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04-22-2008, 12:27 PM   #1
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upcoming 60-250mm vs. Canon 70-200mm f/4

I was thinking about the various options for telephoto lenses today. I think the ideal lens is something relatively light and long. Better than f/5.6, but not necessarily as fast as f/2.8, if that will double the weight of the thing.

Looking around other manufacturer's lens lineup the Canon 70-200mm L f/4 immediately comes to mind. It has near perfect optics, weighs only 700g, costs only $570 (if you get the non-IS version), is weather sealed, has an USM/SDM focus motor and offers full-frame coverage. What more could one want?

(My main concern is weight and price.)

I'm thinking if the upcoming Pentax 60-250mm is meant to be the equivalent "perfect" lens in the Pentax lineup. The extra reach will probably mean it will weigh more and cost more than the Canon. However, IS comes for free with the body, so that means it is effectively an equivalent of the excellent (but much more expensive - $1050) IS-version of the Canon lens. The Pentax also does not have to cover the full-frame (although I wouldn't be suspired if it does).

I was surprised to find that no other lens manufacturer makes a 70-200mm f/4 lens (at least that's what I found from a quick google). It seems like the ideal lens for someone to make. So, can we expect a really versatile and distinctive Pentax offering here, or has Canon beat Pentax at their own game (offering a compact, lightweight, affordable system with no compromises).

04-22-2008, 12:33 PM   #2
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I know that Minolta had the 70-210mm f/4 lens (aka the beercan) that is very popular among sony/minolta users. But this is an old lens, and there really is no new equivalent in any other system. I am looking forward to the 60-250, but like you, I am also concerned about the weight/size.
04-22-2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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Oh, I also just found a Nikon 70-210mm f/4

Nikkor AF 70-210mm f/4 - Review / Lab Test Report

It is the correct range and weight, but it is quite old (discontinued) and optically nowhere near the Canon super-lens (highest rating ever on Photozone.de):
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L - Test Report / Review
04-22-2008, 12:55 PM   #4
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Pentax are certainly building lenses for the APS-C sensor that equate to classic lenses from the 35mm world (full frame if you must - I think I must be getting old...), but the 60-250mm 'equates' roughly to a 100-400mm in 35mm coverage terms, as the 50-135mm 'equates' to the 70-200mm f2.8: at least that's how I look at it having bought into the APS-C world for the foreseeable future

It's not going to be small, it's not going to be light (its got a tripod bush in the photos), but if its IQ is as good as the 50-135 I don't care!

04-22-2008, 07:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Talisker Quote

It's not going to be small, it's not going to be light (its got a tripod bush in the photos), but if its IQ is as good as the 50-135 I don't care!
SAME HERE!!
04-22-2008, 08:03 PM   #6
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Canon 70-200 f4 isn't weather sealed at all. Doesn't come with a tripod mount either, optional extra.

And what did you mean highest rating on Photozone? Overall rating? Just for a long zoom?

A few lenses beat it in various categories (usually primes), but not overall, so I can see its a very good package that lens, not meaning to be all anti-Canon or anything

I wish Pentax would hurry the hell up with the 60-250 though, it will pretty much round out a lot of people's kits, including mine.
04-23-2008, 01:31 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Maxington Quote
Canon 70-200 f4 isn't weather sealed at all. Doesn't come with a tripod mount either, optional extra.

And what did you mean highest rating on Photozone? Overall rating? Just for a long zoom?

A few lenses beat it in various categories (usually primes), but not overall, so I can see its a very good package that lens, not meaning to be all anti-Canon or anything

I wish Pentax would hurry the hell up with the 60-250 though, it will pretty much round out a lot of people's kits, including mine.
The Canon lens is definitely weather sealed! All Canon "L" lenses are.

By highest rating I mean: 5 stars in every rating category. Show me one Pentax lens that Klaus rates that highly? I'm not being anti-Pentax or anything , just pointing out that Canon makes some amazing glass.

I wish Pentax actually take their time and make a super-duper 60-250 that will allow photographers to walk on water and turn water to wine
04-23-2008, 03:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jms698 Quote
The Canon lens is definitely weather sealed! All Canon "L" lenses are.
no you are incorrect. to get the weather sealing you have to buy the IS version. and not all L lenses are weather sealed. thats the typical thought of a person who drools over those off white L behemoths. (no offense meant)



04-23-2008, 11:21 AM   #9
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I have the 70-200 f4 IS (optically slightly better than the non-is, but $$$$ and uses some plastics).

