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02-08-2008, 03:18 PM   #1
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Pentax A* 300mm f/2.8

Pentax A* 300mm f/2.8 ED IF Lens SMC A Star
Is this lens realy worth 3000.00 dollars including shipping and it's in new condition, It was never used and comes with everything like if it was brand new.???
Or wouldn't It be smarter to wait for the new 300 thats coming out?

02-08-2008, 03:29 PM   #2
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Not only at 3k it's overpriced, but also it has no AF. I would say wait it out for the new one, especially I assume you're not going to shoot at 300mm all the time.
02-08-2008, 03:49 PM   #3
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The only A* that's worth it at this point is the 135mm, but that's because Pentax never made another 135mm with that kind of quality. The A* 85mm might also be worth it, as some argue, but it renders similar to the FA 77 Limited. So, it's not really worth it. I'd recommend just waiting for the DA*. If you really need it now then you could get the FA* version, but I doubt it'd be all that cheaper.
02-08-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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I don't know the sharpness of the new lens of cours, nor the color rendition. But I have an A*300mm/2.8, and I would only consider trading it for a FA*300/2.8. The new lens is less fast, that is for sure! Will it give as great results as this golden oldie?

Shot this pic today using this very lens, woman was not aware. Somehow I like the shot. Did you see my duck shot in the Post-your-photos-forum?

3k is too high. Less than 2.5k starts being interesting in my opinion.

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02-08-2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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I suspect you're talking to the same dealer in Hong Kong that I have been.. He won't budge on the price - states the lens is worth more and he's happy to wait for the right buyer.

I started at $1800, then $2000, then $2200 and finally asked - what's your price? And he simply said, $3000 is my price. Like it or leave it.. Somehow you got free shipping out of him? Good for you!

It's a legendary sharp 300mm at 2.8 so I can't fault the guy - it's a damn nice lens, period! It's at the top of the heap regardless of manufacturer so, he's got a point. Not to mention my lens!!

One bit of food for thought - try to get him to through in the tele at a bargain? Maybe get both for $3200? Good luck.
02-08-2008, 05:32 PM   #6
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Actually, I missed the "brand new" part of this lens. If it's indeed brand new, then I think $3000 is not too much to ask for, since this lens was sold for almost double this price in 1998. Nevertheless, hunting down the FA* 300mm might be more beneficial due to weight, AF, and possibly cost.

In the end, cost for these rare, old lenses only justify when you really utilize them to their max potential (especially that extremely fast aperture at this focal). Otherwise, settling down with a slower, cheaper lens would be recommended.
02-08-2008, 05:58 PM   #7
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To be honest, it is only worthwhile if you are going to commit yourself to use it at all times. This type of heavy lens usually stays in the walk in robe til your nephew went in being naughty with it.

At f2.8, it is not easy to use. The depth of field is somewhat narrower comparing to canon counterpart. Without autofocus, this lens requires patience and plenty of practice.

I have used this lens a lot, mainly in combination with teleconverters of various kinds. Tamron 1.4X on this lens is a no no. I had tried 2 copies on this and the images are basicly ruined because of the teles

With F 1.7 or S 1.4 or 2X tele converters, the images are relatively good with one stop down.

With 1.4X L, the quality is simply amazing wide open.

Without teleconverters, I would only work on the bokeh department. This lens produces very smooth and creamy bokeh
02-08-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
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you might want to consider the tamron 300/2.8. i've been impressed with mine and you can get it for well under a grand. drop an adaptall2 PKA mount on it and you've got an A lens..

02-08-2008, 08:14 PM   #9
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Hi Gulfer,
The lens is uncompromisingly sharp and has superb contrast. It is exceptionally heavy and difficult to handhold even under optimal circumstances. A truly great lens.

That said, in today's market place the price is much too high. For the same price (+/-) you can get a new Sigma EX 300 2.8 which is well rated too. Further, FA 300 2.8's come up in good condition for even less occasionally, but you can buy a new one for less than 4K I believe.

The A*300's current value really should be 2K or less in Excellent condition.

It will AF with a 1.7X AF converter. But that makes a long and unwieldy AF lens without proper support.

