Pentax DA*60-250 f4.0 mini review


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sbc

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Jun 27, 2005
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#1
Just got my DA*60-250 from MS Color today. With all the talks about lens price increase, I am happy that this lens cost me slightly less that the RRP set by MJ.

In my personal opinion, this lens cannot be compared with the DA*300 for sharpness, but then again I do not expect it to. Sharpness is consistently good rather than peaking excellently at a certain f-stop. Without a prime telephoto to compare, the result looks sharp. But I had the DA*300, and the difference is obvious.

All these photos were taken at infinity. At this distance, f4.0 does not look so bad. But at the shop, during an hour of test, I constantly got soft images at f4.0 and sharper ones at f5.6 and f8.0. That was done hand held. Back home with the lens mounted on a tripod, the result looks much more consistant. I don't know is it because I was shooting at a closer range of 20 to 30 meters; I have to test more.

The photos for the 2/3rd were focused with the extreme right AF point. The edge photos were focused with the centre AF point and then the camera shifted to take the pictures.



This is the scene for the test. I know it's boring, but I am just too lazy.



*A slight disappointment, I don't know what is going on in the Vietnam factory! There were 2units of this lens in the shop. On closer inspection, both lenses have the scratch marks on the bayonet mount. To think that the QC inspectors should handle the lenses more carefully when testing. Anyway, I guess this is irrelevant to most as over time, mounting and dismounting the lens will cause those scratches anyway.

 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#2
Congratulations on your new wonder zoom. :thumbsup:
 

sbc

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#3
Thank you. I will try out some 'action' shots later to test the AF speed.
 

istDeS

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Dec 7, 2005
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#4
congrats and thanks for the first impression review.:)
 

sbc

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#6
I have the chance to try out the DA*60-250 on moving objects today. All photos are cropped to a 4:3 format, resized and sharpened in PS.

Taken at 140mm f4.5. The RC heli was doing a slow flight.



Taken at 250mm f4.0. The heli was stationary so it was easy to shoot. But it is not very sharp. Even after sharpening, it still doesn't look right.



Taken at 250mm f5.6. Stopping down 1 stop improves the sharpness. The heli was flying high and fast. This photo was cropped more that the other 2 because it was further away.



AF speed was alright. It certainly feels faster than the DA*300 f4.0 and about the same as the F*300 f4.5. The short focus throw helps a lot here.

I feel that sharpness at 250mm f4.0 is not as good as the DA*300 at f4.0. There is a sort of fuzzyness when looking at the photos. Stopping down to f5.6 is preferred. When using Program MTF, the camera will select f4.0 for 60mm and increase to f5.6 for 250mm.

Handling is much better than the DA*300. Although they are both about the same weight. The DA*300 feels front heavy. The weight of the DA*60-250 is more evenly distributed. Add to that a 20% less focal length, the lens shake less in my hands. It was also easier to track moving subjects, no doubt due to the 2 reasons given.

The biggest advantage over the DA*300 is when the subject flies close to me and I can now zoom out to frame it properly. I had a lot of trouble with the DA*300 during airshows when the Chinnook helicopter stops very close to the spectators.
 

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sbc

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Jun 27, 2005
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#8
Thank you! So far the lens is performing to specs. This time I am smart enough to test for FF/BF before everything else. I am happy to report that AF adjustment is not needed at all.
 

nhieudan

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Mar 12, 2007
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#9
This len took a long time to release, its IQ is more reliable than other DA* SDM zoom lens though there is minor fault. I think Pentax have learned very much experiences from QC in Vietnam factory. For outdoor photography, DA* 60-250 mm is trully in great demand, especially in its color rendition.
 

teruranse

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Dec 19, 2006
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#10
congratulations on your new lens, so far the shots look sharp enough for me.

just wondering have you done any similar outdoor shots using the same aperture but at night or in low light situation?
 

sbc

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Jun 27, 2005
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#11
No I have not. For my area of interest, the subject is usually in bright outdoor condition. The closest to poor lighting is when it was raining during an Army open house and it got quite dark.
 

sbc

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#12
Despite the hot sun, the air is sort of misty over Changi beach. No chance to photograph the 2 helicopters as they only fly in front of the CEC.

Pentax K-20D, 250mm, f5.6, ISO200. Heavy cropping except for T-50 and F-111 which flew near to the beach

First to fly, RSAF F-16


USAF A-10


Korean T-50 advance trainer


M-346


Last to fly, final public display before retiring from service in RAAF
 

istDeS

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Dec 7, 2005
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#14
SBC, nice capture from the airshow with the DA*60-250. No time to go yet. Hopefully i can head there this Sat, want to capture the USAF A10 Thunderbolt II and this RAAF F111 Aardvark with the fire.:)
 

sbc

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Jun 27, 2005
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#15
If you are shooting from the beach, bring a 500mm and hope the air is very clean. This year, the planes fly really far away! Even with a long lens, the photos will appear soft if the air is hazy.

BTW carpark 7 is off-limits to the public.
 

tabako

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2005
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#17
Man i LOVE the A-10, its my fav planes of all time. Tank killer. Woo hoo.
 

airconvent

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Apr 12, 2005
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#19
Nice shots! I missed the show as I went later in the afternoon. Intended to check out the A10 but completely forgotten about it as it was at the other end of the field. Pity my camera not with me..:)
 

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