It blew my copy of the 50-135 out of the water. It (the canon) is the ONLY zoom lens I have ever been satisfied with.

That being said, 60-250 is a great range, and I hope pentax can pull off 50-135 quality or better.
04-23-2008, 11:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SloPhoto Quote
It blew my copy of the 50-135 out of the water. It (the canon) is the ONLY zoom lens I have ever been satisfied with..
Because of what ? IQ ? Speed ? Handling ?
Btw, the plastic has led to some remarks about fine glass combined with less build quality compared to the cheaper non-is version.

lock
04-23-2008, 11:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lock2nl Quote
Because of what ? IQ ? Speed ? Handling ?
Btw, the plastic has led to some remarks about fine glass combined with less build quality compared to the cheaper non-is version.

lock
My bigest problem with the pastic is that the magnesium is at the end, and the plastic is at the base, leading to truly terrible balance.

Af speed / contrast / resoultion / CA / Longitudinal CA (my biggest pet peve as it is difficult to post process) were ALL better with the canon (some only slightly so).

I do love the way pentax lenses render colors and give more 3d pop, but the canon is a superb lens, and given what I use it for (motorsports photography), its panning IS mode is AMAZING!

If I needed a long wedding lens, I would have kept / would pick the pentax. I have never been a fan of canon's 70-200 f2.8.
04-23-2008, 01:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
no you are incorrect. to get the weather sealing you have to buy the IS version. and not all L lenses are weather sealed. thats the typical thought of a person who drools over those off white L behemoths. (no offense meant)
Thanks for pointing this out. I'm proven wrong and my faith in Canon is shattered

I do believe Canon has managed to build a bit of a myth about these L lenses. They are not always as good as one (myself included) might think.
04-23-2008, 02:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jms698 Quote
Thanks for pointing this out. I'm proven wrong and my faith in Canon is shattered

I do believe Canon has managed to build a bit of a myth about these L lenses. They are not always as good as one (myself included) might think.
Yes, but they're white with a big red "L" so it makes it better.
04-23-2008, 02:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lock2nl Quote
Because of what ? IQ ? Speed ? Handling ?
Btw, the plastic has led to some remarks about fine glass combined with less build quality compared to the cheaper non-is version.

lock
Everything!

The 70-200f4 IS is an extraordinary lens and is better than the DA* 50-135 on all accounts:
CA, PF, resolution, vignetting (of course, it's a FF lens), distortion, AF speed (by a large margin) and finally IS (last generation is about one stop more efficient than Pentax's SR).

I do hope that the 60-250 will come close but it's a real challenge, this zoom has no equivalent in other makes.

It's actually the only reason I am hesitating selling my 30D... I'll probably keep it anyway!
04-23-2008, 04:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jms698 Quote
The Canon lens is definitely weather sealed! All Canon "L" lenses are.

By highest rating I mean: 5 stars in every rating category. Show me one Pentax lens that Klaus rates that highly? I'm not being anti-Pentax or anything , just pointing out that Canon makes some amazing glass.

I wish Pentax actually take their time and make a super-duper 60-250 that will allow photographers to walk on water and turn water to wine
As already pointed out, its not weather sealed, and not all L glass is. Even worse, some L glass that is "weather sealed" is only considered weather sealed if its got a Canon filter screwed onto it, the front element is unsealed! I think thats pretty cheesy of Canon, if a lens is weather sealed, it should be weather sealed as is.

Btw, its not even 5 stars in every category, its 4 stars. Thats still very good of course. Pentax's favourite 31mm prime beats it in image and build quality at 4.5 stars each. Not so great on price vs performan at 3 stars though

Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited Review / Test Report

Pentax's DA* 50-135 puts up a good fight as well, 3.5, 4.5, 4 stars, and it *is* weather sealed

Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM - Review / Test Report

Agree on Pentax has to get the 60-250 right. The 16-50 is brilliant when its got no QC issues, but thats soured that lens a bit, the 50-135 is brilliant without QC issues, so if they nail the 60-250 they've got a top end lens range to be proud of. Maybe the delay in releasing it means they are taking more time to get it right, no repeat of the 16-50 problems. *cross fingers*
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