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12-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #1
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Pentax SMC DA 50-200 vs. SMC A 70-210

I've been shopping for a reasonably priced zoom lens and wanted to see if people could comment on Pentax SMC A 70-210mm vs SMC DA 50-200mm.
I understand both are solid lenses, and I've seen them compared to other lenses of their respective generations, but I couldn't find those compared to each other.
I also realize that the DA is newer, lighter, smaller, fully auto, and all that jazz ... I'm just trying to compare picture quality.

A nice used A 70-210mm could be had for under ~100-ish vs DA for ~160-ish on ebay.

I'm personally leaning towards spending the extra cash on the DA, for the convenience.

I know, I know, I'm a wild man, throwing my money away and all ...
Obviously, I should spend the extra money on a camera with more megapixels if I wanted better pictures ... but bear with me here

If anyone would like to share their experience with these lenses side by side, I would greatly appreciate that.

12-20-2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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honestly, I think your money is better spent on lenses- more megapixels rarely equals better pictures.

As for the two lenses, I can't give you a comparison, but I can say that the 50-200 is a wonderful lens, and for me the auto-focus is the clincher. just makes life easier.
12-20-2007, 07:48 PM   #3
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The lens review database would be a place to start:

Pentax Lens Review Database - Pentax K-Mount Lenses
12-20-2007, 11:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by clawhamemr Quote
honestly, I think your money is better spent on lenses- more megapixels rarely equals better pictures.
Hah, I know. It was (apparently) a failed attempt at a joke by me.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
The lens review database would be a place to start:
I looked there first, but didn't see either lens.

Thanks for the advice, though.

12-21-2007, 06:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TimB Quote
I've been shopping for a reasonably priced zoom lens and wanted to see if people could comment on Pentax SMC A 70-210mm vs SMC DA 50-200mm.
I understand both are solid lenses, and I've seen them compared to other lenses of their respective generations, but I couldn't find those compared to each other.
I also realize that the DA is newer, lighter, smaller, fully auto, and all that jazz ... I'm just trying to compare picture quality.

A nice used A 70-210mm could be had for under ~100-ish vs DA for ~160-ish on ebay.

I'm personally leaning towards spending the extra cash on the DA, for the convenience.

I know, I know, I'm a wild man, throwing my money away and all ...
Obviously, I should spend the extra money on a camera with more megapixels if I wanted better pictures ... but bear with me here

If anyone would like to share their experience with these lenses side by side, I would greatly appreciate that.
I have them both, and i find them equally good.

There that helps right.

The A 70-210 has 1:4 macro, if that is any use to you. I have used the macro and it does a good job.

If you have money to throw, i'd get em both.

Dave
12-21-2007, 07:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TimB Quote
Hah, I know. It was (apparently) a failed attempt at a joke by me.
Ok, I feels stupid, I'm gonna go stand in a corner now...


QuoteOriginally posted by TimB Quote
I looked there first, but didn't see either lens.

Thanks for the advice, though.
When you first click on 'DA Lenses' or 'A Lenses' it takes you to a page with just the prime lenses. there's another link on top that will say 'DA Zooms' or 'A Zooms'
12-21-2007, 11:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentkon52 Quote
I have them both, and i find them equally good.

There that helps right.

The A 70-210 has 1:4 macro, if that is any use to you. I have used the macro and it does a good job.

If you have money to throw, i'd get em both.

Dave
Yes, that helps tremendously And given my grad student income, I think I'm going to get two of each, just in case I have to use them for self defense.

As far as macro goes, does the DA just not focus close enough for macro, or is there more to that?
I don't think I understand completely what "micro mode" in a lens is. I've looked at a few sites for explanations, but so far - not very satisfying.

QuoteOriginally posted by clawhamemr Quote
When you first click on 'DA Lenses' or 'A Lenses' it takes you to a page with just the prime lenses. there's another link on top that will say 'DA Zooms' or 'A Zooms'
Hah, now I feel stupid. I'll come join you in the corner. We can talk about getting rid of the non-stupid bastards.
12-21-2007, 04:19 PM   #8
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I have a non-SMC Pentax-A 70-200/F4 which is physically similar to the SMC A 70-210/F4 and I'd like to make a few comments.

I like the lens quality, both in build and image quality, but it is a heavy and long lens. I'm sure the DA would be much lighter and compact.

If your Pentax camera has Shake Reduction, I'd get the DA. Besides the need to manually focus with the A lens, there is the issue of setting the focal length at startup in the SR menu. With SR turned on on my K100D Super & the A, M, or S/T lens atttached, the SR focal length menu automatically appears after turn-on. With a prime, it's not too much of an issue as it remembers the last setting. You just press OK to use 50mm.

But with a zoom it's a bit of a bother. I generally leave it at 200mm, but if I, say, change the zoom setting to 120mm during a session, I have to turn off the camera, turn it on again and select 120mm from the SR FL menu. (You can also access the SR FL menu while the camera is turned on, but it easier to just turn off and on again to get directly to it.) If you're mainly using tripod than SR would not be needed, of course.

I got my Pentax-A 70-200/F4 off ebay pretty cheap. It was only $64 AUD posted. I use it a lot.

12-21-2007, 05:18 PM   #9
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Heh heh
12-21-2007, 08:10 PM   #10
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tim,
i have no experience with the 50-200 but from other posts i've read, you may not be happy with IQ using it. maybe QC is to blame?? me?? i'm a true believer in the A70-210/4.. it's never let me down and the price is right for such an outstanding performer.. the M80-200/4.5 is a very close runner up and it's even less $$$ and it's speed is comparable......
12-21-2007, 09:46 PM   #11
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The 50-200 is a great budget zoom - at least mine is. Lightweight, good contrast and sharpness.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/4768-lens-comp...-70-300-a.html
12-21-2007, 10:23 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the advice.

Of course, I am exactly where I started - I want both, just because two good lenses are better than one (Oh yeah, you all what I'm talking about).
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