Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-21-2007, 06:06 PM   #1
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,958
Pentax 200mm Lens Test & Comparison

My collection isn't complete yet, but I thought my set of 5 200mm's would be great for a comparison Enjoy!

I'm sure the variables in this test aren't perfectly balanced, but I did my best. I'll try again next weeked and we'll see if the results differ at all.

SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F2.8 ED
Handling:
-Loses one point for the weight and lack of a tripod mount
-Built-in hood

Sharpness: (Rank 3)
-Sharpest at F11, good wide-open

Aberration:
-Loses one point because of slight red fringing (OOF only)

Usefulness:
-F2.8 is good to have, but the fact that it's MF removed the ease of taking sports photos

Overall:
-A great lens for landscapes and close-ups


SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]
Handling:
-Very compact. You can take it almost anywhere and fit it in any bag without the hood!
-Loses one point because hood is hard to fit on

Sharpness: (Rank 2)
-Sharpest at F11, very good wide-open

Aberration:
-Loses one point because of very slight green fringing (OOF & IF)

Usefulness:
-AF makes this lens invaluable for action photography, including birding

Overall:


SMC Pentax-FA* 80-200mm F2.8 ED [IF]
Handling:
-Loses one point because at 3 pounds, it is very hard to hold for extended periods of time. Tripod recommended.
-Loses another point because the hood could be bigger (the hood is designed for the FA* 28-70mm)
-Build-in tripod mount
-Features power zoom and internal zooming

Sharpness: (Rank 1)
-Very impressive. Sharpest at F8, extremely sharp wide-open.
-Being a zoom, it shouldn't be as sharp as the competition, but it is!

Aberration:
-Virtually nonexistent thanks to the 4 ED elements.

Usefulness:
-Good for almost any purpose! Not recommended for long trips.

Overall:


SMC Pentax-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED
Handling:
-Compact and easy to carry
-No aperture ring. Digital-only

Sharpness: (Rank 4)
-Sharpest at F11. Not particularly sharp at F5.6.

Aberration:
-Virtually nonexistent!

Usefulness:
-Not the fastest 200mm around.
-Not the best choice for birding or sports photos.
-Ideal for travelling, excels at landscape & close-up photography

Overall:
-An affordable consumer zoom with very high performance!

SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4
Handling:
-Compact and easy to transport.
-Built-in hood

Sharpness: (Rank 5)
-Unfortunately, this lens doesn't score very high
-Sharpest aperture unknown. Sharp wide-open.

Aberration:
-Lacks ED elements
-Very noticeable green fringing in the OOF area
-Red fringing for items in focus

Usefulness:
-A great tele lens, but it doesn't perform well for close-ups
-Compact yet relatively fast. Could be sharper.
-MF cuts down on possible uses

Overall:

---------------------------

See some of the photos used for this test here: Pentax 200mm Lens Tests (Note: ignore the A* 200mm shot @ F2.8- I forgot to focus ) (Also note: Some parts of this comparison are based on previous lens use)

Thanks for reading, and please post your thoughts/comments!


Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

04-22-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta
Posts: 212
Thanks for the test, Mo. The $100 the Da 50-200 cost me as part of the K100 kit was obviously money well spent. Don't think I'll be picking up a FA* 80-200 anytime soon, so I will have to live with the f5.6.
04-22-2007, 01:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
Zubati Kit's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 114
thanks, very informative... now where is that DA*200
04-22-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philippines
Posts: 1,399
thanks for sharing! this certainly helps a lot for people in the market for a 200-mm lens.

04-22-2007, 08:12 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 668
QuoteOriginally posted by Zubati Kit Quote
thanks, very informative... now where is that DA*200
+1. Huge interest in that.
04-22-2007, 09:32 PM   #6
Inactive Account




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 364
It will be quiet interesting to see how well the DA*200 performs when compared to its pedigree, looking forward to getting my hands on one.
04-23-2007, 12:35 AM   #7
Forum Member




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 82
Hi,
being new in this forum I want to share my experineces with 200mm on my Pentax.
Having the A* 2.8/200 I can back up what has been written above. It's a superb lens! Have compared it with the Canon and -at least - it's not worse but seems a bit better. Esp. against the sun (Thx for the SMC-coating).
It has some minor probs with high contrast in the corner.

As for the 4/200: I've read in some other forums that the A-version should be a bit better.

As for my usage:
Because of the weight of the A* I don't carry it with my so often but instead using an AF-telezoom.

