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11-10-2017, 11:49 PM   #1
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Recommended 'Cheap' 200mm or 300mm High Quality MF Lens

I have a 15mm, 50mm and 100mm primes, all of which are AF. I have no lens longer than a 100mm. Recently I have tried using a x2 with the 100mm which places me in MF, but with LV and Focus Peaking (as well as monopodding), the results are actually really impressive.

I'm now considering my 200 or 300mm lens to actually just being MF and shooting this way with it. Before I go digging through the archives I just wanted to see if there was an older MF lens of this focal length that has a really good reputation, either in quality or value.

Cheers,

Bruce

11-11-2017, 12:34 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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If manual focus isn't an issue I suggest you should look into getting a SMCP-K 200mm f/4. It is a lens with a solid reputation, are relatively easy to come by and sell for a low price and offer decent optical performance.

Last edited by Digitalis; 11-13-2017 at 12:00 AM.
11-11-2017, 12:35 AM - 5 Likes   #3
Des
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For full-frame or crop Bruce? If the latter, honestly for a low budget you might do better with a DA 55-300. AF is a big advantage for wildlife, and the zoom will be better corrected for CA than a number of old 300 primes. How's this (DA-L version) for a <$A150 lens?

















Of course if your budget will run to an F/FA*300 (about $A800-ish, if you can find one), that will be a better choice. They are great lenses. And good for full frame as well.
11-11-2017, 12:44 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I can only guess at what you might mean by 'cheap' but a rather cheap 200mm lens that I quite like is the Chinon 200mm F3.5. Chinon (and others including Ricoh) made reasonable lenses in K mount that would get you going for little outlay. If you have a requirement for an 'A' mount lens then you could look at Tamron with an 'A' adaptall mount. A Tamron zoom that I like is the SP 60-300mm should you be willing to have a zoom.

11-11-2017, 12:50 AM - 3 Likes   #5
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The newer 55-300 variants (screw drive or PLM) are seriously good value for money.
If you want better than they can offer, forget about "cheap".
11-11-2017, 01:34 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Tamron SP Adaptall-2 300mm F/5.6 Model 54B
there is a number of very good zooms in SP range and you can get them with PKA mounts
Tamron Adaptall-2 200mm F/3.5 Model 04B
Super multicoated Takumar 300 4 with M42 mount good but big S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
All old prime telephoto lenses are convenient, you will get full SR on any Pentax body, with PKA mounts you will get auto metering, with Pentax F 1.7x teleconverter you will get AF.
There is a number of very good old zooms very reasonable priced ( Vivitar, Tokina, Tamron Adaptal2 etc) but SR setting is much more involved as they can/do change focal length.
I also have Pentax-FA 47-5.8 100-300 Silver , very decent lens, it is AF and you can find them reasonable priced.
SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8 Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
I also have DA 55-300 ( the original) very decent lens , DA-L version is optically identical ( and very well priced on the used market) but comes without the hood ( can get it from e-bay) and no quickshift - you just need to be aware about it.
kind regards
jack
11-11-2017, 01:38 AM   #7
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Not 'cheap' but cheap by comparison - I recommend the K 500mm f4.5 - no need for a TC with that beast
11-11-2017, 01:59 AM   #8
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Meyer-Optik Görlitz Orestegor / Pentacon 200mm F4


Sharp, excellent bokeh and very cheap but requires a M42 adapter

11-11-2017, 02:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nuij Quote
Meyer-Optik Görlitz Orestegor / Pentacon 200mm F4


Sharp, excellent bokeh and very cheap but requires a M42 adapter
Oh yeah, agree and the orestegor 300mm too
11-11-2017, 03:08 AM   #10
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Takumar 200mm F3.5, Jupiter 21m 200mm F4 are my best 200mm MF lenses. Both extremely sharp and much better than my Meyer Orestegor Not very flare resistant though. The Super Multi-Coated-Takumar 200mm F4 is ok too, but my copy has a wonky focus ring, making accurate focussing hard, so I don't use it much. It has better flare resistance due to a smaller front element and SM though.
11-11-2017, 06:10 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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How much reach are you after? 400mm would be more recommendable for wildlife than 300mm and certainly 200mm. 200mm is a bit of an in between focal length, especially on apsc: not long enough for wildlife etc, tending to too narrow a FoV for more general use like portraiture. Having said that there is lots of good, excellent value choice at 200mm. Most of the MF ones I would point to have already been mentioned: Mayer/pentacon; Tamron adaptalls, pretty much all the legacy pentax including the takumars. You can see some comparison test pics taken using these on a K5 samsung NX20 here:

Image comparison classic vintage lenses: castle turret at 200mm focal length.

I would also give a +1 to the DA/DAL 55-300mm, it's as sharp or sharper than most of the legacy glass. For 400mm it's either a vintage MF or mucho more bucks. You can see my opinion of most of the readily available MF 400mm's in the reviews.

Last edited by marcusBMG; 11-13-2017 at 07:05 AM.
11-11-2017, 06:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
If manual focus isn't an issue would look into getting a SMCP-K 200mm f/4. It is a lens with a solid reputation, are relatively easy to come by and sell for a low price and offer decent optical performance.
I second that! I bought it for $80 and like the results.
11-11-2017, 07:28 AM   #13
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I have a Super Takumar 200/4 which does a very good job although get very little use because I just don't use that size much. If I remember, I paid around $50 for it. My other long MF lens I do use quite often. It's a K300/4. Optically, it's excellent. The drawback is that it's large and heavy and doesn't have a tripod mount so you will need to buy a third party one or make something. While I never worried much about the mounts on my K10D or K5 supporting it, it isn't as steady with all that weight hanging off the front of the camera. I can easily hand hold the Tak. The K300, I don't even try anymore although someone younger who doesn't have arthritis and spinal stenosis might do better. I think I paid around $250 for the K300.
11-11-2017, 07:42 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by i_trax Quote
Tamron SP Adaptall-2 300mm F/5.6 Model 54B
there is a number of very good zooms in SP range and you can get them with PKA mounts
Tamron Adaptall-2 200mm F/3.5 Model 04B

However, for any Adaptall-2 lens slower than f/4 (such as the SP 300/5.6), one has to add a piece of tape to the PKA mount for correct exposures (without the tape insulator, such lenses will over-expose). It's not a big deal to live with (as I do with my SP 30/5.6, shown below), but, before doing so, metering can be problematic.



Thanks to excanonfd for pointing this out --

Adaptall Mount Club (Tamron). - Page 39 - PentaxForums.com
11-11-2017, 08:19 AM   #15
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The Tak 200/3.5 is a special lens. Sharp wide open, beautiful bokeh, wonderfully smooth focus ring. Gotta watch the light, though, as it's prone to flare and bright cloudy skies can blow out the contrast.

The Tak 300/4 is sharp - sharper than the 55-300 (I've owned 2, but neither the HD nor PLM versions) - but CA is noticeable and the minimum focusing distance is long.

Both lenses can be suitable for large-ish wildlife. I like the Tak 200/3.5 for photographing little vignettes in nature - the lonely dangling leaf sort of thing - and really enjoy it's low-fi painterly rendering, which also punches up very well when you crank up the contrast in PP.

It's hard to make a recommendation without knowing your budget, usage intention (walk-around? tripod?).

Both the Tak 200/5.6 and 200/4 are usually available cheap, work well, and are sharper than the 55-300. I sold my 200/4, but the 200/5.6 is such a lovely little jewel that has lovely bokeh and deeper saturation than is usual for such a legacy lens.

I've got several other nice legacy tele lenses, but they are larger and more expensive.
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