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Old Mar 24, 2010, 3:24 PM   #1
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Default DA versus DA(*)

Ok, this might be an ignorant question but is there a difference between a lens marked DA and one that is advertised DA*. What does the asterisk stand for?

I'm looking at this lens on amazon and want to make sure its the one many people on here have been referring to for its quality. Thanks guys!

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...-tele-end.html

Amazon link

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...F8&me=&seller=
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 5:50 PM   #2
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The DA* lenses are weather sealed (there are a few DA lenses that are also sealed), higher quality and faster than the consumer equivalents. They are also significantly more expensive and heavier (because they are faster). Pentax has been designating their top quality lenses with a * for a long time (I have an A*300 lens that's manual focus and hasn't been made for at least 10 years, I think).

The DA 55-300 isn't designated as a * lens. Instead, it's a very good consumer lens, relatively reasonably priced and light-weight. Compare it price-wise, size-wise and speed-wise to the DA*50-135 - it's significantly cheaper, smaller, lighter, and slower than the * lens, and it's not weather sealed. And yes, the lens you linked to on Amazon is the same one that Bahadir was talking about. I have the lens and really like it, though my first copy was defective (sent it in for repair and Pentax replaced it immediately with a good one, I couldn't be happier).
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 10:10 PM   #3
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Thanks mtngal!
I read about your defective copy and I'm glad you got a replacement. I kinda figured the * signified a difference in quality. I think from what I read the DA 55-300 mm will work for me. Just sold my K2000 with kit lenses and want to invest in a lens for the K7. Thanks again!
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 1:20 AM   #4
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Hi maverick,

Just to fill in some history, if you're interested. The * designation (actually "star", the asterisk is just convenient for typing) was given to Pentax's Pro/Premium Quality class lenses. AFAIK, the first was the M*300/4 in '81, which was replaced in '84 by the A*300/4, which was the same lens with those new-fangled electrical contacts that allowed Auto Exposure info to be passed from the lens to the body. At this point, all the premium optical and build quality lenses were given the "star" designation, and IMO, deserved it. There were * lenses in the A (manual focus, auto exposure), F (Auto focus, auto exposure), FA (AF and AE, with MTF [lens resolution performance] info added).

Then came digital, and the D FA (FA with digital coatings and first generation Quick Shift focusing [focus clutch]) while retaining aperture rings on the lens. There were only two of these, the 50 and 100 dedicated macros. The DA series dropped the aperture rings and operated the aperture in the lens through body mounted controls. DA* added premium quality optics and build, and weather sealing. I believe that all feature KAF2 SDM (Silent Drive Motor) in-lens focusing motors in addition to the KAF1 in-body (screw-drive) mechanism, so they will AF in any Pentax AF body, whether film or digital. I believe the F*, FA*, and DA* series all included primes (single focal length) and zooms.

Pentax also makes two other premium quality lens lines, the Limiteds. I don't know why they're Limiteds, as they never did state that there would be only so many made -- maybe because Pentax only had plans to make a limited number of models like this. There are three models in FA Ltd and four in the DA Ltd configuration. For film, this was the FA 31/1.8 ltd, FA 43/1.9, and the FA 77/1.8. In the DA series, there's the 15/4, the 21/3.2, the 40/2.8, and the 70/2.4. These lenses feature metal body construction, professional grade optical design, and close to the old silky manual focus feel to the focusing mechanisms, but all have AF capability. All the Ltds are primes.

Scott
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great info Scott! Always interesting to hear the history behind inner makings of cameras, lenses, ect....
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 9:43 PM   #6
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So is there any difference between the lens sold by itself and the one sold in the kit bundles (K7, K-x, etc.)?
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 9:58 PM   #7
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yes the one sold by itself vs the kit have differences, well with the kx.

The ones in the kit is a DAL not a DA lens. they have plastic mounts vs metal mount. They do not have the MF clutch or the range indicator.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 11:39 PM   #8
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I don't think the lenses sold in kits with the K7 are DA-L versions. I know that K-7 is often sold with the WR lenses (there's a WR version of the 50-200 but not for the 55-300). You'll need to check the listing for the kit to determine which lens is included. As shoturtle pointed out, the Kx includes the DA-L versions, which also don't include a lens hood with them, while all other versions do.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 1:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
As shoturtle pointed out, the Kx includes the DA-L versions, which also don't include a lens hood with them, while all other versions do.

And THAT is a p*ss off......


Hard to get a lens hood in the local stores....well the ones I like anyways...
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 1:37 AM   #10
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ebay has it for your 18-55mm lens that is dedicated. And since you have the DA 55-300 you have the hood. Just type into ebay PH-RBA and the hood will turn up.
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