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10-08-2009, 01:27 PM   #1
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Pentax 645 FA 400mm f/5.6 ED IF

Hello,
I wanted to find out if there is anyone on here that has (or had) this lens:
Pentax 645 FA 400mm f/5.6 ED IF
and what your impressions of it are.
Thank you.
Yuri

10-13-2009, 12:09 PM   #2
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I just received this lens from KEH. What a beautiful piece of equipment and I ordered one in EX condition and I have looked it over closely and can't find what distinguishes it from new - absolutely stellar condition. Now I need to load up my 645N with film and take some images with it.
10-18-2009, 04:56 AM   #3
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Hi Yuri,

Now that you have it, maybe you can tell us about it! I have been interested in this lens for a while now, and have recently ordered a Pentax 645 FA 300/5.6, new, from B&H and am awaiting it's arrival.

That is an interesting comment you make about the "E" rating from KEH. I recently managed a Pentax 645 FA 35/3.5 from them in "E" cpndition, and couldn't find anything at all wrong with it. I would have rated it "LN-", but what do I know. I have read that the "BGN" rating from them is also very pleasantly surprising, though I have yet to try one.
10-18-2009, 05:47 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
I just received this lens from KEH. What a beautiful piece of equipment and I ordered one in EX condition and I have looked it over closely and can't find what distinguishes it from new - absolutely stellar condition. .
Same here on the A*400mm I just bought from them. In fact, that's been my experience with every EX lens I've bought from KEH: immaculate.

10-18-2009, 08:46 AM   #5
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I heave heard a lot of great things about KEH and their grading of equipment. I just ordered the 200 F4 SMC A (58) WITH CAPS MEDIUM FORMAT SLR MANUAL FOCUS TELEPHOTO LENS that is in excellent condition from them yesterday. I can't wait for it to get here so I can burn a couple of rolls of film through it.

Jim
10-19-2009, 10:11 AM   #6
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I wish I could tell you more about it, but a sick toddler is taking up most of my time, so I will have to wait for the cold/cough to pass and then should have some time to photograph with it.

It is a very solidly built lens. A nice, low profile tripod collar. I will eventually get a Really Right Stuff plate for it. The lens hood is very long. I also got a set of the A series extension tubes as well as a 1.4X converter (both from Ebay and both advertised and looked like new). I will report back once I have them in hand.

The 300mm f/5.6 sounds quite nice! Especially a new one. I was thinking of this, but opted for a little longer reach. Let us know how that works out.

Wow, the FA 35mm! I have tried to buy one several times and have not been successful. I think I might opt for the A version, as I found one locally in great shape and a good price.

QuoteOriginally posted by ARCASIA Quote
Hi Yuri,

Now that you have it, maybe you can tell us about it! I have been interested in this lens for a while now, and have recently ordered a Pentax 645 FA 300/5.6, new, from B&H and am awaiting it's arrival.

That is an interesting comment you make about the "E" rating from KEH. I recently managed a Pentax 645 FA 35/3.5 from them in "E" cpndition, and couldn't find anything at all wrong with it. I would have rated it "LN-", but what do I know. I have read that the "BGN" rating from them is also very pleasantly surprising, though I have yet to try one.
10-19-2009, 10:13 AM   #7
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KEH and their grading system is quite reliable. In 15+ years of shopping there, I have returned one item and it was because I changed my mind, the description was accurate. Nothing but good things to say about them.
10-20-2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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I had an opportunity to put this on a tripod and point it out an open window for a couple of minutes today. I love this lens and its reach. I also received a Pentax 1.4X for the 645 and it works really nicely with this lens. I miss my Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L and 1.4x / 2.0x combinations, however, I suspect this will make me forget that lens...

Nice combination!

10-20-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
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I have the 645 FA 300/4 EDIF with the 1.4X and 2X. I use them on my K's as well Aside from no automation I am not missing anything optically.
10-20-2009, 03:15 PM   #10
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The FA 300mm f/4 ED IF looks like a great lens. I was actually looking for one of these when I spied the 400mm for an almost too good to be true price, so snapped it up.

What part of Toronto are you from? I grew up in Toronto and then Etobicoke (now GTA). I used to work at Sterling Photo (Bloor West in the 80s) as well as ALT camera for a brief period in the 80s too.
10-20-2009, 05:22 PM   #11
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Oh yeah, ALT Camera. Henry's now has their clearance centre there.

I was shooting at east of the Don and then move to Thornhill in a live work enviroment.
10-22-2009, 10:19 AM   #12
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Hi Yuri,

Having four kids of my own, I fully understand the time demands regarding "a sick toddler"! Anyways, you will enjoy the lens much more once the little one is back in good health.

In the past. I have mostly used adapted Pentax 67 or Carl Zeiss Jena (CZJ) lenses on my 645II. But countless kid's parties have taught me that no matter how beautiful the bokeh obtained in a candid portrait with, say, the CZJ 180 Sonnar, if the little bugger won't sit still long enough to manually focus, there is no shot, nevermind the bokeh. So I got the FA 150/2.8 and rediscovered the joys of auto focus. In addition, was very pleasantly surprised by the impressive optical quality of the lens, including very nice out of focus renditon. That prompted purchasing several mostly FA lenses, including the new 300/5.6.

