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PentaxSMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR
 
4.9

(based on 44 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (40)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (36)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (31)
  • Rugged (25)
  • Consistent output (24)
  • Nice bokeh (24)

Cons

  • Heavy (10)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (35)
  • Sports/action (25)
  • Landscape/scenery (13)
  • Wildlife (5)
  • Macro photography (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (27), Semi-pro photographer (8), Semi-professional (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (32)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Better than I had hoped!

I use this lens mostly for nature photography coupled to a K5 camera. Image quality has been excellent. I thought the 60-250 had fantastic sharpness and color rendition and this lens is just...Read complete review

I use this lens mostly for nature photography coupled to a K5 camera. Image quality has been excellent. I thought the 60-250 had fantastic sharpness and color rendition and this lens is just as good. I have missed a few shots due to wandering focus and I think a focus limiter would be good but all in all this is the lens that has been on my camera most of the summer and my photography has never looked so good.
I have been using Pentax for 30 years and finally I have a system that can go up against just about anything else out there.
I would buy this again without reservation.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great lens, but autofocus jam

I was looking forward to this high quality Pentax lens. By far the most expensive lens I have purchased. Right out of the box it took sharp photos, both near and far, around...Read complete review

I was looking forward to this high quality Pentax lens. By far the most expensive lens I have purchased. Right out of the box it took sharp photos, both near and far, around the room and through a window, the motor quiet and smooth. A few days later when I took it outside for some nature shots the auto focus froze on infinity. I switched to manual and adjusted the focus and it solved the problem temporarily. But as soon as I went back to autofocus it locked again near infinity. Another reviewer at B&H had a similar problem with the 300 mm autofocus jamming so beware that there may be a hidden defect lurking in this product. This may be a five star lens manually, but a risky investment if you are looking for reliable autofocus. I have returned it to B & H (they are great with returns) and will replace with the 55- 300 Pentax zoom for now.

Reviewed by 44 customers

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5.0

Excellent lens

By Doug

from Hobe Sound FL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

    The Pentax 300mm f/4 lens is an excellent telephoto. It's razor sharp and considerably lighter than an aftermarket 300mm f/2.8 telephoto. Unless you absolutely need an extra stop of light gathering ability, this is the prime lens to use. It's an excellent piece of equipment. Highly recommended.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Excellent Results

    By RGV Birder

    from Rio Grande Valley, Texas

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

      I bought this lens to use in wildlfe photography and sports. Matched with the new Pentax 1.4 teleconverter, the combination delivers excellent results on my K-3. The SDM auto focus is fast and accurate and the image quality is as good as it gets. I have been using a Sigma 50-500 for bird photography but this lens with the tc produces an equivalent focal length of 420mm, but is light enough for hand-held photos or use on a monopod. It is a very versatile lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Awesome Lens

      By Gee dada

      from Northwest Georgia

      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

      I bought this lens for my Pentax K-50, to take pictures of wildlife on our trip to Alaska this summer. Have taken some pictures of a nesting pair of bald eagles near my home in Georgia. The pictures have been great. The lens is well worth the price.

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      300 mm f/4 fast focus

      By Delmarva Mad Dog

      from Chesapeake, Virginia

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

      My first shots with this lens were handheld moon photos. The detail is amazing, my family was asking where I found those moon shots and they were surprised when I told them I took them. I have also been shooting wildlife and I am very impressed with the speed to focus, but more so the silence of the motor. If you did not see the image change you may not know it has focused.

      I was surprised by the size and weight of this lens, it is rather heavy. Thankfully Pentax included the tripod mount attachment to better balance the load.

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      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent birding lens.

      By Retired dog

      from Ohio

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

        I bought this lens to go with my K3 and K5IIs for birding
        and wildlife. Very nice.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Superb Image Quality

        By Stan S

        from Penna USA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Image quality
        • Weather Resistance

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

          Over the past few years shooting Pentax, I've tried quite a few lenses to find what suits me best. I've ended up with most of my lenses now being in the top end of the line with the DA* and DFA macro.

