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HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens
 
4.4

(based on 56 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (35)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

86%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (32)
  • Durable (30)
  • Consistent output (25)
  • Easily interchangeable (25)
  • Lightweight (24)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (9)
  • Slow focus (8)
  • Blurry focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (30)
  • Wildlife photos (30)
  • Sports/action (21)
  • Weddings (6)
  • Macro photography (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (34), Semi-pro photographer (13), Casual photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (45), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Quality lens

I should say I've only been using this lens for a couple of weeks, but so far it's been very responsive, produces clear, crisp shots, and has a pretty decent auto focus...Read complete review

I should say I've only been using this lens for a couple of weeks, but so far it's been very responsive, produces clear, crisp shots, and has a pretty decent auto focus (though that auto function is, as others have said, somewhat slow and noisy). It's also, while heavy, lightweight for its size and not at all hard to use handheld for nature shots.

At the risk of sounding stupid, I'll add that at first I didn't understand why sometimes the lens wouldn't "retract/unzoom" fully to its 55 (84.5mm) shape but seemed to still be partly extended; then I realized that with the focus ring near the front, the focus ring itself sometimes needs to be moved in order for the lens to become completely compact.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Highly touted lens, but mine was not up to the hype

I read all the reviews and waited for the price to come down. When it arrived I immediately mounted it on my K-3 and headed outdoors. I snapped everything from flocks of strolling...Read complete review

I read all the reviews and waited for the price to come down. When it arrived I immediately mounted it on my K-3 and headed outdoors. I snapped everything from flocks of strolling geese to dried weeds and grasses to check the auto focus. I uploaded the contents of my card into LightRoom and was immediately disappointed. Every shot was soft, whether zoomed to shortest 55mm or out to 300mm. Knowing I could not hand-hold 300mm without careful support, I sat on some rocks using my elbows on my knees as a brace and shot at 1/1600 of a sec. Still soft and the edges didn't seem to be motion blur, but more like one of the lens groups for out-of-sync???

Even at the sale price, I cannot accept a lens that does not produce results on a body like the K-3. I returned it for a refund.

Like a couple other reviewers have said, "maybe I got a bad one". At this point I'm not willing to try another one. I prefer to wait for the funds to buy the 60-250mm DA* zoom.

Reviewed by 56 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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1.0

Got two of these Lenses both were bad

By OTLocal

from oregon

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Blurry Focus
  • Poor in Low Light

Best Uses

    Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

    Had to send them back.B+H is very good about refunds. I just wish they would check the 55-300's before shipping.It's hassle to have send them back twice.One of the was soft at about 260mm or so the other at 300mm only half the frame was in focus.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    DA 55

    By Bing

    from South Jersey

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

      Love it. It does every thing I wanted

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Superb considering the price!

      By Bauie

      from Woodend, Australia

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Pros

      • Image Quality

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

          I still shoot mainly 67 film so am quite picky about my lenses. I ordered this lens not expecting too much considering the price. I am amazed, at full zoom this lens is awesome. I tested and found the best aperture is f11. Of course you wouldn't try to handhold a lens of this size but on a tripod at f11 this lens is amazing. The other thing that has impressed me is the contrast this lens delivers. Just keep it on f11 and on a tripod and you'll get great results.

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          • No

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          (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Must have received a bad one

          By rollands

          from loveland, CO

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Blurry Focus

            Best Uses

              Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

              I purchased this lens based on the reviews, user photo examples and sale price. I bought it along with the Pentax 16-85mm WR zoom lens. When they arrive I first mounted the 16-85mm on my K-3 body and did some quick focus checks looking out my office window. I mounted the 55-300 WR zoom next and noted how quickly it snapped into focus on my neighbors house number across the street. Later in the day I went for a walk with it still mounted on the K-3 body (I also have a K-5 IIs body). I passed a flock of grassing geese and clicked off a few shots at various focal lengths including 300mm. There were mallards feeding on the river and I realized that, at 300mm, I could not hand hold and expect good results, so I sat down, braced my elbows on my knees, set the shutter to 1/1600 of a sec. and shot a variety of images.

