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11-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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Pentax A 400mm or da*300+wait for the new pentax 1.4x teleconverter?

Hi, i am going to start saving for a telephoto (for birds and wildlife) lense, right now i only have the fa j 100-300mm (wich is good, but i think it's time to upgrade) i would like something with a little more reach, so i was considering the A 400mm, but, how good is it? is it worth it or should i save a little more and the da* 300mm and wait for the new 1.4x teleconverter, i think that will combo is smaller and lighter than the 400mm, but the da*300 with the 1.4x telecoverter be better in therms of IQ compared to the A 400mm?
other question, is there any good teleconverter that i can use with my 100-300 without too much compromise in IQ?

or what do you recommend me? i am probably going to be working all summer for this so i want to make a good choice hahah

out of the subject i also love macro, but sometimes the 1:1 magnification of my pentax d fa 100mm wr isnt enought (rare but it happens) and i was considering getting the raynox dcr 250 for that special ocations, does it work well with the d fa 100mm wr macro?

Thanks a lot for your time.

11-19-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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Have you looked at other brands, such as Sigma for 300+mm?
I just sent my 170-500 to Adorama because I don't use it often enough, but it gave me some amazing shots while I used it. (there is one on eBay right now for $420)

11-19-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
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The DA* 300/4 beats the A 400/5.6 by far. You may want to take a look at the winner photo of the September photo contest "Birds". You can't beat that bokeh, that resolution!

You can easily crop an image from the DA* 300 to match the 400mm focal length and still be better off.

Unless, of course, you by A 400 mean the A* 400mm F2.8!

Regarding teleconverters, my advice is to forego those. Use a top shelf lens instead, and crop.

As regards your macro question. Your macro lens doesn't have an aperture ring so that limits your oprions of using that lens beyond 1:1. Eating my own words you could consider a 1.4x "A" type teleconverter. You'd have to get it second hand.
11-19-2013, 07:52 PM   #4
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Autofocus is rather important to me. I was surprised when I got my first AF film camera , how much better the technology was compared to me.
A sharp 300mm photo beats the crap out of a soft 500mm photo from a sigma zoom. I didn't know how much better my photos could be until I got the sigma 500 prime. It replaced by Bigma (50-500)
Only consider a sigma zoom if you want to use the full range.
having the extra reach is great, but you can always out fox the wildlife and get closer in. In the film days my longest lens was 200mm and I have 10s of 1000s of wildlife closeups.

I can get lots of good wildlife with my 60-250 pentax. The quality of the photos with this lens is brilliant.

11-19-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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The DA* 300 is a splendid lens, superior to the one you're using now, and it provides a lot of reach on an APS-C sensor. If you want even more reach, the standard choice for reasonable budgets (under $2000) is the "Bigma" -- Sigma 150-500mm. Sigma also offers a 120-400mm for a little less money.
11-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by carlosodze Quote
should i ...wait for the new 1.4x teleconverter
How long are you willing to wait? That TC has been on the roadmap since Moses came down the mountain with the Commandments. I think you've identified two good--but very different--alternatives. Presumably you've read the reviews--I can't add anything to that. I'm inclined to recommend the DA*300 if only because I've had one and I'm confident you'll like it. In good light, you can use it with a good TC (A 1.4x, Tamron 1.4x, or the AF 1.7x)
Oh, and forget about using a TC with the 100-300--a TC will only magnify that lens's weaknesses.
11-21-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
The DA* 300/4 beats the A 400/5.6 by far. You may want to take a look at the winner photo of the September photo contest "Birds". You can't beat that bokeh, that resolution!

You can easily crop an image from the DA* 300 to match the 400mm focal length and still be better off.

Unless, of course, you by A 400 mean the A* 400mm F2.8!

Regarding teleconverters, my advice is to forego those. Use a top shelf lens instead, and crop.

As regards your macro question. Your macro lens doesn't have an aperture ring so that limits your oprions of using that lens beyond 1:1. Eating my own words you could consider a 1.4x "A" type teleconverter. You'd have to get it second hand.
You are right, that's one amazing photo. and no, i was talking about the a 400 5.6 hehe, the 2.8 is out of my price range. plus i found it a little to big for what i want it for.
I didn't knew that a TC increase magnification, i will take a look into that,
how is DOF affected?
i saw in the lense road map that pentax will launch a new 1.4 TC, żdo you think it will actually happen soon?żis it worth waiting?


thanks for your answer
11-22-2013, 07:19 AM - 1 Like   #8
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The A400/5.6 was my first super-tele. Then this year I added the DA* 300. The 400 is a pretty good lens. The 300 is exceptionally good. Of course it costs about twice as much, but it out-performs the 400 in every respect other than reach. The 400 is at its best well stopped down, from about f/9.5 to f/11. The 300 is excellent wide open and outstanding at f/5.6. Both lenses have a nice short MFD, but again the 300 wins here. If you need more reach, an alternative to TCs is adapting the 300 to a Pentax Q -- not the greatest handling combination, but in the right circumstances capable of very nice images with a lot of reach. The Q's tiny pixels are a brutal test of lens resolution and the 300 meets the challenge.



(DA*300/4 on Pentax Q; moderate crop)

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