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08-04-2009, 05:12 PM   #1
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Pentax DA 50-200MM F4-5.6 ED vs Pentax smc DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 ED WR

The DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED has AFAIK been around quite a while. There is now an smc DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 ED WR lens, which costs 50% more than the older lens.

Is the smc DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 ED WR simply a weather-resistant version of the older lens, or would it be of a better optical quality?

From the reviews I've seen, the DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED seems to be OK for it's price.

08-04-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
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Yes, as far as I know, the new WR's are optically identical to their non WR counterparts. Although, I recently purchased the new 18-55 WR, and noticed that, although they are optically identical, the build quality, and overall feel is a bit better. The old 18-55 is made of smooth black plastic, while the new WR version is made of the black textured plastic, similar to what the DA*s look like. Also, the zoom and focus movement is a touch smoother.
08-04-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kitkat Quote
The DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED has AFAIK been around quite a while. There is now an smc DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 ED WR lens, which costs 50% more than the older lens.
Not sure where you are seeing the prices come out that much different, but you must be seeing an unusually cheap price on the original or an unusually expensive price on the new one. The original traditionally sold for somewhat over $200, which is right around what the new WR one costs. I suppose some dealers may now be dumping their old stock of the original for bargain prices, but the "regular" price is not that much less than the current prices of the WR version.

Anyhow, yes, John Carlson from Pentax has confirmed these are the optically identical. BTW, aside from weather sealng, the WR version also has a smaller filter size - 49mm instead of 52mm.
08-05-2009, 05:42 AM   #4
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The local (in Canada) retail price for the original DA 50-200 is $CAN229, and the price of the new DA 50-200 WR is $CAN329.

08-05-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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Just checked pricing on the old and new 50-200mm. In the USA the Pentax webstore sells both for $US249 - yes, the same price! Pentax Canada does not sell direct. The B&M retailers are selling the old 50-200mm for $CAN229 and the WR version for $CAN329. When I pointed out to my local retailer that in the USA these lenses are the same price I was told that Pentax Imaging and Pentax Canada are different companies. Screwed again in Canada.
08-05-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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I don't know about buying direct or via brick and mortrar, but you should be able to order mail order from most US stores, no? I'd imagine many Canadian stores would a provide a good price mail order - Carman's in particular is often the best price for buyers here in the US.

Anyhow, prices fluctuate week to week, but I'd say what you're seeing right now is a fluke. Regardless of what any given B&M is listing right now or what Pentax USA lists when selling direct, $250-ish is the standard price for the WR pretty much across the board when looking at major online retailers. Typical price for the original is just under $200 right now, although it was generally more like $250 until the WR version came out. So as I see it, throw in shipping, and we're looking at the difference between $200 and $250.
08-05-2009, 01:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Black Magic Quote
Yes, as far as I know, the new WR's are optically identical to their non WR counterparts. Although, I recently purchased the new 18-55 WR, and noticed that, although they are optically identical, the build quality, and overall feel is a bit better. The old 18-55 is made of smooth black plastic, while the new WR version is made of the black textured plastic, similar to what the DA*s look like. Also, the zoom and focus movement is a touch smoother.
I went to the K-7 Road Tour event last night, and the first K-7 I got to touch had the DA 50-200 WR mounted. I was really surprised by this lens - at first I had no idea what it was, and I assumed it was something exotic. My impression was exactly as above. It was in some pretty high-level company at that event, probably the cheapest item there, but if you didn't know its price, you wouldn't have guessed it.
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