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03-13-2014, 06:33 PM   #1
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Pentax 80-320

Looking at this lens for a K5.
Any experience with this?

03-13-2014, 07:14 PM   #2
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It all depends on how much you want to spend, what you want to shoot and your level of expectation. I tried this lens, IMO a poor to average performer.

PF reviews here: SMC Pentax-FA 80-320mm F4.5-5.6 Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
03-13-2014, 08:27 PM   #3
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I shot all January with that lens. My images are here Single in January 2014 - a set on Flickr. I posted my thoughts on it as follows:

It's been a long month with a long lens. The FA 80-320 is, well, a consumer lens and not a stellar performer. I've already remarked that I find its soft at the long end and I'm also finding that I have to bump up the f-stop to f8 or more to get sharp images. Shooting all month with it in all kinds of situations mostly on my K20d, makes me hate the 80mm short end for not being wide enough. I've also found that the minimum focal distance it a bit too much for indoors (wish it had a macro sorta focus). Given that my copy came to me at a second hand shop for $30, and at that price I really can't complain on it's IQ or performance though. I didn't do a lot of comparisons with other lenses although, on one of my moon shot nights, when I was unhappy with the FA 80-320, I got out the DA 55-300 and was quickly reminded why 1) it costs more, and 2) why I like it so much.

If anyone really wants more on a review of this, check out the reviews posted in our data base. I might quibble with a few points but really, it's rated about right.
03-13-2014, 09:18 PM   #4
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I got mine for about $30 shipped as well and consider it well worth that. As was said its one of the many cheapie FA zooms (there are a few good ones). It does its job if you know how to work around it and you can't really touch 320mm for that price otherwise. It is about as good as you are going to get however in its lens class.
In all honesty all the 70 or 80 to 300ish variable aperture lenses of any brand I have tried are basically garbage (haven't tried any DA lenses) but you can get good results out of many of them if you know their limits. I have a Tamron 70-300 that purple fringes the piss out of everything which is much more annoying to me to deal with.
If you can get one sub $100 (preferably sub $50) buy it. Same for all the rest of the cheap ## - 300mm stuff.
Ideally you should just save up for something better.

03-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #5
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The image quality is so-so, and the AF speed is slow. I would recommend the DA/DAL 55-300mm over it.

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03-13-2014, 11:29 PM   #6
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I tried this lens with K10d, K-x, K-01 and Z-1p. The best output is from K-01 but hard to handheld this combo (focus peaking), AF is slow/hunting at long end. Took it with K10d to bird park for handheld birding, image quality good until maybe 250mm(?). Birding in the wild with K-x, need to use long end a lot, and the result is not good. I only keep it for my film bodies, image is good (and if not I can claim it is 'art' or blame expired film / lab)

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