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06-26-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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DA*200mm or other quandary

I will start by saying I had a previous thread about the K5 and lens but I hadn't a full grasp of what I wanted from my question so was a little vaque. I apologise to repliers.

I have only been a year with digital and love wildlife and sports photography in all conditions incl. indoor low light and presently have a K7, 55-300mm F4-5.8 and DA*16-50mm F2.8. I shoot RAW and don't like too much post NR as it seems to smooth and lose details.

I am not happy with the K7 and 55-300mm for low light and sharpness at this stage, prossible operator error with some of the sharpness. My travels encompasses all styles eg landscape, street, people etc but I always ensure my first love a wilderness area and this is predominately on small planes so strict weight restrictions but also what I am able to physically carry (I already give priority to camera gear over clothes).

I am going to upgrade to K5 for low light images but I am in a quandary about another lens. WR is high on my list but sharpness is higher.

1. DA* prime for IQ and WR?
2. DA*200 f2.8 over DA*300 f4 for the aperture in low light but also I am told that if the larger animals are closer I won't be able to capture an overall shot.
3. If I use a 200 with TC am I correct in thinking this would = 300 F5.8 which is what I get with my present 55-300mm.
4. I find I predominately shoot sports around 170-250mm (300mm is not consistently sharp enough) and wonder if the DA*200 would give the sharpness and quality and with post cropping I would get the image closer.
5. A friend is suggesting a Sigma-APO-150-500mm-F5-6-3-DG-OS-HSM-LENS for the reach and with the K5 ability for high ISO

Alternative suggestions are welcome but I don't want an arsenal of lenses.

If only I had won lottery I wouldn't have this quandary, I feel comfortable with my current ability to spend upto AUD$1700 on a good lens but doesn't warrant spending mega $$'s on large lens as this would curtail future O/S travel plans.

Your comments are most appreciated.

06-26-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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If sigma was still making their excellent 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG your problem would be pretty much solved.

the DA*200mm f/2.8 is a very good lens however it isn't apochromatic, meaning it can't focus red green and blue light on exactly the same plane. What this means is that subjects around the area of critical focus will have green or magenta fringing depending on where they are in relation to the area of focus which can be distinctly unpleasant in certain situations. As far as I know the DA*300mm f/4 doesn't seem to suffer from this effect.

bear in mind both lenses have SDM and it really doesn't focus any faster than the screw drive AF the FA series lenses use - in fact it can be much slower.
06-26-2011, 07:35 PM   #3
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I am not an expert photographer as some of the forum members but I own both the DA* 200 and the DA* 300. I'll give you my modest opinion on these lens.

First, I must say that I use them most of the time with my K10D. K5 should give you even greater results since it has a better dynamic range and better high ISO capabilities.

I personally use the DA* 200 for indoor sports events such as gymnastic and swimming competition. Of course, fast apperture (f2.8) is a real plus in these circumstances. I also use it for wildlife and outdoor sports alone and in conjunction with my 1.7X adapter for just a little over one year. I got good pictures with this set up, but I needed more reach. Especially for bird photography. Thus, I finally decided to buy a DA* 300 to complete my collection.

For wildlife and birding, the DA* 300 is an excellent lens for the price. f4 is fast enough in most situations. The lens is very sharp wide open and peaks between f5.6 and f8. It's also excellent when coupled with the 1.7X adapter. If you plan to use it with the K5, you should be even more satisfied since you will gain at least one or two stops because of the better high ISO.

I know some people on this forum and the other forum use the DA* 200 for wildlife, but they are probably more experienced than I am since they can get much closer to the subject than I do. For me, as an amateur photographer, the DA* 300 is a dream lens and one that suits my budget.
06-26-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
bear in mind both lenses have SDM and it really doesn't focus any faster than the screw drive AF the FA series lenses use - in fact it can be much slower.
My experience with both lens is focus speed is just as fast if not faster than all my other lens. I copared it to my cousins Can*n 400mm f5.6 and the DA* 300 is even faster.

06-26-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
bear in mind both lenses have SDM and it really doesn't focus any faster than the screw drive AF the FA series lenses use - in fact it can be much slower.
The DA* 200mm AF is much faster than any screw driven lenses I've ever used.
06-26-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
The DA* 200mm AF is much faster than any screw driven lenses I've ever used.
clearly you haven't used the FA*85mm f/1.4
06-27-2011, 02:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alibaba Quote
2. DA*200 f2.8 over DA*300 f4 for the aperture in low light but also I am told that if the larger animals are closer I won't be able to capture an overall shot.
There's also the Pentax DA 60-250 f4, which is weathersealed.

Sincerely,
--Anders.
06-27-2011, 05:09 AM   #8
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As Digitalis said maybe it's worth waiting for a Sigma 100-300/4 to come up on the used market, it meets all your criteria. However having shot some sports with the 300 I would agree that in some cases it is too long. Maybe worth considering the 60-250 - superb lense, very sharp, silent SDM but a touch slower on the AF speed.

re. SDM speed and sharpness. Again as Digitalis said the F/FA series are a tiny bit faster to focus, but far noisier and the DA*300 edges them in sharpness too. It was an easy decision for me trying them all side by side.


Last edited by Frogfish; 06-27-2011 at 09:02 AM.
06-27-2011, 07:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
The DA* 200mm AF is much faster than any screw driven lenses I've ever used.
Same here, excepting the DA40......and no I have no need to try the FA85.
06-27-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
clearly you haven't used the FA*85mm f/1.4
Yes, but isn't the FA* 85 an exception???
06-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
Yes, but isn't the FA* 85 an exception???
no, there are quite a few screw drive lenses that match or exceed SDM the pentax FA*300mm f/2.8, DA15Limited, FA35mm f/2....etc etc
06-27-2011, 08:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by asp1880 Quote
There's also the Pentax DA 60-250 f4, which is weathersealed.

Sincerely,
--Anders.
I've been making it a point to buy SDM's when I was putting out serious money
for a lens as I believe some day support for the screw mount will 'go away' as it is not cost effective for Pentax to support two different focusing mechanisms.

The DA*200 is one nice lens of a fairly modest size. and as far as IQ is concerned
I think there is a consensus that it is optically identical to the FA* 200 f/2.8 and does very well as you would expect from a prime.

My word of caution about the 60-250 (mine just arrived today) is that it is large
and has an astounding 15 optical elements in it, making it very heavy---it approaches the size and weight of the DA*300. It's a bright nice lens and will prove to be one of my favorites, I'm sure. It's long zoom ratio, combined with high speed should make it a favorite for sports photography when you can't decide whether to photograph the whole field or a single player.---or want to do both in rapid sequence.
06-28-2011, 12:02 AM   #13
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I just can't help myself - from my sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG 280mm @ f/4 1/180th - ISO 100 - wireless AF360+1/2 CTO gel used

06-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #14
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Thanks for all your feedback.
Lovely image Digitalis I don't see many of these in my garden more parrots, noisy minah etc.

I think the next step is to see if I can try the three lenses DA*200, DA*300 and 60-250 on a dull low light day.
06-28-2011, 05:03 PM   #15
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Well I have DA*60-250mm and that is a great lens. I use it for sports, so my subjects are a little bigger. There is a little review soemwhere down in this lensthread.

My DA40mm/f2.8 Ltd is my fastest lens in AF and FA*85mm is also very fast, ony misses a little more when light condition is a bitt less.

DA* lenses: 55mm is very slow, 50-135mm isn't fast and 60-250mm is twice as fast.

I had once Sigma 300mm/f2.8 on my K-5 and that lens is like twice as fast in AF (also faster then sigma 70-200mm lens). There is a price for everything.
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