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06-16-2008, 05:38 AM   #1
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P-FA/FA lens question?

Hi folks,

Firstly, apologies if this is a much revisited topic, I did try the search engine and got nothing.

I am interested in getting a longer lens for my K10D, I have the kit DA 18-55mm and a couple of old manual 70-200 zooms, but I think my eye needs adjusting, as I rarely get a properly focussed shot with the manual lens. So I am looking for an AF long lens and have found a couple of possibles and I'm trying to work out the difference between them as they are essentially the same price but appear to have a different type code.
They are both Pentax make, but they are listed as the following:

Pentax smc P-FA J AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 AL (used)
Pentax FA J 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 AL (new)

Can anyone explain to a rookie which one would be a better bet?

Thanks!

06-16-2008, 05:45 AM   #2
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They are the same lens. One is used the other 'new' (must be old stock).
Check the lens database on this site for more info. Appears quite good.
Pentax Lens Review Database - 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 AL
06-16-2008, 06:34 AM   #3
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Brilliant! thanks so much, that's just the sort of info I was hoping for!
I take it (for future reference) that the 'P-FA' is just an alternative way of denoting that it's a 'Pentax FA' lens? And does the 'F' mean it's intended for Film not Digital - or am I reaching somewhat there?
06-16-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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Argh, be careful here. DF can mean dual focus as in quick shift between manual and auto focus by pulling or twisting the barrel. Sigma use DC as a cropped sensor lens designator.
Wikipedia has a full Pentax lens glossary.

06-16-2008, 07:58 AM   #5
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Heh heh, I thought that might be a bit too straightforward!

Thanks for the info, I'll check out the wiki.

incidentally, from your comment I assume these lenses are no longer produced, how long ago did they stop making them? (ie how old is this 'new' lens likely to be?)

V.
06-16-2008, 11:08 AM   #6
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While you're at it, another lens that's definitely worth checking out is the Tamron 70-300. If you go to the lens section of this forum and do some searching, you'll find posts of people raving about this lens. Pricewise, it's in the same ballpark as the FAJ75-300.

AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro; Tamron USA, Inc.
Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1: 2 Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

HTH,
Heather
06-16-2008, 01:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice Heather, I'll check out the Tamron - have you used both the Pentax and the Tamron? They both have pretty good user reviews so I'm curious about precisely where the principle differences are.

Thanks!
06-16-2008, 02:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
While you're at it, another lens that's definitely worth checking out is the Tamron 70-300. If you go to the lens section of this forum and do some searching, you'll find posts of people raving about this lens. Pricewise, it's in the same ballpark as the FAJ75-300.

AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro; Tamron USA, Inc.
Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1: 2 Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

HTH,
Heather

Yep...i second that.
I have the Tamron 70-300 with the K10 and this lens is wonderfull. Give me clear and crisp pictures with true colours ( OK a bit on the red side but nothing i cant correct )
I dont regret buying that lens and the price tag was really low at 299.99.
So for that quality...its a real bargain.
I have yet to try it with the K20 but it has all the DA* lens so.....

06-17-2008, 02:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by babelphotos Quote
I have yet to try it with the K20 but it has all the DA* lens so.....
Well if you wanted to try out the Tamron on the K20, I'll take those nasty old DA* lenses and get them out of the way for you if you like...

Seriously, thanks for the advice, it seems like the Pentax and Tamron are pretty much identical apart from the Pentax having quick-shift and the Tamron having macro. I can get the Tamron for about 95 at the moment, so I might go for that.

Thanks!
06-18-2008, 05:33 PM   #10
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Ewww plastic Tamrons...

The only 3 (minor) strikes against the FA 80-320 are that the front turns with focus, soft above 260mm (I bet the Tamron isn't any different), and the AF is loud but pretty accurate.

You should be able to find one for about $150
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