DA 55 - 300 v DA* 50-135


sportyman531

Link Posted 28/04/2018 - 13:08
Both of these lenses get a good review optically, I have the 55 - 300 F4 - 5.8. It's just that I got caught out one time on Shap Fell when a cloud moved across the sun at the critical moment and the shutter wouldn't release because, even wide open, the image would have been under exposed. I stiil got an image of the steam loco by re-framing and focusing but it wasn't the planned image. The 50 - 135 gets excellent reviews, it's the faster maximum aperture across the range which tempts me but the 55 -300 is easier to carry and I would be partly duplicating focal lengths. How do these lenses compare optically?
flickr ID: SteveW46243 or sw46246
DA AL 35mm f2.4, K3,18-135 WR, DA 55-300, Pentax KX, K5 x 2, 18-50 50-200 kit lenses, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, Fuji X10, 2x Mamiya 1000s 2x 80mm f2.8, 150mm f3.5, 210mm f4, Yashica 124G TLR, 2x Yashica FX3 Super 2000, Tamron 28mm f2.8, 90mm SP f2.5, 135mm f2.5, Olympus 35RC, 2x Yashica FX2, Kodak Pocket Instamatic, Kodak Box Brownie

JohnX

Link Posted 28/04/2018 - 15:12
The DA*50-135 is optically superior to the 55-300 by some margin. I read a description of it once as being a set of Ltd primes in one body.

It's developed a bad rep in the past because of SDM failure, but fwiw I've had no issues with mine, which could be luck, or the fact that I give it a 'run' every two weeks whether I've shot with it or not. The number of failed SDM reports has dropped down to just 'noise' levels, which either means later models have an improved SDM, or no-ones buying them!

Sometimes its a bit slow to wake up first time I use it, AF wise its no speed demon, and its heavier than the 55-300, but overall, great lens!
Last Edited by JohnX on 28/04/2018 - 15:14

Prufrock

Link Posted 28/04/2018 - 21:55
Hi there

I agree with JohnX's comments. I have both of these. The 55-300 proved useful (and of course it has a longer reach) but I found focusing sometimes problematic at longer lengths, where the smaller aperture also made it harder to push up the shutter speed as needed. The 55-135 feels and performs so much better over its range, with a bright and constant aperture. So it's the one I carry around with me and use a lot - the image quality means it will take cropping if it won't always reach as far as I need. The 55-300 now mostly stays in its case.

Footnote: I have to confess that have bought my first DA* lens, I've since fallen for a second-hand DA* 200mm too - another lovely piece of work!
A few pictures on Flickr

gtis

Link Posted 28/04/2018 - 22:43
Hi
If you really want a da* lens you should get a
Da* 60-250mm if you have a kidney to spare
cheers Neil
pentax k3 k5 super A da* 300 f4 da*50-135 f 2.8 smc 50mm f1.7 af 360 fgz pentax1.4xhd converter
Pentax o-gps1


Panasonic Dmc Fz200

SteveF

Link Posted 29/04/2018 - 21:19
What johnx said. His comment exactly reflects my view of the two lenses (I own both).

doingthebobs

Link Posted 29/04/2018 - 21:56
I have both lenses and the 50-135 is a much better lens but the 55-300 is much lighter, so still has its place.

My 50-135 has a failed SDM motor but I still haven't got around to getting it fixed. It is so good a lens that manual focus is a small price to pay for the quality of image it makes possible. It is large and heavy though, f2.8 usually is.
The 55-300 on the other hand, is compact, for the range it gives you. For the price it gives very good value.

The best choice is buy both or carefully decide. They are two different lenses in the end, one high quality, heavy but more limited range. The other lighter, long range but of a lower quality. You pays your money and takes your choice.
Bob

sportyman531

Link Posted 01/05/2018 - 19:38
gtis wrote:
Hi
If you really want a da* lens you should get a
Da* 60-250mm if you have a kidney to spare

Too much of a beast in size and weight!
flickr ID: SteveW46243 or sw46246
DA AL 35mm f2.4, K3,18-135 WR, DA 55-300, Pentax KX, K5 x 2, 18-50 50-200 kit lenses, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, Fuji X10, 2x Mamiya 1000s 2x 80mm f2.8, 150mm f3.5, 210mm f4, Yashica 124G TLR, 2x Yashica FX3 Super 2000, Tamron 28mm f2.8, 90mm SP f2.5, 135mm f2.5, Olympus 35RC, 2x Yashica FX2, Kodak Pocket Instamatic, Kodak Box Brownie

sportyman531

Link Posted 01/05/2018 - 19:49
I have a K3 which can shoot at 8.3fps but, having read some reviews, the 50-135 is described as having slow autofocus. It seems pointless having a camera with a fast frame rate but a lens with autofocus which can't keep up. does anyone have experience of this?
flickr ID: SteveW46243 or sw46246
DA AL 35mm f2.4, K3,18-135 WR, DA 55-300, Pentax KX, K5 x 2, 18-50 50-200 kit lenses, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, Fuji X10, 2x Mamiya 1000s 2x 80mm f2.8, 150mm f3.5, 210mm f4, Yashica 124G TLR, 2x Yashica FX3 Super 2000, Tamron 28mm f2.8, 90mm SP f2.5, 135mm f2.5, Olympus 35RC, 2x Yashica FX2, Kodak Pocket Instamatic, Kodak Box Brownie

gtis

Link Posted 01/05/2018 - 20:06
[quote:3496ace15f="sportyman531"]I have a K3 which can shoot at 8.3fps but, having read some reviews, the 50-135 is described as having slow autofocus. It seems pointless having a camera with a fast frame rate but a lens with autofocus which can't keep up. does anyone have experience of this?[/quote

I quite agree I use mine mainly portraits
cheers Neil
pentax k3 k5 super A da* 300 f4 da*50-135 f 2.8 smc 50mm f1.7 af 360 fgz pentax1.4xhd converter
Pentax o-gps1


Panasonic Dmc Fz200

doingthebobs

Link Posted 03/05/2018 - 00:05
With my manual focus DA* 50-135 (failed SDM motor), I find portraits and landscapes are fine. The lens quality is still wonderful even if the focus is manual.
(Don't tend to use burst fire mode on these subjects much anyway)
Bob
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