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02-21-2018, 02:55 PM   #1
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Pentax 67: 200/4 v 165 2.8

Greetings,

I'm getting back into film and picked up a camera I've always wanted-the classic Pentax 67 MLU. Now I'm putting together a lens kit. Some background: I shot professionally as a photojournalist for years, almost always B&W, and have already happily picked up a mess of Tri-X. W00T!! Back in my pro days I carried a pair of LXs, and did almost all my shooting with the 20/4 and the 135/1.8. These days I carry a K70 and do almost all my shooting with two Limiteds: the 15/4, and the 77/1.8.

So I'm looking to put together a similar kit for the 67. I've got a 45/4 on order, but I'm a bit conflicted on the longer lens. Here's my question: for those of you who, like me, adore the 77Limited on APS-C and the 135/1.8 on 35mm, which do you like more: the longer 200/4, or the faster 165 2.8? The reviews are similar, as are the sample shots in the lens DB and user shots in this forum. I'm interested in the handling. Which is better for, say, street photography?

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Cjf

02-21-2018, 03:31 PM   #2
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I have always found the 165 f2.8 to be optically superior to the 200 f4. Sharper, better contrast, just more satisfying results
02-21-2018, 04:13 PM   #3
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I have both but don't use them much, I mostly shoot the 45/4 (fantastic focal length) or 75/4.5 - I don't have the 90 or 105. The 165/2.8 provides a brighter focussing screen (something I appreciate with my 6x7 MLU micro-prism screen) and I feel it is easier to handle. Something to think about though, is that lenses beyond 200mm become more of a handful, (from what I gather the 300mm is just-about hand-holdable). Therefore if you'd like more reach than the 165, the 200 might be a better choice but the 165's faster aperture is significant.
02-21-2018, 07:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cjfeola Quote
I'm interested in the handling.

I have both of those lenses and love 'em both, but I will say that the 200/4 is a big lens--not particularly heavy, but long enough that it can be a hassle to keep it mounted, depending on your bag. On the upside, it seems to be absurdly underpriced, so you really wouldn't be risking much if you did decide to pass it on later. Another benefit is that it lets you frame a bit tighter than the 165/2.8, which, as with the 105/2.4, limits your portrait possibilities (unless you use an extension ring.)


As for optical qualities, I'll let the folks with more experience chime in--though I must say that your experience with the 77 and 135/1.8 sets the bar pretty high.

02-22-2018, 06:07 AM   #5
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Maybe a better question would be, which is better, the 200 or the 165 LS? The LS is short and handles well. It is a sharp lens as well.
02-22-2018, 12:34 PM   #6
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Also which 200/4 are you referring to? The last version of the 200/4 (77 mm filter thread) is what you want to get.

I actually like the 200/4 better than the 165/2.8 and about the same as the 165/4 LS.

If you have the funds I would get the 200/4 as well as one of the two165 mm lenses.

Phil.
02-22-2018, 05:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
I have always found the 165 f2.8 to be optically superior to the 200 f4. Sharper, better contrast, just more satisfying results
Thanks! That's exactly what I'm looking for.

Cjf

---------- Post added 02-22-18 at 06:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I have both but don't use them much, I mostly shoot the 45/4 (fantastic focal length) or 75/4.5 - I don't have the 90 or 105. The 165/2.8 provides a brighter focussing screen (something I appreciate with my 6x7 MLU micro-prism screen) and I feel it is easier to handle. Something to think about though, is that lenses beyond 200mm become more of a handful, (from what I gather the 300mm is just-about hand-holdable). Therefore if you'd like more reach than the 165, the 200 might be a better choice but the 165's faster aperture is significant.
I'm shocked at how well that 67 handles with a 45mm lens on it. Amazing balance for something so big. I'm not looking for anything long. Which ever one of these I get will be my portrait lens.

Cjf

---------- Post added 02-22-18 at 06:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
I have both of those lenses and love 'em both, but I will say that the 200/4 is a big lens--not particularly heavy, but long enough that it can be a hassle to keep it mounted, depending on your bag. On the upside, it seems to be absurdly underpriced, so you really wouldn't be risking much if you did decide to pass it on later. Another benefit is that it lets you frame a bit tighter than the 165/2.8, which, as with the 105/2.4, limits your portrait possibilities (unless you use an extension ring.)


As for optical qualities, I'll let the folks with more experience chime in--though I must say that your experience with the 77 and 135/1.8 sets the bar pretty high.
Again, this is what I'm looking for, and I appreciate your answer. One of the HUGE differences between the 135/1.8 and the 77 is that the 77 is small and light; the K70 is fast and precise with it. The 135 is the size and weight of a small truck. You kinda hang the K70 off of it, rather than vica versa.

The more of this I hear from all ya'll, the better the 165 sounds.

Cjf

---------- Post added 02-22-18 at 06:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Maybe a better question would be, which is better, the 200 or the 165 LS? The LS is short and handles well. It is a sharp lens as well.
Hadn't really considered it, because it's more than double the price and I just don't do any flash work, which I thought was it's primary fuction.

Cjf

---------- Post added 02-22-18 at 06:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Also which 200/4 are you referring to? The last version of the 200/4 (77 mm filter thread) is what you want to get.

I actually like the 200/4 better than the 165/2.8 and about the same as the 165/4 LS.

If you have the funds I would get the 200/4 as well as one of the two165 mm lenses.

Phil.
Hi Phil,

Yes, the final version of the 200/4. And buy them both -- don't think I'm not considering it!

Cjf
02-22-2018, 06:53 PM   #8
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Pentax 200mm F/4 SMC Late Lens For Pentax 6X7 Series {77} at KEH Camera Store


FWIW, I think it's the 165/4 LS that will remind you most of the form factor of your 45/4 if that's important to you--and it's a lens that certainly has a good reputation for sharpness in a lot of different applications.

