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02-14-2018, 02:18 PM   #16
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This is kind of an old thread, but wondering now that I got a K-1 what the best option for a really long lens is, short of the $2k outlay for a DFA 150-450.

I already have the F 1.7x AF teleconverter, so though it might be a bit slow on the AF, with some lenses could make for a superlong combo for things that don't move super fast (e.g. a mama grizzly with cubs in tow, or fishing gnawing on dinner) that you don't want to be that close to.

If I understand correctly with the F 1.7x teleconverter any attached AF lens is going to act like an A series manual lens, you semi focus manually, and then the TC tries to finish the job.

Some of the more reasonably price options might be:
A Bigma (50-500)
A semi-bigma (150-500)
F*300 + my F 1.7xTC
FA*300 + my F 1.7xTC
DA*300 + my F 1.7xTC (would that even work?)

An A*300 plus my F 1.7xTC might be even cheaper than the F* FA* DA* options, but conceptually I like with the latter that I have a somewhat shorter AF flexibility if I remove the TC.

Thoughts?

02-14-2018, 04:03 PM   #17
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I think forum concensus is that Prime + TC has better image quality than the extreme length superzoons, if IQ is your be-all and end-all.

The zooms afford you better flexibility for speed and framing, and I think the HSM on the latest Bigma (50-500) is fast and solid, so that may play a factor too.

Obviously you're not averse to buying used, so my gentle recommendation is to have your cash ready and wait for an opportunity to snag an F* or FA* when they're available. They're tried and true. Maybe have a $ threshold for the DA*, where if you see one below that you'd buy it... and possibly sell it later when you find a better vintage model.

I've seen lightly used DA*'s pop up all the time.
FA*'s are very infrequent used.
F*'s are rare indeed.
And in 2+ years of obsessive used-gear browsing, I can't remember seeing a single A*300 f/4 pop up. I've seen a few f/2.8's though!

Extra info: I have an F* and it is every bit the legend that its reputation suggests. Compact and brilliant. I'd be attacked wildly if I revealed how cheaply I bought mine too (the seller thought the AF was broken... he didn't realize all you had to do was slide the MF clutch to AF... a happy surprise when the package arrived).
02-14-2018, 04:23 PM   #18
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Whatever you need to do to make yourself happy with that lens, do it! I ‘settled’ for the FA* and I’ll keep it forever.
02-14-2018, 05:46 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by disasterfilm Quote
I think forum concensus is that Prime + TC has better image quality than the extreme length superzoons, if IQ is your be-all and end-all.
Extra info: I have an F* and it is every bit the legend that its reputation suggests. Compact and brilliant. I'd be attacked wildly if I revealed how cheaply I bought mine too (the seller thought the AF was broken... he didn't realize all you had to do was slide the MF clutch to AF... a happy surprise when the package arrived).
*****

Dang, that's a lucky find on that "broken" F*...currently eBay only has one maybe VG condition judging by the pix all the way from Japan. Are the F* and FA* optically better than the DA*300, on paper you lose a half (or 1/3?) stop, 4.5 vs 4. Or is the main issue the SDM worries with the DA*, though there are guides to disable SDM in firmware and or tricks to try and unstick malfunctioning ones. The DA* is a few ounces more, but with the SDM disabling hacks and at least a better possibility of getting repairs on other parts would it be an OK tradeoff?

Is there only one version of HSM Bigma, or if I see HSM on eBay wherever it could still be an older version? At the price of a new one I'd maybe go for a DFA 150-450, less range but reviewers seem to mostly rave about its overall performance.

Lots of 645 A*300 available for whatever reason but precious few K mount /f4, true. And the 2.8s, I need to get back in the gym before attempting to tote one of those howitzers. Plus the entry price, whew, you're _really_ paying for that, full stop.

02-15-2018, 03:09 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
The DA* 300 is both larger and heavier than either the F* or FA* 300/4.5. When the DA* was introduced, I tested one side by side with my standby, the FA* 300/4.5 and found the new lens a hair sharper, but decided to pass because of the extra bulk and the fact that there were no TCs available at the time that would AF adequately with the new lens. The only one that does is the HD AW 1.4x that was introduced later.

I shoot my FA*300/4.5 mostly handheld, with or w/o TCs extensively so the lack of a tripod foot on the lens is irrelevant to me, and I like the longer lens shade on the FA*, even if the hood is a little fussy to mount. I can use my Tamron 1.4x, Sigma 1.4x, or Pentax 1.7x AFA with my FA* 300/4.5 with AF, but the DA* will only AF reliably with the Pentax 1.4x HD AW (which is pretty pricey) and the AFA.

Personally, I'd consider either a CLA of the lens you have, or look for an FA* to take its place.

Scott
With foot DA* is lighter than F* with foot - all lenses weigh around 1kg, nothing to worry about. The FA* will be at least 14 years old, the F* at least 25 years.
If you are happy with your lens, keep it - go for CLA, otherwise go for DA* or wait for something new.
I have experienced on A* tele lenses that internal reflections cause trouble on digital cameras much more than I am used to from my DA glass. Just a general observation - no direct comparison for different 300mm lenses.

The 1.4 TC did not convince me on the DA*300. A FF compatible or high-end TC is missing completely in Pentax land. Same for the Tamron 1.4 TC with SDM support.

Third option besides the DFA 150-450 is to go somewhere else for tele stuff.
02-15-2018, 08:36 PM   #21
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I own the FA* 300 and have converted some DA* 300 lenses. They seem about the same speed in screw drive mode. The FA* I own works well with the HD DA 1.4x and even with the F 1.7x.
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