Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-05-2020, 11:47 AM   #1
Forum Member
superpowerpinger's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 80
John J Bloomfield's subjective review of D FA* 70-200 f2.8.



04-05-2020, 12:24 PM - 1 Like   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,914
The D-FA*70-200 is optically the best of any Pentax zooms ever made for digital. Under sold, I believe mainly due to price relative what's considered affordable by Pentax customers in general.
04-05-2020, 12:50 PM   #3
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 35,988
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The D-FA*70-200 is optically the best of any Pentax zooms ever made for digital. Under sold, I believe mainly due to price relative what's considered affordable by Pentax customers in general.
And because a lot of us old timers just don't want to deal with the weight. I don't even like carrying my 60-250 anymore.
04-05-2020, 09:08 PM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 2,702
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
And because a lot of us old timers just don't want to deal with the weight. I don't even like carrying my 60-250 anymore.
Indeed. Since I never make huge prints, and I am extremely happy with what I get out of my KP and DA* 50-135mm f/2.8. I love this combo. It works great for my getting about when I need the f/2.8 aperture. Therefore, I will not be considering this option even if I eventually should get a K-1 II or subsequent FF body, in which case I would keep to my smaller FF lenses, of which I have a number of excellent ones being the main reason for me to even consider FF at all. Nor do I have any interest in the new DA 70-210mm f/4 for the same reason. I do already have 2 excellent FF tele primes, the DA* 200mm f/2.8 and the FA* 300mm f/4.5, as well as an old but good Sigma 150-500mm EX DG zoom lens for rare instances where I might want to do any longer telephoto shooting with the FF body.

But for those who are interested in having this fine lens for their FF use, it seems like an excellent choice. In fact, even for use on APS-C, results would be much like having a 100-300mm f/2.8 on a FF body. That is pretty impressive upon reflection. When considering how much weight such a monster lens that would have to be, this lens would be petite by comparison!

04-05-2020, 11:04 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,712
When this lens came out, I had to get it even on K3. It showed that Pentax was not dead and was the beginning of FF digital for Pentax. I had the first Nikon AF 2.8/80-200 a revelation for me many years ago. Heavy, but 2.8 and very capable for everything. Without the Pentax version and the arrival of K1, I would not be here. Does it get much use these days, not enough, but it is ready.
04-05-2020, 11:17 PM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,914
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
And because a lot of us old timers just don't want to deal with the weight. I don't even like carrying my 60-250 anymore.
I agree. Although weight is to be expected with good long lenses. I've been thinking of selling my long lenses and reduce my lens set from 20mm to 50mm to 135mm.
Practically, I never need longer than 135mm, unless I need 600mm for wildlife, every FL between 135 and 450 is almost never used. And I don't get why there are so few fast 50-135 on FF zooms, much more appropriate for people shots.
04-06-2020, 02:52 AM   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 22,394
It's a very nice lens. Probably most useful for portraiture and event photography. If you are a wedding photographer, it is a highly recommended lens, even over other 70-200 f2.8 offerings in K mount. The beautiful thing is that there is an instant work out every time you take the lens out for a shoot.

Everyone complains about the size, but honestly, if you need this focal range, it is awfully nice.
04-06-2020, 03:06 AM   #8
pid
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 410
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I agree. Although weight is to be expected with good long lenses. I've been thinking of selling my long lenses and reduce my lens set from 20mm to 50mm to 135mm.
Practically, I never need longer than 135mm, unless I need 600mm for wildlife, every FL between 135 and 450 is almost never used. And I don't get why there are so few fast 50-135 on FF zooms, much more appropriate for people shots.

... I wonder which dimensions and weight a FF Version of the lovely DA*50-135/2.8 would have? If it would exist, I sure would buy it for my K1.

04-06-2020, 05:49 AM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,600
This is a lens that I'm very intrigued by, just not enough to spend roughly three times what I've spent on any previous lens. I shoot a lot of sports, mainly my kids playing soccer. And my go-to kit is the K-3ii with a 55-300 PLM. And that does quite well in good light. But, it starts to show some weaknesses when the sun goes down, it's very overcast, or it's winter and my boys have shifted to indoor soccer.

Just yesterday the family was out in the yard playing baseball. With the virus it's been my first chance to shoot them playing in weeks. I got some good or even great shots. But this was around 7:00pm or 7:30, the sun was going down, light not so great. Using TAv I had shots where the ISO floated up to 3200, 4000, 6400, 8000... All of which is usable, but not ideal. Clearly some grain/noise in the shots at that level with the K-3ii. See attached 100% crop; fine, but noticeable noise and that's with a shutter speed slower than I'd probably prefer.

So the mind wanders and ponders a bit... All those shots that were at f/5.6 or f/6.3 could become f/2.8 with a simple expenditure of $1700. And with two, two-and-a-half stops that ISO could drop to 800 or 1600. Or the shutter speed could be a bit faster. Then the noise is much better, the results would be, you know, more magical.

But what would be a better use of my cash? A 70-200, or a K-new? For now that's easy, there is no K-new. But by Christmas? We'll see...
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3 II  Photo 
04-06-2020, 06:10 AM   #10
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 35,988
If you can find a Tamron 70-200, that would eliminate the cost factor, and it's an excellent lens. Comparable to Nikon and Canon offerings in everything except build quality according to one on-line video.
04-06-2020, 06:17 AM   #11
Pentaxian
Wasp's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Pretoria
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,196
QuoteOriginally posted by ThorSanchez Quote
So the mind wanders and ponders a bit... All those shots that were at f/5.6 or f/6.3 could become f/2.8 with a simple expenditure of $1700. And with two, two-and-a-half stops that ISO could drop to 800 or 1600. Or the shutter speed could be a bit faster. Then the noise is much better, the results would be, you know, more magical.

