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Pentax smc DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8 ED Lens

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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  • Standard zoom lens for extended telephoto range
  • Focal length of 85 - 450 mm (equivalent in 35mm film format)
  • New optics especially adapted to high quality DSLRs
  • Dirt resistant PENTAX SP Coating on front lens element
  • Convenient manual focusing with wide focusing ring

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 7.1 x 7.1 cm ; 440 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 739 g
  • Item model number: 21720
  • ASIN: B0012QCYNM
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 7 July 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Product Description

Product Description

A highly efficient zoom lens that covers the short to long telephoto range of 85 to 450mm (equivalent in 35m film format). The exclusive PENTAX SP Coating effectively protects its front lens against dirt and contamination. Additionally, the focusing ring permits easy manual focusing. New optics are especially adapted for high quality PENTAX DSLRs.
Otras características:
Closest focusing distance: 1.4 m
Colour of product: Black
Diagonal angle of view (max): 29°
Dimensions (WxDxH): 71 x 111.5 x 71 mm
Filter size: 5.8 cm
Focal length range (f-f): 85 - 450 mm
Magnification: 1:3.6 (0.28x)
Material: Metal
Maximum aperture number: 22
Weight: 440 g

Manufacturer's Description

A highly efficient zoom lens that covers the short to long telephoto range of 85 to 450mm (equivalent in 35m film format). The exclusive PENTAX SP Coating effectively protects its front lens against dirt and contamination. Additionally, the focusing ring permits easy manual focusing. New optics are especially adapted for high quality PENTAX DSLRs.

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

I bought this lens recently to replace an old sigma telezoom and the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD.
This Pentax outperforms both, and even if pricier, I think is a better telephoto.
If you must have "macro" capabilities, then go with Sigma's or Tamron's flavors of the 70-300mm.

I find this lens quite sharp throughout, has great colours (Pentax style) and does not show chromatic aberration problems like the Tamron did.

One of the best points in this lens is the focal range. You'll change lenses less often, and miss less shots. Sadly the minimum focusing distance is a bit to long, if they made it 0.5m shorter it would make a big difference for the 55mm end, in my experience.

In terms of design and build, its the same as the kit lens, its fine for this price point. It has the little window in the shade to change the setting on your polariser filter (great idea Pentax!).

The aperture is not super fast (not surprising for a consumer grade lens) but its not that slow either, I find quite good in the field.What is not that great is the noisy autofocus and slowish autofocus. Its not a big issue, but when shooting birds it can disturb them...

All around I'd say its the telezoom to get.
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I bought this with my Pentax K200D in addition to the standard 18-55mm kit lens. I chose it over the more typical 200mm zoom lens due to the extra reach & a lot of reviews stating this was much better quality than the cheaper Tamron 300mm zoom available. It's also a faster lens than the 200mm, with a max aperture of F5.8 at 300mm, whereas the 200mm lens has the same max aperture at only 200mm.

The lens feels pretty solid to me, the zoom is very smooth & manual focusing is pretty easy when needed. AF is a little noisy but works well, although the manual focus ring rotates which can surprise if you're holding it when it works. Comes with lens hood & decent protective case.

A few days after I got the camera & lens I went to the zoo which was an excellent opportunity to try it out. I got some fantastic shots of the animals, many of them at the max zoom setting. Although it's not the fastest lens I still managed to get some nice de-focused backgrounds & not many shots suffering from camera shake.

Highly recommended. Five stars for excellent performance & quality for the price.
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I bought this for my Pentax K200 camera body and the resulting image quality is extremely good. At its first outing to test it I photographed Sanderling (birds), general landscapes and banger racing on a beach. It was January so the light was low. The results exceeded expectations.

The product itself is compact and light for the focal range and quality of images - ideal for travel. Okay, so you lose a few stops at f4.0-5.8 compared to far more expensive lenses but the trade off is worth it. I have also tried it in very low light and combined with modern digital technology, the resulting images even at f5.8 were more than acceptable. The body is as you would expect at this price point (£237) but looks robust enough for a reasonably careful user and holds well.

Being most experienced in manual focus, and only having purchased a couple of other auto-focus lenses in the past year, I have to say this is the slowest and the focal system did get confused from time-to-time requiring a refocus on a completely different object before returning to the original. Sometimes the targets were difficult so I will forgive this for the moment and see if my technique can improve on this flaw. In saying that, this did mean I missed opportunities. Notwithstanding this, when photographing racing cars on the beach, even at maximum zoom, focus lock on this was very quick and accurate resulting in some cracking images. If you know birds, Sanderling are a bit like very fast wind-up toys, and again, overall the focus was pretty good for undoubtedly a tricky number for the autofocus system to cope with.

This ocassional problem with focus is the only reason I do not give a 5 star rating but on the image quality, portability and price I would heartily recommend this lens.
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Verified Purchase
I own several Pentax primes, and the 17-70mm.

The weighty 17-70mm is an excellent 'standard' zoom: razor-sharp corner to corner from 17-35mm, good at 50mm, then hit and miss at 70mm (mostly miss). In many ways it outperforms my primes with its flat plane of focus (the prime's focus tend to curve markedly closer towards the edges).

The 55-300mm beats or equals the 17-70mm at 55mm, and is way superior at 70mm, from then on its great up to 200mm (it is superior to the 50-200mm here).

At 300mm the edges of the frame are significantly blurred. 200-300mm should be viewed as an 'extended range' if you demand absolute quality, though for centralised subjects where the outer parts of the frame are set back and would therefore be out of focus, this is a minor or even non-issue. For the lens's size and price this is acceptable.

Focus is bang-on at all focal lengths. In late afternoon light focus can hunt, but as always judiciously placing the centre focus point over something contrasty helps.

Edge to edge resolution is excellent mid-zoom, slightly less at zoom extremes; even at 300mm the very centre resolution can be excellent (though is often only 'good'). f7.1 - f8 is the sweet spot for edge to edge sharpness; I regularly use f6.3 on my other lenses, but here its definitely worth stepping to f7.1. I should add I use the K5's 'Extra Sharpness' setting at '-2'; 'extra sharpness' totally turns off noise-reduction (even if you set noise-reduction off when using 'Fine Sharpness' or 'Normal Sharpness', noise-reduction will still be applied); 'extra sharpness' is as close to RAW as you can get with JPEG.

Contrast is excellent, superior to third-party offerings which can be soggy in tone.
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