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03-21-2008, 08:57 AM   #31
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Further clarification: the 85/1.4 isn't the only star lens without ED or AL elements. The A*135/1.8 also seems to be a full on pro lens without special elements. And the first 35mm star lens was the M*300/4 that didn't claim to have ED glass (I suspect it may have had it, but was built before the ED element(s) became important in the marketing wars with other brands. So Pentax, even back then, didn't always talk about the specifics that made their products better.)

Many of the early star lenses had the green band on the built-in lens hood (I've owned a few with green bands), but not all had the green band--85/1.4, 135/1.8, and 300/4 did not display the band.

So back to the easy answer..."*" is Pentax shorthand for "Pro" and indicates extremely high quality optics for high quality images plus rugged build quality for daily professional use...

03-21-2008, 11:54 AM   #32
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I briefly owned the M*300/4 before I sold it to another forum member. The optical quality is superb and the lens itself is tiny. Definitely a little jewel.

The only reason I sold it was because I already have the A*300/4 and the M*300/4 is identical in size, shape and weight to the A*.

The person I bought the M* from was a former PJ and he said that other Nikon/Canon users were envious of the small size and portability of this lens.

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