My copy was pretty beaten up by Kerrick James as he was the original owner with frequent usage. When I asked him about why he sold his lens over eBay before the purchase, he mentioned to me that he replaced the F* with the DA* 30mm. Yes, the tripod mount on F* 300mm is very unique and sturdy but I normally use this lens hand-held as it is not-too-bulky and quite compact for a 300mm. I love the yellowish white color on the lens barrel. It is not the grey-color as in the FA*. My copy is collecting dust in one of my bags tucked into a corner. A Shame, I should find excuses to take it out.
I don't shoot long lenses lately as I have more photos on street-shooting and traveling. I couldn't believe it myself that I never have used my DA* 60-250 1.5 years after purchase. In light with cutting my lens to the bones, I let go my DA* 60-250 3 months back in PF and I don't want to look back for the rational. That 60-250 is a beauty and pictures have the same tonality and color like the 50-135. If anyone likes long zoom, the 60-250 is high on my gear to highly recommend. BUT! Between the zoom and the prime in 300mm, the prime has more of my vote as sharpness and lighter weight sway the prime to my favorite likings.
The color, bokeh and sharpness really pop with F* 300. I am a casual shooter and many of my old shots were straight out in jpg. This one was likely with K20D
Likely one of my better hummingbird shots was made at ease with this prime
f/6.3, iso 500, 1/1000sec, 300mm, hand-held with K20D
I likely have shown this picture before. Please allow me as it is the bragging rights. I exaggerate a bit again on the 'shooting with ease' on hummingbirds as it is combination of luck, patience, and repeated trials until an okay shot that is found worth editing.
I was not paying attention to its color and contrast. I take it for granted and miss appreciating what I have in my bag. There is always a tendency to upgrade and forget about the actual picture taking. I re-examine some of my old shots in 2009 and I have been pleased with both the sharpness and smooth bokeh. Maybe all longer lenses give better smooth bokeh and I don't know the exact reasoning. This picture below was shot in f/6.3, iso 400, there are some shadows around the lower left on the background that distract a bit but I think it is shadow of the trees around. Overall, the lens is great.
I have been thinking long and hard on K3 or K3 II as an upgrade to my dependable K-5. When that happen, I will use it for enthusiast type of nature shooting as in shooting the hummingbirds, terns and landscape in hiking. If you have either K-3 and K3 II, please share your thoughts if K-3 is much or slightly improved on AF especially on the tracking. I was always dizzy in panning and I find tracking is very difficult on K20D or K-5, I hope the K-3 has been improved for enthusiasts in shooting wild life.
I am pretty sure the DA* 300mm has inherited most if not all the goodness from this old prime and with WR and better.
Some product shots using the A6000 and E 50mm f/1.8 The subject is my NEX 5N with Fujian 35mm f/1.7 mounted
f/2.0, iso 2500
f/2.0, iso 1600
The 5N is a smaller camera than the A6000. Instead of getting a 1 inch sensor camera, I am keeping my 5N and use smaller lenses like the 16-50 kit zoom, sigma 30 and 19, along with manual compact lenses such as my Voiglander 40mm f/1.4 or Fujian 35mm f/1.7. The combo can't beat the size of a Sony Rx100 IV or Panasonic LX100 but it is smaller than any dSLR that I have used. One of my most favorite Pentax is the Kx but the size can't match the 5N with a small lens. I have these comparisons pictures of K-01 and Sony 5N before.
When the 1" sensor camera get closer to < $400, I may consider it but until then, I am using the 5N for those moments that smaller size is better suited on 5N.
This small combo with NEX 5N and 16-50 pancake kit zoom happen to be my most used combination even though I have my A6000 with me. I use the A6000 with a fast prime in Voiglander 20mm f/1.8 for other 1-lens outing in Mammoth Lakes visit last week.
Sony NEX 5N and Voiglander 40mm f/1.4
Sony NEX 5N and Voiglander 40mm f/1.4
Both were taken with Voiglander 40mm f/1.4 and A6000. A nice combo for small and compact size similar to FA 43mm f/1.9. The Voiglander has great character wide open and when paired with a $35 Helicoil adapter for better close up, it is well rounded manual focus lens that is UNLIKE any bigger dSLR lenses.
