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07-13-2009, 11:47 AM   #1
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Pentax 200mm F2.5

Hi
What are the differences between the K 200 mm F2.5 and the A* 200 F2.8 ED in the image quality, bokeh, sharpness and in particular in the BW photo ?
Thanks

07-13-2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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I would add that from what recent ebay prices indicate, the A* will cost between $150 to $200 USD more (here in the US - not sure about Italy!) than the K. The extra money does buy you auto focus and a weather resistant lens though, so I would go with the A*. I've seen them on ebay for $880 US with free shipping.
07-13-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
I would add that from what recent ebay prices indicate, the A* will cost between $150 to $200 USD more (here in the US - not sure about Italy!) than the K. The extra money does buy you auto focus and a weather resistant lens though, so I would go with the A*. I've seen them on ebay for $880 US with free shipping.
Are you sure the A* has AF and weather sealing? I thought the only advantage was automatic aperture selection? O_O
07-14-2009, 12:14 AM   #4
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Yes, I know the automatic aperture advantage and the price difference. I saw the reviews in the Pentax Lens Database.
But do these differences justify the price?
Thanks

07-14-2009, 01:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigowl Quote
Yes, I know the automatic aperture advantage and the price difference. I saw the reviews in the Pentax Lens Database.
But do these differences justify the price?
Thanks
Of course, having AF to lock focus quickly and the ability to use every exposure mode available on the fly and accurately is often the difference between getting a keeper and getting a missed shot, especially when shooting wildlife or following quick action.
07-14-2009, 02:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigowl Quote
Yes, I know the automatic aperture advantage and the price difference. I saw the reviews in the Pentax Lens Database.
But do these differences justify the price?
Thanks
the 200/2.8 ED sports exactly that: ED glass, to reduce CAs and PF, which increases sharpness and contrast, too. That's a big difference in production cost and justifies the higher price. Also the A-version is a much more recent lens design (as are the F and FA versions, which indeed sport AF, which the A-version does not).

Ben
07-14-2009, 03:45 AM   #7
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No question AE is a tremendous advantage for the A* 200/2.8. But as a long-time user of a K 200/2.5 I hasten to add that this lens is no slouch either. It is a little faster, heavier and features the superior build quality of the K series line. It is my favourite manual focus lens. In addition, from the images Iíve seen, there is little to choose in image quality between the two. With either choice you are still focusing manually. This means you are going to miss a lot of shots with either optic regardless of AE.

From my perspective the cost/performance difference between these two lenses is not the real issue. I would look at the cost difference between the new DA* 200/2.8 and the other two. With this lens you get the convenience of AF, AE, weather sealing, a more modern design and ghostless coatings. From my perspective you just get a lot more for your money with this option. For what itís worth, if I were in the market for a lens in this focal range, I would wait and save for a while to get the DA * 200/2.8.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 07-14-2009 at 05:16 AM. Reason: typo
07-14-2009, 07:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
I would add that from what recent ebay prices indicate, the A* will cost between $150 to $200 USD more (here in the US - not sure about Italy!) than the K. The extra money does buy you auto focus and a weather resistant lens though, so I would go with the A*. I've seen them on ebay for $880 US with free shipping.

A* lens are not auto focus nor are they weather sealed. Weather sealing is a DA* thing.




Edit: They both have 6-6 optical formula and both take 77mm threaded filters. However, the K has a minimum focus distance of 2 meters and the A* has 1.8 meter. The K weighs 950 grams while the A* weighs 850. The A* has ED glass. The A* is more likely to cost double or triple the price of a K.

http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/tele/index.html


Last edited by Blue; 07-14-2009 at 09:25 AM. Reason: quoted wrong post
07-14-2009, 09:13 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
A* lens are not auto focus nor are they weather sealed. Weather sealing is a DA* thing.




Edit: They both have 6-6 optical formula and both take 77mm threaded filters. However, the K has a minimum focus distance of 2 meters and the A* has 1.8 meter. The K weighs 950 grams while the A* weighs 850. The A* has ED glass. The A* is more likely to cost double or triple the price of a K.

