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11-17-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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Input from DA* 200mm Owners: Owners Regrets over 300mm ?

I've been lusting over the DA* 200 / 300mm lenses for a long time. I had a chance of handling the DA*300 at PDN this year, and what a GREAT lens!


I currently have the DA* 50-135 and it is indeed my best portrait lens, together with the 77 LTD, but sometimes i feel like shooting some portraits with a longer lens. Or maybe it is just plain LBA!

Well, I see both lenses with some strong suits:

DA* 200mm
- cheaper ($160)
- faster (better for portraits?)
- shorter (better for portraits?)
- lighter / smaller

DA* 300mm
- longer
- better optically (?)


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.


So here it goes, any DA* 200 owner regretting the choice and wondering about the 300mm? Or actually made the move?



11-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #2
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200 or 300... both are very long on a cropped sensor for portraits... but if that is what you want... I think the 200 would be better... 300 because verylong at 450, you are basically birding from accross the room to get ports.

Will you regret it... likely... I went from 500 mirror to 400... I get much better shots and can even crop further into the 400 than I ever could with the 500... but in the back of my mind I am still thinking... it is not 500... like that some how matters...

i think if you want a long lens... go 300... if you want a long port lens go 200...

just my 2 cents...
11-17-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
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I own the DA*200 and this week have been renting the DA*300.

For starters, I think both lenses are awesome optically. You will not be disappointed with the image quality either way you go.

Personally, though, I feel the DA*200 is a little more versatile than the DA*300. I've used the DA*200 for sports, photojournalism and weddings. Now that I've had the DA*300 a few days I've been struggling to find uses for it, but that's partially because I:

a.) Don't shoot a lot of nature shots typically
b.) Am not used to the focal length.

So, in my personal opinion, I'd say buy the DA*300 only if you need the 300 mm focal length for things like wildlife photography or outdoor daytime sports, as if you do need that focal length the DA*200 may be a little short unless you get a good teleconverter-- and in that case you would regret not getting the 300 mm lens. For people photography I think the DA*200 is more solid all around choice, it's also noticeably lighter and shorter than the DA*300.

Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 11-17-2010 at 10:25 AM.
11-17-2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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At those focal lengths, the background is going to be so bokeh'd out that the f-number likely won't make too big of a difference for portraits. Focal length would be more important, as you would have to be even further away with a 300mm.

11-17-2010, 11:34 AM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
i think if you want a long lens... go 300... if you want a long port lens go 200...

just my 2 cents...
Conceptually, this is exactly the issue: long portrait lens or long nature lens? I am leaning more towards the portrait lens.

Thanks for the feedback.



QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
So, in my personal opinion, I'd say buy the DA*300 only if you need the 300 mm focal length for things like wildlife photography or outdoor daytime sports, as if you do need that focal length the DA*200 may be a little short unless you get a good teleconverter-- and in that case you would regret not getting the 300 mm lens. For people photography I think the DA*200 is more solid all around choice, it's also noticeably lighter and shorter than the DA*300.
Thanks for the input. I think basically the 300 sounds more exciting, but I agree with you, the 200 may be a better choice, considering my shooting style.


QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
At those focal lengths, the background is going to be so bokeh'd out that the f-number likely won't make too big of a difference for portraits. Focal length would be more important, as you would have to be even further away with a 300mm.
Good point!
11-17-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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For hand-held, I'd say 200 is a better choice. I suppose 300 is hand-holdable, but it's not easy, especially for any longish time period.

If you are using tripod though, I'd go with 300, I think it's a little more exceptional lens.

Also, you can add 1.7x AF to your 50135/2.8 and get approx. 200, if you want to try it out.
11-17-2010, 12:54 PM   #7
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For portraits it's a no brainer - get the 200. I've never even thought of DA*300 as a portrait lens. You'll get the 300 later
11-17-2010, 01:06 PM   #8
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Its all about the camera bag :-)

Ok, i'm being flippant but i find my DA 300 staying too much at home. I find the DA 50-135 much more useful and likely to be in my camera bag. I find that putting the 50-135 and 300 in the same bag leaves little room for anything else. When i'm going to be shooting long, then i carry the 300, but not without a specific purpose. I also find the 300 to be too specific. I tried my brother's Sigma 120-400 the other day, and its flexibility was delightful when compared to a fixed prime at 300. An eagle flew over me the other day and i was unable to find it in the sky with the 300 until it was gone. My guess is that you would be much happier with the 200.

11-17-2010, 01:08 PM   #9
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I have a DA* 300mm and like it a lot. I'd like to eventually get a DA* 200 as well, although I'm not too impressed with the photozone.de review on it.

A few recent portraits of feral cats:





My related blog posts:
Kittens Playing | photographybanzai.com
Feral Cat Expressions | photographybanzai.com
11-17-2010, 01:17 PM   #10
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I would probably go for the 300 or even look for an older, longer lens if I were to upgrade. I have several ways to get to 200. I find this to be long for portraits and getting into the shorter end of sporting or birding range, but to each his own.
11-17-2010, 03:13 PM   #11
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I already have the Tamron 70-200 so I HAD to get the DA 300.
11-17-2010, 03:41 PM   #12
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DA* 200mm f2.8 and the Pentax AF 1.7x teleconverter.
Works out roughly the same price wise and the IQ with the TC is very good indeed.
11-17-2010, 05:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
DA* 200mm
- cheaper ($160)
- faster (better for portraits?)
- shorter (better for portraits?)
- lighter / smaller

DA* 300mm
- longer
- better optically (?)
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.
11-17-2010, 05:15 PM   #14
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I have them both, although I very seldom use the 200. I would consider it far too long for portraiture, anything over 70 to 77mm would mean too great a camera-to-subject distance. MY OPINION ONLY, take with as many grains of salt as you wish.

What I like about the 200 is it has a fairly close MFD, which I put to use today at the butterfly conservatory. I had much greater luck with this lens than I did with my 105mm macro the last time I went.

11-17-2010, 06:14 PM   #15
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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.
IIRC the 300 is sharper than the 200 wide open.
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