Which zoom lens will you recommend?


Jan 10, 2011
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#1
Hi guys.
I'm new here as well as I am to photography.

Recently bought a kx with the 18-55mm kit to play with.
Now I'm looking through several zoom lens, but however is not able to make my choice.
So, would like to see what you guys got to say with these lens I have chosen and also the price as well.

Thanks!

1) Pentax DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Telephoto Zoom
2) Pentax DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Telephoto Zoom
3) Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3

Will be mostly taking portraits and scenaries and of course wildlife shots.
Once again, thank you!
:D
 

ricsal

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
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#2
Since u got the 18-55, I think u better stick to the 55-300

18-250 is good but as u shld know, these kind of zooms does have distortion due to its Focal Length.

I have used DA55-300 and its a great lens.That time I bought is ard $600

DAL 55-300 is kit lens that usually comes with the package. So to get a new one maybe dun have. Check B&S for it. Roughly ard 400 or below. The QUality and design is abit different than the DA 55-300.
 

Jan 10, 2011
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#3
ohhh I have asked around for the price for both the DA and DAL.
And DAL seems to be much cheaper because of its plastic lens and no quick shift focus right?
Other than that, the quality of the shots produced, are there any major differences?
 

Last edited:
Jan 10, 2010
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#4
The DA and DAL versions of 55-300 are optically the same. Only difference for the DAL version is the lack of metal mount, quick shift and lens hood.

Suggest that you get the DAL version together with the 3rd party JJC hood.

Another alternative is the 50-200 lens. Optically the 55-300 is slightly better, but the 50-200 is a significantly lighter, more compact and most importantly, cheaper. Filter size is also more convenient at 52mm or 49mm (WR version)

Try not to get a superzoom like the 18-250. Go for the new DA 18-135 instead, it's $749 currently.
 

Jan 10, 2011
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#5
Hi bro.
Thanks.
Suppose that i were to buy the 55-300, can i use the polarizer and my lens hood which i am currently using for my 18-55 on the 55-300?
My main focus of shooting is wildlife and portraits (street photography), hence i believe getting the 300mm will be a better choice?

Do correct me if I'm wrong!
 

CorneliusK

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2010
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#6
Do carefully consider your needs before you commit. Are you going to split your shooting evenly between scenery, portraits and wildlife? Or do you anticipate spending more time shooting wildlife or scenery? Or is your top priority getting a versatile lens which can cover all situations without having to change lens?

Max overall zoom range - kit lens + DA/L 55-300
All in one superzoom with decent quality - DA 18-250
Superzoom with good image quality - DA 18-135
More scenery and portrait than wildlife - Tamron 17-50 or DA*16-50 (if you have the budget)

I personally feel that a fast normal zoom is the most useful lens for the average shooter, as it allows you to take scenery, group shots, nice portraits with decent bokeh, as well as low light shots with one lens.
 

May 7, 2010
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#7
Hi bro.
Thanks.
Suppose that i were to buy the 55-300, can i use the polarizer and my lens hood which i am currently using for my 18-55 on the 55-300?
My main focus of shooting is wildlife and portraits (street photography), hence i believe getting the 300mm will be a better choice?

Do correct me if I'm wrong!
answer is no, 18-55 uses 52mm front filter thread, 55-300 uses 58mm, i know, coz i have both of them.
and yes, i have to say 55-300 is very good in terms of optical performance, especially suitable for entry level shooters like u and me.
 

Jan 10, 2011
64
0
0
#8
Do carefully consider your needs before you commit. Are you going to split your shooting evenly between scenery, portraits and wildlife? Or do you anticipate spending more time shooting wildlife or scenery? Or is your top priority getting a versatile lens which can cover all situations without having to change lens?

Max overall zoom range - kit lens + DA/L 55-300
All in one superzoom with decent quality - DA 18-250
Superzoom with good image quality - DA 18-135
More scenery and portrait than wildlife - Tamron 17-50 or DA*16-50 (if you have the budget)

I personally feel that a fast normal zoom is the most useful lens for the average shooter, as it allows you to take scenery, group shots, nice portraits with decent bokeh, as well as low light shots with one lens.
Hey there.
Yes, i did considered my priority and i would like to have a versatile lens which can cover to all the situations as i mentioned without changing the lens. If so, which of the lens will you recommend me to get?

answer is no, 18-55 uses 52mm front filter thread, 55-300 uses 58mm, i know, coz i have both of them.
and yes, i have to say 55-300 is very good in terms of optical performance, especially suitable for entry level shooters like u and me.
Ah yes, so i would need to buy it separately.
The 55-300 you talking about is DA or DAL?
Is it really worth it to save up for the quick focus, or i can live without it?
And also i read it somewhere in the Pentax forums, some of them faces images not being sharp, user problem?
Anybody using the DA/DAL 55-300mm lens facing that problems?
Thanks alot!
 

