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01-24-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
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LBA Strikes my Wife

LBA has found another victim. Not an expensive addiction but a human interest story...

In the last 16 years my wife has accumulated a number of K mount manual lenses for her K1000, Ricoh, and istD. Last August she got a K100D with 18-55 lens, her first auto-focus lens. Then the urge took over.

Soon it was the 50-200 to match the Kit. Then she gave me a Pentax 50 f2.8 Macro (her LBA, my benefit)! It was the modern equivalent of the Maco I gave her several years earlier. We took some bird photos last weekend and soon she announced she wanted to buy the Pentax FA J 70-300 to share between us. This struck me as odd, she never shares photo equipment. She once loaned me her K1000 for my first astrophotos. The next day she ordered another K1000 because, "After you fumbled around in the dark with my camera I don't want it back." Her third SLR became my first. Anyway I printed out several $129 300mm zooms from the B&H web site so she could compare them. I mentioned the Tamron has a real aperture ring, is a tiny bit faster, but is heavier. She pondered the data sheets.

Today a package arrived. She bought two lenses, both the Pentax and the Tamron, and offered me a choice! I took the heavier and she the Pentax.

Initial observations:

The Tamron is huge, much larger then the Pentax. Of course the weight gain vs the DA 50-200 makes it harder to hold steady, but I was still able to shoot handheld at 300 mm. In fact, as an amateur I can't tell my tripod shots from the handheld. SR helped. Neither low cost 300 zoom has the ability to turn the focus when the camera is set to auto. Since my first three auto-focus lenses had that feature for a moment I thought the focus was stuck. Pentax Photo Browser won't recognize the Tamron, but PhotoMe does.

It is a gloomy day but neither of us could resist first light. She is happy with her Pentax FA J 70-300. I put the Tamron AF 70-300 on my K100D. Top photo is 150 mm 1/250 f4.5, bottom is 300 mm 1/180 f5.6. Both ISO 400 on a cloudy day.

Not bad for $129 at B&H.

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01-24-2008, 04:40 PM   #2
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Congratulations to you both. Does she like power tools, also?
01-24-2008, 07:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ericc Quote
Congratulations to you both. Does she like power tools, also?
Way to funny. I never knew what affliction I had also. LBA.
01-25-2008, 06:42 AM   #4
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I think you will find the Pentax is the FA J 75-300 ... I have one as well.
Not a bad lens really ... some people have had some bad copies though with really soft images.

I guess I have been lucky ... so far it has served me well though.

01-27-2008, 07:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ericc Quote
Congratulations to you both. Does she like power tools, also?
Funny you should ask:

When we met 16 years ago she some basic hand tools, a B&D electric drill, a few Atari computers, X-10 automatic light controls, and two SLRs (Minolta and Yashica). Eleven years ago my first SLR was a hand-me-down Pentax K1000 she gave me to do astrophotos. It is great when a couple share some of the same hobbies.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
I think you will find the Pentax is the FA J 75-300 ...
You are right. I just looked at the boxes and both 300 mm zooms start at 75, not 70. Thanks.

Yesterday my wife was shooting a bird soaring overhead at 300mm handheld. It is amazing what you can do these days with image stabilization.

If one isn't fussy about perfect clarity or low light photography either of these lenses will do the job.
01-28-2008, 02:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
Funny you should ask:

Yesterday my wife was shooting a bird soaring overhead at 300mm handheld. It is amazing what you can do these days with image stabilization.

If one isn't fussy about perfect clarity or low light photography either of these lenses will do the job.
Yes, the FA J 75-300 is actually a very fine outdoor lens, and the fact that it's made of so much of the hated plastic makes it very light - much easier to take stable handheld shots.

I really like my 75-300 - anyone who says it's crap has a bad copy or has unrealistic expectations for a sub-$200 lens. I've used a slightly older Tamron AF 28-200 that was a complete horror compared to the 75-300, and it made me appreciate just how sharp and contrasty the 75-300 was for the price.

Keep in mind - it does have a Pentax label, and they usually make an attempt to not sell total crap

If anyone needs a cheap LBA fix with a huge payoff, buy the $129 - $159 FA J 75-300.



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Last edited by jsherman999; 01-28-2008 at 02:40 PM.
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