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04-11-2019, 08:21 PM   #1
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Longer Telephoto Lens for the K-1

I've recently been in a few situations where I find the 70-200 zoom I have to be a bit lacking, and began looking into longer telephotos. I use a K1 mk II, and I've found that the F* 300 f4.5, FA*300 f4.5, DA* 300 F4, and DFA 150-450 f4.5-5.6 to be what I'd like to use, but I'd like some opinions/advice as I doubt I'll be buying more than one long lens at this range (just a hobbyist). The F*, FA* and DA* are quite similar in price range, while the DFA is more than double but with very good reviews and a flexible zoom range I'm wondering if it's worth saving for a bit for it. I've found sigma to also have zooms in those ranges but they have few reviews, so I'm not sure about their quality, but I'm also open to third party alternatives, so feel free to suggest any. I also shoot film, which makes the F/FA lenses a bit more appealing, but it's not a dealbreaker if the lens aren't compatible since I prefer to be light when using my film camera anyway.

That being said, I'm also not entirely sure on how usable a lens like that is for me, especially when I find myself already hesitating to lug my FA* 70-210 out sometimes due to weight (I primarily use public transport/walking when out taking photos). With the weather getting nicer I'd love to try my hands at wildlife photography. I also mostly do handheld shooting, which is kind of important as most of these aren't very light at all.

Any advice on which lens is most suitable is appreciated (or why not to buy any).

Also some specific questions I have:
For people who own longer telephoto lenses (300mm+ ) what situations/subjects do you find yourself using these lenses in? How often do you use them?
Are FA/F lenses that different to the more modern lenses? How much of a difference do the coatings/newer AF make (keep in mind I'm not a professional)?
What's the best way to carry lenses of this size/weight around?

04-11-2019, 09:24 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The DA 55-300 PLM is very good. Yeah, it’s a crop lens, but that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It crops to 450mm on the long end. It’s relatively small and the focus is fast. Very fast. F/6.3 on the long end is a definite drawback in non-daylight conditions. Other than that it’s a terrific lens.
04-11-2019, 10:43 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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just sharing quick thoughts.

If "weight" is an important factor (let's not even get into 'size'), then you can definitely cross out the DFA 150-450.

Although "weight" is subjective, since a 1.5kg lens might be considered 'relatively light' to a person and may also be considered "relatively heavy" to another person".

But becuz you indicated that the FA* 70-210 being "already heavy", Thats why i can say you can already cross out the DFA 150-450.
(Do you mean the FA* 80-200? Becuz not sure if there is FA* 70-210).

Theres no "best way".
What suits one person, may not suit another.
But a good backpack should help go some way to lugging around lenses (something like a Lowepro Flipside 400 perhaps?).

As for prime or zoom, only you can best answer which might better suit what you have in mind.

The thing is, too many paxes always try looking for a perfect product/item.
There's none.
People got to remember, "there is no perfect solution, only a perfect compromise".

Without really knowing some other factors that you need to consider, i could picture the Sigma 100-300 f4.0 to be the "perfect compromise" that you might want to consider.

But honestly, if "weight" is something you think you can overcome and just live with it, and finances are flexible (ie, you can and don't mind to go upwards to USD1500-1800), the DFA 150-450 should be as perfect as you can hope for.
04-11-2019, 10:52 PM - 5 Likes   #4
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The DFA 150-450 is worth every dollar and every gram.

04-11-2019, 10:59 PM   #5
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Have you checked the reviews on this website, for the lenses you’ve mentioned (and others)? They’re subjective, of course, but the range of views should give you a fair idea of the relative capabilities of those lenses.

I have thought about the D FA150-450, mainly because of the samples on here, and the user comments, and the fact that my longest non-mirror lens is an elderly (but still good) A450/5.6. I’ve hesitated only because the F*300/4.5 that I have is so nice to use (everything you’d expect from a *-lens, and the lightest of the AF Pentax 300s).
04-12-2019, 02:14 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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I have the DA*300 and the DFA150-450.
Both are absolutely exceptional, but the versatility of the zoom means I rarely use the prime now. As Paul said, it's worth every cent and every gram.
If weight and size are really an issue I pack the DA55-300 and a crop camera.
04-12-2019, 02:43 AM   #7
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i use the DA* 300 with my K-1 for landscapes when I need reach for somewhat distant mountains. It frequently allows me to frame the scene just as I want it. It is an excellent lens although I do not have experience with the other 300s mentioned to make comparisons.
04-12-2019, 03:29 AM   #8
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I hope this helps

