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07-30-2009, 05:24 AM   #1
bdery's Avatar

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What the FA 100-300 f4,7 (silver) can do

The various F and FA 100-300 have varying reputations. I recently got the reportedly best version, the FA 100-300 f4,7-f5,8. I got it in the hopes of replacing my Vivitar 70-210 f3,5 which, even though amazing, is bulky and MF (which means the wife never uses it...).

I was not sure what to expect from this lens. It's sharp enough, has low CA, but in some situations I found that it struggled to give me sharp results. I have come to understand that handholding 300 mm is not a free lunch, and my results have improved. Here is an example of what this lens can produce, regarding sharpness and colours.

I'm keeping it

07-30-2009, 10:53 AM   #2
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

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These lenses don't have many fans, and just on reputation I never thought I should bother owning one. But I recently got the Pentax-F f4.5-5.6 version at a great price, and it's pretty good. My only other 100-300 experience was the Sigma/Quantaray f4.7-6.3, a really low-end slow consumer zoom. It was a good size but that's it.

So far, I've only used the Pentax for some sunset shots. It has great colors and no flare. It's pretty big, internal zoom and gets a little longer when focusing. The focus ring is nice and wide but I have to look for it every time because it's way out at the end of the lens. Previously, when I wanted a long telephoto, I used a 400mm prime, but zooming is nice to have. Your lens is a bit smaller and a lot lighter.

I plan to have a 300mm lens test some day. So far the participants are the F100-300, the Tamron 28-300 superzoom and a Vivitar T4 300mm f5.5. I might throw in a Vivitar 200mm f3.5 M42 with/without a Kiron 1.5x TC. I'm not sure it'll mean anything unless someone else has those unusual options.
07-30-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
bdery's Avatar

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I have tried to compare the shaprness of the Viv and the FA and they compare well I think (which says a lot about the Pentax). The Viv wins for contrast and "texture" but the FA ins for CA, AF and weigth. Tough call, so far I have kept both but used only the FA sincE I got it.

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