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01-04-2017, 02:32 PM - 2 Likes   #16
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The DA 300/4 is nice, the F*300/4.5 is extra ordinary..... not even close.

With the F* shoot a bird and blossum appears.


This was a plain middle aged lady until I pointed the F*300 at her

Hoi An smiling lady.JPG
by Noel Leahy, on Flickr

The FA 300/4.5 is 68% of what the F*300/4.5 is.... I not sure how it relates to the DA 300/4 as that study hasn't been funded.


Last edited by noelpolar; 01-04-2017 at 03:39 PM.
01-04-2017, 02:57 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Tape your 55-300 at 200mm for a day and see how you like the FoV then at 300mm another day.
This is good advice. Try it on your target subjects and see how it goes. Years ago when faced with the same decision, I found 300mm was a touch too long a touch too often for what I was after. A bit of cropping can resolve short legs especially when the lens is sharp.
01-04-2017, 03:02 PM   #18
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With the DA*300, you get a smidgen faster lens (f4, rather than f4.5) and quieter focussing by SDM instead of by screw-drive, than with the F*300. You also get greater weight and a less-convenient lens hood, but you'll most likely get that faster by buying the new DA*, rather than through searching the second-hand market for a good F* (or any, come to that). The balance could be represented as more "weight" versus a greater "wait". The advantage of the latter is that it can help moderate (though not necessarily cure) LBA.
01-04-2017, 03:42 PM   #19
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If I think I needed a 200mm right now I'd get this..... https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/335737-sal...ex-os-hsm.html

I have one and it is great.... unless of course you can get a new DFA 70-200 for similar money, then it is just light.


Last edited by noelpolar; 01-04-2017 at 04:43 PM.
01-04-2017, 03:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
The DA 300/4 is nice, the F*300/4.5 is extra ordinary..... not even close.

With the F* shoot a bird and blossum appears.


This was a plain middle aged lady until I pointed the F*300 at her

Hoi An smiling lady.JPG
by Noel Leahy, on Flickr

The FA 300/4.5 is 68% of what the F*300/4.5 is.... I not sure how it relates to the DA 300/4 as that study hasn't been funded.
My FA* doesn't create objects from thin air. So maybe not even 68%... however I have shot the F* and FA* back to back and I do not agree that there is any optical difference - I do like that tripod foot and integrated hood however. But I'm not that great with a 300 yet so my results may not be the best either lens could do.
01-04-2017, 04:17 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
The FA 300/4.5 is 68% of what the F*300/4.5 is....
I'd put the figure above 90%. Same wonderful optical formula. Same kind of AF/MF clutch (as I understand it - I have the FA). F* is 880g, has a slide-out hood and comes with a tripod collar. FA* is 935g, has a (very long, felt-lined) detachable hood, has a half-inch-slimmer barrel (72mm v 84mm), doesn't come with a tripod foot (as UV pointed out), although an aftermarket tripod foot can be had cheaply. The FA* is hard to find, but I think the F* is even rarer. (I had to look for some time to find an FA* in Australia.)

One thing about the F*/FA* against the DA* is that screwdrive AF works well with a wider range of teleconverters. (I have the Kenko 1.5x pz TC, and it works perfectly.) The Tamron/Kenko TCs with pz contacts should work with the SDM focus on the DA*, but most reports say it doesn't work very well. With the DA, you may need to budget extra $$$ for the DA 1.4 TC - although you then have the benefit of WR, correct focal length settings for SR, and correct recording of FL in the EXIF.

The F*/FA* really have to be amongst the all-time-great Pentax lenses.
01-04-2017, 04:20 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
I'd put the figure above 90%. Same wonderful optical formula. Same kind of AF/MF clutch (as I understand it - I have the FA). F* is 880g, has a slide-out hood and comes with a tripod collar. FA* is 935g, has a (very long, felt-lined) detachable hood, has a half-inch-slimmer barrel (72mm v 84mm), doesn't come with a tripod foot (as UV pointed out), although an aftermarket tripod foot can be had cheaply. The FA* is hard to find, but I think the F* is even rarer. (I had to look for some time to find an FA* in Australia.)

