Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Lens Review Database » Film Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » A Prime Lenses
SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF] Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]

Sharpness 
 9.5
Aberrations 
 8.5
Bokeh 
 9.0
Handling 
 9.0
Value 
 10.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 51,606 Fri July 6, 2018
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $8,833.33 9.67
SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]

SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]
supersize

Description:
This is the the longest non-mirror extreme-telephoto lens ever made by Pentax. Manual focus, auto aperture.

SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED[IF]
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades
Optics
9 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
KA
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F8
Min. Aperture
F45
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
800 cm
Max. Magnification
0.23x
Filter Size
150 mm (Rear: 49 mm)
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 1.4 ° / 1.1 °
Full frame: 2.1 ° / 1.7 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Dedicated trunk case
Lens Cap
Leather
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Drop-in Filter Holder,Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
170 x 684 mm
Weight
8580 g
Production Years
1986 to 2000
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A* 1:8 1200mm ED[IF]
Product Code
24970
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Two ED elements.
Features:
Manual FocusInternal FocusingBuilt-in HoodAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-3 of 3
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Blunsdon,Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 1,226

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 6, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $6,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp if you can nail the focus, great for distant subjects
Cons: Very,very heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3ii/K-5   

I have fitted a 200mm Arca Swiss plate to the lens and it now balances when fitted to my gimbal head

Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED [IF] by Gary Chalker, on Flickr


Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED [IF] by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED [IF] by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Next to a Sigma 500mm F4.5 EX DG
Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED [IF]/ Sigma 500mm F4.5 EX DG by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Homemade Neoprene lenscoat.
Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED[IF] by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Size comparison between Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED ( IF) , Sigma 800mm F5.6 APO EX, Pentax FA*600mm F4 ED (lF)

Pentax lenses by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

First test shot K-3ii
F10
Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED [IF] test shot by Gary Chalker, on Flickr


K-5 F18

Wood pigeon by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Wood pigeon by Gary Chalker, on Flickr


Lockheed U-2 by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Lockheed U-2 by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

K-5 F11 400 yards

Boat from 400 yards by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Slight crop. Just over half a mile away
Lockheed U-2S ,80-1094/BB by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Uncropped. Just over half a mile away
Lockheed U-2S ,80-1094/BB by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Guimbal Cabri G2 Tail Rotor by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Control tower by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

B-52H bomber, 60-0032/LA by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

On an aerial frame on top of a 6 storey building

Peregrine Falcon by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

juvenile Peregrine by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Peregrine Falcon juvenile by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Pentax K-5/Pentax A*1200mm F8 ED [IF] + Pentax Rear Converter-A 1.4x-L giving 2520mm.

Moon by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Moon by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Moon by Gary Chalker, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: France
Posts: 804

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 12, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $11,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good sharpness wide open, few CA, high contrast
Cons: No AF, F8 is a bit on the slow side - but relatively fast for a 1200 mm
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5iis   

Got this lens yesterday and tested it carefully all day on my K5iis
Sharpness is good wide open, slightly improves stopped down, sweet spot seems to be at f9.5 (1/2 stop from wide open).
Very few lateral CA.
Contrast at a very high level wide open, increases the impression IQ.
Some bokeh fringing wide open (magenta halo for objects before the focus plane, green halo for those beyond).
Don't think about stopping it beyond f11 (1 stop from wide open) diffraction will eat your IQ.
Relatively easy to handle for a 1200 lens, but don't think you'll be able to use it handheld
You must carefully avoid any vibration, even a high end tripod couldn't be sufficient, and this thing is sensitive to Wind. For me my main usage will be in a hide, the lens lying on a rice bag to stabilize it.
For the bokeh, typical long focal, but subjects near the focal plane doesn't render as with a FA43 for instance, they are a bit nervous.
Still have to test it on the field.
Edit as of 24 October 2013
Got quickly outstanding shots with the lens; I'm used to 600 mm lenses, used with converters sometimes, this helps. Sharpness is excellent if you are able to carefully avoid any vibration of the lens. SR doesn't help, results seem worse with SR on (SR range is limited to 800 mm anyway on the K5). Best results with lens lying on a double rice bag. Some blue fringing in contra light situation, or with pure white birds like egrets, could be annoying. In good light conditions very sharp indeed

Crop of the head

Note that it is not possible to have the whole bird in focus; depth of field is 4 cm only here at 12 m f11
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Posts: 3,294

10 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 7, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $9,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Results, build quality, usability for such a focal length
Cons: Cost, Weight

There are two reactions when someone sees this lens. One group thinks that you must be able to take unreal pictures with ease (not the case), and the other group offers advice on how to take advantage of the capabilities of this lens (thanks!).

I would highly recommend anyone thinking of buying a lens over 300mm to read the following post (the A*1200 is 23X compared with the 25X telescopes listed);

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/29502-tips-usi...s-like-c5.html


First the challenges:

Long lenses can be extremely difficult to use. Pressing the shutter button can cause shake to continue for 3 seconds or longer, ruining a good shot. Trying to find your target takes a lot of practice and taking a shot at reasonably close range wide open can create the area of focus to be less than a centimeter (half an inch). You can have a birdís eye in focus and the beak blurred. Good luck if the bird moves, which they do constantly.

This is also a heavy lens, which requires a heavy tripod and support. Expect to invest on a tripod and head, which can support the weight. If you take into account the challenges, how are you going to track that duck moving or even adjust for the moon (it can move out of frame due to the earth's rotation from the time you setup, focus, and hit the 2 second timer), let alone nail a shot of an eagle if you are only using a studio tripod? I can pack it and the tripod a ways by folding the legs and resting it on my shoulder, but I am not going on a hike and I am in reasonable shape. The lens weighs almost 19 pounds and then you need to add the tripod and head.

Now the positive:

The clarity, crispness and saturation are superb for any lens, let alone one that is a huge distance from its subject. CA/Purple Fringing are ridiculously controlled for such a lens. The reality is that there is no other Pentax lens that can capture shots where the subject is difficult to get close to, in as high quality as this lens. Adjusted to todayís dollar, this is a $30,000 lens and there is a reason for it. Anything over 500mm canít use regular glass and correct fringing. This lens uses low dispersion glass, which at this size took forever to produce, creating few copies at huge cost.

Build quality is unbelievable; it is built like a tank. Focusing is smooth and quick, and it feels right when using such a large monster of a lens. If you have read the post I provided earlier in this review, you can understand what it might be like finding a moving target at this focal length. With this lens, and the right tripod, I have been able to track wind surfers and birds in flight with limited trouble. It is well balanced and fast to focus.

I really enjoy using this lens. It delivers shots that are in much better shape than could be possible with cropping. Expensive yes, but worth it.



Add Review of SMC Pentax-A* 1200mm F8 ED [IF]



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:47 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top