|Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:37 pm Post subject: Pentax M* 4/300 ED F* vs 4.5/300 IF-ED, Nikkor 4.5/300 IF-ED
|The Pentax M* 4/300mm ED is a small marvel of lens design. It's proably the smallest 4/300mm full frame lens, it has three large ED lenses and one lens made of Schott's equivalent to the Noctilux glass, the LASF31A (nD 1.88, v=40). Some years ago i bought a pristine looking sample - and was quite disappointed about its performance, especially since Marco Cavina in his technical article had been raving about the lens (http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_fotografici/Pentax_M_300mm_4_star/00_pag.htm). It seems he's never been shooting with it ...!
Last year i got the Nikkor 4.5/300mm IF-ED - another disappointment: Quite strong CAs as well, not better than the Pentax M* 4/300mm, and only slightly better than my Minolta 4.5/300mm IF.
All my vintage 2.8/300mm lenses perform much better, but i still was looking for a small and lightweight high performance 300mm lens.
Some days ago my preferred local camera shop had a Pentax F* 4.5/300mm IF-ED for sale; i took the risk and bought it without checking its performance.
Here are the test results. First image: 100% crops from the center of the 24MP FF Sony A7II. Take these images with a grain of salt, since focusing a tele lens with strong loCAs (Nikkor, Pentax M*) is not straight-forward. I did focus to "best visual sharpness" which results in reddish color cast.
ATTENTION: PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE IMAGES AND WATCH AT 100% RESOLUTION; THE "INTELLIGENT" BROWSER SOFTWARE IS ADAPTING MY IMAGES TO YOUR SCREEN SIZES, RE-SIZING THEM AND BLURRING THEM COMPLETELY ...
And here are the 100% crops from the extreme corner, both wide open (f4.0 or f4.5) and at f8.
It's obvious that the the Pentax F* 4.5/300mm is much better than most "slow" 300mm vintage lenses i know, including a few ED lenses such as the Nikkor 4.5/300 IF-ED and the Pentax M* 4/300mm. The only exception is the Mamyia Sekor C 5.6/300mm which is slower than the lenses shown here, but at least as good as the Pentax F* 4.5/300mm.
Last edited by stevemark on Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:35 am; edited 1 time in total