One thing about the F*/FA* against the DA* is that screwdrive AF works well with a wider range of teleconverters. (I have the Kenko 1.5x pz TC, and it works perfectly.) The Tamron/Kenko TCs with pz contacts should work with the SDM focus on the DA*, but most reports say it doesn't work very well. With the DA, you may need to budget extra $$$ for the DA 1.4 TC - although you then have the benefit of WR, correct focal length settings for SR, and correct recording of FL in the EXIF.

The F*/FA* really have to be amongst the all-time-great Pentax lenses.
I want the extra 10% so mine will make birds appear and flowers bloom. Sigh. LOL.
01-04-2017, 04:36 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I do not agree that there is any optical difference
I don't think I said there was an optical difference (but some people have in the past) ....... it's mostly just "the vibe*"..... a bit like a FA limited versus the other FA's. But then there is that blossom.... most probably just the fairies at work I guess.

* refer to the Australian film "The Castle" for details




Last edited by noelpolar; 01-04-2017 at 04:47 PM.
01-05-2017, 09:19 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
Unless you find a mega deal on the DA200, is say get the DA300. It's an exceptionally sexy lens!

The DA300 and DA200 are lenses that demand TAV mode (with a shutter speed of 500+ preferably for hand held shots). I first got the 300 in a Black Friday sale, in the uk, and it wasn't until April ish when I could finally find a day light enough for it to truly flex it's ISO 100 wings (dark when you leave for work, dark when you return, and usually hammering with rain on the weekend). I'm in Sydney now, and it's a corker all year round!

I'd say that if your thing is taking shots at gigs, or you live somewhere where it gets dark at 3:30 in the afternoon in winter, possibly the 200 is a better choice. On the flip side though, in bright sunshine, the DA200 does tend to suffer from purple fringing wide open (it can mostly be cleaned up in post, but it is more of an issue on the 200 compared to the 300). I think of both of them as being f4 lenses tbh. The f2.8 of the DA200 is there if you need it, but it's not where then performs best. F4 on the 300 has razor thin DOF, but you'll never be concerned about fringing, sharpness or contrast.

I own both, they are both very good, and I won't be letting either of them go anytime soon (although if Pentax updated the DA200, i'd consider upgrading it, I wouldn't be interested in upgrading the DA300 - I can't really see how that lens could be improved!).

If you own the DA35 macro, I'd suggest avoiding the DFA100. Don't get me wrong, the 100 is a fantastic lens. On the k-1 it's an excaptional piece of glass, on the k-3 it *can* be exceptional, but only if the stars align just right, or you're using a tripod and have more patience than I do. If you bought the 100 you'd say "great lens!", and then every time you wanted to take a macro lens with you, you'd end up reaching for the 35.

I see you don't have the FA77. you have the best of the DA limiteds, if you get the DA300 I'd say you have the best of the DA* lenses, so you might as well go all in and get the best of the FA limiteds!
For the price of the 77mm although a great lens, I can have well over half of the highly regarded 300 F4 paid for - I think I will go that route. I just can't justify the nearly 1K price. I could also have the 55 * and some money in my pocket too, I just don't have the 77 on the must get list or the maybe sometime list. Maybe I should consider it...

Thanks for the advise on the 300 F 4 that is the route I am nearly certainly going to go now after this thread!

---------- Post added 01-05-17 at 10:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I routinely shoot at much lower shutter speeds with my DA* 200 and FA* 300. I'm not sure why you feel this way unless your shooting without SR or have really shakey hands.



I just spent a month with the DA* 200 and shot quite a lot wide open. I may have a better copy than you as I didn't see these problems. Sandy Hancock sold his DA* 200 based on similar assessments and told me during this month that mine seemed to perform better than his had. If so that might explain our different impressions. I am also shooting only on cropped sensor which might explain some differences in optical quality in the corners in particular.



