Sony 55-300 Comparison

Started Sep 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Flat view
jcurtistx Regular Member • Posts: 462
Sony 55-300 Comparison

Today I received the Sony 55-300mm lens and have some initial impressions compared to the Sony 18-135mm and Minolta 100-300 APO D using the Sony A57.

Compared to the Sony 18-135mm

  • This is NOT the SAM II drive as in the 18-135mm

  • Focus speed is slower

  • Noisier

  • Optical quality is very good in both of these lenses

  • Build quality is comparable

Compared to the Minolta 100-300 APO D

  • Focus speed is comparable (maybe a little quicker)

  • Quieter, but not nearly as quiet as SAM II or SSM or USD from Tamron

  • Comparable at f/5.6, slightly sharper at f/8 at 300mm

  • A little larger in size - comparable weight

Compared to the Tamron 70-300 USD

  • Smaller and lighter

  • Noisier

  • Slower focusing (unsure if the Sony is good for fast action sports)

  • Sharper at 300mm

As with most lenses, there are some tradeoffs to be had - especially at $300. I cannot say I am disappointed in the lens as it is a great value for the money - just do not expect the focusing speed and quietness of the Tamron 70-300 USD or Sony 70-300 G.

As for which lens I recommend between the Tamron 70-300 USD, Minolta 100-300 APO D and the new Sony 55-300, that is a tough call. I would say it depends on your use. If size is the most important, get the Minolta. If silent and faster focusing is most important, get the Tamron. If size and quieter (but not silent) focusing are more important, get the Sony. If optical quality is the most important, flip a coin (they are all very good - at least in initial thoughts on the Sony).

I returned the Tamron a while back as I either had a bad copy or it was not as sharp at 300mm compared to the Minolta 100-300 APO D. The comparison shots below are between the Sony 55-300 and Minolta 100-300 APO D.


Sony 55-300mm @ 300mm f5.6

Minolta 100-300mm @ 300mm f5.6

Sony 55-300mm @ 300mm f8

Minolta 100-300mm @ 300mm f8

-- hide signature --

Sony A57, Sony 18-135, Tamron 60 f2, Sigma 50-150 f2.8, Tamron 70-210 f3.5-4.5 (Circa 1988), Minolta 100-300 APO D

 jcurtistx's gear list:jcurtistx's gear list
Panasonic ZS100 Sony a6000 Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +1 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Sony SLT-A57
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow