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SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]

Reviews Views Date of last review
45 157,742 Sun October 30, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $880.14 9.86
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]

SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]

This lens is optically identical to the later FA* version, but it has several physical differences, including a removable tripod mount and built-in hood.

SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED[IF]
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 8 blades
9 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
200 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 5.5 ° / 4.6 °
Full frame: 8.2 ° / 6.9 °
Built-in, slide out
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Push-pull AF/MF Focusing Ring,Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
84 x 160 mm (3.3 x 6.3 in.)
880 g (31 oz.)
w/ Tripod Foot: +240g
Production Years
1987 to 1991
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F* 1:4.5 300mm ED[IF]
Product Code
User reviews
Three ED elements.
Screwdrive AutofocusInternal FocusingBuilt-in HoodAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
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Forum Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Chisinau
Posts: 60

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 30, 2022 Recommended | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Bokeh | Image quality | Build quality | Integrated lens hood
Cons: Quite heavy but I don't care, as it's metal, not plastic
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

Hi. This is an amazing lens, still it's not for everyone, and especially it is not for every occasion. I use it a few times a year. For example, in order to shoot a full length person, you need about 15-20m distance. Talking/directing the model become a problem. And you definitely need a tripod. Always. I like the sturdiness, still it is a quite small lens for 300mm. Yes, heavier lens but I would say it makes me feel safe. The quality of the image, bokeh, colors are just outstanding.
Observations: if you want to take great photos with this lens, you need a foreground (some leaves that will be blurred), model, and a quite busy background. I shot my kids on an even grass field. Grass in the foreground, grass in the background - nothing good happen. The grass texture becomes so smooth, like a gradient... so the entire picture looks like "a person and gradients around". While if you get some leaves or busy texture in the background - the lens will do it's magic and convert it into a masterpiece. The way the lens draws the background is outstanding. See the pictures.

Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2015
Location: Calgary
Posts: 23

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 26, 2021 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, weight, handling
Cons: old focusing technology, finish subject to marking
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1, K-3    Sample Photos:   

I like the size and weight of it for the focal length, and would would gladly trade the weight for the half stop to get to F4. Hand holdable, although the tripod foot comes in handy sometimes. I like the built in hood. Very sharp lens. This is one of my favourites.

Not a big deal, but don't love the light finish, and it is prone to some surface scratching and showing wear.

If you can find one in good condition, don't hesitate to buy it.

Some photos:
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 753

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 10, 2021 Recommended | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: quite compact and lightweight body, sharp, built in hood, nice design
Cons: very noisy AF, AF/MF switch doesn't fully work on dSLR
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5IIs   

I enjoyed this lens for a brief period I owned it, even though extreme telephoto is not really my sort of photography. But there was a good oportunity to try it for a while which i couldnt resist. It is joy to use, very compact and quite lightweight for its focal lenght. I was really surprised by the robust construction of the body - nothing i tried felt so reassuring, not even A*85 1.4, far far better than Limiteds. And it is good looking design too. Only big downside is quite noisy AF. Minor downside is that AF/MF switch doesn't work with K series dslrs, so you need to switch AF/MF mode also on your camera (interestingly from what I read FA*300 4.5 doesn't have this issue).
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 247

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 26, 2020 Recommended | Price: $535.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, handling, sharpness
Cons: A bit noisy, specialized tripod plate
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1 mkII, K3 II   

I just bought this lens and am very pleased with the purchase. I was looking for a "reasonably" priced lens for birding to replace or supplement my Sigma 120-400. My goal was to find something that is autofocus, sharp wide (or near wide) open, easy to handle, and shoot hand-held. And since I almost always shoot my Zoom at full magnification, a Prime. While 300 on my K1 II seems a bit short for Birding, I have a K3 II that would give me 450mm. AND if it works out with my 1.4x, I can be up to 630mm equivalent on the K3 II and 420mm on the K1.

I also researched the 300mm lens available - and while the DA* has WR and is more modern - a lot of people like the F* more. I also tend to like vintage lenses - so set my sights on the F*. I was unbelievably lucky that one turned up the NEXT DAY on the forums! (Sign from the gods???)

When I first opened the box, I was shocked at the compactness of this lens. And the built-in hood is awesome.