I have no experience with the K 1 or K 1 II

[ frankly I'm afraid to rent one because I then might be tempted to buy one ]

I use the K 3 and K 3 II with:

SMC DA * 300mm F4 ED (IF ) SDM 77 F

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 500mm f/8 Mirror (55BB) 82 F

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE 58 F

HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW 77 F

HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5 - 5.6 ED DC AW 86 F

HD Pentax -DA AF rear converter 1.4 AW

each has a place and purpose

with respect to the DFA 150-450, I use it hand held primarily but there are times it is a little wobbly [ a whole lot wobbly if the rear converter is used ]

I have used it with a tripod or monopod but mainly I attempt to use some of the techniques mentioned in this article:

Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - In-Depth Articles

______________

as far as carrying the weight, I have learned to carry it in different positions, slung on my hip with a hand grip being used, held cross body, held on a shoulder, to help compensate for the weight by varying how it is affecting my body


Last edited by aslyfox; 04-12-2019 at 03:44 AM.
04-12-2019, 03:38 AM   #9
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I have both the DA300 and the DFA 150-450. When I trawel I ofen only take the 300mm with me and sometimes use the 1.4 tc on it.
It is not so heavy but does not focus so fast as the 150-450mm.
Both are very sharp.
04-12-2019, 03:50 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fobbo Quote
. . .

That being said, I'm also not entirely sure on how usable a lens like that is for me, especially when I find myself already hesitating to lug my FA* 70-210 out sometimes due to weight (I primarily use public transport/walking when out taking photos). With the weather getting nicer I'd love to try my hands at wildlife photography. I also mostly do handheld shooting, which is kind of important as most of these aren't very light at all.

Any advice on which lens is most suitable is appreciated (or why not to buy any). . . .
considering the OP lives in the United States, renting equipment and doing trials is an option

there would be some costs, of course


Information on Businesses that offer cameras and lenses for rent - PentaxForums.com
04-12-2019, 05:27 AM   #11
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Everyone who owns & uses the 150~450mm loves it, but it is expensive, bulky and very heavy. I sold mine bacause it was too heavy. Fine as a location camera, but just too much for me if I'm hiking and searching for photo-ops.
Based on my controlled tests the DA300 f4 + 1.4X TC has IQ essentially indistinguishable from the 150~450mm @ 450mm, and only insignificantly less focal length (420mm vs 450mm). The DA300 is much lighter (1070g vs 2000g), easier to transport, easier to hand-hold, and the 1.4X TC is a trivial addition to a kit.
Think about how you will use the big tele. If you're going to set up at one location - a bird feeder, a pond - with a tripod, the 150~450mm may be the better choice. If you're going to carry the lens while searching about for photo-ops and do a lot of hand-holding, the 300 f4 + 1.4x TC is probably a more practical choice.
04-12-2019, 05:41 AM   #12
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I got a 150-450 recently and I love it. But WPresto's right about the weight and stuff - the thing has a foot on it that you mount on a tripod, the camera sort of dangles off the back of the lens, rather than a lens dangling off the front of the camera. You'd need the tripod anyway, though, unless your motor control is such that you can make all the muscles in your arms, hands, and fingers stop twitching. Like looking through high-powered binoculars, any movement makes the scene jump wildly. Being a fat old geezer, myself, it's not a hiking sort of set-up for me. It's a drive to the scenic overlook and set up out of the trunk in the parking lot kind of thing. Besides which, you need a heavier tripod (and I recommend a gimbal mount) which adds to the weight and cumbersomeness (?) as well. Seems to me that's pretty much true for any lens >200mm.
04-12-2019, 05:44 AM - 1 Like   #13
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If you need a reasonably priced alternative to the DFA150-450 there is always the Sigma 150-500 which can be found on the used market for $750ish in excellent condition. It's a DG lens so it was built from the outset as a FF lens by Sigma.
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
04-12-2019, 05:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
... the 300 f4 + 1.4x TC is probably a more practical choice.
If only it would cover the K-1 sensor (OP). Lack of a fully functional FF TC is really a big gap, including 3rd options. None of the 3rd parties' have focal length/aperture conversion.
04-12-2019, 06:17 AM   #15
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The DFA 150-450 is great, but it is heavy, and I find it is happiest on a tripod with a gimbal head, so not exactly an easy hiking combo if that's your concern. When I want light, I grab my K3II and PLM 55-300. That's a great combo for reach and portabiltiy, and honestly, when I'm really after reach, the DFA 150-450 lands on my K3II, not my K-1 II.
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