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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful color rendition, superb bokeh, good contrast, 10 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
Although you can't expect a 300mm lens to be as sharp as a good 50mm lens, there's no reason why it can't produce excellent colors, contrast, bokeh, etc. It is precisely in those "subjective" categories that the DA* 300 performs most flawlessly. Resolution is also outstanding in a lens of this focal length, which makes this an outstanding critter lens for those who can't afford the immense prices for quality supertelephotos. In many ways, a 300 f4 lens hits kind of the sweet spot in terms of usuability and price. A faster 300mm lens, or a long f4 lens, or a zoom lens of comparable quality, would cost and weigh at least twice as much. It works superbly as a critter lens for larger animals, such as elk, moose, seals, feral children, etc. Because of its ability to focus to nearly 4.5 feet, it could, at least theoretically, be used for birds as well -- assuming you could get close enough to the nervous little critters. Of course, because of stunning IQ, it can be used in other types of work as well, including landscapes.

Focusing was accurate and AF-C works well as long as you can steadily track the moving object. Focusing ring has approximately 220°travel which makes manual focusing feel like in the good old times. The ring does not spin when performing AF so you can hold the lens as you please.

Finally a lens that should put an end on bidding wars over older F* and FA* 300/4.5 lenses
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got one at last, 25 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
I had been lusting over one of these for a short while after reading the reviews on forums and seeing some of the outstanding results I was very impressed and have at last got one and I am not a long standing photogrpher with decades of experience but am one of these people that do tend to buy all the gear.
In the hope that this great piece of kit would enhance my humble offerings I went ahead and bought this.I found it just right for my K20D well balanced the sdm is almost silent and really quite fast the images so far have been very satisfying indeed if you are pondering this purchase I am no expert but this is one lens which I use almost daily if particular for birds and wildlife.

A recent trip to Whipsnade Zoo to test this sure was rewarding I am really over the moon with this lens and would recommend it to anyone
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Star of the DA* lenses, 30 July 2011
This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
I absolutely love this lens. It's pin sharp (pixel peeping level). Fantastic colours, contrast and bokeh. Yes it is a biggish lens, but compare this to s similar Nikon or Canon and this is a light lens and it balances beautifully on the Pentax K5. Well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 lens with superb IQ and great focussing. The TC, 25 Nov. 2014
By 
D. Storm (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
This lens is stellar. There is nothing close to it for a Pentax DSLR and if you team it up with the Pentax 1.4 HD AW Teleconverter you have a 420mm constant F5.6 lens with superb IQ and great focussing. The TC, by the way, does not reduce contrast and the reduction in IQ is so negligible as to not be worth worrying about.

I can't speak highly enough of this fantastic lump of glass and metal, it is magnificent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pentax smc DA 300mm f4 ED (IF) SDM lens, 19 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
This is an excellent lens. The image quality from this lens is superb and it is comparible in sharpness to my 31mm f1.8 FA lens.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The images are a lot sharper than the 55-300 which is still a great lens for the money but not in the same ..., 15 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
Replaced my 55-300 with this and so far I'm extremely impressed with it. The images are a lot sharper than the 55-300 which is still a great lens for the money but not in the same league as this optic. The ultrasonic drive is near silent and reasonably quick ( a friend who shoots with a Canon 7D and a Sigma 120-300 says the speed is comparable). I get more keepers with this lens and because it has an F4 aperture it lets in twice as much light as the 55-300 at the 300 end. As I'm currently shooting with a K-R I was concerned I wouldn't see much of an improvement over the zoom but I'm well impressed. This lens must be awesome on a K5 or K3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pentax 300mm DA smc lens, 9 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
I have read reviews of this product praising it's excellence and have tried unsuccessfully to acquire one before. Now I have this lens and it is all that I was hoping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars da* 300, 18 Nov. 2012
By 
P. N. Lynch "pete" (nantwich) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
Really well built lens,pin sharp the autofocus is silent also weather sealed. Like the rubber end on lens hood all in all joy to use
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent lense. À must for Pentqx users, 3 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
Bought the lense for a safari in Kenya. Incredible sharpness on my K5. Easy to handle. Do not regret one second the investment.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pentax 300mm DA* f4: Ideal Lens for Wildlife Photography?, 21 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Pentax smc DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Telephoto Prime Lens for Pentax DSLR (Electronics)
This is probably the best lens for wildlife photographers who like to remain mobile and who need to get close in to subjects that would rather the photographer not be close to them! I have bigger lenses that hardly go anywhere because they are just that - too big and heavy. This one is much more manageable with good reach (equivalent to 450mm on a 35mm camera) being not so heavy that the camera cannot be readily deployed from waist level and directed at quite rapidly moving subjects, while the lens on its own is not so big that, when swapped, it won't fit into a reasonably sized bag. Focussing is fast, accurate and virtually silent, except for the beep of course. At f5.6, this lens, on a K-5IIs, is pixel sharp. There is hardly any chromatic aberration, and what there is is removable in RAW processing. The same goes for distortion. The perfect lens? No. There is no such thing! Every lens is a compromise between many factors and it is for the user to weigh them up. For what it is intended for, sports and wildlife, this lens is an excellent choice for Pentax owners. It certainly does full justice to the unfiltered Sony sensor in the K-5IIs, which is one of the best APC sensors available anywhere. To what extent a digital crop from this lens on this camera can match an uncropped image from a something-to-500mm zoom at f6.5-f8 is something I have yet to assess, but I suspect that there is not much in it and, taking account of the faster shutter speed and/or lower ISO available to it, the smaller prime lens could indeed win over. Bigger isn't always better.
So, to summarise:

Pros:
Build quality
Optical quality
Focussing speed
Ease of handling
Dust and weather resistance
Useably fast in good light (fastest lens available for Pentax mount at this focal-length).

Cons:
Not compact or lightweight
Does not fit in one's pocket
Price (the most expensive Pentax lens) but I think you do get what you pay for.
f4 maximum aperture (so limited useability in low light).
No zoom capability

all of which are essential elements of the necessary compromise.
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