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03-10-2017, 05:00 AM   #1
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DA* 300mm F4 vs Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 autofocus

Hi all,
I have the Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 and have for years. I really like this lens alot as far as its construction and optics. I have taken many good pics with it in manual mode. I used it for years on my k20d . I am now using it on my k3. Auto focus on my lens copy is really poor. ..,its loud, whines, and hunts a bit. Its old. Its been well cared for but maybe its just tired. Im thinking of getting the DA *300 . I would hope the newer lens would have better autofocus on the k3? Has anyone here made the switch from the F*300 to the DA*300?

Thanks,
Al

03-10-2017, 05:58 AM   #2
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That would be like stepping down from a Rolls Royce to a Lexus
03-10-2017, 06:27 AM   #3
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I can't recommend switching the DA*. Your lens is legendary, and IF you have issues with it, pay to have it repaired and you will be miles ahead.
03-10-2017, 06:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
That would be like stepping down from a Rolls Royce to a Lexus
Driline looks like you have the F*300 and. The k3? How does your AF work?
Thanks,
Al

---------- Post added 03-10-17 at 06:48 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Blacknight659 Quote
I can't recommend switching the DA*. Your lens is legendary, and IF you have issues with it, pay to have it repaired and you will be miles ahead.
Hey thanks for the suggestion. Do you have these lenses? I have considered it but honestly its AF has never been great in retrospect. I really hadnt noticed it though as I use MF mostly. I spent some time using my tamron 70-200 2.8 in AF on my k3 for birds in flight and thats when the AF short comings became apparent.

Thanks,
Al


Last edited by brewmaster15; 03-10-2017 at 06:49 AM.
03-10-2017, 07:18 AM   #5
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I've never noticed any auto focus issues with my F*300. I also use a Tamron 1.4 TC at times and do notice it's a bit slower with it on but that's normal with any lens.
03-10-2017, 07:51 AM   #6
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Hi Brewmaster,
I have both lenses, the F* 300 f4.5 and Da* 300 f4, and as many other members have stated already, the old screw-drive is faster than SDM. In my experience it's also locks focus more accurately than the DA*. The K3 uses a more powerful motor, reviews at PF show improvement in speed across the board for many legacy F/FA glass. K3 also has some advanced autofocus settings, for long telephoto lenses i shoot at AF-A/ AF-C (center focus or 9 points center) For me it was a slight adjustment to K3, take your time to get acquainted with your newer camera, test different settings, and let us know.
03-10-2017, 08:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stavri Quote
Hi Brewmaster,
I have both lenses, the F* 300 f4.5 and Da* 300 f4, and as many other members have stated already, the old screw-drive is faster than SDM. In my experience it's also locks focus more accurately than the DA*. The K3 uses a more powerful motor, reviews at PF show improvement in speed across the board for many legacy F/FA glass. K3 also has some advanced autofocus settings, for long telephoto lenses i shoot at AF-A/ AF-C (center focus or 9 points center) For me it was a slight adjustment to K3, take your time to get acquainted with your newer camera, test different settings, and let us know.

Thanks Stavri. Appreciate the info. I'll have to give this all some more thought. Its always been one of my favorite lenses.. I hadn't realized that the old screw drives are faster than the SDM. Problem is I own mostly legacy glass, and no SDM to compare it to!

thanks
Al
03-10-2017, 08:34 AM   #8
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I traded my F* 300 f4.5 for a DA* 300 some time ago, but only because i had two copies. My lens catalog is mostly comprised of legacy manual and screw drive legacy glass, but I've tried most of the sdm in the pentax lineup (16-50, 55 f1.4, 50-125 f2.8, da 60-250 f4, DA* 300 f4) and although quiet, the sdm lack the speed and decisiveness of the old screw drive. Sdm is now considered old tech, replaced by the dc motors.
On a personal note, i only own two sdm lenses currently, a 16-50 converted to screw drive and the DA* 300, compared to close to a dozen of F/FA's.

03-12-2017, 07:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blacknight659 Quote
I can't recommend switching the DA*. Your lens is legendary, and IF you have issues with it, pay to have it repaired and you will be miles ahead.

I have never used any SDM lens, but I had had many (and still have quite a few) 300mm (or something-to-300mm zoom) lenses, but most of them were/are either MF or screwdrive AF lenses (although the newest 300 in the arsenal is the DA HAD 55-300/4.5-6.2 PLM). I find, for AF efficiency with the screwdrives that I have, prefocusing (if you have the time) to infinity, or at least just beyond the anticipated focal plane, helps to cut down on the number of those annoying "hunt-and-seek-and-hunt-some-more" episodes.

As for the F* 300/4.5, IMHO, brewmaster15, it should not focus any slower than the other screwdrives do, and it is a superb lens in nearly all respects. I would agree that it might be time to have its mechanical innards checked and perhaps re-lubed (?). Heck, its such an optical jewel, it'd be worth keeping even if it had become an MF-only lens.
03-12-2017, 11:52 AM   #10
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Considering that you can sell the F*300 used for a new DA*300 that produces less noise as you mention and is also performing quite well, go for it. DA* is smaller lighter, has slightly larger aperture and is new. I see no need for you to "upgrade" - better to say change - but there are some good points for the DA*.
03-12-2017, 12:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
DA* is smaller lighter, has slightly larger aperture and is new. I see no need for you to "upgrade" - better to say change - but there are some good points for the DA*.
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
03-12-2017, 01:17 PM   #12
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It may very well be time for a CLA....I think I will look into that route first since the consensus here doesn't seem really indicate switching to a DA 300 will offer any solid improvement if any at all. Optically I really do like this lens. I have had it a LOOONG time.


Thanks,
al
03-12-2017, 04:32 PM   #13
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I got in touch with Eric about the lens and unfortunately he doesnt think maintenance will help and he has no parts for this lens. I will keep it and just rely on it as a manual lens... hmmm so I see a new AF lens in the near future .
Maybe nows the time to save up for a 150-450?

-al
03-12-2017, 04:36 PM   #14
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Sorry To hear that brewmaster, my F* 300 f4.5 in the marketplace is in excellent mechanical order but has haze in the middle lens group.
03-12-2017, 05:20 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stavri Quote
Sorry To hear that brewmaster, my F* 300 f4.5 in the marketplace is in excellent mechanical order but has haze in the middle lens group.
Lol...cant tell you how many times I have looked at your lens today! Very very tempting!
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