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

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

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.4
Bokeh 
 9.1
Autofocus 
 8.8
Handling 
 9.5
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
45 159,903 Sun October 30, 2022
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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]
supersize
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
supersize

Description:
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]
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
9 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4.5
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
200 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 5.5 ° / 4.6 °
Full frame: 8.2 ° / 6.9 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
SS10-22
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Push-pull AF/MF Focusing Ring,Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
84 x 160 mm (3.3 x 6.3 in.)
Weight
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
24320
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Three ED elements.
Features:
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]
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-30 of 45
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Evanston IL
Posts: 62

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 18, 2015 Recommended | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, AF speed
Cons: Weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3, K-5, K20D   

This lens works VERY well with the HD 1.4x teleconverter. No apparent loss in sharpness unless one goes intensely pixel-peeping. The combination is easily handholdable even for a septuagenarian, thanks to in-camera shake dampening.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 27, 2014 Recommended | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible IQ
Cons: Weighs a ton
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, K-3   

This is my favorite birding lens IF I don't have to hike a mile into the bush. Everything that has been said in its favor I'll say again. But it is old glass in a metal body and weighs a ton. When I travel I take a 55-300 (and 18-135) in my kit and regretfully leave the 300 at home.

Still, it is the sharpest lens I own. When IQ trumps everything else, it's the one I use.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Goolwa, SA
Posts: 4,310

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 7, 2014 Recommended | Price: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, IQ, Construction, Lens Hood
Cons: Nil
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k5II   

Just got a mint copy of this lens on eBay from Japan (minus tripod foot). Great Image quality and small size really impressed me. Exceptional build quality. Similar image quality to the 77 limited. Love it! This lens alone would keep me with pentax for ever.

   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 409

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 12, 2014 Recommended | Price: $1,030.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Contrast, AF, Compact
Cons: Rare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This lens is razor sharp wide open. f/4.5 and f/8 are nearly indistinguishable. Corner sharpness is already excellent at f/4.5, but somehow manages to get sharper at f/8. Center sharpness is already maxed out at f/4.5. You do get a bit more contrast stopping down, but just marginally. Being able to shoot at 99% IQ wide open is a huge advantage for a 300mm lens, as shutter speed is a significant priority for handheld telephotos and for shooting sports and other fast moving subjects.

The body of the lens feels super solid and sturdy. The built in hood is a really nice addition. The tripod mount is great, though usually I will just handhold the lens if it's bright enough outside.

Coming from the DA55-300, the difference is night and day. Everything about this lens is better, though it comes at a higher cost, more weight, and a lack of zoom. If you can find one, it is well worth the $1,000
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 9, 2014 Recommended | Price: $1,055.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, well constructed, sharp, color, IQ, easy to handle
Cons: Hard to find
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

This is the lens everyone should dream on. I will extend my review later, and provide some photographs to show its beauty. For now, here are couple I took in a rush:

NOTE: THE SCREW AF ROCKS ON THE K-3, IT IS UNBELIEVABLE HOW FAST THE AF IS ON THE K-3.

Update from Nov. 14/14:

SnowyEgret1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


PxFA300mmf4.5-PajaroCarpintero3-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr





================
With the Tamron 1.4x TC:


Californiapoppy1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


DryFountainwithbird1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr











No TC, just the lens on a K3:








These three photos were taken of the same subject with the F*300mm f/4, without a TC, with the Tamron 1.4xTC, and with the KEnko 2xTC. You, be the judge!













MORE RECENT PHOTOS (APRIL 26-2014):


PxF*300mmf4.5-Pajarito1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

redneck1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

PentaxK-3+SMCP-F*300mmf4.5- Whisteria&Bird2-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


PentaxK-3+SMCP-F*300mmf4.5- BathingHummingbird1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Spring Tree Swallow by Palenquero, on Flickr

Tree Swallow Arriving by Palenquero, on Flickr


SMCPF*300MMF4.5-GORRIONHAMBRIENTO2-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

SMCPF*300MMF4.5-BEE1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

SMCPF*300MMF4.5-LAGARTIJA2-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Gorrion Silverstre by Palenquero, on Flickr


More samples posted on April 30, 2014:

SMCPxF*300-4.5-1.4xTCTamron-Mockingbird1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


Update: May 3, 2014: K3 + SMC F*300mmf4.5 + Tamron 1.4X PZ TC

Colibri2-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Colibri4-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

HouseFinchFemale1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Jilguero1OnBranch-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Finch2onBranch-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2009
Posts: 621

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 28, 2014 Recommended | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-r, k10d   

excellent is an understatement, i have adamaged lens with a huge scratch on the front element, no issue at all ( a feature of all lens), i do have other quality lens as at-x pro 28-70 f2.8 ver 1, angenieux formula. voigtlander color ultron 1.8/50
the beauty of this lens is unsurpassed. and have generally used it handleld @4.5/5.6
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 10, 2014 Recommended | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Imaging oil, color code full thick, style, virtual beautiful, delicate, reasonable design. Wide open aperture imaging good shadow detail, good performance, high Guangrou and level. Is a worthy of love.
Cons: Focus switch is not convenient, the outer layer is easy to scratch
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

A lens is very good, the good manufacturing capabilities, is one of the classic PENTAX,
Compact and solid materials gives this lens the high-end durable quality. Full aperture imaging is very good, very convenient for handheld shooting. The strong reduction of heavy color, very good, good sharpness! It is always worth having good lens. But now has been discontinued, good fineness of the secondary lens is hard to find. Such delicate telephoto, full frame lenses, still have what not satisfactory?
I very much love and recommend the lens!
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Florence
Posts: 7
Review Date: December 8, 2013 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-3   

   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: egypt
Posts: 435

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 14, 2013 Recommended | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light . razor sharp@4.5
Cons: the lousy grey paint
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k5   

I was surprised when I hold it.
It is light and small for this range.
sharpeness is noticable at f 4.5.
if there is some thing negative about this lens ..it is the bad quality of paint.
I like it so far and will try it in real field the next days.
ubdate:
this lens is razor sharp wideopen wow!!
   