That's pretty much how I feel also. I own the FA* 300 but I think you are on target.



This doesn't resonate with me. Granted I do not own the 35 macro and have never owned it. But I do own the 100. I had the F 100 for twenty plus years before the DFA WR after I moved from film I used these on digital crop sensors. Tripods are useful but not required depending on the subject and light. There are many threads from dedicated macro heads that extoll the virtues of have no both Pentax macro lenses for the difference in the perspective they offer.




I own the FA 77 and FA 31 and it is hard to choose which is better, but I think I agree with you. The DA* 55 might edge out the 300 from what I have seen but they are totally different tools.


Thanks for the thoughts. The 55 * is on the maybe someday list. Right now I am waiting for the 300 F 4. Also next flagship APS-C body from Pentax. The 55 will come after those two items, much later in the year.

---------- Post added 01-05-17 at 10:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
I had both DA*200 and DA*300, sold the 200mm for the DFA 70-200 zoom and kep the 300. The 300 on APS-C gives a lot of reach. I bought it first, keep it longer than the 200 and still like walking around with it. I am still debating wether to go for the DFA 150-450 since no 400 mm ficed focal length or a high quality lens with TCs is available from Pentax - 2.8/300 with TCs would be nice.
The 1.4/55 will see a FF competitor from Pentax next year if we can trust the road map.
With your current gear the DA* 300 will apear heavy and long - you cover 300mm already, but a prime feels different. 400 on APS-C is very long glass. Unless you use a tripod the viewfinder image will be shaky. Even the 300 on K1 make me want a 2.8/300 to have more weight and less shake.
Thanks for the good input!
01-06-2017, 06:02 AM   #25
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Yes +1 for the 300. I have a 200, I wish it was a 300.
01-07-2017, 11:09 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
Yes +1 for the 300. I have a 200, I wish it was a 300.
Thanks for the honest reply. I am going with the 300 then. Now just a matter of saving and waiting for another sale on it. I can swing 1K.
01-14-2017, 06:40 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by gm4life Quote
For the price of the 77mm although a great lens, I can have well over half of the highly regarded 300 F4 paid for - I think I will go that route. I just can't justify the nearly 1K price. I could also have the 55 * and some money in my pocket too, I just don't have the 77 on the must get list or the maybe sometime list. Maybe I should consider it...

Thanks for the advise on the 300 F 4 that is the route I am nearly certainly going to go now after this thread!

---------- Post added 01-05-17 at 10:22 PM ----------





Thanks for the thoughts. The 55 * is on the maybe someday list. Right now I am waiting for the 300 F 4. Also next flagship APS-C body from Pentax. The 55 will come after those two items, much later in the year.

---------- Post added 01-05-17 at 10:23 PM ----------



Thanks for the good input!
Well LBA hits again, after much reading and still saving for the 300 * F4, I ordered a 55 * F1.4 as well. That way when the 300 * F4 comes in the next month or so it has another DA * in the bag to keep it company. Giving me two Limited's and two *'s.

Really should cover most of my focal lengths with excellent primes and one exceptional all purpose zoom (16-85 F3.5-5.6) and good telephoto zoom (55-300 F4-5.8).
01-16-2017, 04:53 PM - 1 Like   #28
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...And so the 300 F 4 went on sale at B&H pulled the trigger on it too. My LBA is now out of control, but I don't have any other focal lengths I need primes for either nor that I was wanting. I said I wouldn't spend more than 1K on it nabbed one for 996.95.

Now I am going to just shoot some photos!
01-16-2017, 05:56 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by gm4life Quote
...And so the 300 F 4 went on sale at B&H pulled the trigger on it too. My LBA is now out of control, but I don't have any other focal lengths I need primes for either nor that I was wanting. I said I wouldn't spend more than 1K on it nabbed one for 996.95.

Now I am going to just shoot some photos!
Enjoy!!!!
01-16-2017, 06:00 PM   #30
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