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05-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Thoughts on Pentax F 100-300mm lens

I've seen an auction for a couple of pentax F lenses that would include a F 100-300mm, and would price it about $50.
There are only a few reviews for the lens on this site, so I didn't find much feedback there. I also tried to look for photos posted on this site taken with this lens and found very few.

My interest in getting it is that I have nothing longer than 210 right now, and that is in the form of several manual focus 70/80 - 205/210 range zooms. None of them have excited me, and the fact that the image stabilization doesn't work great with manual zooms because you keep needed to reset the focal length.

Do I need this lens? Probably not - I'm still spending most of my time shooting macro or people snapshots at short distances. But it seemed like an opportunity I should explore so I'm looking for any feedback from people who have used this lens.

Thanks,
Marc

05-19-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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The slower FA version is supposedly better IQ wise, but the F version is (a lot) better built. I have the FA version myself and, if the F version is anything like it, it certainly won't dissapoint given the price point. I take some great moon shots with it.


IMGP3172 por hcarvalhoalves, no Flickr
f/14, handheld with 2-sec timer, no teleconverter

Last edited by hcarvalhoalves; 05-19-2012 at 09:09 PM.
05-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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I had the F-version and sold it after 100-300 FA 4.7-5.8 purchase. The FA version has better picture quality IMO.
05-19-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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Coincidentally, I happened to take some photographs of a resolution test target with a 100-300F this afternoon. In my tests, the image degraded (in sharpness and color fringing) between 200 and 300mm (more experimentation would be required to determine exactly where.) 300mm performance at f8 and below was considerably better than at 5.6, but I don't have another 300mm to compare the lens to. These tests were all at close focusing distances, which might matter. Previously I had compared this lens to a new 55-300DA, and returned the DA based on those tests (the DA was almost certainly a defective copy - the focus was non-uniform across the frame at all focal lengths, and performance was obviously worse than the 50-200DA and the 100-300F.)

For $50 it would be a worthwhile investment, if not for any reason other than to have a spare lens. The mechanical construction feels superior to the DAs I have (the 55-300 was probably the best constructed of the 4 DAs I've tried), but you pay the price in weight and length (the IF makes the lens physically long at every focal length.) There's no hood bayonet, which is always disappointing.

Paul


Last edited by tibbitts; 05-20-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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