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11-16-2009, 04:37 PM   #1
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SMC vs Aftermarket Zooms

In terms of manual focus lenses, I've read alot about how well lenses such as the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f3.5 and Tamron SP 70-210 f3.5 perform, but never how they stack up to a SMC Pentax lens of similar range, such as a M 80-200 or A 70-210. Does anyone have any expirience?

I'd assume also that fast zooms of the same range (i.e. Tokina AT-X f2.8) would all be superior to their slower counterparts in terms of sharpness and contrast?

11-16-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
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Your best bet is to look at the lenses in the lens review database on this forum. I bought an A 70-210 new, and was 8/10 pleased with it.

I have personally settled on Pentax only lenses and accessories. I have been excessively disappointed, not to mention out of pocket, with third party lenses. There are, you must remember, Pentax lenses that are, um.... less than stellar performing. We have one, the infamous FA 28-80, complete with packing tape to hold pieces on. For some reason it is on the SF-1 - we use the K10 and the MZ-S. LOL
11-16-2009, 05:41 PM   #3
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a long time ago I tried to get a friendly competition going. As I would put my Series 1 70-210 F3.5 (version 1) up against everything


One basic set of exposures, to look at bokeh and sharpness at 3 different focal lengths, Min, max and middle, as well as wide open and at perhaps F8. Limited to 10MP sop that all shots had same native resolution. No PP JPEGs out of the camera, with all settings neutral.

COuld never get past arguments about the rules
11-16-2009, 06:23 PM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
Your best bet is to look at the lenses in the lens review database on this forum. I bought an A 70-210 new, and was 8/10 pleased with it.
Although I have looked at the lens review database rather exhaustively, it doesn't really seem conclusive as to whether the M 80-200 or A 70-210 were any better than each other performance wise; both have similar reviews, but the A, having automatic aperture seems to come out on top. I'm not really concerned with the A setting, just optical quality, so it doesn't really help.

11-16-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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Aftermarket zooms can be very, very good. Yes, even better than Pentax. They can also be very, very bad. And yes, there are Pentax lenses that are on the same level as the worst of the no-name stuff.

As mentioned above, the reviews (both Pentax and 3rd-party) on this site are a good place to start. If a lens is a turkey, you can be sure that at least one reviewer will have a note to that respect. If there is no review, you can post an inquiry to this forum and/or do a search.

Regarding the reviews...You may have noticed that the scores are generally fairly high (6 or above). There is a certain amount of "grade inflation" that is fueled by various fan-boys for cult classics, but the more solid reason is that very few newer lenses are outright dogs and the really bad older lenses hit the refuse pile years ago.

Steve

(Really likes playing with no-name stuff. Current favorite lens is a $15 Russian Helios 44M 58/2...)
11-16-2009, 07:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Halco Quote
Although I have looked at the lens review database rather exhaustively, it doesn't really seem conclusive as to whether the M 80-200 or A 70-210 were any better than each other performance wise; both have similar reviews, but the A, having automatic aperture seems to come out on top. I'm not really concerned with the A setting, just optical quality, so it doesn't really help.
They are both good lenses. The A 70-210 is a real solid performer. I have a friend that has one that he never uses (prefers his DA 55-300). Will he sell it to me? Noooo...claims it is too good to let go of...says that he may want to use it on his K1000 some day...

Steve
11-16-2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
They are both good lenses. The A 70-210 is a real solid performer. I have a friend that has one that he never uses (prefers his DA 55-300). Will he sell it to me? Noooo...claims it is too good to let go of...says that he may want to use it on his K1000 some day...

Steve
I know what you mean about the A 70-210. I bought mine new, and lost possession October 26th. While camping with my daughter (new K200) in a bison range, I let her use it all of one day. October 26th, she opened her birthday mail and there it was! She is happy, I am happy that it has a good home. K10 + 50-135 gives me the same field of view range with a one stop advantage. That said, the A 70-210 is a very good lens, and you will have to pry my dead hands off my M lenses.
11-16-2009, 11:41 PM   #8
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yep, a lot of aftermarket zooms suck, but he listed some of the top rated zooms in this category! After looking at some pictures, I thought the Vivitar Series 1 and adaptall outperformed even the 55-300mm, although they are MF and some are manual aperture.. But yeah, no experience.

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