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10-05-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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n00b hedging question

Hello all,

New Pentaxian and somewhat old. I had a K1000 back in the day. I've only just dipped a toe in and bought a K-50. Love it so far but am looking for a longer lens than the one that came with the kit (18-135 which has been better than expected as an optional kit lens). I can't say everything I'll be looking to do with the longer lens, but at least one of those things will be photographing air shows. I'm looking at the DA* 300 f4 with likely the 1.4 tc.

The hedge part of this is because I've read such great things also about the FA* 300 f4.5. Costs would be not significantly different so as a consideration, cost is out. I'm wondering what you all think of buying the FA rather than the DA so that I'll have full coverage if/when going to ff in 4th Q 2015 , 1Q 2016, or who knows when.

I know there is no definite right or wrong answer and that I haven't given that much info. This is a generally asked question to see what things come up that I might not have thought of that would be worth considering.

Thanks everyone.

10-05-2015, 11:45 AM   #2
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There are a couple of differences in the two. The DA has weather resistance and quick shift that the FA does not. In addition the DA has been designed with digital in mind which helps eliminate some of the issues that film lenses have on digital. Both have similar optical quality, but the DA is SDM which is silent, the FA is screw drive.

The DA should also be FF compatible based on reports but of course that is not 100% certain until we actually get the camera.

You might also consider the F*300 which is also quite nice and has some features the FA does not.

In short, pick the features you like and get that model, optical quality will be similar and it is quite likely all will perform fine on any FF camera.
10-05-2015, 04:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply jatrax. I haven't heard or seen reports that the DA will be FF compatible and have been under the impression that it's APS-C only.

Maybe the prudent thing to do is just wait and see and also to try to improve in the meantime. My (limited) skill level should probably demand more attention that my bag contents. I am however, having some trouble trying to suppress the pull I'm feeling to buy gear. Maybe it's just a thing for those of us who are newbies, though I doubt I'll outgrow it.
10-05-2015, 04:21 PM   #4
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There is a thread here somewhere with test shots of DA lenses on film. Cannot find it quickly but if interested a search should find it.

10-06-2015, 12:58 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ill repUTE Quote
I can't say everything I'll be looking to do with the longer lens
Welcome to the forum, well that phrase got my attention.

If you could live with manual focus I can throughly recommend the SMC Pentax-A* 300mm F4.0 as a contender to your short list.
10-06-2015, 06:28 AM   #6
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You can't practise 300mm shots without a 300mm lens, and there is always something else to wait for. Why not check out prices, see if there's any deals on the older ones any pick one up if something in good condition is available. Otherwise, there's nothing like a shiny new lens to bring on the enthusiasm and inspire, especially something so specialised as the DA*300 .....


Verify the FOV coverage reports, but even if it doesn't go quite to 100 percent FF , then the crop-in needed might be very small anyway ..... Most 300mm shots need cropping routinely.
10-06-2015, 11:01 AM   #7
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Wow Kerrowdown. LOL. So my wife has some MacLeod's in her family tree and of all of her European ancestry, she's partial to her Scottish roots. She'll get a kick out of the fact that a highlander has commented on what deviant things I might be doing with my photography gear. I need to proof read better!

I'm finding mcgregni's first advice perfectly sound and good justification to find something useful at that length to help me develop.

Though new to this account, I've been lurking for a while. This is a great community of which I hope to be a good citizen. Thanks to all for the advice.
10-07-2015, 07:36 AM   #8
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as stated here, the DA*300 is FF compatible :
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/31629-da-lenses-f...ts-thread.html

10-07-2015, 11:21 AM   #9
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Thank you redcat. I searched for this kind of info on jatrax's suggestion and found some but not that particular thread. This probably clinches it for me. I'm going to get the DA.

The best I can manage in French is just hello and thank you, but love the international nature of this forum so I should have said merci beaucoup.

Last edited by ill repUTE; 10-07-2015 at 11:45 AM. Reason: a little more personal.
10-08-2015, 02:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ill repUTE Quote
The best I can manage in French is just hello and thank you, but love the international nature of this forum so I should have said merci beaucoup.
you are welcome ^^ "je t'en prie" in French
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