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SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM

Sharpness 
 9.4
Aberrations 
 9.2
Bokeh 
 9.3
Autofocus 
 8.7
Handling 
 9.3
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
54 252,253 Fri June 9, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $1,218.36 9.60
SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM

SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM
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SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM
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Description:
Like all current DA lenses, the SMC Pentax DA* 60-250mm is designed only for Pentax DSLR cameras. It was announced in late February, 2007. It auto-focuses with an SDM ultrasonic motor on the K10D (firmware 1.30) and newer cameras. On older cameras the lens will auto-focus with the 'screw drive' mechanism.

SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades
Optics
15 elements, 13 groups
Mount Variant
KAF2
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor or screwdrive)
SDM
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
110 cm
Max. Magnification
0.15x
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 26.5-6.5 ° / 23-5.5 °
Hood
PH-RBK 67 mm
Case
S100-200
Lens Cap
O-LC67
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (AW)
Other Features
AF/MF Switch,Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
81 x 168 mm (3.2 x 6.6 in.)
Weight
1040 g (36.7 oz.)
Production Years
2007 to Present
Pricing
$1014 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA* 1:4 60-250mm ED [IF] SDM
Product Code
21750
Notes
Two ED elements.

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusSupersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Buy the SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 54
New Member

Registered: August, 2016
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, excellent max. aperture, weather resistance, bokeh
Cons: bit heavy, expensive, not too reliable SDM
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

After modification the image circle can cover the 135 full frame! and the weather resistance and autofocus are still fully functional. Extra range from 60-250mm is more useful than typical 70-200mm.

It can make a good balance on K-1 and has enough resolution for the 36MP sensor.

Below is my review blog with large size photos:
http://iplaylens.blogspot.hk/2017/06/pentax-da-60-250mm-f4-sdm.html
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Alps
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: November 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,295.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, sharpness, contrast, colors, CA, silent AF, relatively lightweight, great range of focals...
Cons: external zooming, autofocus could be faster
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3 II, k-30   

Used mainly for sports (Rafting, mountain bike, ski...) and nature / wildlife.
I absolutely love this lens, stunning IQ, and relatively lightweight for what it is.
I've also owned the HD 55-300 and there's no comparison in IQ, especially in difficult light conditions. And the autofocus is way better than the small 55-300 which misses a lot more in same context.

Downsides for me are :
1) external zooming
2) autofocus is just OK (some of the best Pentax I guess, better than the 50-135, though I'd hope more from the 70-200 f/2.8 for example, and no match to other big brands).
But honestly nothing serious !

It prices in between the Tamron 70-200 (good lower price alternative it seems but I've never tried it, a friend of mine loves it) and the big Pentax FA* 70-200.

Lastly, I do not own it any more because I've been very unlucky it seems (as only one other person on the forum seem to have experienced my problem) : the focus system failed me twice under guarantee, the same way on two different copies.. see my forum post.
So after that misadventure, I've quickly (and I have to say, wrongly) acquired the HD 55-300 in replacement, which is nice for what it is but clearly not an alternative to the 60-250, it's another class.

I'm now yearning for the FA*... but it could also be a third 60-250 ! Still undecided. (price, IQ/AF improvement, FF, huge weight vs. external zooming, f/2.8 vs f/4...).
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 205
Lens Review Date: October 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: versatile, good quality
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3II   

This is a versatile lens for sports, the range lets you cover the entire width of the field for soccer, football and such. It has some focus breathing but it's only noticeable for very close distances and especially at 250 (almost but not quite 400mm equivalent on 35mm); if the subject is across the field, 250mm really helps and focus breathing is not an issue.
AF tracking works nicely assuming camera settings are right for the situation, but point-to-point af could be a little faster. f4 is fast enough for me, especially since image quality is solid at max aperture, but it is a little softer at 250mm. If you are able to stay under 200mm, no worries at all. Using the lens hood is a must, the lens doesn't flare badly but it is no hd prime either.
Mounted on the k3ii with no battery grip it is hand holdable and it's small enough to move quickly, but not if you are planning to keep it to your eye constantly. I need to look around anyway for what's going on on the the field, so I find using it with no mono/tripod just fine.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 310

