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05-21-2018, 02:14 PM   #1
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DA* 200 on FF

As there does not seem to be much chance of a prime between 135 and 200mm emerging, I find myself pondering the DA* 200. (I don't need the 300).

I don't really like big, heavy lenses. I find the 24-70 heavy, so as the 200 is a similar weight, I've always discounted it. But I do like to pull out details in the landscape, which the 200 could usefully do, therefore I'm re-thinking, again.

I sometimes resort to a 50-135 on K3 when I'm in this mindset, but there's seems to be nothing in the pipeline available on FF. The DFA zooms are too heavy. Maybe a f4 version will appear sometime ...?

So I come back to the 200. I know it suffers from chromatic aberrations which concerns me as I do like backlit shots. I don't care about slow AF.

Ricoh state it's FF compatible, but there's no decent reviews of this lens on FF that I can find. Tricky to draw any conclusions as to how it actually performs on FFs - edges, IQ, 3D, pixies etc., etc.

Anyone used it much on FF that would care to offer an opinion, please? Perhaps I could hire one ...? Perhaps I could try and find a 2nd hand copy, though to be honest I'm not that inclined to buying second hand, when I can buy new... ? Maybe there's an older 135 or 200 that I could look out for ... ?

05-21-2018, 02:20 PM   #2
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Barry, I think @normhead may be your man... He's used the DA*200 extensively on the K-3 (and stretches it with tele-converters, which are rarely kind to IQ-limited lenses), plus he owns the K-1 too, so I'm guessing he'll have tried the lens on that. He should be able to give you chapter and verse on its performance...
05-21-2018, 03:32 PM   #3
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Or the DA* 60-250? I know you said you dont like zooms but this one is excellent.
05-21-2018, 04:04 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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Your wish is my command.

The big thing with the DA*200 for me is, on a K-1 it gives me the same field of view as the 18-135 on my K-3. That's a rather harsh weight advantage for the K-3 set up.

The good thing is it's a really nice lens. It gets extensive use, especially when my DA*60-250 is in the shop. which has been twice to date (It's had 7 bad drops , two have sent it to the shop.)

Most of my images are taken with the HD DA 1,4 TC to make up for the loss of field of view coming from the K-3.









No TC wide open


And no TC ƒ5.6


No TC ƒ11


Same shot ƒ2.8


It's a nice lens, the SDM is not the fastest


Last edited by normhead; 05-21-2018 at 06:27 PM.
05-21-2018, 04:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
As there does not seem to be much chance of a prime between 135 and 200mm emerging, I find myself pondering the DA* 200. (I don't need the 300).

I don't really like big, heavy lenses.
Given the design of lenses these days, if there were a 135<>200 prime released, it will be big and it will be heavy.
05-21-2018, 04:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
The DFA zooms are too heavy. Maybe a f4 version will appear sometime ...?
70-200 f/4 has been announced I believe.


The DA*60-250 would be my pick of what is available now. But it will need modified for FF. Not hard, I did mine. It still vignettes a bit but not much more than the 24-70.
05-21-2018, 04:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The DA*60-250 would be my pick of what is available now. But it will need modified for FF
Depends what the OP uses it for. If he crops there is no need to modify.
05-21-2018, 05:32 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Depends what the OP uses it for. If he crops there is no need to modify.
Well, he said for FF so I made the assumption........ But you are of course correct if he uses it on a crop camera there is no need to modify it.

05-21-2018, 06:28 PM   #9
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I can drop a big recommendation for the DA* 200 also. It has seen quite a lot of use on my K3, K-1 and my MZ-6 film camera. It’s size - weight-rendering compelled me to use it for portraits at a wedding on my K-1.
05-21-2018, 09:39 PM   #10
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If weather sealing is not crucial, I can highly recommend the FA* 200mm f/2.8. Good copies can be found on eBay from Japanese sellers.
05-22-2018, 01:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Well, he said for FF so I made the assumption........ But you are of course correct if he uses it on a crop camera there is no need to modify it.
I didn't make myself clear. I was not suggesting he uses it in "crop" mode.

