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Old Jan 27, 2010, 5:48 AM   #1
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Default Test shots - A* 300

My "new" (actually very old and battered/scratched) Pentax A* 300 F4 arrived earlier this week. Not a lot of time to test it out - busy sharing nature with lots of school children. But took a few test shots out in the snow flurries, wind and clouds. I'm finding it a bit harder to focus than some other manual lenses, but enjoying the results. Despite the scratched front element, it seems to do pretty well.

First a few bark samples, adding to the park's teaching collection (Buckeye and Black Cherry):
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 5:49 AM   #2
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A bit of moss (several species gowing together):
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 5:50 AM   #3
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And a few birds that were out braving the cold (Canada Goose, Coot, Black Vulture):
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 5:51 AM   #4
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Got several more interesting Vulture shots, which I will post over in the Wildlife Photos section.

What do you think of this lens? Thanks for any comments!!
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 9:31 AM   #5
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I should never comment on pictures I see on my work monitor - it's not a good one. But on this not-so-good monitor, they look quite sharp. I don't think your scratched front element is going to detract from your pictures much at all.
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 10:52 PM   #6
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Hi mole,

Looks very good. You'd never know that there were major scratches in the front element from these. You should post a pic of the damage as a good lesson on how a lens doesn't have to be perfect to shoot well, and that the nature of the premium lens wins out in the final product.

The A* is a great lens, very compact for it's spec, but very well built.

You'll also have to watch out now -- Harriet will confirm this -- * glass is addictive. . .

I knew a couple of photojournalists who were friends of my parents when I was a kid, and learned this lesson early. One of these guys shot a beat up Spotmatic with a 50mm that had a black line on the front element. I remember asking him about this. He said that the lens had a scratch on it that didn't really show up in the pictures, and that he had filled in the scratch with paint to prevent flare in some situations. I nodded my head and said "Ahaaa", but didn't have any idea what he was talking about at the time (and I'm sure he knew it, but he let it go at that). . .

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Old Jan 29, 2010, 5:26 AM   #7
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Harriet & Scott - Thanks for the helpful and specific feedback!
I agree that buying lenses can be addictive - luckily my lack of funds can help provide some self-control!

As per your request, here is a photo of the front element of this good old lens:
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 5:11 PM   #8
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Best argument I have seen in a long while for keeping a protective filter on a lens. Whomever owned that lens before was one careless dude!
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 4:24 PM   #9
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hard to believe that it can take such good images with the front element in that state!!!!
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