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07-14-2007, 12:11 AM   #1
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Opinions on Pentax Zoom Telephoto SMCP-FA J 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL

Hi

I am wondering if this lens is any good?

Pentax Zoom Telephoto SMCP-FA J 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL

Any opinions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Pentax-FA J 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 AL Reviews - FA J Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

07-14-2007, 05:35 AM   #2
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Lens review

Look in the lens review section of this site-looks like 3 reviews on that lens.
07-14-2007, 06:01 AM   #3
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Actually I did But the 3 reviews are kinda limiting to judge if this lens is ok or not

Appreciate more feedbacks and info
07-14-2007, 10:32 AM   #4
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I'm THINKING about this lens myself...

Dear Fellow Pentax-ians:

The PIPE here...and after an RC Scale model aviation meet photo shoot on July 8th in CT, that my K100D and I (with the 50-200 DA lens to get action shots with), with me in attendance, as a photographer HAVING to stand a good 30 feet or so behind the "flight line" (horizontal line on the near edge of the model field's runway-the RC model pilots stand along that line to fly their models) getting good FRAME FILLING shots IS going to take a 300mm lens to "bring the models CLOSER" to my K100D and myself.

This lens DOES seem to be a good candidate for purchase after the event season is over (car maintenance, other costs prevent me from getting it "right away") and I DO have a few questions about its usability for flying aircraft shots, both for model aircraft (where the reviewed 300mm lens, intended also for Pentax FILM SLRs, will have a maximum focal length of 450mm with a digital like the K100D, and would be great) and for full sized aircraft (my 50-200 DA zoom should work well for that also, no doubt)...these questions are based on the review I read here at https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/showproduct.php?product=139&cat=31 ....

1. Does this lens have a plastic bayonet mount? If so, is it a type of plastic that should be STRONG and dimensionally "stable", perhaps a fiberglass "filled" type of plastic, and at least "reasonably" wear-resistant?

2. How "soft" is the focus on this telephoto at longer telephoto focal lengths? The K100D IS about the sharpest image digital SLR on the market in the 6 MP range...I'm just hoping that at the K100D's ISO 200 standard equivalent film speed, that with a 1/250 shutter, and a f/9.5 to f/11 apeture, which were my settings for the CT meet, that the 75-300 lens will STILL be able to "snorkel right in there" and get GOOD "frame filling" images.

3. It SEEMS that the 75-300 FA J lens IS an autofocus unit (apologies if this seems like a newbie question)...IF it has it, how well does the autofocus work with the K100D, if anyone here has already tried the combo of the two?

Hope to get some "pre-purchase" answers...it WILL be a "little time" before I can get it...

Yours Sincerely and thanks in advance,

The PIPE....

07-14-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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Another lens that is in the same price range as the Pentax 75-300mm is the Tamron 70-300/f4-5.6. It *should* be slightly better than the Pentax 75-300 since it has a better f-stop?

Any opinions on this and the Pentax lens?
07-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #6
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The tamron has a macro setting which will allow you to focus closer for higher maginfication. The Pentax FAJ lacks this feature. I haven't used either so I can't really speculate on the quality.

Here's a link to random Pentax 75-300mm shots on pbase. Hope they can answer some of your questions.

Pentax smc P-FA J 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
07-14-2007, 08:19 PM   #7
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Another lens to consider is the Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6 I owned one for several years, my version was a macro. It performed well on my *ist Ds. IMHO and experience with Sigma, any of these lens will turn in their softest performance at 300mm. That said they should all perform (image quality, focus speed) about the same. I would suggest taking your camera to a camera store that has 2 or 3 of these lens in a Pentax mount and testing them yourself to get a feel for weight, focus speed, and image quality at 300mm. Best wishes. Would enjoy seeing some of your photos.
Raider, apologies for sort of hijacking your thread. I haven't used the Pentax FA-J, but I would recommend the Sigma 70-300mm. If I remember correctly, the FA-J lenses lack an aperature ring...which may or may not be an issue for you. Best wishes.
07-14-2007, 08:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
Raider, apologies for sort of hijacking your thread. I haven't used the Pentax FA-J, but I would recommend the Sigma 70-300mm. If I remember correctly, the FA-J lenses lack an aperature ring...which may or may not be an issue for you. Best wishes.
No apologies needed Actually I have been also looking at the Sigma 70-300mm APO version.

Lens hunting is such a tough job

07-14-2007, 11:34 PM   #9
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Another big reason for the Sigma, Raider. IF you decide to go with extension tubes, per your other post, you will be able to use them with the Sigma but not the FA-J, since it lacks the aperture ring.
I use my tubes with my Sigma 70-300 APO DG f/4-5.6 Macro and they work well. The main problem is after you hook the tubes to the Sigma it becomes a very long (physically) lens and the mere act of touching the shutter button sends little waves of vibration through the lens, at least on my tripod.....I need to get either a cable release or remote shutter for this setup. But if you can control camera shake the minimum focus distance is great for insects and the like.
07-15-2007, 01:50 AM   #10
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Thanks for your info.

By the way, I use a remote control proggy on my pocket pc which act as remote shutter on the k100d. I am sure k10D can do the same as well.
07-15-2007, 04:02 AM   #11
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I have handled the FAJ lens already at my local camera store .... but it was the store owners actual lens he uses on his own body. But I actually liked the feel and operation of it ... and the pictures it can produce.

I have one on order and it is going to land here shortly ... still waiting for it ... there's only so much you can do with the kit 18-55mm lens though.
07-15-2007, 05:26 AM   #12
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It would be great if you could post your short review of the lens here when you are ready That would be helpful for a lot of us here.
07-15-2007, 11:09 AM   #13
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The FAJ75-300 does have a polycarbonate (read: plastic) lens mount. It has no aperture ring, either, so you will have to control aperture through the body.

I used to own one and it wasn't that bad; I took some real keepers with it. But you have to put this in the context of the price. It isn't as good as the FA80-320, which is the other FA lens in the same zoom range, but it doesn't cost as much.

EDIT: forgot to add that the Pentax FA100-300mm also exists. I've never used it but for every 10 user comments I've read, 9 are bad.

Last edited by tranq78; 07-15-2007 at 09:36 PM. Reason: add comment re: 100-300
07-15-2007, 01:30 PM   #14
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It's not one of Pentax's best zoom offerings. Mediocre in my opinion.
07-15-2007, 04:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
It's not one of Pentax's best zoom offerings. Mediocre in my opinion.
From what I've heard, the Sigma and Tamron variants are far better. The Tamron is about the same price, the Sigma variants depend (there are three Sigma variants at different prices/qualities). As I understand it, the two lower Sigmas should be avoided, not sure about the most expensive one.

Most people (including myself) go for the Tamron (or the Quantaray-rebadged version)
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