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06-19-2009, 01:27 AM   #1
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Help! DA*200 or DA*300 or DA*60-250?

I am agonizing over the choice of a long tele lens to give me more reach than my 50-135 can provide. I do have M 200/4 which is a very good lens but it requires a lot of patience and preferably a static object to shoot. Forget birds in flight with this one. I love my two DA* lenses and want another one so the choice is between 200, 300 and 60-250. I was considering DA*300 but none of the stores in Vancouver stocks them at the moment and I want to buy it tomorrow. The 200 and 60-250 are available. I like the 200 because it is not too big and heavy, it is fast at f2.8 whereas the other two are f4, is has good IQ and, according to photozone.de, is a full frame lens despite its DA designation. I saw images taken by 60-250 posted here by Lance - they are truly amazing - but I am afraid this honking piece of glass will not suit me as I hate to lug my big Manfrotto around and prefer to travel light. The DA*200 will fit in my Lowepro Toploader 70 bag so I don't have to buy a new bag. Also, if I go out with 16-50 and 200, I can take one lens hood to share between them as they both are 77mm. I have a side lens pouch attached to the bag but it is too narrow and shallow to accommodate the hood even when it's reversed.

One more thing. I have a Tamron TC AF 1.4x converter which works very well on my SDM lenses, so when mounted on DA*200, it will give me 280mm equivalent without much loss of IQ. Now, the price is being considered too. DA*200 costs CDN$1100 and 60-250 is CDN$1900 - quite a difference. So, what do you think? Which one would you choose?

On Wed we are going on a trip to Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto and I am thinking of taking three lenses with me - DA*16-50 (don't leave home without it), DA70 Ltd and DA*200. Makes sense?

06-19-2009, 01:38 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by TTQ225 Quote
I like the 200 because it is not too big and heavy, it is fast at f2.8 whereas the other two are f4, is has good IQ and, according to photozone.de, is a full frame lens despite its DA designation.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-lens-...ts-thread.html

DA* 300 works fine on a 35 mm film camera--except you'd need a different hood of course.
06-19-2009, 01:57 AM   #3
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in long term,
If you get the DA* 200mm now,
and will get the 400mm when it comes up,
and considering you have a 1.4TC

50-135mm + 200mm + 280mm w/TC + 400mm + 560mm w/TC
maybe a better kit as a whole.
06-19-2009, 02:07 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by TTQ225 Quote
On Wed we are going on a trip to Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto and I am thinking of taking three lenses with me - DA*16-50 (don't leave home without it), DA70 Ltd and DA*200. Makes sense?
It only makes sense when you also take the SDM 1.4 TC. You have a great trip to TO with a lot of images back

With a rare TC you have a DA*300mm almost.


Daniel

06-19-2009, 03:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TTQ225 Quote
I am agonizing over the choice of a long tele lens to give me more reach than my 50-135 can provide. I do have M 200/4 which is a very good lens but it requires a lot of patience and preferably a static object to shoot. Forget birds in flight with this one. I love my two DA* lenses and want another one so the choice is between 200, 300 and 60-250. I was considering DA*300 but none of the stores in Vancouver stocks them at the moment and I want to buy it tomorrow. The 200 and 60-250 are available. I like the 200 because it is not too big and heavy, it is fast at f2.8 whereas the other two are f4, is has good IQ and, according to photozone.de, is a full frame lens despite its DA designation. I saw images taken by 60-250 posted here by Lance - they are truly amazing - but I am afraid this honking piece of glass will not suit me as I hate to lug my big Manfrotto around and prefer to travel light.
Thank you for the kind words.

The DA*60-250 is very easily hand held and none of my photos were taken with a tripod. Way too limiting when taking bird shots anyway.

F4 is plenty fast enough as I would rarely if ever want to go less than that because the DOF becomes way too narrow and therefore any slight misjudgement of focus is *very* noticeable.

The DA*60-250 is only 200gms heavier than the DA*200 and it a much more versatile lens. Having said that, the only drawback with the DA*60-250 is that at close Camera to Subject (CTS) distances and set at 250mm, the DA*60-250
is really only about 200mm. The distances I am talking about is from it's closest focusing and then gradually gets towards 250mm at the infinity end of the focus.

