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04-24-2015, 03:19 PM   #1
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Pentax 200mm f/2.5 SMC K-Mount...Any Owners?

I just purchased this Pentax 200mm f/2.5 SMC K-Mount from KEH outlet on Ebay. I've read what I could on the forums but there doesn't seem to be too much information on this 37 year old lens. It's supposed to be the fastest 200mm lens Pentax ever produced and equal to the A*200 in build, but I'm not sure. Anyone have first hand experience with this lens? How does it compare to other Pentax 200mm lenses? I paid $229, but I see another one on KEH in Excellent condition for over $500. I plan on using the lens indoors for lower light school events.

Here's KEH's description.
"Specifics on Serial #5124444 : There is an average amount of scuffing on the hood and some light finish loss on the barrel. There are some small dust particles and slight haze around the edges that may have an affect on your image quality. Don't miss out and make this lens yours today!"

Photo of lens courtesy of KEH.



04-24-2015, 04:25 PM   #2
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It's a great lens, but also the biggest and heaviest one I have so I don't use it as much as I should. It doesn't balance well on my NEX/adapter setup that I use with most of my smaller and shorter K/M lenses, and I use my NEX most of the time. It balances OK on my K-x, but would probably be best suited for use on a beefier camera like a K-3. Look around for some examples here... many are quite fantastic. None of mine are good enough to give you a fair impression of the lens... I need to use mine more for sure.
04-24-2015, 04:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
would probably be best suited for use on a beefier camera like a K-3
That's what I've got.
04-24-2015, 05:13 PM   #4
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Have you looked at the lens samples thread? Have you perused the Lens Database reviews? (I'm on a tablet using the Mobile skin so I can't access the entire site to link for you). The only other 200mm I own is the K200/4 - also a wonderfully sharp lens, just slower, dimmer in the viewfinder but a whole lot lighter!!

I own the lens and use it with a KX (film camera) mostly, K10D and K-3.

It weighs nearly a Kg and of course is front-heavy (I think the front element is 77mm) - built like a tank has its pluses and its minuses . Of course it has the wonderful K-series feel and action. Using a traditional left-hand cradle right hand on shutter release it balances nicely with larger dSLR's and film bodies. The wide aperture is great for manual focusing, especially on the smaller APSc viewfinders.

My favorite shots are attempts to capture a single element in space against a distant background. When that works the subject is extremely sharp and the background has a nice bokeh. I don't recall onion highlights but I've had PF in high contrast shots (easily fixable).

This lens seems to have a strong cult following. I paid $400 for mine in perfect optical condition and nearly perfect cosmetic condition. That was about the going price until quite recently - until just the last six months. If the optics and mechanical condition are excellent you got a good price.


Last edited by monochrome; 04-24-2015 at 05:18 PM.
04-24-2015, 06:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
My favorite shots are attempts to capture a single element in space against a distant background.
Do you have any pics you could share? Sounds like a wonderful lens, and if mine's not not too scuffed up and the IQ is decent I'll be a happy camper with or without a slight bit of haze and dust. If not KEH offers their 14 day return policy.

I did not see any samples on the lens sample thread. They do not list this lens that I could find.
04-24-2015, 06:27 PM   #6
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At $229 you got a real bargain from the looks of things. It is my all time favourite Pentax manual focus lens.

The Pentax K 200/2.5 is billed as the fastest Pentax 200mm ever but there are those who argue it is really F2.8. For details I recall there is a post in the lens review area which provides some details on the speed issue. It is really a moot point. The fact is the lens, while hefty, just feels great on all my Pentax cameras: K2, MX, K10D and my K5. It is very sharp wide open and extra sharp stopped down a little. It should be ideal for the indoor applications you noted above. It is fully manual of course and it will take some time and effort to get the best out of it but If you take that time I think you will be very pleased with the results.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 04-24-2015 at 06:29 PM. Reason: typo
04-24-2015, 08:34 PM   #7
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Some of my shots

I LOVE my K 200mm f2.5
despite it's size/weight it comes in my camera bag almost all of the time (and spends a disproportionate amount of time mounted on my K-5. Love it's feel, the really nice bokeh and ability to isolate a subject (see the last picture I've attached)
i also got it for far less $$$ than it is worth, so it's also memorable as one of my best deals.



04-24-2015, 09:52 PM   #8
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I used one on my K30 briefly about 10 months ago I picked up at a Goodwill store in Az. I loved it but needed a lot more reach for the work I was doing and sold it and got a 500mm.
It was a really great lens that I wish I had back now. I paid $300 for mine and considered that a bargain.
I have zero complaints about it.
Give it a good run for a few days and if you don't like it KEH has a no hassle return policy.

04-25-2015, 06:16 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your replies. I feel better about purchasing this lens. I just wasn't ready to plunk down $700 for an A*200 or $800 for a DA 200 without knowing if this focal length and F stop were going to work for my needs.

Then again, if the IQ of this lens equals the A*200 I'll just keep it.
04-25-2015, 06:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote

Then again, if the IQ of this lens equals the A*200 I'll just keep it.
No, it does not, the A* 200/2.8 has significant less chromatic aberration compared to the K 200/2.5.
04-25-2015, 07:18 AM   #11
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I can live with CA. Lack of sharpness I cannot.
04-25-2015, 04:55 PM   #12
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I sold mine on the forum 2 months ago. Had it for over 20 years. Very sharp , built like a tank with a stiff focus ring. I found myself using my Tammy 70-200 more because of auto focus. Hurt to sell it knowing full frame was on the way. Colors and contrast are very good , just a beast to focus.
04-26-2015, 12:14 PM   #13
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Some samples . Notice no EXIF because the lens is all manual, thin DOF.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
04-26-2015, 05:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffw Quote
Some samples . Notice no EXIF because the lens is all manual, thin DOF.
They look contrasty and sharp with excellent color. Looking forward to getting this lens in the mail next week. I'll post some pictures after I've played with it a few times.
04-29-2015, 11:26 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Just got the lens in today from KEH. Much nicer than what they described online. So far I think the images are very good. I just need time to learn how to use a Manual K lens all over again. I'm wondering what those of you out there that have the K lenses do you always shoot manual? I've noticed that manual seems to over expose. I've shot in both Tv and Av mode which I'm sure you're not supposed to, but it seemed to render better for outdoor pics anyway. I've been using the green stop down button as well before taking any of the images.

None of these images have been cropped.





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