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07-14-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
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Old and heavy CZJ 300mm

I am looking for a bit of help and advice re purchasing a 300mm lens.
It would probably be a seldom used lens, so the DA300 rules itself out on price.
I have the chance to buy a Zeiss 300mm F4 MC Sonnar for 200, or there is the Pentax 55-300 zoom.

I am at present really happy with the sharpness and contrast from my FA28/2.8AL and DA55/1.4, so would like to obtain good IQ from the lens.

My question is, with regard to the above choices, and the PentaxDA300, how does IQ compare. {The long end of the zoom}

Nigel

07-14-2011, 02:11 PM   #2
hcc
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While I cannot answer directly your post, let me share a somehow similar experience. I recently bought a FA*300mm f4.5 from the marketplace. At the time, it was true LBA, although I selected the FA* over the DA* for its lower price, smaller weight and smaller size, all of which suited me.

I found that I use much more the FA*300mm than initially thought. Examples of applicatons include bird watching (incl. bird in flight), whale watching, dolphin photography, surfers shooting... Last week, we were whale watching; my nephew used the 18-250mm at the long end and I used the FA*300mm. The FA*300mm shots were far better.

To sum up, the FA*300mm might be an alternative: cheaper than the DA*300 while the IQ is definitely as good.

Food for thoughts....
07-14-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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If a picture tells 1,000 words, here is a crop of a shot I took and posted this week with the da55-300 @300mm from a kayak; certainly the least stable platform I have ever used! I normally shoot the da*300 but the zoom will be getting a workout on the water. If you like the color and detail of the feathers at 300mm, you will probably be happy with the lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/151620-nature-first-post...t-greenie.html
07-14-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
If a picture tells 1,000 words, here is a crop of a shot I took and posted this week with the da55-300 @300mm from a kayak; certainly the least stable platform I have ever used! I normally shoot the da*300 but the zoom will be getting a workout on the water. If you like the color and detail of the feathers at 300mm, you will probably be happy with the lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/151620-nature-first-post...t-greenie.html
Thanks for that, what's not to like, great colours. It also has the advantage of portability.
Nigel

07-14-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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Old glass on a modern sensor is a hit and miss.
I don't know which version of the CZ 300/4 you're referring too, but I tried two myself and wasn't very happy with the results. .oO [Or was it one Orester 300 and one CZJ] I can't remember atm. but either way, one ended-up in my drawer and the other was sold locally to a film shooter I knew.

Having said that, the TAIR-300A seems to do much better on Pentax bodies. There's a member here who has a fairly good looking version and based on what I've seen, it rivals the much more expensive lenses. - might be worth a gander.
07-14-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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Thanks John, I will do a search and see what turns up.

Thanks hcc, sounds like great ways to put the lens to good use.
07-14-2011, 03:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by trickletreat Quote
Thanks John, I will do a search and see what turns up.

Thanks hcc, sounds like great ways to put the lens to good use.
NP.
In case it helps, here's a link testing the Tair against a well known Zuiko 300mm: TAIR-3 300mm - an impressive performance

And here's the version I was referring too earlier:

And mounted: (Note the built-in hood with this version )

Photo courtesy of: Lloydy fr: forum.mflenses.com
07-14-2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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from what I can say, the CZJ 300mm zebra is humongous and would be very difficult to carry. the DA*300 would be the best options although it would depend on how much you really need 300mm IQ and how often you would use it. the DA55-300 is not the best at 300mm but would be acceptable enough to render good pictures. it's major advantage however is it's zoom versatility, smaller and weighs lighter than either primes. also has a closer MFD. it's IQ is at best from 70-210mm. a range which I often use a lot.

07-15-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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In the end I have ordered the CZJ as it appealed to the nostalgic and quirky side of my brain. It also seems to be more of a challenge, both physically and skilfully. So worst case is my wife uses it as an implement to curb my LBA!

Thanks for all your replies
Nigel
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