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01-07-2011, 01:36 PM   #1
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Pentax F 70-210 any good?

Curious about the Pentax F 70mm-210 4.0-5.6.

I read through the reviews and just wanted some other opinions. I have a line on one for a good price assuming it is in good condition.

How much should one expect to pay for this lens?

01-07-2011, 02:04 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I tested mine against several older zooms with a similar range, and it handily beat them. It's really good wide open too. It's an odd-looking package, with lots of exterior plastic and thick metal hidden inside. It's small but heavy, with only a 49mm filter. Focusing is quick and loud. I think it has 9 aperture blades. I have considered getting a DA 50-200 WR and comparing it. I've never seen a direct comparison.

I'm out of date on price, maybe $120? My copy is pretty ugly and I paid less. Some of these have element separation on the front elements. Also make sure that group of lenses is not loose. The retaining ring sometimes loosens and that group unscrews. Eventually infinity focus will change.
01-07-2011, 06:03 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I got mine for about $85, in relatively good condition. Optically is quite blemish-free except for one big (half-pinky-nail sized?) spot on the front element. It's pretty sharp - quite outdoes the M200/4 I traded it in for, at pretty much every focal length/aperture. Normal shots would be indistinguishable from my primes, I think, and they're damn sharp. 100% crops would reveal the differences noticeable, but even then, it's almost useable still at 100%.
01-08-2011, 02:58 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I have paid 175USD about a year ago on e-bay. Including costs for sending and VAT in my country, I could get a new DA 50 - 200 at home . I did some search online for available photos to compare it with DA, and decided (subjectively) that F is better than DA. There are MTF data of F 70 - 210 at photodo.com site, rated not so bad.

01-08-2011, 01:21 PM - 1 Like   #5
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This lens has an aspherical element in it, even though it doesn't say so on the lens or any of the related literature/manual. I don't know why this isn't stated on the lens. But it's why it easily outperforms anything else in this class. This is a wolf in sheep clothing.

A cult classic and anything under $200 these days is a decent price.
01-08-2011, 01:40 PM - 1 Like   #6
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ooh - I have one of these just sitting in the cupboard after having it serviced, I was going to sell it, guess I'll have to give a run out now to see how it stacks up against the 55-300.
01-08-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Hey everyone, thanks for your advice.

I just picked it up, and I'm very happy. It's not an IQ monster like some of my other lenses, but it's a very useful range and pretty good at 5.6. It's in great condition, very tight (no decentering or wobble) and the price was right. Thanks again, I'm going outside now!
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