This is normal behaviour for a zoom, and to a lesser degree primes, they get shorter in focal length the closer the CTS distance. You may find that the DA*200 at it's closest focus is more like a 180mm, but you would need to check it against the DA*60-250 in store.

QuoteQuote:
The DA*200 will fit in my Lowepro Toploader 70 bag so I don't have to buy a new bag. Also, if I go out with 16-50 and 200, I can take one lens hood to share between them as they both are 77mm. I have a side lens pouch attached to the bag but it is too narrow and shallow to accommodate the hood even when it's reversed.

One more thing. I have a Tamron TC AF 1.4x converter which works very well on my SDM lenses, so when mounted on DA*200, it will give me 280mm equivalent without much loss of IQ. Now, the price is being considered too. DA*200 costs CDN$1100 and 60-250 is CDN$1900 - quite a difference. So, what do you think? Which one would you choose?
I would choose the zoom, but that is me as it is much more versatile. This may shock you, but the DA*200 may actually not be as sharp as the DA*60-250. I know my FA*80-200 is sharper in the centre than the DA*200, according to Photozone, and I believe that the DA*60-250 may be a bit sharper than the FA*80-200. The DA*200 is has better sharpness edge to edge, but I do not find this as much of an advantage unless you have the propensity to shoot flat subject matter.

Of course, sharpness is not the be all and end all as the DA*200 does have excellent overall IQ, bokeh, colour balance etc, but then so does the FA*80-200 and the DA*60-250.

QuoteQuote:
On Wed we are going on a trip to Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto and I am thinking of taking three lenses with me - DA*16-50 (don't leave home without it), DA70 Ltd and DA*200. Makes sense?
06-19-2009, 04:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lance B Quote
Thank you for the kind words.

This may shock you, but the DA*200 may actually not be as sharp as the DA*60-250. I know my FA*80-200 is sharper in the centre than the DA*200, according to Photozone, and I believe that the DA*60-250 may be a bit sharper than the FA*80-200. The DA*200 is has better sharpness edge to edge, but I do not find this as much of an advantage unless you have the propensity to shoot flat subject matter.
I would in fact be quiet surprised that this is the case, especially when I look at user impressions of the DA and (more importantly) FA 200mm 2.8 (same optical formula).
The FA 200mm is considered to be extremely sharp, and the DA its equal.

That being said I would love to see a comparison... I think you should pick it up for a shoot out lance
06-19-2009, 06:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwield Quote
I would in fact be quiet surprised that this is the case, especially when I look at user impressions of the DA and (more importantly) FA 200mm 2.8 (same optical formula).
The FA 200mm is considered to be extremely sharp, and the DA its equal.
That it is, but the figures do not lie, according to Photozone results.

Centre resolution figures for the FA*80-200 @ 200mm

f2.8 = 1946.5
f4 = 2205
f5.6 = 2199.5
f8 = 2033.5

Centre resolution figures for the DA*200 f2.8

f2.8 = 1915.5
f4 = 2026.5
f5.6 = 2074
f8 = 2041

Of course, the edge resolution of the DA*200 is better, but most of us shoot around, and are concerned with, the centre and the edges are not quite as important.

Interestingly, the FA*80-200 @200mm has just as good chromatic aberration as the DA*200 and at other focal lengths it is much better. Distortion at 200mm is line ball.

QuoteQuote:
That being said I would love to see a comparison... I think you should pick it up for a shoot out lance
Having looked at my results from the DA*60-250, they seem as though they are sharper straight out of the camera when compared to what I know of the results from my FA*80-200 and my FA*80-200 is sharp! This is just a seat of the pants analysis, mind you, and need to be taken as that, but I would almost bet that it is better than both of them.

Last edited by Lance B; 06-19-2009 at 06:54 AM.
06-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #8
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I would take the DA300, and also keep the 1.4x TC

couple of reasons.

first of all with the DA300 F4 the TC will still AF correctly as a 420mm F5.6.

second, you will rapidly find 300 is not long enough in all cases, and the 300F4 plus TC will give you a couple of options, use the TC when you want length, and take off the TC to gain a stop. if you wait for a 400 F5.6 you won't have this option.

