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12-29-2006, 06:39 PM   #1
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Pentax Telephoto 200mm f/4 SMCP-A

Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of this lens? I have a chance to buy it for under $100 US. My usual source for info on old lenses has nothing on it: http://stans-photography.info/
Most other manual 200 mm lenses got good reviews; I just want to make sure this one wasn't a dud.
I am interested in this lens over an M version because of the "slightlier" easier metering with the A setting and the K10D.
Thanks in advance.

12-29-2006, 06:47 PM   #2
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Here is another very good source of info for older Pentax and 3rd party lenses.

http://www.jcolwell.ca/_SPLOSdb/SPLOSdb-2004-09-31.pdf

The A200 f4.0 is rated as OK, where as the M200 f4.0 is rated very good.
12-29-2006, 06:58 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by roscot Quote
Here is another very good source of info for older Pentax and 3rd party lenses.

http://www.jcolwell.ca/_SPLOSdb/SPLOSdb-2004-09-31.pdf

The A200 f4.0 is rated as OK, where as the M200 f4.0 is rated very good.
Thanks! What a great link! I will have to study this document.

Have a terrific New Year.
12-29-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
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If you don't want it, I might. Let me know!

12-29-2006, 10:30 PM   #5
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Splosdb actually has a very small sample size from which to judge this lens.

I went through the same exercise this summer. I bought a LN- copy of the lens and tried to research it as well. Brandx on DPR has this lens and likes it quite a lot. If you go on DPR and do a search for my threads you will see the correspondence I had with Ron over this (my DPR name is the same as I'm using here). Or you could try to post a message to Ron on DPR and hope he sees it.

The day I bought the lens the Pentax Corp salesman was in the camera store with his technician doing free camera/lens checkups for Pentax users. I pointedly said: I'd like to get it but I don't want to buy a dog. The Pentax salesman responded that this lens is actually pretty good. It is the successor to the M200/4 but it came out just at the time that long zooms started to become very popular. As a result the lens sold poorly, through no fault of its own, and therefore there are relatively few copies of it compared to the M200/4.

One point that Brandx made was that you see very few copies of this lens on the used market or eBay. It's either rare or the people who have it aren't letting it go. I've got the lens in front of me right now. It's a cute little number, has a built in lens hood, is petite & lightweight but well built like all M and A series lenses.

In the days of film 200mm and 300mm were useful focal lengths. If you use digital, 135mm and 200mm primes with a 1.5x factor delivers those focal lengths. So I suspect prime lenses in the focals will be harder and harder to come by.
12-29-2006, 11:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
I've got the lens in front of me right now. It's a cute little number, has a built in lens hood, is petite & lightweight but well built like all M and A series lenses.

In the days of film 200mm and 300mm were useful focal lengths. If you use digital, 135mm and 200mm primes with a 1.5x factor delivers those focal lengths. So I suspect prime lenses in the focals will be harder and harder to come by.
Thanks for the help. Is it safe to assume that you are pleased with the performance of the lens?

I will be using it mostly on my K10d, with minor use on my ZX-5n and K1000. Do you have experience using it on a Pentax DSLR?

Thanks again for your time.
12-30-2006, 12:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
Thanks for the help. Is it safe to assume that you are pleased with the performance of the lens?

I will be using it mostly on my K10d, with minor use on my ZX-5n and K1000. Do you have experience using it on a Pentax DSLR?

Thanks again for your time.
I'm happy with it, especially considering the price I paid for it. But I admit that I am easy to please and I don't pixel peep.

Is it as good as your * lenses? No. But $100 is less than 1/20 the price of the last FA200/2.8 that sold on flea-bay. (I wonder how much the FA200/4 1:1 would sell for today?)

I suggest you ping Brandx on DPR and ask him since he's used his extensively (he's a very nice person & very helpful). Or just take your K10 with you and test the lens out before you buy it. I've been shooting primarily film lately so I can't send you any images (sold the digital & bought a couple more MZ-S's to complement my first one).
12-30-2006, 09:47 AM   #8
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i've got the M version and find it quite sharp.

12-30-2006, 06:41 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for your great resources and opinions. I went ahead and purchased the lens. For 89$ I thought it a worthwhile educated gamble. I will try to take some photos with it next weekend and post them, perhaps even write a review on this site.
Roy, your photos are fabulous; I especially enjoyed the bird and fog photos. I am inspired to go out and shoot.

Regards and Happy New Year.
12-30-2006, 08:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by roy Quote
i've got the M version and find it quite sharp.
Me too, I still use it a lot. The A version would allow more automation, but it's still a great lens.
12-31-2006, 06:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
Thanks to everyone for your great resources and opinions. I went ahead and purchased the lens. For 89$ I thought it a worthwhile educated gamble. I will try to take some photos with it next weekend and post them, perhaps even write a review on this site.
Roy, your photos are fabulous; I especially enjoyed the bird and fog photos. I am inspired to go out and shoot.

Regards and Happy New Year.
wow, thanks for the compliment. guess i'll have to go out also.
12-31-2006, 07:55 PM   #12
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I have all 3 versions, the K, M and A. The original K version is slighly better than the other 2 but I have found little practical difference between the M and A versions. As far as I am aware, the A version has a extra element and focusses slightly closer but it appears to make no difference to the performance.

Kim
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