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Old May 6, 2011, 5:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by hnikesch View Post
How close does that 300 focus.
Hi Hans,

The A* (as well as the K and M*) 300/4s focus to 3m, the FA* 300/2.8, F* and FA* 300/4.5 all focus to 2m, and the DA* 300/4 will focus at 1.4m. The A* 300/2.8 focuses to 4m. IMO, the sharpness improves as does CA/PF in each newer series over the last when they made changes in the optical formulas.

Off Topic, but I think it's interesting to note that the outstanding results that mole gets with his A*300/4 are even more remarkable when you consider that his copy has quite a few nasty scratches on the front element (I'm assuming it's the same lens). He attached a photo of the front element in his first post with this lens:

Test shots - A* 300

Another of our members, Roy (robar), had one that looked like the front element had been cleaned with a cinder block, but you couldn't really tell from the pictures if he stopped it down. Here's a pic of his lens:

Goes to show you that great lenses just refuse to die.

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Old May 6, 2011, 10:45 PM   #12
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Wonderful series, Mole! The A*300 was my first * lens (still have it by the way). It's a wonderful lens even though it won't focus very closely - definitely not a macro or even a good close-up lens. But it has beautiful color and excellent sharpness, as well as being much smaller and lighter than the DA*300, which is the reason I keep it, though I haven't used it very much since purchasing the DA.

I agree with Scott's assessment of the two lenses, the DA is definitely better as far as PF and CA. I found the sharpness difference less noticeable - with the comparison shots I did it depended more on which lens had the better focus. When I managed to get both focused at the exact same point the DA*300 was slightly better, but I had far more shots that were inconclusive because of slight focusing differences. The A* is just such a work-horse of a lens, well worth it.
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Old May 8, 2011, 1:17 AM   #13
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Beautiful series Mole - just love it. The groundhog is very cute but the dragon & damsel series just excellent !

The two unknown damsels - looks like both are either Boreal Bluets or Northern Bluets (females come in Green & Blue versions).
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC

Last edited by Frogfish; May 8, 2011 at 1:36 AM.
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Old May 10, 2011, 5:59 AM   #14
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Hans - This groundhog sure was cute - a tiny one smaller than my hand, but already "fat & fluffly" and ready to eat up someone's vegetable garden! Hope all your rain is bringing plenty of green & bloom!
Scott answered your 300mm question quite thoroughly. I will just add that the insect pictures were not taken with the A* 300, but with the Sigma 70-300. Only woodpecker, black locust & crossvine taken with the A*300.

Tachikoma - So glad you enjoyed the little butterfly and the odonates. Isn't it amazing what a diversity of small "critters" our earth holds!

Scott - Thanks for your thorough and detailed answer to Hans' question. You are definitely the long lens expert! Yes, this is still my wonderfully scratched-up 300 - it works, and the price was in my (tiny) budget...

Harriet - Glad you enjoyed these, and thanks also for adding to the lens information...

Kevin - Thanks so much! Here are the identifications: The dragonfly is a Lancet Clubtail. The blue damselfly is a Familiar Bluet. The greenish one is a female Eastern Forktail.
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