50-200 or 55-300 ?

Started Dec 9, 2009 | Discussions
CoasterTim
CoasterTim Senior Member • Posts: 1,234
50-200 or 55-300 ?

Which one is sharper and brighter at the long end?
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Roland Mabo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,462
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

The 55-300.
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Maxwell Smart Senior Member • Posts: 2,947
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

Lots of posts on this topic. The Search function is your friend. Here's a recent thread:

Pentax 50-200WR vs 55-300 vs 18-250
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=33869571

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wll Veteran Member • Posts: 4,821
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

Have had all three 55-300 is a very good lens, 50-200 is just OK because it is small. 18-250 is a very good all in on lens, but if you need mostly tele, get the 55-300mm, you won't be dissapointed.

wll

Jon Schick Veteran Member • Posts: 4,474
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

Agree with assessment above, although the more I use it the more I think the 50-200 is much better than "just OK". It's main advantage is that it is small and (in WR guise) usable in rubbish weather. The 55-300 is a better performer at longer lengths, although it is much larger, not WR, and can be irritatingly slow to focus (best to use quick shift to help it along).
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CoasterTim
OP CoasterTim Senior Member • Posts: 1,234
OK - a follow-up question...

I already own the 50-200 and the 18-55. Is it wise to add the 55-300?

I was thinking maybe the 18-250 would be a good alternative, esp. because of its versatility as an all-around lens. (however, they seem awfully hard to find).
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andy amos Contributing Member • Posts: 685
Re: OK - a follow-up question...

I bought the 18-250 after a summer of changing between the 18-55 and 50-200.

Its now my official holiday lens. Its a good all rounder although lens creep is the one thing that can annoy, you really do have to use the lens lock to stop the thing from self extending (I've been through the elastic band over the lens barrel phase, but you learn to live with it ). Oh and no "Quick focus" is offered which again is something you learn to live with.The Upside is focusing down to half a meter throughout the zoom range, something niether the 50-200 or 55-300 can manage.

A truely versitile lens, basically converts your SLR into a heavy megazoom point and shoot!

CoasterTim
OP CoasterTim Senior Member • Posts: 1,234
Andy, your reply was most informative!
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xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 1,284
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

DA55-300 is the one..

50-200 and 18-250 simply cannot compete in image quality at 100mm+ with 55-300

No miracles possible. end.

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pechorin Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

hi, i like the 55-300, is there any diference between the pentax k-x 55-300 from the kit and the one bought separately?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart_accessories&A=details&Q=&sku=542146&is=USA#accessories

Jon Schick Veteran Member • Posts: 4,474
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

There is a difference between the DA 55-300 and DA-L one offered as part of kit with Kx.

Optical design is identical so image quality should be the same.

The DA-L lens, however, has an engineered plastic mount rather than metal (so do lots of other lenses, but I prefer the latter), and does not offer quick shift focus.

The latter may be more of an issue as the 55-300 is not a terribly fast focussing lens, especially at its longer length. My copy hunts badly unless I get it in roughly the right zone with quick shift first.
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GordonBGood Veteran Member • Posts: 6,308
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

pechorin wrote:

hi, i like the 55-300, is there any diference between the pentax k-x 55-300 from the kit and the one bought separately?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart_accessories&A=details&Q=&sku=542146&is=USA#accessories

If you did a quick search on kit lens, you would have seen the following posted many times already:

Optically the same.

The K-x kit lenses have more plastic in their construction and generally have a slightly cheaper "feel".

The K-x kit lenses have a plastic camera mount, and are thus less robust than the metal camera mount of the lens as per your link above.

The K-x kit lenses don't have the "quick shift" that allows one to tweak focus manually after Auto Focus (AF) without switching the camera to Manual Focus (MF).

The K-x kit lenses don't come with lens hoods that can help reduce light flare and glare; these hoods can be purchased separately either from Pentax or from third parties (usually screw-on collapsible rubber lens hoods).

Regards, GordonBGood

pechorin Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

thanks GordonBGood, i had read something about that, but as specifications say nothing about quick shift or hood, i thought maybe it was the older model.

i think it is not worth the price difference with the kit lens

i have another question, sorry, but i have seen as well that the linked one says it has "SP (super protective) Coating", is it weather sealed or just more protective but not so much? does the kit lens include this too? is that enough to take shots under the rain covering just the body with the lens rough?

