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02-21-2017, 09:07 PM   #1
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70-200 vs 150-450

I realize these a different lenses with not much overlap but I would only buy one of them because of size. If I get the 70-200 it will be because I have decided to get something for travel and landscapes. If I get the 150-450 it will be because I have decided I want to keep my options open for wildlife photography (something I have abandoned for the moment after selling my canon 500mm).

My question is mainly if anyone had any thoughts about how they compare in image quality and useability and also any reliability issues. I noticed on another thread a few reports of the 150-450 locking up at 180mm but I haven't seen anything about 70-200 issues. Which would be better as a solid reliable long term bit of kit discounting their different uses because that info would likely sway my decision mostly.

02-21-2017, 09:46 PM   #2
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The 70-200 is great for landscapes, and with the grip and a decent strap, it's actually something I personally don't mind lugging around all day.

If you can handle the weight of the 150-450, there's a good argument to be made that you'd be scoring a lot more wildlife keepers. I find the wider aperture and access to the shorter focal lengths more useful for my purposes (landscapes and portraiture, but I'll leave the latter out of my examples, since you didn't describe this as an area of interest). They can both produce stunners, so don't hesitate to swap for a better copy until you're satisfied (I was lucky on my first try, but another forum member went through, IIRC four copies before being very satisfied with a 70-200).












02-21-2017, 11:20 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
I realize these a different lenses with not much overlap but I would only buy one of them because of size. If I get the 70-200 it will be because I have decided to get something for travel and landscapes. If I get the 150-450 it will be because I have decided I want to keep my options open for wildlife photography (something I have abandoned for the moment after selling my canon 500mm).

My question is mainly if anyone had any thoughts about how they compare in image quality and useability and also any reliability issues. I noticed on another thread a few reports of the 150-450 locking up at 180mm but I haven't seen anything about 70-200 issues. Which would be better as a solid reliable long term bit of kit discounting their different uses because that info would likely sway my decision mostly.
Now that is a hard question to answer.

Both focal lengths are quite useful in their own way. I was after the longer focal length so I picked up the 150-450, and in the end decided to add the 70-200 as well. My experience with these lenses has primarily been sports images as well as some telephoto seascapes and moon shots.

The better quality lens is undoubtedly the 70-200. The *star nomenclature does mean the weather sealing and other features are a step up from the 150-450 and I believe it has an edge in resolution over the longer lens. It seems to lock onto subjects quicker as well, though to be honest the difference is likely to be minimal as I've not really noticed a significant difference between the two in that aspect. If portraits and landscapes are your current priority you would not regret going with the 70-200, it is a premium piece of equipment and it is not unreasonable to say this is the best zoom Pentax has made.

However comma the 150-450 is a useful focal length and can most certainly be used for telephoto landscapes. I've found it can be a bit soft when shooting wide open, though to be honest I must disclose that the focal lengths are harder to ensure you've got the subject in focus, so some of my criticism in this must be attributed to me missing focus. I know that when the lens is locked on it is certainly more than sharp enough to create great images across the focal range. I've found the longer focal length particularly useful at race tracks and hope to get back to capturing surfers again soon as that extra length can make all the difference in getting close to the action.

I did find though that I needed to upgrade my monopod and my tripod mount to improve stability. My normal tripod mount is a geared head and the vibration from wind meant this lens was difficult to use in certain conditions. Accordingly the extra weight wasn't just the lens it also migrated to support equipment. Something you've probably got covered already having used a 500mm.

I've not had the lock problem you briefly touched on though having used this lens in really dusty conditions it felt a bit dry to zoom afterwards though that cleaned up and went away. I do usually forget to lock the zoom so it extends on me from time to time, not something that's an issue on the 70-200. What I did find an issue was image under exposure when zooming and shooting. This was in Constant High and it happened enough times for me to realise what it was. No biggie, I release the shutter when zooming. One other thing I'd like to add regarding the 150-450 is that Pentax has yet to release an updated FF teleconverter. This should be a consideration as well as the longer lens provides reach that you can't get with the 70-200 and an AF teleconverter, without vignetting on the K-1.

The above might seem one-sided for the D-FA* lens, but to be honest they're both great lenses that have been useful in their own way. Due to the sports subjects I was capturing the longer lens has received more time on camera than the 70-200. For me the question is whether you need reach past 200mm. If not you have your answer. If you want to keep your options open then going with the 150-450 makes a lot of sense.

Mate, you can't lose either way so good luck with your decision. If you want to look at some comparisons I have several images with both lenses that can be found in this Flickr album: Queensland | Flickr some don't identify the lens correctly, though if it's a telephoto and a motorcycle it's going to be one of the two subject lenses or the DA*300.

Good luck with the lens purchase and don't forget to come over and post here once you've got some time with the new lens: Post your Telephoto Landscapes! - PentaxForums.com

Tas
02-22-2017, 01:43 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote

other thing I'd like to add regarding the 150-450 is that Pentax has yet to release an updated FF teleconverter. This should be a consideration as well as the longer lens provides reach that you can't get with the 70-200 and an AF teleconverter, without vignetting on the K-1.
I will say I've used the HD teleconverter across the 70-200 zoom range without vignetting, so it can definitely be an option. I didn't find 280mm much use (not long enough for wildlife, no apparent advantage over cropping), and so I didn't keep the teleconverter. It did seem handy for turning my 100mm Macro into a 140mm Macro, but I couldn't justify the teleconverter for a single lens.