Good luck,

Stephen
02-08-2008, 09:17 PM   #10
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Pentax A* 300mm f/2.8 ED IF Lens 300 f2.8 SMC A Star - eBay (item 230221095557 end time Feb-18-08 08:09:09 PST)
02-08-2008, 09:43 PM   #11
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The Sigma 300mm f/2.8 is fantastic, but the A* is a tad better IMO based on hi-contrast images I've seen from it. You'll get less CA & fringing with the A*. (If the FA* keeps that quality just adds auto-focus, that's the ultimate.) Going back to the A* however, is the amount it's better then the Sigma worth a few hundred more, and that's with the loss of autofocus too? ....Tough call. I'd say maybe not. I'd be happier myself getting a lightly used A* at a much better price, but spend more money for a new Sigma if I was paying full price for new.
02-08-2008, 10:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
Pentax A* 300mm f/2.8 ED IF Lens SMC A Star
Is this lens realy worth 3000.00 dollars including shipping and it's in new condition, It was never used and comes with everything like if it was brand new.???
Or wouldn't It be smarter to wait for the new 300 thats coming out?
Yes it's worth that price if it's in brand new condition. And it certainly looks like it's new from the pictures. This lens sold for $5,000 from B&H when it was available new, more than the FA300/2.8. Manual focus with this lens is smooth, fast & easy.

The new DA*300 is at least a full stop slower so I don't think it's really an apples-to-apples comparison.

The Pentax teleconverters that were specially made to go with this type of lens were the 1.4x-L and 2x-L.

One thing to note is that you can't really handhold this lens (or any 300mm/F2.8) even with SR. If you haven't already got a good support system (like a gimbal and monopod) you need to factor this cost into your overall cost of ownership.

Last edited by tranq78; 02-08-2008 at 10:52 PM.
02-09-2008, 06:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Yes it's worth that price if it's in brand new condition. And it certainly looks like it's new from the pictures. This lens sold for $5,000 from B&H when it was available new, more than the FA300/2.8. Manual focus with this lens is smooth, fast & easy.

The new DA*300 is at least a full stop slower so I don't think it's really an apples-to-apples comparison.

The Pentax teleconverters that were specially made to go with this type of lens were the 1.4x-L and 2x-L.

One thing to note is that you can't really handhold this lens (or any 300mm/F2.8) even with SR. If you haven't already got a good support system (like a gimbal and monopod) you need to factor this cost into your overall cost of ownership.



I've owned the lens twice (first time I bought it brand new) and sold it twice...and regretted it twice!! Now I wish I had one! That was back in the film days; now it make much more sense to me as a handholdable (yes it can be handheld - I even handhold my 600/4!!) telephoto for use with the 1.7 AF converter shooting from my boat.
I wish I had the money for this one!
A fantastic lens in built and optics
02-09-2008, 08:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
One thing to note is that you can't really handhold this lens (or any 300mm/F2.8) even with SR. If you haven't already got a good support system (like a gimbal and monopod) you need to factor this cost into your overall cost of ownership.
On this, I'll beg to differ. I've got 100's of shots proving you can very effectively. I can go hours on and off with my left hand holding my right arm with the lens over my left elbow. It does get more challenging with TCs and I usually move to a monopod then.
02-09-2008, 11:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
On this, I'll beg to differ. I've got 100's of shots proving you can very effectively. I can go hours on and off with my left hand holding my right arm with the lens over my left elbow. It does get more challenging with TCs and I usually move to a monopod then.

You are a though character. I own one of these lenses along with the teleconverters--both a 1.4L and a 2x L. I agree with all the comments here that it does nice work.

I have a couple observations.
1) I'm far to shaky to hold it very steady.
2) It is HEAVY
3) I think an F2.8 is sort of pointless UNLESS you are going to use a converter
4) it works well with either converter (but the dedicated converters cannot be stacked) though conceptually you CAN stack an nnL one of these L converters with a generic converter or the Pentax 1.7x adapter. (no promises about the optical result---but physically they will fit. Two type L converters cannot be stacked because the front element protudes into the rear of the lens

5) This lens usually has been selling for less than $2000 on Ebay second hand --in the US.
6) I am seriously considering buying a new SDM lens for taking photos at 300mm, and big bertha just for use with an extender.
7) depth of field is an issue with an extender even at 4 or 500 feet away and I've messed up a lot of photos due to focus failures, because with a deer or elk is usually less than the animal and I tend to fail to decide which part of the animal I want in focus.
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