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01-03-2017, 07:56 PM   #1
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Making it all add up... My next BIG purchase... 200 * F 2.8 or 300 * F 4?

Well obviously even though I am new around this place LBA has struck. To finish off my kit I am looking for a nice prime telephoto that is relatively fast.

I have the following already for my K3 II plus a Pentax AF200FG flash and a few Lowepro bags along with a Manfrotto 290 Extra tripod with ball head...

15mm F 4 HD DA Limited
16-85mm F 3.5-5.6 HD DA
35mm F 2.8 HD DA Limited Macro
50mm F 1.8 SMC DA
55mm F 1.4 SMC DA *
55-300mm F4-5.8 HD DA
300mm F 4 SMC DA *

I keep kicking around a 55mm F 1.4 or 100mm F 2.8 Macro but with my fast plastic fantastic 50mm and 35mm Macro it likely isn't needed in either case. I will be getting the K3 II replacement flagship APC-S when it comes out but still need that final exceptional telephoto lens... I have it narrowed it down to either the 200 * F 2.8 or 300 * F 4. I would love the faster F 2.8 but for wildlife one of the main reasons I am after this I think the F 4 on the 300 is a better fit.

Any thoughts or guidance appreciated but I think the 300 is the direction I ought to be leaning. Thank you for the help and thoughts!


Last edited by gm4life; 01-20-2017 at 06:50 AM.
01-03-2017, 08:04 PM   #2
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One suggestion.
Tape your 55-300 at 200mm for a day and see how you like the FoV then at 300mm another day.
Won't evaluate speed (f/2.8 or f/4) but will see which focal length is better for you.

Last edited by bertwert; 01-03-2017 at 08:18 PM.
01-03-2017, 08:05 PM   #3
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Just to help us in giving advice, what will be your main subjects you want either lens for? Sports ( indoor/outdoor ) or wildlife, etc.
01-03-2017, 08:23 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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Look for an F*300 used on the marketplace instead of the DA*300. The F*300 looks a lot cooler and will give you instant street cred

And it also has a wee smidgen better image quality. Probably one of the best lenses Pentax ever made. It's like an FA 31 only in 300mm.



F*300



Add a 1.4TC for even closer shots.....




Last edited by Driline; 01-03-2017 at 08:36 PM.
01-03-2017, 08:27 PM - 3 Likes   #5
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You are leaning correctly. Get the 300.

For wildlife you'll want reach. In good light the 300/4 is undoubtedly better than the 200/2.8. In dim light, the 300 is still better unless you are very good(*) at sneaking up on critters.

(*) Very, very good. Crazy-good like a ninja. At 200mm you have to be on top of small animals. For large animals where you don't have to be so close, they are large enough to hurt you, so don't get so close anyway. In other words, get the 300 for wildlife.
01-03-2017, 08:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I had both of those lenses and sold them. My advice would be to get the F-300/4 lens. It's fantastically sharp and small enough to handhold easily. And the retractable hood is really a great feature too. Sold my 300/4 for the D FA 150-450 for more reach but miss using the F-300 as just a walk around. Chances are when my LBA becomes unrestrained again, I'll get another 300/4.
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01-03-2017, 08:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
Just to help us in giving advice, what will be your main subjects you want either lens for? Sports ( indoor/outdoor ) or wildlife, etc.
Wildlife and mostly outdoors too... Again leaning towards the 300...

Just have to save a little while longer and maybe get a slight sale from Pentax to pull the trigger on it.
01-03-2017, 08:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gm4life Quote
Just have to save a little while longer and maybe get a slight sale from Pentax to pull the trigger on it.
Also check the marketplace here.
Great prices on well treated equipment.

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax and Photo Equipment - PentaxForums.com

01-03-2017, 09:17 PM   #9
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The FA* 300 is also good. The only downside really is the lack of a tripod foot.
01-03-2017, 09:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The FA* 300 is also good. The only downside really is the lack of a tripod foot.
Yes I know. My father has the infamous FA * 400 F 5.6 great lens perfect shape too... Except the bottom of the tripod collar!

I am going new and likely with the 300 DA * F 4 especially after this thread!
01-03-2017, 09:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gm4life Quote
Well obviously even though I am new around this place LBA has struck. To finish off my kit I am looking for a nice prime telephoto that is relatively fast.
To finish off your kit, LBA means you will never finish your kit.
01-03-2017, 09:33 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Also for the record this forum has cost me money... First it was going to be a K70 and a 18-135 kit. Then I added the 55-300 non PLM, then decided on doing a K3 II with 18-135, then read how awesome the 16-85 was then was going to be happy with the K3 II, 16-85 and 55-300 non PLM. Then I added the fast 50 DA to my order for only 70 bucks. I was going to stop right there and do one flash. Now I have another thousand in two awesome limited lenses and am after the final telephoto lens and getting the new whatever replaces the K3 II for another body! The limited lenses the tripod all happen because of this place!

---------- Post added 01-03-17 at 10:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
To finish off your kit, LBA means you will never finish your kit.
That is what I am fearful of!
01-04-2017, 01:41 AM   #13
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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!
01-04-2017, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
The DA300 and DA200 are lenses that demand TAV mode (with a shutter speed of 500+ preferably for hand held shots).
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.

QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
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 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.

QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
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!).
That's pretty much how I feel also. I own the FA* 300 but I think you are on target.

QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
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.
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.


QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
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!
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.
01-04-2017, 11:26 AM   #15
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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.
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