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01-13-2021, 01:51 PM   #1
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Get the 70-210 f4 or wait to the new 65-300 f5.6 SR lens

According to Pentax K roadmap , and lens SR patent shared a while ago here, Ricoh are going to offer an other long zoom covering the 60-70 to 250/300mm range covering the FF image circle, and maybe it'll be a light weight f5.6 max aperture with in lens SR and cheaper than the 70-210 f4! Now, there is also the 70-210 f4 (from Tamron) priced around $1000 (or 1000+ euros, depending on region). Assuming Ricoh will combine the optical SR of the new lens with IBIS in camera, it'll be a pretty sweet kit. Hence the difficult choice between getting a 70-210 f4 now or wait for the next light weight FF tele zoom with SR.

01-13-2021, 02:06 PM   #2
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Personally I have mixed feelings with the 70-210 f4. It is the lens I waited for, but I struggled to control it from any light breeze when on a tripod. Not enough mass? Maybe, but then it would have been too heavy. I solved it very well with a Manfrotto long lens mount, which works exceptionally well, but then some of the advantage of the lens' light weight construction is lost. I fear any new light weight, and probably longer lens, will be even more prone to wind. A conundrum ...
01-13-2021, 02:12 PM   #3
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Unless there's a pressing need, I would wait. Some of the much less costly 70-300mm lenses over the years have given the much more expensive (and larger/heavier) 70-2xxmm lenses a pretty good alternative in that more limited zoom range, and still able to keep to f/4.5. The forthcoming new Pentax lens might just be a winner! I am not sure about why the lens also having SR would be an advantage, unless it will be designed to work together with and augment the camera's SR. For the longer telephoto aspect, such a concept might be a winner too!
01-13-2021, 02:18 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
According to Pentax K roadmap , and lens SR patent shared a while ago here, Ricoh are going to offer an other long zoom covering the 60-70 to 250/300mm range covering the FF image circle, and maybe it'll be a light weight f5.6 max aperture with in lens SR and cheaper than the 70-210 f4! Now, there is also the 70-210 f4 (from Tamron) priced around $1000 (or 1000+ euros, depending on region). Assuming Ricoh will combine the optical SR of the new lens with IBIS in camera, it'll be a pretty sweet kit. Hence the difficult choice between getting a 70-210 f4 now or wait for the next light weight FF tele zoom with SR.
Just depends on what you want in the first place...
They are completely different lenses except for being medium tele zooms.

01-13-2021, 02:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Personally I have mixed feelings with the 70-210 f4. It is the lens I waited for, but I struggled to control it from any light breeze when on a tripod. Not enough mass? Maybe, but then it would have been too heavy. I solved it very well with a Manfrotto long lens mount, which works exceptionally well, but then some of the advantage of the lens' light weight construction is lost. I fear any new light weight, and probably longer lens, will be even more prone to wind. A conundrum ...
Indeed, wind and tripod use often do present a conundrum. It has been a while, but I have even resorted to hanging something like a camera bag over the mounted ensemble (over the camera, not the lens). Years ago, I remember seeing an accessory for tripod use, like an extra arm with an adjustable circular collar that goes around the front portion of the lens making it more stable. Then, if the design allows, all you'd need do is hang your camera bag from the underside middle portion of the tripod! I have mixed feeling about this lens also. It still seems to be fairly large and pricey for what you get. I would probably just go for the DA* 70-200mm f/2.8 and be done with it. I liked the DA* 60-250mm concept better.

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-13-2021 at 02:24 PM.
01-13-2021, 02:18 PM   #6
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That 65-300 has been sitting on the roadmap mocking us for years. It would be a great travel zoom when carrying the DFA 150-450 or even DFA* 70-200 is impractical (does anyone remember travel?). But we have heard nothing, and I expect it to either be years off yet, or to vanish quietly away. Life is too short to base plans on it.
01-13-2021, 02:30 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I bought the 70-210 early on. It's not a * lens but it's a heck of a lot lighter than the DFA*70-200. I use it for hiking and had intended to use if for travel as well. I question the relatively high price of it but I don't hesitate to recommend it. I also purchased the Tamron tripod foot for it too. It is nice to have but, I now feel, not really necessary. As has been said above, it just depends on your needs.

Oh, another thought, given that most of Pentax's modern full frame lenses are on the big and heavy size. That's why the 70-210 is appealing. Granted older film lenses can do a similar job but this has all the latest coating etc.
01-13-2021, 02:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Unless there's a pressing need, I would wait.
I don't have any pressing need. I have the D-FA70-200 2.8, sharp and heavy... I've prefer to have a light weight version sometimes in the future to carry along with my D-FA 28-105 light weight, affordable and sharp.
But I've been staying over the edge for the D-FA 70-210 f4. First, I feel like >1000 Euros is a little too expensive (especially knowing that Tamron offers it for $399 for F and EF mounts), and on top of this price I'd need to buy the tripod collar (Tamron) that isn't included in the Pentax box, the collar would add to the price. I need a tripod collar / arca base because I want to use the lens for stitching panos. A Pentax make 60-300 f5.6 (with a tripod collar) would be great, but it's what I see on the roadmap. I'd hope it'll be available in 2021, but I don't know if my wish is realistic. I'll keep using my D-FA 70-200 f2.8 (~2kg), not need to say, after carrying it 6, 7 or 8 hours in the backpack in the Alps, I fall asleep quickly in the evening.

