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03-23-2014, 11:37 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Probably a question of technique.

Sometimes, I get great results with my Pentax 55-300 lens but not always. This proves that the lens can get good results at 300mm. I think I should explore why some pictures are not sharp enough. I am posting a couple of pictures where I like the result. They have been processed in Photoshop.

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03-23-2014, 12:09 PM   #17
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I would hate to be the Starling there
03-23-2014, 12:14 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwingsfan Quote
Can't comment on the 120-400mm but did have a 150-500mm and was never real impressed. Up close and filling the frame usually was decent, but anything far away was a crap shoot. Honestly I would look for a FA or a F* 300mm lens for around the price of the 150-500 and crop.
I have the Sigma 150-500 (new version) and it's is not the easiest lens to use, judging by some of the photos I've seen in different forums.

I find if one knows how to use it...the photographs are excellent.
03-23-2014, 12:23 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I have the Sigma 150-500 (new version) and it's is not the easiest lens to use, judging by some of the photos I've seen in different forums.

I find if one knows how to use it...the photographs are excellent.

I would agree. The one I had was a new version, but my skill was not up to par for it. For me it was Jekyll and Hyde sometimes I could do well, other times I could not seem to even get decent. I know one thing...it loves very good light.




03-23-2014, 01:23 PM   #20
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I took a drive over to the golf course late yesterday afternoon, right at sundown with both the 55-300 and the A*300. I really do not do that much telephoto - especially handheld, so this was a wonderful reminder - of how pi** poor I'm at telephoto and hand holding long lenses.

My take - for me, need a much faster shutter, which pushes the ISO up, so that you can have a decent range of aperture from which to select. I need a faster shutter to help the image stabilization. Technique, skill, practice, with a dose of talent is necessary to get a good shape image - mine were not that sharp due to some "motion", and I really needed to push up the ISO even more to gain a faster shutter.

The AF on the DA 55-300, was a godsend. The MF on the A* made me appreciate the AF even more. The weight difference between the two - had me respond differently to each - technique, technique - followed by practice and practice - with a lot of skill thrown in (skill is not necessarily me).

Back at the house, I did like the images from the A* better in terms of color and rendering - by a smudge.

So, to do this all over again, I would want the A* 300/f4 with AF, which results in the DA 300/f4. Bottom line is there is a $1,000 difference when compared to the 55-300 using new prices. Using used - its double the price of either lens.

03-23-2014, 07:01 PM   #21
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Thanks all.

I find the different opinions fascinating. Thank you all. I think I'll keep my 55-300 and really learn how to use it by experimenting. This lens has potential and I'm really not able to buy a DA* lens anyway.
03-23-2014, 07:30 PM   #22
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The A*300 'with auto focus' could I think be any of three lenses, if staying with a pentax lens:

F*300mm f/4.5
FA*300 f/4.5
DA*300 f/4

I have the F*300 and think its possibly the best lens I possess. With ANY long focal length lens hand-held technique is extremely important. I still find that I'm improving my technique with it, and as I do so the proportion of keepers is increasing. Sample photos over at 500px, all taken hand-held.

You won't go wrong with any of the three, though the older lenses should be available at lower prices than is the current DA* version. The DA version would come with a warranty (if purchased new) and is weather sealed, the older lenses not. The DA has SDM, while the older lenses are screw-focus. I'm happy with the screw focus of the F*300mm... it is surprisingly quiet, and also very fast... light has to get quite poor for it to start hunting. The difference in maximum f-stop is negligible, and the F* can be used from wide-open to deliver sharp images. It has its reputation for a reason!
03-23-2014, 07:36 PM   #23
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I've had two copies of the 120-400, one dead on arrival, the other not sharp enough to keep. I guess I could have tried a 3rd copy of the lens and maybe done better who knows. I got good close up images of small birds, nothing like my A-400 5,6 but not too bad. At a distance at 400mm the images looked like water colours. I sent it back and ordered the 60-250. If my 120-400 is typical of the lens I'd say avoid it at all costs.

05-02-2014, 11:43 AM   #24
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Hi.
Everywhere I read that fa 300mm f 4,5 is one of the best lenses in our system. I have found one for around 800$ but the owner wrote it has a tiny point where coating has changed the colour. He also wrote it is seen only on some angle and does not affect the quality of the image. Besides writes that everything is ok.
Is it worth to buy or maybe this damage can be enlarged and it is better to avoid lenses with this problem?
05-02-2014, 01:03 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ik1 Quote
Hi.
Everywhere I read that fa 300mm f 4,5 is one of the best lenses in our system. I have found one for around 800$ but the owner wrote it has a tiny point where coating has changed the colour. He also wrote it is seen only on some angle and does not affect the quality of the image. Besides writes that everything is ok.
Is it worth to buy or maybe this damage can be enlarged and it is better to avoid lenses with this problem?
Offer him $700 and run with it. You'll have a great deal.
05-02-2014, 01:44 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Offer him $700 and run with it. You'll have a great deal.
agree, if I can find that lens for $700 I'll buy it myself.
05-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #27
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How about $839 for Pentax-FA 300mm F4.5 with warranty?

Here
05-02-2014, 03:50 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by roblgs Quote
I have the F*300 and think its possibly the best lens I possess
Shhhhh...keep it down. They're difficult to find..... I'm looking for one now.

---------- Post added 05-02-14 at 05:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by OnTheWeb Quote
How about $839 for Pentax-FA 300mm F4.5 with warranty?

Here
Now that is a good deal. That lens won't last long.....
05-02-2014, 03:53 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwingsfan Quote
I would hate to be the Starling there
Yes, not really a fair fight.

---------- Post added 05-02-14 at 06:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Shhhhh...keep it down. They're difficult to find..... I'm looking for one now.

---------- Post added 05-02-14 at 05:51 PM ----------



Now that is a good deal. That lens won't last long.....

Couple more beers and I may push the button. I've had it in my cart already once today
05-02-2014, 03:56 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
[*]A*300 - is much heavier, much larger front element, ... Shooting it by hand is ok, but heavy.
Gee whiz. How heavy challenged can you get! I have the SMC A* 300mm too. it is only about 880 grams of mass. That's heavy for a FF 300mm? Not in my book. And IMHO it is a light lens for its focal length and very hand-holdable one at that too. YMMV.
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