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05-22-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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Why no love for the 200mm?

Is it me or do the 200mm primes get little or no love?

Personally I think this focal length has a lot going for it. Easily hand held (for the most part), sharper than any zoom at 200mm, performs as a 300mm in digital format, is available in various Pentax incarnations at multiple speeds f4, f 3.5 (Takumar I believe), f 2.8 and f 2.5 in the Pentax brand. I have the K 200/2.5 which I find great for sports, auditoriums and gyms. Thoughts?

Tom G



05-22-2011, 08:51 AM   #2
axl
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I was wondering the same, but I think it's mainly nor fish nor... you know what.

It's tad too short to make good telephoto for wildlife and birds etc (I'm not saying it's not doable, but many prefer 300+ for those purposes) and it's tad too long for most of the portraiture (on 135 format it's at the long end of the famous 70-200 bracket but 300mm FOV on APSC makes it bit too long IMO).

For sure there are applications for it but I just think it's too much of and inbetweener for people to really like it....
05-22-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
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A niche lens?

QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
It's tad too short to make good telephoto for wildlife and birds etc (I'm not saying it's not doable, but many prefer 300+ for those purposes) and it's tad too long for most of the portraiture (on 135 format it's at the long end of the famous 70-200 bracket but 300mm FOV on APSC makes it bit too long IMO).
I recently bought the DA*200, and while I am loving the lens from a quality/design/object perspective, I am finding exactly the above to be true. i.e. it's a little short for when I do find myself wanting a nature shot, and I've tried portraiting with it and find it "tricky" at best.

So far, I've found the lens good for "candid" shooting, where your subject is somewhat less aware that they are being photographed, and it is good for the odd nature shot if you can get reasonably close to your subject.

Of late I have been forcing myself to go out shooting with just the DA*200 and "make" shots; and it is helping me. But the glass is pretty decent size and so carrying it around as a general lens on a walkabout is not always easy.

If things don't improve (i.e. the lens doesn't get enough use), I'll either sell it on and get the DA*60-250 or go all out for the DA*300.
05-22-2011, 10:02 AM   #4
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I have the DA*300 and it is an amazing lens, however if I wanted 200mm, I'd rather get a 70-200/2.8 for it's versatility even though the DA*200 might be slightly better IQ-wise. If Pentax made a DA*135 f/1.8 or 2.0, I would settle on that instead.

05-22-2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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An “inbetweener” – you coined a new word Axl.

I can’t fault your logic here. I shoot telephoto 80% of the time I have the K 200/2.5, K 300/4 and M 400/5.6 and truth be told the M 400/5.6 gets the lion’s share of duty. The being said the 200mm is the sharpest of the three and that f 2.5 speed is just awesome to have on hand when I need it in auditoriums and the like. I do find it to be perfect for sports such as football, soccer, rugby, baseball and field hockey. I find the 300 and 400mm a little long and slow for these particular applications.

That said it is too short for birding although I have managed some good shots with it. Perhaps because I’m a telephoto guy it fills a niche for me others might not appreciate. I took the 200/2.5 to a Blue Jays game last summer. It was the only telephoto I own which wouldn't have clobbered the person sitting in front of me. Brandon Morrow in perfect form as he struck out 17 Tampa Bay Rays that day.



Pjthiel – I’d give your DA* 200/2.8 a really good trial before you part with it. I can’t imagine not having the 200/2.5 around even though it’s not an everyday user.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 05-22-2011 at 10:31 AM.
05-22-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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The 200mm FL is probably more useful on film, which is where it was quite popular.
It’s the logical jump up from 135mm. The 150mm FL on film is the one I find a bit weak.

Phil.
05-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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I have a few in the range that just don't see enough use. Some 200/3.5's (Focal-Cimko, Lentar-Samyang, Vivitar-Komine in T2 with 18 iris blades) and 200/4's (Super-Tak, Toyo in PK-M, superb monstrous Jupiter-21M). My favorites are the slowest and lightest: Meyer Telemegor 180/5.5 (250g) and Tele-Tak 200/5.6 (410g) -- and the heavier guys, the Viv 3.5 (640g) and the Jupiter (950g).

The Jupiter has (and may need!) a tripod mount, but is optically quite exceptional. Next best are the Tele-Tak for sharpness, and the Telemegor and Vivitar for bokeh. I like the Tele-Tak and Telemegor for candid street shots. It's hard to be stealthy with the Jupiter. I'm told a SMC-M 200/4 is small, light, very good, not too costly; I can't really justify searching for it, but if I can get it cheap, great!
05-22-2011, 10:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Pjthiel – I’d give your DA* 200/2.8 a really good trial before you part with it. I can’t imagine not having the 200/2.5 around even though it’s not an everyday user.
I am looking at it right now... and I'm feeling more than just a little guilty; it really is a thing of beauty -- I don't think I could ever let it go.

As in any good relationship, we'll learn each others likes and dislikes, overlook our respective limitations and enjoy the things we can do together.

05-22-2011, 10:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjthiel Quote
I am looking at it right now... and I'm feeling more than just a little guilty; it really is a thing of beauty -- I don't think I could ever let it go.
.....

If I got penny every time I said that about lens, I wouldn't have to sell all the lenses I had to sell to get where I am....
I never saw myself selling 43 & 77 ltds, K50/1.2, DA40, K55/1.8, DA*50-135, M85/2, F50/1.7, FA*300/4.5, Sigma 10-20....
yet I'm without them... at the end it's not the platonic relationship with unused lenses but the urge to get the most practical solution for one's needs that usually prevails....

I wish I had the cash to keep all of the above
05-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #10
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IMO the SMC Pentax-M 200/4 lens is excellent.
It's lightweight and relatively compact, too.

Chris
05-22-2011, 11:56 AM   #11
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Oh, I would love a A*200mm macro or the FA*200mm macro

And I do love my Canon FD 200mm macro (with adapter on Pentax bodies).
05-22-2011, 01:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roland303 Quote
I have the DA*300 and it is an amazing lens, however if I wanted 200mm, I'd rather get a 70-200/2.8 for it's versatility even though the DA*200 might be slightly better IQ-wise.
Same as Roland.

Tamron & Sigma make great 70-200/2.8 for significantly less money than the *200. Now if it was a 200/2.8 macro - fabulous !

Last edited by Frogfish; 05-22-2011 at 08:16 PM.
05-22-2011, 05:54 PM   #13
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the 200mm lens is a bit tricky to use. personally, a 200mm would be better suited on a zoom lens rather than a prime. as someone already mentioned, it is more of an in-between focal length.
05-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
the 200mm lens is a bit tricky to use. personally, a 200mm would be better suited on a zoom lens
rather than a prime. as someone already mentioned, it is more of an in-between focal length.
I will admit to once owning an 80-200mm zoom. Who knew? Everyone had one.

Eventually realizing that I never used any of the intermediate focal lengths,
I replaced it with an 85 or 100mm portrait lens which I always carry,
plus a 200mm lens I bring along only when I think it may be required.

The two fixed focal length lenses together probably weigh less than that big old zoom did,
and of course they are much sharper. Live and learn...

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 05-22-2011 at 06:30 PM.
05-22-2011, 06:38 PM   #15
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I used to think I really wanted a 200MM Takumar prime. While I still wouldn't turn my nose up at one I now think a 300MM prime would be far more practical for what I tend to photograph. 200MM can be enough, but 300MM is definitely better when you are talking about using a long lens.
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