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05-26-2008, 04:37 PM   #1
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PopPhoto tests the DA*200

QuoteQuote:
In its superior vignetting- and distortion-control performance, this digital-only tele actually tests very much like the full-frame lenses we've evaluated on DSLRs with APS-sized sensors -- no surprise since its design is based on a 35mm lens. Its high speed and near flawless optics coupled with Pentax's sensor-based image stabilization technology helped us take dozens of satisfying pictures over several weeks of field testing. It promises the pro or serious amateur virtually distortion-free and perfectly sharp pictures, even in less-than-perfect light.

If there's a downside to this lens, we couldn't find it.
Lens Test: Pentax SMCP-DA* 200mm f/2.8ED (IF) SDM AF - - PopPhotoMay 2008

05-26-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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Thanks for the post, Buddha! This is one of the two lenses at the top of my LBA list.
05-26-2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Well you already have the DA*50-135mm so you are doing good, what is your other one?
05-27-2008, 02:48 AM   #4
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Well, Buddha, the 50-135 is in the bag, so it's off the list, which is now:

#1: DA* 300mm f/4
#2: DA* 200mm f/2.8
#3: DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 (when the QC is more consistent)
#4: D-FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro
#5: DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 FE

and then a couple of the older, fast primes...and an SDM teleconverter...and at least one tele prime in the 400-500mm range...and L and B and A! So far...

05-27-2008, 03:00 AM   #5
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Somehow this lens didn't convince me yet. When I compare shots taken with it, with my shots taken with M 200/4, I can see very similar results. Should AF convince me? Maybe for some fast moving subjects (sports, etc...).
05-27-2008, 03:18 AM   #6
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Pentagor, since I don't have a bag of legacy K-mount glass, I put my list together with SDM and fast autofocus (weathersealing, too, since I live in the Seattle area) in mind...hence the predominance of DA* lenses near the top of the list. The extra stop of aperture in the DA* 200 f/2.8 would be another factor when comparing it to the M 200 f/4, for many folks.
05-27-2008, 03:23 AM   #7
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Yes, I agree that AF with SDM is something you cannot miss, if you need it. I was just pointing out that my needs are satisfied with MF lens and was talking about image quality... I would love to see some comparison between these two lenses....
05-27-2008, 03:45 AM   #8
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So would I! Anybody got 'em both?

Personally, I haven't yet worked too much yet with manual focusing on my K10D, other than touch-ups now and then. The focus ring on the kit lens is such a sad, skinny little thing, though the one on the DA* 50-135 is pretty good.

When I jones (sorry, Buddha!) for full manual, I tend to reach for my Spottie!

05-27-2008, 03:47 AM   #9
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That wasn't really a thorough test. Other reviews mention quite heavy fringing, which can be a bit of a bummer.

And PENTAX SMC focusing motor??
05-27-2008, 04:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
That wasn't really a thorough test. Other reviews mention quite heavy fringing, which can be a bit of a bummer.

And PENTAX SMC focusing motor??
Fringing on the DA*200mm is almost non-existant, I have only gotten it when I put a TC on mine so I stopped doing that and got the DA*300mm. The lens is damn near perfect, it comes in second in my bag only to the DA*50-135mm which IMO is perfect.

But FWIW, I am not much into tests, all I want from my lenses are sharpness to the eye and creamy bokeh and both of these guys deliver w/o hesitation and compromise.
05-27-2008, 04:28 AM   #11
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I don't know how much relevance their reviews have, but this is where I got the info from. Pentax SMC DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM - Review / Test Report
05-27-2008, 05:48 AM   #12
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Yea, I read that review and saw that image before I got the lens but that didnt deter me from buying it and I am glad for that. Today is a pretty bright day so far, I will see if I can create some horrible PF from that lens while I am out today.
05-27-2008, 10:07 AM   #13
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I have seen some purple fringe from this lens, however it is not nearly as bad, or as common, as the Photozone review would have you believe. The only time I have ever seen it is when there is a harsh contrast transition and the highlights are blown out, which is something most lenses would also do. I should also mention, that I have not seen any signs of purple fringe with the lens stopped down to f/4 or smaller, so it seems that this is just an occurrence when shooting wide open.
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05-27-2008, 10:17 AM   #14
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Could anyone try replicating this test? I've got a bit of a discussion going on with a Canon yuppie who can't praise his lenses enough.
05-27-2008, 10:41 AM   #15
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Short advise: do not, I repeat DO NOT go into discussion with Canon gear owners. It is a waste of time.
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