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09-19-2008, 01:24 PM   #1
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hmm, FA* 300mm F4.5

So I walked into a small local camera store a few weeks ago looking for a new bag, and spotted a lens on the shelf I had never actually seen in person before.

It was a brand new Pentax FA* 300mm F4.5, which has been sitting there easily since the mid 90's. I had a look at it then went home, and I had a very difficult time sleeping at night! Couldn't stop thinking about it. I sure can relate now to those suffering from LBA!

So I went back and looked into the price, the last sale price on the box was $1149 down from $1400. Remember this was first priced when the Canadian dollar was absolute rubbish in the 90's. The clerk said I could have it for $900, to which I said no thanks I'd rather get the DA* 300mm for a little bit more. Finally got them down to $675 and it has full warranty as it has never been sold (not sure what the warranty is on FA* lenses in Canada and neither was the clerk).

So I think I'm happy with my new purchase and I'm looking forward to exploring avenues which the 300mm reach will open for me.

After reading the novel above, my question is:

I assume because it has a "*" in the label that it is a good lens (I've had great experiences with my DA* purchases), but I can't find much info on the lens. With only a few days left on the return policy, is there any reason why I shouldn't keep this lens? Were they lemons kept quiet by the manufacturer?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide!

09-19-2008, 01:42 PM   #2
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The * lenses were/are Pentax's premium line; second only to the limiteds.

Check out the reviews on this site:

Pentax Lens Review Database - 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]

The f/2.8 version is more desirable, but by reputation yours is no slouch. One question...Do you like the pictures you take with it?

09-19-2008, 01:43 PM   #3
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pat yourself on the back - that's a steal. Usually they cost more as run-down used items - hardly cheaper than a DA 300...

09-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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holy crap! go and take some photos. or sell it to me for $675
the F* is a bit nicer cuz of tripod mount but this lens is considered one of the best telephotos pentax has ever made.

09-19-2008, 02:00 PM   #5
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You did good! Usually folks pay around that price for an A* 300mm f/4 which is manual focus.

In Canon-land, we pay ~$1100 for a stabilized 300mm f/4. Enjoy the lens!
09-19-2008, 02:07 PM   #6
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wow! you got a bargain
09-19-2008, 02:57 PM   #7
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I think we should call the Police, he sure stole that lens.
09-19-2008, 08:40 PM   #8
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Congratulations! I have the F* 300/4.5, which shares the same optical formula and it's the sharpest telephoto lens I own. Even at F/4.5, it's sharper than any other 300mm lens I know. Also it's almost an apochromatic lens. The only issue is the bokeh, which is not the most pleasant, but you learn to live with it...



09-19-2008, 10:47 PM   #9
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Was that in the camera store near Oxford & Richmond?
09-19-2008, 11:13 PM   #10
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Still, the colour and resolution from this lens is not funny. Great lens itself and you got your self a great bargain.
09-23-2008, 08:43 PM   #11
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Was that in the camera store near Oxford & Richmond?
Yes it was. Are you from the area?
09-24-2008, 04:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LSR Quote
Finally got them down to $675 and it has full warranty as it has never been sold (not sure what the warranty is on FA* lenses in Canada and neither was the clerk).
Congratulations on your lens and negotiating skills.
The Pentax warranty on new lenses in Canada is two years.
09-24-2008, 06:53 AM   #13
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Good old Stan C. Reade. I've been going to that store for 30 years. The funny thing is, I went to their annual Photo Days this July, and there wasn't a Pentax rep or Pentax display to be had. Very disappointing. It was at last year's show that a very helpful rep showed me how to use my old m42 85mm Super-Tak on my K100D. Perhaps Pentax Canada couldn't justify sending anyone or anything this year, what with the corporate restructuring, but it was sad to see. Nice grab on the 300!
09-24-2008, 07:03 AM   #14
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It's a steal on a truly supurb lens and I have the tripod mount secret. which I posted here:

some time ago but the thread went unnoticed. It's the perfect solution to mounting the lens at a cheap price.
09-24-2008, 08:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LSR Quote
Yes it was. Are you from the area?
It was Stan C Reade, then?

I lived in London until a few years ago when I moved to Alberta for work. In fact we weren't far from that intersection. We rented an apartment at the end of Grosvenor Street, had a 12th floor penthouse with a view of the park.

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