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02-06-2017, 10:33 PM - 1 Like   #16
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I'll clarify about the optical performance.

It's virtually pin-sharp in the center at all focal lengths wide open. In the APS-C corners, there may be very slight softness depending on the focal length, but never to the point where it's a problem. Corner sharpness at f/4 is excellent, and there is only a tiny bit more to be gained at f/5.6.

If asked to compare, I'd say it's at about the same level as, or slightly better than, C&N's first-generation (not II) 70-200mm lenses, which is better than most cheaper third-party 70-200mm lenses. I know $1800 is a lot of money to ask for a lens, even if it's a piece of the Holy Trinity, but the D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8 is ultimately Pentax at its best and a worthwhile investment.

Draco

---------- Post added 02-07-17 at 12:57 AM ----------

My first chance to use this lens in a professional capacity will be February 10th. Stay tuned.

02-06-2017, 11:52 PM   #17
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Maybe the greatest lens I've owned, but I haven't tried a lot. Still it's perfect for my type of images , concert or portrait for example, and I simply trust this lens for his AF accuracy when couple with K1.
I've had the chance to get it for a great price but I understand that it's retail price is a little too much when you don't really "need" this lens. $1499 would have convinced a lot more pentaxians 👌🏻.
I'm on the mobile version of the site and don't know how to post image from my gallery but I've done some sharpness testing and I was curious what other owner would think, I'll post them later. ( the images are in the dedicated 70-200mm thread btw).
02-07-2017, 01:05 AM   #18
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It has to be pointed out, too, that it's a lot cheaper than the latest Nikon iteration, and that Ricoh have nothing like the economies of scale available to Canon - if the price is what's needed to encourage more Pentax originals, it's a price worth paying IMO (having said which, in the interests of full disclosure, I only spent 1300 because of an srs special )
02-07-2017, 04:10 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by svassh Quote
I partially agree with you there. But again those lenses have image stabilization, VERY fast focus and are critically acclaimed. I just don't get the sense the Pentax is in the same class rather more in the class of the 3rd party lens offerings from Sigma and Tamron as far as IQ and focus speed.

In full disclosure I was previously an owner of the Canon 70-200 2.8 II with a Canon 1DX so maybe my expectations are not fair.
There is a thousand dollar difference between latest Canon/Nikon 70-200 lenses with image stabilization and the Pentax. That is a lot to pay for image stabilization and slightly faster auto focus -- particularly when Pentax offers stabilization on the sensor. But as biz-engineer says, the cost of adding IS to a lens is actually quite small compared to the cost of the other lens elements. The Tamron 70-200 f2.8 (newest version) has been released for Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts. However, Tamron chose not to release it with VC in the Sony mount. However the cost is the same. My guess is that the VC element is just locked into place in the Sony version. Either way, it isn't like there is a bunch of savings there by going without IS.

Optically, the lens is stellar at all focal lengths on a K-1, The only issue I have heard is that some folks have not gotten good copies initially -- which may have been partly the sellers fault as well.

02-07-2017, 05:59 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There is a thousand dollar difference between latest Canon/Nikon 70-200 lenses with image stabilization and the Pentax. That is a lot to pay for image stabilization and slightly faster auto focus -- particularly when Pentax offers stabilization on the sensor.
The difference you talk about is only between Nikon version of the lens and the Pentax equivalent. Nikon 70-200mm f2.8E FL ED VR is 2,796.95$ at B&H (Nikon lately seems to think that is a premium brand among the others)

Canon 70-200mm f2.8L II lens on the other hand is 1,949$ at B&H (in this price you get also a 12 month subscription kit - Lightroom and Photoshop) while the Pentax 70-200mm f2.8 lens is 1,796$. Canon is 153$ more expensive than the Pentax lens (the same difference is in romanian stores) but is smaller, has faster af and also is 295g lighter than the Pentax version.

But now that I've also saw the price of the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS lens I'm starting to think that Canon and Pentax lenses are quite cheap.

Last edited by Dan Rentea; 02-07-2017 at 06:28 AM.
02-07-2017, 06:19 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
So what do you think?
I agree with your analysis, it's on par with what I observed and reported for the pentaxforums review of that lens.
02-07-2017, 06:29 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
The difference you talk about is only between Nikon version of the lens and the Pentax equivalent. Nikon 70-200mm f2.8E FL ED VR is 2,796.95$ at B&H (Nikon lately seems to think that is a premium brand among the others)

Canon 70-200mm f2.8L II lens on the other hand is 1,949$ at B&H (in this price you get also a 12 month subscription kit - Lightroom and Photoshop) while the Pentax 70-200mm f2.8 lens is 1,796$. Canon is 153$ more expensive than the Pentax lens (the same difference is in romanian stores) but is smaller, has faster af and also is 295g lighter than the Pentax version.

But now that I've also saw the price of the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS lens I'm starting to think that Canon and Pentax lenses are quite cheap.
I just think that optically, the Pentax lens is on the same order as the others, just not as fast auto focus. If you are a wedding photographer, you can do a lot worse than shoot with a K-1 and a DFA 24-70/DFA *70-200 combo. If you need to shoot sports then probably Canon or Nikon are the ways to go.

Pricing on all of these lenses is dependent to a certain extent on release date. The Pentax lens was released less than a year ago, the Canon was released in 2010, the Nikon in 2009. As R and D is covered, the price should come down some (although obviously it hasn't worked that way for the Nikon).

