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02-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax K 200mm F2.5

I recently got a hold on a SMC Pentax K 200mm F2.5

SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I am a newbie (hobbyist) in the pentax/DSLR world (since april 2012), I own a K20D + a bought a K5 on august. (set the "use aperture ring" option to "permitted")

I want to test this lens, can you steer me on what kind of testing I can do to eveluate/compare this Manual focus lens... how it can make a difference compared to my other lense that does 200mm (i.e. a DA 50-200 F/4-5.6) for example ?

I also have access to those lenses : DA 18-45 1:4(22); DA 10-17 F/3.5-4.5 (fisheye) + Pentax -M 28mm F/2.8 + Pentax 50mm F/1.4 (old manual lens)+ Pentax Sigma 120-400mm + Sigma Macro 180mm F/3.5

I have taken a couple of shot with both (indoor low light conditions with a tripod) and cannot see big differences except maybe the manual lens seems to have less DOF ...

Thanks for you help...


Wee

02-03-2013, 01:50 AM   #2
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I test my lenses as following:
- apertures x distances

normally i start with the middle aperture, like f5.6 or f8, and middle distance range. For 200mm, it should be 12-20 meters.
That to find the sweet spots of the lens.
02-03-2013, 02:08 AM   #3
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I would say just continue shooting with it. If you like it it's a good lens and a keeper and if you don't it's a bad choice for you. Lens rendition is very subjective.
02-03-2013, 02:26 AM   #4
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Just shoot it between f/2.5 and f/4 and see what kind of subject isolation you can get. You won't be able to duplicate that with any of those other lenses (except you might come close with the Sigma 180/3.5 macro).

It's a matter of appreciating the character of each lens. The K200/2.5 will give you beautiful images (with a slightly warmish character) with smooth backgrounds and striking subject isolation. The Sigma 180 macro will likely be sharp but with a different character.


Honestly, my testing mainly consists of seeing whether I like the images within the first couple of stops (especially within 1 stop) of wide-open.

I find my K200/2.5 generally gives me better results on my K200D than my K-5. I think this is partly due to getting better focus, and partly the sensor, which has the advantage of being CCD along with the possible advantage of having 10MP vs 16MP. In any case, try it on both cameras because it may match one better than the other.


Last edited by DSims; 02-03-2013 at 02:32 AM.
02-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
my testing mainly consists of seeing whether I like the images
+1 this is my kind of testing too, I have this lenses cousin, the Pentax-A* 200mm F2.8 ED and I have really happy with it.
02-04-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
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Lot's of good advice above.

I wrote one of the reviews for the K200/2.5 in the lens review area and personally I think it is an awesome optic.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-K-200mm-F2.5-Lens.html

That being said like any manual focus lens with no AE it will take a while to get use to in the digital format. I would recommend getting a KatzEye split image focusing screen for use with this and other manual focus lenses. You will find the K 200/2.5, and all other manual focus lenses, much easier to focus with this screen in place. This K 200/2.5 lens is super sharp when properly focused and remains to this day the fastest 200mm lens Pentax ever produced.

My next recommendation would be to shoot just with the K200/2.5 for a solid month or so. Try it for sports, birding, in gyms, auditoriums, portriats etc. This will give you a chance to get used to its quirks. Two hundred mm is kind of an in-between focal length. Personally, l like it, but there are many who feel that 200mm is either too short or too long. After a month or so you will know which camp you fall into.

In any case have fun and enjoy your new lens.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 02-04-2013 at 11:12 AM.
02-04-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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Hi to all... yes there are very good advice indeed ! Thanks for your reply, I'll give it some time to get used like you said...
very well appreciated!
My ultimate goal would be to get a new 560mm, but unless I win a the lotto, I doubt I can afford that in the near future... however, I am looking at the DA* 300mm F/4 more seriously in the next year or so...
Another question: can I use an extension tube to get more focal distance with the 200mm ? I was also thinking of the Pentax TC AF 1,7x for that use too... but after reading a bit on that from different posts, I am not sure if that would worth it...
Anyway, I'll use it as is first... and maybe post some good pics here eventually!
merci !
03-25-2013, 09:31 AM   #8
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Some sample from SMC Pentax K 200mm F/2.5

HI, I sent some time to test it a bit more... I am getting used to it. At first, I had problems with the color, but figured out that WB in Auto mode did not always took the right decision, so I put the WB in whatever setting reflected the shooting conditions, and WOW ! I got some very nice shots (for those that are on focus... I admit I lose many because of that... I might try the Katz-Eye thing eventually...). Very nice bokeh also !

Photo of my spouse + our dogs and others..












Now closer to the spruce...





These ones on the same day, in downtown Saint-Jean, after Sunset... (low light conditions)




Now Inside, very "low-light" conditions, and coupled with a Pentax AFA 1.7x converter (using autofocus and pretty high ISO settings)





Note: No post processing on any of these pics..
I still have to test it in other conditions...

Finally, I better appreciate the power of this lens !

I have in my whish list a longer focal lens... I love to shoot birds and wildlife, and this one is, like one said before, an in-between lens.... but I saw a 400mm f2.8 that was sold recently in the market place. That would have been a nice lens for me ! The price was more affordable, but missed it :-(

Maybe this lens would be good for a theater or music show ! Will try it on these conditions eventually.

Have a good day all!

Weevil

03-25-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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OUps! I forgot that one when we went ice fishing... My Buddy had hard time manipulating the fishes LOL!
03-25-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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Very nice!! The spruce tips and the grass heads are the required K200/2.5 shots. (I haven't gotten one to work out yet.)
03-25-2013, 01:27 PM   #11
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It's a great piece of glass, I'm glad your starting to enjoy it now.
04-20-2013, 09:43 AM   #12
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HI, yesterday, I used that lense combined with an AFA 1.7x adapter on my K20D... it was a pretty cloudy and WINDY evening, and I spotted thet Great heron. I was able to shoot with a monopod . the big winds (40mph + wind gusts !) was making everything unstable, no ideal conditions at all.. but... I was able to approach the subject enough and get this pretty nice shot (did some PP in LR4 though)

I had bought this lens + AFA Adapter in the meantime I get a Prime 300mm, which I did recently ( a F* 300mm F4.5 ; still waiting to receive it however...)...

But. I am pretty happy with the results...

regards

Last edited by Weevil; 03-22-2016 at 11:04 PM.
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