GordonBGood Veteran Member • Posts: 6,308
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

pechorin wrote:

thanks GordonBGood, i had read something about that, but as specifications say nothing about quick shift or hood, i thought maybe it was the older model.

Well, the "What's in the box" section on the page you links shows that it comes with the PH-RBG 58 mm. hood, but doesn't mention the quick shift.

i have another question, sorry, but i have seen as well that the linked one says it has "SP (super protective) Coating", is it weather sealed or just more protective but not so much? does the kit lens include this too? is that enough to take shots under the rain covering just the body with the lens rough?

The "SP" coating is just a hard, dust and oil resistant coating on the front element of the lens and the kit lens likely includes this, too, but I am not certain as it isn't listed anywhere. The lens body itself is not weather sealed or water resistant any more than any other standard lens but all lenses tend to be more weather resistant than your non weather resistant K-x. If caught in the rain, you need to take much more care of the camera itself than any lens, and most find that just wrapping some plastic around the lens barrel extending to the camera mount and securing with elastic bands provides enough protection except for the strongest spray. Others don't take any precautions at all and get away with it.

I just checked my 55-300 and it is quite fast up to a good zoom range as it is still f/4.0 up to about 100mm and only f/5.6 and slower for over 200mm., so you can use it in quite low light for the shorter telephoto range (other than that the Auto Focus is quite noisy and a little slow). Also, I just checked and it doesn't seem to block the built-in flash of my K200D no matter what the zoom range to which I set it. Thus it is a better portrait lens at say about 70-85 mm. than the 18-55 kit lens, which is a little short and slow at 55 mm. with f/5.6.

Regards, GordonBGood

GossCTP Veteran Member • Posts: 4,776
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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Frederick Stewart Senior Member • Posts: 1,125
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

I have them all,and i recently got the DA 18-250,its basically stuck to my K7,a good copy can be excellent,sharp close ups at 250,gives lovely bokeh on macro/close shots.The 55-300 is a excellent lens,but i find the slow focus annoying at times.yes the 18-250 focus faster.I had the Tamron version that i sold with my K10D,this copy is much better at least on the K7.I must add that a good copy of the 50-200 is a champ,due to its small size and fast focus.

In summary all can give exceptional results,when you learn their limitations and most importantly a good copy,sample variations often give lenses a bad rap.

Dave Martin Senior Member • Posts: 2,160
Re: 50-200 or 55-300? - test results

Coastertim wrote:

Which one is sharper and brighter at the long end?
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Photozone.de tests say that fully zoomed & wide open the 300 is 1769 lpph and the 250 is 1778 lpph; but the 250 would have to be enlarged so taking that into account, it would have to have a resolution of 2123 lpph to equate; therefore at the same contrast level and same image size the 300 is about 20% sharper.

Also, the 300 is f:5.8 and the 250 is f:6.3 - since shutter speed varies with the square of f-stop, the 300 is 18% faster.

Dave in Iowa

magomago Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

I know its been brought up...but think about what you will use it for. The 50-200 is LIGHT...super light. I would think the DAL version is even lighter. If I'm backpacking, I would definitely take the 50-200, little bit image quality be damned.

I had a 50-200 and now have a 55-300. Only reason I got one is because the airline lost my luggage and I got a decent deal on the latter. The difference between 200mm and 300mm isn't that great IMO.

If you plan to hike or do traveling and prefer to go light, 50-200 all the way. If you want to shoot in adverse weather, the answer should be obvious.

If you won't do any of that, or don't mind the extra weight, then a 55-300 is a good choice. You can always shoot in adverse weather, but you take that risk with a non WS system.

Of course, if you don't have aK10 K20 or K7 then this discussion is kind of pointless.

ilya80 Regular Member • Posts: 409
55-300

Hadnt had any of those, but from samples I saw on the net - 55-300 all the way.
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trtt Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: 50-200 or 55-300 ?

Frederick Stewart wrote:

I must add that a good copy of the 50-200 is a champ,due to its small size and fast focus.

I second that. A good copy of the 50-200 will be more usable because this little lens always finds it's place in the bag. And 50-200 is just the lens to be coupled with good primes. Get 21 for wide, 35 for normal/macro and the 50-200 for the occasional tele shot. Makes a very versatile and leightweight set in your bag.

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