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01-07-2014, 07:24 AM   #1
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Pentax m 200

Hello, I have just recently got back into serious photography and purchased a K3 with an 18-135mm.

I also have just also bought a smc M 1:4 200mm lens off ebay that is in perfect condition inside and out visually, I was so happy it was pristine looking.

Oh dear, then i took some pics and the quality is very poor. I tried all the apertures, fast shutter speeds, very careful support and squeezing the button, for not pretty results.

Anyone that thinks they may know the problem, I'd like to hear from?

Hopefully I have attached 2 sample pics, but this is a first attempt

Thanks for looking


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01-07-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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If you shoot manual lenses in AV mode, they will be wide open no matter how you set your aperture. Try exposing in M mode at different f-stops, and use the Green button to take stopped-down meter readings.
01-07-2014, 09:18 AM   #3
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And if you cant get the lens to work right, remember you can return it. Even if your seller did not offer a return privilege - Ebay will refund your money if you file a "Item not as described" report.

I have an old Sears 80-200 zoom that works very well when used as boblivious described in the post above.

Last edited by Sam Dennis; 01-07-2014 at 09:20 AM. Reason: added
01-07-2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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And if you used a tripod, did you turn off the "anti shake" thing?

01-07-2014, 11:21 AM   #5
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That second image looks horrible but might just be horrible OoF bokeh. As @boblivious has already pointed out, if you shot Av mode the lens will be wide open, so you need to use M and green button with manual lenses. But that is not material for now as even wide open the lens should probably be better than that. Remove any filter elements added to the lens and do some simple checks looking through the lens for haze/clouding (but sound like you've done that already).

I suggest you try shot a brick wall or paving at an angle so you can see and check if you are getting sharp manual focus at some point. Then try shot stopped down to f/8. You should then have some very good sharpness, otherwise you likely have a lens problem.

It could be that lens elements have shifted out of true or been re-assemblied incorrectly.
01-07-2014, 11:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sam Dennis Quote
And if you used a tripod, did you turn off the "anti shake" thing?
Good point. Also, and perhaps more important, did you set the focal length for the manual lens when you mounted it..? Perhaps best to just turn Shake Reduction off for testing and use a tripod, but if it was set incorrect it might be introducing SR image blur...
01-07-2014, 11:36 AM   #7
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And as another thought - have you enabled the aperture ring in the menus?
01-07-2014, 11:50 AM   #8
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Regarding the M 200mm:
a) Yep, make sure that you have Aperture Ring Enabled in the camera Menu
b) If the Camera asks you to input focal length, input 200mm, no "crop factor multiplication"
c) Try turning off SR and shooting in M mode. Av mode has continuous metering, but it will not stop down the lens and wide open, most lenses are poor. So turn mode dial to M and turn off Auto ISO. SR can be very helpful in dark conditions when handholding, but in bright light it can actually "soften" the image. The softening is very slight, but for a pixel peeper it might be noticeable.
d) Set the aperture on the lens to f8 and press green button for the camera to stop down and meter, thus adjusting the shutter speed.
e) Shutter speeds under 1/350 will probably show some handshake blur if you aren't using a tripod (depending on how steady your hands are and if SR is enabled)
f) Make sure you remove any filters on the lens for these tests. And you should put on a lens hood, these can greatly improve older optics (since they had relatively poor multicoating back then, at least compared to modern lenses which are optimized for digital)

Edit: Tests should be done with a steady tripod and 2 sec timer enabled. And you should re-focus multiple times, to eliminate that as the problem (try focusing in live view also, and maybe CiF). And don't be afraid to try this lens at f11 and f14

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-07-2014 at 11:56 AM.
01-07-2014, 12:00 PM   #9
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If this is not a SR thing as some suggest than something is very wrong with your lens. I have one as well and mine is very sharp, even at f/4.
01-07-2014, 01:08 PM   #10
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Looking at the photos, I would suggest that something is not right with the lens. I own the Pentax-M 200/4 and it is a decent optic. I would suspect a missing element or an element installed backward as part of a botched service attempt. It is also possible that there is gross fungus contamination or significant scoring to the rear or one of the internal elements. Here are a few examples of what the Pentax-M 200/4 is capable of...

On tripod with SR disabled

Hand-held with SR enabled

Both taken with a K10D. I don't remember the taking aperture. Hope this helps.

01-07-2014, 01:29 PM   #11
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What's Wrong With This Picture?

Hello Carl, Welcome to the Forum!
I agree with the general consensus, something's wrong with the lens. Assuming you're not using a filter, extended the built-in lens hood (very handy, nice long hood, works great for reducing flare), no camera shake and the camera/sensor are OK, it's the glass itself.
The first photo has some pretty ugly artifacts in the background, particularly the left side. I won't call it bokeh, it's not.
The second shot appears to have a ghostly fringing around most objects, a general 'haze' or softened glow.
Both look like they were taken through a dirty window, for lack of a better description! I also own an M 200mm f/4.0. It's not my sharpest tele, but decent wide open and pretty sharp stopped down. My guess is a de-centered element, bad focusing alignment or haze/fog/fungus on (probably) the rear element.
Try a few shots in Manual exposure mode, stopped down (green button) just to see any difference. But I suspect it's time to start packing it up for a refund.
JMO, good luck,
01-07-2014, 04:46 PM   #12
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Thank you for all your replies, I just woke up and have not tried any of your advice yet, but I definitely will.

Just to clarify things for everyone, here's some more details

I think the lens was in AV mode the whole time, but I also took better pics with my 18-135 with a cheap old 2x tele at 270mm. I will try different modes, Thanks.

I did leave the SR on and hand hold the shots, I also have a similar lens the 135mm takumar F 2.5 and it works fine.

I did set the focal length for the lens correctly and enable the aperture ring.

There has been no filter on the lens and the hood was extended.

The lens when it arrived very well packed from Japan was/is immaculately clean and new looking, no clouding, fungus, scratches or anything else can be seen looking through the lens. I think rbefly has a good point, it may have been cleaned and reassembled incorrectly or been faulty from day one, and that could be why it is in like new condition.

Thanks for the sample pics Stevebrot, if I could pay to have the lens fixed it would not bother me, as I like the lens in every other way.

I'll be back after more testing. Thanks again everyone.

Carl :-)
01-07-2014, 07:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Here are a few examples of what the Pentax-M 200/4 is capable of...
Excellent examples, Steve... better than mine can do, I think. I'm sending mine to Eric for CLA with some other lenses, so that might help.
01-08-2014, 06:03 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Hi Carl,

I believe I'm the one that sold you the lens.

I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing issues with the lens.

I can assure you that I did a complete test of the lens before I listed it for sale on eBay. All the lenses I sell go through a complete check when I purchase them and I clean and repair where necessary. I then adjust the infinity focus and test the exposure after re-assembly.

Now, having said that, there is always a possibility that I missed something as I'm only human and make mistakes now and then. If after going through the checks that other forum members have suggested and you still find the lens not functioning properly, please return it and I will give you a full refund including the return postage.

Best regards,
01-08-2014, 10:20 PM   #15
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Yes Tom

Yes Tom you are right, I was trying to sort it out before contacting you as I am new to Dslr's. (I didn't know you were on here lol)

The lens is like new and was packed so safely, I even got it here in 3 days from paying (Japan to Australia) so i'm more than happy with your service & guessed you would sort the issue if needed.

I'll check if I can sort it out and get back to you. I haven't had much time, maybe because my new Tamron 90mm 2.8 marco arrived

Cheers Carl

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