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02-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
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M 300mm vs. M* 300mm

Has anyone used the M 300mm f 4? Is there much difference between M 300mm & the M* 300mm?

Thanks

John

02-02-2012, 06:55 PM   #2
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Not sure there was a non-* version of the lens.
02-02-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaSA Quote
Not sure there was a non-* version of the lens.
That is correct. There is a K300/4 and an M*300/4, but no M300/4.

The M*300/4 is considered to be optically superior to the K300/4. The A*300/4 is the same (optically) as the M*300/4, but adds an "A" setting.
02-02-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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Ok, that makes sense now.

Thank you

I happen to shoot concerts and the larger shows have pretty good light. Shooting from the soundboard gets to be too far for my da* 50-135mm and da 50-200mm. ~300mm would be better.

Do you guys think the da 55-300mm would work or would it be redundant given that I have the DA18-250, DA50-200mm, and DA* 50-135mm?

I hate to spend $1000+ for fast glass that is in the same range that I already have.

Do you guys have any ideas?

This is my DA 50-200mm (Cropped) at Rod Stewart




Last edited by john5100; 02-02-2012 at 09:18 PM.
02-03-2012, 12:32 AM   #5
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da55-300 would be too slow in house, esp concert when flash is not allowed. AF will hunt and give up. pretty much you need to manual focus.

M*300/4 or A*300/4 - sharp wide open, very sharp half click down, razor sharp at f5.6-f11. Very good contrast, also wide open. Easily beat sigma 150-500 or sigma 120-400 at 300mm. Sigmas are not f4. DA*300 might be too pricy, still not sure if AF can work in low light.

I dont use 300 indoor, but you can check out the samples here:

M300/4:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111102833818394930252/M300f4

A300/4:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111102833818394930252/A300f4
02-03-2012, 05:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
da55-300 would be too slow in house, esp concert when flash is not allowed. AF will hunt and give up. pretty much you need to manual focus.
Slow in what sense? Focusing or f-stop?

The photo that john5100 posted was taken with the DA50-200, which is not really faster f-stop wise. It's said that the DA55-300 at 200mm is faster (f-stop) than the DA50-200, but I've never checked it.

So should I conclude that the DA50-200 is a lens that focuses faster than the DA55-300? Might be the case, just don't know.
02-03-2012, 06:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
Do you guys think the da 55-300mm would work or would it be redundant given that I have the DA18-250, DA50-200mm, and DA* 50-135mm?
I think given the three lenses you already have, the 55-300 would be a bit redudant unless you were replacing the 50-200 with the 55-300. The 55-300 is a better overall lens than the 50-200, both in terms of reach and IQ. The advanatges of the 55-200 are smaller size, cost and the fact that there is a WR version.

It anything, I would say the 50-200 is the most redudant lenses given that you have the 18-250. I've owned both, and other than the 50-200 being a little lighter, I don't think there are any advantages of the 55-200 over the 18-250 (ok, the 18-250 is prone to zoom creep, but other than that).
02-03-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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Thanks guys for the thoughts. The 300mm f 4 is very compelling and I could put a 1.4 tele on it.

The da 50 - 300mm is more versatile however. That might be my choice.

02-03-2012, 08:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
Thanks guys for the thoughts. The 300mm f 4 is very compelling and I could put a 1.4 tele on it.

The da 50 - 300mm is more versatile however. That might be my choice.
You could also put a Pentax 1.7x AF-A on either the M*300/4 or the A*300/4 and end up with a pretty nice semi-autofocus 500/6.3
02-03-2012, 11:52 AM   #10
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I know...too many great options. That is looking good.
02-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #11
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I do have a SMC Pentax-A* 300mm F4 and I do shoot music gigs for a living, but I find the F4.0 is just way to slow, hence I never use it for this purpose.

With manual focus (which is my preferred method for this sort of work) anything above F2.8 makes an already difficult job much harder.

Whilst many venues look bright and well lit, it's often not the case and you end with settings more in the ranges of F1.4 to F2.8 and 1/50 to 1/125 at ISO1600 levels.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 02-03-2012 at 04:00 PM.
02-03-2012, 05:28 PM   #12
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kerrowdown - What do you use for soundboard shoots? Usually they are so far back that you need at least 200mm to capture anything.

This is pretty typical light for bigger shows however I'm up close.

1/200 at F2.8 and ISO 800

and
1/250 at f2.8 and ISO 2500

1/100 @ F5.6 and ISO 400


As a rule I use my Sigma 24-60mm F2.8, 35mm F2.4, and my DA* 50 - 135mm F2.8 and they work great for shows. If I'm shooting small clubs then I use my F1.4 lens because the light is so bad.

Thanks all for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

Last edited by john5100; 02-04-2012 at 07:07 AM.
02-05-2012, 04:54 AM   #13
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To john5100, it's not normally an issue as I'm side stage or in the pit most times like yourself, on the rare occasion when elsewhere I've used my SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F2.8 ED or a borrowed (from a really good pal) SMC Pentax-A* 300mm F2.8 ED [IF].
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