              When I imported all images to LightRoom, I was immediately disappointed with the results. Not one shot was in crisp focus. Zooming the images to check details I could find none--detail as I've learned to expect from my K-3 body was simply not there. I own the 50-135mm DA* zoom lens and it gets detail. I used to own the 200mm DA* prime lens (which was stolen in a house break-in) and it got detail.
              The lens simply did not capture detail even when I hand-focused to see if AF was not working.

              I can only assume that I was among those who stated they must have received a bad one, because it simply did not work. I returned it and chose not to have it replaced. If I find I can justify the cost, my next lens would be the 50-260mm DA* zoom. Until then the Pentax 1.4x extender will add a little more 'reach' to the other lenses.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Highly touted lens, but mine was not up to the hype

              By rollands

              from Loveland, CO

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                • Blurry Focus

                Best Uses

                  Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                  I read all the reviews and waited for the price to come down. When it arrived I immediately mounted it on my K-3 and headed outdoors. I snapped everything from flocks of strolling geese to dried weeds and grasses to check the auto focus. I uploaded the contents of my card into LightRoom and was immediately disappointed. Every shot was soft, whether zoomed to shortest 55mm or out to 300mm. Knowing I could not hand-hold 300mm without careful support, I sat on some rocks using my elbows on my knees as a brace and shot at 1/1600 of a sec. Still soft and the edges didn't seem to be motion blur, but more like one of the lens groups for out-of-sync???

                  Even at the sale price, I cannot accept a lens that does not produce results on a body like the K-3. I returned it for a refund.

                  Like a couple other reviewers have said, "maybe I got a bad one". At this point I'm not willing to try another one. I prefer to wait for the funds to buy the 60-250mm DA* zoom.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this reviewHelp Icon

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Weather resistant 300mm zoom for under $

                  By jlove

                  from Burlingame, CA

                  Verified Buyer

                  Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                  This lens is awesome. See farther than you could before and do it in the rain. I took this lens with me hiking through the snow with no worries. It has made it back and it is still just as good. Occasionally I will waste precious seconds while the auto focus looses track but switch to manual and you will get better results all around. Pentax is awesome for making this lens so affordable and WR.

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                  5.0

                  The most popular Pentax lens?

                  By Paul the Sunman

                  from Melbourne, Australia

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Screw Drive

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                  I already own the SMC version of this lens, but my son is taking it to Asia for 6 months, so I picked up the newer HD WR version from B&H in the post-Christmas sales for myself. The optical formula is identical, so it is not surprising that they produce very similar results. The construction of the HD version seems more robust, and the weather resistance is a major bonus. I haven't yet noticed any advantage from the HD lens coating compared to the old but still excellent SMC. I'm sure it is there, but I have never had any trouble with flare with this lens, partly due to the deep lens hood.

                  Overall, this is a lens that any Pentaxian shooting outdoors should carry. It is extremely compact and light for a 300mm zoom, and the WR makes it ideal for hiking. The image quality is not professional grade but is more than acceptable for most other users. The bokeh is really excellent, the aberrations mild, and the sharpness very good.

                  The only disappointment is that it is STILL screw-drive. The DC motor of the DA 18-135 and other recent lenses would have been a welcome addition. Nevertheless, so far the autofocus has proved accurate and fast enough. I have experienced a little hunting of the AF on the SMC version, but haven't noticed it yet on the HD (I'm sure it's possible to provoke it, but only if swapping from extreme near to far focus or vice versa).

                  For the price, everyone who shoots outdoors should have this extremely useful lens. For indoor sports etc, I would suggest something faster.

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                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Great lens at a greta price

                  By Image Maker

                  from Fairfield Ct

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Slow Focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery

                  Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                  Great quality, smooth action, not speedy, but works at the rate one would realistically expect. Relatively light weight, mounts easily and quickly when changing lenses.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Great lens

                  By Steely

                  from Washington state

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Price Exceeded Expectati
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Outdoors With Good Light

                    Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                    Great compliment to the 18-135. It's a bargain at the current price.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

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                    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    impressed

                    By convert

                    from OH

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Sports/Action

                      Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                      Definitely amateur...I'm the family photographer
                      Looking for zoom to complement our DA 18-135 for the family K-50.
                      Coming from Canon products, was little leery but I'm blown away by outcome.
                      Tried this lens out at nephews hockey game and was impressed with crispness & clarity of action shots.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • Yes

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                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      This lens rocks.

