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02-23-2011, 05:13 PM   #1
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Looking for something in the 200mm range

It's the second part of my spring cleaning.

I'm clearing out all my M42 equipment, and am happy with the lenses I have now but I want a little more reach.

I'm looking to get a 200mm prime.

I'm pretty set on the Pentax-A 200mm f/4 lens but want to know if you have any other suggestions.

Key reasons I want the prime are low cost, and low weight/size.

Also, has anyone ever compared the Pentax-A 200mm f/4 and the Pentax-M 200mm f/4?

02-23-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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Looks like you're perfectly comfortable with manual lenses, so if you can find one I'd really recommend a K200 f4. It's pretty close to my favorite lens for stunning colour, contrast and sharpness.
02-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #3
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For low cost, low weight, and great images, the TeleTakumar 200/5.6 is great. But slow.
For character and lightness, the Meyer Telemegor 180/5.5 is really interesting. But slow.
For character, lightness, and more reach, the Enna Tele-Ennalyt 240/4.5 is a contender.
For outstanding images and pretty low cost, the Jupiter-21M 200/4 is awesome. But heavy.
For speed, IQ, and pretty low cost, the Vivitar S1 V1 70-210/3.5 is great. But a heavy zoom.
My SuperTakumar 200/4 is pretty good, and only 2/3 the weight of the Jupiter or Vivitar.
All my other 200's are cheap bastards like me. I'd better not recommend any.
02-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
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Keep an eye open for the SMC-A 70-210 f/4. It's not a bad lens at all, and is not terribly popular. I've seen good condition ones in the $100 or less range.

02-24-2011, 02:06 AM   #5
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If you want really low cost, you can get surprising good IQ from the Chinon 200/3.5, which comes in M42 and PK versions.

Also good is the Komine (serial number 28......) Vivitar 200/3.5. I don't think there's much to choose between this and the Chinon.

Others I own which are worth looking at are the Takumar 200/4 and Pentacon 200/4.

You have to remember that all of these are very much vintage lenses: very well built but relatively big and heavy. Personally, I can't be bothered much with bulky lenses any more, and my recommendation would be (surprisingly!) the DA 50-200 - assuming you find one at the right price.

I find that this lens is somewhat soft at 50mm, but actually rather good at the longer end. Plus, it's tiny and light, and AF! The main drawback would be that these lenses seem to suffer from manufacturing quality issues, so you need to get a good one...
02-24-2011, 02:27 AM   #6
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You might also consider the Adatall-2 Tamron 200mm f/3.5, Model 04B. I have that together with a PK-A adaptall-2 custom mount and it is a pleasure to use - even wide open. You may refer to a sample image in the Tamron Adaptall lens review section.

Here is another example where the lens is used together with a 2X TC:


A quick shot of opportunity. Distance is about 5 meters.

This lens is somewhat overlooked and thus, cheap on eBay. Here it is the mount that may cost a small fortune....

Steen G. B.
02-24-2011, 06:30 AM   #7
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If you want a really classy 200, and are not concerned by the weight, also consider the takumar preset 200F3.5

really a great lens to work with, and lighter than the vivitar series 1 70-210 F3.5

02-24-2011, 06:48 AM   #8
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For me, it was the M200/4. Small, light, somewhat underrated so it is usually inexpensive. I've been very happy with its results, even though you do have to use green button metering. I've not found the metering to be off on my K10, either.

02-24-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
For me, it was the M200/4. Small, light, somewhat underrated so it is usually inexpensive. I've been very happy with its results, even though you do have to use green button metering. I've not found the metering to be off on my K10, either.
at F4, you don;t notice the errors as much because they always tend to the same side, i.e. over exposing,

where you really see issues is with F2.8 and faster lenses, because you go from under exposing at large apertures to over exposing at small apertures. F4-5.6 is about perfect for the metering

as for the M200, and it's rating, it is a lot more compact than the K200, don't know about the optical design however. K200 and SMC Tak 200 are identical optical design
02-24-2011, 08:12 AM   #10
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there are 2 a 200 f4 macro and non macro. the non macro i believe is pretty much the m200 f4 with an a setting. this pretty much adds a lot to the price. I have the m 200 f4 and have been pretty happy with it in the limited time i've had it (last September)
it metered well on my k10 and on my k7 haven't tried it with the ds (as Lowell said it's the faster lenses that meter odd on the k10 and others)
the biggest issue is close focus distance, many complain of CA but i haven't had any serious issues with it myself.
the macro version is the A* and will cost a bomb, at that price I'd more likely go for the new DA* as it cost's less on average and has the benefit of AF aside from many other differences

