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08-09-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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DA*300, FA*300 or F*300?

Contemplating a 300mm lens and was wondering if anyone with experience on these can comment? Pricing seems to be not far off between them so any decision would be based on other factors. DA and F have tripod mounts and it looks like the FA does not. DA likely has more modern coatings and has quickshift but I don't know if it is FF compatible. F has integrated hood and I think others have separate hoods.

Comments, suggestions and comparisons?

08-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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DA*300 is WR if that matters to you.
DA*300 is supposed to be FF compatible - sample shot here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/470261-post83.html
08-09-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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I'd say got for the DA*, as you get the extra half stop and a more robust (i.e. not scratch-prone) build quality.

Adam
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08-09-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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unless there´s a significant price difference or absolute need for an aperture ring, go por the DA of course!

08-09-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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Here is a similar "which to buy?" thread discussing the same 300mm lenses. More 'food for thought':

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/169474-poll-30...rime-lens.html

Last edited by Moe49; 08-10-2013 at 08:08 AM.
08-09-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Moe49 Quote
Here is a similar "which to buy?" thread discussing the same 300mm lenses:
Thanks for that, I searched for something like that but I guess I did not go back far enough.
08-09-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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I was in a similar position two years ago and I went for the FA*300mm f4. I like bushwalking and I was after the smaller & lightest lens: that was the FA*300mm.

If you are in the same situation, and need a compact lens, the FA*300mm is worth to consider.

My 5 cents...
08-09-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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I recently went through a similar consideration and decided on the DA* 300.

I had located a used F* 300 in Toronto for a decent price, for which I was prepared to dedicate a day trip to examine and possibly purchase. I never found a used FA* on the market at a price I was happy with. I ultimately chose the DA 300 for its WR, closer MFD, and Canadian Pentax warranty of 2 years. Based on my online research, I concluded the that IQ is comparable amongst the three choices, so IQ wasn't a major criterion.

Having now acquired the DA 300, all I can say is WOW, this is one beautiful piece of gear! It handles well in the hand, the tripod mount is excellent, and the IQ - well, look at the images posted in various threads here by numerous users. Although the lens hood is not integrated, it fits readily and and may be left off should lighting conditions allow. The DA* is the one lens in my kit with which I have been truly excited from the first image.

The price of the DA* was about 25% higher than the asking price of the used F* - just a bit of a stretch for me budget-wise, but manageable. The expense is already forgotten now that I have seen its output.

Coincidentally, I had picked up a Pentax 1.7x AF Adapter shortly before I ordered the lens. I thought that it would work well with the DA* - and it does. So, I was sort of swayed in the DA* direction because of the prospect of conveniently having a 510mm FL for only a 135 g penalty.

Sorry I can't give you a direct user comparison with the other two lenses.

Craig


Last edited by c.a.m; 08-10-2013 at 01:45 PM. Reason: typo.
08-09-2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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I agree with hcc - for hand holding the FA* wins.

I've had both the DA*300 and FA*300 f4.5. I've owned the FA* for a couple years, and in fact bought a DA* a while back since I had to see the difference myself. In the end I sold the DA* and kept the FA*. I did some extensive testing of the lenses side by side. I could see a subtle difference in the IQ where I could see the very slight difference in the more modern coatings of the DA*. But in overall IQ I could never pick one over the other.

I have a very hard time hand holding anything anymore and the FA* won out for that reason. While the weight difference isn't that much, the smaller size of the barrel was a big difference for me.

For me - DA* pros:

WR
Dedicated tripod mount
SDM focusing (will also be in the cons)

FA* pros:

Much easier to hand hold
No sdm - yes I've read of a couple DA*300 sdm failures here.

You really can't go wrong with any of these lenses - they are just so good. But availability and price is a consideration. The FA* is rarely up for sale where the DA* is a current model The DA* can be had as low as $1200 new ($1000 used), but a good condition FA* can be had for ~$800.
08-09-2013, 03:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I was in a similar position two years ago and I went for the FA*300mm f4. I like bushwalking and I was after the smaller & lightest lens: that was the FA*300mm.

If you are in the same situation, and need a compact lens, the FA*300mm is worth to consider.

My 5 cents...
Not so: the F*300 weighs 880g, while the FA*300 weighs 935g, and the F has a robust, detachable tripod foot, both reasons I opted for the F over the FA. Prices are similar, but the F is harder to find.

Edit: the DA*300 weighs 1070g. I also forgot to say that the built-in hood of the F is a valuable bonus over the fiddly plastic FA one.

Last edited by RobA_Oz; 08-09-2013 at 03:11 PM.
08-11-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Contemplating a 300mm lens and was wondering if anyone with experience on these can comment? Pricing seems to be not far off between them so any decision would be based on other factors. DA and F have tripod mounts and it looks like the FA does not. DA likely has more modern coatings and has quickshift but I don't know if it is FF compatible. F has integrated hood and I think others have separate hoods.

Comments, suggestions and comparisons?
DA300 has all the latest features, go for it.
F and FA are only available used and nobody knows if Pentax/Ricoh will ever present a FF camera.
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