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11-27-2007, 06:11 PM   #1
SouthShoreRob
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Putting a 2K FA* telephoto zoom into perspective - a rant, no offense

My fellow Pentaxians,

I apologize in advance if this sounds like carping, but well, I do need to carp. If you, as I am, are in the market for a fast-for-sports F2.8 telephoto zoom to fit your digital Pentax, then you'll probably understand fully and completely what I'm about to say. After a solid month (maybe two now) of searching, I've come to the realization that unless I pony up 2K to purchase a used FA* 80-200 F2.8 from the Japanese eBay store (2 copies listed as we speak), I am just not going to get my hands on "pro" quality, auto focus glass.

The next best option you ask? Well that of course would be Sigma's well reviewed 70-200 F2.8. You know the one that can't be had anywhere new right now and is only occasionally offered up on eBay or elsewhere. For what it's worth, the last eBay seller I saw to post one had 0 feedback and the one currently FS here in the forum is looking to sell US only. Aargh.

Oh and as for putting out 2K for that aforementioned FA* lense from another perspective?

2K would buy me both a new 30D and a used (excellent) 70-200 F2.8L ultrasonic.
2K would buy me both a new D80 and a new 80-200 F2.8 D MACRO ED.

Not that I want this discussion to turn into a brand war; far from it. I post this information just for general comparison sake. Personally, I have only used Pentax SLR products. I love my K10D and all of it's wonderful features. That said, someone - ANYONE - at Pentax has to get their act together and do something for us.

*end rant*

As an aside, I would hate to just be an anonymous complainer, so if anyone can direct me to the necessary Pentax e-mail addresses, I'll gladly take my rant to them directly and not bore this excellent forum any longer.

Thanks,

Rob

11-27-2007, 06:20 PM   #2
Ole
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I agree that it is poor product policy that Pentax hasn't re-issued the FA* lenses.

Anyway, the FA*80-200 is worth every penny.

Other (used) options: A* 200/2.8 or FA*200/2.8, F/FA* 300/2.8. The FA*200/2.8 has some CA in my experience. The 80-200 is the better bet (although a heavy bet at that).
11-27-2007, 06:48 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SouthShoreRob Quote
...

Oh and as for putting out 2K for that aforementioned FA* lense from another perspective?

2K would buy me both a new 30D and a used (excellent) 70-200 F2.8L ultrasonic.
2K would buy me both a new D80 and a new 80-200 F2.8 D MACRO ED.
...
Nothing wrong to have two systems.
11-27-2007, 07:10 PM   #4
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Tsk, tsk, Rob. Don't you know that the 50-135/2.8 is the new 80-200/2.8? That old for-film lens will only end up producing phantom pixels for you.

11-27-2007, 09:02 PM   #5
SouthShoreRob
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not really

QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Tsk, tsk, Rob. Don't you know that the 50-135/2.8 is the new 80-200/2.8? That old for-film lens will only end up producing phantom pixels for you.
Mathematically perhaps, but of course practically not. Those extra mm provide for extra reach and in real terms, this means (when shooting hockey for example) that the range I can cover gets extended from inside the blue line all the way out to the red line.

As for the second part of your comment, well everything I've read about the FA* lenses would suggest that they work extremely well with digital bodies.
11-27-2007, 10:09 PM   #6
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Tamron announced it is coming out with a 70-200mm f/2.8, modeled after the venerable 28-75mm f/2.8. Now, i'm not going to say it's of FA* 80-200mm caliber, but it'll be quite good at least, and thus a great fast midrange-zoom option Pentax doesn't want to give us. I thought I was quite done w/LBA, until reading about this upcoming lens. My guess is it'll be sub $1K USD / CAD.

edit: announcement: TAMRON | News | Tamron Develops new product SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di [Model A001]

Last edited by m8o; 11-27-2007 at 10:33 PM. Reason: added link ; fixed spec
11-27-2007, 10:32 PM   #7
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Much as the FA* lenses are great performers, I think these lenses deserve a updated revamp to incorporate SDM. That will surely make them perform even better focusing wise.
11-28-2007, 12:15 AM   #8
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Carpents has made a valid point the DA*50-135 really is the digital equivalent to the film FA*80-200.

The DA*50-135 will give you the performance you are looking for just with out the reach the FA*80-200 would on digital APS-C. On the other hand the DA*50-135 is going to better capture the action closer up due to the wider field of view. The closer the action the better the images anyway. At 80mm widest the FA* is going to loose site of the action fast as it approaches. With Hockey that happens really quickly.

Pentax does have the DA*60-250 in the roadmap albeit at F4.

11-28-2007, 12:17 AM   #9
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I agree with creampuff- The FA*s seem to be the peak of pentax (telephoto) lens design. If that could be reintroduced with added SDM and some of other changes like weather sealing then nobody could say that Pentax as a system doesn't quite cut it. Now, what I've described does sound a lot like the DA*s, but from what I've read they don't seem to be up to par to the FA*s. And sure, 50-135 may be the great new 'digital' range, but when everyone else is still offering 70-200, you lose a rather significant amount of length by going with Pentax. Sure, it's lighter and smaller, but if we wanted that we'd get the 18-250.
11-28-2007, 01:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SouthShoreRob Quote
Mathematically perhaps, but of course practically not. Those extra mm provide for extra reach and in real terms, this means (when shooting hockey for example) that the range I can cover gets extended from inside the blue line all the way out to the red line...
Not sure what you mean by extended cover. Do you mean DOF?

