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01-15-2009, 09:04 AM   #1
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Is the Pentax - 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 SMCP-FA J AL Zoom Lens a good budget zoom?

I'm pretty new to the Pentax DSLR club, and I'm considering purchasing a 70-300mm zoom. I have looked at the Sigma and Tamron options. I have heard that the Tamron has some small issues with Purple Fringe (is that what PF stands for?), and the Sigma isn't as crisp when fully zoomed at times.

I found the Pentax - 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 SMCP-FA J AL Zoom Lens on Amazon the other day, and I was curious if anyone here has had any experience with this lens. I've been having a hard time finding information about the performance of this lens.

Obviously, based on the lenses I am looking at, I'm on a budget. I'd like to keep whatever zoom lens I purchase under about $200.

Anybody have any insight on the quality of this lens? Pics would also be nice.


01-16-2009, 01:33 AM   #2
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See the lens reviews

Maybe you've read some of the posts and cottoned onto the lens review database and thats why nobody's answered yet.

I am also a newby and after buying all sorts of other brands (so tempting its so cheap) and playing around I obtained a FA 80-320 for $100 and found it superior in all respects (including the convenience of AF etc). I also find the kit lens has given me some superb results.

I am fast becoming a 'pentax lenses only please' follower (even if I have to save and wait many mnths etc)

Good luck.....
01-16-2009, 01:36 AM   #3
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Not worth it


I had this lens and got rid of it.

Go for a cheap 2nd hand F100-300. Does not extend which is nice and superior build quality. Optically I believe it is better can cannot say for sure.

Even think about a superzoom such as tamron 28-300mm as I believe even this is better than FAJ75-300.

I have both tamron superzoom and SMC F100-300.
01-16-2009, 02:19 AM   #4
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I have one of the better ones. I like mine ... takes nice shots so far.

I have seen other examples from this lens that have been absolutely crap indeed as well.

I think I was one of the lucky ones.

01-16-2009, 10:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kornbread Quote
Anybody have any insight on the quality of this lens? Pics would also be nice.
It's a bargain, and can produce some very good results at intermediate focal lengths and apertures, but it does get somewhat soft at the long end. And it's literally half the price of the next cheapest Pentax lens that will get you to 300mm. If you're on a budget then it's probably a good fit for you.

That having been said, I've been contemplating upgrading to the 55-300, which is well regarded, has a metal mount and the very useful quick shift focusing mechanism.

Here are a couple of shots with my FAJ 75-300 taken at 300mm on my K100D Super:

01-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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If you can afford, rather buy the new Pentax 55-300.

Below is a quick snapshot handheld at F8 250sec Iso 600 @ 300mm
Attached Images
01-16-2009, 03:01 PM   #7
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I've used the Tamron 70-300, a couple of Sigma 70-300, the FA80-320 and FAJ75-300. The best one among these is the FA80-320 in my experience. It's discountinued, but quite easy to find a second one for less than $200 on eBay. It shows up on the forum market place too once in a while. Well worth its cost.

The FAJ75-300 is a good lens, not great but pretty nice too when used well. Obviously you need to stop down a bit to get the best out of it. Its AF speed is the fastest one among all these 70-300 lenses, good for some action shots. But unless you can get it for a big bargain, I'd suggest to go w/ the FA80-320, or the Sigam/Tamron alternatives.

The DA55-300 seems to be a great performer, but probably out of your bugget.

Good luck.

01-16-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the advice. I'll let you know what I end up going with.

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