Supersimon27

Senior Member
Jan 20, 2010
2,946
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#9
Hey there.
Yes, i did considered my priority and i would like to have a versatile lens which can cover to all the situations as i mentioned without changing the lens. If so, which of the lens will you recommend me to get?


Ah yes, so i would need to buy it separately.
The 55-300 you talking about is DA or DAL?
Is it really worth it to save up for the quick focus, or i can live without it?
And also i read it somewhere in the Pentax forums, some of them faces images not being sharp, user problem?
Anybody using the DA/DAL 55-300mm lens facing that problems?
Thanks alot!
I think dal is good enough . Quick shift unless u into macro , else I seldom use it .

If you want to share Yr cpl for 18-55 with 55-300mm , still can be done with a step down ring . 58 mm to 52mm should not have any vignetting as I try with a 43mm step down ring before with no issue on dal 55-300mm

Image not sharp ? U must be kidding . If u find that 18-55mm is good , I would say 55-300mm iq is even better .
 

Gengh

New Member
May 6, 2007
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#10
Hey there.
Yes, i did considered my priority and i would like to have a versatile lens which can cover to all the situations as i mentioned without changing the lens. If so, which of the lens will you recommend me to get?


Ah yes, so i would need to buy it separately.
The 55-300 you talking about is DA or DAL?
Is it really worth it to save up for the quick focus, or i can live without it?
And also i read it somewhere in the Pentax forums, some of them faces images not being sharp, user problem?
Anybody using the DA/DAL 55-300mm lens facing that problems?
Thanks alot!
Street and scenery can be taken with a very wide range of focal lengths, so you'll probably want to change lenses depending on the situation. You could benefit from a superzoom for street (not for scenery, since sceneries don't change that quickly), but I'd still recommend getting the 55-300 and trying to work with the individual lenses. For wildlife, 55-300 is the clear choice.

You could live without the quick-shift feature, it's usually not a deal-breaker.

Don't think the DA or DAL 55-300 has a known AF issue, it's probably just bad shooting technique at the extreme telephoto end?
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
10,930
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#11
Hi bro.
Thanks.
Suppose that i were to buy the 55-300, can i use the polarizer and my lens hood which i am currently using for my 18-55 on the 55-300?
My main focus of shooting is wildlife and portraits (street photography), hence i believe getting the 300mm will be a better choice?

Do correct me if I'm wrong!
If you want to add versatility to your current setup, then a 55-300 will be a good buy. Either the L or non-L version is ok, depending on budget and need for potential durability (esp. the mount)

A 300mm zoom will serve you well for wildlife (I assume the zoo). Birds in the wild will often require longer lenses. For people/streets/candids, different focal lengths give different effects and use different approaches, so it depends.

IMO, the 18-250 sits as the lowest choice for performance and makes your kit lens redundant.
 

CorneliusK

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2010
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#12
For street shooting + general versatility + image quality you can't go wrong with the DA 18-135, although its on the expensive side. I have always wanted to have the range of my DA* 16-50 and 50-135, which I have found very useful, together in one lens. The silent and quick focusing of the new motor, and the very good build quality are also a bonus.

DA/L main selling point is very good reach + image quality at a good price. If you like to take portrait shots of people right across the street, this is the lens for you. There is a trade off in terms of versatility though, but it will complement your existing kit lens nicely.

A little about street shots - a long lens for working distance is of course useful, but I feel that wider angle lenses gives you more creative options. You can frame more of the scene inside rather than just focusing on one subject. For your wildlife needs, you need to define what you intend to shoot - cats on the street, tigers at the zoo, or birds at sungei buloh? 300mm is a bit overkill I feel, unless you are shooting birds.
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#13
Tamron and Sigma 70-300 also ok choices, just need to stop down a bit to ensure sharpness, and not so good at the 200-300 range.

These are options that you can consider if you are constrained by price. But of course, you get what you pay for.
 

detritus

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#14
Tamron and Sigma 70-300 also ok choices, just need to stop down a bit to ensure sharpness, and not so good at the 200-300 range.

These are options that you can consider if you are constrained by price. But of course, you get what you pay for.
purple fringing included? :bsmilie:
 

oceanpriest

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2010
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Ghim Moh
#15
Tamron and Sigma 70-300 also ok choices, just need to stop down a bit to ensure sharpness, and not so good at the 200-300 range.

