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10-14-2010, 06:38 PM   #1
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Question regarding weight of FA*80-200mm

Can anyone with this lens tell me whether the weight of it puts you off using it. I am revamping my kit and am considering two options.

Option 1
A 20mm
DA 35mm
100mm macro


Option 2
A 20mm
DA 35mm
100mm macro


Both options would incur similar expense and I would rather go with the first one due to having less lenses to worry about and the reviews of the FA*80-200mm suggest it is arguably the best lens in the 200mm range for Pentax going around. My concern is that the weight of it would restrict it's use. I am used to carrying a backpack so do not mind lugging that way in between shoots.

I have a monopod but prefer to only use it when I have to in low lighting if possible.

Any opinions would be much appreciated.


10-15-2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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I've never handled the FA* 80-200mm so I can't speak from experience (and anyway my sense that weight is a very subjective thing: I've heard people complaining about the weight of the DA*300mm and Sigma 70-200mm but I have both and can't understand what the problem is (otoh, Ithought the Sigma 10-20mm was heavy ;~)

The weight of the lens is a known quantity, though, so you might want to find some way of replicating it (soup cans?) by way of assessing how it feels to you. FWIW, I'd be inclined to go with the heavy lens over the two almost-heavy lenses.

Of course I wonder why you don't consider one of the more modern (and I assume) lighter lenses ilike the Sigma or Tamron 70-200 or the DA*60-250mm (but the 80-200mm does have a fine reputation of course.).
10-15-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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Hi Sam,

I have FA* 80-200 and yes it is heavy.
But if you want that zoom range, regardless the brand, all 70/80-200 zoom lenses with fixed f/2.8 are about the same weight.
So it really depends on whether you want that lens or not.
I have DA*50-135 too, many times I only use 16-50 & 50-135 as my travel kit.
But they don't give me the 200mm reach or even 280mm (combined with Tamron 1.4x TC) from my FA*80-200.

I would say from personal experience, the weight is relative. You get what you sacrifice for.
If you are a big guy, the weight probably is not a big deal. Some people in this forum even carry around the monstrous FA*250-600 plus it's giant gimbal head & huge tripod. That I would call a "HEAVY" setup.
I'm not that big, only 135lbs, so yes the lens is pretty heavy for me.

In my opinion, if you already had an FA*200/2.8 and will use FA*80-200 at the long reach only (200mm), I will suggest to just use that. I doubt that the IQ will differ so much. If I had the FA*200, I'd probably use my FA*80-200 less.

It's a good idea to have a backpack for big lens like this. I use Kata 3N1-30 that fits perfectly.
10-15-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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You cannot fault the image quality but the FA* 80-200 is front heavy. That makes it tiring to use hand held more so than the absolute weight. For hand held use I prefer the DA* 60-250 which balances better. You lose a stop, though, the 60-250 is f/4.

10-16-2010, 03:13 AM   #5
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Thanks a lot guys, I took the plunge and bought one on eBay so we'll see how it handles.
10-16-2010, 04:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by samski_1 Quote
Thanks a lot guys, I took the plunge and bought one on eBay so we'll see how it handles.
Wow, congratulations in advance!

I have the FA* 80-200 and I could imagine that some will be put off by the weight. In my setup it's the 2nd heaviest lens (the heaviest is the Sigma 500/4.5 APO EX). I took the FA* with me on our vacation to Italy and it was the only time I ever lost body weight. But my bag then consisted of the FA* 80-200, DA* 55/1.5 SDM, Sigma 17-70, FA31 and FA77, as well as a K-7 body. Nevertheless, the FA* 80-200 IQ is fantastic and I used it more than all the other lenses combined.

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