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04-10-2016, 12:49 PM   #1
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Smc Pentax K 300 f 4 or FA 100-300?

Hi Pentaxians, I would like to ask for advice on a purchase...


I have two different proposals, and I do not really know what to choose between the FA 100-300 and the K 300mm F 4.
Now, i know that the 300mm its a prime lens, but since this is a very old lens, i am doubtful about image quality and the




chromatic aberrations. I also know that is faster (f 4 vs f 5.8), but also lacks of A mode and is heavy...
I have seen many photos taken with these lenses, and i'm still undecided. In some pics it seems that the 100-300 is more sharp, its possibile?? I would like to know which has the best image quality because i always crop (i do nature photography). I'm not interested in using them with a Teleconverter, because i have a 400mm prime lens.
The proposals are 120 $ for the K 300 and 100 $ for the 100-300, both includes shipping cost.
Thank you for the help!!!

04-10-2016, 12:57 PM   #2
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If you already have a 400mm prime, I think you'd appreciate the flexibility of a zoom. If you're shooting on digital, perhaps consider the DA L 55-300mm as well.

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04-10-2016, 01:01 PM   #3
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There is more than one FA 100-300 -- the silver one that goes to f/5.8 is better, and it is quite good for a consumer zoom. (It is also very light.) If you've already got a 400 prime I'd go for the lightweight AF zoom as a walkaround between those choices (it is not suited for manual focus, so if you often avoid AF, don't get it). It needs a hood though -- find a 58mm screw-on for it...
04-10-2016, 01:14 PM   #4
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If all you are ever going to use them at is 300mm then it might be a difficult call. But adding the zoom and the AF, and the auto exposure, and the light weight? I would go with the 100-300.

04-10-2016, 02:01 PM   #5
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The K300/4 is actually very light. Yes it does exhibit CA but I suspect sample variance is also broad in this matter. I have handled two, the first was really bad CA but the second, after a clean, is no where near as bad and in fact surprised me. I was going to sell it but now decided to keep in the collection (good copy?).

Perhaps the FA100-300 is the better choice? I think each lens has its strengths and weakness. As for CA in the K300/4 you should know that is almost gone by f5.6 and gone by f8 - I am not sure if the FA100-300 can match this.

Cheers
04-10-2016, 02:31 PM   #6
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I had the FA 80-320 and found it inferior to the DA 55-300 if that helps any.
04-10-2016, 02:59 PM   #7
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I liked the FA 100-300 F4.7. If I weren't trying to control myself, I would have it again. MTC.
04-10-2016, 03:38 PM   #8
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My comments echo several of those above, but I've got one point to add.

I've got a 400 f5.6 prime and a 55-300 (both AF and AE). It's a good combination: the 400 for reach, the zoom for light weight and versatility.

What I miss though is speed, especially considering the 55-300, like most consumer tele zooms, needs to be stopped down to f7.1 or narrower for optimum sharpness. I expect it would be the same with the 100-300.

So a key question, I think, is how often you want to shoot at 300mm in poor light. If the answer is "usually", go for the prime. Otherwise go for the zoom, for its AF, auto-aperture, versatility and light weight. For those occasions when the light is insufficient, try a flash extender, like the cheap and light-weight Rogue Safari: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/256288...-extender.html

04-10-2016, 04:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
My comments echo several of those above, but I've got one point to add.

I've got a 400 f5.6 prime and a 55-300 (both AF and AE). It's a good combination: the 400 for reach, the zoom for light weight and versatility.

What I miss though is speed, especially considering the 55-300, like most consumer tele zooms, needs to be stopped down to f7.1 or narrower for optimum sharpness. I expect it would be the same with the 100-300.

So a key question, I think, is how often you want to shoot at 300mm in poor light. If the answer is "usually", go for the prime. Otherwise go for the zoom, for its AF, auto-aperture, versatility and light weight. For those occasions when the light is insufficient, try a flash extender, like the cheap and light-weight Rogue Safari: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/256288...-extender.html
Good advice but if the K300 is typical the CA's will be pretty bad wide open and you may have to stop down anyway.
04-10-2016, 04:27 PM   #10
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I had the F 100-300mm (f4-5.6) and it was particularly unimpressive at 300mm. As vonBaloney notes above there are two FA 100-300mm. If the one you're looking at is the one that is optically the same as the F then I would suggest it's not going to impress, specifically if the 300mm end is your priority.
The K 300mm gets slightly mixed reviews, with CA/fringing often mentioned, however if you pp from RAW fringing can usually be alleviated. Seems like most consider it to be sharp. f4 is the thing - a whole stop faster than any $100 dollar zoom and all the contemporary 300mm f5.6's. But you could consider that you've got that sort of field of view covered already with the 400mm.

I got my DAL 55-300mm for less than $150 equiv !!!! nuff said, its sharp and beats the 100-300mm hollow IMO
04-10-2016, 05:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
if the K300 is typical the CA's will be pretty bad wide open and you may have to stop down anyway.
I guess that is one reason why the more modern 300mm primes command such a premium.

And why trying to do telephoto on a very limited budget generally leads people back to the modern consumer zooms, particularly the Pentax 55-300.

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I had the FA 80-320 and found it inferior to the DA 55-300 if that helps any.
QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
I got my DAL 55-300mm for less than $150 equiv !!!! nuff said, its sharp
and beats the 100-300mm hollow IMO
The DA-L is amazing value. But if even the DA-L 55-300 is out of range, maybe the Sigma 70-300 would be a better option than the previous generation xx-300 or xx-320 zooms? The Sigmas are cheap as chips, and from what I have seen, they aren't too bad.

Last edited by Des; 04-10-2016 at 05:22 PM.
04-10-2016, 10:26 PM   #12
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Some may see the lack of a tripod mount on the K300/4 as a negative.

Phil.
04-11-2016, 03:52 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies. I shoot on digital and i always do post production, the fact is that some have told me that the K 300 suffer so much from aberrations, which i'm worried that the post production may be not enough to correct CAs. Probably overdo rumors ! I shoot usually with low light but i have a KS1 that is good with high ISO values...I meant the FA 100-300 silver version (SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8 Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database), i heard here in the reviews that IQ and sharpness are very comparable to the DA 55-300. I also shoot mostly in manual focus, but my real problem is figuring out which of the two has the best iq/sharpness between 300 k & fa 100-300 silver at the focal lenght of 300mm...Sorry if I did not specify, but i already have a zoom up to 200mm, so i need only focals above 200...
Thank you again
04-11-2016, 06:41 AM   #14
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I wish I had both to compare. I'm afraid while I do have the DA 55-300 and an FA* 300 I don't have a K 300. The FA* crushes the DA 55-300 but that's to be expected.
04-12-2016, 03:40 AM   #15
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I had the K300 some years back. Maybe it was my copy but I could not get sharp images from it. Accquired a 55-300 later and sold it away..

For what it is worth, you can get one of those cheap third party tripod mount from Internet. With a little padding, you could use it with the K300.
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