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12-10-2012, 12:35 PM   #1
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Opinions needed about telephoto options

I recently sold my AFA as I wasn't using it enough. I was using it with A*300/4 but felt that viewfinder got too dark with it in the forest as I'm also using Ee-S focusing screen with K-5. Also I didn't feel too comfortable with the autofocus even though it was fast. So, as I like to shoot wildlife (birds for example) the best I have now is DA 55-300 and A*300F4.

I'm again in the same situation as before buying the AFA: what should I get? I like the A*300F4 for it compact size and smooth manual focusing but I feel that the pictures are a bit too soft at F4. It's getting there at f5.6. At F8 I could as well use DA 55-300 as it's autofocus, compact size and the quality is quite good. Now I'm considering DA* 300F4 to replace the A*. DA*16-50 kind of spoiled me and now I want that kind of handling and feel. The biggest problem now seems to be the size. Whats the length of DA* 300F4 with hood on? I didn't find it anywhere. The biggest lens that fits my bag mounted on K-5 is Sigma 50-150/2.8 which is about 20cm long with hood on. And I really don't want to go for bigger bag or otherwise it should be backbag/slingbag and I don't really like those for normal day use. The lens and camera really should be ready all the time, otherwise you lose the momentum. The big size kind of rules out the 500mm sigma zooms... What about DA*60-250? Am I out of luck with this also (size wise)?

One solution may also be to get the Q. With Samyang 85mm/1.4 it would be kind of comparable focal length to A*/DA*300F4, but at F1.4. Q seems to do quite well up to ISO1600 and with SR it might be usable handheld (I don't like to carry tripod with me). Anyone have tried this? This would certainly answer to the size problem. What would you do/suggest? Am I out of luck or might there be solution?

12-10-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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You might want to see if you can find a Tokina AT-X 80-400. At it's smallest length (and without the large detachable hood) it is pretty close to the same length as the A*300. I don't know the exact size of each, but I have both of those lenses and depending which one I am packing for the day they, they both fit in the same compartment of my bag. Both of these are definitely smaller than my Bigma 50-500 but I find that if I'm going out where the 300 might not be enough, I don't want to haul the Sigma, and space is limited (the 80-400 takes less space than the 300+1.7X), I will usually grab the 80-400. It can be a little soft wide open at the extreme 400 end, but backing off slightly or stopping down a stop usually fixes that nicely.
12-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Odinz Quote
You might want to see if you can find a Tokina AT-X 80-400. At it's smallest length (and without the large detachable hood) it is pretty close to the same length as the A*300. I don't know the exact size of each, but I have both of those lenses and depending which one I am packing for the day they, they both fit in the same compartment of my bag. Both of these are definitely smaller than my Bigma 50-500 but I find that if I'm going out where the 300 might not be enough, I don't want to haul the Sigma, and space is limited (the 80-400 takes less space than the 300+1.7X), I will usually grab the 80-400. It can be a little soft wide open at the extreme 400 end, but backing off slightly or stopping down a stop usually fixes that nicely.
Thanks for the suggestion. That might really be one lens to look for. I have forgotten that totally. But hard to find
12-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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There is a FA 100-300mm 4.7-5.8 that is really quite sharp at 300mm with a hood and small and light.

12-12-2012, 08:21 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpyykonen Quote
The biggest problem now seems to be the size. Whats the length of DA* 300F4 with hood on? I didn't find it anywhere.
The DA*300 is about 27cm, including mount/base cap and hood mounted in shooting position.




The A*300 size is the reason I can't bring myself to sell it, even though I own the DA*300. Note though that the built-in hood is not really long enough. I often use a 77mm metal tele hood on the A300.

Last edited by audiobomber; 12-12-2012 at 08:34 PM.
12-15-2012, 07:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The DA*300 is about 27cm, including mount/base cap and hood mounted in shooting position.

The A*300 size is the reason I can't bring myself to sell it, even though I own the DA*300. Note though that the built-in hood is not really long enough. I often use a 77mm metal tele hood on the A300.
Wow, didn't remember the size difference was that big. Thanks for the comparison picture. Nice lenses you got there DA* seems to be too big with the hood on for my uses I guess I'll stick with tha A*300/4 for now and look for good deals on DA* (or F*/FA* 300/4.5). I have also Sonia 77mm metal hood for A* and it works well and looks nice.
12-15-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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The lens photos are courtesy of former PF member dgaies. The A*300mm in the photo is mine now, I bought it from Dan. I purchased a new DA*300. I've never owned an FA*300.
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