Pentax Telephoto Prime Lenses
I was referring to Tom's post.
How much ar the K 200mm and the A-200mm anyways? Haven't seen one on ebay yet.
07-14-2009, 09:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
I was referring to Tom's post.
How much ar the K 200mm and the A-200mm anyways? Haven't seen one on ebay yet.
I actually intended to quote Tom. As far as prices, I keep a list of certain lenses and the prices I see them go for.

The A* in good condition I see go for ~$750 +/- $100 and the K f2.5 go for $349-461. The A* actually seems more common. For the record, of about 60 A* lenses, I have only seen 3 A* lenses of any focal length go for < $500 and those were the A* 300mm f4.
07-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #11
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A great lens, but so is the DA* 200mm

The A* 200mm is pretty rare; the K lens does seem rarer. These are manual focus lenses.

I've owned the A* for a few years and it has served me well. Heavy but well built, sharp, contrasty, well made. I get offers to sell mine all the time, but the lens is more valuable to have and use.

That all said, images from the DA* 200mm look slightly better which is saying a lot. So consider that if you need a digital usage context.



K10D, A* 200mm, f 9.5, 1/350, ISO 200



*DS, A* 200mm, f 4, 1/400, ISO 400

M
07-14-2009, 02:22 PM   #12
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Great stuff Miguel.

Here's a couple from the K 200/2.5 for the sake of comparison.

Good for wildlife if a bit on the short side..



Great for sports.



Great in dark auditoriums.



I'd say they are both pretty good. Hope this helps bigowl.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 07-14-2009 at 02:39 PM. Reason: typo
07-14-2009, 03:18 PM   #13
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Here's what I said about the SMC Pentax A* 200mm F2.8 ED in the Pentax Lens review section on this forum, back in October 2008 and I still stand by that review.

"I only just recently acquired this lens second-hand, after searching the globe for many months. I admit that I'm lucky enough to own several other "green star" lenses; hence I feel I can offer an unbiased opinion of this lens.

I wonít give any technical jargon or performance figures, because Iím not qualified to do that. What I will do, is tell you as working photographer how I find this lens through every day use (Iím old school and still use manual focus, I like the way it feels and the level of control I still have).

To say I'm blown away with the resulting images would be a huge understatement. I cover many musical events that are dark (ish) with mixed fast changing lighting set ups, this lens delivers even wide open.

It allows tight head and shoulder shots from front stage pits and when used with K10D, it can be hand held (with SR on) @ 1/30 s f/2.8 ISO 1600, still getting razor sharp results. Stopped down (lighting permitting) it just gets better still.

Fast becoming a favourite lens, not a bad accolade considering the company it keeps in my Crumpler (85mm 1.4 & 135mm 1.8 to name but two)."


07-14-2009, 05:17 PM   #14
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Here is the way I would do my selection:

Speed: The K200/2.5 is faster and the fastest 200mm Pentax ever.
Size: The A200/2.8 is slightly smaller in size and weight.
Optics: The A200/2.8 is newer and also a * lens, so it would have an edge.
Build: The K200/2.5 is a K series lens and nothing is equal in overall build.

So we have a tie and the tie breaker would be the price. I would go with whatever lens you could get for the best price, as they are basically equals otherwise. That would most likely be the K200/2.5. There are a few for sale on eBay online stores.

Brilliant logic right?
I guess that’s why I have over 20 K series lenses and only one A.
07-14-2009, 10:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Here is the way I would do my selection:

Speed: The K200/2.5 is faster and the fastest 200mm Pentax ever.
Size: The A200/2.8 is slightly smaller in size and weight.
Optics: The A200/2.8 is newer and also a * lens, so it would have an edge.
Build: The K200/2.5 is a K series lens and nothing is equal in overall build.

So we have a tie and the tie breaker would be the price. I would go with whatever lens you could get for the best price, as they are basically equals otherwise. That would most likely be the K200/2.5. There are a few for sale on eBay online stores.

Brilliant logic right?
I guess thatís why I have over 20 K series lenses and only one A.
Does the * designation magically make the A* better optically? Not really. From what I have seen though, they look roughly similar.

f/2.5 f/2.8... ehh... 1/3 a stop at best, not a big deal. If you can find a deal for either of em, i would go ahead and just pick it up.
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