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08-16-2020, 10:33 AM   #31
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I have the DA*300. It's SDM sucks. When it works, it is fast, but it needs time to start. I use another firmware, to use the older autofocus because it reacts quicker and it makes me angry, when SDM needs to be encouraged with prayers to work. That lens also doesn't have a focus limiter, which is incomprehensible. The optics are very good, however.

08-17-2020, 05:12 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by sindbad1 Quote
I have the DA*300. It's SDM sucks. When it works, it is fast, but it needs time to start. I use another firmware, to use the older autofocus because it reacts quicker and it makes me angry, when SDM needs to be encouraged with prayers to work. That lens also doesn't have a focus limiter, which is incomprehensible. The optics are very good, however.
Hello Thomas, i see the K-5 in your profile.
My experience with the K-1 and 300mm screw drive primes is much better than with the speed of the SDM of the DA*300 on the K-5. Less hunting and faster fokus lock.
Also try to use a fully charged battery, the higher voltage can make a small improvement.
08-18-2020, 03:17 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
Hello Thomas, i see the K-5 in your profile. ...
That was outdated info. Today I have the Pentax K-70 and the Pentax K3-II. I changed that in my profile.
08-18-2020, 05:00 AM - 2 Likes   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
I'm all about smaller and cheaper lenses, so I tried the silver FA* first. One of my first tests involved photographing the headlight of a white car, in the brightest sunset. The headlight edge was outlined in magenta, showing the worst Chromatic Aberration I've ever seen. So I bought a DA* 300 and gave it the same test. It was perfect, with no color fringing. The difference was night and day. CA can be corrected, of course, so I'd understand someone making the opposite choice.
CA of the level you indicate hasn't been my experience with the F*300/4.5..... I went back and looked at some images and still don't see it the way I do with older lenses such as K's or even the 77 etc. Could it be a bad copy of the FA you tried?



08-18-2020, 08:40 AM   #35
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wondering if any of you 300mm prime users, anyone paired the F*300 with KP or K-70?

Good combo?

Have seen a number who pair the DA*300 with KP and/or K-70. evidently a very popular combo with very good results.

But don't see/hear much about pairing of F*300 with KP / K-70.
08-18-2020, 06:11 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
wondering if any of you 300mm prime users, anyone paired the F*300 with KP or K-70?

Good combo?
Yes! I've used the F* 300mm extensively with my K-70 and it remains the same superb lens that it was when I purchased it new back in 1988. It also works equally well with my K-S1 and K-3 cameras. The screw-drive autofocus is plenty fast for sports... if you have some skill in shooting sports to begin with, and it also works well as a manual focus lens. It's the best lens I've ever used!


Pentax K-70
SMC Pentax F* 300mm f/4.5
ISO 400 | 1/500 sec, f/8
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08-21-2020, 04:18 AM   #37
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i have a F*300, use it on K-7 or k-30, damaged the first (front glass gone love to have a donor though ), brought second, it is one of the best lens pentax has made may be next to FA31 limited. not withstanding it is the shortest 300mm around, the ease of carrying.

---------- Post added 08-21-2020 at 04:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
I love the F* 300 4.5 for it's look, compact size and the integrated hood.
And think about it, the lens hit the market 1989, so imagine how awesome the image quality had been 30 years ago!



The aperture of the FA* 300 which delivers the highest resolution is f5.6:
Pentax SMC-FA* 300mm f/4.5 ED [IF] - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis



Some corrections:
DA* 300-1240g (including hood and tripod mount) is the heaviest one
FA* 300..1067g (including hood) is the lightweight one of the trio
F* 300....1120g (including hood and tripod mount)
not fair F* 300 with tripod collar, use third party tripod collar its cheaper and lighter

08-21-2020, 07:04 AM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by uttam.hathi Quote
not fair F* 300 with tripod collar, use third party tripod collar its cheaper and lighter
Please do not full quote, only quote the part you're refering to.

Third party tripod collar is more expensive, because you have to buy it. The original collar has always been included with the F* 300.

There's no stable third party tripod collar which delivers the same neatless integration into the lens with horizontal/vertical switching and maximum stability.

