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01-05-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
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Stay with F70-210 or get a DA?

I've had the SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm f4-5.6 for a few years now. I mostly use it for travel; at home I will usually use a prime instead up to 135mm. The lens is pretty decent, with some good points: fast AF, sharp, 9 aperture blades, compact size, and 49mm filters. It's a bit heavy (555 g) and the short end is not ideal for me since I pair it with the DA 16-45/4, so I have a gap, not a big deal mostly. I don't mind only going to 200mm. Quick shift and a hood would be nice. I'm looking for opinions on a replacement, nothing too expensive. My ideas are:

DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR - The WR version has 49mm filter size, quick-shift and a hood. It's half the weight of the F and shorter. The WR version doesn't feel as cheap as the regular one. Theoretically I could pair it with my DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR for shooting in the rain, which I never do.

DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 - More at the long end, which I would probably not need, but use way more than WR. More money and more weight than the 50-200, but my biggest concern is the length spec - does it fit in my bag, especially with the hood reversed like I want? I'll have to measure. The filter size isn't a great fit either.

Does anyone have opinions about image quality? How about balance? The F70-210 has most of its weight and bulk at the back (mount end), even zoomed to 210mm. It handles more like a lighter lens. What's the DA 55-300 like? Should I be considering anything else?

01-05-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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The F lens is very sharp- definitely better than the 50-200mm if you ask me.

If anything, I'd consider upgrading to the 55-300mm. Size-wise its about the same as the F, but you'll obviously need new filters. I'd say that the choice should be down to whether or not you need the added reach.

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01-05-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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My experience is the DA 50-200mm WR is optically a tad better than the F 70-210mm. I've owned the DA 50-200mm three times and if you have a good copy it is great. As good as the DA 55-300mm is optically, it is a lot bigger, heavier and focuses slower. As a kit zoom, many 50-200mm gets handled quite a bit so if you're buying used, test. I actually like the DA 50-200mm because it is very compact and light, focuses quick and I know at 200mm, I can shoot without even thinking about camera shake. If you want the DA 55-300 on a budget, there's always the DAL version.
01-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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I exchanged the F70-210 for a DA50-200 and I'm happy for that. It is a bit darker, but not much and the IQ is on similar level. To be honest, my F70-210 was a bit disapoiting.
I tried the 55-300 for a while and it is opticaly superior to both of these, but to me the portability of 50-200 was paramount. I prefer smaller lenses for travel.

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