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01-13-2011, 12:08 PM   #1
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DA-200 , am I missing anything?

I spend a lot of time outdoors, and one of my hobbies is canoe tripping. One of the nice things about canoe tripping is being able to take pictures in pristine environments. Anyone who knows about canoe trips, knows about portages. Currently I travel with the the Pentax 10-17, A pentax 50. f1.7, A Sigma 70-300, and the kit 18-55. This lens would be to get professional quality images of wildlife for the most part. I have cheaper lenses, this one should be good enough I won't be looking for a sharper lens at some point.

S0 there are a lot of considerations in thinking about adding a lens.

One would be will it fit in a Pelican case. Living in the elements, a sealed case for photographic equipment is a must. I have an Option W90 for situations where the camera has to be exposed. Water and dust seals are also a good thing.

So in thinking, I should probably only carry one more lens, the one thing I thought would be my next best addition would be a fast telephoto that can get me razor sharp images, without adding too much to my weight.

After much poking around, paying attention to the rating numbers on the Lens Reveiw section as well as submitted pictures I'm thinking the SMC Pentax-DA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM might be the thing. I really didn't look at many lenses with under a 9 approval rating.

Looking through my pictures I realized I've shot quite a few at 300mm with the Sigma lens. I don't do well at 300mm without a tripod. I'm sure it would be worse with a longer lens. But I have lots of acceptable images. So the 200mm length is a trade off. IN fact it would make me way happier if there was a 2x converter for this lens. But it does beg the question, in terms of sharpness, I'm wondering how comparable IQ will be with the 200 compared to the Sigma 70-300 at 300+ range images.

I looked at the the Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG (AF Lens) Rating 9.8, until I realized I can't find a place to buy one.

I looked at the 50-135 and 100 macro, but I just have this feeling they'll be way too short a lot of the time.

Anyway, those are my thoughts at the moment. I've read the reviews and seen the pics in the forum, some of those images make me drool. ANd the lens is currently available on line.

I guess bottom line the Pros for me are.
Water resistent, Image Quality, Size and weight, user satisfaction, F2.8 for morning and evening shooting, price.. it won't empty my bank account.
The cons are
Possibly not a long enough focal length, less flexible than a zoom.


I'd certainly appreciate any feed back from other users

01-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #2
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Location: Washington and California
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What about the 60-250? Larger/heavier and slower but still constant f4....reportedly just as sharp at 200 and way more flexibility plus extra reach (disclaimer: I don't own either but will when sdm is fixed)
01-13-2011, 02:42 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Funny, I just looked in to the 60-250. It's actually rated higher than the DA-200 by the folks on the forum, longer but a tiny bit thinner. The advantage being, the 60-250 allows me to take the 70-300 out of my pelican case while vastly improving my optics.

I was thinking when considering the DA 200 SDM I might later purchase the 50-135. The 60 - 250 would make that purchase redundant, especially since I have the 50mm 1.7. So I could also argue to the House Appropriations Committee, (otherwise know as the wife) that in the long run it would save me money, even though it costs more. The only down side would be the f4 instead of f2.6. We see a lot of wildlife at sunset.

have you seen a side by side comparison of the 200 and 60-250 for IQ?
01-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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I think the DA 200 has the problem of being in the middle. A lot of people pass over it in favor of the DA *300 f4, feeling that it doesn't have enough reach for out doors situations. I also think a lot of folks end up getting a 70-200 f2.8 lens instead.

I own the 50-135 and agree that it would be too short for a lot of out doors shooting. As far as image quality goes, the DA *200 and the FA *200 are exactly the same, the differences between them are weather sealing and SDM. People really liked the image quality of the FA, but fewer people have gone out to get the DA *200. Looking at the reviews of the FA *200 would help from an optical standpoint.

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