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

Here's our review of the versatile Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8ED WR

Available for Pentax cameras only, the 55-300mm offers the second greatest zoom range of any telephoto in our test. The 5.5x zoom features a full-frame equivalent focal range of 85-460mm when fitted to a Pentax APS-C DSLR. It’s a highly portable lens too – beaten by a whisker on size and weight by the diminutive Canon 55-250mm.

The versatile Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8ED WR

The versatile Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8ED WR

Pentax's 55-300mm features weather-resistant construction 

Inside there are 12 elements in 8 groups, with two ED (Extra low Dispersion) elements to minimise chromatic aberration and a HD (High Definition) coating in place to minimise flare and ghosting. The front element features an SP (Super Protect) coating to keep the surface free from dust and dirt, and the lens barrel boasts a weather-resistant construction. Autofocus is slow and noisy, but a Quick-Shift focus system lets you take manual control. In test, the corners of the frame suffered from soft detail and vignetting throughout the zoom with the aperture fully open, but results were much sharper when stopped down to f/11. We didn’t detect any coloured fringing in our tests.

Pros 

Versatile zoom
Attractive price
Highly portable
Weather-sealed

Cons 

Clunky focusing
No optical stabilisation
Image quality

Specification 

  • Minimum aperture: f/22-32
  • Elements: 12/8
  • Filter size: 58mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.4m
  • DxH: 72x112mm
  • Weight: 466g
  • Find out more on the Pentax website