HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE review

The HD PENTAX-DA 55-300MM F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE is a refreshingly small and lightweight telephoto zoom

(Image: © Ricoh)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This lens for Pentax APS-C format DSLRs ticks all the right boxes for photographers who want powerful telephoto reach without getting weighed down in the process. With a retractable design, it shrinks to just 89mm length for convenient stowage and it weighs in at just 442g. That’s despite giving a lengthy 82.5-450mm effective zoom range in full-frame terms, stretching into super-telephoto territory. Build quality, image quality and all-round performance are very good, making the lens very good value at the price.


  • +

    Compact retractable design

  • +

    Good weather-sealed build quality

  • +

    Fairly fast, whisper-quiet autofocus


  • -

    Modest long-zoom aperture

  • -

    No optical image stabilization

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The HD PENTAX-DA 55-300MM F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE gives long telephoto reach from an unusually compact and lightweight package. The effective zoom range gets a 1.5x boost thanks to the APS-C crop factor of Pentax cameras for which it’s designed. This makes it ideal for walkabout and travel photography, as well as for prolonged periods of action, sports and wildlife photography without the need for a tripod.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.