We know that a shorter focal length lens has a greater DOF than a longer focal length lens. For example with a crop factor of 1.5 when both shoot something in 50 M @ f2.8, the DOF of 135mm focal length lens is 16 meters while that of 200mm lens is only 7 meters.

So the reason people want a longer focal length lens is that they want better isolation between the target and background that is provided by narrower DOF, not the coverage.

Correct me if I am wrong.
11-28-2007, 06:04 AM   #11
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No, he means the field of view, ie the actual focal length and what it captures. I think the argument is a little bit tantrum-ish - yes there's no 70-200 f2.8s around but as has been explained the 50-135 is the direct replacement for APS-C. Sooner or later Sigma should release the 70-200 f2.8 macro HSM (inferior to the old non macro lens I might add) and there's the Tamron one coming out soon (ugly as the Nikon 80-200 f2.8 though, or the Tokina, blech).

If you wanted this kind of coverage a decade ago, Sigma's 120-300 f2.8 would've been the only bet, at US$2249 and 2.6kg.
11-28-2007, 06:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SouthShoreRob Quote
Mathematically perhaps, but of course practically not. Those extra mm provide for extra reach and in real terms, this means (when shooting hockey for example) that the range I can cover gets extended from inside the blue line all the way out to the red line.

As for the second part of your comment, well everything I've read about the FA* lenses would suggest that they work extremely well with digital bodies.
Sorry Rob, I guess you're too new to know that I totally agree with you - and I don't believe that the 50-135 is a 'digital replacement' for the 80-200. I've criticized Pentax in the past for not taking advantage of the one benefit of APS-C (namely, the smaller physical size). I have clamored here before asking for a 50-135/2.0 or a smaller version of the 80-200/2.8...the 50-135/2.8 is neither of those things.

And the 'phantom pixels' coming from film lenses was a direct response by Pentax when a popular reviewer found them while using a 43/1.9 Limited lens.

(I should have put the <sarcasm> tag around my first post.)

--Sean
11-28-2007, 06:54 AM   #13
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I think this is really a rant, because there is a report that sigma is doing a K mount version of the 70-200 f/2.8 usm very soon. This means that the price for the used pentax zoom will fall drastically.

Also note that there are reqularly the older version sigma 79-200 f/2.8 coming up for sale at less than half that amount, and it is a pro quality lens in every respect.

As I stated elsewhere, when you look at pentax and thier marketing, the one thing they missed on was they underestimated the popularity of the cameras, which has led to a short term shortage of quality lenses. This will be corrected over time as the marketing fools get thier thumbs out
11-28-2007, 08:16 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
I've criticized Pentax in the past for not taking advantage of the one benefit of APS-C (namely, the smaller physical size). I have clamored here before asking for a 50-135/2.0 or a smaller version of the 80-200/2.8...the 50-135/2.8 is neither of those things.
What, so the 50-135, at 76mmx136mm and 685g without hood it's not small enough? And a 67mm filter. The FA*80-200 is 88x195mm and weighs over twice as much at 1500g. That doesn't stand up at all. I have no issues shooting with the K10D and a 1.3kg Sigma 70-200, and that's without a monopod.

Also, given the way aperture is calculated (aperture diameter relative to focal length) it's not possible to do a smaller 80-200 f2.8.

Look at lenses like Nikon's AF-S 17-55 f2.8. It's huge, and designed specifically for APS-C. SLR photography is not really about convenience of pocketable cameras, it just compromises IQ and design.

Also, as for faster zooms such as f2.0 constants, the only company which has produced anything of the kind is Olympus/Zuiko for the 4-3rds system. Which is a 2x crop factor and further compounds the issues of APS-C compared to FF. Adorama lists the Zuiko 35-100 f2.0 at $1949 (admittedly with a $250 rebate). Would you be willing to pay that? And look at the size of it. 96.5mmx213.5mm and 1650g.

Similarly, the Zuiko 90-250 f2.8 at $5349. 124mmx276mm, 3270g.

Of course most of these figures are meaningless because it's in metric and not the ridiculous imperial figures. 25.4mm = 1" and 1000g roughly equals 0.5lb. Aren't I nice?
(no, I know I'm not)
11-28-2007, 08:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
What, so the 50-135, at 76mmx136mm and 685g without hood it's not small enough? And a 67mm filter. The FA*80-200 is 88x195mm and weighs over twice as much at 1500g. That doesn't stand up at all. I have no issues shooting with the K10D and a 1.3kg Sigma 70-200, and that's without a monopod.
You didn't understand me.

Yes, the 50-135 is plenty small. As a matter of fact, I would have liked it to be bigger and a 50-135/2.0. Or, I would have liked a slightly smaller version (which is possible) of the FA* 80-200/2.8 without comprimising the focal length.

And to answer your other question - of course I would pay ~$1,600 or more for one of those. As the OP clearly states, if you want that focal length right now you'd have to pay more than that - for a used copy.
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