These are options that you can consider if you are constrained by price. But of course, you get what you pay for.
macro function is a bonus ;)

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=821286
 

Gengh

New Member
May 6, 2007
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#16
For street shooting + general versatility + image quality you can't go wrong with the DA 18-135, although its on the expensive side. I have always wanted to have the range of my DA* 16-50 and 50-135, which I have found very useful, together in one lens. The silent and quick focusing of the new motor, and the very good build quality are also a bonus.

DA/L main selling point is very good reach + image quality at a good price. If you like to take portrait shots of people right across the street, this is the lens for you. There is a trade off in terms of versatility though, but it will complement your existing kit lens nicely.

A little about street shots - a long lens for working distance is of course useful, but I feel that wider angle lenses gives you more creative options. You can frame more of the scene inside rather than just focusing on one subject. For your wildlife needs, you need to define what you intend to shoot - cats on the street, tigers at the zoo, or birds at sungei buloh? 300mm is a bit overkill I feel, unless you are shooting birds.
Sorry, have to disagree here. I feel that 200-300mm is very nice for cats on the street (in daylight) and tigers in the zoo, but not enough for birds. Maybe we have different shooting styles for such subjects....

I would also like to have my two DA* combined into one, but giving up the f2.8 is too much of a price to pay leh.... :)
 

snapnut

New Member
Oct 1, 2004
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#17
Get the DAL 55-300mm... cheap, good, can shoot dinosaur without being eaten... in the dark ;)


The other long prime I have and like is the Pentax-m 200mm f4.
Small, light, build in hood, nice colours and quite sharp... and not ex :)
 

Jan 10, 2011
64
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0
#18
Street and scenery can be taken with a very wide range of focal lengths, so you'll probably want to change lenses depending on the situation. You could benefit from a superzoom for street (not for scenery, since sceneries don't change that quickly), but I'd still recommend getting the 55-300 and trying to work with the individual lenses. For wildlife, 55-300 is the clear choice.

You could live without the quick-shift feature, it's usually not a deal-breaker.

Don't think the DA or DAL 55-300 has a known AF issue, it's probably just bad shooting technique at the extreme telephoto end?
Ah, yes.
Thanks bro, currently only have the 18-55mm lens.
Hhaha.
Just got the thought of getting the 300mm lens since the 18-55mm can't do much portraits and wildlife shots.


If you want to add versatility to your current setup, then a 55-300 will be a good buy. Either the L or non-L version is ok, depending on budget and need for potential durability (esp. the mount)

A 300mm zoom will serve you well for wildlife (I assume the zoo). Birds in the wild will often require longer lenses. For people/streets/candids, different focal lengths give different effects and use different approaches, so it depends.

IMO, the 18-250 sits as the lowest choice for performance and makes your kit lens redundant.
Erm, do the DA L version is the plastic mount right, is it durable?
Cause i tend to be rough at handling lens :bsmilie:
Ah, i would prefer to be shooting birds in the wild, is 300mm sufficient?

For street shooting + general versatility + image quality you can't go wrong with the DA 18-135, although its on the expensive side. I have always wanted to have the range of my DA* 16-50 and 50-135, which I have found very useful, together in one lens. The silent and quick focusing of the new motor, and the very good build quality are also a bonus.

DA/L main selling point is very good reach + image quality at a good price. If you like to take portrait shots of people right across the street, this is the lens for you. There is a trade off in terms of versatility though, but it will complement your existing kit lens nicely.

A little about street shots - a long lens for working distance is of course useful, but I feel that wider angle lenses gives you more creative options. You can frame more of the scene inside rather than just focusing on one subject. For your wildlife needs, you need to define what you intend to shoot - cats on the street, tigers at the zoo, or birds at sungei buloh? 300mm is a bit overkill I feel, unless you are shooting birds.
Yup, main purpose of buying a 300mm lens is to shoot birds and some street shots.
For wide angle lens, what options are there?
:bsmilie: Just curious.


Sorry, have to disagree here. I feel that 200-300mm is very nice for cats on the street (in daylight) and tigers in the zoo, but not enough for birds. Maybe we have different shooting styles for such subjects....

I would also like to have my two DA* combined into one, but giving up the f2.8 is too much of a price to pay leh.... :)
hi there.
you owned one of the 55-300mm lens?
i suppose 300mm is quite sufficient for birds isn't it?
at least for someone that's at an entry level like me?
haha.
 

Jan 10, 2011
64
0
0
#19
Get the DAL 55-300mm... cheap, good, can shoot dinosaur without being eaten... in the dark ;)


The other long prime I have and like is the Pentax-m 200mm f4.
Small, light, build in hood, nice colours and quite sharp... and not ex :)
hahah coooool.
where's that?
haha for the prime lens, do i need a mount?
cause mine's kx.
 

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