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06-04-2018, 02:03 PM   #1
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300mm F4 A or 300mm F4 FA....??

Have been looking at getting a 300mm F4 for my 645Z, and see several reviews/reports that the A (M*) has excellent performance (despite its age), and that the (significant) premium for the FA is not really justified.....thoughts and opinions welcome. Thks.

06-04-2018, 07:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BostonUKshooter Quote
Have been looking at getting a 300mm F4 for my 645Z, and see several reviews/reports that the A (M*) has excellent performance (despite its age), and that the (significant) premium for the FA is not really justified.....thoughts and opinions welcome. Thks.
I think this really boils down to how much importance you place on autofocus; it's critical to me as I am legally blind and so I opted for the FA* f/4. I can confirm that it is an excellent lens and not too expensive; I paid about $400 for it (used).
06-05-2018, 12:34 AM   #3
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My musings from when I was looking at the same choices......
I passed over the A* in favour of the 67M*.....I thought that the A* at 1350g and 21cm in length was pushing it somewhat for a lens without a tripod ring.

I've since picked up the FA but I think that it would take a lot of scrutiny and careful testing to show that it's superior to the 67M* (which is still on the shelf)

Bob
06-05-2018, 01:42 AM   #4
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I've used the A*300/4.0 and FA 300/5.6 on 645 film and the A* really does a great job for an older lens - the FA*300/4.0 should be higher quality (how much??) and have the advantage of AF of course, but for the difference in price I'd be very tempted to get an A* first, give it a try and if it isn't good enough for you then trade it against an FA* (you're unlikely to lose much money on it!).

Here in the UK the FA* version is quite pricey (2k is the cheapest Used one I can see) whereas the A* often pop up for a fair price

06-05-2018, 05:43 AM   #5
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Thanks guys....it seems that weight, tripod foot availability, and autofocus are the main 'selling points', as I do not detect a distinct image quality advantage for the FA....although if the A M* has the same CA issues as the 67 300mm M* I had originally, then high contrast edges will need the same LR treatment.....I'm also experimenting with a 2x converter on the 150mm F2.8 FA I have, to see if that's an option, as the autofocus on that is pretty 'snappy.'
06-05-2018, 08:41 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BostonUKshooter Quote
Thanks guys....it seems that weight, tripod foot availability, and autofocus are the main 'selling points', as I do not detect a distinct image quality advantage for the FA....although if the A M* has the same CA issues as the 67 300mm M* I had originally, then high contrast edges will need the same LR treatment.....I'm also experimenting with a 2x converter on the 150mm F2.8 FA I have, to see if that's an option, as the autofocus on that is pretty 'snappy.'
The converter makes the FA an A lens remember...you don't get AF once you put a teleconverter on. I have a 2 x and it makes everything rather soft.
06-05-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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I have images for testing my A* 300, and I'll do that one next in my series. In short: The A* is an excellent lens. If you mount the camera on a tripod without using a foot, you won't get vibration. The foot that I made by shimming up a Canon tripod ring was not good enough. The shim material just isn't stiff enough, and I consistently got camera shake with it. Since then, I have mounted a surprisingly strong telescope adapter ring to use as a foot, but have not yet tested the result. I think it will work, but I want to improve the attachment of the Arca plate to it. It clamps on the lens tightly without the need for shims.

The main advantage of the foot is for mounting on gimbal heads in a balanced position. But, in the absence of that, the camera will hold the lens steady if the camera is mounted on the tripod.

My first impression of the A* is that it is very good.

You can see at least a few test images from that lens if you look at my 1.4x teleconverter review in my Grand Lens Test series, but I don't show the wide-open images.

Rick "trying to get these done this week" Denney
06-05-2018, 10:52 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
The converter makes the FA an A lens remember...you don't get AF once you put a teleconverter on. I have a 2 x and it makes everything rather soft.
Thks - yes, just discovered that - missed that in the spec details! - the K-mount converters maintain AF, so I assumed it would be the same for the 645 mount.....looks like I will still need the 300mm F4 FA for anything that moves....

My experience thus far is that it's the longer shots that show the most softness, with closer work showing good detail....perhaps not surprisingly the 90mm DFA macro and 55mm DFA results are very good indeed...Rgds

---------- Post added 06-06-18 at 06:54 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
I have images for testing my A* 300, and I'll do that one next in my series. In short: The A* is an excellent lens. If you mount the camera on a tripod without using a foot, you won't get vibration. The foot that I made by shimming up a Canon tripod ring was not good enough. The shim material just isn't stiff enough, and I consistently got camera shake with it. Since then, I have mounted a surprisingly strong telescope adapter ring to use as a foot, but have not yet tested the result. I think it will work, but I want to improve the attachment of the Arca plate to it. It clamps on the lens tightly without the need for shims.

The main advantage of the foot is for mounting on gimbal heads in a balanced position. But, in the absence of that, the camera will hold the lens steady if the camera is mounted on the tripod.

My first impression of the A* is that it is very good.

You can see at least a few test images from that lens if you look at my 1.4x teleconverter review in my Grand Lens Test series, but I don't show the wide-open images.

Rick "trying to get these done this week" Denney
Thks Rick, will take a look....Rgds

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