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12-18-2007, 10:33 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
It's really a 'wrong' lens. not fast enough to take a converter, nor long enough to use without one. A fast 300 (and a converter) provide many more options.

when you get to the super telephoto class they need to be one or the other.....---either really long, for fast and good enough to take a converter....
Point taken. However, a 400mm 5.6 is LIGHT. I recently had the FA* 300mm 4.5/k10d around my neck for about 2 days straight, similar in weight to a 400mm 5.6 combo, and I never once thought about the weight. For shots between, say, 30 minutes after dawn and prior to dusk, I think it would be quite useful. For lower light shooting, though, f5.6 just doesn't cut it- for me, it's just too dim to allow reliably good judgement/composition.

Richard, regarding your FA* 300 + Tamron 1.4x converter test, I did the same one vs. the Canon 400mm 5.6, and, I hate to say it, the Canon destroyed it (however, I really like my FA* 300 with no TC ).

John

12-18-2007, 12:43 PM   #32
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BTW, what would be an expected price for a DA*300/4 ?

Good point about the 400/4, Richard, but a little precisions:

About the FA/DA comparison: I know you compared FA+TC against FA but what I meant is that noone (AFAIK) can say that such DA* (300/4 and 400/5.6) would be both heavilybased on the FA* versions which makes me think that none can come to an meaningful conclusion about a DA*300+TC sharper than DA*400/5.6 until we try it. That's all.

Now, it would be probably wise for Pentax to go the route of the 300/4 + TC but the way I see it, Pentax will introduce Teles but first the slower ones (why introducing a DA*300/4 and not a DA*300/2.8?). But maybe they can't afford to bring to market too many lenses with the same FL. If this is the case then indeed the 400 should be /4 and a 600 should be /4 too. We'll see. This is just speculation on my part.

And now something completely different... Any idea of what a DA*300/4 should cost?
12-18-2007, 12:50 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by button Quote
Point taken. However, a 400mm 5.6 is LIGHT. I recently had the FA* 300mm 4.5/k10d around my neck for about 2 days straight, similar in weight to a 400mm 5.6 combo, and I never once thought about the weight. For shots between, say, 30 minutes after dawn and prior to dusk, I think it would be quite useful. For lower light shooting, though, f5.6 just doesn't cut it- for me, it's just too dim to allow reliably good judgement/composition.

Richard, regarding your FA* 300 + Tamron 1.4x converter test, I did the same one vs. the Canon 400mm 5.6, and, I hate to say it, the Canon destroyed it (however, I really like my FA* 300 with no TC ).

John
the apparently coming higher ISO's may reduce the pressure for high speed glass. I did an indoor shoot at a church christmas program a few days ago available light.

I took my K10 and 3 lenses. the DA* 16-50 SDM, an FA 24 F/2 and the FA 50 f/1.4.

Essentially the fastest best short glass I have.

Lighting was dingy----- the DA* in program mode produced f/2.8 at 1/60th at ISO 800The primes dropped down to an f/2.0

Overall the results were nothing you want even want a doting mother of the sunday school children to see at larger than 5x7 but there were 2 things that surprised me in reviewing the results.

a) I liked the results of the DA* 16-50 better than I did those of the FA 50---Something that I totally did not expect. My explanation is that there was a mob of children on the platform
and the f/2.8 provided enough extra depth of field over what I got from the FA 50 which went to F 2.0 to make the picture seem 'better' as the range of view in the photo exceeded the depth of field.

b) I got materially better photos at ISO 800 than I did at lower ISO's. The problem here
was camera shake. As I lowered the ISO, shutter times became unacceptably low for handheld shots of 15 wiggling girls, and picturequality at iso 250 was noticibly worse than at ISO 800, and at ISO 100 there was major evidence of camera movement far degrading the photo than any 'noise' evident at ISO 800

Taken together, this experience suggests to me that improved high ISO performance is the single path that will produce better results for the casual photographer.
12-18-2007, 12:57 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
BTW, what would be an expected price for a DA*300/4 ?
And now something completely different... Any idea of what a DA*300/4 should cost?
I'm guessing somewhere in the $800-$1100 range.

12-18-2007, 01:40 PM   #35
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Apo-Lanthar 180/4 with Pentax AF 1.7x TC

QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
Please do it, I was thinking in that combination but I am worried about the IQ and how well the adapter will autofocus with a f4 lens. Thank you
I did a quick test of this combination today and I found that for indoor use it's just a no-go - not enough light to AF. Outdoors it worked well with the caveat that I had to keep fiddling with the focus ring on the lens to keep within the AF range of the converter. IQ using the converter seemed fine, with roughly the same high IQ and bokeh of the lens alone.

I also found that this lens tended to underexpose 1 to 2 stops with or without the TC. Of course it's snowy outside, and this tends to fool the matrix AE.
12-18-2007, 01:54 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesk8752 Quote
I did a quick test of this combination today and I found that for indoor use it's just a no-go - not enough light to AF. Outdoors it worked well with the caveat that I had to keep fiddling with the focus ring on the lens to keep within the AF range of the converter. IQ using the converter seemed fine, with roughly the same high IQ and bokeh of the lens alone.