Haven't tried the tak or K but i understand they are both great lenses
02-24-2011, 08:47 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Got to chime in with a recommendation for the Pentax K 200/2.5. Beats the M and A series 200/4s hands down. No auto exposure but you always have that extra brightness in the finder. Awesome lens if you can find one.

Tom G
02-24-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
at F4, you don;t notice the errors as much because they always tend to the same side, i.e. over exposing,

where you really see issues is with F2.8 and faster lenses, because you go from under exposing at large apertures to over exposing at small apertures. F4-5.6 is about perfect for the metering

as for the M200, and it's rating, it is a lot more compact than the K200, don't know about the optical design however. K200 and SMC Tak 200 are identical optical design
That has been my experience as well about the metering.

I have not seen any testing of the M200. The formula of all the K mount 200/4 lenses appear to be different. The M200 gets "underrated" if that is the correct term because it is not particularly fast and there are other 200mm lenses that are considered to be stellar. Still, the size is near perfect and the quality is quite good to my eyes.
02-24-2011, 09:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
That has been my experience as well about the metering.

I have not seen any testing of the M200. The formula of all the K mount 200/4 lenses appear to be different. The M200 gets "underrated" if that is the correct term because it is not particularly fast and there are other 200mm lenses that are considered to be stellar. Still, the size is near perfect and the quality is quite good to my eyes.
I hear youo. I have controlled my LBA quite well in the 200mm range for K mounts, but that is very much a function of the direction I started from in building "kits"

I have a K mount kit, an M42 kit, and an AF (and some other stuff) kit.

Along the way, I have purchased new, both the vivitar series 1 70-210F3.5 (version 1) which although heavy is a great performer. When I went digital, I treated myself with a new zoom, the origonal SIGMA APO 70-200F2.8 (which is the best at 200mm of all the sigma 70-200 zooms). So, I am somewhat uninterested in a 200F4. Now if there was a 200F2.5 out there for less than an arm and a leg, that would be different.

For M42 I am more than satisfied with the tak F3.5 preset, as you can see from the shot I posted.

As a result, unless I trip over a K mount 200F4 for a real song, I probably won't ever get one.
02-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #14
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Well, I think you'll see many people offering alternatives to the A200/4 simply because they don't have a copy of it (it's not one of the more common lenses, actually). I have one and think its a nice lens. Sharpness is good even from f4, aberrations aren't too bad, decent contrast, generally nice bokeh. I've been happy with the shots I've taken with it, although I can't say I've had occasion to use it very often--as a result I'm actually planning to sell my copy. Anyway, I think you'd be quite happy with it. Perhaps I'll post a couple of samples from it later.

I'm sure the M200 is just as good, but then you don't have the convenience of the "A" setting. The A200 is a nice compromise of usability, IQ, and price.
02-24-2011, 09:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by macTak Quote
Well, I think you'll see many people offering alternatives to the A200/4 simply because they don't have a copy of it (it's not one of the more common lenses, actually). I have one and think its a nice lens. Sharpness is good even from f4, aberrations aren't too bad, decent contrast, generally nice bokeh. I've been happy with the shots I've taken with it, although I can't say I've had occasion to use it very often--as a result I'm actually planning to sell my copy. Anyway, I think you'd be quite happy with it. Perhaps I'll post a couple of samples from it later.

I'm sure the M200 is just as good, but then you don't have the convenience of the "A" setting. The A200 is a nice compromise of usability, IQ, and price.
As late as last year, you could find the M models for well under $100. The A models are always a good deal more. I don't know how much larger they are.

I really appreciate a compact kit--probably more than most people--for travel or hiking. In the 80s, I could use my bag as a spare bedroom. In the early 90s, I went the other way and traveled mostly with an Olympus XA. for the last ten years or so, I'm somewhere in between, but I still like my shoulder light.
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