fotos, Good to see you back!

Unknown said...

Your Tamron is being loved and taken care of by me :)

Unknown said...

Also, can you list settings usedfor the Golden Gate, sky, purple flower, and the child please? :)

maxcomputer said...

Nice Blog...

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