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12-08-2020, 10:30 PM - 1 Like   #1
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The FA* 300mm f/4.5 - the smallest FF 300mm lens?

I managed to find one of these gems. It packs such a punch in such a small package. In case there is anyone who hasnít seen or handled one of these lenses, it is astounding how tiny it is for what it is. Gotta hand it to Pentax, they engineered a fine set of glass in a very portable package. Here, Iíve lined it up side by side with a few of its similar peers, just to demonstrate how compact it really is.

Here it is alongside the Tamron 70-200/2.8 and Sigma 400/5.6

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12-08-2020, 10:35 PM - 1 Like   #2
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the FA*300 and F*300 are very compact 300mm primes.

(Perhaps the decision to make them constant f4.5 instead of f4.0, f3.5, played a part).

And the F*300 is particularly beautiful.
12-08-2020, 10:44 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Here it is against the DA 55-300, both in retracted and extended forms. Note that the FA* is more compact than the DA when set at 300mm, and the DA does not cover the FF image circle.
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Last edited by Ash; 12-09-2020 at 05:00 AM.
12-08-2020, 10:45 PM   #4
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Congrats on the new FA* 300!

(The Nikon 300/4 PF is even shorter and lighter, although thicker)

12-08-2020, 10:52 PM   #5
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The Nikon is an attractive lens with closer focusing ability (1.4m vs 2m) and slightly lighter (750g vs 900g) but does have a larger front element (77mm vs 67mm). Images from the Nikon look good, but has a Fresnel element for reduced weight, which may render images differently. I believe the Nikon is also Chinese made as opposed to Pentax being made in Japan, which may say something about longevity.
12-08-2020, 11:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The Nikon is an attractive lens with closer focusing ability (1.4m vs 2m) and slightly lighter (750g vs 900g) but does have a larger front element (77mm vs 67mm). Images from the Nikon look good, but has a Fresnel element for reduced weight, which may render images differently. I believe the Nikon is also Chinese made as opposed to Pentax being made in Japan, which may say something about longevity.
The PF series lenses while smaller are controversial. The flare handling is weird, similar to how aspheric lenses create odd bokeh. Not a huge issue, just something to be aware of. Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR review - Ghosting and flares - LensTip.com
12-09-2020, 03:57 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Pentax K1 + FA* 300 mm f/4.5 @ f/8.

There is no need to close the diaphragm further than f/8 with this lens. Image is even very good wide-open.



12-09-2020, 04:52 AM   #8
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... love my copy of this lens....

when I finally realized that there wasn't a consumer-grade zoom that was going to satisfy me at 300mm, I saved up and bought an FA* prime....

..worth it...
12-09-2020, 05:19 AM   #9
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I have the old manual focus SMC M* 300mm F4.0 lens. Only 132mm long. About 50mm shorter than the DA 300mm f4.0 and 38mm shorter than the FA 300, f4.5 Too short for a tripod collar. Built in lens hood. Nice little lens but mine can be a purple fringe monster. Even stopped down The price paid for being so short is that minimum focus is 4 meters.
12-09-2020, 06:45 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I really like my FA* 300 but the lens hood has some issues. Iíd love to find a new hood or figure out how to repair the inside where it holds in place (itís very loose).
12-09-2020, 02:44 PM   #11
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Aaahhhhh, a FA* prime... Personally, I am in love with the FA lineup and the "*" lenses in particular. the details ooze professionalism. I sure hope to lay my hands on one of these one day!
12-09-2020, 04:08 PM   #12
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A magnificent lens. My hood is cracked, though.
12-09-2020, 04:13 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I do not have any * lens but I can still dream. Reading threads like this is still a pleasure. An amazing lens indeed!
12-10-2020, 01:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
the FA*300 and F*300 are very compact 300mm primes.
And the F*300 is particularly beautiful.
I love my F* 300mm
It is as short as the F* 300mm f4.5

SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] Reviews - F Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
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