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08-14-2010, 05:23 AM   #1
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300mm FA* v. 400mm FA*

Seems to me that my 300mm f4.5 FA* is MUCH sharper than my 400mm f5.6 FA*. Does anyone own both of these lenses? Which do you think is sharper?
Thanks.
Jack

08-14-2010, 05:47 AM   #2
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I think the 400mm is often under-rated. Yes, it's not as sharp as the 300mm, but the difference is marginal. You have to keep in mind that it's longer and half a stop slower, so it's more prone to blur due to instability or shaking. I got a copy of the 400mm in 2008, and after Ole borrowed it for a shoot, he decided to get one as well (I had already owned the 300/2.8 and he the 300/4.5 at the time).

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08-14-2010, 06:42 AM   #3
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I don't have either of those unfortunately, but had a bad copy of the FA*300 f2.8 and would say QC problems are nothing new.
08-14-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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Thanks Adam. I took the 400mm out this morning for another chance.
Tom--I hope you sent it back for repair, etc.
Jack

08-14-2010, 11:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pntxjack Quote
Thanks Adam. I took the 400mm out this morning for another chance.
Tom--I hope you sent it back for repair, etc.
Jack
I suggest at a bare minimum to use a solid monopod or bean bag with it. It makes a world of difference on my A 400mm. That said, the past 8 months I've been using the DA* 300mm.
08-14-2010, 11:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pntxjack Quote
Thanks Adam. I took the 400mm out this morning for another chance.
Tom--I hope you sent it back for repair, etc.
Jack
Sadly after Pentax Colorado said they would fix it under warranty, I had to send it twice and they still wouldn't touch it. They said it was sealed at the factory and it was a film lens, not optimal for digital. (blew me off basically). I was so upset I traded it for a bit of a loss and got a canon 300mm f2.8 after selling most of my long pentax mount lenses. I guess it worked out for the best as the canon 300mm is probably the best lens I ever had.
08-14-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
Sadly after Pentax Colorado said they would fix it under warranty, I had to send it twice and they still wouldn't touch it. They said it was sealed at the factory and it was a film lens, not optimal for digital. (blew me off basically). I was so upset I traded it for a bit of a loss and got a canon 300mm f2.8 after selling most of my long pentax mount lenses. I guess it worked out for the best as the canon 300mm is probably the best lens I ever had.
Someone at Pentax repairs needs to go in for drug testing. Only the DA* are factory sealed. However, that makes no sense. Every thing is "closed up" at the factory. How do the fix anything without opening it?
08-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Someone at Pentax repairs needs to go in for drug testing. Only the DA* are factory sealed. However, that makes no sense. Every thing is "closed up" at the factory. How do the fix anything without opening it?
Hey Blue,
There did seem to be a black compound around the threads under the front protective glass, but surely you would think the factory service would be able to fix it.They said the lenses were adjusted with some kind of special interferometer of some BS and sealed. I wanted them to send it to japan to be adjusted properly, but didn't get the option to. I actually felt sorry for the lens too, like it deserved better treatment after all it isn't exactly the "kit" lens.

08-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
Hey Blue,
There did seem to be a black compound around the threads under the front protective glass, but surely you would think the factory service would be able to fix it.They said the lenses were adjusted with some kind of special interferometer of some BS and sealed. I wanted them to send it to japan to be adjusted properly, but didn't get the option to. I actually felt sorry for the lens too, like it deserved better treatment after all it isn't exactly the "kit" lens.
It seems like they would be obligated to send it to Japan under warranty or give you another one.
08-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
It seems like they would be obligated to send it to Japan under warranty or give you another one.
The product specialist I talked to pretty much chalked it up to sample variation.
Sorry for the highjack, Jack
08-14-2010, 05:12 PM   #11
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Hi Jack--
Highjack not a problem--I learned something.
I took the 400mm out this morning. ISO 200, f/8, 2/3 stop underexposed for faster shutter speed, (and because the swans are SO white/bright), sturdy tripod. The 400 is not as sharp as the 300, by quite a bit. And, as luck would have it, a pair of mute swans were so close to my hiding place when I got there, neither would fit in the 400mm frame!!!
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Last edited by pntxjack; 08-15-2010 at 01:00 AM.
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