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11-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #16
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Found one of the two reviews I was thinking of 2 Pentax Telephoto Lens Comparisons: the DA* 200mm vs. DA* 300mm - photo.net

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The only real negative I found was the slightly sub par performance of the DA* 300mm at f/4. Considering the DA* 300mm is only an f/4 lens, losing the f/4 aperture isnít really something I would think bodes well for this lens. However, the performance was not poor enough to consider the 300mm f/4 unusable wide open, and at times I found it to be pleasingly sharp at f/4.

The lack of tack sharpness of the DA* 300mm only becomes truly evident when you consider the DA* 200mm is a not only a full stop faster but also sharper wide open.


11-17-2010, 07:00 PM   #17
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and here's the other one: Pentax DA* 300mm f/4 Lens Review

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If it's [DA*300] a pretty good lens, though, the latest DA* certainly didn't make the impact around here that it's smaller brother did. Whereas we came away feeling that the DA* 200mm f/2.8 was a superior lens for its price, size and weight, the DA* 300mm f/4 is merely a good one, all things considered. A slightly slow maximum aperture (by pro-glass standards) combined with some visible softness across the frame at f/4 will be a thorn in the side of persnickety users (though I rarely found myself unsatisfied with the sharpness in even 8x10 prints at maximum aperture).

While it may not be the near-perfect tool that the DA* 200mm proved to be, the 300mm variant largely lives up to the hype – filling an important niche for Pentax and doing so in a nice package for a fair price
11-17-2010, 08:02 PM   #18
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I own the DA*200 and use it alone and in conjunction with the Pentax AF 1.7X adapter. Immage quality of the lens is excellent and it's very good when coupled with the TC. In the end of the day, it really depends what your shooting style is. If you are into indoor sports and long portraits, the DA*200 (plus the 1.7X adapter if you need something longer) is the way to go. However, if you are into wildlife, the DA*300 with the 1.7X adapter is the way to go.
11-17-2010, 09:24 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by SylBer Quote
I own the DA*200 and use it alone and in conjunction with the Pentax AF 1.7X adapter. Immage quality of the lens is excellent and it's very good when coupled with the TC. In the end of the day, it really depends what your shooting style is. If you are into indoor sports and long portraits, the DA*200 (plus the 1.7X adapter if you need something longer) is the way to go. However, if you are into wildlife, the DA*300 with the 1.7X adapter is the way to go.
I noticed you own both the 50-135 and the 200. How do you think the IQ compares between those 2? Also, is PF/CA as big a problem in the field as the photozone test indicates? Thanks

11-18-2010, 01:26 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by G_Money Quote
What I like about the 200 is it has a fairly close MFD, which I put to use today at the butterfly conservatory.
The 300 has better magnification though (1:4 vs 1:5), so unless you are constrained by space, it's a better lens for closeups.
11-18-2010, 04:40 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I don't have either lens, but the reviews I've read point to the DA*200 being superb wide open, whereas the DA*300 being a bit soft, so I'd question whether the 300 is better than the 200 optically.
I had them both for two weeks and 300 was tack sharp at f4 while 200 was quite sharp at 2.8
11-18-2010, 05:40 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
The 300 has better magnification though (1:4 vs 1:5), so unless you are constrained by space, it's a better lens for closeups.
I didn't realize that, Cristofor, but in this case space was a concern. If I go chasing them outdoors I'll try the 300. Thanks for the info.
11-18-2010, 05:42 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
this is exactly the issue: long portrait lens or long nature lens?
I'd say, long portrait lens (200mm) or short nature lens (300mm).

I have the DA*300mm and love it but, AFAIC, 300mm is pretty much the minimum for serious nature (i.e., animal) photography and I almost always use a TC. OTOH, while I have taken some nice portraits with the 300mm, it feels like overkill. When I want long distance (candid) portraits, I'll use the Sigma 70-200mm or FA 135mm f2.8


Last edited by dadipentak; 11-18-2010 at 05:53 AM.
11-18-2010, 07:21 AM   #24
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It's funny how our perspectives differ (pardon the pun). For quite a few years early on in my photography, my longest lens was an 80-200mm--on 135. It is hard for me to think of that as a portrait lens, especially with the cropped FOV. I can't see the 200mm perspective for a portrait unless one were trying to take a flattering photo of Cyrano de Bergerac.
11-18-2010, 09:19 AM   #25
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These answer to questions like this depend on our uses and we're all going to be different. I own both manual focus 200 and 300mm primes and the 300 gets more use and my 70-300 zoom has more shots at 300 than any other length. I'm outside chasing birds and critters. I rarely use any of the long lenses in the winter months as I'm not out as much doing those kinds of shots. For indoor winter sports, family get togethers, portraits, etc I rarely will shoot longer than 70mm. Actually, I haven't found much use for the 200 at all but I picked it up quite cheap and it's very sharp so it's not going anywhere.
11-18-2010, 09:34 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
This cat is thinking the same thing. Which lens to I want?
11-18-2010, 11:24 AM   #27
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A bit like reeftol, I found my Tokina 80-200 was used mostly at max length (and at 200, I was often wishing it reached further), with some wider angle for people shooting, so opted to switch to 2 lenses by function: DA*50-135 for mid-range/people/portraits + something for long.

Initially, I was thinking 200 for long, but forum members persuaded me that for one long prime to contrast with 50-135, I'd be happier with a 300. For me, they were absolutely right. BUT, I'm finding the 50-135 as long as I'd want for most portraiture, and the 300 is for extreme reach (mostly wildlife).

I don't have (and no longer feel tempted by) the 200 as a result: I don't mind the 135/300 gap: different lenses for different situations, with nothing begging to live in the middle. By comparison, though, if my longest prime were 200, I'd definitely want a longer option and wouldn't want to count on TCs for reach.

I can say that I find the 300 staggeringly sharp, even wide open, and holds up to TC use or just plain cropping very well (frankly, so well that I'd sooner crop than bother with a TC, which sits sadly unused). Without a 200 I can't compare my 300 to it directly but on its own merits, and based on being used to shooting DA* zooms, I'm very happy with its IQ including wide open. And I'm OK to hand-hold it in many situations too, though good bracing if not tripod are helpful (I got a spare QR plate to live on its tripod collar).

Now in your case, for portraiture, yes the 200 probably makes more sense, BUT for me I leave it to the 50-135 for that. Particularly indoors where the 300 would be a bit nuts in most rooms and I don't readily see how the 200 would be that helpful. Whereas, outdoors opens up room for long shooting distances and I've taken some sweet portraits with the 300 that way, and as noted the longer FL means f/4 is plenty shallow DoF:



Also, the reach of the 300 can facilitate some discrete candids from afar if that's your thing, though I suspect the 200 would be plenty long for that purpose too.
11-18-2010, 12:22 PM - 1 Like   #28
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I would think of the DA*200 less as a long portrait lens and more as a long candid snapper for when your DA*50-135 just isn't quite long enough, like this photo I took at a wedding I was shooting.



Also, I'm not sure if this matters to you, but it's my impression that the DA*200 has faster AF than the DA*300, and probably faster than your DA*50-135. Can't say either way, as I've never tried the 50-135 out.
11-18-2010, 12:59 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
and here's the other one: Pentax DA* 300mm f/4 Lens Review
That review is utter bullshit done by mental defects. Look at their cropped test shots. They don't seem to own a tripod.
11-18-2010, 05:26 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by dragonfly Quote
This cat is thinking the same thing. Which lens to I want?
Yeah, the poor little thing. It doesn't seem to have a problem seeing though.

Another DA* 300mm of the kitten:

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