02-22-2018, 07:33 PM   #9
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I had the 67 generation of the 200/4. It's optics were updated from the 6x7 generation. It is a sharp lens. I never understood the housing design of that lens. On one hand you can say the huge recess of the front element makes for a builtin lens hood. But once you add a filter then all that changes. So on the other hand why make the housing so dang long and hence a more bulky lens when they could have done the same as the 165/2.8; namely, a retractable, builtin lens hood and a more compact lens.
02-22-2018, 07:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
I think it's the 165/4 LS that will remind you most of the form factor of your 45/4 if that's important to you--and it's a lens that certainly has a good reputation for sharpness in a lot of different applications.
That's true. It is a solid performer, just the weight is a constant reminder up against the diddly-squat form of the 45mm f4, which is my standard go-to lens for landscape, if only it were available in f2.8!

Be it noted also that mirror lock-up cannot be used in LS mode on this (165mm) lens, but it can be used on the smaller 90mm LS.


QuoteOriginally posted by cjfeola Quote
I'm shocked at how well that 67 handles with a 45mm lens on it. Amazing balance for something so big. I'm not looking for anything long. Which ever one of these I get will be my portrait lens.
For portraiture, get the 75mm f2.8AL (another lens which balances the P67 perfectly when standing it on a table) to highlight every fold, bulge, wrinkle and wart, or fall back to the little brother 75mm f4.

---------- Post added 23rd Feb 2018 at 01:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Maybe a better question would be, which is better, the 200 or the 165 LS? The LS is short and handles well. It is a sharp lens as well.
True dinks it is sharp, but the 165LS ... is ... heavy.
02-22-2018, 08:42 PM - 1 Like   #11
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My favorite 67 200/4 picture from the archives and it was handhold too.

Prior gen of TXP


02-22-2018, 08:55 PM   #12
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I don't have the 165, but I do have the (newer) 200. It's actually not as heavy as it seems it should be on appearance, and it handles quite well. My favorite portrait focal length on 645 or 6x6 is 180mm, so the 200 seemed a better option to me than the 165. If you intend to do portraits with studio flash, or with fill flash outdoors, your decision is made: Get the 165LS.

As to sharpness, for portraits it's not really that important--the 200 is plenty sharp enough. For landscapes, it's more demanding, and I use it at f/11 or f/16 to get enough depth of field for any scene that has something closer than about 200 feet to the camera (or so it seems). That's not really a problem with the 45--depth of field is as good as it gets with the 6x7 format. But with long lenses, depth of field requirements for generally sharp landscapes will be demanding. They will test your tripod, too. Bring a big one.

EDIT: Well, so much for my own memory. I was just looking through that part of my camera closet, and found that I owned both the Takumar and the latest SMC Pentax 200mm lenses, and also the 165/2.8. Go figure. I don't believe I have ever made a photo with the 165. I don't recall specific images with the older 200, but the presence of the newer one does suggest something that my memory is not dredging up. I own well over a hundred lenses--I guess these two got away from me! When my 645z arrives, which will be in a month or two (I'm waiting on my wife to finish paying for it--it's a birthday present), I'll be able to test these more carefully, at least in the center.

Rick "not a clear answer" Denney

Last edited by rdenney; 02-22-2018 at 10:41 PM.
02-23-2018, 12:46 AM   #13
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Hello

I have the 135Macro, 165/2,8 and the 200/4 - in most cases I take the 165 with me and leave the others at home. For both non-Macros you should look an extension Ring I - minimum distance of the lens ist often too short.
02-23-2018, 03:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
For portraiture, get the 75mm f2.8AL (another lens which balances the P67 perfectly when standing it on a table) to highlight every fold, bulge, wrinkle and wart, or fall back to the little brother 75mm f4.

---------- Post added 23rd Feb 2018 at 01:51 PM ----------

Really! Don't you find the 75 kinda wide for a portrait lens? Sounds amazing; I'm off to read about it and check out the samples.

Cjf

---------- Post added 02-23-18 at 04:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
EDIT: Well, so much for my own memory. I was just looking through that part of my camera closet, and found that I owned both the Takumar and the latest SMC Pentax 200mm lenses, and also the 165/2.8. Go figure. I don't believe I have ever made a photo with the 165. I don't recall specific images with the older 200, but the presence of the newer one does suggest something that my memory is not dredging up. I own well over a hundred lenses--I guess these two got away from me! When my 645z arrives, which will be in a month or two (I'm waiting on my wife to finish paying for it--it's a birthday present), I'll be able to test these more carefully, at least in the center.

Rick "not a clear answer" Denney
Ha! I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you!!! I don't have 100 lenses, but I have...bags full of them. Hard to say which is more annoying; finding lenses I'd forgotten, or finding a different lens from the one I'm looking for and realizing I'd traded the latter for the former in 1987...

cjf

---------- Post added 02-23-18 at 04:40 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by klaus123 Quote
Hello

I have the 135Macro, 165/2,8 and the 200/4 - in most cases I take the 165 with me and leave the others at home. For both non-Macros you should look an extension Ring I - minimum distance of the lens ist often too short.
Thanks! Again, this is what I'm looking for because this is the way I shoot. I tend to settle on one ultrawide and one short tele/portrait, and then use them 99 percent of the time...

Cjf
02-23-2018, 05:17 PM   #15
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There is also an old hidden gem the Takumar 6x7 150/2.8. It's also the closest to the Fa77/1.8 (on FF) in field of view.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-Takumar-6x7-Macro-150mm-F2.8-Lens.html

A great portrait lens as well.

Phil.
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