My first day of shooting was not great, as it was dark and my friend was looking for raptors that were in the distance. My second day however was perfect. I took a few shots with the K1 II, but found I wanted the extra reach with K3 II.

The lens proved to be very sharp when used correctly, focused quickly on flying birds, and felt good to use. It is a bit noisy - I may have scared a few smaller birds away, but I can live with that challenge.

Pics below for your reference. I will post an update as I use this lens more.

I gave the lens a 9 for noise and challenging tripod mount (though not a necessity for such a compact lens). I think that is pretty darn good for 35+ year old lens!

New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 1

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 15, 2019 Recommended | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: light weight, sharp, smart hood, great handling and design
Cons: easy to scratch
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5iis   

I got mine from Ebay, the seller is from Japan and including all the stuff like case, tripod collar.
Very satisfied with what it brings.
Handling: one of the best 300m lens in terms of handling. I almost don't need to use tripod in daytime due to its compact and lightweight.
Image quality: nothing to say about the IQ it produces. From sharpness to color and bokeh. I will let the picture speak for itself.
What I don't like about the lens is the white paint is easy to scratch. I have to be quite careful not to peel the paint off and plan to apply some skin in order to protect it.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,534

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 20, 2019 Recommended | Price: $425.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Compact Size, Color Rendition
Cons: Hard to find!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5iis    Sample Photos: [URL][/URL]   

Over the years Iíve almost purchased this lens on several occasions, however the $750 to $900 price tag kept me away. Recently I began shooting a great deal more birds and nature photos, renewing my interest in a compact, hand holdable 300mm telephoto lens. After three months of watching eBay and other sales forums, I scored a super clean copy, missing the tripod foot but with case for a great price.

I canít add much to the glowing praise of this lens posted by almost every single reviewer on this forum. The 300mm f4.5 F* is sharp enough wide open, becoming razor sharp by f6.7 to f11. Color rendition is outstanding. Chromatic aberration is extremely well controlled. Autofocus performance is as good as any older screw drive lens, I just wish the default was infinity not minimum distance, a gripe with all Pentax AF lenses. Manual focus feel is excellent and positive.

The built in screw to lock hood is a brilliant idea! Why didnít Pentax keep using this design?

The size, weight and layout of this lens make it an excellent walk around telephoto for handheld photography. Iím still refining my technique with this lens, but when I concentrate handheld, sharp images result at speeds as slow as 1/125th of a second. I wish Iíd sprung for this lens twenty years ago, it would have been great for daylight high school sports instead of lugging my 300 f2.8 Tokina ATX around.!


Registered: July, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,560

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 28, 2019 Recommended | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact quality
Cons: rarity

I can say that the lens I have owned since the 90's on my trusty LX, has really stood the test of time. I have the battery grip on my K1 and when the smc PENTAX-F* 300mm F4.5 ED[IF] is mounted with it's foot on, the camera sits perfectly flat. The built in lens hood, works a treat with easy storage on the lens itself.
As for the quality of the glass, I feel humble and not up to showing it off to it's full potential. The sharpness and resolution are to my eye amazing. The 300mm focal length gives plenty of reach and while only f4.5, with the low light abilities of modern cameras, I was able to take many shots in what I thought were very challenging low light conditions. The screw drive focusing locks on quickly and I never found the noise loud, the ability to quickly move from autofocus to manual focus by pushing or pulling a ring on the lens works well. I have the original rectangular lens case which has a compartment to store the tripod foot if you don't with to have it on. The foot, when used with a monopod gives the ability to easily pan along with vehicles , The pivot point just "feels" right. Some reviews say that shooting into the light can be a problem with flare, I found no such issue. The transition from sharp focal point to out of focus is nice and smooth. The bokeh is likewise very nice
A special little lens well worth trying if you come across one.

Some of my favourite shots this lens helped me take over a month were

portrait by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

channel markers by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

stare down by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

three is a crowd by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

marooned by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Berlin
Posts: 1,121

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 16, 2019 Recommended | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very light, sharp and relatively fast focus
Cons: Performance drops with strong backlight
Camera Used: Pentax KP    Sample Photos: Yes   

Bought mine on the auction site and received it yesterday. I found the sharpness peaks between f8 and f11 which is what I expected.

