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09-11-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
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A*300 F4 or A*200 F2.8 ?

I am considering hunting down either a A*300 F4 or A*200 F2.8. Question is which would be better to get? One is faster and one is longer otherwise they are about the same size and weight.

Not too sure which is more expensive though - the sample size of the few I've tracked is too small.

Seems to me the 200 can be transformed into a 280mm F4 with the addition of a 1.4 extender - making it perhaps a bit more versatile. Of course this would add to the cost however.

From what I have read about the 300 - it seems to have a great reputation. I haven't heard so much about the 200 but it surely can't be bad especially as it remained in production from 1984-1998.

Any opinions welcome.

09-11-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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Those 2 lenses are on my short list for next year. The 300 being more of a want and the 200 being more of a need.
I guess the question is, as with all these type of threads, what type of photos are you wanting to do? And which camera(s) are you using?
With the crop factor of current Pentax DSLRs the 200 has the FOV of a 300, so that's a significant long tele lens for general and some specific uses. The 300 has the FOV of a 450 and that's too long IMO for general use in most cases.
If you're shooting sports, wildlife, BIF type stuff you'll probably want the longest, fastest lenses you can afford or otherwise justify.

hth
09-11-2009, 08:25 AM   #3
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I just put in my order for the 200/2.8 ED SDM and ProOptic 1.4 TC, under $1K at Adorama.
09-11-2009, 08:29 AM   #4
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I want a handholdable telephoto lens for motorcycle racing at the track but also for general recreational photography (hence 200 may be more versatile).

I found 200 too short to capture motorcycle racing to my satisfaction so a 300 would be better but I like the idea of having a 200 and being able to extend it to 280 with a 1.4 extender. I just worry that the extender will reduce quality and already some are saying that a DA55-300 will match or beat the older lenses (which I find hard to believe)

09-11-2009, 08:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
I just put in my order for the 200/2.8 ED SDM and ProOptic 1.4 TC, under $1K at Adorama.
Why the ?
09-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenVH Quote
I guess the question is, as with all these type of threads, what type of photos are you wanting to do? And which camera(s) are you using?
With the crop factor of current Pentax DSLRs the 200 has the FOV of a 300, so that's a significant long tele lens for general and some specific uses. The 300 has the FOV of a 450 and that's too long IMO for general use in most cases.
If you're shooting sports, wildlife, BIF type stuff you'll probably want the longest, fastest lenses you can afford or otherwise justify. hth
I think that's right. FWIW, I have the DA*300mm and use it--usually with a tc (and a 'pod of some sort, of course)--on the K20D for birds & wildlife. I think it's a very good balance between cost, portability and IQ. Although I have some (nice) lenses in the 200ish range, it's not that useful a FL for me.
09-11-2009, 08:48 AM   #7
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So given that the 200 F2.8 with a 1.4TC and the 300 F4 are pretty close in performance - on paper - which would be the better set-up for IQ and versatility?
09-11-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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Not sure what you are looking for in advice. Only you can determine what 'recreational use' means to you and 'versitility' that said here ya go

Cost = wash
IQ = wash (even the 200 with a good TC I would argue the IQ would be tough to tell the difference between it and 300 without/ without TC unless you are printing poster size)

Versatile - personal choice. As mentioned the 200 can be more versatile when walking around, family gatherings, weddings for some long shots. The 300 can be versatile when shooting wildlife, birds, etc. Add a TC to both then both become more 'versatile'.

I would think if you are primarily shooting motorcycle events in good light , and and do the occasional 'recreational' wildlife / bird photography get the 300. Otherwise go for the 200.

Then again it's easy to spend other people's money

09-11-2009, 10:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Versatile - personal choice. As mentioned the 200 can be more versatile when walking around, family gatherings, weddings for some long shots. The 300 can be versatile when shooting wildlife, birds, etc. Add a TC to both then both become more 'versatile'.
As I'm not much of a tripod user I'd probably find the 300 a bit too long and slow with a TC.

