DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
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paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,295
DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

How much real gain is there in upgrading to the star prime, over the consumer zoom?

I would have assumed the improvement is large, but DxOMark says otherwise. According to their numbers, the 55-300 is optimized to favor the long end, so 300mm is actually the sharpest point in its focal length range, and at that point, it produces the same sharpness score as the 300/4!

Can this really be true, or is it yet another case of DxO not seeing quality that other testers have no trouble seeing?

In a way, though, I'm not that surprised, because of how flawless the images I get from it at the long end continue to be.

Leaving aside other performance qualities such as speed, focusing, vignetting, distortion, lateral CA, and everything else other than sharpness near the center... can those who've used both really say the star lens is significantly better?

. v . v .

After that comes the $2000 question... what about similar lenses from C and N? Are any of them significantly better?  DxO says Canon's 300/4 L is around the same quality as our 300/4...

 paulkienitz's gear list:paulkienitz's gear list
Pentax Q Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +4 more
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