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02-10-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Should I replace FA 300mm f.4.5 with DA 300mm f.4?

Curious to get advice from this forum. I own the FA 300mm f/4.5 lens....as my kids are getting older and playing more sports, I find that I am starting to use some of my old long lenses. I used this lens with a film body (PZ-1p). Now I shoot exclsively with my digital bodies (K-5 and K-20D).

I know that the FA works with the digital bodies...but are there any advantages with me using the DA 300mm lens with the digital bodies?

02-10-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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I wouldn't trade FA* for anything SDM.
02-10-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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The only advantage would be that the DA has a tripod mount. The AF is slower and less reliable, though, so I would hang on to your FA.

Adam
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02-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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As long as f4.5 is fast enough for the sports you have in mind and it does not sound like you have any use for the tripod mount which contributes to your having the lighter lens already. On the other hand, my da*300 is my workhorse and having never suffered an SDM issue I admit to enjoying the silent focus and the tripod mount is easily removed if I need to save an ounce or 2.. Sounds like if you invest in a 3-day rental of the DA* you can do a direct comparison yourself and end those sleepless nights of LBA.
Enjoy.

02-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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The lack of a tripod mount is an easy fix. A member on the list showed how he used a Tripod bracket mount designed for a Canon 70-200 F2.8 lens and I ordered one out of China for about $8.00 including free shipping. Works like a charm. I leave it on my FA* 300 all of the time. Really adds to the functionality of the lens. I also use the lens hand held for my grandchildren's soccer games and it works fine.
02-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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bobell69 is absolutely correct. Keep FA*300mm and get 3rd party tripod mount (plenty on fleebay for under $10, marked for canon works fine - have one). Very nice full frame lens!
02-10-2012, 09:15 PM   #7
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The main advantage of the DA* 300, apart from weather resistance, is the fulltime manual focus. You can adjust the focus manually after AF has completed it's process to fine tune the focus. On the FA* 300 that collar that you need to pull back on to activate MF always puts the AF results out of whack - you may as well just go manual anyway if you require fine tuning. I am in the same boat with you in that I wouldn't mind trying a DA300 to make a first hand comparison but, unfortunately, there are none in stores around here and none for hire. I have also found that my DA*200 and DA* 50-135 work better optically with my Tamron 1.4x TC than the FA*300. If you're not fussed about the possibility of SDM failure (and judging by the online poll here that's not really much of an issue these days) I'd hire one if I were you.
02-11-2012, 03:36 AM   #8
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DA*300/4 is better lens optically. It ha s much better bokeh, 3D rendering and less CA .Pictures are simply better looking. DA is also WR lens and has tripod collar.
Only drawback is: its havier and longer.
F
PS: FA*300/4,5 focusing noise can be very anoying from time to time (especialy when shooting wildlife).

02-11-2012, 04:16 AM   #9
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The DA*300/4 is the best lens in my Pentax arsenal. Knowing the DA*300, as I do, I'd not hesitate an instant to unload the FA. No doubt the FA was good in its day, but the times and tools have changed. The DA* was created to make the most of these changes.... get it!

...my 2 drachmas...

Last edited by Michaelina2; 02-11-2012 at 08:13 AM.
02-11-2012, 05:05 AM   #10
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The DA* has been a work horse since I bought it when first released and has not suffered a failure. The biggest surprise is its usefulness for close up work (larger insects) the extra 60cm of close focus (0.23x c/f 0.17x) magnification is something I couldn't be without.
02-11-2012, 06:00 AM   #11
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It's a lot of money for 1/2 a stop
02-11-2012, 06:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by filip69 Quote
DA*300/4 is better lens optically. It ha s much better bokeh, 3D rendering and less CA .Pictures are simply better looking. DA is also WR lens and has tripod collar.
Only drawback is: its havier and longer.
F
PS: FA*300/4,5 focusing noise can be very anoying from time to time (especialy when shooting wildlife).
My FA*300 F4.5 has no CA that I can detect at all and is flat as a tack across the field. According to MTF charts, it's way better on the edges, and slightly better in the center, than the DA*. I'm not sure if the DA is a FF lens but the FA* certainly is and that has to mean something, especially on an APS-C sensor.

Last edited by bossa; 02-11-2012 at 06:50 AM.
02-11-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Col Quote
The DA* has been a work horse since I bought it when first released and has not suffered a failure. The biggest surprise is its usefulness for close up work (larger insects) the extra 60cm of close focus (0.23x c/f 0.17x) magnification is something I couldn't be without.
Try it with the Tokina acromatic close-up lens for the 80-400 (0.4 diopters). It has a 72mm filter thread, but the 77-72 step down ring doesn't harm the image. Allows to focus at 0,9 meters; scale 0,37x (measured on screen). It is not cheap, but gives great results.

Cheers - Klaus
02-11-2012, 06:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
My FA*300 F4.5 has no CA that I can detect at all and is flat as a tack across the field. According to MTF charts, it's way better on the edges, and slightly better in the center, than the DA*. I'm not sure if the DA is a FF lens but the FA* certainly is and that has to mean something, especially on an APS-C sensor.
DA has better bokeh (much better BTW). FA can show some CA in high contrast situations, the DA is better in that regard too. Dont get me wrong, FA* is superb lens, very convinient for traveling, light and useful in many sitations. But working with tripod and shooting birds and insect closeups-DA is simply better lens, not by much but still better.
f
02-11-2012, 06:59 AM   #15
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The 300mm length was the last to be added to my 30 lens collection. I had many a sleepless nights wondering which to choose. For me the DA* wins on dedicated tripod mount, wr and sdm while the FA* has a slight weight / size advantage and favourable price difference. The DA* wins hands down if you don't mind the lost $ otherwise get the canon mount as others have suggested and enjoy. My problem was solved when i found a Sigma 300 apo macro. That DA 560 's looking nice!
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