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12-20-2010, 04:11 PM   #1
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best 50-200mm for pentax?

during last weeks i changed my system to Pentax and now i got k-5, that i realy love. i would like to ask what lens would you recomand in focal length about 50-200mm; price about 200-400$

12-20-2010, 04:23 PM   #2
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DA 55 - 300

I know it's longer than you want, but it's also better up to 200 than the 50-200.
12-20-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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You definitely can't say that a given 55-300 will outperform a given 50-200. Get several 50-200 DAs and several 55-300 DAs. Keep the best one; send back the rest. You'll have to test them on at least two bodies.

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12-20-2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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all 3 pentax 50-200 lenses are the same optical formula. The difference is in built quality and features.

12-20-2010, 06:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
all 3 pentax 50-200 lenses are the same optical formula. The difference is in built quality and features.
They have the same formula, but each sample will perform differently. My 50-200 clearly outperformed the 55-300 I'm returning, but you need several samples (tested on at least two bodies) to determine which samples are good and which are less so. I was fortunate to have the 100-300 F and 50-200 DA to compare against, so I could tell how poorly the 55-300 DA performed.

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12-20-2010, 06:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
You definitely can't say that a given 55-300 will outperform a given 50-200.
Why do you say this Paul, except from your own experience of a dubious copy of a 55-300? Not even theoretically can you prove the 55-300 not being of better optical quality than Pentax's 50-200s.

The 50-135 and 50-150 offerings are a completely different story, but out of the question for the OP.

I would suggest that the 55-300 is more than you will need for non-low-light critical conditions, particularly in the 55-200 range.
12-20-2010, 06:35 PM   #7
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The 55-300mm is probably the best bang for your buck tele zoom by Pentax.

If you're willing to spend more, perhaps a Sigma 70-200 f 2.8?
12-20-2010, 07:08 PM   #8
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I have to agree with most of the posts here. The reviews of the DAL 55-200 and DAL 55-300 here and elsewhere clearly give the 300 higher marks in nearly every category. The DALs are minus some extras but the lens formulas are the same as the DA models and the DALs are cheaper. I've enjoyed mine and its a great lens for my days watching my children play soccer.

12-20-2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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Well I had 2 copies of the DA 50-200mm and am using the DA 50-200mm WR. My first DA 50-200mm was average, the second was very good and the current WR version is about the same as the my second with a little less vignetting at the corners.

Likewise I had a previous DA 55-300mm that was sharp but wasn't as good as my current copy as it exhibited more obvious CA in high contrast shots. So there are sample variations with different copies.

Between my current DA 50-200mm WR and the DA 55-300mm, the latter may show just a little better sharpness at the long end but I find I use the DA 50-200mm WR more because it is a lot smaller and lighter and locks focus a little better than the DA 55-300mm. Camera shake is definitely less of an issue with the smaller lens. If you need a cheap lens with the reach for birding, wildlife or zoo shots, the DA 55-300mm is the way to go.
12-20-2010, 07:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
.

Between my current DA 50-200mm WR and the DA 55-300mm, the latter may show just a little better sharpness at the long end but I find I use the DA 50-200mm WR more because it is a lot smaller and lighter and locks focus a little better than the DA 55-300mm. Camera shake is definitely less of an issue with the smaller lens. If you need a cheap lens with the reach for birding, wildlife or zoo shots, the DA 55-300mm is the way to go.
I guess I'm lucky because I own both lenses, and have been happy with my copies of both the first time. I also find the DA50-200 comes along much more often than the 55-300. The 50-200 fits easily in any bag I own, whereas the 55-300 requires a little more planning of bag space.
12-20-2010, 09:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Why do you say this Paul, except from your own experience of a dubious copy of a 55-300? Not even theoretically can you prove the 55-300 not being of better optical quality than Pentax's 50-200s.

The 50-135 and 50-150 offerings are a completely different story, but out of the question for the OP.

I would suggest that the 55-300 is more than you will need for non-low-light critical conditions, particularly in the 55-200 range.
The 55-300 is the second lens for my k100 and k200 that has had serious performance deficiencies.

I've had two cases where lenses obviously performed differently across the frame - top to bottom, or left to right. In the first case, I traded a lens that had outstanding performance on one side, for one that has fairly consistent performance everywhere. But the replacement never had the resolution that first one did in portions of the frame. I didn't have a third similar lens to compare, so I really don't know if the second one I have is "good"; I only know that on balance, it's better than the first one. Should I have gotten a third, fourth, or fifth copy to compare? How is someone buying a lens - without a great deal of experience - supposed to know if they have a good copy, if they don't have at least one identical, or at least competing, lens to compare it against? I'm guessing that not all lens defects manifest themselves as differences across the frame. Maybe some lenses are just slightly poor everywhere, but I don't know how someone would be able to tell, without any comparison.

When I had film cameras, I compared as best as I could my SMCT primes from the '70s against the Canon zooms I replaced them with in the '80s, and with the tools I had available to me, I couldn't detect a difference in my kodachromes, nor could I detect a difference across the frame (except for sharpness uniformly falling off toward the corners.) I was satisfied with all those dozen or so lenses. It may be that today we just have so much better ability to compare performance; or it could be that lenses were just more consistent then than they are now, possibly due to today's more ambitious designs.

Not having a statistically significant sample by any means, I have to consider it possible that quality is so inconsistent that "theoretical" optical performance is irrelevant, so even if I had some knowledge of optical designs that I don't, there'd be no point in trying to point out which lens should or shouldn't be superior.

Paul
12-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Well I had 2 copies of the DA 50-200mm and am using the DA 50-200mm WR. My first DA 50-200mm was average, the second was very good and the current WR version is about the same as the my second with a little less vignetting at the corners.

Likewise I had a previous DA 55-300mm that was sharp but wasn't as good as my current copy as it exhibited more obvious CA in high contrast shots. So there are sample variations with different copies.
I'm with you on this Denis. My 50-200 is good in mid-range but iffy on the RH side of the frame at 200mm, and stopping down only partly sorts that out. (Even so it's a great little travel lens.)

I have two 55-300s: the original, and a DAL. The DAL is actually better, but both lenses display a certain amount of nastiness on one side or the other at different zoom settings - but the behaviour of the two lenses is completely different from one another. With inexpensive lenses, sample variation is a Big Thing.

Both the 50-200 and 55-300 are great value for money as long you are prepared to stop down quite a bit at the longer settings, and are concerned primarily with centre sharpness rather than the edges. So they are great for people and animals, but not so great for landscapes and architecture (say).
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