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LBA is complete: FA* 250-600mm/5.6 – images of the lens
Posted By: Marc Langille, 10-14-2009, 06:03 PM

I am thinking my FA* LBA is complete... maybe...

Received the super telephoto zoom lens last Friday, but Iíve been quite busy these last few days! The stars finally aligned and I have purchased the same lens you see in our own PF lens review database. I had the honor of meeting up with the owner (Jay) of this lens in October, 2008 for a shooting session. A sincere thank you to Jay (aka Sirfishalot) for letting me spend some time with this lens last fall and come to the realization that itís in a class of itís own! Thank you again for packing it so well and shipping it to me...

Itís brilliant yet sharp wide open from 250mm through 600mm and really sharp stopped down just a bit. This is a larger lens at close to 13 pounds, but itís literally as new! I already have a Wimberley MK Gimbal that I will test drive to confirm its place in my support system arsenal, alongside my Arca-Swiss Z1 head that I normally use in a blind. Iíll be getting either the Gitzo 5541LS or Gitzo 3541XLS as the tripod of choice.

Here's a teaser shot of lens in the trunk... This shot was taken at F/7.1... to intentionally hide the lettering on the metal badge on the trunk...


Here's the badge detail on the trunk:






I opened the trunk and I see a nicely padded interior, cutouts and of course the beautiful curved silver surfaces of the FA* 250-600/5.6:





I pulled out the lens and removed the lens hood (aka hood bonnet):


Closer details of the lens barrel:


For some reason I like this one a great deal - a little tighter and it's almost like a product shot:



Here's the scale test - from left to right: trunk and accessories, Wimberley lens plate (P-50, which I already had), FA* 80-200/2.8, FA* 200/4 Macro, FA* 300/2.8 and FA* 250-600/5.6.


That little black lens in front of the FA* 200/4 Macro is the DA 50-200...


Last image for now - this is much better at showing the physical size of each lens:


I hope you enjoyed them!

Regards,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 10-14-2009 at 06:08 PM.
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10-15-2009, 12:59 PM   #31
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Congrats, Marc. It's nice to know that this magnificent lens is in good hands.

Jer

10-15-2009, 03:03 PM   #32
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Nice!

Now get out, shoot and post pics before we have to get out the torches and pitchforks.

Also, could we get an NSFW tag on those pictures?

Not Safe For Wallet *rimshot*
10-15-2009, 04:01 PM   #33
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Silly rabbit, LBA is never complete.

(Now buy my SMC Tak 1000mm!)



10-15-2009, 06:21 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
A perfect lens and in perfect shape!! I'd be curious to see how it looks with a camera attached. Hope you shape some pics.

Cheers,
Steve
I shall do that soon Steve!

QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Oh....my......God!

Mind blowing setup and product pics you made there Marc. I have no idea how you chose one to actually use. Maybe just charge the rest of us to tour your house like a museum and reach across the velvet ropes for a touch.
Well, I think I am glad I shared them...

Regarding lens choice: it's just dependent on the subject matter! Often the FA* 80-200/2.5 and the FA* 300/2.8 are my constant companions at the Civil War reenactments. Every now and then I'll put on the DA 12-24 and get in amongst the troops - I have privileges with the historical interpreter to be directly amongst much of the action - they assign me a "guard". It's funny how you get more respect at those events with that 300/2.8...

QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
I'm drooling .. .where did I put the kleenex ...

Congrats Marc and we will be here to get amazed by the images you will make with the new lens.
I'm just capturing the beauty I see, nothing more... I am glad you enjoyed those shots of the lens - hopefully some shots with the lens will be soon!

Regards,
Marc

10-16-2009, 07:48 AM   #35
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Like I said on the other forum...

Holy $#!T!!!

I'm off to buy ANOTHER lottery ticket. The one on Wednesday didn't win anything...

When I eventually end up in your area, I shall have to swing by for coffee.

I guess that lens would allow me to take beautiful portraits of pilots...

... in their planes ...

... as they fly past.

Two thumbs up from me.

How many do you think Pentax made? I can't imagine it would be very many at all. Maybe less than 200?
10-16-2009, 05:48 PM   #36
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Congrats, Marc.

I hope you also signed up for a gym when you bought that bazooka. I think you'll need the training if you want to haul that thing for nature shots.

Enjoy your new toy.

P.S. If you fell like you need a little "cash" after that purchase, I'm sure I could give your 200 Macro a good home. I'm still looking for one.
10-16-2009, 07:10 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
A perfect lens and in perfect shape!! I'd be curious to see how it looks with a camera attached. Hope you shape some pics.

Cheers,
Steve
Hi Steve, it's in near mint condition - one scuff on the tripod collar foot, which is fine.


QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
I'm drooling .. .where did I put the kleenex ...

Congrats Marc and we will be here to get amazed by the images you will make with the new lens.
Thank you sir and I hope to fulfill that possibility!

QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Hey Marc, glad to see you finally got the big gun in your collection. I knew you'd been hunting for this one for years, it's good to see a gem lens (well, a bunch of gems) in capable hands. I'm sure we'd see some great wild life photos from you soon.

I'm not drooling 'cause I don't like big lenses. The biggest lens I want to carry is the FA*80-200

Thank you Frank! The FA* 600/4 wasn't what I wanted after more deliberation - and I appreciate your assistance in the past! This FL range is by far the best and it's MFD of only 11.5 feet is the best of any 600mm ever made - by several feet!

QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
To make this thread more interesting, here is my very recent collection:

You can see I like them small, and manual too
Oh my...

QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Hehe, I knew some guy is gonna laugh
Frank, I know you always liked the "hands-on" approach...

Nice set of beautiful MF lenses too!

