Review: Pentax DA* 60-250mm f/4

Thought I would share some insights on a really great Pentax lens.  The Pentax DA* 60-250mm f/4 is part of the high-end series of professional lenses that Pentax has available.  I rented this lens as I was looking for a longer option that had better quality and a set aperture.  There are not many options on the Pentax mount at the longer lengths.  I currently own a Sigma 70-300mm which is compact but rather slow and the image quality is not that great.  I previously owned a Sigma 100-300mm f/4 for a short period of time and REALLY wish that I had not sold it now as it is discontinued and hard to find.

So it is with all of this, that I decided to rent the DA* 60-250mm.  Now where and what to shoot in the brief period of time that I had the lens available to me.  The answers?  A college baseball game and the Pittsburgh Zoo.  And then I rented the lens a second time just a few weeks back for a trip to Tampa where I knew I would need flexibility, but also some reach for bird and candid people shots.  All of the photos in this post are with this lens.  Click any photos to see more photos from these sets.  But for some quick pros and cons…

Pros of the Lens

Great size. Actually smaller than I initially thought it would be making it not all that hard to carry all day and easy to hand hold.

Great build quality. I would expect nothing less from one of the Pentax DA* lenses and definitely not from a lens that retails for around $1,100

Constant f/4 aperture. I really am addicted to having a set aperture on the higher end lenses and an f/4 or f/2.8 is basically a requirement now.  And the f/4 is still fast enough if you crank up the ISO a bit more or in good lighting to capture fast action.

Nice range. It’s nice that this lens could partner up very nicely with the Pentax DA 16-45mm or the Pentax DA* 16-50mm and yet give enough reach for the majority of shooting situations.

Cons of the Lens

Cost. Did I mention that this lens was $1,100?  So it is not for those with tight wallets but still considerable less than lenses from other brands.

Lens Creep. The lens creeps when it is carried over your shoulder.  Kind of annoying.  Would be nice if they had a lock on the lens like some of the Sigma lenses have.

Range Duplication. For me at least, this lens already covers a lot of the same range as one of my favorite lenses the Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8.  So although it is tempting to purchase this lens, there would be a lot of overlap.

Check it out or rent the lens from Camera Lens Rentals to give it a go yourself.