Need advise for Pentax DA* 300


kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#1
I'm seriously considering this lens for birding shoot.
B&H is selling US$1,120 including shipping while local stores selling $20xx

Which place to get is more recommended? :think:

I came across in B&S selling lens which bought from B&H claimed to have int'l warranty, anyone can verify? :dunno:

The weight of this lens is 1.07kg, anyone using this lens? Is the weight/size comfortable for handheld? ;p
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
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#2
I was quoted ~$1750 at MSC a few months back. Unless the price has gone up again :thumbsd:

Its at the low end for a birding lens though. Look at the "World of Nature" subforum and you will get an idea of what lens it takes for those really good shots. MHO is that a 500mm (eg. Bigma or Bigmos) just cuts the cake for serious birding. I have a 400mm and a bird on a ~4m tree is already 1/3 to 1/4 of the frame. Of course a lot depends on the bird you are after.

You can consider the DA*300 + teleconverter as well, though you need to research if there is a teleconverter that works with SDM.
 

Gengh

New Member
May 6, 2007
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#3
I agree with pinholecam that 300mm will kind of be the bare minimum if you're doing serious birding.

I've rented the DA*300mm to try before, and its definitely comfortable handheld for me with the K20D. Just remove the foot on the tripod collar so it won't get in the way. I got some decent shots of big bird with it, but still must crop down to get decent composition.





And it's much harder to fill the frame with small birds. This guy was just 5-10m away, and the pic is already cropped a bit.
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#4
I was quoted ~$1750 at MSC a few months back. Unless the price has gone up again :thumbsd:

Its at the low end for a birding lens though. Look at the "World of Nature" subforum and you will get an idea of what lens it takes for those really good shots. MHO is that a 500mm (eg. Bigma or Bigmos) just cuts the cake for serious birding. I have a 400mm and a bird on a ~4m tree is already 1/3 to 1/4 of the frame. Of course a lot depends on the bird you are after.

You can consider the DA*300 + teleconverter as well, though you need to research if there is a teleconverter that works with SDM.
My quote was from SLRR & Manly 1-2 months back at $20xx :(
I also have consideration to pair with a TC hope that the resultant focal length 420mm (TC 1.4) is better than 400mm zoom lens.
Didn't know not all TC works with SDM? :dunno:
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#5
I agree with pinholecam that 300mm will kind of be the bare minimum if you're doing serious birding.

I've rented the DA*300mm to try before, and its definitely comfortable handheld for me with the K20D. Just remove the foot on the tripod collar so it won't get in the way. I got some decent shots of big bird with it, but still must crop down to get decent composition.





And it's much harder to fill the frame with small birds. This guy was just 5-10m away, and the pic is already cropped a bit.
Understand that 300mm may not be enuff reach for certain birds. I've been shooting intensively on birds since I got the K-X 3 mths+ back. Small liitle bird like swallow, sunbird are really tough to take with 300mm zoom. :sweat:

I also think the 1.07kg is okay for me.
I've no problem holding my 500mm (700g) mirror lens. Guess that extra 300g should not be a problem. Though best will be to use with a tripod but most of the time it's not fast enuff to setup as the bird will not wait for you. :sweat:
The Bigma is too heavy to handheld & that's why I'm not considering it.
 

Gengh

New Member
May 6, 2007
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#8
Its possible to rent pentax lenses? Oh wow please share the contact!
Sorry.... USA only, and I think it might very well be the only rental co. in the US (if not the world!) that has Pentax SLR stuff in their inventory. But if you're still interested enough to take a look: http://www.cameralensrentals.com/
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#9
dont have a lot of options if into serious birding other then you bait the birds to get them to come nearer or you learn to get closer.

a popular lens is the Sigma 150-500 which works well when have a lot of light to work with or the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 with 1.4x TC which gives about 630mm f/4 on a crop body.

Sony users i have seen use Reflex lens which also works but the picture is so so only.

It all depends if you just want a picture or the best possible picture.
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#10
dont have a lot of options if into serious birding other then you bait the birds to get them to come nearer or you learn to get closer.

a popular lens is the Sigma 150-500 which works well when have a lot of light to work with or the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 with 1.4x TC which gives about 630mm f/4 on a crop body.

Sony users i have seen use Reflex lens which also works but the picture is so so only.

It all depends if you just want a picture or the best possible picture.
I want quality that's why considering DA* 300, can add a TC for further reach. ;p
I do have 500mm mirror lens but till now have not brought it out to use, find that manual is not for me. :sweat:
 

Gengh

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May 6, 2007
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#11
I want quality that's why considering DA* 300, can add a TC for further reach. ;p
I do have 500mm mirror lens but till now have not brought it out to use, find that manual is not for me. :sweat:
If lenses that weigh near 2kg are not something you want to consider, then the Sigma long telephoto zooms are probably all not suitable.... A 300mm + TC may indeed be your best bet. But if quality is a concern, don't be stingy on the TC, need to get a really good one... I have a Kenko 1.5x, and I'm still in two minds about it. Haven't done a rigorous test, but I think just cropping a photo down to match the 1.5x TC may produce equal if not slightly better results.... :dunno: The Sigma TCs may be something you can consider, but must check to be sure they can be used with the DA*300mm, as they need the lens to have recessed rear elements.

