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Thread: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

  1. #1

    Default Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    As a starter's zoom lens?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    Get the DA55-300. Much better than the Tamron.
    My Flickr iownthislensthatlensthislensthatlens

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    but then its also more exp and lacks macro capability..
    any1 has both lenses?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    tamron 70-300 macro ability is not really like usual macro lens - basically all they do is include a longer barrel, something like a longer extension tube.

    you can easily combine an extension tube on the 55-300 if you wanted to.

    that said, the tamron 70-300 is not a bad lens. comparing both lenses they are equally slow. i'm not sure about wide open performance for the 55-300 but my tamron 70-300 isn't too bad, just soft at the corners. stopping down to f/8 gives a rather sharp image.

    the major problem with 70-300 is from 200-300mm the images are soft. visibly. and this lens has problems with purple fringing. but that said, it is really very value for money. if you don't take a lot of telephoto shots, and just want an option there when you need it, i'd say buy the tamron 70-300. otherwise, 55-300 should be fine. nonetheless, if you take a lot of telephoto shots, you might want to consider something better (and faster).

    some 70-300mm shots if you want samples:






    (this shot has very bad purple fringing on the railings where the light is reflected, i used layers to remove it)


    (this is wide open)


    (cropped)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    photozone.de test results for both lenses on a k10d:

    http://www.photozone.de/pentax/281-t...ab-test-report

    http://www.photozone.de/pentax/396-pentax_55300_458

    as you can see, roughly comparable results sharpness wise. 55-300 exhibits more vignetting wide open, but has more contrast at longer focal lengths, and no purple fringing problems.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    yea, read about the PF issues with the tamron..
    but does it happen very often to u, nightmare?

    coz the price is almost doubled if i choose to go for DA,

    i was planning to save up more money for future prime lens upgrade..

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    Quote Originally Posted by evolutioner View Post
    yea, read about the PF issues with the tamron..
    but does it happen very often to u, nightmare?

    coz the price is almost doubled if i choose to go for DA,

    i was planning to save up more money for future prime lens upgrade..
    PF will not happen unless got particular type of lighting.

    so far i have had it happen a few times only, in backlit situations will be very common..

    or strong rimlighting, for instance.

    for me, is quite easy to correct most of the time, so i don't mind. but if you like that sort of lighting and take a lot of that sort of shots... and will use the lens a lot, just get something that doesn't have PF lor...

    if you think about it, if you find it bad, and then you buy the tamron 70-300.. then sell it and get the pentax 55-300.. in the end you lose more money.

    so think carefully what you can take, what you cannot take.. and buy what you can afford. that's simple, right?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    another photo where i didn't correct the PF



    can see, right?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    How abt Tamron 28-300? Someone selling at mass sale . pretty cheap too. wonder how it compare to the 2

  10. #10
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    I have owned both the Tamron 70-300mm and the DA 55-300mm. Pretty obvious which is the superior lens... hint, it's the one starting with the letter "P".

    The Tamron does have a useful close-up capability and has a lower sticker price but apart from that, that's about the only thing I can recommend about it. Dreadful PF, soft at the long end and tricky method to engage macro can't make up for the cheap price. Plus the copy I had experienced intermittent electrical contact issues (read... AF OK one minute... huh, what the s?*% happened to the AF the next). Is it any wonder I never kept it.

    The DA 55-300mm smokes the Tamron out of the water pretty much in every department. Sharpness is decent wide open but crank it to 300mm and the difference in sharpness is pretty obvious. It may not have the close focusing ability of the Tamron but you'll find images straight from the camera that are sharper with more detail, have snappier contrast, better color rendition and significantly less PF. Starting at 55mm, that makes it more versatile to use than the 70mm of the Tamron. Overall build quality is better too.

    Is it worth the extra money compared to the Tamron? Most definitely. If you're really on a shoe string budget, even the plastic budget el-cheapo FA-J 75-300mm ain't half bad, heck even I have one.
    Last edited by creampuff; 23rd May 2010 at 12:32 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    FA-J still got new 1?

    thanks for all the useful info..
    PS nightmare: i can see PF in the cat's eyes..
    but the sharpness seems to be pretty good with the cat..

    btw, how useful is the 55-300 as a macro tool?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    I used to have the Tamron 70-300, and now I'm using the DA55-300. I never owned both at the same time, so I can't make a side-by-side comparison. But based on photos I have and my own impressions, the DA55-300 is clearly the winner here, except for price any maybe the pseudo-macro function.