                      By Jlove

                      from San Francisco, CA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Affordability

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                          The lens build quality is perfect, rugged, sealed, and easy to interchange. The lens will seek when in auto-focus from across the focal range at times but that may be my fault. A nice hood came with the lens which is a plus. It allows for 300mm reach which I couldn't get before and I am finding sharp details that are fun to capture at maximum zoom. The weather resistance is just awesome too. I have tested this lens both night and day for long exposure shots of cities and airplanes kicking dust in bright sunlight. Affordability is the best part about this lens.

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                          5.0

                          Worth the price.

                          By Rago

                          from Chihuahua M�xico.

                          Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                          I have owned the Nikon 70-300mm, the 70-200 VRII, the Canon 70-300L, the Canon 70-200 2.8 new version, and so far I'm satisfied with the performance of this beauty, an for that price is a steal...
                          Highly recommend...
                          The downside is the noisy focus, but for the price.. It's soon good so sharp..

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          What I Expected

                          By Bravomike

                          from North Texas

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                          • Poor in Low Light

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Sportsaction With Limits
                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                          Bought this lens to upgrade from my DA-L 55-300mm which I have used a lot. Have not had the chance to use this lens much yet, but so far I feel like the IQ is slightly better than the DA-L and a tad sharper. Now, I have no worries about weather with this lens and my K-50. Very happy so far. For the money, I feel this lens is a steal for what you can do with it.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          Love it!

                          By Ralph

                          from El Centro Ca.

                          Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                          A little loud focusing but great sharpness and light weight. Not as slow as one might think. Decent Bolkeh too.

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Very nice! More then worth the little extra it costs!

                          By Pipcav

                          from San Francisco, CA

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                            Family, Action, Low Light, Nature, Soft focus, this lens really completed my wife's collection. We have several original MF pentax lenses from the 1970's, and those are great, but this lens is a great complement to the 18-50 that came with her K-3.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • Yes

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            As expected

                            By Chris

                            from NC

                            Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                            The lens performs as I expected from reading other reviews. Auto Focus is loud and slow but it's accurate in my testing, which is OK since I prefer manual focus. Build quality is very good. Shots are clear, colors accurate, bokeh OK, lighting is a tad dark at 5.6f but I need to adjust for that since it's my first long lens.
                            I thought of getting a 50-200mm 2.8f lens but really want that WR sealing. I feel like this would be better at shooting mostly static objects. Too much movement would require the Autofocus motor which is slow and may scare off nearby creatures.
                            I'll likely add a faster, quiter zoom lens down the road to my kit.

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                            5.0

                            Go to Lens

                            By Rosey

                            from Silvis, IL

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Rugged
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                            • Heavy

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Macro Photography
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                            I photograph birds from my front deck. The eyes and feathers of the birds are sharp.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent!

                            By Peter

                            from San Diego

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Lightweight
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                            • Poor in Low Light

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Macro Photography
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                            Purchased for travel as a walk around lens...everything I wanted it to be...focus hunts far more than I like in certain instances but for the price point...no big thing.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Great Lens at a great price

                            By Matt

                            from Valparaiso, IN

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Durable
                            • Lightweight
                            • Rugged
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Photography
                              • Wildlife Photos

                              Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                              This lens may not be the fastest lens on the market, but it has plenty of reach and is plenty sharp for my use. I primarily take this lens out on backpacking trips, so the WR functionality and weight are huge.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Another Pentax gem

                              By Pedal with Pentax

                              from Pioneer Valley

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Lightweight
                              • Rugged

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Sports/Action

                                Comments about HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens:

                                Like I needed another lens? Yeah right, but our friends at B and H dropped the price so I took the chance. You should order one too, this lens does not disappoint. I have a DA* 300 and my original Sigma 18-250 for comparison. This lens is fast focus with color reproduction and sharpeness closer to the DA*; very nice. Smoother action than my Sigma copy too, includes the hood and let's me use those 58mm filter left over from my Canon days long gone. When I want to shoot low light I go to my fast but heavy 300. For walks, sports, and general use, this is the lightweight reach for me!

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                                • No

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