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02-25-2016, 01:47 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Build Quaility, DA 60-250 vs FA 80-200

After a good two months with both lenses, I have a few observations I wish to share.


Build Quality/Design


DA* 60-250
On first impressions, the DA* really stands out when it comes to its design. Every aspect of this lens is built to incredibly tight tolerances. From lens mount to filter ring, the lens just oozes quality. Of particular merit are the focus ring and tripod foot. Utilizing the renowned Quickshift mechanism, the lens effortlessly allows you to adjust focus on the fly regardless of focusing mode, and with a focus ring this smooth, it is something you will enjoy. This allows one to override the cameras focusing decisions if wanted. The tripod foot is of ingenious design, allowing the user to easily remove or attach the tripod foot without requiring and tools, just a small coin will suffice. The tripod foot is fully rotatable (360), and has firm clicks for each 90 degrees the ring is turned. That said, the materials used in the lens, whilst nice, are not up to the calibre of the FA*. The mixed use of plastics and metals in the design of the lens, while durable, is not fit of a lens of this calibre. On top of this, my sample of the lens does suffer from slow zoom creep and slightly uneven zoom action. While it doesn't undermine the use of the lens in practice, I do wish that the lens did include a zoom lock as an extra precaution. Fortunately, the lens does redeem itself when it comes to the design of the lens hood and weight. The lens hood, unlike the FA*, is fitting of a telezoom lens, and features a Pentax Standard removable polarising window. The lens also weighs considerable less than the FA*, and this does make the lens easier to use handheld for extended periods of time, though the telescoping design of the zoom does somewhat counteract this.


FA* 80-200
As with the DA*, the FA* also makes a very good first impression. From the silver coating, the near full metal construction, and the sheer size of the lens, it simply looks like a professional workhorse lens. Compared to the DA*, the lens does not include Quickshift for easy shifting of focus, weather sealing, or a sensible lens hood. That said, it does include other features that somewhat make up for this. Firstly, instead of Quickshift, the FA* features an impressive focus clutch system for swapping between AF and MF. Whilst possibly not as quick as DA* for swapping between focus types, this system does insure that the user doesn't bump the focus of the system accidentally. Unfortunately, the tripod ring of this lens is not up to the same standard as that of the DA*. Whilst removable, it is best left on the camera as the removal of the foot does expose the lens to dust. It is also flush with the barrel of the lens, which means that it can get in the way of comfortable shooting. On top of this, the foot can only be rotated 90 degrees to the left and right, which means that it is impossible to sit the foot flush with the top of the lens. Fortunately, the lens does redeem itself when it comes to the design of the zoom ring. As with all FA* zooms, it uniquely features a power zoom function. With the zoom clutch pulled towards yourself, the zoom operates smoothly as an Internal Zoom should. If the clutch is pulled away from you, the zoom ring now becomes a rocker that allows you to utilize the power zoom function of the lens. A slight shift of the ring left or right will now automatically zoom the lens, a feature that I love. In addition to this, the lens does include an aperture ring for manual stopping down of the diagram. Whether this is of use to you will depend on your use cases. Unfortunately, the lens does weight considerably more than the DA* (500g). Whilst this does make the lens harder to use handheld than the DA*, the internal zooming of the lens does somewhat counteract that. On top of this, the lens hood of the FA* is pure rubbish, as it is designed for use with a standard zoom. Shame on Pentax for this overlook. \


Overall, both lenses are of slightly flawed design, and depending on your intended uses, will dictate which is superior. As an example, if you require a weather sealed telezoom, the DA* 60-250 prevails, whereas, if you require a lens which doesn't extend upon zooming, the FA* 80-200 will be your best bet.


Pictures to come with the full comparison between the DA* 60-250, D-FA* 70-200 and the FA* 80-200, in conjunction with both a K1 body and a K-3ii body. Thanks for reading, and any recommendations on writing style would be appreciated.

02-25-2016, 11:43 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions.
It might be useful to add this comparison to both the DA* 60-250mm and FA* 80-200 lens reviews for those who go to the Review section while evaluating which lenses to buy.

I have the DA* 60-250 and my copy has a stiff area in about the center of the zoom range, which I've read elsewhere is not unusual. I don't have any zoom creep.

I do have a question which seems to be open after reading: How is the lens hood of the FA* "pure rubbish"? I mean, does it not fit well? Is it poor quality plastic or have loose attachments? Not having used one, I don't know and the shorthand of "rubbish" leaves me wondering.

Thanks again for your impressions. Interesting.
02-25-2016, 04:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by yucatanPentax Quote
I do have a question which seems to be open after reading: How is the lens hood of the FA* "pure rubbish"? I mean, does it not fit well? Is it poor quality plastic or have loose attachments? Not having used one, I don't know and the shorthand of "rubbish" leaves me wondering.
In reply to this question, those that own the FA* 80-200mm f2.8 will undoubtedly know that the lens hood included with this lens is virtually useless for optically shielding the front element of the lens. This is because it shares it's design with that of the FA* 28-70mm f2.8 lens, which as a standard zoom lens, has a much shorter lens hood.
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