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06-23-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
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buy DA*200 again or get the DA 55-300?

After months and 2 faulty copies and one extremely poor copy of the DA*200 Pentax will kindly refund my money. My original intention was to repurchase another copy of this lens because I love the results a good copy gives. Pentax lent me a rental while trying to adjust the 3rd copy.
I also love the subject isolation 200mm focal length gives.

But having read some comments regarding PP and kit lenses I am considering getting the 55-300. Apparently all I have to do is whack up the clarity slider, do a few color adjustments in Lightroom and voila I will have an image that is comparable to an image taken with the DA*200.

Save myself a loadsamoney.

Any thoughts

06-23-2013, 03:37 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your bad experiences with the the DA*200. No doubt, one copy may differ from another, but three in a row sounds pretty bad. As a happy DA* 200 owner, I am interested to hear, what were the faults and what was the extremely poor like?

PP can indeed do a lot, and as long as one's needs are smaller prints and screen presentations, there may be money to save. What I have found with my copy is, that when it comes to resolution and contrast, (and thereby, what most would perceive as 'sharpness') the DA* 200 is second to none, that I have ever tried. For me, resolution is a very important factor.

No (affordable) lens is probably without any minor flaws at all. I have made a fairly extensive test of my copy, and you can find the results here:

smc PENTAX_DA* 200mm f/2.8

i don't know, I am not the world's most skilled Pentaxian, but maybe my examples could help you see, what you might at least be entitled to expect from that lens???
06-23-2013, 03:44 AM   #3
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I'm a prime man so probably the wrong guy to ask.

I hope you get lucky next time round with which ever choice you go with.
06-23-2013, 04:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
I am interested to hear, what were the faults and what was the extremely poor like?
Thanks for your comment. First 2 were mechanical faults the sdm failed on the second. I was perfectly happy with the image quality until the fallures. Regarding the third copy. I have used 2 rentals as well as my first 2 copies. All acceptable. My third copy was soft with very bad pf compared to the other 4. After Pentax's first attempt to correct this I could see the aperture blades were actuating at f2.8. This was not acceptable to me. All other attempts couldn't improve the lens.

I must stress that before my first 2 copies became faulty I thought they were the best lenses Image wise I have ever used.

06-23-2013, 04:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
I'm a prime man so probably the wrong guy to ask.

I hope you get lucky next time round with which ever choice you go with.
I have 2 zooms. A35-105 manual and Sigma 17-50. I never use them. I always use my primes.15, 43, 77, ltd and K135 2.5 so I will probably tape the DA to 200mm.
06-23-2013, 05:19 AM   #6
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FA*200? Same optics, no SDM...
06-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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The 55-300 is a great lens in it's class, but it's not the class of a * prime. Although I've had a lot of great results with the 55-300, it is slow and has limitations such as weak in low light.
06-23-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
The 55-300 is a great lens in it's class, but it's not the class of a * prime.
Agree, I love my DAL 55-300 and it is a fine lens, but it is what it is.

QuoteOriginally posted by everydaylife Quote
Apparently all I have to do is whack up the clarity slider, do a few color adjustments in Lightroom and voila I will have an image that is comparable to an image taken with the DA*200.
I'm not sure where you read that but if a bit of PP turns a good consumer zoom into a pro level prime I want a copy of that software.

06-23-2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rob1234 Quote
FA*200? Same optics, no SDM...
Good Idea but it doesn't have modern coatings for digital so it would probably PF more and it also cost more than a new DA*.

*Regarding PF with this lens. Having used 4 copies I now know what people mean when they mention product variation. My first copy was the best out of the 4 with very little PF and stunningly good from wide open. The others were still very good wide open with a little more PF but all my other Pentax lenses PF more wide open. So in my experience I think the DA*200 is wrongly given a bad rep regarding PF.

Last edited by everydaylife; 06-23-2013 at 04:45 PM.
06-23-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Agree, I love my DAL 55-300 and it is a fine lens, but it is what it is.

I'm not sure where you read that but if a bit of PP turns a good consumer zoom into a pro level prime I want a copy of that software.
Makes sense. Pros would be using kit lenses if software was the answer.
06-23-2013, 04:47 PM   #11
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You could also considder DA*60-250mm/f4 since that is a great lens.
06-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
You could also considder DA*60-250mm/f4 since that is a great lens.
Good suggestion but before I bought the DA*200 the 60-250 was one of the considerations but it is just too heavy. I am considering the FA*85 1.4 which is a lens I have always drooled over. That might giive me the subject to background separation that I like. Want to sell me yours
06-24-2013, 12:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by everydaylife Quote
Want to sell me yours
Not really
06-24-2013, 03:41 AM   #14
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I'd go along with Rons suggestion....
....having used a DA*200 and a DA*60-250 (and a DA*300) - I honestly believe that the 60-250 is worth that bit of extra weight for the extra flexibility. It's a nicely balanced lens and is often perfectly usable at maximum aperture. If you can I'd advise trying a 60-250 on your camera (for weight/balance) before writing it off
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