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07-24-2019, 06:58 PM   #1
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200 mm lens for a K-1

I would like to add a Pentax 200 mm lens to the lens kit of primes I am putting together for my K-1. The price of most of the versions is a problem, unfortunately. However, the A 200mm F4 is very low priced. In the reviews on this forum it's general score is much lower than the two A 200mm F2.8 versions but upon reading the individual reviews quite a number of the reviewers praise the image quality of the F4 quite highly.

If anyone who has had experience with the A F4 and one or both of the A F2.8 versions could give a comparison of these lenses I would be appreciative. My use is largely for landscapes on a tripod so sharpness wide open isn't important but sharpness stopped down is. Thanks for any advice.

07-24-2019, 07:40 PM   #2
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You could do a lot worse than the Pentax 70-210 A zoom. Sunshine Coast Airport. The picture below was taken hand held.

[IMG][/IMG]

Jetstar Departs Sunshine Coast Airport, just below horizon. Plane is 6 direct miles away.

May 2012 (210mm Pentax A F4 Zoom f5@1/600@ISO160) Hand Held Pentax K5...IMGP2195.
07-24-2019, 10:38 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
You could do a lot worse than the Pentax 70-210 A zoom.
My thoughts as well. I own both the Pentax-A 70-210/4.0 zoom and the Pentax-M 200/4.0 (optically the same as the A 200/4.0) and while both offer great value, it is the A 70-210 that has turned out to be the true gem.

From the Pentax-A 70-210/4.0

Balancing Act




From Within The Blind




The Goat Without The Mountain


From the Pentax-M 200/4.0

Red Tailed in the Morning




A Painterly Effect



Steve
07-24-2019, 10:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
I would like to add a Pentax 200 mm lens to the lens kit of primes I am
I have the 200F4, 200F2.5 and also old 80-200 4-5.6(?)

The 200/4 is good. It is sharp and it has good color/contrast. If F4 is enought and manuel focus is okay, I can recomend it. I think I bought mine for 25Euro. I see it often on fleamarket for 50Euro in these day.
The lens is much better than the 80-200!

Olaf

07-24-2019, 10:57 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I'm a big fan of the FA* 200/4 Macro, but they are quite rare.
The bokeh can be a bit harsh at normal picture taking distances, but it can't be beat at macro.
I also have an M200/4 which is decent, and an old Tokina 80-200/2.8, a pre A series lens that is remarkably good.
07-25-2019, 09:18 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I have the A200 f4. It replaced the M version. Iíve also had several of the slower 80-200/70-210 lenses over the years.

My copy of the A200 is a tiny bit better than my copy of the M200 was, plus it is much easier to deal with when using flash because of the A contacts. I use it a lot with a Raynox for macro.

In terms of image quality, Iíve had no complaints about sharpness. There is a little purple fringing wide open, but very little once stopped down. Colors are nice, too.

Optically, it is better than any of the zooms Iíve had, though the F70-210 at 200mm f5.6 is close to the A200 at f4. The prime is noticeably better at f5.6...

-Eric
07-25-2019, 10:15 AM   #7
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like the A 200 F/4 also, but since I picked up a FA* 80-200 about a week ago, it is unlikely to find much use anymore. If I am looking to go lightweight, I go for the PLM on my KP.
07-25-2019, 10:17 AM   #8
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I have the very old Takumar 200/3.5. It's heavy, manual focus, and requires the screw mount adapter.

But if you can find a good copy, it's comparatively cheap, very sharp and has nice bokeh.

07-25-2019, 02:55 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I can wholeheartedly recommend the A200/4: great color, clarity, and lovely bokeh...







07-25-2019, 04:15 PM   #10
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I have the K200/4, K200/2.5 and FA*200/2.8. While none of these directly applies to your question these comments may be helpful:
  • The f/4 lenses are surprisingly sharp for their cost, and thus can be a good value at current prices but a challenge to focus on modern viewfinders
  • The faster lenses offer significantly more light for manual focusing, but manageIng the very narrow depth of field at wide apertures can be a chore on modern viewfinders
  • In my case, the FA*200/2.8 is a great compromise between the two points above when manually focused on film cameras, so the A200/2.8 might be worth considering.
07-25-2019, 04:27 PM   #11
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I have the K 200 f4 which, allegedly, is said to be a little sharper and contrastier than the M/A 200 f4 (often the case when comparing K and M lenses of identical focal range and aperture). Whether true or not, the K series lens is heavier, and probably better built (build quality on the lens is off the charts) than the M/A variants.

The K 200 f4 is a reasonably sharp lens, especially at f8-16; but that said, it's not as sharp as my other K series primes (28/3.5, 35/3.5, 50/1.2) at comparable apertures. Nor is it as sharp as my Tamron 70-200 f2.8 or DA 55-300 PLM. It is a little sharper, however, than the aforementioned A 70-210 f4.
07-25-2019, 04:35 PM   #12
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The DA 200 is a fine lens, and officially full frame compatible.
07-25-2019, 05:15 PM   #13
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I think that the general opinion of the 200mm f4 SMCA is that it is a decent/good lens when stopped to the f5.6~f11 range. The ancient screw-mount, preset 200mm f5.6 has a somewhat better reputation for IQ, and the current 200mm f2.8 is pretty much everyone's pick for a quality 200mm prime in K-mount. HOWEVER, outside of prime lenses, Tamron's 70~200 f2.8 is really good for it's price, and probably as good or better than the 200mm f4 at equivalent apertures.
07-25-2019, 07:23 PM   #14
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Thanks to all for your helpful responses, i much appreciate them and your time and effort to reply.
07-25-2019, 09:34 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
HOWEVER, outside of prime lenses, Tamron's 70~200 f2.8 is really good for it's price, and probably as good or better than the 200mm f4 at equivalent apertures.
Yes, that is a reasonable statement. What is a Tamron 70-200/2.8 Di LD Macro going for used nowadays?


Steve

(...~ $769 USD street price new, today...)
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