Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Lens Review Database » Film Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » FA Prime Lenses
SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF] Review RSS Feed

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

Sharpness 
 9.9
Aberrations 
 9.6
Bokeh 
 9.5
Autofocus 
 9.5
Handling 
 9.8
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 74,328 Sun August 10, 2014
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $799.00 9.69
SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]

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

Description:
This lightweight telephoto lens delivers clear images thanks to it's extra-low dispersion (ED) elements.

SMC Pentax-FA* 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
MH-RBC67
Case
S90-160
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
72.5 x 160 mm (2.9 x 6.3 in.)
Weight
935 g (33 oz.)
w/ Hood: +132g
Production Years
1991 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA* 1:4.5 300mm --IF & ED--
Product Code
24400
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Three ED elements.
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusInternal FocusingAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 16
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Svealand
Posts: 172
Lens Review Date: August 10, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $642.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Well built, small, light (for a 300mm)
Cons: no tripod collar
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

Great lens. Suits me better than the DA*300 which I sold a few months ago as the FA* is smaller and lighter. But I must say that it's a big deal that Pentax made no dedicated tripod mount for this lens. Really stupid of Pentax as it's unbalanced without a tripod collar. I have now bought a Tripod Mount Ring for Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS that I now use with this lens.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 16

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $820.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp result even at aprture 4.5, lightweight for joy, compact and great colors
Cons: Delicate silver color, easy to scratch
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3, K5, K01   

This is the best pro FA* lens for walk around, light weight and no need to busy with tripod.
Thanks a lot Pentax.

***I am proud to be Pentaxians***
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 1,254

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 28, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $695.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ,sharp,small,well build, joy to use
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3,K-30   

Well, after looking and looking for one finally I managed to find one in Australia.
At AU$695 I was very pleased, great value.
Excellent performer, small , compact , fast AF.
Took it for a walk with K-3 , photographed some birds, even some in flight, very happy with overall performance.
Highly recommended , with overall ratings : 9.6
Some of my photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/itrax/sets/72157634403747263/
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Moscow
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 26, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $820.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Construction, weight, balance, IQ, speed
Cons: could not be found
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

It forced me just to yell "WOW!" from the first shot. Impressive quality and colours.
AF with K-30 is very fast.
No SDM worries. Very portable for 300mm. Works with 1.4-1.5-1.7 Teleconverters.

Portrait results are overhelming as well as wildlife shots.

Invest in this lens, while you can.



My other shots by this lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2011
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 1,106

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $995.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, light, sharp even wide open
Cons: Hard to get a lens cap without detaching the hood, noisy a bit
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used   

Outstanding lens for walking or hiking light. Very good when paired with good 1.4x AF TC. Despite the same optical construction some users claim that F*300/4.5 is better due to integrated tripod mount. The $10 Canon Ring A(W) tripod mount fits perfectly on FA*300. Be aware that older Sigma (non EX) 1.4x AF TC does not autofocus with this lens. I use the lens with K-5 for my walks and hikes for birds and wildlife photography. One more thing. Different than on F*300 MF switch allows the FA*300/4.5 to be used for Catch-in-Focus shooting.
The only problem I have is attaching/detaching the hood to get access to the lens cap. But it is nothing to do with remarkable optical quality of the lens. The lens is simply exceptional.
Update #1: Despite the common myth that Sigma APO 1.4x EX DG TC doesn't lock on other then Sigma lenses, it's pretty usable on FA*300/4.5. The AF is very fast and accurate even in low light situations.
Disclaimer: Some Pentax users still claiming that their EX DG (older ones?) won't AF on FA*300/4.5. The only thing what I know is that I purchased my Sigma APO 1.4x EX DG TC brand new in the middle of November of 2011 and it does AF.
Update #2: It appears that Tamron 1.4X Pz-AF MC4 TC works the best with my copy of FA*300/4.5. Please see the five TC shoot out here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=39945163
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 795
Lens Review Date: September 6, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, construction, optical performance (sharpness, contrast, colour and sharpness++)
Cons: No tripod collar, but workaround is cheap
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used   

Wonderful lens, set it at F4.5 and click away.
Sharpness and contrast peaks at F5.6.
AF with K-5 is fast, and not too loud.

Good quality used lenses are getting up in price, you won't lose out on your investment.
Still a lot cheaper than the DA* 300, and no SDM worries.

The best affordable 300mm image quality bar none.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 3,597
Lens Review Date: April 26, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $995.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, Light, Very sharp, IQ
Cons: Noisy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

First impression, the lens is deceptively small and relatively light-weight. This is very important for outdoor shooting when bushwalking. The lens is very sharp. The IQ is superb. The quality of the shots with my K-7 is very, very impressive (astonishing is possibly a better word).

The lens is quite easy to install on the camera. In MF, the focus ring is nice to use. The hood fits nicely. It is slightly cumbersone but light weight.