          The DA*300 is simply superb. The IQ coupled with my K-5IIs is nothing less than stunning. This lens is one of those things you buy for a lifetime and am very happy that I've now added it to my gear.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Long Distance Shooter

          By fwbigd

          from Fort Worth TX

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Image quality
          • Lightweight
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Sports/Action
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

            This is my wildlife and sports photography lens. It is the equivelent of 450mm on an APC-C camera such as the Pentax K3. What makes this lens great is it's built quality, light weight and most of all the optical quality. The images are extremly sharp and constrasty.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Awesome Lens!

            By daybro

            from Lakeland, FL

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Sharp
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Flower close-ups
              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

              This is my first DA* prime lens and I am very happy to own and use it. I've only had it one day, and after using mostly a zoom lens for some time now, there is a bit of a learning curve with this lens ... but that's not a steep curve and once you're past it ... WOW! Super quiet! Super sharp! Just an awesome lens!

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              • No

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              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great lens

              By Ronen Yahav

              from Lapid,Isreal

              About Me Photography Student

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                    Great Lens,great colors,produces very sharp images from long distance,produces a lot of detail and great built quality.
                    using k-5iis.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    I am in love with this lens!

                    By Sheepman

                    from Powell WY

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                      The best lens I have ever owned.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Outstanding so far

                      By Ed

                      from Northern CA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Rugged
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Wildlife Photos

                        Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                        I've only taken a handful of shots so far but the image quality is up with the best Pentax has to offer; comparable to the DA*50-135 and FA 31 Limited. Only downside I've noted is hunting in low-light.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Gorgeous lens

                        By bjdavey

                        from Alexandria, VA

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Great colors
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Sharp
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                          I've coveted this lens for some years now, and finally gave in to temptation. It's worth every cent - sharp, solid, beautifully made, everything one expects from the Pentax DA* line. On my new K-5 iid the results are beyond what I expected, with sharp results even wide open - at f 5.6, even better. Highly recommended.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Better than I had hoped!

                          By Tom

                          from Chiloquin OR

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Lightweight
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                          • Poor in Low Light

                          Best Uses

                          • Sports/Action
                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                          I use this lens mostly for nature photography coupled to a K5 camera. Image quality has been excellent. I thought the 60-250 had fantastic sharpness and color rendition and this lens is just as good. I have missed a few shots due to wandering focus and I think a focus limiter would be good but all in all this is the lens that has been on my camera most of the summer and my photography has never looked so good.
                          I have been using Pentax for 30 years and finally I have a system that can go up against just about anything else out there.
                          I would buy this again without reservation.

                          Share this review

                          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Survived Better Than I Did

                          By DC

                          from Newark, DE

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Crisp Images
                          • Durable
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Easy to use
                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Quiet Operation
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Flowers
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                            Purchased to augment my 55-300mm Pentax lens. The 300mm prime is MUCH quieter and, in my experience, quicker to focus. It can hunt in low light situations but not any worse than any other lens I have ever used. Also, the images are much crisper than my 55-300mm Pentax lens. I shoot alot of birds, rabbits, squirrels, snakes, butterflies, insects, and the like and this is a great lens. I have a Sigma 150-500mm lens but this 300mm Pentax, though not light, is much lighter and the images much crisper. I shoot primarily hand holding the cameras. My 55-300mm has now been regulated to my K200D.
                            The Pentax 300mm prime is also extremely well built. I say this as the result of an unintended test. I was climbing up a rock/boulder outcropping overlooking a mill pond when I lost my balance. The initial fall was only a few feet but the tumbling lasted about 25-30 feet. The K5 and K7 I was wearing both still work fine though they have some minor scratches through the finish caused as I tumbled head over heels down the rock strewn slope. The 18-135mm lens hood was knocked off as well as the cap covering the filter adjust window. The same happened to my brand new 300mm lens hood. BOTH cameras and lenses still work as well as new!!! I had to go back the next day to find the missing window cap on the 18-135mm lens hood. I also had to replace the lens hood on the 300mm lens as, though it still fits, one of the mounting quides broke off. Me = cuts, abrasions, bruises, an unintended mole removal, and a broken thumb. This is not the 1st time that a Pentax lens hood has taken the brunt of a fall requiring lens hood replacement but a lens that work as well as it did from the factory.
                            By the way, I did get an unusual shot of a hummingbird defacating in mid air using this lens.