    PF doesn't show up in every situation, but whenever you have strong highlights against a clear edge of some sorts, you can bet that it'll be terrible on the Tamron. And such situations can be fairly common. A test I did quite a while ago, taken at f4:

    This is a 100%, so the PF is really clear. If you don't crop, it can still be acceptable, like in naightmare's cat photo (which I really like, btw ) This is what the uncropped photo looks like for the Tamron 70-300mm. It looks a bit soft due to compression by CS gallery:


    The Tamron's sharpness is pretty good up to about 200mm, then it start to get soft wide open from 200-300mm. The DA55-300 is sharp all the way wide open, beating the Tamron at all settings IMHO.

    And just based on impressions, the DA55-300 also hunts less when focusing.

    I would say that both lenses are really value for money, but yet at the same time, you get what you pay for (between these two lenses).
    Last edited by Gengh; 23rd May 2010 at 05:21 AM.
    My photos - see just some or all of it =)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    wow the PF is really serious..

    thanks for the comparison, gengh..

    btw, is there anyway i can do proper macro with this 55-300? for eg extension tube or converter?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    Quote Originally Posted by evolutioner View Post
    wow the PF is really serious..

    thanks for the comparison, gengh..

    btw, is there anyway i can do proper macro with this 55-300? for eg extension tube or converter?
    min. focus distance 1.4m (max. magnification ratio ~1:3.6)

    don't think you'll get too far with an extension tube

    maybe you could stack extension tubes + macro converter, but i think that would be so much hassle, might as well buy a macro lens.
    Last edited by night86mare; 23rd May 2010 at 07:14 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro


  16. #16
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    Don't get overly hung up with the Macro label on a zoom lens. Look for a lens that delivers a good and balanced optical performance as it makes a whole lot of difference with the quality of images that come out straight from the camera.
    Post processing can reduce some lens faults but can't add detail that the lens doesn't first resolve.

    Here's an uncropped close-up from the Tamron. Pretty decent close-up but notice that the berries still aren't really bitingly sharp (and this image has some sharpening applied) even with the camera on a monopod.


    Contrast that with an uncropped shot from the DA 55-300mm at 300mm. OK it's a boring shot of a dog but look at the fur detail.
    Sharp in the center and at the edges, remarkable performance for a consumer grade tele zoom.
    There's some light fall-off at the edges but that can be fixed during PP or better still, invest in a proper 300mm prime lens for even better picture quality.



    At the end, you get what you pay for. Why the DA 55-300mm gets a lot of thumbs up from users is the more than decent performance for the money, especially at the long end.
    Of course a dedicated 300mm prime lens will trump it but then we're talking more serious money territory.
    I think more people have memories of ugly PF than the macro capabilities of the Tamron, which should already tell you which lens is the more capable of the two.
    If you want to dabble in macro, there are plenty of options, from investing in a proper macro lens to using extension tubes, close-up filters to an old prime lens or even reversing the lens itself.
    With such an approach, you'll get far better macro results than the so-called macro from a tele-zoom.
    Ditch the Tamron and start saving for the DA... but hey, it's your money.
    Last edited by creampuff; 23rd May 2010 at 09:17 AM. Reason: spelling

  17. #17

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    k more macros for you from the tamron 70-300. not really macros anyways... just closeups.









    if you buy the 55-300, you can always use the 18-55 kit for larger insects:



    cropped slightly, of course.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    Quote Originally Posted by evolutioner View Post
    wow the PF is really serious..

    thanks for the comparison, gengh..

    btw, is there anyway i can do proper macro with this 55-300? for eg extension tube or converter?
    You're welcome.

    What do you exactly want to achieve when you say "proper macro"? If you mean 1:1 macro or higher magnification, it's probably rather difficult. But if you just mean getting frame-filling pics of smaller animals (or very large insects) and flowers, it's quite do-able. Something like these?





    These were shot recently with the DA55-300 without any accessories, and cropped (not too agressively).
    My photos - see just some or all of it =)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    Basically if u want a macro lens, then Tamron 70-300 is not that best to be one. Coz it doesnt give 1:1 macro.

    Tamron has the 90mm macro and 180mm macro and both is 1:1, Pentax also has the DFA 100mm WR macro that is 1:1 also.

    I got the Samsung Dxenon 100mm Macro also 1:1 which gives good macro.

    Though I havent tried close up using 55-300mm before.

    Here is a pic of the Macro from my Samsung lens.

    1)

    My Flickr iownthislensthatlensthislensthatlens

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED or Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

    from all these post.. i guess i'll get the 55-300..
    either camp in BnS or see if anyone will be getting a new black kx single lens kit and pay him a little to get the DAL version..

    and i hope to take macro like ur pic riscal.. that really is quite awesome.. i've always wanted to capture insect's eyes like that..
    how much did that cost u?

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