DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions
Tim A2
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to ozdean, Sep 17, 2013

ozdean wrote:

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Regards Dean - Capturing Creation
N.B. All my Images are Protected by Copyright

Dean, I hope you don't mind that I used your photo like this. I am assuming a moderator will remove it if you do. I will not save the copy I made or use it in any other manner.

This is with a little PP and looking at in now I see I may have overdone it, but I think we can see that it may not be as bad as it looked at least in a smaller size. I downsized both and that is cheating, because at the original size the image from the 300 mm looks much better still.

tim

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veroman
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My 55-300 ...
In reply to paulkienitz, Sep 17, 2013

Shot this Sunday at my granddaughter's 1st birthday party. 170mm. I'm looking for shots at 300mm, but I don't think I have any yet. Might shoot some just to demo its capability at the longest end.

170mm

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paulkienitz
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to veroman, Sep 17, 2013

veroman wrote:

I suspect that the copy of the 55-300 used for the above was a poor sample.

I suspect exactly the same thing, because I've taken a whole lot of 100% crops at 300mm and they're often way better than that. I've also used it with the Q.

And I don't think my copy is exceptionally perfect, either... the amount of CA is measurably different on the right and left sides.

Mine does significantly better and more closely resembles the 300mm prime ... though it's certainly not as good as the 300mm prime.

I wonder what it is with DxO's tests? This is far from the first time we've seen them come up with results that don't match what others see.

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paulkienitz
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to jamesm007, Sep 17, 2013

jamesm007 wrote:

Photozones numbers! They come close in the middle; scaling from the K10D to K5 test cameras

"Scaling" between different sensors is not valid at all.  In the lower half of the photozone style graph, the readings are going to be the same across different sensor resolutions, and in the upper half, they'll separate, but it's impossible to estimate how much; the flattening at the top of the graph may represent a lack of ability to measure what the lens is really doing, as much as it represents a limit on the lens itself.  If one sensor shows 2400 lines and another shows 1900, the real lens performance could be anywhere in a broad range.

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Arijit Banerjee
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I just HAD to chip in :-D
In reply to paulkienitz, Sep 17, 2013

The 'all' about either lens has been said. Yet I repeat. The DA 55-300mm (mine is the DA L) is a fine lens. Light weight, and for its price and construction, value for money. It does shoot well and perhaps only the Nikon 70-300mm VR comes close (not seen anything to impress me from the Canon L 70-300mm). The Sigma, Canon (75-300mm) and the Tamron don't come close.

The 55-300mm is best stopped down- I found f7.1 quite good. 5.8 was never bad, mind it... It hunts, is noisy, has a average/poor bokeh, fringes a bit- but it is much less expensive...

By all means it is a fine lens. I try to shoot birds so the corners don't bother me much... Hard to get a price: performance ratio such as this. It win't that bad at the wide end either...

The DA* 300mm f4. I have it too and am still learning to use it. Well built, silent, but heavy. Will hunt, if the conditions are right, but also has quick shift. Quite expensive... but...

(there is always a but )

and this is a humongous crop- shot from over 200 metres away!

But...

It is "the best danged 300mm lens in the whole danged universe. Ask me for proof and I will say I cannot prove it. Ask me which lens I would use if I had the choice between the two and I would say the DA*300/4 lens everytime." - to quote a genial gent here whose opinion I value highly.

The Nikon 300mm f4 and the Canon 300mm f4 are just as fine lenses, IMO. DXO? I't does not bother me too much.

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veroman
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My 55-300 at 300mm ...
In reply to paulkienitz, Sep 17, 2013

Snapped a test shot in my home. The first shot is at 55mm just to give you some idea of how far away I was from the subject (about 25 feet). Second shot is at 300mm f/8. The focus point is the first 5 or 6 lines of text on the label. Camera is K-01.

View: original size

View: original size

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veroman
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Re: I just HAD to chip in :-D
In reply to Arijit Banerjee, Sep 17, 2013

Arijit Banerjee wrote:

The 'all' about either lens has been said. Yet I repeat. The DA 55-300mm (mine is the DA L) is a fine lens. Light weight, and for its price and construction, value for money. It does shoot well and perhaps only the Nikon 70-300mm VR comes close (not seen anything to impress me from the Canon L 70-300mm). The Sigma, Canon (75-300mm) and the Tamron don't come close.

Nice pics and good examples of what the 55-300 is capable of.  Seems, then, there are some poor samples of this lens floating around.

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ASR45
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Re: My 55-300 at 300mm ...
In reply to veroman, Sep 17, 2013

No Exif.

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veroman
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Re: My 55-300 at 300mm ...
In reply to ASR45, Sep 17, 2013

ASR45 wrote:

No Exif.

Meaning?....

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waynes
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to UtahManSir, Sep 17, 2013

I got this from 55-300. No complain. The large view is even better if you try it.  Do not own 300*.

But it was not at f5.8 and the moon was not moving.

Still, I do not like the lens for moving objects.