I also tested it with the Pentax 1.4 converter which makes it a 420mm lens. Sharpness is down but still sharp enough so that will use it. CA increases with the converter and pushing the exposure will help. With the converter I found the sharpness range shifted one F stop, maxing out at f13.

The Pentax KP is a ISO performer and combined with this lens seems a match made in camera heaven. Even at 25k ISO the result was still very good. Although not sharp enough for a publication, but it does show if you want the shot and the light is low, you can still get it.

I attach three test pictures at various ISO's. Pardon the backgrounds as I took these handheld. The cat subject is a half tamed feral cat that adopted us and was undisturbed by the camera. Only time it took notice of me when it could see my eyes. As long as I stayed behind the camera I could click away as much as I wanted.

Agree with a previous reviewer that strong back light is not this lens' strong feature. As long as you keep the strong light from the side or from behind you, this lens will perform.

I would also use this lens for closely cropped portraits without the converter. Although at f8 the depth of field is rather shallow at 2 to 3m distance. F11 will still be sharp enough and give a bit more depth of field.

So far I am very impressed with the lens, and is a definite keeper. Brings my KP up to the same performance standard as the 645z.


300mm lens with 1.4x converter at ISO 1600 f8 1/250

300mm lens (no converter) at ISO 25k f8 1/1000

300mm lens (no converter) at ISO 4500 f8 1/1000

Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 7,962

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 19, 2018 Recommended | Price: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optics, handling, built-in hood & tripod mount.
Cons: Off-white finish.
Camera Used: Pentax film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD, ME, MX, LX, Super A/Program, P50)   

The F*300/4.5 was released in 1987 and was Pentaxís first Auto-Focus 300mm lens. The F*300/4.5 was available for sale along with the older A300/4 Manual-Focus lens (discontinued in 1989) and was replaced by the FA* version in 1991.

Excellent optics. The F*300/4.5 features an IF (Inner-Focus) mechanism for better balance, easier focusing and reduced minimum focusing distance. (2 meters) As well as ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens elements for minimized chromatic aberration. Needless to say, the optics on Pentaxís *300mm lenses have improved dramatically since their first 300mm lens was released in the late 1950ís!

Focal Length:
I have always found the 300mm focal length kind of in telephoto ďno manís landĒ. My old K300/4 is too long & heavy to take on my overseas trips (85mm to 200mm is what I usually take) and too short if I want to do any telephoto shooting when Iím home where lens size is not an issue. (I usually reach for one my longer lenses in the 400mm to 1000mm range) However on recent trips to Antarctica and Africa, I did wish I had something longer than 200mm. The F*300/4.5 smaller size makes it a viable option for future trips where I do any wildlife shooting. For around home Iím using the F*300/4.5 for shooting freighters, boats and birds around the Vancouver waterfront.

Solid metal build on par with older manual focus lenses like the Takumar/K/M series lenses I own. However, one gripe that I have with the F*300/4.5 is the off-white finish, first introduced on some A* telephoto lenses. Itís not as durable as the older black finish that Pentax used on K Series telephotos. This off-white finish is still better than the highly scratch prone finish on the next generation FA* series lenses.

The F*300/4.5 weights 880 grams with the tripod mount and is 160mm long. Itís pretty compact for a 300mm lens and not too heavy to hand hold at faster shutter speeds. Having a removable tripod mount is a huge bonus and does come in handy when you want to do critical focusing or use slower shutter speeds.

The F*300/4.5 has an ingenious built-in metal lens hood, that screws into a locked position when extended or when stored. You just turn/unscrew the hood to the right to unlock it from the stored position, then extend it and keep turning/screwing it to the right to lock it into position. This is way better than other built-in hoods that just push out to extend, as these hoods if bumped will move back towards the stored position. The F*300/4.5 hood is also trimmed with a rubber bumper, so if you do knock something with the hood extended, it will not be damaged.

The F series were Pentaxís first auto focus lenses, but the F*300/4.5 is still an excellent lens to manual focus. It has a nice big focusing ring in the middle of the lens, covered with a bumpy rubber surface. There is a ring above the distance scale window that you push up for AF and this will display the words ďAUTO FOCUSĒ on the lens barrel. Push the ring back down for manual focus.

The minimum focusing distance is also excellent at 2 meters.

The rear converter A 1.4X-S & A 2X-S were what Pentax recommended for the F*300/4.5. Iím not really into rear converters, so have not tried one on my F*300/4.5.

