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12-16-2012, 07:15 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Nice lens, but why rate a lens 10/9 in sharpness and abberations and stating at the same time that mage quality gets much better beyond 5.6.
Photozone shows the DA*300 reaches maximum resolution at f5.6. (Have I posted this same answer before? It seems awfully familiar).

12-16-2012, 07:19 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Nice lens, but why rate a lens 10/9 in sharpness and abberations and stating at the same time that mage quality gets much better beyond 5.6. Very soon you will rate all lenses 10 or 9 only. How bad must be a 7 in AF - well it is slow, SDM is slooooooooooow, but it does the job and with some bird manual focus works best.
I believe it includes the collar. Based on my experience with the lens, it is better than any previous Pentax 300mm with the exception of the FA* and A* 300m F2.8, which were obviously targeted at a completely different market.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Nice lens, but why rate a lens 10/9 in sharpness and abberations and stating at the same time that mage quality gets much better beyond 5.6. Very soon you will rate all lenses 10 or 9 only. How bad must be a 7 in AF - well it is slow, SDM is slooooooooooow, but it does the job and with some bird manual focus works best.
While I didn't write the review, all lenses generally have the worst performance wide-open, but the pics from the 300 at F4 are certainly still way above average.

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12-16-2012, 07:19 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
I'm curious to know if the listed weight of 1070g is with or without the tripod collar? How does the lens compare with older 300mm Pentax lenses?
The collar is not removable, only the tripod shoe comes off. I don't know what the shoe weighs, but it adds an insignificant amount, you would not likely notice the difference in weight.

From anything I've read the DA*300 has the best IQ of the 300mm f4 Pentax lenses.

Last edited by audiobomber; 12-17-2012 at 03:05 PM.
12-16-2012, 07:21 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
I'm curious to know if the listed weight of 1070g is with or without the tripod collar? How does the lens compare with older 300mm Pentax lenses?
I measure the following weights on my copy of DA*300:

With caps, hood, tripod collar and foot - 1279g
With hood, tripod collar and foot (caps removed) - 1245g (typical tripod config)
With tripod collar and foot (no hood or caps) - 1154g
With tripod collar (no foot, hood or caps) - 1076g
With hood (no foot or caps) - 1168g (typical hand held config)

Note the tripod collar itself is not removable, only the foot can be detached from the collar.


Last edited by crewl1; 12-16-2012 at 07:28 PM.
12-16-2012, 09:30 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
We've just posted an in-depth review of the longest lens in Pentax's current lineup, the DA* 300mm F4.

Many thanks to photomission for the great piece!

Pentax-DA* 300mm F4 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
If this were available in 2.8, what would be the pro's & con's?
12-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #36
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12-17-2012, 08:43 AM   #37
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How does the Sigma 2.8 compare?
12-17-2012, 09:07 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
How does the Sigma 2.8 compare?
Sigma 300mm F2.8 APO EX DG Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
SMC Pentax-DA* 300mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

12-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
If this were available in 2.8, what would be the pro's & con's?
Aside from the price, weight (and bulk!) of an F 2.8 lens, I believe the great majority of users would find little value in the added speed owing to the practical limits of DoF. The same may be said of the 'fast-50's'.

I have the Adaptall SP 300/2.8 as well as the DA* 300 and very rarely use either at less than F 5.6 for a number of practical reasons. I find the greatest advantage of the fastest aperture is to facilitate focus. In that regard, a faster lens has benefits other than critical sharpness at max aperture. With the improved overall IQ at the high ISO's available in DSLRs today the value of aperture speed versus the significant increase in cost and weight is questionable IMO.

The laws of optical design ensure that all apertures aren't "created equal" in terms of relative IQ. That doesn't lessen the value of the fastest and slowest apertures practicable for any given lens despite the compromises involved. Think of it this way: you're not being cheated by the compromises involved in the marginal apertures, you're receiving the benefit of functionality that wouldn't be available if the manufacturer limited you to only the sweetest f-stops possible.

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12-17-2012, 10:17 AM   #40
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So, it comes down to cost, speed, size and weight vs. weather-proofing, compactness/portability and less light gathering ability. I was concerned about the F4 thing, but I just remembered that my '15 is also an F4 and I LOVE that lens. I currently have a 30-year old Sigma 300 4.5 APO in my backpack that I'm about to get rid of. I think it's time is nigh.

Last edited by tabl10s; 12-17-2012 at 02:35 PM.
12-17-2012, 02:30 PM   #41
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Another important advantage of the DA*300 that bears mention, (or maybe someone already did), is its excellent minimum focus distance compared to the older Pentax 300mm lenses (1.4 meters). Many times I've used it to get close to butterflies and other subjects to fill the frame pretty well, and with its excellent resolution a little cropping can replicate a "macro" shot fairly well. (I wonder how its MFD compares to your Sigma?) It's not a lens I take out as often as the others, but when I do it doesn't disappoint.
12-17-2012, 02:43 PM   #42
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The F* 300/4.5 is the lightest of the bunch. It includes a built-in extending hood and weighs 880g (this may be without the tripod foot).

F* 300/4.5 ED [IF]

The FA* 300/4.5 is the same length as the F* but has a narrower barrel and weighs a bit more at 935g. It has a separate hood so that weight may be without the hood.

FA* 300/4.5 ED [IF]

The DA* 300/4 is about an inch longer, and per crewl1's post above weighs 1168g with hood.

DA* 300/4 ED [IF] SDM

For frame of reference, most of the 20-55mm primes weigh somewhere around 150-250g.
12-17-2012, 03:09 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Another important advantage of the DA*300 that bears mention, (or maybe someone already did), is its excellent minimum focus distance compared to the older Pentax 300mm lenses (1.4 meters). Many times I've used it to get close to butterflies and other subjects to fill the frame pretty well, and with its excellent resolution a little cropping can replicate a "macro" shot fairly well.
Magnification was the deciding factor for me in choosing between the DA*60-250 and the 300. I take a lot of close-up shots when I have a tele mounted and this is more important to me than being able to zoom. Minimum focus distance was my biggest beef with the A*300mm.
12-18-2012, 07:42 AM   #44
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The K-5IIs and DA*300mm f/4 SDM is an awesome combo.
1/125 sec f/4.5 ISO 2500
Shot handheld, uncropped, just resized, no sharpening or post processing


12-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
If this were available in 2.8, what would be the pro's & con's?
A 2.8 gives you more light for autofocus. It would be much heavier as well. A 2.8 300 is crying out for a good teleconverter as well. a 1.5 on an f4 gives you 5.6 450ish. A 2.8 you would have that length at F4, which is pretty nice. Cost of a sigma is 2.5x.

I have a 2.8 300 and 400 f4 manual focus and a recently purchased DA*300. No matter what I always want more length, but in use the 300 f4 is better. I can get great results wide open.

Sharp, it seems longer than any other 300mm that I've used.

Right now we are seriously light deprived (december and wet) and the f4 hasn't missed me any shots. I seem to get more keepers, and sometimes surprisingly. What previously would have been shots of record, or throwaway quick snaps seem to turn out far better than expected. For some reason I'm able to raise the iso ceiling. I'm quite pleased with it.
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