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01-02-2014, 03:12 PM   #1
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Looking for 200mm lens - Pentax slowly vanishing from local stores in Germany?

I live in Germany and try to find a 200mm zoom for my sister, mainly for equestrian sports.
I am considering at the moment the following lenses, based on read reviews:

- Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 (great HSM focus speed, F2.8, but not as sharp as others, maybe too heavy for a walk around lens without tripod)
- Pentax DA* 60-250mm F4.0 (focus speed not as good as the Sigma, no APO, "only" F4.0 but therefore smaller and lighter + WR)
- Pentax DA* 200mm F2.8 (F2.8 but small and light, old lens formula and therefore purple fringing no APO etc., also no Zoom -> questionable for equestrian sports)
- Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 (Sharpness better than the Sigma, but Focus speed much worse)

So it will be the Pentax 60-250 or Sigma 70-200 whereas the Sigma would be the better option since my sister is using an K10D and will probably need the wider aperture.
The only question is if she can handle the weight / size, since I suppose she will take the lens also for her vacation trips.

To find out I was trying to find a local store who offers these lenses, so she can hold them to decide.
Meanwhile I believe it is kind of impossible to find such a store in Germany.

I was in 2 of the biggest multimedia shopping chains (which is actually one with two names Saturn/Media Markt), wheres one had no Pentax whatsoever, and the other had one K-5 II, a K-50 and 2 lenses (DA35 LTD + 18-135mm). Kind of disillusioning but they have mainly mainstream stuff (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus), so not very suprising.

Next I tried the local camera stores, here in Nuernberg (Nuremberg) I know two bigger stores which I thought offer some pentax stuff.
The first one had again only Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Sony stuff.

The second one (Foto Max), which is also listed as Pentax Premium Seller at the official German Pentax-Ricoh website, had only little pentax stuff. No dedicated Pentax space, only 2 Pentax lenses between Sigma and Tamron.
I catched one of the staff members on the run (they had a lot of customers) if they have any more Pentax stuff I did not find. He said, they had a collaboration with Pentax earlier but it broke up because of some problems. Therefore they only have some leftovers in the store. Asking him if he sees any chance to find another camera shop which offers Pentax lenses in the 200mm range, he confirmed my concerns that this might not be possible. He said I probably have to shop online to get the stuff I need.

So the problem still remains and it seams I will not be able to take my sister to a shop which offers the lenses to try them out.
Up until now this was no concern for me, since I ordered online and based my opinion on reviews. Only now I learned that Pentax might vanish slowly from Germany`s local camera store shelves, if it not already did for some shops.

Any Germans have recommendation for other shops? Next time I am in Dresden I will try some shops there, since there are three Pentax Premium stores listed on the Pentax website, hopefully one will still have Pentax lenses xD.



01-02-2014, 03:58 PM   #2
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Apo is a function of the glasses used and the DA* 60-250 is apo as is the DA*200 as far as it goes. A real APO lens where all the colors come to the same focus point is rare indeed, and affordable fully APO lenses are rare. Just because the name for a lens does not include APO does not mean anything.

David
01-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #3
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maybe give a try at these german Pentax dealers....

- AFA Fotohandel, Tiefenbach (Bavaria)
or
- TeKaDe, Leipzig

I have bought my Pentax 200 2.8 2 months ago by Amazon.de

Good Luck!


QuoteOriginally posted by Snakeisthestuff Quote
I live in Germany and try to find a 200mm zoom for my sister, mainly for equestrian sports.
I am considering at the moment the following lenses, based on read reviews:

- Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 (great HSM focus speed, F2.8, but not as sharp as others, maybe too heavy for a walk around lens without tripod)
- Pentax DA* 60-250mm F4.0 (focus speed not as good as the Sigma, no APO, "only" F4.0 but therefore smaller and lighter + WR)
- Pentax DA* 200mm F2.8 (F2.8 but small and light, old lens formula and therefore purple fringing no APO etc., also no Zoom -> questionable for equestrian sports)
- Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 (Sharpness better than the Sigma, but Focus speed much worse)

So it will be the Pentax 60-250 or Sigma 70-200 whereas the Sigma would be the better option since my sister is using an K10D and will probably need the wider aperture.
The only question is if she can handle the weight / size, since I suppose she will take the lens also for her vacation trips.

To find out I was trying to find a local store who offers these lenses, so she can hold them to decide.
Meanwhile I believe it is kind of impossible to find such a store in Germany.

I was in 2 of the biggest multimedia shopping chains (which is actually one with two names Saturn/Media Markt), wheres one had no Pentax whatsoever, and the other had one K-5 II, a K-50 and 2 lenses (DA35 LTD + 18-135mm). Kind of disillusioning but they have mainly mainstream stuff (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus), so not very suprising.

Next I tried the local camera stores, here in Nuernberg (Nuremberg) I know two bigger stores which I thought offer some pentax stuff.
The first one had again only Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Sony stuff.

The second one (Foto Max), which is also listed as Pentax Premium Seller at the official German Pentax-Ricoh website, had only little pentax stuff. No dedicated Pentax space, only 2 Pentax lenses between Sigma and Tamron.
I catched one of the staff members on the run (they had a lot of customers) if they have any more Pentax stuff I did not find. He said, they had a collaboration with Pentax earlier but it broke up because of some problems. Therefore they only have some leftovers in the store. Asking him if he sees any chance to find another camera shop which offers Pentax lenses in the 200mm range, he confirmed my concerns that this might not be possible. He said I probably have to shop online to get the stuff I need.

So the problem still remains and it seams I will not be able to take my sister to a shop which offers the lenses to try them out.
Up until now this was no concern for me, since I ordered online and based my opinion on reviews. Only now I learned that Pentax might vanish slowly from Germany`s local camera store shelves, if it not already did for some shops.

Any Germans have recommendation for other shops? Next time I am in Dresden I will try some shops there, since there are three Pentax Premium stores listed on the Pentax website, hopefully one will still have Pentax lenses xD.
01-02-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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I think "disappeared" (past tense) is the right word. At least in the US Pentax has been gone from almost all retailers for several years. Those that still had some stock were just trying to get rid of it and not getting more in.

However, everything always seems darkest just before dawn. In the last few months we are seeing retailers that have not had Pentax for years suddenly putting in new displays with fresh merchandise. I think we have turned the corner, and though it might be years before we really see much difference, I think the Ricoh folks are out working hard to get back into those stores.

If you want to be able to pick up and handle k-mount lenses then there is one thing you can do, and that is tell every dealer you walk into to that you are shocked they no longer carry Pentax and recommend they take another look. With the best APS-C camera on the market how can they ignore Pentax?

01-03-2014, 03:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by David&karen Quote
Apo is a function of the glasses used and the DA* 60-250 is apo as is the DA*200 as far as it goes. A real APO lens where all the colors come to the same focus point is rare indeed, and affordable fully APO lenses are rare. Just because the name for a lens does not include APO does not mean anything.

David
You are right Dave, I got it wrong. What I mean is that for having ED glas (vs SLD in the Sigma) the DA* 200mm shows still strong Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations at 2.8, which the Sigma does not. These LoCA also cannot be fixed with PP which is a strong weak point in image quality for me.

@drinkingeye

Thanks for the recommendations I will try at least the one in Leipzig.

@jatrax

You are right, I hope time will change the situation. But unfortunately most general customers go buying a camera in a store, without researching online like we do. So if there is no Pentax in the shelve they wont know that they exist. So there is little demand in Germany atm. At least we got the real underdog feeling xD.
01-03-2014, 05:03 AM   #6
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You are right about the locals of the DA*200, but it is sharper than the Tamron 70-200 at f2.8(the tamron is a little glowy there and the sigma just not as sharp at f2.8). In all honesty the DA*200 is the best of the bunch at any aperture in overall picture quality, and I have all 3 of them and have rented the 60-250. As far as focusing speed the Tamron is pretty close to the sigma and faster than either of the pentax lenses. overall if you want silent focusing and sealing there is only one: the DA*60-250.

David
01-03-2014, 09:24 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing your experience David.
I believe you are right, the 200mm Prime might be slightly leading in overal picture quality.
But for me, the jump of image quality between the 200mm and the 60-250mm is just not big enough to justify the loss of flexibility.

The pentaxforums lens database rates the 200mm 9.29 and the 60-250mm 9.71 which kind of underlines my concerns.
01-03-2014, 09:57 AM   #8
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I have compared the DA *200 to the Sigma 70-200 and the DA *200 is smaller and sharper. 70-200 is a faster focuser, but really needs to be stopped down to f4 at 200mm to be sharp.

My wife shoots weddings and felt like the 70-200 was too big for her to handle. She does a lot better with either the 50-135 or, the 200mm.




01-06-2014, 07:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for your advice Rondec, I thought that the weight of the Sigma might become a problem.

But as being a pixel peeper your sample picture is showing me why I wouldn`t be happy with the 200mm, although my sis might see that different.
At full resolution, the feet which is out of focus shows clearly LoCA and the red CA on the lower right part of the feathers (where they are in contrast to the white background) is even visible at the size you posted here.
And as I take the EXIF Info this was shot at an aperture of F4.0 .
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