02-22-2017, 05:23 AM   #5
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150-450 is't a "star" designated optic. So they are not in the same league in several ways let alone the focal length. 150-450 is pure reach and is more or less what DA55-300 does on APS-C. 150-450 on K-3 (APS-C would mean something from the reach point of view.)
02-22-2017, 05:28 AM   #6
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It is all a matter of your preferences, but I can't see either of these as a true travel lens. My travel lens is the 28-105.

I have the lighter Tamron 70-200/2.8, and traveling with it means packing it away in luggage to be taken out when I am going somewhere I know will require >105mm. A K1 with 70-200/2.8 attached gets a lot of attention on vacation. I would expect even more attention to the longer option. I have gone on a birding trip with the K3+DA*300+1.4x on one shoulder and the K1+70-200 on the other. Some nice shots of larger birds close up resulted with th K1, but after a day, my shoulders were shot as well.
02-22-2017, 06:39 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I have performed the review of the 70-200mm and am now testing the 150-450.

You are right that they are vastly different.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
My question is mainly if anyone had any thoughts about how they compare in image quality
The 70-200 has a slight edge, but not much. Both are astounding.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
useability
The 70-200 can be used handheld for short periods, the 150-450 almost cannot. You will need a monopod in good light, and a sturdy tripod in low light to make it work. The faster aperture means the 70-200 can be used more easily in low light, and is faster to focus when light gets dim. The 150-450 is not meant to be used in very low light, its slow aperture shows that. AF in good light is amazing however.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
any reliability issues
None whatsoever from my experience.

Both lenses are superb in what they do. But they are not meant to do the same things. The 70-200 is more of a versatile workhorse on full frame, the 150-450 is a dedicated tool, more specific.

02-22-2017, 09:19 AM   #8
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I can tell you the 150-450 is pixel peeping sharp, even wide open. It's heavy though.
02-22-2017, 11:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
It is all a matter of your preferences, but I can't see either of these as a true travel lens. My travel lens is the 28-105.
I think it depends on how you travel. I've tried using the 28-105 as a walkabout lens, but constantly found I wasn't close enough to the things I want to photograph. Maybe that's just me?
02-22-2017, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
I think it depends on how you travel. I've tried using the 28-105 as a walkabout lens, but constantly found I wasn't close enough to the things I want to photograph. Maybe that's just me?
It does depend upon what you shoot most. I found that more often, the longer lenses did not get me wide enough. That is why 18-135 is such a great walk around lens for APS-C. You would need 28-200 to get there on FF. Sony actually does offer an E-Mount 24-240 for FF, but I haven't seen anything like that in a PK mount.
02-22-2017, 02:33 PM   #11
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If Pentax ever makes a top quality 2x converter, the 70-200 will be more versatile than the 150-450.
02-22-2017, 05:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
It is all a matter of your preferences, but I can't see either of these as a true travel lens. My travel lens is the 28-105.

I have the lighter Tamron 70-200/2.8, and traveling with it means packing it away in luggage to be taken out when I am going somewhere I know will require >105mm. A K1 with 70-200/2.8 attached gets a lot of attention on vacation. I would expect even more attention to the longer option. I have gone on a birding trip with the K3+DA*300+1.4x on one shoulder and the K1+70-200 on the other. Some nice shots of larger birds close up resulted with th K1, but after a day, my shoulders were shot as well.
Yes when I said a travel lens I didn't mean I was going to be walking around on the street with it or lounging at a pool I have travelled with my Canon 500mm on 5 previous trips so that is also a 'travel' lens I guess. I've sold that now along with all my Canon gear as it was getting harder to take lenses that big carry-on hence my leaning slightly towards the 70-200 now. My travel kit is going to include the Pentax 645Z and 28-45 ( a 3kg setup ) and also the K1 and 15-30 so I am not talking about street photography (though I will still do that with a K1 and the new 50mm when it is available).

I am interested in landscapes and nature mostly and there would be plenty of opportunities for using a longer focal length for that purpose. My next trip will be to New Zealand where I expect opportunities for wildlife but also compressed telephoto landscapes of the alpine area.

---------- Post added 02-22-17 at 05:13 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If Pentax ever makes a top quality 2x converter, the 70-200 will be more versatile than the 150-450.
I agree and I've thought about this. Especially if I had a small crop body like the KP which would give me extra crop-ability when I need it. No talk from Pentax when or if they will develop either FF 1.4x or 2.x extenders though so I am not holding my breath...

---------- Post added 02-22-17 at 05:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
I think it depends on how you travel. I've tried using the 28-105 as a walkabout lens, but constantly found I wasn't close enough to the things I want to photograph. Maybe that's just me?
My 'walk-around' camera for vacation or family snapshots would be my A6000. If I want a more serious camera for walk around shots it will be the K1 with 24-70 or 50mm. The longer focal lengths will be used when needed out of a backpack for landscapes or nature.
02-24-2017, 07:16 PM   #13
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Looking at the new roadmap it looks like there is a 70-300 lens on its way sometime. Who knows when but I would guess that it might be a smaller lighter F4 or F5.6 lens which might make a nice compromise. Hard making lens decisions when you don't know when future lenses are going to be released...
02-26-2017, 05:24 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote

The 70-200 can be used handheld for short periods, the 150-450 almost cannot. You will need a monopod in good light, and a sturdy tripod in low light to make it work. The faster aperture means the 70-200 can be used more easily in low light, and is faster to focus when light gets dim.

My Bigma Sig50-500 is in same weight class and I'm using it hand-held 99% of the time.. zero problem. And I'm not bodybuilder
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