Sony has announced the DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM, a budget telephoto zoom designed to complement the 18-55mm 'kit' lens. It's optimized for Sony's APS-C Alpha SLTs and DSLRs, and features the company's Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) for fast, quiet focussing. Billed as an ideal lens for capturing stills and video of distant subjects, it features an ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) element, which should reduce aberrations and increase sharpness. It will be available in September for around $300.

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Press release:

Sony Introduces Versatile, High-Quality Telephoto Zoom Lens for Alpha A-Mount Camera Line

High-Speed, Quiet DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM Telephoto Zoom Lens to hit Retail in September

SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2012 – From flattering portraits to faraway wildlife and fast-action sports, nearly every subject can be captured beautifully with the new SAL55300 telephoto zoom lens, the latest addition to Sony’s A-mount lens lineup.

Optimized for use with α A-mount camera models with APS-C sensors, the compact, stylishly-designed interchangeable lens is an ideal addition to the camera bag for any Sony photographer.

"The new SAL55300 lens is a perfect complement to our acclaimed line of Alpha A-mount cameras with Translucent Mirror Technology, allowing consumers to capture distant, faraway subjects with razor-sharp focused images and Full HD videos," said Mike Kahn, director of the alpha business at Sony Electronics. "With a versatile 55-300mm, 5.5x magnification range, fast, quiet performance and an attractive price tag, it’s a welcome addition to our alpha A-mount system."

The new SAL55300 lens features a whisper-quiet Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) and an advanced optical design to get the best from the high-speed performance and high resolution sensors common to Sony’s A-mount camera lineup.  Additionally, it contains an ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass element, commonly featured on premium Sony G Lens models, that reduces color aberrations, improves image quality and provides excellent contrast and corner-to-corner sharpness.

Pricing and Availability

The new SAL55300 A-mount interchangeable lens for A-mount cameras will be available in September for about $300 at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM Specifications:

Focal Length 55-300mm 
35mm-equivalent Focal Length 82.5-450mm 
Aperture (Maximum) F4.5-5.6
Aperture (Minimum)  F22-29
Lens Groups/ Elements 12 elements / 9 groups 
Filter Diameter 62 mm
Minimum Focus Distance 1.4 m / 4.5 ft
Aperture Blades 7 blades (circular aperture)
Magnification x0.27
Dimensions 77 x 116.5 mm (3.0" x 4.6")
Weight 460g (16.2 oz)
Supplied Accessories Front and rear caps, ALC-SH112 solid circular bayonet-type lens hood