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06-09-2010, 02:40 AM   #16
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I have been looking for a good 300mm for wildlife (birds mainly) photography, and have a few cheap options. The FA 100-300 4.7-5.8 is a good option. Does give a bit of PF but IQ is decent. Attaching some sample pics below. One is 300mm lo-res original and crop, the other is a 100mm lo-res original.
Hard to beat the 55-300 pics posted earlier. Very good work!!

If price was not a consideration, how would this thread rate the following lens for wildlife (including some macro shoots)

1. DA*300 f4 WR
2. FA* 300mm f2.8
3. A* 300mm f2.8
4. FA* 200mm F4 macro

look forward to your opinions

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/attachments/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/64044d1276075616-cheap-sharp-autofocus-300mm-imgp3185.jpg

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/attachments/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/64045d1276075616-cheap-sharp-autofocus-300mm-imgp3185-fa100-300-crop.jpg

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/attachments/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/64046d1276075616-cheap-sharp-autofocus-300mm-imgp3189.jpg

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06-09-2010, 08:12 AM   #17
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DA*300 SDM, there is no WR designation on the DA* lenses, they just Are. The holy grail is probably the FA*200 Macro but the last one I saw had an asking price of $3500. Don't know if it sold for that though.

DA*300mm SDM - a set on Flickr

06-09-2010, 09:03 AM   #18
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Judging from the pics I've seen posted and owners comments, the DA 55-300 probably has the best IQ at the long end of the zoom in the lower priced telephoto category. I use the Sigma 79-300 and it is also soft at 300, although in good light, I have had some very good 300mm results at f/11, which seems to be the sweet spot on my lens. The shorter end of the zoom on the Sigma does very well. There is a lot of very good 300mm glass out there, it just isn't going to be cheap. For my budget, it's MF for now as my 200/4 Tak is sharp at all apertures and even with a 2x converter, it's very good as long as I nail the focus.
06-09-2010, 10:55 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the responses.

How does the FA 100-300 (f4.7-5.8 version) compare to the DA 55-300 wide open at 300? From the samples it looks like the DA is slightly sharper, but not much in it?

I know they'll all be better at f/8-11, but light would have to be excellent for day-to-day handholding...

06-09-2010, 02:00 PM   #20
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The DA 55-300 is a very very good lens! This was taken at 210mm f9 iso500:



Andras
06-09-2010, 02:27 PM   #21
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Before I got the DA* 300mm, I had a 55-300. I'd still have that lens if I didn't have the DA*.
06-09-2010, 02:53 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Before I got the DA* 300mm, I had a 55-300. I'd still have that lens if I didn't have the DA*.
So it's simple the 55-300 is a very good lens the DA300 f4 is even better. The former is cheaper the later is much more expensive. Personally I considered the DA300 but bought the 55-300 as I'm also about to replace my trusty 16-45 with the 12-24 but hardware is only one side of the story of course...

..as far as the 55-300...the 300mm end is totally usable wide open. It's f4.5 until around 200mm which makes it a very good portrait lens in good light. AF can be sluggish but manageable.

Andras
06-09-2010, 03:27 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rob1234 Quote
How does the FA 100-300 (f4.7-5.8 version) compare to the DA 55-300 wide open at 300? From the samples it looks like the DA is slightly sharper, but not much in it?
I don't have both lenses to compare, but I have a shot from the 100-300 at 6.3 in this post.

Also, a couple of suggestions regarding your first post about the Sigma:

- make sure the focus is correct - it's hard to nail focus at 300mm and AF may not be precise enough, especially when the lens is wide open and the DOF is thinner.
- use a hood - the performance of the lens might improve significantly, especially when using it wide open

06-09-2010, 10:04 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
DA*300 SDM, there is no WR designation on the DA* lenses, they just Are. The holy grail is probably the FA*200 Macro but the last one I saw had an asking price of $3500. Don't know if it sold for that though.

