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View Poll Results: Which lens should win this round?
DA* 300mm F4 7064.81%
A* 200mm F4 Macro 3835.19%
Voters: 108. You may not vote on this poll

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10-19-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Lens Tournament: DA* 300mm F4 vs A* 200mm F4 Macro

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the knockout round of the Greatest Pentax Lens Tournament! The rules are simple: Two lenses enter. You must choose one. The winner moves to Knockout Round Two. The loser is gone. Check out the bracket here, which is based on the user nomination results.

In this telephoto knockout match, the SMC Pentax-DA* 300mm F4 faces the SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F4 Macro.

Make your choice by voting in the poll above. You will need to log in or register if you don't yet have a forum account.
Feel free to argue, persuade, and generally carry on after that. Voting will be open for exactly 24 hours.


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10-19-2014, 07:37 PM   #2
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DA*300 F4 is a good lens. But A* 200 F4 is a legendary lens and good lens also. That's the difference I think.
10-19-2014, 09:27 PM   #3
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These are both nice lenses. I am going to abstain from voting because I forgot to nominate the F* 300/4.5 and it would be my pick over the DA300.
10-19-2014, 09:32 PM - 1 Like   #4
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A*200 f4 Macro is the best (although I do also love the 300mm rival)

This Full Frame lens is an uncommon to rare beast and as such is unlikely to have wide appreciation (hence unlikely to garner voting in this match up). However, I am one of the fortunate ones as, with the assistance of a fellow PF member, I have secured a copy and have subsequently had the immense pleasure of its use.

For a telephoto this lens is petite, quiet and discrete. It is always happy to be snapped on, especially on my yellow K01.

Many think of this lens as a macro, as I did, but now I have very different views. It generates wonderful close up shots, as expected, but it also produces exquisite near and far distant images with equal ease making this lens a utility tool.

From a handling perspective it is incredibly easy to focus using fingertip control, made considerably easier by the compact tripod mount when comfortably centred in the palm of my hand. Beautifully weighted even when married to an an unlikely suitor - the K01, this lens is a dream to use. The manual focusing is not a problem. When used as a macro you have extraordinary control over a wafer thin DoF and, when stopped down, this lens doesn't experience any noticeable diffraction related IQ loss. When deployed as a telephoto the finger tip control is equally as responsive. An all rounder lens for sure.


The lens has a versatile working distance of a little less than 1 meter for 1:1 macro performance leaving bugs and dragon flies unaware of their capture. Snap on a set of macro tubes with electrical contacts and suddenly you have extreme macro with working distance. Nothing can match that capabilty save for the FA* 200mm macro ..... (oh dear which of these is better?). Amid a tangle of leaves and stems this lens can isolate and snipe a spider hidden deep within a bush or, from a safe distance, capture the profile of a venomous snake.

Relative to its telephoto capabilities, this lens possess a stealthy disposition stealing distant portraits without being noticed; this cornerstone to its versatility.

Colours are stunningly precise. The contrast and sharpness cannot be faulted even wide open. At f22 this lens, with on board flash is stunning.

Long or short, this lens is irreplaceable.

In parting, my biggest surprise with this lens is in its versatility. It is a genuine all rounder prime lens that seems to posses the abilities of many focal lengths. A masterful invention indeed.

(Note: In owning the F*300mm f4.5, not the DA* 300mm, I do have some appreciation for the rival lens. So, my preference for the A*200mm in this match up is not entirely a biased one).





10-19-2014, 10:34 PM   #5
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The 200mm is a full frame lens and might be a better investment...if Pentax ever release a full frame camera. However, I love the 300mm.

Last edited by ebooks4pentax; 10-19-2014 at 10:35 PM. Reason: typo
10-20-2014, 12:23 AM   #6
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The DA*300 is excellent, but still not as good in IQ as the F* and FA*300/4.5.

The A*200/4 macro is unrivaled except for the AF FA*200/4 macro. Truly in a class of its (their) own - just look at the results it produces!
10-20-2014, 03:04 AM   #7
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This is an apple vs oranges comparison.

The DA*300 isn't a macro lens, the FA*200 macro is, so macro shooters will likely favour the FA*200 macro.

The FA*200 is 100 mm shorter than the DA*300, so birders and wildlife shooters will probably favour the DA*300.

The FA*200 macro is, I believe, as rare as hen's teeth, so few people will have experience of it vs. the DA*300, so many more DA*300 owners to vote for their lens.

It's like supporters of different political parties being asked to vote on which of your Presidents were 'best'.
10-20-2014, 03:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
This is an apple vs oranges comparison.

The DA*300 isn't a macro lens, the FA*200 macro is, so macro shooters will likely favour the FA*200 macro.

The FA*200 is 100 mm shorter than the DA*300, so birders and wildlife shooters will probably favour the DA*300.

The FA*200 macro is, I believe, as rare as hen's teeth, so few people will have experience of it vs. the DA*300, so many more DA*300 owners to vote for their lens.

It's like supporters of different political parties being asked to vote on which of your Presidents were 'best'.
I agree, in part.

I have both the A* 200mm f4 and the Pentax F*300mm (the latter lens is arguably better than the DA*, but that is subjective). Comparing the two I find the A* better - bit both are exceptional lenses (hence so is the DA*300 by proxy).

Each lens has its purpose and strengths. If you have tried the A* 200mm then you will appreciate the difference, but, as you say, few have and are likely to. So, voting will probably sway with the more common lens.

I'm cool with that - at the end of the day Pentaxians are the winners

10-20-2014, 06:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ebooks4pentax Quote
The 200mm is a full frame lens and might be a better investment...if Pentax ever release a full frame camera. However, I love the 300mm.
The DA* 300 is FF compatible, too. I have voted for it.
10-20-2014, 07:25 AM   #10
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Isn't the winning lens supposed to be gifted to a lucky member? If that's still the case then the A* 200mm macro is the more appreciated gift by a considerable measure
10-20-2014, 08:14 AM   #11
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I haven't used either lens, so I won't vote, but it feels like it is a question of auto focus versus manual focus. The A * is probably the better lens optically, but if you happen to need/desire auto focus, then it won't fit that bill.
10-20-2014, 01:23 PM   #12
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I have heard that the A* 200mm is superb, but as I have not used one, let alone seen one, I cannot comment on how good it is. However as I DO have the DA*300, and it is one mighty lens, I have voted for it.
10-20-2014, 01:27 PM   #13
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Send me both lenses and I'll offer an opinion. And I probably won't pay any attention to any opinions from people who haven't tried both lenses.
10-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Send me both lenses and I'll offer an opinion. And I probably won't pay any attention to any opinions from people who haven't tried both lenses.
Excellent idea - all loyal Pentaxians should be be-quested a copy of the A*200mm - it should be a birth right
10-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #15
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looks like the silent majority have had the say. Oh well, back to taking pictures with my A*200mm ........ (but I will have a second bite of the cherry when it comes to voting for its FA*200mm f4 sibling)
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