“The overall appearance and feel are quite similar to the 18-50mm retractable lens that we have already seen. A single easily operated button releases the lens barrel so that the zoom ring can be used. If the camera is switched on whilst the lens is retracted, the shutter release is disabled and a warning message appears on the rear screen. The release of the zoom ring is, like the first lens, quite jerky and stiff in operation, hardly smooth. However, the standard of assembly of the lens, in general, is high, and things do ease up a little once the lens is in use. In contrast, the manual focus ring, which lies closest to the body, is as smooth as silk from the start, operating electronically and also offering QuickShift, where manual focusing can be used to tweak the AF position focused on.
There is little else to see on the lens. The front element is surrounded by the 58mm filter thread and also the bayonet for fixing the provided round lens hood. The hood has a removable slot that allows filters such as a polariser to be rotated without removing the lens hood. The HD coatings reduce flare and the front element is also given an SP (Super Protect) coating to repel grease, dirt and water. The diaphragm has 9 rounded blades to improve bokeh. Weight is 442g or 471g with hood. This is virtually the same as the previous 55-300mm lenses.”
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