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12-14-2009, 04:36 PM   #1
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Noobie looking at FA 100-300/4.7-5.8

I recently bought a used K20D after reading tons of info, and am very happy I chose it over other used cameras like the XSi and D3000 based on ergos and apparent build quality. It came with the DA II 18-55 kit lens, which is fine for many purposes. I am looking for an A or FA 50mm 1.4 or 1.7 for indoor work, and a longer lens for nature photos. On the latter, I just ran across an FA 100-300/4.7-5.8 lens in excellent shape for $65. I know it would not be built like the DA* 50-135/2.8, or have that kind of quality feel, but the ratings for it on this site seem very good. The problem is there are never any real absolute ratings; most are "great for the price" or something equivalent. I understand that, but when I think of a $65 lens, I don't expect much at all.

So, my question for the gurus is, given decent (bright enough) conditions, is the FA 100-300 worthy of taking great outdoor pictures? My hope is that after using it for a while, I will figure out what focal length or range I really need, and then get a better, faster zoom lens or prime(s).

Thanks,

Kevin

12-14-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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I have the FA 100-300 f4.7-5.8, and really enjoy it. At the long end, it is a better and brighter performer than the 18-250mm that is my outdoor walk-around lens. For me, it is well worth the low cost. I'd post you a photo or two, but I'm at work :-(

Two notes: Be prepared for the cheap plastic feel of it, and get a lens hood to improve contrast.
12-14-2009, 05:30 PM   #3
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That'd be a good approach you have.
I might suggest that the DA 55-300 will give significantly better results, particularly in the larger apertures, but then again it does cost more than the 100-300 a few times over.
12-14-2009, 07:34 PM   #4
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Only thing I'd wonder is how much a used Tamron 70-300 would set you back, as I suspect it would be at least comparable, and would provide the 70-100 range that you might otherwise really miss (very useful for portraits!).

12-14-2009, 08:16 PM   #5
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I picked up an F100-300, slightly faster if 0.2 stop actually counts. It doesn't feel cheap but it is over 50% heavier than the silver one. I can't imagine traveling anywhere with it. It has no obvious IQ flaws, though, and I have some decent images from it. Eventually I plan to test it against a 28-300 and an old Vivitar prime.

The silver lens used to be $99 new, so your price seems OK. You ought to be able to sell it for about the same, so I think you should do fine.
12-16-2009, 02:08 PM   #6
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I say, for $65, what do you have to lose? Buy the lens, use it a good long while and decide if you want to hang on to it until a later date and then most likely sell it around here.

Just to further the discussion. I have an F 100-300, the DA 50-200 and a Tamron 100-300. They are all very different and useful in their own ways, really. Besides, it is fun sometimes to carry around a 50 pound camera bag because you want to be prepared for anything.

Maybe use the lens to start a new "trade lenses for a month" thread where you offer to trade use of the lens with someone for a similar lens.

Last edited by Nowhere Matt; 12-16-2009 at 02:18 PM.
12-16-2009, 03:06 PM   #7
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That's good advice. I'll buy it and try it.
12-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kpp80202 Quote
That's good advice. I'll buy it and try it.
Great! Then we just started the "traveling FA 100-300" thread. But you can wait until after New Year's to mail me the lens as I am sure we will both be busy and what with the postal service being a little hectic right about now...


(He is not laughing is he?)

12-16-2009, 08:23 PM   #9
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Well played, Grasshopper.
12-16-2009, 08:28 PM   #10
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For $65 I would go ahead and get it, as you have very little to loose. As said previously, you should be able to sell it down the road for about the same price.

I went the inexpensive route and learned a lot while saving up my lunch money. It works, and while learning with it, you are also determining what you want from a new improved lens - or you might wind up using it so little, that you may be completely satisfied with it. So all in all, there is merit in your approach.
12-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #11
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Thanks. I hope the guy still has it!
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