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great balance of size, weight, speed , range
Cons: none!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

This is the best lens I have ever used. I love it more than Pentax Limiteds and any other lens I have seen. It's the perfect size for a telephoto, which can be carrtied all day. I have never used the collar and do not see a reason to use that. It might not look like a "walkaround lens" when in city, but in the field, or at zoo, etc it might be it.
The lens can safely be left wide open and the bokeh is great for the range, Sharpness and colors are great too.
Like every other zoom you may sometimes hit the reach limits, but really not often. All in all, if you have not tested it, and reading this, it means you need the lens! Go and buy one
   
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,313
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, image quality, sharpness, bokeh
Cons: None for me.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

This is a very high quality lens. The AF has been faultless on my K-3, and the image quality is superb. It is reasonably heavy, but quite hand holdable for long periods for me. Being only f4 has not been an issue for me with the type of photography that I enjoy doing. The " All Weather " sealing makes this lens very safe and pleasing to use in all conditions.. When combined with the Pentax HD DA 1.4x AW rear converter, this lens becomes even more versatile. I can highly recommend the DA* 60-250 as a wonderful addition to your photographic equipment.

   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 63

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A star * 300mm - but zooming.
Cons: It's not under 100 grams
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5IIS, K3 and K-1   

Read the other threads here under - I loved it now just more!
Now a new lens Fully FF as described here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/304092-da-60-250-mod-ff.html


Link does not work? - Copy and paste it in the address field above.

A real tele on the K3 and a Master on the K-1.


/Gutta Perka
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Gloucester
Posts: 1,091
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Relatively light and compact; Renders well, Fairly close focussing
Cons: Autofocus could be faster
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

I have had this lens for a few years now, and without doubt it is my favourite Pentax lens, narrowly pipping the 77mm f1.8 Limited. It has a very useful focal range, and focuses fairly close, too. And it is very sharp, even wide open. Although it is designated as a APS-C lens, I have found that it works very well on the full-frame K-1 body, with only a little vignetting at the longer focal lengths. The vignetting is small, but quite noticeable at 250mm, reducing with focal length. I didn't do any specific tests to see when the vignetting actually disappears, but it seems to be all but gone at 120 mm at f5.6, as evidenced by the photograph below. In all cases, it will allow a much larger crop than just APS-C sized. The bokeh on the lens is quite pleasing, though I don't tend to use it in situations where background blur is particularly important.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: April 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp telezoom, low CA, silent AF, water resist.
Cons: not so big aperture, sharpnes loss @60&250mm, lazy AF, overpriced new
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

So I bought a copy for a fairly reasonable price, so I can not say that I was disappointed lens. But I would not buy it at the price of "B&H". Someone having more fat wallet may think otherwise. In relation to the optical lens is almost perfect. This "almost" means that if you want to get razor-sharp picture on the extreme focus, you need to stopped down the aperture (at f/5.6 it perfect). Autofocus is very quiet and smooth, thanks to the SDM. But it is more thoughtful than I would like - you can miss the object, if it is very fast. Aperture just slightly out of reach entirely comfortable number, so bokeh can not qualify for a high score, despite the long focal lengths. Just because of this, we will have to increase the ISO in low light conditions. Size and weight are not a problem - they are quite reasonable for such a lens. Size and weight are not a problem - they are quite reasonable for such a lens. In general, the lens is quite compact and reliable made, comfortable to use. There is no backlash.
I also should mention that this is the second instance, which I held in my hands, when I bought it. The first was an internal defect because of which he could not focus to infinity at a focal length 135mm. Something jammed inside so that the focus stop 15 meters. I had to return it to the owner. The second proved to work, and I hope to do a lot of good photos this summer.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Hanoi
Posts: 198
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: good build, WR
Cons: autofocus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

It would be a great statue in the museum of zoom lenses systems. However, the speed of autofocus need to be improved. I would expect to the next generation DFA 70-200 f2.8.

