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09-25-2012, 07:19 PM   #1
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Pentax 80-320... Why am I just now discovering this Beauty ?

I picked one up on KEH for $84. I just wanted a cheap long zoom for Day time sport games, family stuff, etc. found this on the Pentax forum lens review section. I haven't received it yet, but I'm BLOWN AWAY by the photo samples on Flickr and PBase. I'm not saying its better than the more expensive lenses on the market, not by any stretch of the imagination. But holy cow, there are some great shots taken with this cheap lens. Why don't more people use this thing ? P.S. I got the silver one, I think it's going to look weird, in a very cool way on my K-5. I'm shooting a couple little league football games next Saturday, I'll post some pictures. But if anyone is in the same boat I was in, and you're hunting for a cheap AF long zoom, go give this thing a look. I'm glad I did. I haven't received it in the mail yet, but if my results are anywhere near the samples I'm seeing, then this may be the best $84 I've ever spent.


Last edited by Isnwm; 09-26-2012 at 05:01 AM.
09-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
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Pentax smc P-FA 80-320 f/4.5-5.6 Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
09-25-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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One can find surprising things about cheap old zooms. I for one loved the 80-200 F4-5.6. Tiny, lovely color, and acceptable sharpness. Only reason I upgraded to a 70-200 F2.8 was because I was going to be doing indoor sports shooting. Otherwise, I'd have kept that 80-200.
09-25-2012, 08:16 PM   #4
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I also have a Silver one...and it actually looks really cool with my Silver K5. It's a great lens. Mine is sharp, good colors and contrast. I still use it.

09-25-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
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There are some real gems amongst the cheap silver FA zooms, specially on APS-C where the corners don't show up. The FA 100-300 has awful construction and most people will sell it cheap because of that, but image quality is way better than average.
09-25-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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I picked up a silver one that someone had brush painted black for like $70 a year or so ago. I must say it is pretty ugly with the paint, but for the price it certainly exceeds my expectations in terms of image quality. I recently got a 70-200 2.8 and was about to sell the lens, but couldnt bring myself to do it. Its awesome when I need some reach past 200.
09-25-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcarvalhoalves Quote
There are some real gems amongst the cheap silver FA zooms, specially on APS-C where the corners don't show up. The FA 100-300 has awful construction and most people will sell it cheap because of that, but image quality is way better than average.
Should be noted, the Silver 100-300 has slightly better IQ. Personally I love mine, and for 60$, I can't complain. Absolutely beautiful colors to say the least.
09-26-2012, 05:18 AM   #8
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I have an 80-320 that I got for $50 along with a ZX-7 & 28-80. I never use it with the K-5 because I have a 55-300. I did take a few shots with it on the ZX-7 but I haven't had those processed yet.

09-26-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
Should be noted, the Silver 100-300 has slightly better IQ. Personally I love mine, and for 60$, I can't complain. Absolutely beautiful colors to say the least.
Having owned a silver and now a black one, I can't agree that the silver was better. In fact, I think my black copy is sharper.

The stories about the black copies having automation errors requiring repair are true, however
QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I have an 80-320 that I got for $50 along with a ZX-7 & 28-80. I never use it with the K-5 because I have a 55-300. I did take a few shots with it on the ZX-7 but I haven't had those processed yet.
I considered going for the 55-300 but got the FA* for an amazing price. The funny thing is, I don't think I'll sell the 80-320 now even though I was getting ready to...

My bottom line on this lens is: For $150 or under, only the silver FA 100-300 compares. If you're not going to do much cropping, it's a great lens if you don't want to spring for the 55-300.
09-26-2012, 01:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
Having owned a silver and now a black one, I can't agree that the silver was better. In fact, I think my black copy is sharper.

The stories about the black copies having automation errors requiring repair are true, however

I considered going for the 55-300 but got the FA* for an amazing price. The funny thing is, I don't think I'll sell the 80-320 now even though I was getting ready to...

My bottom line on this lens is: For $150 or under, only the silver FA 100-300 compares. If you're not going to do much cropping, it's a great lens if you don't want to spring for the 55-300.
Think someone was talking minute differences, and considering the lack of pictures to compare them - I just presumed they were right.(Maybe for their copy only) All I know is, the silver version is a simpler optical formula(Less Glass).
09-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
All I know is, the silver version is a simpler optical formula(Less Glass).
I think you are referring to the FA 100-300 f4.7-5.8 as opposed to the FA 100-300 f4.5-5.6. The F4.5 version was a power zoom lens, the 4.7 was not. The 4.7 came in both Silver and Black versions, but the silver was much more common.

I've always found it strange that the F 100-300 F4.5-5.6 gets higher grades than the FA, the only difference between the two is the power zoom.
09-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I think you are referring to the FA 100-300 f4.7-5.8 as opposed to the FA 100-300 f4.5-5.6. The F4.5 version was a power zoom lens, the 4.7 was not. The 4.7 came in both Silver and Black versions, but the silver was much more common.

I've always found it strange that the F 100-300 F4.5-5.6 gets higher grades than the FA, the only difference between the two is the power zoom.
Thanks for clearing that up! I knew it was something strange like that.
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