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10-15-2008, 04:31 PM   #91
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Thanks Tom,
The elk are easier for me than the birds-you have me beat there!

10-29-2008, 01:36 PM   #92
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Dug the lens out yesterday for a quick play.







10-30-2008, 04:50 PM   #93
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RANT: Worst 300mm ever!

QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Lowell,

You are right the K 300 is a great old lens. I love it. This is just the first time I noticed purple fringe. As a rule I don't look for it but this time it just jumped out at me. Considering I had a 2x on the back and was working with roughly a 900mm lens I was amazed I could get a picture at all.

Tom G
I have to say I had this lens and I hated it! It cured my LBA for a while, the pictures taken with it were a complete hit or miss with tons of misses. This lens thought me what chromatic aberration is with extreme purple fringing in front of the focal plane and blue behind it. The problem was also that due to this pictures had often a purple tinge in the foreground an a blue one in the background- or for some reason somtimes the other way round. So if you are not a photoshop addict stay away from it!
I know that in certain situation- as you can see here- it produces nice results but seriously in most it does not.

.. and I forgot to mention:
contrast at f4: rather flat
bokeh: (Ok this is a tele but still) look at the twigs in the images below, they were not really covered with ice the lens just can not handle thin structures.


some examples:






Last edited by chse; 10-30-2008 at 09:21 PM.
10-30-2008, 05:42 PM   #94
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SMC Pentax K 300

Well chse opinions will vary on this and many other lenses. I have had some perfectly horrid images from this lens and many other lenses as well. As a rule I usually delete the bad ones. I would submit that with the SMC K 300, as with all older MF lenses, you have to work harder to get the results you want. I would also suggest that if you take a look at many of the shots in this thread you will find the SMC K 300 is capable of delivering excellent results. No question under certain conditions PF and CAs will certainly be present in this and many other lenses. Clearly you didn't have the patience to live with this and chose to get rid of your example. That's fine and you are entitled to your opinion. As for myself I'm am willing to live with these limitations because of the afforable extra reach this lens delivers. And every now and then I get something I think is kind of special:






Last edited by 8540tomg; 10-30-2008 at 05:49 PM. Reason: typo
10-31-2008, 01:15 AM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by hrishi Quote
....
here are few of the grab shots I was able to get...I shoot 2nd quality 6MP jepgs.. (I know, I'm underutilizing the K10D too, but I cant buy any good memory card at the moment, use an ancient 1 gb card at the moment..)
....
I'm using 512Mb SD card with my K10 and shoot 10mpx RAW files. I do it on purpose, instead of firing away, it makes me think what pictures I want to actually take...
btw, some nice shot you posted here, keep them coming
11-02-2008, 08:10 AM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Well chse opinions will vary on this and many other lenses. I have had some perfectly horrid images from this lens and many other lenses as well. As a rule I usually delete the bad ones. I would submit that with the SMC K 300, as with all older MF lenses, you have to work harder to get the results you want. I would also suggest that if you take a look at many of the shots in this thread you will find the SMC K 300 is capable of delivering excellent results. No question under certain conditions PF and CAs will certainly be present in this and many other lenses. Clearly you didn't have the patience to live with this and chose to get rid of your example. That's fine and you are entitled to your opinion. As for myself I'm am willing to live with these limitations because of the afforable extra reach this lens delivers. And every now and then I get something I think is kind of special:
Well maybe I became a bit obsessed with the flaws of the lens. I see them in nearly every image posted here as well: these strange defractions and pink or blue halos and stains everywhere. But as your picture shows is it not only the lens which makes a good photograph. In a way the flaws of this lens are refreshingly different from the ones of more modern telephoto lenses. Still, I missed a lot of good photographs due to the flaws of this lens, and considering its price I would not recommend buying it to anyone.
11-02-2008, 09:08 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
Well maybe I became a bit obsessed with the flaws of the lens. I see them in nearly every image posted here as well: these strange defractions and pink or blue halos and stains everywhere. But as your picture shows is it not only the lens which makes a good photograph. In a way the flaws of this lens are refreshingly different from the ones of more modern telephoto lenses. Still, I missed a lot of good photographs due to the flaws of this lens, and considering its price I would not recommend buying it to anyone.
I've missed a lot of shots with the K 300 and every other manual focus lens I own. In my case I suspect it is bad technique and the limitations inherent in manual focus optics. In any event it's always good to have a variety of opinions chse. Might I suggest you add a review on this lens in the Lens Review Database. Those who might be considering this lens will benefit from as many points of view as possible.

