Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM A-mount lens review by MWL

reviewer#11467 date: Nov-11-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-75mm D 2.8
Minolta 28-105mm 3.5-4.5
Sony 50mm 1.8
Nikon 55-200mm
price paid:200 (CDN) used
positive:SHARP, fast focus (in good light), light, inexpensive, solid build
negative:slow focusing in low light (but it's accurate), 300mm wide open is not as sharp as 200mm but still very good.
comment:Using this on an a57. Very impressed with the sharpness. Wide open is sharp and stopped down a bit is tack sharp. I read that this lens has slow focusing and tends to hunt a bit but that's not the case in good light. It's quick. I had it hunt once so far and, when it did, it was slow. But other than that, it's maybe a hair slower than my Minolta glass (which is pretty fast). Only difference is my Minolta lenses focus fast in low light as well.

Colors are very nice. Bokeh is excellent. It's mostly plastic but it does't feel or look cheap. Smooth zoom and focus ring. Only real downside is you have to up your shutter speed to at least 1/400 if you have it at 300mm. On a cloudy day I'll be at 400 ISO, 1/400, wide open at F/5.6. Otherwise, camera shake starts to show. But at around 200mm you can get away with 1/200.

With the zoom range, this will probably be my main outdoor walk-around lens...for now. I don't see much of a difference between 200mm and 300mm so I'll probably end up getting a 70-200mm when I go full frame. I'd rather have the F2.8 available but this does a darn good job for what it is. Very happy with it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 18
  • sharpness: 4.67
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.11
  • distortion: 4.67
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.49 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania