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09-02-2008, 09:58 PM   #1
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DA* 300mm f4 vs FA*300mm f2.8

Does anyone have experience with both of these lens'. I have the FA* and I'm thinking about unloading it and getting the DA* and some other lens'. I know I'll lose a stop but I'm thinking that it will be worth it to get SDM. Any comments?

09-02-2008, 10:01 PM   #2
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I think you will miss that stop. As the focal length increases, the faster lenses come into their own. I would dearly love to swap my f/5.6 400 for the f/2.8 400 - but I think I would need to mortgage my house for it. The solution is to use ISO 400 instead of ISO 100, but I would rather have a faster lens.

[Edit] Chasseurs d'Images gave the DA* 300 5 stars in their testing. Top of the line lens mechanically and optically. They gave the DA* 200/2.8 5 stars as well.
09-02-2008, 10:23 PM   #3
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Might as well compare apples to apples... to Pentax's FA* 300/4.5 as opposed to the 2.8. The tests of the 4.5 I've seen are incredible, almost max sharpness off wide open. Really no CAs or fringing to speak of.
09-03-2008, 05:20 AM   #4
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Actually, I tried the FA* 300/4.5 and DA* 300/4 and both lenses are stunning. In the center, the DA* is at least as sharp as the FA*. Haven't yet compared the borders, though.

Nevertheless, I got the impression that I had a better AF success rate (faster AF with K20D screw drive) with the FA*, e.g., when focussing on flying birds. So, SDM may *not* be the reason to switch lenses here

The new Sigma HSM 70-200 may have a faster motor, though. It is out now.

09-03-2008, 07:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
...The new Sigma HSM 70-200 may have a faster motor, though. It is out now.
Yes... but initial reports say that it has quite a moderate IQ
Is that correct? It remains to be seen if someone brave in this forum buy (or try) this lens.
09-03-2008, 07:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
...Chasseurs d'Images gave the DA* 300 5 stars in their testing. Top of the line lens mechanically and optically. They gave the DA* 200/2.8 5 stars as well.
Are they trustworthy?
PHOTOZONE has found excesive PF and CA for the DA* 200
09-03-2008, 07:39 AM   #7
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if you do a search on this forum, most people have found that they did not experience those problems. as well if you trust popphoto, they couldn't find a flaw on that lens
09-03-2008, 09:31 AM   #8
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It's quite a significant change in equipment so I'm not sure anyone can really help you with that. I'm not sure why SDM would come into your decision. I have the FA*300 2.8 and two DA* lenses with SDM and my FA* lens is as fast and accurate at focusing as my SDM lenses. Sure it make a little noise but its not very loud and if you use the focus limiter it won't do a full range seek on you.

Having said that there is also about 5lb difference between the two lense and a full stop so you only need half as much light for the 2.8. They are totally different lenses but at the same time you could trade that one single lense for the 50-135 F2.8, 200 F2.8 AND 300 F4 and maybe even still have a couple of bucks left over.

Good luck with your decision

09-03-2008, 10:01 AM   #9
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@kunik... That's exactly what i was thinking of doing? I've been finding my auto focus slow and I was thinking that SDM might make it a little faster. And i could get a couple more 2.8 lens' Maybe I just need to upgrade to the K20
09-03-2008, 01:38 PM   #10
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DA* 200 is beautiful!

QuoteOriginally posted by gkopeliadis Quote
Loose translations from the French:
  • Vignetting - almost invisible even wide open. Excellent for a high speed telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration - very weak. Invisible on an A3 print
  • Distortion - imperceptible
  • Sharpness - Exceptional.
A true, pricey, top of the line performance without compromise. The lens was tested on the k20d.

They "flunked" the Canon 100-400. They gave the Sigma 120-400 4 stars.

[Edit] I note that the DA* 200 was tested on the k10d by Photozone. I have noticed quite a bit of Purple Fringing on mine. My reading leads me to believe that the PF is sensor, rather than lens, related.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 09-03-2008 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Comment on Photozone using k10d for tests
09-03-2008, 02:21 PM   #11
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I just don't find my autofocus slow at all on my 300 2.8. I was taking some surfing photos yesterday when a pelican came flying towards me. I picked up the camera (still attached to the monopod) and got this shot as I rolled over backwards (don't worry... I did not hurt myself... I was already sitting). Obviously not the greatest shot in the world - but it picked up the focus damn quick and came out sharp.

100%crop
09-03-2008, 03:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkopeliadis Quote
While I really like my DA*200, I will say that I got the most amazing purple fringing once with it, shooting a white egret with the sun directly on it. The white bird was almost purple. I was shocked/amazed, but then it was an extreme situation. I've never gotten that much PF from any other lens I've owned, including some cheap ones.

Still, I like the IQ and speed/SDM. I just try not to shoot in that extreme of a situation. The PF exists, though.
09-03-2008, 03:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
.

[Edit] I note that the DA* 200 was tested on the k10d by Photozone. I have noticed quite a bit of Purple Fringing on mine. My reading leads me to believe that the PF is sensor, rather than lens, related.

Hi Al,

My 16-50 on my K10D had PF that disappeared on the my K20D, so the sensor does play a role. However, the PF I saw on my DA*200 was on my K20D, so obviously something else is at play on my system. I didn't have the 200 when I had my K10D, so I don't have a comparison.

I still like my DA*200, I just am aware of the potential for PF.
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