What I meant to say was that if he slightly crops the FF image in PP or uses software to add more exposure to the corners he can get away without modifying the lens.

I tend to crop most of my pictures to a greater or lesser extent.
05-22-2018, 05:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by loveisageless Quote
If weather sealing is not crucial, I can highly recommend the FA* 200mm f/2.8. Good copies can be found on eBay from Japanese sellers.
There's always the issue of screw drive vs. SDM and silent operation as well as WR. I bought my DA*200 for $100 less than the going price for those lenses. The older glass just seemed overpriced. I went through the same thing with the DA*300 and FA 300 4.5. I've never seen copy for more than a couple hundred less than the DA*300 and in that case, the lens is a half stop slower. I personally have problems understanding paying a couple hundred less than retail for an older lens, when you can often find the new one at the same price, and a lot newer.

I bought my DA* as a demo for cheaper than I could buy an FA*200 2.8 from Japan. That's nuts.

Last edited by normhead; 05-22-2018 at 07:01 AM.
05-22-2018, 06:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Your wish is my command.

The big thing with the DA*200 for me is, on a K-1 it gives me the same field of view as the 18-135 on my K-3. That's a rather harsh weight advantage for the K-3 set up.

The good thing is it's a really nice lens. It gets extensive use, especially when my DA*60-250 is in the shop. which has been twice to date (It's had 7 bad drops , two have sent it to the shop.)

Most of my images are taken with the HD DA 1,4 TC to make up for the loss of field of view coming from the K-3.









No TC wide open


And no TC ƒ5.6


No TC ƒ11


Same shot ƒ2.8


It's a nice lens, the SDM is not the fastest
Thank you Norm for taking the time to respond. The lens seems to work well in your capable hands. So that's a positive vote ... I'll read on

---------- Post added 05-22-18 at 02:59 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Given the design of lenses these days, if there were a 135<>200 prime released, it will be big and it will be heavy.
Indeed that is my fear. Buying in and sticking with Pentax had a lot to do with the small, quality Limited primes ...

---------- Post added 05-22-18 at 03:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
70-200 f/4 has been announced I believe.

I did not know that. But what would I do with my 77 and 100 macro ? The lack of this f4 version held me back from moving to FF initially, so I ended up going mostly prime. Clever move by Ricoh ? Perhaps it was, though I did not see it that way at first ...

---------- Post added 05-22-18 at 03:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
I can drop a big recommendation for the DA* 200 also. It has seen quite a lot of use on my K3, K-1 and my MZ-6 film camera. It’s size - weight-rendering compelled me to use it for portraits at a wedding on my K-1.
Thank you. That's another vote for the 200 ...

---------- Post added 05-22-18 at 03:08 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There's always the issue of screw drive vs. SDM and silent operation as well as WR. I bought my DA*200 for $100 less than the going price for those lenses. The older glass just seemed overpriced. I went through the same thing with the DA*300 and FA 300 4.5. I've never seen copy for more than a couple hundred less than the DA*300 and in that case, the lens is a half stop slower. I personally have problems understanding paying a couple hundred less than retail for an older lens, when you can often find the new one at the same price, and a lot newer.

I bought my DA* as a demo for cheaper than I could buy an FA*200 2.8 from Japan. That's nuts.
That's much the same as I feel too. Two years warranty leans me further towards new gear, except if I can't buy something like it in production or I see a bargain ...
05-22-2018, 08:25 AM   #14
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I love the DA*200 since my K5 and now with the K1 it is superb again. I can really recomend it. It is nicely build, has silent SDM AF and has a better coating than the FA*200, which is optical nearly the same. In the DA* there is a newer glas formula in one of the lenses without lead as far as I know. The DA*200 is super sharp, has nice colorrendering, is build full metal. The CA only can be a problem with f2.8-f3.2 on hard contrast, but no problem to get rid of in post. Buy it you will love it.
05-22-2018, 08:56 AM   #15
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I don't own the DA* 200 but I own a modified DA* 60-250 that is glued to my k-1.....
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