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04-27-2008, 02:03 AM   #1
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Is this an FA*?

A seller sent this picture, but says it is an FA 300/4.5. Is this an FA*? He's selling it for about $840... is this a fair price for this lens? Thanks...



04-27-2008, 02:06 AM   #2
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It's FA*. Price is not bad but much depends on the phyical condition.
04-27-2008, 02:18 AM   #3
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That is very cheap comparing to the one I paid for - 1200 US dollars
04-27-2008, 02:38 AM   #4
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The FA* 200/2.8 is about US$1000, while the 24/2 is about $700... the one in the pic is the item to be sold btw, and it seems to be in good condition... I'm choosing between this or the 200/2.8... I'd rather have these than the DA* 200 and 300... it just looks nicer

04-27-2008, 02:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
The FA* 200/2.8 is about US$1000, while the 24/2 is about $700... the one in the pic is the item to be sold btw, and it seems to be in good condition... I'm choosing between this or the 200/2.8... I'd rather have these than the DA* 200 and 300... it just looks nicer
I guess it depends on the purpose. The FA* design is excellent for handheld. The problem comes when you try to use it on tripod. Not that the lens of this length and weight need the collar badly, but the existing Pentax DSLR bodies flex. What I mean is that I can mount the EF70-200/4L on 40D on a very sold tripod (B1+G1349), set the ball and the lens will stay where it was aimed. Trying to do that with the Pentax will drop at least 50% when looking through the viewfinder with a lens like this. This is not saying Pentax DSLRs aren't durible, just not rigid.
04-27-2008, 02:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I guess it depends on the purpose. The FA* design is excellent for handheld. The problem comes when you try to use it on tripod. Not that the lens of this length and weight need the collar badly, but the existing Pentax DSLR bodies flex. What I mean is that I can mount the EF70-200/4L on 40D on a very sold tripod (B1+G1349), set the ball and the lens will stay where it was aimed. Trying to do that with the Pentax will drop at least 50% when looking through the viewfinder with a lens like this. This is not saying Pentax DSLRs aren't durible, just not rigid.
I have experienced this "slight drooping" on a tripod (when I attach my 70-200/4 on a bellows. Very heavy...) but I'll be using the 200/2.8 for concert photography. Basically, handheld most of the time...
04-27-2008, 03:50 AM   #7
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It's supposed to be an excellent lens. I tried the non-auto-focus version once long ago.
I'd would have thought the price to be in the upper range, but OK if it is in very good condition, but reading that someone payed 1200US$, I simply find it hard to judge lens prices now the way the Pentax lenses goes up in price and dollar goes down.
I'd rather buy the 200, but that's depending on what I photo (no sports, rarely wild animals). And I agree, it should have a collar for the tripod. The A* I tried had and the F version supposedly have. What's the weight? Can't you have a collar made for it? Should be nice with a x1.4.

Pentax FA* 300/4.5 - photo.net

Pentax SMCP-FA 300 f/4.5 ED(IF) Reviews

Recensioner - Fotosidan
04-27-2008, 06:37 AM   #8
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If the glass is mint-

BUY IT!

Definitely one of the best 300's made by any manufacturer.

Of the 38 shots in my PPG gallery, I believe 37 were take with the FA*300. Very versatile, easily handholdable- a joy to use.

PENTAX Photo Gallery

Everyone who has one has nothing but good to say about them.

The only negative comment I've seen is by moderator Chris. He views it as more of an entry-level lens apparently :

"Oh the FA*300 f4.5 is not going to compete with the Nikkor 300, you're talking apples to oranges. Bargain 300 versus a top Nikon lens????" (Bold/italics added).

I hadn't heard of the lens droop due to flex in the Pentax camera bodies before. Learn something new every day!


Last edited by Tom Lusk; 04-27-2008 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Clarification
04-27-2008, 06:48 AM   #9
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I'm with Tom and the others. Grab this lens without hesitation.

I got one 2 weeks ago and can't seem to get it off the camera, seems to be stuck on. Might have to buy another body to use my other lenses. It might not be as fast as the 200/2.8 but works just fine with the Pentax AF1.7TC and the Tamron AF 1.4 TC
04-27-2008, 07:21 AM   #10
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While the price and the optical quality of the FA* 300mm f/4.5 is good, I would personally opt for the new DA* 300 f/4.

Reason:
Slightly larger max aperture
SDM - faster, smoother, quieter auto focus
Quick Shift - switching from auto focus to manual is instantaneous
Weather and dust resistant
PENTAX SP to protect the exposed lens elements
Shorter min focusing distance - 1.4m
Detachable tripod collar

The only negatives I can think of compared to the FA* version are:
Slightly bigger and heavier
Larger filter size (77mm vs 67mm)
04-27-2008, 07:26 AM   #11
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Creampuff, the FA* is just as easy to go to manual focus. It has a focus ring clutch. ust pull the ring back and you're in manual. No need to do anything with the AF/MF switch. The speed difference is so slight as to be of no real issue. The FA* is light enough to handhold and the tripod collar hasn't been a big issue so far for me. I think one could easily be made for the lens.

On the other points (SDM, WS etc.) you are correct.

At a savings of at least $400.00 from the DA*, it's worth serious consideration.
04-27-2008, 08:07 AM   #12
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Yeah, $400 is a considerable amount of money... I've two days to think this over!

The DA*'s I'm going after are the 16-50, 50-135 and 200 ones... just waiting for a friend to make contact with his nephew for refurbished and hugely discounted copies (I believe the final price for the 50-135 will be about $300...) Here's hoping...
04-27-2008, 08:14 AM   #13
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Good luck with the refurbs. Lets hope the deal comes through and they are good working units. if you can afford the 300/4.5 take it. You will like it but even if for some reason you don't, you should have no trouble getting $1050 or so from it. So you simply can't loose at this price.
04-27-2008, 08:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Good luck with the refurbs. Lets hope the deal comes through and they are good working units. if you can afford the 300/4.5 take it. You will like it but even if for some reason you don't, you should have no trouble getting $1050 or so from it. So you simply can't loose at this price.
Thanks... my thoughts exactly. I had a feeling the price is a bargain, so I posted it here to make sure I am getting a good price. I'll think of it as an investment then

I was told it is sometimes wiser to get refurbs... cheaper, and you can be sure they have been double checked to work perfectly Let's just wait and see...
04-27-2008, 08:30 AM   #15
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the F* should be a better buy than the FA*
F* 300/4.5 ED [IF] says the following

This lens is optically identical to the FA* 300/4.5, but there are several "mechanical" differences:

* the F lens has a (removable) tripod mount — a truly usefull feature in a lens with such a focal length
* a F lens features a built-in hood which is more convenient than that of the FA lens
* the focusing ring of the F lens feels more solid and provides a better manual-focusing feel
* placing the focusing ring in the manual-focus position is not enough in order to focus the F lens manually; in addition, the AF/MF switch on the camera body needs to be set to the "MF" position
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