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03-03-2022, 09:40 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Takumar 300mm vs. SMC 300mm - your opinion(s) please

Now, to the specifics:

S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

vs
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Based strictly on image sharpness & quality, for those that have had any experience with both, which is better?

I'm most interested in comments about sharpness/quality of shots of distant objects (like 60 plus yards away & greater)....It seems, to me anyways, that a lot of these tele-zooms produce nice sharp images closer to the subjects. It's when some distance is put between the lens and the subject, that the lens loses the ability to resolve (why is that, btw?)


Last edited by Michael Piziak; 03-03-2022 at 09:51 PM.
03-04-2022, 06:32 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Now, to the specifics:

S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

vs
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Based strictly on image sharpness & quality, for those that have had any experience with both, which is better?

I'm most interested in comments about sharpness/quality of shots of distant objects (like 60 plus yards away & greater)....It seems, to me anyways, that a lot of these tele-zooms produce nice sharp images closer to the subjects. It's when some distance is put between the lens and the subject, that the lens loses the ability to resolve (why is that, btw?)

Good question - I look forward to those with the knowledge responding.
03-04-2022, 08:37 AM   #3
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You won't be able to eliminate the impact of atmospheric distortion. What I would say is that for 3-D subjects, the old 300mm has enough CA that anything high contrast and/or slightly out of focus is going to create a lot of red/blue/green/purple fringing. In perfect conditions, the old 300mm is capable of very good images, but you have to work at it.

The DA is slower, but better corrected and has AF which helps nail focus. It will give you more keepers. Keep in mind it's APS-C only.

I have the K300/4 and DAL55-300 which, to the best of my knowledge, are optically identical to the lenses you're asking about. The DAL can be obtained quite inexpensively, but you lose quickshift and a metal lens mount compared to the DA.
03-04-2022, 09:22 AM   #4
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The tak has ca. I tested mine against the 55-300 plm. On a tripod with live view zoomed in it was like reading one line lower on an eye chart.

In real world shooting. It is not very different. Hitting focus that critical without focus peaking is hard and harder still hand held.
It has made me wonder if shake reduction is better on a telephoto over a long lense with the front element farther from the camera.
Honestly, I haven't used it much. I am sure I could get better with it. It has a huge focus throw so fast focus is difficult but great with focus peaking. The bulk, weight, and m42 adapter and the great af of the PLM make it not worth using for me.
I would prefer the takumar for something like a church spire lit up at night aginst Stationary, low contrast, scene.
I think I have some on flickr I will add later.

I have the Super-Multi-Coated Tak f/4
This was from on a steady stick. I have a very clear eye to focus on which is important through the OVF. I am guessing about 30meters away.


This was on a tripod and much better than I think my 55-300 PLM could do. It was taken from a parking garage across a highway so at least 200 meters.



Last edited by swanlefitte; 03-04-2022 at 09:56 AM. Reason: add pictures
03-04-2022, 03:08 PM   #5
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I’m confused

The thread title says SMC 300 vs Takumar 300 but the links are for the DFA 55-300 zoom and SMC/ Supar Takumar 300

So neither of the links actually refers to either lenses in the thread title as a straight Takumar 300 F4 is a preset lens

I own the SMC 300 F4 which is commonly referred to as the K300 being the first K mount 300 lens. It suffers from some lateral CA and also longitudinal CA. But is still a relatively good lens considering thenera it was designed. I also have a Nikkor H 300/4.5 which I have retrofitted with an M42 mount, optically I think it is better than the K300

Edit note, here is a link to the nikkor lens. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/198875-nik...ml#post2097660
03-04-2022, 05:14 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I like to buy a copy of each and compare them myself. That way you learn about handling quirks and your particular copies.

I have a K300/4 and I stumbled upon a good deal for the HD 55-300 WR f4-5.8, the version before the PLM, a couple of years ago. I did some comparison shots. The old prime lens was of course way better at f4 because the zoom only goes to f5.8. At comparable apertures, the prime is sharper, not by much in the center, more noticeable on the edges. To get that, you have to spend time focusing. The prime has typical CA for a K prime. The HD coatings are worth the extra money. The AF is slow on the zoom, missing a lot then going all the way out and back, but of course much better than the manual focus prime.

I think for most people, a version of the 55-300 makes more sense overall. It's a much better size and weight. It has AF and other focal lengths. It reports focal length and aperture which helps the camera work better. You can get WR versions.