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paulkienitz
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thanks -- those are some wonderful birdie pics! (nt)
In reply to Arijit Banerjee, Sep 17, 2013
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Q with 02 zoom and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED for birding
K10D, Sig 17-70, DA 55-300, FA 50/1.4 "billy bass"
discards: DA 50-200 "zipper", F 100-300, Sigma 135-400 "piglet", M 400/5.6 "the Great Truncheon"

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veroman
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to waynes, Sep 17, 2013

That's REALLY exceptional. Thanks for posting.

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math guy
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to paulkienitz, Sep 17, 2013

I have the DA-L 55-300 and have always been very pleased with it, especially since it was included as a kit lens with my K-x. But when I began shooting Little League baseball this past summer, I needed a wider aperture in order to get separation from the unattractive backgrounds (parking lots, etc.) So I got the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8, and I was blown away by the improvement in IQ. The Tamron is tremendous at f/2.8, and by f/4 it beats the 55-300 at any aperture. (Probably even at f/2.8, but I don't want to exaggerate.)

My point is that as good as the 55-300 is for what it is, it's just not in the same league as higher-end glass. And my Tamron isn't really high-end in the grand scheme of things. So if the DA*300 is at least as good as the Tamron -- and I would have to think it's better -- the difference will be very noticeable. Whether that's worth the extra cost to you only you can say. But it will definitely be a huge improvement.

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rossdoyle
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to KL Matt, Sep 17, 2013

KL Matt wrote:

Hi Dean,

that is a dramatic difference, but is it because of the lens?

These photos were either taken at different times of day, with different lighting conditions, or both (look at the shadow across the grass -- completely missing in the DA 55-300 shot).

The DA 55-300 shot has 2+ pixels of motion blur on a lower-left to upper-right (or the other direction) path. You can see the double image clearly in the twigs. I can't even tell where the focus is because of the motion blur. But i can tell it's not on the utility pole, as with the DA* shot. Focus appears to be somewhere behind the utility pole, maybe even behind the far foliage.

The DA* 300 shot was taken with a rock solid camera/sensor, the focus was spot on on the pole. The image looks 3d and lovely. The 55-300 shot is simply a bad shot -- how much the lens contributed beyond the motion blur we can't know.

Contrast varies greatly from when the sun shines down directly to when a cloud obscures it, even if the photos are taken only minutes apart.

Matt

This is completely right -- the 55-300 shot has obvious motion blur and at least something else wrong with it. If my 55-300 captured images like this I would never put it on the camera. It's too bad people some people see these shots and consider it to be a useful comparison.

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veroman
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to rossdoyle, Sep 17, 2013

rossdoyle wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Hi Dean,

that is a dramatic difference, but is it because of the lens?

These photos were either taken at different times of day, with different lighting conditions, or both (look at the shadow across the grass -- completely missing in the DA 55-300 shot).

The DA 55-300 shot has 2+ pixels of motion blur on a lower-left to upper-right (or the other direction) path. You can see the double image clearly in the twigs. I can't even tell where the focus is because of the motion blur. But i can tell it's not on the utility pole, as with the DA* shot. Focus appears to be somewhere behind the utility pole, maybe even behind the far foliage.

The DA* 300 shot was taken with a rock solid camera/sensor, the focus was spot on on the pole. The image looks 3d and lovely. The 55-300 shot is simply a bad shot -- how much the lens contributed beyond the motion blur we can't know.

Contrast varies greatly from when the sun shines down directly to when a cloud obscures it, even if the photos are taken only minutes apart.

Matt

This is completely right -- the 55-300 shot has obvious motion blur and at least something else wrong with it. If my 55-300 captured images like this I would never put it on the camera. It's too bad people some people see these shots and consider it to be a useful comparison.

I've posted my own test pic of the 55-300, which shows a dramatically better lens than indicated by the other sample. Few have seemed to notice my post, though. It's here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52180289

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SteveG
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UtahManSir
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to veroman, Sep 17, 2013

I find that mine is better at slightly closer ranges than close to infinity unless stopped down a bit to f10 or so.

On a tripod and at the distance you are shooting, that seems a reasonable output from this lens in my experience.

Lloyd

p.s. I noticed it but don't have a lot of time to be on the forum.

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ozdean
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to KL Matt, Sep 18, 2013

Matt after after examining closer I have to concede there is motion blurr in the 55-300 shot which I did not realize, so I apologise for that. Wish I still had the 55-300 so I could retest. I'll check and see if I have any others. As for time of day they were taken one after the other but again there is a slight difference in the light.

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ozdean
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to ozdean, Sep 18, 2013

Hand Held, 1/400sec, one after the other.

There is a change in light in the foreground (clouds) and it's obvious the 55-300 can't capture animals LOL.

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Twong
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to KentG, Sep 18, 2013

I second the recommendation of the Sigma 100-300 f4.0. The downside is that it is quite large and hard to find 2nd hand. I still have one.

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DarylK
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Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4
In reply to paulkienitz, Sep 18, 2013

I do not have the DA* 300, but I do want one.  That said, I can't complain too much about what the 55-300 has provided at times.  Here is a screen capture of a shot taken at 300mm (hand held with my old K200D BTW) magnified to 1:1 on screen in Lightroom and uploaded at full screen resolution.  Looks quite sharp to me.  I wish I could always be this steady, BTW.

You lookin' at me?

Regards,

Daryl

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