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10-27-2007, 01:57 PM   #1
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Pentax SMC 200mm A f4

Just bought my first manual lense.
Anyone with experience with this old beauty?

Best,
Rainer

10-27-2007, 02:33 PM   #2
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I bought this lens about a year and a half ago myself. When I was examining it the Pentax rep was also in the store and I asked him about it. My exact words were something like, "Tell me if this lens is a dog." He told me the lens is quite decent however it is not very common. The reason is that it came out just as telephoto zooms became really popular, so it didn't sell well as a result. The earlier "M" 200/4 is much more plentiful and highly regarded but I've never used it.

Before I bought my A200/4 I also asked about this lens on DPReview, and I was also told that this is a nice lens by one of the forum regulars.

It's a cute little number. Petite and compact, but solidly built & easy to focus. The build in sliding hood is a nice touch. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
10-27-2007, 11:08 PM   #3
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Hey that sounds good.

Im interested in a lightweight line-up with my Pentax. One time a year I spend my walking holidays in Scotland as a backpacker. So next may my line-up will be K10D - DA21 - FA31 - A200. Perhaps I will buy also a Pentax IstDS because its a mutch smaller camera, or as a backup.

So, "Petite and compact" as you wrote is the right thing for me. A 200 2.8 would be mutch more heavier and so not the right lense for me.

BTW, last may I met a guy from Canada on the Scottish West Highland Way. Talked a while with him about his outdoor gear but totaly forgot to ask him why he came the long way from Canada to go walking in Scotland. I think you must have a lot very interesting long distance walks in Canada too.

Best,
Rainer
10-28-2007, 11:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by TKH Quote
Hey that sounds good.

Im interested in a lightweight line-up with my Pentax. One time a year I spend my walking holidays in Scotland as a backpacker. So next may my line-up will be K10D - DA21 - FA31 - A200. Perhaps I will buy also a Pentax IstDS because its a mutch smaller camera, or as a backup.

So, "Petite and compact" as you wrote is the right thing for me. A 200 2.8 would be mutch more heavier and so not the right lense for me.

BTW, last may I met a guy from Canada on the Scottish West Highland Way. Talked a while with him about his outdoor gear but totaly forgot to ask him why he came the long way from Canada to go walking in Scotland. I think you must have a lot very interesting long distance walks in Canada too.

Best,
Rainer
I just finished a 10km hike in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The trail went straight up and came straight down. I never made the last 500m since the peak was snow covered and I didn't have cramp-ons or hiking sticks. I carried a full pack of camera gear and it was way too much stuff & too heavy. I've got to learn to take less with me.

I've never been to Scotland but I've been hiking in Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, France and Slovenia. My favorite was the Stubai; the Alps are definitely less wild and more trafficked than the North American Rockies.

10-28-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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the M series of this is rated better than the A. i have the M and it's a really good performer.. it's light weight and good and sharp thru out. lately i've been using it it as a 1:3-4 macro with ETs on it..




my problem with this lens is the A70-210/4 is as sharp as it is but gives me more range but at the price of weight in the 2-3X that it weighs.
10-28-2007, 09:47 PM   #6
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I just won a SMC Pentax 200/4 (the original k-mount) on Ebay yesterday. No one has reviewed it in the lens database but there were a few comments at Stan's. They were favorable. It's a bit "chunkier" than the "M" version and a different optical design but it seems to be a good lens, we'll see. This will be my first "K" lens.
Those are some cool photos Roy, I hope my lens will do as well with extension tubes, giving me more reach than my Viv 105/2.5 in macro mode but I doubt that it can be as sharp as the dedicated macro. Still it will be able to get me a bit further away from the bugs if needed:-).
11-03-2007, 12:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
It's a cute little number. Petite and compact, but solidly built & easy to focus. The build in sliding hood is a nice touch. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
You are so right!

Yesterday the lense arrived and Im happy. Look at this pic at f4:



Or this:





Very happy for little bucks,
Rainer
11-03-2007, 02:55 PM   #8
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rainer,
looks like a definate keeper. were all of these wide open??

11-03-2007, 03:17 PM   #9
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Roy,
the second and the third are 5.6, only the first is f4.
Yes I think the lense is in an optical line with my 21, 31 and 77.

Rainer
11-03-2007, 09:34 PM   #10
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Nice find Rainer.

For a 200mm lens you can not beat the f4 Pentax versions for their compactness resolution and contrast. The A series is a nice bonus.

Another lenses with great resolution and contrast is the M series 75~150 f4 Zoom. It is about the same size as the 200 f4 but with a 49mm filter thread.
11-04-2007, 08:36 AM   #11
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here's some from the viv200/3.5 wideopen at 3.5 and just auto ACR and resized too 800 wide.
not bad for an uncoated lens.







11-04-2007, 09:14 AM   #12
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Sigma 200/3.5

Since this thread is transforming into: "What kind of 200mm do you have?":

I have a sigma 200mm/3.5. It's compact, pretty lightweight and with 3.5 pretty fast.

Attached will be a picture made with it. However, I cannot say I'm satisfied about the lens. This is one of the very few images that are sufficient.

Main reason is that the focusing is too fast. In 1/4th of a turn it goes from minimum distance to infinite. That may be good to capture action, my experience is that it is most of all difficult to use. Any more experiences with the Sig 200/3.5?
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11-05-2007, 12:28 AM   #13
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I've received my SMC 200/4 (original K-mount) and I got out for a bit Saturday morning with it. Very nice lens:-). It doesn't have the slide out lens hood like the M-200/4 (that was a great idea Pentax had for those lens) but mine came with a plastic hood although the little spring doesn't work on the push thingy on one side. Oh well that wasn't the important part, the lens itself is in very nice shape.
Here's a sample pic.

11-05-2007, 09:02 AM   #14
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This is certainly a keeper for me. It is well built, very sharp with lovely bokeh. Like Roy I have experimented with extension tubes with pleasing results which I would post if I did not have a problem with CS3.
11-05-2007, 10:13 AM   #15
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I've got the M version of the 200mm f4. I used to use it quite a bit when I was shooting film (and I was always very pleased with the results), but it hasn't seen that much action now that I've switched to digital.
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