The F*300/4.5 has a 67mm filter thread and comes with the soft SS10-22 lens case. This dedicated case also holds the removed tripod mount in a side storage area, separate from the lens. This case is a must have in my opinion and also impossible to find for sale on its own.

F/4.0 to F/4.5 is average for Pentaxís k-mount 300mm lenses since the mid 1970ís. So if you want something faster like the A* or FA* 300/2.8 then the size and cost will skyrocket. I wanted a 300mm lens that is easy to carry/handhold, so no complaints with the slower speed of this lens.

The F*300/4.5 vs my other 300mm telephoto primes:
I also own the K300/4 which is slightly faster than the F*300/4.5 and has the better old style black finish. Other than that, the F*300/4.5 is way ahead in all other areas: optics, minimum focusing distance, size, weight, handling, tripod mount and built-in hood. I gave the K300/4 an overall rating of 8, the F*300/4.5 gets a perfect 10. No comparison really between these two lenses, the F*300/4.5 is a much better option. Even though it will cost you more than double the price, itís still worth the extra money.

On my quest to find a smaller, good handling 300mm prime lens with excellent optics, I also briefly considered the FA*300/4.5. That idea got nixed as that newer version does not have a built-in lens hood or tripod mount and has the cheap FA* sliver finish. Since both lenses have the same optics, picking the F*300/4.5 was a no brainer.

B&H Photo was selling the F*300/4.5 for $549.95 in January 1988. Considering all the features of this great lens it was relatively affordable and not out of reach for the average photographer. Overall Pentax really got the optics, features, price and handling of the F*300/4.5 lens right. A true telephoto classic in my books!

I bought my F*300/4.5 from a PF member and itís in excellent + condition and came with the tripod mount & soft SS10-22 lens case.

Sample shots taken with the F*300/4.5. Photos are medium resolution scans from original negatives. All shots were taken in Vancouver, Canada. The first two shots are hand held and the last (seagull) was taken using a tripod. All shots are manual focus.

Camera: SF1n Film: Ilford HP5 Plus ISO: 400

Camera: Super Program Film: Kodak Portra 400 ISO: 400

Camera: K2 Film: Kodak Tri-x 400 ISO: 400
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 8

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 26, 2018 Recommended | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, COLORS,size,hood,weight, look
Cons: Slow but better than a 2,8 I will not carry with me
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1 k5   

Bought an almost mint copy from Japan with tax ...950$ ;\\ five years ago and...
If I loose it I will buy another !!!!
Such great results, a joy to use because of IQ (you donít have to think at what aperture to set, its a pro), Colors and size.
Not really for ultra speed action on night(and day) but for birding, kids running pics and non pro soccer matches itís very good solution.
I love the size and the screw integrated hood, as iam a lazzy guy ! I hate carrying a big bag
The screw AF is reliable at least and fast enough to my taste
Itís feel indestructible comparing to modern prime

I even try to used it with a Tamron pfz az 1,4x with my k5 and the results were convincing iqwise and af. And I could crop after....if good weather/light clarity conditions.

Much better look and handling(size,hood/tripod mount...) than the FA

A keeper. Very High optic+size/handling+screw af reliability (forget sdm...)

this one cropped the 2 sides L/R and kept only the center area :
New Member

Registered: October, 2017
Posts: 1

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 19, 2017 Recommended | Price: $368.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Colour, Build Quality
Cons: old and hard to find
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

Took a risk and bought a damaged F*300 for 370USD. The front assembly was loose, and the focus was jamming. After a quick teardown, I managed to fix it, and boy, buying this lens was the best decision I ever made!

I migrated over from Canon so I'm going to use Canon's premium 300mm (EF300 f4L IS USM) as a comparison.

Sharpness and aberrations: Shooting wide open (f/4.5) is already sharp enough for most uses, but I find that the contrast suffers (more on this later). Stop it down to f/5.6 and I can't find a flaw at all. Pixel sharp, corner to corner with very little aberration even on the full frame K-1 (correctable in post anyway). Fringing only crops up under extreme circumstances. I dare say this 30 year old lens is sharper than the Canon at f/5.6 and below (though the latter controls chromatic aberrations better).