But what would be a better use of my cash? A 70-200, or a K-new? For now that's easy, there is no K-new. But by Christmas? We'll see...
To test the waters, get a manual focus 200mm. For instance, an SMC Pentax M 200mm f/4 gives you an extra stop for not much cash. You should be able to sell it on without incurring a big loss, if you don't like it. The lack of an electric motor that does the focusing for you is not an insurmountable obstacle. Grandpa with his Spotmatic and Takumar lenses managed go get by without it.
04-06-2020, 07:06 AM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,600
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If you can find a Tamron 70-200, that would eliminate the cost factor, and it's an excellent lens. Comparable to Nikon and Canon offerings in everything except build quality according to one on-line video.
That's an interesting option. Although I'm not sure how well the screwdrive autofocus would mesh with sports shooting.

---------- Post added 04-06-20 at 10:08 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
To test the waters, get a manual focus 200mm. For instance, an SMC Pentax M 200mm f/4 gives you an extra stop for not much cash. You should be able to sell it on without incurring a big loss, if you don't like it. The lack of an electric motor that does the focusing for you is not an insurmountable obstacle. Grandpa with his Spotmatic and Takumar lenses managed go get by without it.
But the question is would I rather deal with some noise at ISO 6400, or stepping down from the PLM to either screwdrive (Tamron 70-200) or no autofocus whatsoever (M 200mm f/4). For me, personally, I think I'd rather deal with the noise. Or just scheme a way to buy the Pentax 70-200.

KEH currently has a bargain condition Pentax 70-200 for the low, low price of $991.07.

Last edited by ThorSanchez; 04-06-2020 at 07:11 AM.
04-06-2020, 07:38 AM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,694
QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
To test the waters, get a manual focus 200mm. For instance, an SMC Pentax M 200mm f/4 gives you an extra stop for not much cash. You should be able to sell it on without incurring a big loss, if you don't like it. The lack of an electric motor that does the focusing for you is not an insurmountable obstacle. Grandpa with his Spotmatic and Takumar lenses managed go get by without it.
Grandpa here. I had a Spotmatic and 200/4 SMC Takumar back in the day. Most of those (fast action) pictures at f4 were out of focus, and that got expensive, so pretty quickly I stopped taking them. Thus the affinity for rocks and trees that continues to this day. And that was with a 35mm viewfinder. With my K5 viewfinder? Not a chance.

On the other hand, 200mm at f2.8 isn't trivial for an electric motor, either.
04-06-2020, 01:58 PM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 2,702
QuoteOriginally posted by pid Quote
... I wonder which dimensions and weight a FF Version of the lovely DA*50-135/2.8 would have? If it would exist, I sure would buy it for my K1.
Well, the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 was conceived for APS-C to provide a similar FOV and performance to emulate a 70-200mm f/2.8 on a FF body. I hear what you are saying- a shorter premium f/2.8 zoom lens for your K-1.

However, considering the price of the KP, it might be cost effective as well as size/weight effective to get a KP and the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 as an alternative strategy. You'd kinda have the best of both worlds with that and your K-1 setup with its appropriate lenses. I just checked and found it on Amazon for $882. You are right- it is a lovely lens! I've had mine for around 10 years.

The DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 should also work well with the DA 1.4x TC to extend reach into the 200mm realm as an f/4 lens, but still keeping size and weight way down.

Last edited by mikesbike; 04-06-2020 at 02:07 PM.
04-08-2020, 06:10 AM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,712
QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Grandpa here. I had a Spotmatic and 200/4 SMC Takumar back in the day. Most of those (fast action) pictures at f4 were out of focus, and that got expensive, so pretty quickly I stopped taking them. Thus the affinity for rocks and trees that continues to this day. And that was with a 35mm viewfinder. With my K5 viewfinder? Not a chance.

On the other hand, 200mm at f2.8 isn't trivial for an electric motor, either.
On K5 it was straight forward to use Katzeye screen, typically requiring shimming as well. On K1 manual focus control on the screen is everything but fast or precise. With 200 mm lens and MF camera just practice and focus will work. High Iso and fast shutter speeds were more of a problem back at that time.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
200mm, autofocus, f/4, fa*, k-mount, noise, pentax, pentax lens, review, screwdrive, slr lens, tamron
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tamron 70-200 f2.8 or the Pentax 70-200 f2.8 jlh Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 37 06-10-2020 03:14 PM
Two subjective questions for KP users MiguelATF Pentax KP 29 07-16-2019 03:33 PM
For Sale - Sold: FA* 80-200 f2.8, FA* 28-70 f2.8, FA* 24 f2, FA 43 f1.9, M 50 f1.7, K-7, AF-540FGZ JerryFu Sold Items 6 02-25-2019 10:47 AM
Comparing 17-70 to DA15, FA31 && FA77 - subjective throughts Nicolas06 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 02-01-2019 02:08 AM
Pentax K-70 first personal subjective impressions tomstall Pentax K-70 11 09-13-2016 01:15 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:29 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top