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Pathum Thani, Thailand
Posts: 47

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 16, 2012 Recommended | Price: $1,140.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, handling, autofocus, size, weight
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

What to say...

This lens became available on ebay on my birthday!! How could I resist?

Experimented in/around the garden for a week or so and then, after getting bored with static objects, got the opportunity to photograph a Rugby Sevens tournament and gave it a thorough three-day action test.

Fast auto-focus, so sharp I can count stitches in players kit from 20metres away and it resolves the small dimples on the ball as well... I'm completely blown away.

There is nothing negative to say. If there is any room for improvement it is in my hand-holding technique, not the lens itself.

It commands a high price, and is fully justified in doing so.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2009
Location: East Bay Area, CA
Posts: 6,581

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 31, 2012 Recommended | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: super small, excellent sharpness, 67mm filter size
Cons: pricey
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

Wow, I was not prepared to be so impressed with this lens. I bought one after reading all of these reviews and a few others online. I must say, this lens really delivers long reach with great IQ. I put my Tamron F 1.4x TC on it and the quality is still great.

They said it was small but i was still surprised to see just how small it is. The tripod mount is not really necessary because the lens is very light; it almost balances better using the body mount on my rig. I will keep it though because it allows 90 degree rotation without adjusting the tripod. This is also handy to move the arm out of the way for shooting handheld.

AF is turned off via a push pull choke collar similar to the other FA* lenses i've tried. I do find AF to be a little slow but doable for my soccer shooting. Focus ring is well damped for ease of very fine tuning which i like.

I could not figure out how to fix the outer hood piece in the extended position at first, but eventually realized it screws counterclockwise onto the inner hood and holds tightly in place. This is a clever design and has the PENTAX logo emblazoned on the hood. Take that, you Canikonians!

These don't come up all that often but easily worth the price (i paid $1,100 and have no regrets), especially vs the less sharp modern DA*300/4 which I have rented from time to time and have been a bit unimpressed. No need to do that anymore, I found a winner!








check out these sunspots and texture of the sun surface:
Sun Spots
F*300 with Tamron 1.4x TC
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Cypress,OC,CA
Posts: 495

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 2, 2011 Recommended | Price: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, sharp and fast focus
Cons: Color and the loose hood..
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Did I say loose hood, it is only because the hood can not be screwed back on when extended. But then again, it is better than having to put it on when ever you want it....like the FA*300 F4.5 lens which I sold at a loss to get this lens.

I found the focus better than the FA*300 F F4.5 and the images even better. It is also a little lighter than FA*300 F4.5.

I think it is a better companion for my Sigma 500 F4.5 than the FA*300 F2.8 to carry, on a hike.
I think I will keep it.

Harish
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 105

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 22, 2011 Recommended | Price: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bokeh, sharpness
Cons: Rotation of barrel, availability
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

Superb lens with pro feel and wonderful images. I was willing and even happy to pay $1250 for an excellent condition, buy-it-now copy with tripod foot from a Korean seller (came w/in a week with a multi-coated Hoya filter).

I was surprised at the small size; smaller or about same as the DA300 f/4, the FA300 f/4.5 or the 50-135mm f/2.8. Solid metal, with ingenious retracting, twist-to-lock hood.

Only complaint might be the rotating barrel. This is not much of a problem on the smaller, limited primes, but on a lens this size your fingers have to reach across the long-ish rotating portion. It works, but you may prefer to use a more solid hand hold. The K5 is small, and on it lens feels a little off balance.
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Cymru
Posts: 136

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 9, 2011 Recommended | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Exceptional lens, very sharp, superb boken, tripod mount.
Cons: slightly slow auto-focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

The optical quality of this lens is just superb, excellent boken, comes with tripod collar. The auto-focus is slightly slow for to-days digital cameras, but I first used it on my Pentax SFXn film camera.
Produces excellent digital results.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 371

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 11, 2011 Recommended | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size, inbuilt hood
Cons: availability

The above reviewers have said pretty much everything that can be said about this lens. I have had this for a few weeks now and absolutely adore it. When I first recieved it I was amazed by the size of it. The images I get out of it are fantastic and this lens is definately better than my ability to take photos. If pentax were to rerelease it I would buy another just to get a new copy and to have a back up. The AF of this is fast, doing a minimum to infinity test alongside a DA60-250 the two lenses focused in the same time (any difference was marginal and we were unable to differentiate). Did I mention it is small? A canon shooting friend was suitably impressed with the size and focusing of it. The IQ and sharpness are fantastic. As another rewiewer mentioned the AF mechanism is a little odd with the pull back collar but that is just nit picking.

In summary I love this lens, it is small enough that I would never need to leave it behind due to size and weight. It is harder to find than the FA but well worth it should you stumble across one.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]



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