Contrast: Usually, contrast is great, but in some (really rare) situations, my copy sometimes gives washed out images, and the funny thing is that it seems quite random. It's not really reproducible. It could be just my copy though, since others don't seem to experience this problem.

Colour: This lens has the Pentax magic in its rendering. That's all I need to say here.

Autofocus is actually quite fast. You'd expect the lens' age to show here, but it doesn't. (It's not as fast as the Canon, and definitely not as silent, but it's still good enough for sports.)

Size and weight: To Pentax users this lens is described as large and heavy, but if you're coming over from Canon/ Nikon you'll find this lens small. It's small and light enough to shoot handheld. (For some reason all of Pentax lenses are just smaller than the competition.)

Overall it stands up amazingly well to modern day lenses, it's hard to believe that this lens is from the 1990s. Definitely worth the 900USD price tag.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 499

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 16, 2017 Recommended | Price: $495.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: size, handling, sharpness
Cons: autofocus a bit weak
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

I bought this lens for a single purpose - to take into sporting events where the camera nazi's actually measure the lens. This one comes in under the NCAA guidelines

First, the bad:
The is an old lens. There are no pristine versions. Mine was a bit beat up. It wasn't horrible, but one could tell it had been used well.

20-30 year old focusing is not as fast as modern focusing. While the K-1 handles it as well as can be expected, my Tamron 70-200 and several other Pentax lenses beat this one hands down in terms of speed. That being said, a good photographer sets up and anticipates the shot. I'd say this one is a half second or more slower than some of my others, but I haven't been inconvenienced by it because I wait for the scene to develop, set the camera right to give me good DoF, and the tracking does fairly well with the K-1.

If the sun is in front of you, put this lens in your bag...

The good:
The size and ergonomics of this lens are simply pleasing. It passes the tape measure tests going into stadiums and handles well

This lens takes tack sharp pictures. You need to learn how to master it, but once you do, the results are extremely pleasing. Sharpness starts at 4.5 and goes well past 8.0.

I like the lens hood. More lenses should do exactly what this one does. Why the screw out/screw in hood hasn't caught on with Pentax lenses makes no sense to me. It's an extremely convenient and effective hood setup.

It's a bit slow at 4.5, but that hasn't been a problem with the K-1's ISO settings. In full dark conditions (i.e. stadium lights only), I stop using the lens. But, while the sun is providing light this lens delivers results.

Colors are good from the lens, although I usually punch up them a bit in post processing
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2014
Location: Washington
Posts: 2,176

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 6, 2017 Recommended | Price: $785.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3   

After reading all the reviews I just had to have one. Managed to score a beauty on eBay for $785.
I chose this image to show the worst possible conditions for CA. Notice the post on the right.

IMGP3668 by teamrimfire, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Rawicz, Poland
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 25, 2015 Recommended | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lighweight&compact for 300mm, sharpness, color&contrast, AF, built in hood, no CA
Cons: No focus limiter, white paint
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5 II   

Bought this lens nearly a year ago on pentaxforums. It's absolutely stunning - it could be all of my words for that review .

Firstly it's light and small lens for 300mm, modern Pentax equivalent (DA*) is heavier and bigger, 300mm/2.8 or 300/4 in other systems are a lot heavier (only new fresnell Nikon 300/4 is a bit lighter). It's really possible to shoot handheld with that lens. I'm using F* for soccer matches and mostly I don't use monopod because I don't need to.

AF is an old screwdrive system but it's fast and precise - enough even for fast sports. Of course focus limiter would be very nice thing to have, but I can live without that . F* is very sharp from F4.5 and on F5.6 it's even sharper. Colors and contrast are just wonderful. It's probably my only lens where I have no chromatic abberation. Built in hood is also very nice feature - you will never lose it .

The only bigger downgrade is a white paint which you could damage (especially near tripod mount). From distance it looks similar to Canon L lenses and brings some attention to you. I resolved that problem pretty easily by using homemade polartec black sleeve .

In this year I have shooted 41 soccer matches with that lens at it never let me down, always worked fine and did great results. It's a real keeper.


Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Haarlemmermeer
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 28, 2015 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built quality, sharpness
Cons: None really but when I need to say one the tripod collar is bulky.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3    Sample Photos:   

I have this lens already for years, but with the K3 the autofocus is better than ever and the sharpness shows.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]

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