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04-10-2021, 06:48 AM   #1
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hand held

looking at a used
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] does not have the tripod adapter with it. a lot of feedback on the forums says it is very easy to handhold. just looking for a little more feedback? it is two pounds lighter than my dfa 70-200 f2.8.
thanks

04-10-2021, 06:54 AM   #2
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'Tiny' lens. I have never used mine with the foot.
04-10-2021, 07:00 AM   #3
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entirely handholdable.

Smaller in size and lighter in weight than those f2.8 70-200s.

Supremely capable lens.

How i wish Pentax refresh the lens and make it a HD DFA*300 f4.5 / f4.0
04-10-2021, 07:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
'Tiny' lens. I have never used mine with the foot.
how is it for birds?

04-10-2021, 08:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
how is it for birds?
Really too broad to say.

Big birds? Small skittish birds?

Your distance to subject?

While there are some who almost always say "there's never enough reach for birds", i think that is just too broad a statement.

In the past few months, i was snapping away at some sunbirds, with the DA*300, on KP or K70.

300mm was just nice.
A 70-200 will also have been great.

The bird was variously around 1.5 metres to perhaps 3.5metres or so away from me.

Had it been that was using a 400 or 500 prime, i will have had to back up a metre or two or maybe even three.
(Not least also because of the factor of minimum focus distance).

It was very good that the DA*300 has a very short minimum focus diatance for a 300 prime.
04-10-2021, 09:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
how is it for birds?
the OP could take a look at this thread and what equipment was used

QuoteQuote:
BIF Photography
Hi:

I'd like to know about Pentax shooters doing Bird In Flight photography. I've began posting in another forum and I found very few people using Pentax gear. Almost all the people are using Canon or Nikon stuff. Are any of you interesting in this type of photography? I'd like to share impresion about how Pentax gear behave for this discipline.

Read more at: BIF Photography - Page 102 - PentaxForums.com
04-10-2021, 03:10 PM - 3 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
looking at a usedSMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] does not have the tripod adapter with it.
You can get a third party replacement quite cheaply: F* 300, 4.5 Tripod Collar Foot - PentaxForums.com
QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
a lot of feedback on the forums says it is very easy to handhold. just looking for a little more feedback? it is two pounds lighter than my dfa 70-200 f2.8.
I have the optically-identical FA*300 f4.5. (It is slightly heavier and slimmer, but pretty similar overall.) It is easy to handhold. Compact but dense.
QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
how is it for birds?
As @Termy suggests, you need to be more specific to get a more meaningful answer. The reviews (look at those for the FA* as well) will give you an idea of the optical performance.

FWIW, I find the FA*300 to have good control of CA and vignetting and to be very sharp, especially when you stop down a bit (f6.3 is excellent IMO). Good colours and bokeh too.






The major limitation is that 300mm is often not long enough for birds - so you need to consider a 1.4x teleconverter. A positive for the F*/FA*300 lenses is that they can be used with a more affordable teleconverter than the Pentax DA 1.4. I have got satisfactory results using a Kenko 1.5x.

But f4.5 is not an ideal aperture for using a TC, because you are at effectively f6.3 even using it wide open (and f8 if you stop down by even two-thirds of a stop) and that challenges the AF. The DA*300mm f4 would be better.

You haven't said which body you will be using it on (or whether APS-C or FF). This will be a significant factor in the results you can expect.

Last edited by Des; 04-11-2021 at 02:43 PM.
04-11-2021, 11:52 AM - 1 Like   #8
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thanks all for the replies, I have a k-1 and a k20d, I use the 70-200 on the k-1 spot focus handheld and get some really good pics cropped, I also have a 1.7 tela converter which I have tried and find just using the 70-200 f2.8 and cropping I get better results. am saving up for the k3iii, and want a little lighter longer lens to use with the k3iii,
tight on budget for lens after the new camera purchase, w
will the SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] be a good match with the k3iii,?
thanks for all the great feedback

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04-11-2021, 02:32 PM - 4 Likes   #9
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Not sure if it's useful as I'm not really a bird photographer. I'm more into larger mammals but I took these handheld with the F*300 - single shots, not burst. If I have a tripod handy I break out the 500mm F4 lens for range but with the F*300 I just handhold it







(uncropped raw file)

Last edited by RedRuff; 04-11-2021 at 02:52 PM.
04-12-2021, 04:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
will the SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] be a good match with the k3iii,?
From what is already available, it is clear that the image quality and low light performance of the K-3iii will be better than the K-1ii in crop mode. There is no doubt, IMO, that the F/FA*300 will give fine images with the K-3iii.