Have compared Sigma 70-210 APO and 75-300 APO with my old manual Tamron SP 60-300 and the TamronSP 5.6/300 and the Tamrons have been clearly better.
Have sold the Sigmas and bought the new Tamron 70-300 AF LD Di. The former owner wanted something more compact (Pentax 50-200).
After that he was sad having sold the Tamron which is sharper than the 50-200.

My own comparison with my manual Tamrons is saying the same: The AF-lens is same quality as the old 60-300. Sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit worse (having compared with different distances and lightning conditions).
Oh, the prime is a bit better than the zooms.... (but now we're talking about 300mm)

As for somne other 200/210mm:
Had the Pentax AF 4-5.6/70-210 which is well regarded.
Having the manual (1st series) Sigma APO 3.5-4.5/70-210 which is a lot better than the later AF-version.
Having the Soligor 2.8/200 too:

The A* is the best, the Sigma APO following (much higher contrast and color than the Pentax AF). The Pentax and Soligor following.
The Soligor is an interesting lens - I'm using it as a portrait-lens because it has a very nice and smooth bokeh and with it's f 2.8 ....
oh - and the corners are softer than the center - so it's just right for that purpose.

Have used this lens for indoor sports too:
Even there it's really a good solution - although not as good as the A* (you would have expected that) but the 2.8 saving some shots that the zooms wouldn't.

:-) Paul
04-25-2007, 11:06 AM   #8
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 57
Unfortunately, the one of the 200's I have is the M-f4. But for $19, I guess I can't complain. I do see a difference between my SMC-M and my f4 screw mount 200 when it comes to sharpness. (They have different optics.) You are right the M-f4 is an excellent handling lens. And the built in hood is really nice.

05-06-2007, 09:44 PM   #9
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,958
Original Poster
After a few (more controlled) tests, I've found that what I concluded above was generally correct, except:

-The FA* 80-200mm shows the least aberration of all the lenses tested
-The DA 50-200mm has heavy fringing and poor sharpness for wide-open close-ups
[Newly tested] -The FA 70-200mm is not as sharp as the DA 50-200mm at F5.6 or F8, but it is sharper at F11 and above. It has almost as little aberraion as the 80-200mm.
-The three star lenses have almost equally good sharpness. The A* 200mm shows much less aberration than the FA*.

I will post the test shots used shortly

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

05-07-2007, 12:37 AM   #10
Veteran Member
roentarre's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11,794
QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
-The three star lenses have almost equally good sharpness. The A* 200mm shows much less aberration than the FA*.

I will post the test shots used shortly
Very interesting. I thought it was the other way around though ... Would love to see your test shots, Mo.
05-07-2007, 06:09 PM   #11
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,958
Original Poster
Ok, here's the link: https://www.pentaxforums.com/content/Images/200mmLensTest.jpg

The FA* 80-200mm shots were a bit off-center accidentally, but I could still evaluate the lens based on the full-size image. Everything else looks fine to me

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

05-08-2007, 07:20 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto (for now)
Posts: 1,749
I'm not getting heavy fringing in close ups on the 50-200. i also find is sharpest at f9
05-08-2007, 09:06 PM   #13
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,958
Original Poster
Close enough

F9.5 may be the case, but that's besides the point as technically I ran two different tests.

If you look at the shot taken at F5.6 and F8, the one as well as all the lines are green. Don't tell me that's not aberration...

The same thing happens for the 200mm in OOF areas, but that's not pictured in the comparison due to the size of the original image.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

05-09-2007, 12:35 AM   #14
Veteran Member
frank's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,202
Hmm, wonder what this thing (the purple thing around the white marks) is called? It's taken by one of my lenses at 200mm (100% crops):

200mm F2.8


200mm F5.6



Photos were taken under direct strong sunlight. Is this CA or PF? Or something else?

Thanks and cheers!
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, aberration, f2.8, hood, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, rank, sharpness, slr lens, smc
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Full Frame lens vs DA & crop factor comparison... JayR Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 03-02-2010 09:15 PM
Econ 200mm lens comparison pacerr Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 05-11-2009 12:45 AM
For Sale - Sold: 18-55mm kit lens & Pentax 50-200mm lens, competitive prices... phatjoe Sold Items 5 02-25-2009 08:45 PM
Lens Test: Pentax SMCP-DA* 200mm f/2.8ED (IF) SDM AF MikePerham Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 05-24-2008 02:33 PM
More Test of DA* 16-50 and comparison Ed in GA Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 01-18-2008 07:10 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:12 PM. | See also: NikonForums.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