I also found that this lens tended to underexpose 1 to 2 stops with or without the TC. Of course it's snowy outside, and this tends to fool the matrix AE.
Thank you James, that confirms my doubts. I was using the adapter with the Zeiss 200 f2.8 and it was a torture cos of the long throw of the focusing ring. I also tried the extension tubes and that was plain and simple impossible. All the tests were indoor too. Thank you again I highly appreciate that information.
12-18-2007, 02:02 PM   #37
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That's why in the manual of the 1.7x TC It is said the TC should be used with the lens set to infinity. It may as well influence IQ and not only practical use.
12-18-2007, 02:09 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
That's why in the manual of the 1.7x TC It is said the TC should be used with the lens set to infinity. It may as well influence IQ and not only practical use.
I know, but I had to try. Manuals says so many things....

12-18-2007, 02:14 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
I know, but I had to try. Manuals says so many things....
I won't blame you
Wanted to be sure noone would be unhappy because it wasn't working as it should
12-18-2007, 02:58 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
That's why in the manual of the 1.7x TC It is said the TC should be used with the lens set to infinity. It may as well influence IQ and not only practical use.
That's all well and good, but what if you need to focus on a close-up subject? If the lens is set at infinity focus the AF range of the converter is insufficient to cover the entire focus range.

With shorter lenses such as a 35 or 50mm it's not as much of an issue, but with long lenses you have to adjust the lens focus and not rely totally on the AF teleconverter. Lenses with a long focusing helicoid make this more of a problem...
12-18-2007, 03:01 PM   #41
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I know Jim, I just wanted to point the "official way how it is supposed to be used", nothing else

I think a proper 1.5x SDM TC would be a good idea.
12-19-2007, 02:27 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by button Quote
snip...

Richard, regarding your FA* 300 + Tamron 1.4x converter test, I did the same one vs. the Canon 400mm 5.6, and, I hate to say it, the Canon destroyed it (however, I really like my FA* 300 with no TC ).

John
Are you saying you compared the Canon against the FA* with TC? If so then it's not apples with apples, other factors will apply.

I believe it's very dependent on the pairing of the lenses, I've found that when used with a very high quality prime, the Tamron seems to be fine, but when used with an "average" lens the results are mediocre. It's probably a summation of the two optics together.

Here's my results with the FA*300 f4.5 with and without the TC, lens wide open, camera tripod mounted, 2 sec delay. I don't see much degredation at all. I have several other comparisons with different composition and all give the same conclusion.

Obviously, I would love an even better TC with Exif data content and correct SR compensation. I just hope that Pentax will do one soon for the new DA* lenses. I also hope it has the shaft drive option for older lenses as well.





Last edited by Richard Day; 12-23-2007 at 05:13 AM. Reason: modifying for wide images
12-19-2007, 02:41 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
snip...

And now something completely different... Any idea of what a DA*300/4 should cost?
No precise idea, but I'd "suspect" that the DA*200 & DA*300 will be similar in cost at around the $1000 - 1200 mark. From a price release in a Swedish website, I remember them being in that region, including the DA*60-250, but that may have been a complete "red herring".

From a historical perspective, the "non exotic" FA* lenses (28-70 f2.8, 200f2.8, 300 f4.5 and 400 f5.6) were within a similar price range, so I expect that the next DA* models will not be wildly dissimilar to the existing DA* lenses.

Remember, Pentax are "targeting" the mid band enthusiast market, not the pro high end yet.

Anyway, I suspect we will know for sure by the end of January at PMA.
12-19-2007, 07:25 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
Are you saying you compared the Canon against the FA* with TC? If so then it's not apples with apples, other factors will apply.
Yes, I compared the Canon 400mm 5.6 with the FA* 300 4.5 + Tamron 1.4x TC. I used a tripod for both, with the 2 sec timer (mirror lock up) option and a wired remote. If I remember correctly, my target was a CD cover with a bar code on it, with some other art printed on the cover, placed about 20 yards or so from the tripod. I took several shots with both lenses wide open, but I don't recall comparing to two stopped down. I really didn't expect the FA*/TC combo to outperform a prime, especially one as good as this particular Canon (a very underrated lens by many accounts). I knew it wasn't an "apples to apples" comparison, but I had to decide which one would be better for a project I was getting ready to undertake. I find your FA* 300/TC vs. FA* 400 results surprising!

John

Last edited by button; 12-21-2007 at 07:05 AM. Reason: spelling error
12-21-2007, 06:55 AM   #45
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I have the A400 5.6 and would be really interested in a new 400 5.6. Not very interested in new 300 - even with converter. Too short for what I shoot. With the 400 5.6 I can still use a 1.4 converter. Also a lot of the Pentax 300 lenses lack a tripod mount. Totally unacceptable to me. The speed could be faster on the 400. Have a Fuji 400 that splits the difference at f 4.5. A good compromise. A 300 with converter also doesn't "look" good in the lens catalog. People don't know the two can be used together. The biggest knock on Pentax now is the fact that they have no big lenses. Should have been here a few years ago. Find with digital higher iso is much nicer than it was with slide film. Would also love to see a 200 macro. To late for me since I have the Pentax A*200. It should be in the line up though.
thanks
barondla
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