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11-19-2010, 09:57 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by David Whiteley Quote
...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.
Good comments and I enjoyed the images

I also find the DA300 plenty sharp and don't hesitate to use it with a Tamron 1.4 teleconverter.

For odd reasons, i once ended up with the 300 on my camera when my nephew's wedding cake pictures were being taken. I was about 15' back, and the pictures came out quite nice with creamy bokeh backgrounds. But i don't claim that the 300 is the ideal tool for weddings, its not :-) I've taken "headshots" of actors for a local play production with the DA 50-135, and found that lens to be the perfect tool for such portraits, IMO.

11-19-2010, 12:20 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
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
IQ on both lens is fantastic. I must admit that I use the DA* 50-135mm more often. However, at 135mm, it is a little soft IMHO. Very usable but not as good as it is between 70mm and 90mm where I do most of my portraits. One positive aspect of the DA* 200mm is it focuses fast. I never tried the DA* 300mm, but I nonetheless suspect it focuses as fast as the 200mm. PF is not an issue unless you shoot wide open with the sun right behind your subject. One last comment, as much as I like the DA* 200mm, I don't like the portraits it produces. It has nothing to do IQ of the lens but with the fact that a 200mm lens compress perspectives and sometimes is not flatering for the subject.
11-19-2010, 02:56 PM   #33
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I have both and love both; but I uses them in very different ways; DA*200 for sports (Rugby...) and sometimes portraits (moving childrens, pets...). Da*300 for wildlife including macro shots cause of its short focusing distance (dragonflies...)
Both are good lenses, you'll not regret it; choose based upon your style
Regards
11-20-2010, 08:40 AM   #34
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DA*200 is very good at portraits. f/2.8 is nice too.
It is very usable handheld.
Some samples at the end.

I don't regret chosing DA*200 over DA*300 but I just want other one too
But I think if I had 50-135mm I would buy DA*300.
'Cos with DA*200 working distance is very long, I'd rather a 135mm for portraits.
On the other hand it is perfect for candids.-last sample-







11-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #35
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I have no complaints or regrets about getting the DA* 200mm...

(handheld as I ran to grab my camera after noticing the shot while hanging my Christmas lights...)

11-21-2010, 09:12 AM   #36
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I chose the DA*200 for sports and wildlife. I have no problem getting close.
Attached Images
 
11-22-2010, 09:10 AM   #37
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I have both lenses and they both are superb lenses. For a portrett lens I would go for the 200mm and buy the Tamron 1.4x converter if I want a longer tele.
Here is a picture that I have taken with the 200mm with the aperture 2.8.



Trygve
11-22-2010, 03:05 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
My first intuition tells me the DA* 200 will work best for me. But at the same time, I am afraid to regret this choice and always wonder about the 300mm.

My story is slightly different.
Originally I had A300mmF4, then acquired the DA200mm and the SDM TC 1.5 . I tried to dispose of my A300mmF4 and I ended up disposing of the SDM TC instead.
I think I will keep the A*300mm & DA*200mm for some time.
The SDM Kenco TC +DA*200mm matches the quality of A*300mm in all aspect and there is a duplicate somewhat.

I am a big fan of DA*200mm as I have been seeking the old FA*200mm for sometime. I adore the DA*200mm



Wide open at F2.8




















As a birdie shot lens











Daniel

11-22-2010, 03:58 PM   #39
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Something I didn't see mentioned regarding the 300 is that unless you are rock solid, it's a bit hard to get really sharp images in less than sun lit conditions, and the less light, the worse it becomes. That's not a slam against the lens, it's a fact with any longer lenses, any movement is magnified. My 400 is even worse. For shooting in well lit conditions or with a tripod, it will return excellent results.

Therefore, I pretty much concur with 200 for portrait and 300 for wildlife or sports.
11-22-2010, 04:39 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Something I didn't see mentioned regarding the 300 is that unless you are rock solid, it's a bit hard to get really sharp images in less than sun lit conditions,
Of course. 300mm is a long lens and it is equivalent to 450mm in old days. any minute movement/vibration will translate into blurry image. Even mirror slap is an issue. With more light you have chance to tweak with faster shutter speed. My A*300mm is even more difficult in focusing


Daniel
11-27-2010, 10:19 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Something I didn't see mentioned regarding the 300 is that unless you are rock solid, it's a bit hard to get really sharp images in less than sun lit conditions, and the less light, the worse it becomes. That's not a slam against the lens, it's a fact with any longer lenses, any movement is magnified. My 400 is even worse. For shooting in well lit conditions or with a tripod, it will return excellent results.

Therefore, I pretty much concur with 200 for portrait and 300 for wildlife or sports.
Tom, you are spot on with that comment! I first experienced the difficulty shooting the 300 with a 1.4 TC on a grass slope with a Manfrotto carb. fiber tripod, no spikes. The cityscape i was shooting was uniformly soft over the 20 - 30 shots i took. (these shots were all taken with 2 sec delays) Went back a few days later, forced the legs by hand into the slope, hung a heavy bag from the tripod, and the shots were magically sharp. As you say, my SMC 400 has the same problem. Later on, got a heavier aluminum tripod, giottos, with large spikes. much better to shoot from, but you can see the 300 and 400 lenses just sort of quiver around the tripod axis. There's a rotational momentum problem there that one just doesn't see with a smaller length lens.

I doubt that some of the reviewers of the 300 knew enough to properly test a longer lens. I have a friend in our camera club that had problems getting his new 600mm Nikon lens, ($10,000 by his report) to be sharp, i suspect for the same reasons.
12-07-2010, 11:10 PM   #42
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I have the DA* 200 but am just starting to use it. However, a few things to consider:
1) 300mm is really too long for portraits. 200mm will likely be too much for anything other than headshots unless you are outside or in a really big room.
2) What is the ambient light like where you shoot. The extra stop on the 200mm will make autofocus (or manual focus for that matter) easier.
3) Not sure why people are thinking the reviews of the 200mm aren't good, photozone's exact words were "The Pentax lens produced pretty impressive resolution figures in the MTF lab. At f/2.8 the quality is already very good(+) and exceptionally uniform across the frame. " In the summary, " In terms of resolution and contrast the lens is able to produce very good results straight from the max. aperture setting. The level of distortions is absolutely negligible and vignetting and lateral chromatic aberrations (CAs) are not overly field relevant." The lens's main weakness is purple fringing in high contrast scenes wide open...not likely to be an issue with portraiture.
4. The 200mm is really a fairly small lense, all things considered. On par with the 50-135. Will you be willing to carry the extra bulk of the 300mm?

Not that I think the 300mm is a bad lens either. It's on my wish list too, right after the 100mm macro. Isn't LBA grand...?
12-07-2010, 11:59 PM   #43
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A 200mm/F2.8 becomes a 340mm/F4.5 with a 1.7xAF adaptor with no discernable IQ loss.

So with this combination you get two lenses for just a little more than the price of one.
12-08-2010, 12:35 PM   #44
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I just received my new toy: a Pentax DA* 300mm f4! Yes, the DA*200 is awesome and gives excellent results with the 1.7X adaptor. But for wildlife, it just isn't long enough. The DA* 300 is also supposed to give excellent results when combined to the 1.7X adaptor. I'll make some quick tests as soon as I can (too much work these days ) and try to post some examples.
04-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #45
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As a Da300mm owner my question is focal distance. For the DA300mm one must be quite far (4-5 feet) from the subject. That makes for a long portrait shot. For anything else the DA300mm is my walk about lens...
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