DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
jamesm007 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,660
Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

"The optical design was especially developed to meet the requirements of high-resolution digital SLR cameras. A high performance ED lens element is incorporated to keep color aberrations to a minimum"

The above quote is from the Pentax catalog on the DA55-300mm. The lens had two ED elements but one of them is of very high performance. Have a read -


The DA55-300mm is an APS sensor only lens. This means it needs much smaller glass and overall size compared to the older designed DA*300mm. Its not sealed or made as strong. So yes you can get a diamond for cheap. I have full size pics if anyone wants samples. If you scale Photozines numbers it matches the DA*300 which was tested on the K5 and the DA55-300mm on the K10D. Also look at ephotozine MTF30 numbers.

My copy really is best at 300mm f/5.8. I have wrote many, and I really mean many times over the years how stopping down brings no improvments in my copy but for deeper DOF and slightly better corner performance. If you look at DXO field map of the lens that is how you will see it compared to any other. I have not seen any lens except for the Sigma 100-300mm that made me wish I had that lens. Are the DA* better? A bit better, but you would have to look hard at the DA*300mm in the center area to see any major difference, pixel peep that is. And really only the DA*60-250mm has shown me a bit better, not the DA*300mm. Not in the middle area. Yes the DA* is better corner to corner.

Have a look at the links below. None in the first post were at 300mm but between there. But most are wide open.


Here is just a newer out of camera jpeg not PP at all snap shot at 300mm f/5.8 with my K5. The above is with the K20D. I have better f/5.8 shots, but am out of time. Talk to you latter. Oh BTW the birds and powerline are moving. But you get an idea here and there. Again latter I will post almost as good a shot as anyone can at 300mm (in terms of sharpness) if you guys want to compare. Or give you a full size download.

 jamesm007's gear list:jamesm007's gear list
Pentax K20D Pentax K-5 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR +12 more
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