The only possible downside is the AF noise. Not a big deal and some user suggested to wrap the lens in clothes to make it silent when shooting wildlife.

I also tested my FA*300mm with a Tamron TC 2x. It works very well giving me a great 600mm reach, although the IQ suffers a little.

I can recommend highly this lens. I know that it was discontinued but some used copies are available on the marketplace. Lastly I agree with an earlier review that I would reword: "If you are looking for a [pocket-size] 300mm lens but can't afford the [price and weight of the] F2.8 one, this is the one!".
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, tack sharp, robust
Cons: loud AF

I made a complete review on http://quietleaf.blogspot.com/2011/02/pentax-fa-300mm-f45-review.html

I highly recommend it
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1,846

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 15, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight. Sharp as a tack. Pairs well with the AFA 1.7 TC
Cons: Not 2.8

This lens is surprisingly light. It doesn't have a tripod collar and it doesn't need one.

It's also wicked sharp. I hear it's sharper than the DA* 300, but I don't own the lens to compare. In a brick wall test, you wont believe how sharp this is. It's almost certainly sharper than the sensor on the K-7 can record.

Which also means that it pairs well with the Pentax 1.7 AFA TC.

My only complaint about this lens is with the shooter, not the lens. That I find I'm not shooting at 300mm. I either want something longer, or something shorter. It's easier to pack around than the Bigma, but somewhat less versatile.

Still, if you can find one, it's results wont fail to impress.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Holy Land
Posts: 912
Lens Review Date: May 23, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Optical quality, compact, well built, beautiful color rendition and sweet bokeh
Cons: None

The FA* 300 is a superb lens. The colour and contrast is outstanding and the lens is very sharp wide open. It's so light and small that you don't need the tripod mount. The AF is very fast.
I also use the lens with 1.7x Pentax teleconverter almost without losing image quality.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2006
Location: Belgium
Posts: 435
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweigth, excellent optical quality
Cons: Lens shade, no tripod collar
New or Used: New   

I have found this lens at a fair. It was in a sorry state: some of the paint was harmed, it took me a while to get it focussing properly and it had a dent in the front element. The seller lowered the price, and eventually I bought it...

I can but confirm what others already said about this FA*: its' optical quality is excellent with a very nice bokeh. It's tag sharp wide open and makes an excellent combination with the AF 1,7x adapter.

The only downside is that on my version the lens shade will not mount easily and that there is no tripod collar.

Other than that: highly recommended!

This is a photo made in combination with the AF 1,7x:
(Non working link removed)

And another one without teleconverter:
(Non working link removed)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3,202

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 11, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: small, light, excellent optical quality
Cons: the barral surface painting gets scratched too easily

This lens simply makes me a better photographer w/ great keeper ratio. I use it wide open almost all the time. If you are looking for a 300mm lens but can't afford the F2.8 one, this is THE ONE!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11,794
Lens Review Date: January 28, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light
Cons: Inconsistent Bokeh
New or Used: New   

Light, consistent image quality.

Sharp, good contrast wide open. A good close up lens to isolate subject.

The only problem is its inconsistent bokeh with branches and highlights that can be ugly at times.

My sample shots here

My FA* 300mm f4.5 shots
   
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Gloucester UK
Posts: 441
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, super sharp at all apertures, superb build, fast AF, works well with TC's
Cons: None

What can I say about this beauty? It's just the finest long lens I've ever had! Sadly, it's as rare as rocking horse **** to find these days, Let's hope the new DA*300 doesn't dissapoint!

If you can find one, and want 300mm (or more with a TC) buy it, just don't hesitate. You will have a for a long time!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 1,535
Lens Review Date: January 11, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp wide open, good CA/PF control
Cons: fiddly lens hood (nitpicking)

My favorite lens for birding and nature, most often paired with the Pentax F 1.7x AFA for a 2 lb 510mm f7.7. The lens is apparently sharp and contrasty enough wide open to allow this TC to AF easily even though its max aperture is 1.5 stops slower than Pentax recommends. This combo is very easy for me to handhold, and I have gotten a surprising percentage of "keepers" with my DS (no SR!) with shutter speeds as slow as 1/125 sec !! It can only get better with the new K10.

This is an exceptional lens in every way. Min focusing distance of @ 6 ft allows for very nice "tele macro" shots of things like dragonflies and flowers.

Build quality is very robust, and the hood is very deep and protects the front element well -- both from stray light and from anything that might physically damage it. The hood mounting was a little hard to get used to, but then again, maybe I'm a little slow -- the hood actually has little leaf springs installed in it that hold on to ribs on the lens -- easily the most secure hood attachment mechanism I've ever seen or used.

For me, at least, it doesn't get any better than this . . . but I will be taking a close look at the upcoming DFA 300
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F4.5 ED [IF]



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:00 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top