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                            4.0

                            Good quality and cost performance

                            By Sleepy birder

                            from Narashino Japan

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Lightweight
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Macro Photography
                              • Wildlife Photos

                              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                              I'm using the product mainly to take photos of many kinds of
                              birds. I have a little bit frustration about its continuous
                              AF but quite satisfied with its high resolution of photos.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Long-anticipated addition to my bag!

                              By Chrissy

                              from Seattle, WA

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Durable
                              • Easily Interchangeable
                              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                              • Lightweight
                              • Nice Bokeh
                              • Rugged
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Sports/Action
                                • Wildlife Photos

                                Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                                I've planned for years to add Pentax's longest current prime telephoto to my camera bag, and a recent improvement in my work situation finally enabled my order from B&H, source for my other digital Pentax purchases.

                                The DA*300mm F4 prime tele is quicker to autofocus than my DA*50-135mm F2.8 telezoom, as expected, without the latter lens' infrequent problem with autofocus. The color rendition, sharpness, and bokeh of this lens are lovely and live up to the reputation of high-end Pentax glass (I've shot Pentax since working with them professionally in the 1970s, and Pentax lens quality is one of the biggest reasons why.)

                                The only real drawback to shooting this lens is that I'm getting too old and shaky to successfully hand hold it! I'm awaiting delivery from B&H of a Kirk LP-3 lens plate to mount the lens to my Kirk BH-3/Slik 813CF tripod set-up, so that I can work around that little problem! The only other drawback to this lens, for me, is that I can't leave it mounted on my K10D and still close my Lowepro Magnum camera bag or Rover Plus AW photo backpack. That means a few extra lens swaps when shooting out in the field. A small matter, but I don't really need to be carrying bigger camera bags at this point in my life.

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                                5.0

                                Excellent lens

                                By Terry

                                from Portland OR

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Consistent Output
                                • Durable
                                • It's weather sealed a hu
                                • Nice Bokeh
                                • Rugged
                                • Strong Construction

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Landscape/Scenery
                                  • Wildlife Photos

                                  Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                                  I use this lens for birding, wildlife and nature photography. In low light it will hunt a bit but the quick shift focus ability with this lens is great and saves a lot of hunting. The lens is easy to use, very well built and very sharp with great color/IQ. Love how quiet and fast auto focus works.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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                                  5.0

                                  What a difference!

                                  By Stretch

                                  from Napa Valley, CA

                                  About Me Casual Photographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Durable
                                  • Easily Interchangeable
                                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                                  • Nice Bokeh
                                  • Rugged
                                  • Strong Construction

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                                      Very happy with this fixed length. I had rented a 60-250 zoom and this really does more of what I want. The sturdy build and dust/moisture resistance was the reason I went with this and the K5.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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                                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Bought this lens for IQ

                                      By Photoman8888

                                      from Hong Kong

                                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Consistent Output
                                      • Lightweight
                                      • Nice Bokeh
                                      • Rugged
                                      • Strong Construction

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                                          I had been using the Sigma 150-500 OS version plus DA*60-250. I am very impress with the DA*60-250, but it seems shorter than 250mm for some reason. The Sigma was a bit heavier and I want to improve the IQ on that. Thru reading positive reviews on the DA*300, I purchased it.

                                          It has the same (or better) build quality as my DA*60-250. IQ is superb and it's relatively light weight is very nice. Now I don't need tripod or monopod for BIF. The AF is not super fast and sometimes it does hunt.

                                          I wish Pentax will make similar lens for 400mm or 500mm together with an excellent quality 1.4 or 1.5 AF teleconverter.

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                                          • No

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                                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Best lens I've bought

                                          By Verboten

                                          from Albany, Oregon

                                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Durable
                                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                                          • Strong Construction
                                          • Weatherproof

                                          Cons

                                          • Heavy
                                          • Tripod foot

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Landscape/Scenery
                                          • Sports/Action
                                          • Weddings/Events
                                          • Wildlife Photos

                                          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                                          With this purchase of the DA* 300 I now have 3 DA* lenses (16-50 and 50-135 too). This is the best of the bunch. Sharp as a tack, really fast focus, and perfectly balanced on my K20D with the grip.

                                          My only complaint, and it's minor, is that the hole in tripod foot is a too far forward and my Manfrotto QR plate sticks out in front of it.

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                                          • No

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