And you'll probably have to give up SDM and let the screw-drive AF do the work, there's probably only one range of Kenko TC out there that works with SDM, not too sure what the optical quality is like.
 

creampuff

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
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#12
I've tried the 500mm F4.5 EX DG APO HSM on a Canon and it is just one awesome lens. :thumbsup:

The tripod it was mounted on was pretty awesome too...
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
6,846
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#13
If lenses that weigh near 2kg are not something you want to consider, then the Sigma long telephoto zooms are probably all not suitable.... A 300mm + TC may indeed be your best bet. But if quality is a concern, don't be stingy on the TC, need to get a really good one... I have a Kenko 1.5x, and I'm still in two minds about it. Haven't done a rigorous test, but I think just cropping a photo down to match the 1.5x TC may produce equal if not slightly better results.... :dunno: The Sigma TCs may be something you can consider, but must check to be sure they can be used with the DA*300mm, as they need the lens to have recessed rear elements.

And you'll probably have to give up SDM and let the screw-drive AF do the work, there's probably only one range of Kenko TC out there that works with SDM, not too sure what the optical quality is like.
Thanks for the info on TC.
Wonder how much does a good one cost?
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#14
I've tried the 500mm F4.5 EX DG APO HSM on a Canon and it is just one awesome lens. :thumbsup:

The tripod it was mounted on was pretty awesome too...
This lens has a solid build look & the pics produced by this lens are sharp.
But I know it's not for me as this lens is meant to use with tripod. :(
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
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#15
Is that from Sigma?
Is it available for sales? Is the IQ good? ;p
Not a Sigma.
Old MF lens



Enna Munchen Tele-ennalyt 400/4.5

But I won't suggest these lenses. Its really heavy. Never weighed it, but its probably ~2.5kg. You need a tripod or at least some form of support to use these.
If you can pay, the newer optics and coatings on new lenses are better (more contrast and less prone to flare).

The build quality and feel of this lens is another story. Just speaks from another time...


Anyway, if you want to do serious birding, mho is that you need a disciplined "work ethic". A good tripod and field craft is a must, not to mention the tolerance to bugs and heat/humidity. Which is why I don't do it :D
 

ricsal

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Jun 23, 2007
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#16
U still need a tripod ah bro. Sometimes I use tripod for my 55-300 & Samyang(sux) 500mm.
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
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#17
Not a Sigma.
Old MF lens

But I won't suggest these lenses. Its really heavy. Never weighed it, but its probably ~2.5kg. You need a tripod or at least some form of support to use these.
If you can pay, the newer optics and coatings on new lenses are better (more contrast and less prone to flare).

The build quality and feel of this lens is another story. Just speaks from another time...


Anyway, if you want to do serious birding, mho is that you need a disciplined "work ethic". A good tripod and field craft is a must, not to mention the tolerance to bugs and heat/humidity. Which is why I don't do it
Oh, it's manual lens.. I'm not good at it. :sweat:
I've no issue to heat/humidity & bugs, quite ok tolerance. :)
Yes, I do carry tripod for birding ever since I've bought the light weight Benro.

I more or less getting the DA* 300 & a TC at a later stage.
I feel that the IQ of DA/DAL 55-300 can't really go further than this:
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=707571&highlight=kengoh

But the IQ of the DA/DAL 55-300 is quite good for focal length <200mm. :thumbsup:

My question now is to get from B&H or local stores? :think: :dunno:
 

snapnut

New Member
Oct 1, 2004
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#18
If you are already considering a TC (which would degrade IQ).
How about a SMC Pentax-F 1.7x AF with a M* 300mm f4 ? It is a very light and holdable combo ~1kg+.
I have the AF TC with a 200MM f4... works well.
I dun own the M* 300mm but it's IQ suppose to be very good.
The magic TC coverts all manual lens into AF (semi) lens :lovegrin:

This post from pentax forum shows the AF TC with a Tamron 300mm f2.8 (HEAVY)
http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/29119-tamron-300mm-f-2-8-pentax-1-7x-auto-focus-%3D-510mm-f-4-8-auto-focus.html
 

ricsal

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
1,549
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#19
Not a Sigma.
Old MF lens



Enna Munchen Tele-ennalyt 400/4.5

But I won't suggest these lenses. Its really heavy. Never weighed it, but its probably ~2.5kg. You need a tripod or at least some form of support to use these.
If you can pay, the newer optics and coatings on new lenses are better (more contrast and less prone to flare).

The build quality and feel of this lens is another story. Just speaks from another time...


Anyway, if you want to do serious birding, mho is that you need a disciplined "work ethic". A good tripod and field craft is a must, not to mention the tolerance to bugs and heat/humidity. Which is why I don't do it :D
Pinhole, where u got this lens? I'm a sucker for MF. My Samyang 500mm since T-mount, it doesnt goes well with Split Focusing screen. Most probably need a proper K-mount. :thumbsup:
 

kengoh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2004
6,846
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Singapore
#20
If you are already considering a TC (which would degrade IQ).
How about a SMC Pentax-F 1.7x AF with a M* 300mm f4 ? It is a very light and holdable combo ~1kg+.
I have the AF TC with a 200MM f4... works well.
I dun own the M* 300mm but it's IQ suppose to be very good.
The magic TC coverts all manual lens into AF (semi) lens :lovegrin:

This post from pentax forum shows the AF TC with a Tamron 300mm f2.8 (HEAVY)
http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/29119-tamron-300mm-f-2-8-pentax-1-7x-auto-focus-%3D-510mm-f-4-8-auto-focus.html
I think that the DA*300 + TC overall IQ should still be better than normal zoom lens.
Ddin't know TC can covert manual lens into AF (semi) lens? :what:
Any idea the price of Pentax-F 1.7x ? ;p
 

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