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01-11-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
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DA* 200mm - Learn me please

So, I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on this hunk of glass. The main purpose is for those great isolated street portraits without invading peoples personal space (that's what I have the 55mm for).

What is the general opinion of this lens? I've found plenty of great pictures but was much more interested in discussion. How does it handle on the street? Anyone have to send it back due to SDM failure?

01-12-2011, 12:22 AM   #2
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I think the fact that it is black is a real help compared to the more conspicuous "Professional look" white or silver lenses (such as the FA*200/2.8, which I understand is basically the same lens). I sometimes wish my F*300/4.5 were black instead.

Remember that both the DA*200 and DA*300 are actually full-frame lenses - they're just not advertised that way. I liked the DA*200 in the store, but haven't bought one yet since I have the K200/2.5 which seems just slightly better overall. But I liked the IQ, SDM, WR, and overall operation enough that I'd still be happy to have it instead. The DA*200 also had a nice size and weight - it's right around 6" long, so it could still be inserted "vertically" in some camera backpacks.

I probably shouldn't have answered this post - now it's making me want one again! I'm happy with what I have, but for AF this is the one I'd choose.
01-12-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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Have read the Review here on the Forums?

SMC Pentax-DA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
01-12-2011, 12:45 AM   #4
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Personally I'm not so sure this lense would be a good street lense - it lacks flexibility and is downright intimidating, by it's sheer size, to most people just going about their business.

If I've needed a longer lense when shooting street then I've used the 55-300 but even that (once extended) looks formidable to the average person. Then again I've found a 90 or 135 is often an excellent lense when you want / need to add a little distance between you.

01-12-2011, 02:00 AM   #5
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I have read the the reviews.

The lens, judging by pictures of it mounted, actually doesn't look intimidating at all. Especially without the hood. I should have noted that I'm trying to avoid the slow zooms like the 55-300. The 50-135 is another consideration but I want a little more length.

I'm not worried about flexibility due to the fact that I'd be buying it simply for candid street portraits.

I looked around and couldn't find a third party equivalents.
01-12-2011, 02:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Personally I'm not so sure this lense would be a good street lense - it lacks flexibility and is downright intimidating, by it's sheer size, to most people just going about their business.

If I've needed a longer lense when shooting street then I've used the 55-300 but even that (once extended) looks formidable to the average person. Then again I've found a 90 or 135 is often an excellent lense when you want / need to add a little distance between you.
2nd this.

There are a few good choices out there, which would fit the usage and do more.
FA*85 or Sigma 85, FA135, DA50-135, any of the Pentax 100/2.8 macros will do well enough. They also have shorter focal lengths which can be used for other more general usage than a very long 200mm lens.

A long lens like a 200mm, 300mm is also an intimidating monster and gives the impression of voyeurism. Its very tight FOV can mean keeping a tight tracking of the subject within the viewfinder, which becomes very obvious to the subject that you are tracking them.
01-12-2011, 03:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote

A long lens like a 200mm, 300mm is also an intimidating monster and gives the impression of voyeurism. Its very tight FOV can mean keeping a tight tracking of the subject within the viewfinder, which becomes very obvious to the subject that you are tracking them.
Indeed. With a DA15 subjects dont even know they're getting their photo taken
01-12-2011, 03:36 AM   #8
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Weather sealing is important to me so the 50-135 is the only viable alternative. I hadn't given the FOV and tracking much thought until pinholecam brought it up. I don't know what is worse, obvious tracking or being forced to get close and possibly invading personal space.

I started think back on my last shoot and reviewed some old shots and came to the conclusion that I miss a lot of great captures due to not enough range, however, I get some great ones up close and personal. Maybe the 50-135 would be a better choice. Cheaper too.

01-12-2011, 04:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skullsroad Quote
Weather sealing is important to me so the 50-135 is the only viable alternative.
The D-FA 100 WR macro could still be an option as well.
01-12-2011, 05:56 AM   #10
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D FA 100/2.8 Macro WR

QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
The D-FA 100 WR macro could still be an option as well.
My vote, too.

It's does lots of things quite nicely and it has a subdued retro style... should be tagged a 'Limited.' Plus, it can handle a close crop with ease. My 'go-to' bugs to people lens when the weather sunny, or wet and snowy.

Cheers... M

Last edited by Michaelina2; 01-12-2011 at 08:46 AM.
01-12-2011, 06:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
My vote, too.

It's does lots of things quite nicely and it has a subdued retro style... should be tagged a 'Limited.' Plus, it can handle a close crop with ease. My 'go-to' bugs to people lens when the weather sunny, or wet and snowy.

Cheers... M
Just a quick correction to the typo in your title above; it's actually a 100/2.8

And I agree, it's a beautiful lens that's very well built and very useful as both a short telephoto and a macro lens.
01-12-2011, 08:30 AM   #12
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I understand why you are drawn to the DA*200. I think you can get some awesome candids with it.
01-12-2011, 08:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Just a quick correction to the typo in your title above; it's actually a 100/2.8

And I agree, it's a beautiful lens that's very well built and very useful as both a short telephoto and a macro lens.
Thanks for the heads-up. I stand corrected. You are right... 100/2.8 it is... duh. One too many apple fritters with my coffee this morning, perhaps.

Anyway, the D FA 100/2.8 WR can be a W-O-W street lens in the right hands.

Highly recommended!

Cheers... M
01-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #14
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I have the DA* 200 and the DA* 50-135. Both are fast (f2.8) sealed lens and have excellent IQ. I use the DA* 50-135 all the time for portrait because it gives me greater flexibility. However, the IQ is at it's best between 50mm and 90mm. Beyond 90mm, it's a little softer which is not necessary a bad thing for portrait. You also have to know that the DA* 50-135 AF is not as fast as that of the DA* 200. Both lens are also very similar sizewise so that should not influence your choice. So, if you are sure that 135mm will be to short and you need excellent IQ and excellent AF, go with the DA* 200. However, if you think you might use shorter FL (between 70mm and 90mm), the DA* 50-135 is the way to go.
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