I like the idea of a 300 for motorcyles at the track but worry that it would be too long for walking around, family gatherings, weddings, etc.

Having said that, I know from experience that without a TC I would find the 200 limiting. I guess it will boil down to what I can expect to pay for a 200 and then also a 1.4TC.

At the end of the day you can't just buy this old gear anytime you want either so it might also depend on what is available when I am ready to buy!
09-11-2009, 07:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
As I'm not much of a tripod user I'd probably find the 300 a bit too long and slow with a TC.

I like the idea of a 300 for motorcyles at the track but worry that it would be too long for walking around, family gatherings, weddings, etc.

Having said that, I know from experience that without a TC I would find the 200 limiting. I guess it will boil down to what I can expect to pay for a 200 and then also a 1.4TC.

At the end of the day you can't just buy this old gear anytime you want either so it might also depend on what is available when I am ready to buy!
I think you're on the right track. The 300mm is not a good walk-around lens or something you'd take to a wedding or family gathering. Truth to tell, the 200mm might be a bit of overkill in those venues as well--my preference in such situations is the discrete 77mm ltd. I'm not familiar with motorcycle stuff but I can imagine the 200mm & TC could work very well for you (but you should consider at least a monopod)
09-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #11
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That type of shooting (motorcycles) requires fast shutter speeds of course. With either the 300, or 200 + TC, you may have to use higher ISO's also, unless you have excellent light. The 200 with TC won't be appreciably faster than the 300 as far as aperture, BUT the use of the TC may slow down your AF a little- something to consider when shooting fast-moving subjects like motorcycles. (Me, I'd rather ride 'em than shoot 'em! ) Anyway, my vote is for the 300. I have the DA*300 and it's a great lens. Plus, it's a dandy "pseudo-macro" for shots of insects and such.

If you're looking for something in the 200 range, that's a little faster and more versatile, consider something like the Tamron 70-200/2.8. Even wide open this lens does a great job, nice and crisp, great detail and color. I've used it quite successfully for my son's soccer games. Good luck with whatever you choose.
Paul
09-11-2009, 10:25 PM   #12
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I'm really into old glass....big lines of.....taks..auto taks...SMC taks...Ks..As..classic LBA..but they are only superior before major telephotos or zooms. You buy A* for their sweet spot...and (correct me if I'm wrong) but in this case the DA*300 (or DA*200) are above that sweet spot. If you love older glass....I'd buy the 300....but that's only from how I like to take pics....
09-12-2009, 12:08 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comments guys. I just watched a A*200 go on eBay for US$543. I was quite surprised to see it go so cheap. I was expecting some furious last minute bidding but it didn't happen.

I wasn't quite ready to commit to a purchase yet but in view of the price it sold for I'm sorry I didn't bid. (Of course, who knows how much the winning bidder was actually willing to pay).

It seems that for one reason or another the A*200 is not as prized as the A*300? Or perhaps the sellers of the 300s 've seen on offer are asking too much?

QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
BUT the use of the TC may slow down your AF a little-
The A* lenses are manual focus!
09-12-2009, 05:55 AM   #14
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Sorry, I overlooked that we were talking about A lenses here--my bad.

Still, I really don't think either lens is really suited for walking around or social gatherings: I tend to shoot long but, even for me, 135mm is really the limit for those settings.

Since we're talking about MF lenses w/TC, btw, you might consider the Pentax 1.7x TC. I don't think its AF capability would be much use at motorcycle races (maybe for other purposes) but it's very good optically and would give a bit more reach.
09-12-2009, 06:10 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Since we're talking about MF lenses w/TC, btw, you might consider the Pentax 1.7x TC. I don't think its AF capability would be much use at motorcycle races (maybe for other purposes) but it's very good optically and would give a bit more reach.
Is it good optically? Some say yes, others disparage it. I actually had one years ago but never really had a proper use for it (as in I didn't have a lens long and fast enough to do it justice) so I never really tested it properly.

I found it focussed quite well actually even on F4 lenses.
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