Cheers,

Tom G
11-03-2008, 03:19 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
Well maybe I became a bit obsessed with the flaws of the lens. I see them in nearly every image posted here as well: these strange defractions and pink or blue halos and stains everywhere. But as your picture shows is it not only the lens which makes a good photograph. In a way the flaws of this lens are refreshingly different from the ones of more modern telephoto lenses. Still, I missed a lot of good photographs due to the flaws of this lens, and considering its price I would not recommend buying it to anyone.
I can understand your dissapointment with the K300. It affords some getting used too. But especially considering the price, there is simply no better alternative (for Pentax, at least) on the market. All the 70-300 telezooms are at least one EV slower to start with. And the K300 is really sharp - sharper than the cheap zoom lenses, in my opinion. If you want something really better, you have to pay much more.

Ben

11-03-2008, 04:52 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
Well maybe I became a bit obsessed with the flaws of the lens. I see them in nearly every image posted here as well: these strange defractions and pink or blue halos and stains everywhere. But as your picture shows is it not only the lens which makes a good photograph. In a way the flaws of this lens are refreshingly different from the ones of more modern telephoto lenses. Still, I missed a lot of good photographs due to the flaws of this lens, and considering its price I would not recommend buying it to anyone.
If you want to simply look at flaws, lets go to every other long lens posting and look at ALL the flaws. we can spend too much time here arguing about the value vs performance, but until someone comes up with a cable that I can stick in my ear, and download what my eyes plus brain want me to see, I will stay in the real world.

Is it perfect, heck no, but the next step for me is either a 300 F2.8 ($2500) a 500 F4.5 ($4500) or a 600 F4 (more than $6000). the 300 F4 goes for about $350. lets talk about something in that price range that performs as well.
11-03-2008, 05:05 PM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
If you want to simply look at flaws, lets go to every other long lens posting and look at ALL the flaws.

Is it perfect, heck no, but the next step for me is either a 300 F2.8 ($2500) a 500 F4.5 ($4500) or a 600 F4 (more than $6000). the 300 F4 goes for about $350. lets talk about something in that price range that performs as well.
I rather meant that I would not spend this amount of money for a lens which gives results which are in most cases unsatisfactory.

One of the reasons why it is still so expensive is probably that Pentax had a lack of lenses in the longer and long tele area.

Anyway it is interesting to think about alternatives. Looking for something in the same price-class: I got a manual Tokina 80-200/2.8 as replacement with a 1.5x converter which was OK but I replaced it with a manual Tamron SP 80-200/2.8. There is also a Tokina 100-300/4 which is considered to be good (but I never had it)- I am not sure if there is a manual version of the sigma 100-300/4. For a little more money you can get a Tamron SP 300/2.8 or I got a Tamron SP 400/4 since 300mm was never long enough for me anyways.

Finally the new 50-300mm is about that price but of course not as bright.

For a modern new lens you will have to spend about 3 times as much. I think the DA* 300mm/4 is a reasonable alternative considering all the convenience you get with it (AF, great performance, automatic aperture, small size). And there is the Sigma 50-500, unfortunately Sigma chickened out and will probably not offer the other new long teles in Pentax mount.

Finally the last resort is to switch brands for long teles: since there is a much bigger market for Canon and Nikon the used lenses are quite a bit cheaper, and you can get a long tele together with a used body for less than a good long Pentax lens.

... and why would you want to stick a cable into your ear???? What you suggested there is called memory, I believe.
11-03-2008, 06:01 PM   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
... and why would you want to stick a cable into your ear???? What you suggested there is called memory, I believe.
so that I can download and e-mail or post the images of course
11-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #102
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I'm not blaming the user, BUT...

QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
Well maybe I became a bit obsessed with the flaws of the lens. I see them in nearly every image posted here as well: these strange defractions and pink or blue halos and stains everywhere. But as your picture shows is it not only the lens which makes a good photograph. In a way the flaws of this lens are refreshingly different from the ones of more modern telephoto lenses. Still, I missed a lot of good photographs due to the flaws of this lens, and considering its price I would not recommend buying it to anyone.
I am not sure what you consider missed shots, I went out into my back yard, and took the following shots all within 10 minutes. I didn't really try very hard at it. Note however, as I have posted before, My preferred use of this lens is with the 1.7x AF TC attached, and with a flash at 1/150th (on my *istD) hand held, at 400 ISO and stopped down between F5.6 and F8

I have also attached one taken with my PZ-1 on film, no flash and only one chance to get the shot. (red shouldered hawk)

Does the lens have flaws, sure lots of CA especially as youo move to infinity, but it does a pretty good job, although I have to admit that I am very comfortable with this lens and the TC, I have used them together since 1992!
Attached Images
         
11-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
I rather meant that I would not spend this amount of money for a lens which gives results which are in most cases unsatisfactory.

Anyway it is interesting to think about alternatives. Looking for something in the same price-class: I got a manual Tokina 80-200/2.8 as replacement with a 1.5x converter which was OK but I replaced it with a manual Tamron SP 80-200/2.8. There is also a Tokina 100-300/4 which is considered to be good (but I never had it)- I am not sure if there is a manual version of the sigma 100-300/4. For a little more money you can get a Tamron SP 300/2.8 or I got a Tamron SP 400/4 since 300mm was never long enough for me anyways.
The Tokina 100-300/4 seems to be the only valid alternative, pricewise, in your list. The Tamron 300/2.8 is going for at least double the money of a K 300/4. If you find a really good (not run down) Tammy, it is more like three times the K300 price.

The Tamron 400/4 is very rare and the last I saw on ebay went for around 800 USD - that is around four times the price of a K300.

QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
Finally the new 50-300mm is about that price but of course not as bright.
At 300m it only has 5.8! Thats 1.3 f-stops slower than the K300! And I doubt (but cannot confirm from own experience), that it will be nearly as sharp as the K300 at the 300mm setting.

QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
For a modern new lens you will have to spend about 3 times as much. I think the DA* 300mm/4 is a reasonable alternative considering all the convenience you get with it (AF, great performance, automatic aperture, small size). And there is the Sigma 50-500, unfortunately Sigma chickened out and will probably not offer the other new long teles in Pentax mount.
.
The DA300 is sure a better alternative, but at more than four times the cost of the K300 and the same is true (even more expensive) for the Sigma 50-500, which is respectable lens (in this case, I can speak of experience).

So, really, in its price range, the K300/4 offers excellent performance and has simply no alternative. Cheap zooms don't match its sharpness at 300mm and fixed focal length lenses are much more expensive.

Ben
11-13-2008, 08:18 PM   #104
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SMC K 300 f/4

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
So, really, in its price range, the K300/4 offers excellent performance and has simply no alternative. Cheap zooms don't match its sharpness at 300mm and fixed focal length lenses are much more expensive.

Ben
Couldnít agree more Ben. I think the SMC K 300 f/4 is one of the best deals out there but I'm willing to admit it may not be for everyone. It is not a perfect lens by any means but if you are willing to accept its limitations it will serve you well. I suspect if I hadnít grown up in photography focusing manually I might have a different opinion regarding this and other MF lenses. I wonder if chse might fall into this camp. Had I grown up with AF I suspect the K 300 would hold less appeal for me. It is certainly true you will miss a lot of shots with a manual focus lens. They require a lot of time effort and patience. As for myself Iím willing to spend that time and accept there will be certain shots I just wonít get. Iím willing to accept not everyone will feel the same way. On the other hand, when it all comes together, I find I get a lot more satisfaction with images from my manual focus lenses. Perhaps it is because I had more to do with the process.

Tom G
11-16-2008, 01:12 PM   #105
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SMC K 300 f/4

Chse had me wondering if I should just take a hammer to the old 300K. We had a light snowfall here yesterday and there has been a lot of activity around the bird feeders. So I slapped the Pentax Rear Converter K T6-2X on the old lens to see what I could get. This makes for a roughly 900mm f8 and lets me get up close and personal from the warmth of my kitchen table. ISO 800 f 5.6.







And a couple without the 2X @ ISO 100 around f 5.6 or f 8





Still think it's pretty good value for the money.

Cheers Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 11-17-2008 at 08:30 AM. Reason: typo
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