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10-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]

I have been looking for a lens around the 300mm mark and this FA*300 is available. I have read the reviews on this site and apparently it does not have tripod collar. Is it light enough to use withiout one if not where can I get one?

10-29-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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Yes, it's plenty light enough, although others have used a canon fit colar found on ebay to good effect so i wouldn't let that put you off the purchase.

I'm very happy with my copy (bought off a member here). I've not pushed it too hard yet but it's produced some great images and works well with the 1.7x afa and the vivitar 1.4x TC if you need a bit more reach.
10-29-2012, 10:52 PM   #3
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It is a very sharp lens, but I'd personally get something with a tripod collar if I were looking to buy a 300mm...

Adam
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10-29-2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. Some might say it is a bit slow at f4.5 but I am thinking that the high iso capabilities of my K5 and k30 will offset that. Would you agree?

10-29-2012, 11:21 PM   #5
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Yes, f/4.5 is fine for most applications. I have the F*300/4.5. I usually shoot it at f/5 or f/5.6, but wide open seems good too. The 300/2.8 lenses are of course much more expensive, but even if the cost is not an issue they're much heavier, so you wouldn't want to hand-hold one. The F/FA*300/4.5 can be hand-held. In fact, I usually do just that, without using the tripod collar at all.

It's a good lens - I really think you'll like it. It seems to focus significantly faster than the DA*200 I just got, so I'm guessing it may be faster focusing than the DA*300 too.

Last edited by DSims; 10-29-2012 at 11:27 PM.
10-29-2012, 11:34 PM   #6
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Get it and don't worry about a tripod collar, just practice holding technique.

I use an adapter to an old Canon FD500 F4.5 lens and use it hand held all the time. Yes it's heavy but with photographing birds I have to be able to move around fast and a tripod gets in the way... You quickly get used to it!!!
10-29-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
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+1 with most posts.
The lens is relatively light and no need for colar.
The IQ is great and the lens can be hihgly recommended.
10-30-2012, 12:06 AM   #8
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Is there anything In particular that I should check when I go for this lens?

10-30-2012, 01:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It is a very sharp lens, but I'd personally get something with a tripod collar if I were looking to buy a 300mm...
There is an A*200mm f2.8 which is about the same price but mint. It appears that you have used both. Which is the better lens? It was pointed out that the A* lacks coatings on it rear element that prevent flare from reflection off the sensor. Is this the same with the FA*?

Would I be correct in assuming that repairs and maintenance if needed would not be a problem with the FA*?
10-30-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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The FA*300/4.5 is a fabulous tele lens. The sharpness and color rendition are really noticeable vs consumer zooms that reach 300mm. It is nicely hand holdable and can be shot from a tripod just with the body locked in. Noseheavy yes, but shootable. Of course a tripod mount adapter is a better option. I will forever regret selling mine to my shooting buddy Joe...He won't even consider selling it back to me...
10-30-2012, 10:13 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies on here. I have no doubt after reading the replies here and researching on the net that it is a quality lens. My hesitation comes from a worry that I might not like the focal length. The longest lens I have is the k135 so I cannot even imagine the field of view. I will look at it today. It is advertised as A condition but with only 10 days warranty and if it is A condition then I will buy it use it and pass it on if I can't use it. My thinking is that I can't lose because I can sell it for the same money.
10-31-2012, 02:20 AM   #12
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I would try to rent it from an online dealer if I were that serious about buying it.
10-31-2012, 02:21 AM   #13
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Never mind, I was thinking of the DA300.
10-31-2012, 01:32 PM   #14
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Hi everydaylife,

Don't let the lack of tripod collar prevent you from considering this lens. I use this as my default 300mm lens, and have it on the camera at least 75% of the time. It's easy to hand hold with good technique, and sharp wide open for lower light conditions. I mostly use mine on a K-7 or K-5 with an F 1.7x AFA for 510mm f7.7 and AF works fine until it gets pretty dim and shutter speeds get slow.

Tripod collars that will fit are available. I use one from a Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 Adaptall 2, and it fits almost perfectly. Also, I use a JCC TR-1 which is readily available on Ebay as a direct replacement for some Canon models (70-200 f4 L). It's a bit tight out of the box, but a little grinding on the ramp area of the locking notch makes it easily adaptable. It's also pretty inexpensive ($11-15 USD), small, light, and convenient to pack. A ring definitely make tripod use a lot easier since you can balance the camera/lens a lot easier.

This lens, though only 1/3 stop slower than the f4 variations also uses 67mm filters, and has a very stout aluminum hood, though it's a little fussy to mount both in normal and reversed positions. The DA* 300/4 is a tiny bit sharper, but bigger, heavier, and not as compatible with existing TCs. I wouldn't trade my FA* for any of the Pentax alternatives.

Scott
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