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02-10-2014, 08:56 PM   #1
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What would you rather buy: DA 300/4 or F*300/4.5?

What lens would you rather buy to use with the Pentax K3, the Pentax DA 300/4 ($1,200) or the Pentax F* 300mm/4.5 ($850 Euros)?

02-10-2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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The DA lens. It's a tad better optically and you get quick-shift + silent AF.

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02-10-2014, 09:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
What lens would you rather buy to use with the Pentax K3, the Pentax DA 400/4 ($1,200) or the Pentax F* 300mm/4.5 ($850 Euros)?
DA*300 is WR and has most probably been the lens used to dial in the upcoming TC.
I loooove mine.
02-10-2014, 09:09 PM   #4
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Is it safe to buy at Ebay from "6ave"? They seem to have the lowest prices in both DA300 and K3. Just asking if any one has experience with them. They offer the one year manufacturers' warranty.

02-10-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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If I were you I would call Adorama or B&H and ask them for a price match - they will support you better if you have issues.
02-10-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
If I were you I would call Adorama or B&H and ask them for a price match - they will support you better if you have issues.
I did not know you could do that.

The F*300/4.5 looks more like a real Pentax than the DA300/4. I kind of like the AF screw, it can be more reliable than the SDM, or other electronic. However, I am also contemplating buying a K3 and want to maximize the experience. I am on the fence!!
02-10-2014, 09:24 PM   #7
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I briefly used Larry's DA 300 which was very nice, but SDM scares me off.
02-10-2014, 09:25 PM   #8
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I think @stormtech did comparison of the two, do a search on his threads or send him a PM.

02-10-2014, 09:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
I did not know you could do that.

The F*300/4.5 looks more like a real Pentax than the DA300/4. I kind of like the AF screw, it can be more reliable than the SDM, or other electronic. However, I am also contemplating buying a K3 and want to maximize the experience. I am on the fence!!
If its a newer production DA* you shouldnt have the SDM issues. I know they fixed most of the SDM issues. I would not be afraid one bit to buy a new DA* lens. I had the 16-50 and 50-135 and never had one issue.
02-10-2014, 10:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
The F*300/4.5 looks more like a real Pentax than the DA300/4. I kind of like the AF screw, it can be more reliable than the SDM, or other electronic. However, I am also contemplating buying a K3 and want to maximize the experience. I am on the fence!!
I choose the F*300/4.5 because I liked the IQ better.

But I wouldn't let the SDM scare you off. Most DA* primes like it never had a high incidence of SDM failures anyway. I decided against it simply for IQ reasons. I decided on IQ primarily based on images in the PPG http://pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=830, but I also got my hands on a DA*300 before I purchased the F*300 and my real life experience agreed with what I saw in the photos.

However, the DA*300 is still an excellent lens, and it has WR and is 1/3 stop faster.


The Advantages of the F*300 (besides my slight preference for the IQ - but "slight" can make the difference for me between very good and wow!) are that it's lighter, a bit smaller, and (the best I can tell) it focuses faster. The F*300 definitely focuses better (faster and tracks moving subjects better) on my K-5 IIs instead of my K-5. And the K-3 is supposed to be even better than that - the best Pentax DSLR you can get for screw-drive lenses.

The DA*300 is also fast-focusing enough for may action photographers, but I understand the SDM in it is only partially optimized for action.

Last edited by DSims; 02-10-2014 at 10:28 PM.
02-11-2014, 02:16 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
The F*300/4.5 looks more like a real Pentax than the DA300/4. I kind of like the AF screw, it can be more reliable than the SDM, or other electronic. However, I am also contemplating buying a K3 and want to maximize the experience. I am on the fence!!
QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I briefly used Larry's DA 300 which was very nice, but SDM scares me off.
I've had my DA* 300mm f/4 for about 2 years, on a K-5, K-5IIs, and K-3. I've used it in dreadful weather conditions, and the SDM has never let me down.

It is very sharp even at f/4. (And I've tested it on a film camera - it covers the entire 35mm frame).
02-11-2014, 04:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
I am on the fence!!

Don't be silly... The DA*300/4 is the way to go. I shoot mine almost every day. I bought it in 2008 and never had a problem. It's my 'go to' lens for field work.


Trust the soup... M
02-11-2014, 05:03 AM   #13
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The only reason I can think of to get the FA 300 would be if you want to use an older TC with it. Since it is screw driven, older TCs will be more compatible. With the DA * 300 you are pretty well locked into the smaller number of TCs that have PZ contacts or, will focus on their own like the Pentax 1.7x AF. If you don't already own a TC or, are OK with the DA 1.4x that is coming out, I would definitely go with the DA * lens. SDM doesn't seem to be an issue on the primes and the package seems like it does improve on an already very nice FA 300.
02-11-2014, 06:04 AM   #14
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i had both...the f 300 is an awesome lens but much slower to focus..it is lighter than the da which is a plus...the hood on the f is attached and you just pull it out when ready to use...i also didn't think it was as solid so if you dropped the lens it wouldn't protect it like the da does...the da is hands down the best lens...plus the WR resistant factor...i have no regrets selling the f* and think you would be very pleased with the da...
02-11-2014, 06:25 AM   #15
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I don't have K-3 nor did I have an F*300, but I did do a comparison with my K-5 at the time with the DA* 300 and FA* 300.

Focusing speed was a draw between the two with a slight edge going to the FA* in lower light since it would hunt just a little less.

IQ was also a draw for me, but there were some differences. Comparing identical images, I could see the effect of the newer coatings on the DA*. Colors were just a tad warmer I guess. The FA* did seem to have its own characteristic but those things are so hard to put into words.

The FA* was a bit lighter and a smaller diameter which was a bit nicer for hand holding. From the looks of it the F* is a bit larger than the FA*.

One of the main things that led me to keeping the DA* and selling the FA* was the dedicated tripod collar on the DA* - moot point for the F*.

Looking at your situation here, because of the price, I would go with the DA* being the converted US price of the F* is $1162. You can buy an FA* 300 from KEH right now in EX+ condition for $863.

You might get some more comments if you had posted this in the lens section instead of trouble shooting (?).
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