12-02-2014 06:54 PM
With the above lense, the auto-focus appears to be a hit and miss experience. It is hard to believe that Ricoh would release a new lens with this lack of quality. How can the lens be used to ensure 100% auto-focus accuracy? Alternatively, is this a floor in Ricoh quality of this new lens.?
12-07-2014 01:24 PM
I used the SMC Pentax DA 55-300 for quite a while, I believe only the lens coating and weather seals are different. I gave it to my son when I got a DA*300. There is a lot of technique involved in a long lens. it is much harder to focus than normal and wide lengths. A lot of camera movement is mistaken for missed focus. The camera also has a very long focus throw, I got used to using quickshift to get the focus close then the autofocus to finish it. That make it quieter to not scare birds, faster, and can get past tree limbs etc that the lens will want to focus on.
I you think the focus is off test it with a tripod and target. Then you can adjust the focus in camera for the lens.
If you aren't already, I would suggest to use the center AF point only with a long lens. If you can, post some of those missed focus pics.
12-11-2014 01:10 PM
Autofocus is an aid and is absolutely not foolproof. It's accuracy is determined more by the body than the lens, but the scene you are shooting has a big influence too.
For example, you're out birding with your new lens, and you see a robin halfway up a tree. The lens will try to focus on one of the autofocus points that are active and it might try to focus on a branch, a cluster of leaves, etc that are between you and the bird that you aren't noticing because you're focused on the bird. Unfortunately the camera cannot yet read your mind... So give the camera a hand. Set the autofocus points to center-only (which will increase focus lock speed and in my opinion makes the AF system more reliable and intuitive), and use the quick shift focus feature of your lens to fine tune focus. Quick shift allows you to manually focus using the focus ring even on AF mode.
So... practice practice practice!
12-11-2014 03:07 PM
Well, it is not really a 'new' lens just a refresh of the SMC version with new coatings and WR sealing.
That said, as already noted by others, a 300mm lens is not just a point & shoot. You need to learn how to use it. You do not mention what camera you have but that will make a difference as well. The k-3 for example has a number of AF settings in the menu that you should check to be sure are correct for what you are doing.
As to a "new floor", no not all, the 55-300 is an excellent lens and possibly performance / cost one of the best values out there.
It does take some practice to use properly though so practice, practice!