The only unanswered question, IMO, is whether screw-driven AF lenses will be able to take full advantage of the improvements in AF in the K-3iii. In the first impressions video by Mike Muizebelt (Pentax K-3 mark III Review ⋆ Mike Muizebelt Fotografie) he is holding the camera with an FA telephoto lens (maybe the FA*400 f5.6), but I don't think he demonstrates AF with that lens. At 5:45 in the video, he demonstrates AF with the DA*300 + DA 1.4x TC - which shows great performance - but he doesn't show any sequence like this with a screwdriven AF lens. I suspect that the AF performance of the F/FA* will be a big improvement on previous bodies, but how much better remains to be seen.
QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
I also have a 1.7 tela converter which I have tried and find just using the 70-200 f2.8 and cropping I get better results.
This topic draws strong views here. I'd suggest reserving judgment about it. @Normhead has shown that there are at least some situations in which using a TC gives better results than merely cropping.
04-13-2021, 04:12 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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I have shot with a variety of lenses specifically for birding, and have the following observations

k300/4 with 1.7xAF adaptor. Works well when stopped down, best for working in close with small birds, and especially when using flash. (*istD) less impressed but not really spent much time with it since my K7, but a very light weight combo at 1.1 kilos for 500 mm. The lens is prone to lateral and some longitudinal CA and also purple fringing, but as long as you are shooting with minimal back lighting, it can give good results.

Sigma APO 70-200/2.8 EX (non DG non macro version released in 1999) I have used this with 1.4x and 2x Sigma APO TC’s on every body I have owned from *istD, K10, K7, K5, and now K1 MKII. Works well when AF hits, but especially the K1 it seems to hunt on micro adjustments just a little, the lens struggles a bit at distant ducks out several hundred meters. This has been my main birding set for almost 20 years but using it with flash is difficult since Pentax does not compensate the P-TTL flash for the TC and the AF540FGZ only allows for +1 stop in flash mode, not the+2 needed for the 2X TC. Shoot exclusively hand held. This lens with the 2x TC is in the order of 1.9 kilos.

Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 200-500/5.6. This lens is tripod bound and impossible to hand hold while making zoom or focus adjustments, a good lens but.... not for a walk about, even though it is relatively light at 2.7 kilos. This lens can produce good images, even at distant subjects, works well with a 1.4 x TC (I use sigma APO 1.4x) but can produce extreme fringing with back lit situations.

Pentax DA 560/5.6. My current birding lens. Had it for about 9 months now, and due to the pandemic, there is not much else to do but go birding. Literally shot thousands of photos, and go out almost daily walking 5-10 km with my wife and dog while birding. Although this lens is 3.7 kilos, I carry this cross body over the shoulder, and hand hold all my shots. Note this is not necessarily for everyone as I know a lot of people would have difficulty managing this weight, but it works for me.


From my experience, shooting with just 300 mm works fine for large birds, especially waders, geese, and close up with song birds, and smaller ducks, but will leave you wanting for more eventually. But if you struggle with weight, a 300 mm prime is likely the lightest way to get a relatively fast tele for birding, and will be a useful second lens, even if you go for something longer in the end. You could even add a 1.4x TC to it and probably still get AF confirmation. The only issue, and I see this with my old sigma screw drive, is the AF seems to hunt just around the perfect focus point, likely due to the lag and backlash in the screw drive mechanism. It didn’t bother me until I got the DA560. The internal focus motor has me less than satisfied with the hesitation In Focus confirmation using the older screw drive technology
04-15-2021, 06:38 AM   #12
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thank you all so much for all your input and knowledge. I sent a message to Rioch customer support. this is the reply I received, thought you all might want to see it also.
Dear lee,



Thank you, for contacting Ricoh Imaging America.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your past, present and future support.

For the F Series lenses with the New K3iii the Quick Shift Focus System and Lens correction are not available.

All other functions will work.



Thank you,
04-15-2021, 07:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by retired2007 Quote
For the F Series lenses with the New K3iii the Quick Shift Focus System and Lens correction are not available.

All other functions will work.
So it looks like subject tracking will work. The question becomes, how well?
FWIW, it looks like the aftermarket Canon foot has been upgraded and now includes an Acra compatible mount
HOT Lens Collar Holder Foot Tripod Mount Ring for Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM | eBay
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