I can't comment on the IQ, but I note with my Sigma TC's on my Sigma 70-200 there is very little loss of IQ

06-19-2009, 07:38 AM   #9
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Maybe the tamron 70-200 could be an alternative, altho it wont AF as fast as the others and its not sealed. but it seems very good optically and a lot cheaper
06-19-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by apemen Quote
in long term,
If you get the DA* 200mm now,
and will get the 400mm when it comes up,
and considering you have a 1.4TC

50-135mm + 200mm + 280mm w/TC + 400mm + 560mm w/TC
maybe a better kit as a whole.
Thank you, Apemen. I see you are a purist - you don't own a single zoom, just primes. How does it work for you?
06-19-2009, 11:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielhtong Quote
It only makes sense when you also take the SDM 1.4 TC. You have a great trip to TO with a lot of images back

With a rare TC you have a DA*300mm almost.


Daniel
Thanks Daniel. I will certainly take the TC with me. Luckily it is quite small and light.
I expect the bulk of my shooting will be done in Quebec. We attending a family wedding in TO and I might do some shooting at the wedding. I lived in TO for 15 years before moving to Vancouver 12 years ago so I have a lot of photos from this era. This was before I switched to digital, so all my TO memories are on slides.
06-19-2009, 12:14 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I would take the DA300, and also keep the 1.4x TC

couple of reasons.

first of all with the DA300 F4 the TC will still AF correctly as a 420mm F5.6.

second, you will rapidly find 300 is not long enough in all cases, and the 300F4 plus TC will give you a couple of options, use the TC when you want length, and take off the TC to gain a stop. if you wait for a 400 F5.6 you won't have this option.

I can't comment on the IQ, but I note with my Sigma TC's on my Sigma 70-200 there is very little loss of IQ
I was thinking about DA300 but it is not readily available in Vancouver. Besides, I am not planning to get into bird photography any time soon, so I think the DA200 +TC will do for now for occasions when I photograph larger birds like swans, ducks, herons etc at a relatively short distance.
06-19-2009, 12:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lance B Quote
Thank you for the kind words.

The DA*60-250 is very easily hand held and none of my photos were taken with a tripod. Way too limiting when taking bird shots anyway.

F4 is plenty fast enough as I would rarely if ever want to go less than that because the DOF becomes way too narrow and therefore any slight misjudgement of focus is *very* noticeable.

................
Of course, sharpness is not the be all and end all as the DA*200 does have excellent overall IQ, bokeh, colour balance etc, but then so does the FA*80-200 and the DA*60-250.
Thank you Lance for your very detailed answer. Maybe I should own both DA200 and DA60-250 at some point. You can't disagree with this approach, can you?
06-19-2009, 02:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TTQ225 Quote
Thank you, Apemen. I see you are a purist - you don't own a single zoom, just primes. How does it work for you?
before gettng lenses the idea was i want best results so limiteds were obvous choce.in practce, unfortunaty l Dont have much time to travel or free tme to take photos, so when i have the chance i pick a theme\object\subject whatever and pick approprate lens. When i go for a city walk i take the 21mm. For portrait i take the 70mm, for Macro i take 90mm Macro, for candd or anmals i take the 200mm. when i dont know or dont have a plan i take the 40mm for t has the angle of human eye sght. I really enjoy t. one, i get the best result for that photo session, two, t pushes you to master both the lens and the subject\technque. i have a very small bag you cant evet put a dslr like, i have t with me with one of the limited lens like a compact camera. if you Dont like the idea you are not so limited with a small\medium bag you can carry all your limiteds. I have the mini bag on work days and medium bag on weekends. i like primes and looking for 15mm and 400mm. I hope there will be a 135mm. I think i will have to take a zoom, the 10_17mm fsheye. Sorry for syntax, i am mobile at the moment.
06-19-2009, 02:21 PM   #15
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I'm vying for the DA 300. hands-down, the best in the tele area for me. the extra 100mm is worth the shot.
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