50-200 or 55-300 ?

Started Dec 9, 2009 | Discussions thread
GossCTP Veteran Member • Posts: 4,775
I've had them both

I had the same combo as you at one point. The 50-200 does well for how small it is. All the 300 offerings are huge by comparison. I bought the 55-300 for the added reach because 200mm just wasn't long enough for what I was doing.

Observations: 300mm isn't really long enough either, but a lot closer. The 55-300 is better at speed (slightly) sharpness (a fair amount at the corners), color and contrast. The 50-200 does better with CA and bokeh IMO. Many would disagree with me on the bokeh statement, but I can't stand CA problems in the out of focus areas. The 50-200 shows oof specular highlights as white circles (or hexagons at the discretion of the aperture). The 55-300 shows them as slightly green with purple halos. Not nearly as bad as the Tamron 70-300, but it is still there. Neither of them give a good long prime a run for it's money, and require f/11 for optimum sharpness at the center.

The bottom line is that both lenses are consumer zooms with their own set of advantages and flaws. I'd say get the 18-250 and then start saving for a DA* 300 if you want a good long lens.

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