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12-16-2008, 09:46 PM   #1
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Pulled the trigger on DA* 300mm

So I pulled the trigger in a DA* 300 tonight (should have it on Thursday). I'm hoping to use it with my 1.5x TC (should work) and maybe the new 1.4x TC that Pentax announced. I really wanted the SDM and weather sealing.

I've been thinking about buying this for a while but I've honestly been a little reluctant because I really hope the prime/TC combo gives as good results as the Tokina ATX 400mm f/5.6 lens I have now. If it does I'll be probably be putting my Tokina up for sale . My other (probably far fetched hope) is that there is some good quality 1.7x TC out there that I don't know about that I could couple with this lens. When I was doing some research I came across examples of how good another brands 300 f/4 is with their 1.7xTC and that got me thinking about a ~510mm f/6.7(?)

At the very least it will be a great lens for taking photos of dog agility trials. Last time I tried taking a photo of my dog at the start line I completely distracted him when my lens whirled away getting a focus lock

Anyway I'm sure I'll be posting lots-o-photos with it as soon as I get it unless it is a complete dud.



John


ps. Feel free to post any examples with this lens, there really aren't that many out there.


Last edited by palmor; 12-18-2008 at 10:04 AM.
12-17-2008, 04:39 AM   #2
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Hey John,
I think you will be pleased with the DA, I love mine. I am using it with the smc f1.7x afa when I need more reach. the 1.7x works great with it and limits the focus too. Mine didn't work too good with my kenko 1.5x shq (non dg). Be sure to post some of those great shots when you try it out
12-17-2008, 05:35 AM   #3
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Good for you, John! It is a fine lens. As to TCs, I use the Tamron 1.4 Pz AF MC4 and get good results though I remain somewhat ambivalent as cropping w/o the TC seems as good or better except at extreme ranges. I hope the PTX unit will improve that when it is released..............
12-17-2008, 06:00 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your choice. I'll be watching this space carefully as I'm expecting my own DA* 300 to be delivered before the New Year

I already have a Promaster 1.7X TC waiting for the lens! Yeah, I know its like buying a horse shoe before buying the horse, but who cares! I bought it off Ebay recently. It has PZ contacts and I'm crossing my fingers hoping it'll allow the SDM to function too. I chose not to buy the Tamron 1.4X MC4/Kenko 1.5X TCs and bought this one as I thought it would make sense to wait for the Pentax 1.4X SDM TC to come- it should surely be better. That apart a 1.7X TC is the best compromise when it comes to choosing between 1.4X and 2X. Even if the AF doesn't work, the combo should definitely outperform Sigma 50-500 equivalent IQ at ~ 510mm and f/6.8 simply because we are talking DA* prime glass here.

Cheers,
Aditya


Last edited by Aditya Panda; 12-17-2008 at 06:06 AM.
12-17-2008, 09:50 AM   #5
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Welcome to the 300mm club. I'm sure you'll be pleased with the lens. i have it's sibling, the f*300 and am always pleased with its performance. i tried the kenko 1.5tc with it and was not overly happy with the resulting loss of detail (i admit to a bit of fanaticism). found that i prefer shooting with the lens only on k20d, cropping and using Genuine Fractals to increase the cropped image size. this gives me sharper, same size images than the lens tc/combo and no fstop loss.
12-17-2008, 10:41 AM   #6
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A cautionary note on the Promaster 1.7 TC: while it is quite good optically in my experience it will not focus on SDM lenses. On my DA* 200 and 300 it will activate SDM but not complete the focus.........I have not heard of any who have had success..............
12-17-2008, 01:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Kovarik Quote
A cautionary note on the Promaster 1.7 TC: while it is quite good optically in my experience it will not focus on SDM lenses. On my DA* 200 and 300 it will activate SDM but not complete the focus.........I have not heard of any who have had success..............
Thanks for mentioning this John. I'm a little confused about one thing here- if I'm correct the DA* lenses are supposed to have both SDM and screw drive AF capabilities. In this case the Promaster, which supports screw-driven AF, should be able to work at least without SDM. Have you ever experimented by taping the twin SDM contacts (both on lens and behind the TC) in order to try and fool the lens into thinking the body is a K 100D or something and seen if the screw-drive AF works? Would be interesting to know.

AF apart, how would you rate the Promaster's IQ with the DA* 300?

Thanks,
Aditya
12-17-2008, 01:28 PM   #8
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Here's about a 100% on k20d with smc f1.7x at f8 (2/3 stop from wide open this tc adds the 1.5 stops to the exif)) on a monopod and a little usm. He's got some fish on his beak.




Just so you know, the Eagle was not a prisoner


Last edited by borno; 12-17-2008 at 02:04 PM. Reason: extra info
12-17-2008, 01:33 PM   #9
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I have not tried the tape trick or any other experimenting. My opinion is that the Promasert IQ is very good ( I think others have also said this) and equals the Tamron and is slightly better than the Kenko 1.5..........

Regards, JK
12-17-2008, 01:35 PM   #10
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Nice shot! For some reason I have not used the PTX FAF 1.7 on the DAs yet.........I may have to try it.
12-17-2008, 01:48 PM   #11
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Hey Aditya,
I did try to tape the PZ contacts on my 1.5x kenko and the camera went bonkers ( i don't recall exactly but remember it was bad) and it hunts back and forth too much for me to want to use mine normally. Too bad we can't tell the camera to use screw drive in the menu.
12-17-2008, 01:56 PM   #12
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Yes, good purchase there. I am inclining to sell my Fa* 300mm f4 as well... Looks like a plastic barrel more suitable to real life shooting and image quality is really not much different
12-17-2008, 02:34 PM   #13
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Palmor, what version of the Tokina ATX 400mm f/5.6 do you have?

Borno, nice eagle!
12-17-2008, 04:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
Palmor, what version of the Tokina ATX 400mm f/5.6 do you have?

Borno, nice eagle!

It is the latest AF version with the tripod collar.

These are the results I'm hoping for with the new 300mm +TC

Pentax K10D ,Tokina 400mm f/5.6 AT-X
1/1000s f/8.0 at 400.0mm iso200
12-17-2008, 08:31 PM   #15
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Congratulations! and awesome shots!

I just recently got one too.

For me, it seems so short compared to my telescope I've been using for birds. but wow, I'm able to react to shot opportunities soooooo much faster than I'm used to. Between AF and the ability to get off my tripod, it sure is fun to use, compared to what I'm used to.

+1 on the vote to get that SDM TC available soon. I'm looking forward to it.

Don't over look it's close focus ability. It's nowhere near macro, but it's close enough for flowers and other equivalent sized close-ups.

Here's a shot I took the day after I brought home my DA*300. He's no bald eagle, but up to this point, I had found him too fast to catch with my telescope setup..



K20D, 300mm @ f/4, 1/250th, ISO560

Good luck, post some shots when you get it!

-Chris
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