DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
robbo d
robbo d Senior Member • Posts: 2,574
Hit and miss sometimes....

I own the 55-300 and always sung it's praises from a value for money perspective.

It has always seemed to me to give excellent results across the whole focal range, so much so, that I couldn't really tell where the sweet spot was. I then read an article that stated the sweet spot was at 250mm, but if you read Photozone test, it's emphatically at the 55-100 end where it shines and centre sharpness at 55 is better than the DA*300 could achieve at any aperture!!!, then apparently it dramatically drops off...........this isn't my experience at all. Iv'e had some very sharp images at the long end and beautiful colours to boot.

I guess this is all indicative of lenses giving different results and then also on different cameras. I read of a sigma lens tested on a Canon body giving poor results, but "stellar" results on a Nikon body.........most likely a lens issue.

I think the 55-300 is noisy and hunts for focus, but gives excellent IQ and punches well above it's weight. I would assume the DA* is a better performer, but that many hundreds of $$ better is again up to you to decide what's worth to you. Also better build quality and the overall border performance will give the DA* a better overall look.

These lens tests give a fair indication but not always reliable......not so much from a testing point of view, but perhaps that lenses just seem so fickle in their back and front focusing issues and quality control.

My Kx kit lenses were always sharp in focus....not high IQ, but sharp, my FA 28-105 just seems to be a peach of a lens, but I purchased a DA*50-135 I took to a wedding the other week and had horrible focus issues. Tried my new DA12-24 and so far not impressed either.....seems soft.

Maybe my new K5IIs will change the whole ball game again.........bit frustrating really.

 robbo d's gear list:robbo d's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-3 Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Pentax smc DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 12-24mm F4.0 ED AL (IF) +14 more
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