I use the f/4 67 Takumars at 300mm and 400mm, and appreciate you observation regarding the "extra reach" provided by the 400. I intend to use the 300mm FA in social/party situations where I want to be set back some from the subjects - I hope that I have bought enough reach with the 300.

Regarding the 35 FA, I was very lucky to find it just posted on KEH, and bought it immediately, without hesitation or lengthy consideration. I have observed posts on KEH for quite some time now, and hard to find and/or currently fashionable items do show up with some frequency; however, they are purchased almost immediately - one cannot wait to buy, or it is lost. I have read many favourable remarks regarding the A version, and had it not been for my chance encounter with the FA on KEH, I would have purchased one, that is, if one could have been found in reasonable condition.

Regards, Alan



QuoteQuote:
Originally posted by Yurihuta

I wish I could tell you more about it, but a sick toddler is taking up most of my time, so I will have to wait for the cold/cough to pass and then should have some time to photograph with it.

It is a very solidly built lens. A nice, low profile tripod collar. I will eventually get a Really Right Stuff plate for it. The lens hood is very long. I also got a set of the A series extension tubes as well as a 1.4X converter (both from Ebay and both advertised and looked like new). I will report back once I have them in hand.

The 300mm f/5.6 sounds quite nice! Especially a new one. I was thinking of this, but opted for a little longer reach. Let us know how that works out.

Wow, the FA 35mm! I have tried to buy one several times and have not been successful. I think I might opt for the A version, as I found one locally in great shape and a good price.

Last edited by ARCASIA; 10-22-2009 at 10:27 AM.
10-24-2009, 12:43 PM   #13
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Hi Alan,

Four kids - wow. I am being taxed to my limit with just one!

I too have the FA 150mm - what a wonderful lens it is. I also moved to the 645N and some FA lenses to be able to photograph our daughter, nieces and nephews. The FA 300mm f/5.6 looks to be a very nice, compact telephoto - I rarely saw it offered and by the time I did see one, it was spoken for. I think this sounds like a great lens to allow one to be discrete and captured unscripted 'moment'. How do you like it?

I have no experience with the telephotos for the 67 series. I have only used the ultrawide 35mm for the 67.

As to the 35mm f/3.5, you must have been the person who purchased the lens as I took a few minutes to think about it. I took too long... Good for you. I did manage to buy an A 645 35mm f/3.5 a couple of days ago. It is a lovely lens. If only it would stop raining today I could go out and give these lenses a little work out.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Yuri

QuoteOriginally posted by ARCASIA Quote
Hi Yuri,

Having four kids of my own, I fully understand the time demands regarding "a sick toddler"! Anyways, you will enjoy the lens much more once the little one is back in good health.

In the past. I have mostly used adapted Pentax 67 or Carl Zeiss Jena (CZJ) lenses on my 645II. But countless kid's parties have taught me that no matter how beautiful the bokeh obtained in a candid portrait with, say, the CZJ 180 Sonnar, if the little bugger won't sit still long enough to manually focus, there is no shot, nevermind the bokeh. So I got the FA 150/2.8 and rediscovered the joys of auto focus. In addition, was very pleasantly surprised by the impressive optical quality of the lens, including very nice out of focus renditon. That prompted purchasing several mostly FA lenses, including the new 300/5.6.

I use the f/4 67 Takumars at 300mm and 400mm, and appreciate you observation regarding the "extra reach" provided by the 400. I intend to use the 300mm FA in social/party situations where I want to be set back some from the subjects - I hope that I have bought enough reach with the 300.

Regarding the 35 FA, I was very lucky to find it just posted on KEH, and bought it immediately, without hesitation or lengthy consideration. I have observed posts on KEH for quite some time now, and hard to find and/or currently fashionable items do show up with some frequency; however, they are purchased almost immediately - one cannot wait to buy, or it is lost. I have read many favourable remarks regarding the A version, and had it not been for my chance encounter with the FA on KEH, I would have purchased one, that is, if one could have been found in reasonable condition.

Regards, Alan
11-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #14
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Hi Alan,

Can you tell us a bit more of your impressions of the FA 300mm f/5.6 ED IF? They still seem to have at least one more new at BH Photo. So tempting, it is so light for the reach...

Thanks, Yuri

QuoteOriginally posted by ARCASIA Quote
Hi Yuri,

Now that you have it, maybe you can tell us about it! I have been interested in this lens for a while now, and have recently ordered a Pentax 645 FA 300/5.6, new, from B&H and am awaiting it's arrival.

That is an interesting comment you make about the "E" rating from KEH. I recently managed a Pentax 645 FA 35/3.5 from them in "E" cpndition, and couldn't find anything at all wrong with it. I would have rated it "LN-", but what do I know. I have read that the "BGN" rating from them is also very pleasantly surprising, though I have yet to try one.
11-14-2009, 10:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
The FA 300mm f/5.6 looks to be a very nice, compact telephoto - I rarely saw it offered and by the time I did see one, it was spoken for. I think this sounds like a great lens to allow one to be discrete and captured unscripted 'moment'. How do you like it?
Yuri
Why not buy the FA645 150-300/5.6 instead of the FA645 300/5.6? The zoom is truly excellent and some using both says it is just as good as the prime....
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