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07-21-2007, 06:48 PM   #16
m8o
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesk8752 Quote
I'm away from home and don't have my records; IIRC I paid about them about $2850 for the A*600/5.6. I don't recall what I paid for the FA*300/2.8 but it was in the same ballpark. Both were worth the price IMO. Their service was excellent and so was their communication with me.
If you mean you got a FA* 300 f/2.8 for under $3000, I'd luv that! Better then 200mm FA* f/2.8 zoom for near $2000 IMO for my partucular need. That would yield about 500mm with a 1.7x TC and better then f/5 speed, now that would be something! Sign me up! Best I see @ the moment is an A* for $3500/$4000 buy it now.

BTW, something I haven't brought up, what's the concensus on the FA* 300 f/4? There's someone on here w/one for sale I'm still seriously considering. The unfortunate thing is the speed with the 1.7x TC is getting a bit slow regardless of the big heavy glass. I assume however that lens works fantastically wide open?

07-21-2007, 07:36 PM   #17
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I have the FA*300 f4.5 as well as the f2.8, and it's another truly outstanding Pentax lens, even wide open. It's a lot lighter and easier to handle than the f2.8, and I would almost always prefer using it unless I'm using a teleconverter. Klaus Schroiff at Photozone.de has posted a favorable review of it here: Pentax SMC-FA* 300mm f/4.5 ED [IF] - Photozone Review / Lab Test Report. Note the outstanding sharpness across a wide range of apertures.

The only gripe I've heard about it is the lack of a tripod mount, but this can be handled by using a Manfrotto Long Lens support if you really feel you need it.

Last edited by jamesk8752; 07-21-2007 at 07:39 PM. Reason: To correct typos
07-21-2007, 08:56 PM   #18
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Quite the stable of desirable glass you have there! (need a thumbs-up similey here ) I didn't realize 'till now the FA* 300/4.5 is about 500g lighter then the FA* 80-200.

edit: Noting the photozone review of both the 400/4 and 80-200/f2.8, I'm surprised at how 'low' the 80-200's resolution is in relation to many other lenses I've seen tested; Pics I've seend from it don't reinforce that. The 300/4 test results are amazing, and the most uniform I've ever seen across the apertures, center, to edge.

When you say "would almost always prefer using it unless I'm using a teleconverter" with the 300/4.5, this may be dumb to even ask, but I surmise that is because of the resulting speed? (near f/8 w/a 1.7x; quite a bit slower then say the Bigma, Sigma 50-500mm) That is however how I would probably need to use it on Safari in Tanzania at times. Either straight @ 300 or w/a 1.7x or 2.x when I need the reach to reasonably fill the frame. (I 1st thought I'd use no bigger then the 1.4x Pentax but I understand it doesn't retain AF just aperture; maybe I'll try the Tamron) I'm 'hoping' for relatively cloudless skys, but I have no idea how it actually is during peak of their winter.

...any recommendations then? I will be lugging a big lens plus the gear you see in my sig everywhere all the time; though will be sitting in a Land Rover mostly I think. The 300/4.5 FA* can be had for close to 1/2 the 80-200/2.8 FA* ... though it's said to have dust in it, but I'm told that's near impossible to translate to the photos.

On the other hand, thanx for your mention of the tripod mount issue... I was going to buy & bring a monopod, so that would be pointless with the 300/4.5... Pardon my vocalizing my stream of conciousness. It's just never easy.

Last edited by m8o; 07-22-2007 at 12:20 AM.
07-24-2007, 09:24 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by roscot Quote
Actually $1900 is a pretty good price in today's market. Lately I've been seeing them go for between $2400 and $2700.

That lens is one of the most sought after FA*s, and fairly rare. You can not apply pricing logic to this lens for any auction.

Frankly, if I'd seen it for that price, I would have seriously thought about replacing my Sigma 70-200 Ex with it - and the Sigma is an outstanding lens. It's just that FA*80-200 is that much better.
roscot, There's actually 3 of them available from the seller mentioned, two are listed, strike that, only one is now listed, and noone has bid!!! (they took one down and replaced it with a 200mm prime, so I expect more to show and if you're not in a rush, no need for the buy it now)
eBay Store – MATSUIYASTORE: Search results for pentax.

For closure, I'll mention I'm actually out of the market now. After much theraputic deliberation and correspondence with very helpful people here, I decided I needed to focus on the best I could get (for the buck) on the "long end". I came to understand that out on the savannah you just can't get long enough. So I bought a Sigma 300mm f/2.8 + both the 1.4x and 2xs TCs; with the lens had for a few hundred more then the FA* 80-200 f/2.8. I couldn't pass that up for the price, new, with a 4 year warranty, getting me 300mm f/2.8, and with the TCs 420mm f/4 and 600mm f/5.6. (and 510mm f4.8 w/the Pentax 1.7x TC too!) (and super big props for the folks @ Sigma who worked hard to get something in my hands before my trip)

I'm probably not going to see the colors Adam has shown us in his posts (I'd still love to know your workflow Adam ) -- and those MTF charts for the Pentax 300mm are off the charts on Photodo -- but I was pushing the $$$ as it was to buy the FA* 300mm f/2.8 and will get real long focal lengths at reasonable speed this way. ...And, if the stars align I may still plunge for a FA* 80-200 f/2.8 in a few months.


Last edited by m8o; 07-24-2007 at 09:34 PM.
07-25-2007, 03:04 AM   #20
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A bit off track - how come that ebay store (eBay Store MATSUIYASTORE: Search results for pentax.) has BRAND NEW A 50/1.2's. Are they still made?
07-25-2007, 06:36 AM   #21
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I asked myself this about many others previously posted and I just assumed it was on the shelf and never sold...? Otherwise, it could be a bad copy that kept coming back or never made it out the door if the buyer tried it! I had asked this seller if these items were returns to Pentax that they picked up on surplus of sorts, but the lens I was asking about (in the OP) was not (was used); that's not to say the lens in question isn't either of the two conditions. You can ask them.
-steve
07-25-2007, 06:47 AM   #22
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Wow. I better get a 77mm limited before Pentax stops making THEM too.

Almost as much as a DA* though.. decisions..
07-25-2007, 01:04 PM   #23
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That matsuiya store is outragewously overprices easily by 25-50% on average.

07-25-2007, 02:08 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.r.brown Quote
That matsuiya store is outragewously overprices easily by 25-50% on average.
Not sure that's fair... Supply and demand dictates prices... If it sells, it's not priced too high.

I'm not a seller, but if I was, I'd want to be sure of getting as much as I could for whatever I was selling. To do anything else would be financially stupid. If I priced an item too high, it wouldn't sell, if I priced it too low, I'd lose...

It's unfortunate that as buyers, we find this concept unappealing (and potentially expensive), but there it is... It doesn't make it wrong or outrageous...

Disclaimer : Before today I had never really looked at the Matsuya store... but from a quick glance through the items listed, there are items not commonly available, and looking at their feedback, despite the prices, they sure do sell a lot...

Jamie : who can't afford any of the lenses he really wants...
07-25-2007, 02:31 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by crashman Quote
He is correct but also, you need to be aware that Sigma has just finished a production run of this lens in All mounts.
But ALL other mounts have OEM lenses that fill the gap. We're missing this.
07-25-2007, 03:40 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
But ALL other mounts have OEM lenses that fill the gap. We're missing this.
I just realized that today as well and sent a note to Pentax USA asking them to put the FA* 80-200/2.8 back in production because of this hole in the Pentax lens roadmap. Please do the same...maybe it'll open someone's eyes :-)
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