The original tripod collar of the F* 300mm ist just awesome/cool.
10-09-2020, 12:55 PM   #39
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Sorry to wake up this thread, but..
I have both the FA*300 and the DA*300. I don't need both, thinking about selling one. I really do not often need a 300, but it happens. Therefore I am ready to sell one... But which one fetches the best value on the second hand market? My imidiate reaction was to sell the DA*300 since it is larger and costed me more to acquire.
Any tips?
10-09-2020, 11:53 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Baard-Einar Quote
Sorry to wake up this thread, but..
I have both the FA*300 and the DA*300. I don't need both, thinking about selling one. I really do not often need a 300, but it happens. Therefore I am ready to sell one... But which one fetches the best value on the second hand market? My imidiate reaction was to sell the DA*300 since it is larger and costed me more to acquire.
Any tips?
First things first.
Dont think should talk actual figures on potential sale of preowned items.

Two sides to it, really.

Assuming all factors more or less same (ie, both cosmetically very good, glass clear, etc).

while the DA*300 likely should fetch more, that also may mean it could be a bit harder to sell.

Both FA*300 and DA*300 are desirable lenses. More likely than not, always there is a ready pool of potential buyers (and more a matter of, among them, who be ok to cough up X dollars or xx dollars to get what they want).

so, if availability of tripod collar is important to you, and a shorter min focus distance, then should keep DA*300.
10-11-2020, 04:15 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
First things first.
Dont think should talk actual figures on potential sale of preowned items.

Two sides to it, really.

Assuming all factors more or less same (ie, both cosmetically very good, glass clear, etc).

while the DA*300 likely should fetch more, that also may mean it could be a bit harder to sell.

Both FA*300 and DA*300 are desirable lenses. More likely than not, always there is a ready pool of potential buyers (and more a matter of, among them, who be ok to cough up X dollars or xx dollars to get what they want).

so, if availability of tripod collar is important to you, and a shorter min focus distance, then should keep DA*300.
I have been thinking along those same lines: I don't need a 300mm for more than a few times during the year. Financially I would get most from selling the DA*300 but as you also wrote, it will take more time. Cosmetically the DA*300 is like new, the FA*300 is well used but after a check by Pentax service, it is clean and fully functioning, it lacked the hood, but a local Pentax dealer actually had a new hood in stock. And I paid very small money for the FA*300 (was thrown in as "free" when I bought a smc Pentax-A*600).

not easy, I tend to not let stuff go LBA
10-11-2020, 02:27 PM   #42
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Well, I have the FA* 300 f/4.5 and I love it. The screw-driven AF especially on my KP is very fast and sure. The lens is light for what it is. The silver color looks great on my silver KP. Imaging is outstanding. Both the "F" and "FA" versions have their own advantages. My FA* has a more convenient AF/MF switching which you can operate just on the lens, while as I have read- with the "F" you have to adjust on the body too.

I also have the DA* 200mm f/2.8 with the same type of SDM as the 300mm, which is "ok" but not so fast. On my 200mm lens it uses quite a bit of battery juice for some reason. Also subject to possible SDM failure. But to me, the biggest advantage for the DA* is having the weather sealing.
10-13-2020, 08:14 AM   #43
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Ten years ago when I was looking for a 300mm lens I initially wanted the F*. I was put off by the SDM motor in the DA* and the lack of a tripod collar on the FA* made that lens a non-starter. The problem was, I wasn't the only one pursuing the F*. Demand for the lens was driving the price above what the DA* 300 was selling for new. In the end, I could not bring myself to pay more for a lens that did not come with a warranty and might not be easy to return if found defective, so wound up getting the DA* 300. Irrespective of issues of weight or fringing or anything else, I would contend that a brand new DA* 300 would constitute the most pragmatic choice.
10-13-2020, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #44
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Pentax K1 + FA* 300 mm f/4.5 @ f/8



This lens is very sharp and not too heavy on the K1. I always use f/8, its optimum aperture when you consider resolution and total absence of vignetting.


Last edited by RICHARD L.; 10-13-2020 at 06:51 PM.
12-09-2020, 01:52 PM   #45
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I can attest to Richard's experience with the FA* 300 f/4.5
Not unwieldy like the f/2.8 versions of this focal length, but sharp enough to be useful in many more settings than just perfect light and still subjects.
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