Ultimately I want the DA* 300 f4 so I sold the HD because as useful as it is, I wasn't going to use it. That's what I mean by buying and testing. On paper, my decision makes little sense for most people, and I wouldn't advise anyone else to do it.
03-04-2022, 06:38 PM   #7
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Dave. You should put the 1,7x af converter on the K300/4, you get 500mm f6.9 with some selectable AF in 1200grams

03-04-2022, 06:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The HD coatings are worth the extra money. The AF is slow on the zoom, missing a lot then going all the way out and back, but of course much better than the manual focus prime.
Yes, it is overall definitely visually better than the original DA 55-300mm. I gave mine away when I got the HD version, and you get WR construction too. The slower AF when going all the way from zooming close subject to far away location is mainly due to this lens's long rotation throw of the focusing mechanism. But this is much better for MF fine tuning. It is not an internal AF design, so it has no focus breathing. So if you are able to get fairly close to say a bird, your resulting image will be lager in your frame.
03-05-2022, 03:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Iím confused

The thread title says SMC 300 vs Takumar 300 but the links are for the DFA 55-300 zoom and SMC/ Supar Takumar 300

So neither of the links actually refers to either lenses in the thread title as a straight Takumar 300 F4 is a preset lens

I own the SMC 300 F4 which is commonly referred to as the K300 being the first K mount 300 lens. It suffers from some lateral CA and also longitudinal CA. But is still a relatively good lens considering thenera it was designed. I also have a Nikkor H 300/4.5 which I have retrofitted with an M42 mount, optically I think it is better than the K300

Edit note, here is a link to the nikkor lens. Nikkor-H auto 300mmF4.5 - PentaxForums.com

Yea, my fault on the thread title. The thread is about:

S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

vs
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

---------- Post added 03-05-22 at 03:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Iím confused

The thread title says SMC 300 vs Takumar 300 but the links are for the DFA 55-300 zoom and SMC/ Supar Takumar 300

So neither of the links actually refers to either lenses in the thread title as a straight Takumar 300 F4 is a preset lens

I own the SMC 300 F4 which is commonly referred to as the K300 being the first K mount 300 lens. It suffers from some lateral CA and also longitudinal CA. But is still a relatively good lens considering thenera it was designed. I also have a Nikkor H 300/4.5 which I have retrofitted with an M42 mount, optically I think it is better than the K300

Edit note, here is a link to the nikkor lens. Nikkor-H auto 300mmF4.5 - PentaxForums.com
In your link. It looks like the photo of the yellow flower is out of focus. Unless it's my eye-sight. Anyone else concur ?

---------- Post added 03-05-22 at 03:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Dave. You should put the 1,7x af converter on the K300/4, you get 500mm f6.9 with some selectable AF in 1200grams

I would like to see some sample images of it with the 1.7x on it.

I think it's just logical that mostly primes or very expensive telephoto lens can be given justice with a teleconverter....

---------- Post added 03-05-22 at 03:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Yes, it is overall definitely visually better than the original DA 55-300mm. I gave mine away when I got the HD version, and you get WR construction too. The slower AF when going all the way from zooming close subject to far away location is mainly due to this lens's long rotation throw of the focusing mechanism. But this is much better for MF fine tuning. It is not an internal AF design, so it has no focus breathing. So if you are able to get fairly close to say a bird, your resulting image will be lager in your frame.
I would like you, or someone else that is knowledgable, to explain to me what "long rotation throw of the focusing mechanism" means (perhaps in simple English for my simple brain)...Smiles...

Thanks for posting!
03-05-2022, 04:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
, or someone else that is knowledgable, to explain to me what "long rotation throw of the focusing mechanism" means (perhaps in simple English for my simple brain)...Smiles...

Thanks for posting!
The focus throw is how many degrees you have to turn a lens to focus from closest to infinity. This also affects say being 10 cm in front of an eagle eye to 10 cm behind the eagle eye. If the throw is to small it is easy to go past critical focus. If the throw is long it is easy to get a precise focus but takes longer. A short throw is like a shower where you barely turn the knob and you go straight from too cold to scalding hot. A long focus is more like those screws that take forever to take out and seem like the screw is overkill. The 55-300 PLM takes about 90 degrees from close to infinity. The tak takes well over a half turn about 220 degrees. You need to turn it then change your hand position and turn it some more. Imagine holding your camera up and then turning it upside down and then some. Old manual lenses have a long slow throw to get it right. Modern af lenses have a short fast turn to make af faster. With a screwdrive af lens this can take many rotation's just like a long srew does.
03-05-2022, 05:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
In your link. It looks like the photo of the yellow flower is out of focus. Unless it's my eye-sight. Anyone else concur ?
Yea I missed it a little

QuoteQuote:

I would like to see some sample images of it with the 1.7x on it.
See links below

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/70208-just-how-...reduction.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/70154-smc300f4-strikes-again.html

And this shot with my *istD and flash, about 90% of the full image


QuoteQuote:

I would like you, or someone else that is knowledgable, to explain to me what "long rotation throw of the focusing mechanism" means (perhaps in simple English for my simple brain)...Smiles...

Thanks for posting!
Long focus throw, or long rotation of focus throw describes the angular rotation of the focusing collar from minimum focus to maximum focus(infinity).
For example, my sigma 70-200/2.8 has a 90 degree rotation of the focus collar, my Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 has 180 degrees of rotation, my K300/4 is I think 270-300 degrees, my vivitar 400/5.6 is 330 degrees.

The longer the throw, the more precise but slower to achieve focus.

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 03-05-2022 at 05:41 PM.
03-12-2022, 10:21 AM   #12
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Just to add a little more up to date photo. K1 with K300/4 and 1.7x AF converter

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