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12-18-2006, 03:39 PM   #1
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M300 f/4 vs. M*300 f/4 - differences?

What's the difference between a Pentax SMC-M 300mm f/4 and a Pentax SMC-M* 300mm f/4? What does the star signify? Is it like a limited edition? Is it held to a higher quality?

TIA!

12-18-2006, 09:10 PM   #2
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Well, I guess I'll find out what the M 300 is all about. I just pulled the trigger on an (EX grade) SMC-M 300mm f/4.0. I wonder if I'll be able to take it to the rodeo. It would work great in the poor lighting they have there.
12-18-2006, 09:11 PM   #3
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The SMC-P M*300mm f4 was the first Pentax "*" lens. It is a high performance design using ED (low dispersion) glass. It definitely outperforms older non-star lenses like the K 300mm f4. The M* was a success and other "*" lenses followed including an assortment of A*, F* and FA* lenses. The "*" designation indicated a top quality lens with the finest optical and mechanical properties.

I have the M*300mm f4 and it is a fine lens. The performance wide open at f4 is quite good and from f5.6 it is spectacular. I do not know if there was ever a non-star M 300mm f4. Bojidar Dimitrov's site (Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Equipment Page) does not list a non-star M 300mm f4, but I have seen references to such a lens elsewhere.

The earlier original Pentax SMC bayonet mount "K" lenses are sometimes mistakenly referred to as an M lens. My guess is that a lens described as non-star M 300mm f4 would actually be the earlier (inferior) SMC "K" 300mm f4.
12-18-2006, 09:27 PM   #4
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The diff is about 2 pounds of weight

Here's a pic with the K300/4 and DS handheld...


12-19-2006, 08:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
The earlier original Pentax SMC bayonet mount "K" lenses are sometimes mistakenly referred to as an M lens. My guess is that a lens described as non-star M 300mm f4 would actually be the earlier (inferior) SMC "K" 300mm f4.
You say "inferior", I say "cheaper".

Seriously, thanks for the info. I figure I can always sell it for a significant percentage of what I paid for it. The remainder will be my "rent" for however long I decide to use it.

I think I'll be happy with it. Afterall, I'm the guy that thinks my Tamron 28-300 isn't that bad.
12-19-2006, 09:00 AM   #6
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Two pounds! Does this thing come with a tripod mount? Can one be added if not?
12-20-2006, 09:53 PM   #7
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No tripod mount on the K300/4 and non made for it. 15 years ago I could have made one for it myself, but I don't run a Bridgeport mill any more. I'm a computer jockey now...
I paid $225 for this one in LN condition...
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