I have Sony A6000, you can visit my flickr photos and you will see I use a combination of Sony A6000, Sony A7 and NEX 5N. I still shoot Pentax K-5. My usage is most on the aps-c with Sony A6000. It is lightweight and compact. The wonderful lens on the camera will make a lot of difference. The high end lenses series in the G or Zeiss branded lenses of Sony native E mount are expensive. I highly recommend the non-native Sigma (especially the older version1) on 19 mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8. The Sigma 60mm is only available in version 2 and the 60 is the sharpest aps-c lens for Sony that I have used. Well worth the money and you can shoot all wide open and not worry about sharpness. That is especially true on the Sigma 30 and 60.
sigma 30mm f/2.8 and NEX 5N @ f/2.8
The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 is the weakest link out of the trio but I like it for landscape and street shooting. It is my DA 21mm replacement on Sony aps-c sensor camera Sony NEX 5N and Sigma 19mm f/2.8
Sigma 60 and NEX 5N
The A6000 is a fast and action packed camera. It has its quirks but it can shoot 10 frames per second and it has a Eye-AF where it places the focal point on one's eye and a green square can appear over one's eye for focusing when face detection is on. The A7r2 and A6300 even have Eye-AF and refined lock-on focusing in AF-C and video. Yes, all AF with work seamlessly on video.
Shot with a $25.00 Fujian 35mm f/1.7 wide open in f/1.7 and Sony A6000
If you like to experiment with MF lenses on the cheap or the opposite with Leica priced lens, you will be wowed on Sony with range-finder like lenses such as the Voiglander 40mm f/1.4 and Voiglander 21mm f/1.8
Voiglander 40mm f/1.4 on Sony A7 -- the combo is tiny, not any bigger than a 43mm f/1.9 on Pentax
Voiglander 40mm f/1.4 and Sony A7 likely in f/1.4
And you can reuse your super-takumar (my favorite Pentax MF lenses) on Sony A7 usage such as the Super-Tak 105mm f/2.8 (tiny m42 lens) on hiking
Sony A6000 and Super-Tak 105mm f/2.8 and lens turbo that adds 1 stop of light and provide a 0.71 crop factor to offset the 1.5 aps-c crop factor.
Can other mirrorless does what Sony has done, you bet! And I think both Olympus and Fuji have done amazing work on their latest. But Sony has done quite a remarkable job on the senor along with innovative products and the previous problems with lack of lenses are improving and not as bad as before. The big issue on A6000 or the development on aps-c in general lies in Sony putting more emphasis on FF instead of aps-c. It is both good and bad. Bad in customers like me who love aps-c and good for FF die-hard fans who are crazy on resolution or the bigger-the-better camp. When I get A6000 and A7, my take-away is that the smaller camera is more satisfactory for me. The FF is very much hyped up for my usage. FF is great but not as fantastic as what others have hyped up the value of FF for average-joe enthusiasts like me.
I am much happier with a lighter camera when I go hiking or carry my camera bag for outdoor activity. The FF does has its important places and it is worth the trouble and money. Had Pentax gotten K-1 in 2013, there is no way I will get Sony A7. If I go back in time and that Pentax has a solid K-1 in 2012/2013 time-frame, I will grab k-1 for professional work while getting A6000 for weekend and light camera to have with reasonable tracking, frame rate and reliable AF. The A6000 and the Sony E mount excels the most with adapters that you can easily buy a few AF native lenses while using many of your existing lenses with AF support (Canon) or shoot all in MF. Sony excel in focus peeking along with good magnified view on EVF or LCD. The EVF is superb and once you get over the hurtle in adaptation with Evf over Ovf, you can't go back as you see the aperture change and melt your hearts away with the bokeh and rendering effect of vignette right at you view finder.
I have to go through some processing with the shot indoor. I only have 1-lens in visiting Spoons in Tahoe City. It is a very homey but small family restaurant where the loft have two tables and my family is the lucky one to get there early around 5:30pm on last Saturday. In hind-sight, I would have better shots with a faster prime but the point is the compactness and ease of carrying 1-single-lens with a small body.
All four pictures have issues and need processing but I am quite happy with the lens and there is no single lens that can replace it in my bag. I have lots of primes in the order of 10+ (okay, I lie, I have 30+ primes if I count my other brand's gear with an adapter).
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