Amazing Pentax F* 300mm f/4.5, lens bought from Kerrick James

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by hin_man, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. I have used a few 300mm and 400mm on prime, zoom, and with addition of 1.4x and 1.7x TC, my most satisfied lens is Pentax F* 300mm f/4.5. The lens best itself for its small size and relatively lightweight compared to others. It will take the Pentax DA* 300mm f/4.0 to beat this lens in the 300mm. I highly recommend this lens for wildlife, use good TC to reach 400/500mm. It has excellent color and sharpness.

    My copy is pretty beaten up but it is my most used 300mm for wildlife ever since I get it.



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    Pentax F* 300mm f/4.5


    The above was a posting that I did in PF way back in 2009 and I likely took this pictures with K20D. Time flies and I don't think I have the patience with terns especially I remember them moving fast and not to easy pattern for anticipation.
     
  2. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I couldn't agree more. I especially like the tripod mount, missing on the FA version.
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    Northern Saw Whet Owl, Carmel, IN. 300mm *F4, K7 (I think)
     
  3. My copy was pretty beaten up by Kerrick James as he was the original owner with frequent usage. When I asked him about why he sold his lens over eBay before the purchase, he mentioned to me that he replaced the F* with the DA* 30mm. Yes, the tripod mount on F* 300mm is very unique and sturdy but I normally use this lens hand-held as it is not-too-bulky and quite compact for a 300mm. I love the yellowish white color on the lens barrel. It is not the grey-color as in the FA*. My copy is collecting dust in one of my bags tucked into a corner. A Shame, I should find excuses to take it out.

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    I don't shoot long lenses lately as I have more photos on street-shooting and traveling. I couldn't believe it myself that I never have used my DA* 60-250 1.5 years after purchase. In light with cutting my lens to the bones, I let go my DA* 60-250 3 months back in PF and I don't want to look back for the rational. That 60-250 is a beauty and pictures have the same tonality and color like the 50-135. If anyone likes long zoom, the 60-250 is high on my gear to highly recommend. BUT! Between the zoom and the prime in 300mm, the prime has more of my vote as sharpness and lighter weight sway the prime to my favorite likings.
    The color, bokeh and sharpness really pop with F* 300. I am a casual shooter and many of my old shots were straight out in jpg. This one was likely with K20D
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  4. Likely one of my better hummingbird shots was made at ease with this prime
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    f/6.3, iso 500, 1/1000sec, 300mm, hand-held with K20D


    I likely have shown this picture before. Please allow me as it is the bragging rights. I exaggerate a bit again on the 'shooting with ease' on hummingbirds as it is combination of luck, patience, and repeated trials until an okay shot that is found worth editing.
     
  5. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    No worries there Hin. Man is that every a beautiful image. Not only is the hummer sharp and with its reflective colors (takes talent to nail it) you have great background too. Definitely a keeper!
     
  6. Very fine shot, Hin! Some years back, I looked for the "F" 300mm to get the tripod collar but could not find a good copy. I did find the FA version (same optics) at a good price for a brand new case display from a dealer, so I went for that. Very highly rated among this class of fine quality tele lenses. Who could not understand why you hang on to it! You may not use it all the time, but when you do, it can deliver!
     
  7. I was not paying attention to its color and contrast. I take it for granted and miss appreciating what I have in my bag. There is always a tendency to upgrade and forget about the actual picture taking. I re-examine some of my old shots in 2009 and I have been pleased with both the sharpness and smooth bokeh. Maybe all longer lenses give better smooth bokeh and I don't know the exact reasoning. This picture below was shot in f/6.3, iso 400, there are some shadows around the lower left on the background that distract a bit but I think it is shadow of the trees around. Overall, the lens is great.
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    I have been thinking long and hard on K3 or K3 II as an upgrade to my dependable K-5. When that happen, I will use it for enthusiast type of nature shooting as in shooting the hummingbirds, terns and landscape in hiking. If you have either K-3 and K3 II, please share your thoughts if K-3 is much or slightly improved on AF especially on the tracking. I was always dizzy in panning and I find tracking is very difficult on K20D or K-5, I hope the K-3 has been improved for enthusiasts in shooting wild life.
    I am pretty sure the DA* 300mm has inherited most if not all the goodness from this old prime and with WR and better speed.
     
  8. I still enjoy using my A* 300/4 too. These lenses have a good lineage!
    I'm pretty sure not all long lenses have smooth bokeh, especially not mirror lenses!
    I went from K-5 to K-3 and AF is definitely noticeably improved. I noticed it the most shooting cycling. The lens used makes a big difference too but I bet that F* would do pretty well. I found the 55-300 was pretty loud and slow to focus no matter what body it was on so the K-3 won't perform miracles.
     
  9. I've always wanted a F*300/4.5, but these lenses have held their value well so remain rather pricey, plus the ones that show up on the market are often beat-up and/or missing the tripod foot (not sure if the hood gets lost too?). For whatever reason, this one has always appealed to me more than the FA* or DA*. I ended up with a DA*60-250/4, not sure I can really justify owning both.
     

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