01-13-2021, 03:13 PM   #9
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I've been debating for some months on whether to buy the DFA 70-210 or re-buy the DA*60-250. The 60ish-300ish would likely be a good choice for me if it were available. At this point I'm not really sold on either the 70-210 or the 60-250. What I want is a new DFA*60-250 with modern motor and complete FF compatibility. But I doubt very much that will ever happen so the 60ish-300 might end being the choice.
Until I decide the F 70-210 is in the bag and working just fine.
01-13-2021, 03:40 PM - 1 Like   #10
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The choices are pretty straightforward, biz, I think. If you need a reasonably light-weight lens in this range now or fairly soon, go for the 70-210 f/4. The cost compared to the Tamron is meaningless, since the Tamron's not available in K-mount. If you don't need it soon, don't buy it and just shoot with what you have, accepting the weight disadvantage of the excellent and faster 70-200 f/2.8.

What I wouldn't do, if I was you, is wait for a lens that hasn't even been announced yet if you think you need it now.That has "missed opportunity" written all over it
01-13-2021, 04:05 PM - 1 Like   #11
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The 70-210 has been seen on sale of late, now down to about 900 u=USD the last time I got an email about it. I still lug my FA*80-200 around when I need that range.
01-13-2021, 04:21 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
The 70-210 has been seen on sale of late, now down to about 900 u=USD the last time I got an email about it. I still lug my FA*80-200 around when I need that range.
I can relate to that, and I still like my FA*80-200 for several reasons, but I bought the D FA70-210 for two reasons Ė its light weight (nearly half that of the FA*, a little less so when you add a tripod foot) and weather sealing. Its optical performance hasnít disappointed me, even though I probably still prefer what I get straight out of the FA*, and of course I do like the power zoom of the latter. Paired with the D FA28-105, it makes a good travel companion for the K-1.
01-13-2021, 10:39 PM   #13
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Had anyone done a detailed comparison of the D FA 70-210 to the older film era autofocus lenses in this range?
01-13-2021, 11:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The choices are pretty straightforward, biz, I think. If you need a reasonably light-weight lens in this range now or fairly soon, go for the 70-210 f/4. The cost compared to the Tamron is meaningless, since the Tamron's not available in K-mount. If you don't need it soon, don't buy it and just shoot with what you have, accepting the weight disadvantage of the excellent and faster 70-200 f/2.8.
That's logical. The decision is easy if I can predict when I'll need the lens, I can wait until about two week before I want to use it and order it a that time. The choice becomes less straightforward if I don't (or can't) predict when exactly I'll need a light weight 70-210. Last time I needed 70-200, I knew it three days before I used it, I just took my DFA*70-200 added it in the bag and go, because I had it clean and ready to use in my camera container. I looked at the price of the DFA70-210 during black Friday, the price dropped 100 euros, so around 950E instead of 1050E, I had put it into my shopping cart, looking at the order button for awhile, looked at the price again, and then cancelled my order. The higher Pentax price doesn't matter, except knowing that if Tamron can price it so low, the glass inside must be really cheap, and the that Ricoh Imaging are holding me up a little bit as loyal customer because I'd locked into a lens mount.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-13-2021 at 11:25 PM.
01-14-2021, 12:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
That's logical. The decision is easy if I can predict when I'll need the lens, I can wait until about two week before I want to use it and order it a that time. The choice becomes less straightforward if I don't (or can't) predict when exactly I'll need a light weight 70-210. Last time I needed 70-200, I knew it three days before I used it, I just took my DFA*70-200 added it in the bag and go, because I had it clean and ready to use in my camera container.

I looked at the price of the DFA70-210 during black Friday, the price dropped 100 euros, so around 950E instead of 1050E, I had put it into my shopping cart, looking at the order button for awhile, looked at the price again, and then cancelled my order. The higher Pentax price doesn't matter, except knowing that if Tamron can price it so low, the glass inside must be really cheap, and the that Ricoh Imaging are holding me up a little bit as loyal customer because I'd locked into a lens mount.
Assuming you can afford the Pentax D FA70-210 f/4, you simply need to get past your frustration over the Tamron pricing differential - if, that is, you truly need a modern, light-weight, AF K-mount lens in this focal length range. This really isn't about the lens, but rather your unwillingness to pay the required price. If you can't get past that psychological barrier of pricing, you don't actually need the lens (or don't need it enough). If that sounds cold, I don't intend it to... it's just a fact.

Life's full of compromises, and this is no different. As I see it, you have a number of clear options, each of which has different but equally-clear compromises:

Option 1 - work with what you have at zero additional cost, which means carrying the D FA*70-200 f/2.8 just in case (compromise: bulk and weight)
Option 2 - push past your issue with Pentax vs Tamron pricing - which has no bearing on your need for a lens - and buy a new D FA70-210 f/4 (compromise: cost)
Option 3 - buy a used D FA70-210 f/4 and save money, but you'll have to wait until one becomes available (compromise: time)
Option 4 - buy an inexpensive SMC Pentax-F 70-210 f/4-5.6 (compromise: a bit slower, variable aperture, film-era image quality)
Option 5 - cheap out completely and buy an old, manual focus Pentax or third-party lens (compromise: same as option 4 plus lack of AF)

Each option covers your requirement for focal length range. If you're clear on your priorities - what really matters to you and why - the choice should be quite straightforward. Given how infrequently you seem to need such a lens, I'd suggest option 4 or possibly 5... but you'll know best.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-14-2021 at 04:40 AM.
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