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09-27-2016, 01:37 PM   #1
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DA* 200mm F2.8 vs DFA* 70-200mm F2.8 for use with K-1

For use with the Pentax K-1 I am looking for a lens to fill the gap between my FA 77mm F1.8 Limited and my DA* 300mm F4.

I have two lenses that I am considering: the DA* 200mm F2.8 and the DFA* 70-200mm F2.8.

I have some arguments in favor of both lenses.

In favor of DA* 200mm F2.8:
  • cheaper
  • not as heavy to carry around

In favor of DFA* 70-200mm F2.8:
  • not just 200mm, but a zoom 70-200mm (no need for a 135mm)
  • officially rated for full frame

Do you have any advice regarding these lenses?
How is the image quality of these lenses at 200mm? Do we pay a price in reduced image quality in the zoom lens?
Do the DA* really have excellent image quality all they way out to the edges on a full frame camera?
Do owners of DFA* 70-200mm F2.8 find that it is too heavy/bulky to carry around?
Any flaws in my reasoning about the lenses?
Anything else I should consider?

Thank you in advance for your answers!

09-27-2016, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The 70-200mm is sharper and exhibits less vignetting and fewer aberrations overall wide open at 200mm. This is far from surprising considering that the optical design is some 20 years newer It also focuses faster. Overall, I'd rate it as one of the best lenses Pentax has ever made.

That said, the prime is way smaller, but I'd go for the zoom unless the compactness is a key factor for you.

I just finished testing the frame coverage of the 200mm, and those results will be published soon.
09-27-2016, 01:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 70-200mm is sharper and exhibits less vignetting and fewer aberrations overall wide open at 200mm. T
After I trying the 70-200, I sold my set of primes. The reason is that with a TC, I can match the DA*300 f4 in terms of IQ and better AF, and I can also cover 70mm and 135mm with same IQ. The DFA70-200 replaced three primes.
09-27-2016, 02:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 70-200mm is sharper and exhibits less vignetting and fewer aberrations overall wide open at 200mm.
Better IQ than a prime? Impressive. I've been kicking around the idea of selling my DA*50-135,DA*200 & F*300 to fund the new DFA*70-200 and an HD 1.4 TC. Hmmmmmm......

09-27-2016, 03:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Better IQ than a prime? Impressive. I've been kicking around the idea of selling my DA*50-135,DA*200 & F*300 to fund the new DFA*70-200 and an HD 1.4 TC. Hmmmmmm......
Our in-depth review will be live soon, so that should give you some good examples to look at

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09-27-2016, 03:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Better IQ than a prime? Impressive. I've been kicking around the idea of selling my DA*50-135,DA*200 & F*300 to fund the new DFA*70-200 and an HD 1.4 TC. Hmmmmmm......
I'd save for x months more and keep the F*300..... I still use it when size matters.... and IQ....and the DA300 is no F*300
09-27-2016, 04:12 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
I'd save for x months more and keep the F*300..... I still use it when size matters.... and IQ....and the DA300 is no F*300
I knew it was only a matter of time before my "Aussie" mentor would correct my foolish ways.......

I'm just not sure I can handle such a huge lens when I'm used to lenses half it's weight.

Yea....no one believes us that the F*300 is a better lens over the DA*300. But we know it's true
09-27-2016, 07:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Our in-depth review will be live soon, so that should give you some good examples to look at
Including contrast and color? 70-200 has 19 elements, including aspheric ones, so I am wondering if the pictures will have a 'flatter' look with lower contrast on the zoom.

09-27-2016, 08:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
Including contrast and color? 70-200 has 19 elements, including aspheric ones, so I am wondering if the pictures will have a 'flatter' look with lower contrast on the zoom.
One thing that doesn't seem to get talked about is the loss of light or impact on the lenses t stop..... wouldn't surprise me if the DFA 70-200 ate a stop of light over the DA 200 for example..... I know the DFA 150-450 does.... all those elements has an impact on transmitted light levels.....
09-28-2016, 03:34 AM   #10
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The DFA 70-200 is better in respect to auto focus, contrast, significantly less chromatic aberration and specifically purple fringing, has the flexibility of a zoom, and it does have a little better corner sharpness than the DA *200. On the other hand, the DA *200 is a lot smaller, is a really nice lens, and is available for a thousand dollars less used. It does have SDM but can be converted to screw drive in the event of failure (doesn't seem to be a big concern with this lens).

I currently own both, but as biz-engineer says, I will sell my DA *200 down the road, because the 70-200 is better in several respects and the extra size doesn't bother me.
09-28-2016, 04:36 AM   #11
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I had the prime, and I have zoom.

The DFA*70-200 is better at 200mm than the DA*200 in every respect except size and weight. For chromatic aberration it's chalk and cheese.

And it's a zoom.
09-28-2016, 05:40 AM   #12
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I'm just going to keep my DA* 60-250... for some of us weight matters.
09-28-2016, 06:22 AM   #13
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Even the FA* 80-200 outperformes the DA* 200. That's not a knock on the 200. The extra glass and increased cost and weight allow for different design decisions. People who assume primes are always superior are just plain wrong.

Primes are optimized and typically the optimization is for size and weight and often for speed. IQ is important too but not always as important as it would be in a pro level zoom.

That said, I sold my FA* 80-200 and kept my DA* 200. Weight and size are factors that I feel outweighed the small increase in quality. I also really love using prines and some really shine and give images unavailable from the zooms.
09-28-2016, 10:16 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I had the prime, and I have zoom.

The DFA*70-200 is better at 200mm than the DA*200 in every respect except size and weight. For chromatic aberration it's chalk and cheese.

And it's a zoom.
I agree...even though I am not sure what chalk and cheese mean :P

BTW, people will often say "well you can remove purple fringing with post processing". Yes, that is true, but what you are left with is harsh grayish outlines which can make a difference.
09-28-2016, 10:35 AM   #15
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So the new Pentax D FA 70-200 is almost 4 pounds? 61.9oz or 3.86lbs? I'm going to have to think about this.........
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