I mainly have a problem with people comparing third party prices to brand name lens prices. If Tamron and Sigma could charge the same as Nikon and Canon, they would, but regardless of quality, they have to discount their lenses somewhat in order to make sales. To me, Pentax's lenses are reasonably priced.
02-07-2017, 07:14 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I just think that optically, the Pentax lens is on the same order as the others, just not as fast auto focus. If you are a wedding photographer, you can do a lot worse than shoot with a K-1 and a DFA 24-70/DFA *70-200 combo. If you need to shoot sports then probably Canon or Nikon are the ways to go.
Well, you can't go wrong with a K1 and the 24-70mm and 70-200mm combo on a wedding, that's for sure, although for weddings I would probably skip 70-200mm and chose a prime (85 - 135mm range).

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Pricing on all of these lenses is dependent to a certain extent on release date. The Pentax lens was released less than a year ago, the Canon was released in 2010, the Nikon in 2009. As R and D is covered, the price should come down some (although obviously it hasn't worked that way for the Nikon).
True, but if I'm buying a new system now, I'm interested in current prices. And a lens released in 2010 which is smaller, faster, lighter with the same IQ or better than the one released last year is not that encouraging. Optically Pentax is very good, no "arguing" here. Build quality of the Pentax lens is also impressive.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I mainly have a problem with people comparing third party prices to brand name lens prices. If Tamron and Sigma could charge the same as Nikon and Canon, they would, but regardless of quality, they have to discount their lenses somewhat in order to make sales. To me, Pentax's lenses are reasonably priced.
Compared to third party lenses, yes, Pentax lenses are still reasonably priced. I think the lack of third party lenses makes people who can't afford (or simply don't want to invest too much money in lenses) a little harsh regarding Pentax prices.


Last edited by Dan Rentea; 02-07-2017 at 07:55 AM.
02-07-2017, 08:47 AM - 1 Like   #24
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Bear in mind that the D FA* 70-200mm launched at $2300. The MSRP currently stands at $1800.

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02-07-2017, 07:58 PM   #25
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...and I think the lens is defective.

Yesterday, in the first post of this thread, I reported some spherochromatism at 70mm wide open; however, my hunch tells me there really should be next to no spherical or chromatic aberration, even in out-of-focus areas. Further testing just now indicates some rather bad decentering. This is only apparent towards the 70mm end and faster than f/4; coma is visible in certain high-contrast areas. I'm exchanging it tomorrow.

So, for everyone else here with the D FA* 70-200mm, I have a question: do you find any chromatic or spherical aberration in out-of-focus areas at 70mm wide open? If not, that confirms I have a defective lens.

Draco

Last edited by bwDraco; 02-08-2017 at 04:55 AM.
02-07-2017, 08:45 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
...and I think the lens is defective.

Yesterday, I reported some spherochromatism at 70mm; however, there really should be next to no spherical aberration whatsoever, even in out-of-focus areas. Further testing just now indicates some rather bad decentering. This is only apparent towards the 70mm end and faster than f/4. I'm exchanging it tomorrow.

So, for everyone else here, I have a question: do you find any chromatic aberration in out-of-focus areas at 70mm wide open? If not, that confirms I have a detective lens.

Draco
None yet. I've taken ~1100 shots with mine.
02-07-2017, 08:55 PM   #27
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Some additional thoughts. At the exit of the store (before I even left for home), initial testing on a high-contrast target showed patterns that resembled camera shake; however, on second thought, the blur pattern was actually fairly consistent and the shutter speed was reasonably high (SR was on). That should have been a clue that there was a problem with the lens; unfortunately, I assumed the lens was problem-free and did not perform more extensive testing. The decentering is asymptomatic when stopped down to f/4 or smaller and isn't serious at longer focusing distances, so it's hard to detect. I'm honestly very disappointed.

Draco

Last edited by bwDraco; 02-08-2017 at 11:32 AM.
02-07-2017, 09:14 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
Some additional thoughts. At the exit of the store (before I even left for home), initial testing on a high-contrast target showed patterns that resembled camera shake; however, on second thought, the blur pattern was actually fairly consistent and the shutter speed was reasonably high (SR was on). That should have been a clue that there was a problem with the lens; unfortunately, I assumed the lens was problem-free and did not perform more extensive testing. The decentering is asymptomatic above 120 mm or when stopped down to f/4 or smaller, so it's hard to detect. I'm honestly very disappointed.

Draco
Naturally, you're disappointed, but of course you'll now get it swapped over for a good copy.
02-08-2017, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #29
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So I did some rather extensive optical testing last night and I think I found a smoking gun. 100% crops from the center at 200mm, f/2.8 on left and f/4 on right:



Can anyone else replicate this? This lack of contrast is most definitely not due to the image being out of focus as I tested numerous times with manual focus in Live View.

To my eyes, that's a fail. My 18-135mm is sharper than this at 135mm in the center of the frame wide open. A Holy Trinity lens most definitely should not be doing this.

Draco

Last edited by bwDraco; 02-08-2017 at 09:08 AM.
02-08-2017, 11:04 AM - 1 Like   #30
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This softness is most pronounced at shooting distances of 8 ft or shorter, wide open, at 200mm. Having had more than my fair share of faulty lenses, this looks like spherical aberration to me (to paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, I can't really describe it but I know it when I see it). Can someone else try shooting a textured surface under the same conditions to see if my copy is an isolated failure or is normal?

Draco

Last edited by bwDraco; 02-08-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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