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07-13-2009, 07:46 AM   #16
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Pentax A 70-210 F4.0

This isn't a prime lens but will certainly complement your kit lens. It's only downside is that it's a manual focus lens, but can usually be found in the slightly above $200 range. It is MUCH superior to the DA 50-200, which I found to be not very good (I owned 2). I got the "A" 70-210 (There is an also a "F" 70-210 which is auto focus but not as good a lens...get the "A" if you can)
The "A" 70-210 also has a "Macro" function that is true not 1:1 macro, but allows you to get a decent close focus.
Some samples:
close up of my neighbor's patio umbrella from my kitchen window


Kite sailor


"Bleeding Hearts"


"Macro" function


You will find it impossible to find a similar quality lens new for anything under twice the price.

NaCl(it's almost always in my bag)H2O


Last edited by NaClH2O; 07-13-2009 at 09:42 AM. Reason: left out the "not" in the macro description :o
07-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #17
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Venturing somewhat off-topic, but I'd be interested to see a side by side comparison of the 70-210 against the DA50-200. I hear great things about the 70-210, and those are very nice shots, to be sure. But I don't know that I've ever seen anything that is obviously better than what I'm accustomed to from my 50-200 (although the constant f/4 would be nice!). Although I might have an especially good copy of the 50-200. Here is a 100% crop from my K200D:

07-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #18
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Hi Marc

I didn't intentionally badmouth the DA 50-200. I should have said:
"I've found the Pentax A 70-210 to be MUCH better than either of the two DA 50-200s I've owned."
I realize that there are a lot of ppl out there who own DA 50-200s and find them to be excellent lenses. The Pentax "A" is a faster lens at constant F4 and more important to my style of shooting, has a better (to my eye anyway) bokeh. The first DA I owned had slight de-centering issues, and bad front focus. The second one I owned had slight back focus issues and a much stiffer than normal zoom. I also was never happy with the with the whole output of the lens. As your great bird shot attests, the lens is plenty sharp enough, but for me there is a whole lot more to lens output than just sharpness. Bokeh, color rendition, contrast and the totally subjective "lens signature" are also important to me.
I would be more than willing to do a "shootout" between the two lenses, but unfortunately I no longer own a DA 50-200.

NaCl(but I love my 70-210)H2O
07-13-2009, 01:29 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I didn't intentionally badmouth the DA 50-200. I should have said:
"I've found the Pentax A 70-210 to be MUCH better than either of the two DA 50-200s I've owned."
Oh, don't worry about that. I was not (just) defending the 50-200; I'm honestly curious about the A70-210/4 because an f/4 zoom could be quite useful to me in some situations. I know I'd be giving up AF (which is iffy in most of the situations where f/4 would be the most useful), but I'm concerned about the whole SR focal length thing. I'd be more willing to put up with it if I knew it really would give me significantly better IQ as well as the extra stop of speed. My M200/4 doesn't - it's basically interchangeable with the DA50-200 in IQ.

QuoteQuote:
but for me there is a whole lot more to lens output than just sharpness. Bokeh, color rendition, contrast and the totally subjective "lens signature" are also important to me.
Understood. Less so to me, as PP tends to smooth out these differences to my eyes, plus I'm just not as sensitive to those issues. And they're pretty subjective, too - I actually like the 50-200 bokeh. Anyhow, that's why seeing comparison images would be valuable to me. Maybe someday someone will do this...

07-13-2009, 01:56 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenhreed Quote
Is a Super Takumar a Pentax lens? Is there a website that will explain how I can tell by looking at a picture of a lens what it is? ( I understand that some lenses are easier than others to identify, for example, when Pentax FA is written on the side.) There are lens on Craiglist that aren't described much beyond a picture and "this lens came with the camera" so I don't know whether I'm missing a bargain or buying a pig in a poke.
Thanks again
The Takumars also were mostly screw mount (M42) lenses.
If you can ask them for additional photos of the front (for markings) and the side where the aperture ring is (to know exactly largest lens opening and if it has an "A" setting after f22 or smallest aperture opening, and also of the mount (where you can see if it is actually a screw mount-M42, a regular K-mount, or one with "A" contacts, or more electrical contacts for AF or autofocusing).
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