Need advice re long telephoto lenses

Started Jan 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
audiobomber Veteran Member • Posts: 5,721
Re: Need advice re long telephoto lenses

Rod McD wrote:

  • The older MF Pentax M and A 400mm's come up reasonably regularly in ebay, where a good A400 might be $600. MF is a bit slow. Although they're sharp, PF is reported to be an issue.

I have an A*300 f4 and a DA*300. There are times when AF helps, e.g. flitting chickadees, BIF, sports. I would not be happy at all with a long tele that requires manual exposure. Exposure can change by as much as 5-6 Ev for a tree branch framed against the sky vs. in the woods. The extra steps of MF plus the Green button make a manual lens too slow for my uses.

I have noticed a lot of fringing in M and A 400mm photos compared to the A*300. The DA*300 shows the least fringing by far, especially when you add a TC. The other reason I prefer the DA* to the A* is the 1:4 magnification. I like to shoot flowers, dragonflies and butterflies with a tele, and the DA*'s closeup ability facilitates this use. Magnification was a deciding factor in getting the DA*300mm vs the 60-250. I value magnification more than I value zoom.

Mostly I value pixel level sharpness, which is why I returned the Sigma 150-500 and why the A*300mm has pretty much displaced my 55-300mm.

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