DA*300mm SDM - a set on Flickr

Many thanks for the input. I was debating between an A*300 f2.8 and DA*300 f4. I think I will narrow down on the DA*300.
The FA*200 macro sold for $3700. Well out of my budget, but I was thinking I could put a TC on it and go to 300mm as well use it for macro. Seeing your photos on Flikr I think the DA*300 will serve both purposes at half the price.
Thanks again
06-09-2010, 11:15 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by planedriver Quote
this is 100%:
AF can be sluggish-my technique is to set it manually to near infinity and then it gets much faster when you focus on these birds.

Andras
Damned impressive!
06-10-2010, 12:25 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
I would not recommend the Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD WTF EIEIO.

I own that one. It's reasonably sharp, but there is A LOT of purple fringing in high-contrast scenes, and stopping down doesn't help much. I would gladly trade some sharpness to reduce the purpleness of it all.

Answering Ira, yeah, I think autofocus is pretty helpful on long lenses. At least handheld, the image bounces around a lot in the viewfinder, and it's hard (for me at least) to really see how sharp it is, even with a split prism viewfinder screen. I can manage OK with my 200mm Takumar, but my 400mm Tele-Takumar is pretty difficult.

You and me both, buddy. I'd settle for two out of three.
Sorry QS but I have to disagree with you on the Tamron 70-300 Di. It is my standard go to AF lense if I need that length (though usually I prefer my CZJ 135mm & crop if at all possible). PF is a minor irritant in high contrast situations or pixel peeping but mostly it's easily corrected in PP.

That said however I'm on the look out for the Pentax 55-300. On another forum we compared the P 80-320 (I have this too and have binned it, it will never see the light of day again until it's sold !), T 70-300 & P 55-300 and the later was a clear winner in terms of sharpness and PP.

Shame the DA* 300 isn't cheaper as that is just an outstanding lens ! One day.
06-10-2010, 12:29 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkohli Quote
Many thanks for the input. I was debating between an A*300 f2.8 and DA*300 f4. I think I will narrow down on the DA*300.
The FA*200 macro sold for $3700. Well out of my budget, but I was thinking I could put a TC on it and go to 300mm as well use it for macro. Seeing your photos on Flikr I think the DA*300 will serve both purposes at half the price.
Thanks again
Rajeev. If you were thinking macro as well as tele then, now you have saved a bundle by going for the DA* 300 do yourself a favour and get yourself a dedicated macro lens ( I love spending other people's money ). I use the Tamron 90 Di Macro and it is an absolutely outstanding lens for macro, portrait and street.
06-10-2010, 12:53 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Also, a couple of suggestions regarding your first post about the Sigma:

- make sure the focus is correct - it's hard to nail focus at 300mm and AF may not be precise enough, especially when the lens is wide open and the DOF is thinner.
- use a hood - the performance of the lens might improve significantly, especially when using it wide open
Many thanks. Over a day's worth of shots I have found it very soft (admittedly to a varying extent), so don't think it's a focussing issue.

I do use the supplied hood, but am aware that it isn't ideal as it has to cover the 100mm end too.
06-11-2010, 03:13 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Rajeev. If you were thinking macro as well as tele then, now you have saved a bundle by going for the DA* 300 do yourself a favour and get yourself a dedicated macro lens ( I love spending other people's money ). I use the Tamron 90 Di Macro and it is an absolutely outstanding lens for macro, portrait and street.
I really do not need a street/portrait lens (I have the DA40ltd and FA77ltd), so I feel the tammy would really not fit in. Maybe a longer tele like the Sigma 180 f3.5 macro along with a TC could do 300+ tele shots as well macro??
06-12-2010, 11:07 AM   #30
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Just for reference, I was browsing through some test shots: it is significantly better at the 100mm end stopped down(although I realise this shot is much less demanding than a high-contrast backlit one).

Again, 100% (JPEG) crop, straight from the camera:

(clicky thumbnail)

Camera Software: K10D Ver 1.30
Focal Length (35mm Equiv): 150 mm
Image Created: 2010:06:07 17:21:44
Exposure Time: 1/125 sec
F-Number: f/8.0
Exposure Program: Aperture Priority
ISO Speed Rating: 500

Still going to replace it with a DA55-300 though.
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