QuoteOriginally posted by Jimbo Quote
WOW. Finally you have your new baby. Well done. JIM
I think since you saw the FA* 300/2.8 while we were in Utah, that new FA* 250-600/5.6 vs. the FA* 300/2.8 gives gives you a better perspective. Thanks Jim and I'm looking forward to it's being used as much as possible, although the fall colors may preclude it a bit.

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
First off congratulations that is a pristine collection of some of the finest glass Pentax has ever made.

Secondly LBA is incurable. It may go into remission at times , but it is a lifelong addiction. It may even mutate at times where it becomes ABA (Accessories Buying Addiction ) or CBA (Camera Bodies Addiction) but will always come back to LBA at some point.

And finally wow I thought I packed heavy, you now need a Sherpa and possibly a Donkey or Camel
Thanks Dave and it's quite an aesthetically pleasing set of lenses to my eye anyway! CBA is coming...

I'm good as you know regarding it's weight - I don't find it to be an issue at all. I've hand held it for more than a few shots without issue. I don't think I'd want to do that MO for working in a blind though... yikes!

BTW, the backpacks specifically made for long super telephotos are really quite good and designed to distribute the weight very well. It's ~20 lbs, not including the pack. The weight will be less than what I packed up the hikes in Utah, which was close to 40 pounds.

Regards,
Marc
10-18-2009, 10:35 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by xhanatos Quote
I just shed a tear...


QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
Dude, that's just filthy!

(That's what the kids today say, isn't it?)

I can't even say I'm all that envious, because I know this beauty is in very capable hands.
Thank you fg! I appreciate the vote of confidence too.

QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
Wow.
Normally, like daacon, I would say that LBA is incurable :P
But maybe you have found the solution!

I will look forward to seeing some pics from this lens.
I'll pay to enter the 'museum' too, awesome collection
Only FA* LBA is cured... unless a nice 600/4 turns up... I doubt I'd want it, but you never know!

I should be ready within a week or two for images at most. Sorry, have to wait!

Cheers,
Marc

10-18-2009, 10:45 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
wow!...I am officially jealous. Please post some photographs taken with this wonder.
Soon - honest!

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Congrats on a great lens.
I know youíll put it to good use. Looking forward to your work from it

When looking into buying Pentax back in the day, I heard it labeled the Bazooka zoom, and how it was a joy to use

Gotta start pulling my act together and finishing my study, so I can sign up for these workshops. Sounds way cool; back country of Yellowstone, overseas workshops, etc.

Still remember when you got the FA* 300/2.8. Guess you didn't imagine what would follow from there, and that you would have a whole arsenal later on of these great optics
Hi Sune, it's definitely an unusual FL - that's the big draw. I thought seriously about the FA* 600/4, but the only advantage was the additional stop of light it gained. Otherwise it's heavier and I have much more flexibility with the zoom, including framing & composition. It's also much easier to lock onto a target at 250mm, then zoom in. The power zoom will easily go from 250mm-->600mm (or vice versa) in less than a second - I've timed and confirmed this. It's also a parfocal lens - thanks Falk for the correct term. That means it keeps focus locked while zooming, even repeatedly both ways. From what I know, more than a few zooms will not retain focus when changing focal lengths, but I suspect most of those are in the class of non-IF lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
Where's the FA* 600mm f4?
Hi Viz, see above for an explanation. I've heard some folks say it's not a complete collection if I don't have it... hmmm... LBA?
10-18-2009, 12:52 PM   #40
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Your lba is complete and mine is kicking into full swing. I want one. Of each. OMG. The drive is nearly unbearable. Maybe just one of those? Pretty please? Arg.
10-19-2009, 07:53 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Congrats, Marc. It's nice to know that this magnificent lens is in good hands.

Jer
Thank you Jer and I'm hoping in a week or two I'll be shooting with it! Possibly on a monopod, which is always interesting!

I am waiting for the fall colors to really come out before I photograph the Elk with it. Of course, it's always a bit of a crap shoot when you go with others - sometimes folks don't understand how to approach them or interact in such a way that they are not spooked by sounds/movements/etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by sfdealer Quote
Nice!

Now get out, shoot and post pics before we have to get out the torches and pitchforks.

Also, could we get an NSFW tag on those pictures?

Not Safe For Wallet *rimshot*
I shall do so... for now, here's one from last year when I tested it:






Will that stave off the torches and pitchforks?

Cheers,
Marc
10-19-2009, 07:57 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
Silly rabbit, LBA is never complete.

(Now buy my SMC Tak 1000mm!)



Well, unless I really needed the FA* 600/4...

QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
Like I said on the other forum...

Holy $#!T!!!

I'm off to buy ANOTHER lottery ticket. The one on Wednesday didn't win anything...

When I eventually end up in your area, I shall have to swing by for coffee.

I guess that lens would allow me to take beautiful portraits of pilots...

... in their planes ...

... as they fly past.

Two thumbs up from me.

How many do you think Pentax made? I can't imagine it would be very many at all. Maybe less than 200?
Thanks KC! Nice exclamation...

Regarding your question: I suspect a few hundred, given it's cost, time to build, etc. Not many folks are willing to buy a $7400 lens while it was in production.

You are welcome to shoot me a note if you're in the area - coffee it is!

Regards,
Marc
10-19-2009, 08:40 PM   #43
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Stunning results you got with it Marc.
We'll just have to wait until you've got some more to show us from this precious set of glassware...
10-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #44
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Marc, Thanks for putting these up. all I can say is, thats nuts!!

Look forward to more.

John
10-19-2009, 09:00 PM   #45
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What a show off!

For what's its worth, I do have one of what you have. A good copy of 50-200 so ha!
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