Rock concert 2014 - Battle ship, on Flickr


Rock concert 2014 - Battle ship, on Flickr


5C, on Flickr


5C, on Flickr


5C, on Flickr


Oringchain, on Flickr


paragliding, on Flickr


paragliding, on Flickr


paragliding, on Flickr


paragliding , on Flickr
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Carlisle Cumbria England
Posts: 66
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light for focal length, sharpness, size, ergonomics
Cons: Autofocus not the best for fast action
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

I don't normally bother writing reviews but, I can't let this lens get a bad rap!
For a four and a bit times zoom it is simply fabulous! The range is far more useful than a 70-210 and no doubt sharper than the latter with a 1.4 convertor. One of the Jewels in the Ricoh/Pentax crown.
Add the HD tc to this lens and you have a very versatile and high quality set up.
Thoroughly recommend!
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Constant f/4
Cons: Sharpness at 250
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I am not very impressed with 60-250 as I expected more from a "star" lens.
I bought it as a second "walk around" lens to my sigma 17-70 (C). Sigma is a way sharper at similar focal length. And as a telephoto lens I expected it to be better on a long end, but no, it is not quite sharp at 250 mm.
Auto-focus is not quite fast, tend to miss. Maybe I need it serviced up or maybe my copy is not the best.
On the other hand 60-250 delivers bright contrast photos, handles easily and is a real joy to use. Frankly I don't know is it marginally better than 55-300 or not. The latter is smaller, lighter and reaches 300.









   
New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Manchester
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good colour and contrast throughout.
Cons: Difference in FOV between 200-250 almost unnoticeable.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5iis   

I wanted another high-quality telephoto that could take me beyond the 200mm that my full-frame set up gives me. My travel-light system being Pentax K-5s and FA Limiteds, I researched this lens extensively and got one very cheap on Ebay, in mint condition. Yesterday, in North of England winter light, I took indoor and outdoor shots in not so promising conditions and I was delighted with the results. The lens is responsive, sharp, with great colour and contrast. It's at its best at f5.6 though f4 is fine, if you're careful. My only disappointment-and perhaps this would have been true of alternatives-is that the FOV between 200mm and 250mm is almost imperceptible-negating some of the reason for buying it. Seeing as the lens IQ is weakest at 250mm, it has affectively become a 60 to 200mm on APS-C for me. This begs the question whether I wouldn't have been better off getting a Sigma or Tamron 70-200mm. I think the size and heft would have been that bit too much. In my modestly sized Kata traveller side-mounted camera bag I can have the 60-250 attached to a K-5 standing on the lens end and have another K-5 with a FA31 attached and a couple more primes underneath, with my Ricoh GR in one of the side pockets. I have an incredibly capable and diverse set up with acceptable if not exactly light weight and hardly bothersome size.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2011
Location: Richland, Washington, USA
Posts: 876
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 4x zoom, sharp, bokeh, etc, etc
Cons: Well, it doesn't focus real close, but that's pretty picky.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5IIs   

Finally, after more than a year of hemming and hawing, I bought this lens. As I've seen posted so many times before, what was I waiting for . This lens replaces my DA 55-300, which is a pretty good lens in it's own right, but can't compare with the DA 60-250. The lens is sharp wide open and the bokeh is very smooth and creamy. It's heavier than the 55-300, but I didn't feel it as much as I feared I might. This and the DA 16-50 will be my 2 lens kit for travelling.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,696

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: contrast, colour, sharpness, tripod foot, good range
Cons: small amounts of CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5iis   

I got what I paid for. Excellent general telephoto zoom.

I have previously had/tried the FA 28-200mm, DA 50-200mm, DA 55-300mm and briefly the Tamron 70-300mm. The DA 55-300mm is a good lens, but the AF drove me crazy. The Tamron has PF issues, the 50-200mm is good at mid-range, but is a bit short and slow, and the FA has a lot of distortion issues.

The lens is very sharp from F4, required no focus adjustment on my camera (unlike the 18-135mm), and the micro-contrast and colours remind me of the FA 43mm. There is no creep, the MF override works well. The zoom control is a little small, but works fine. There is a little purple CA, and I have also seen yellow/blue edges, depending on the angle. Generally very well controlled, though.

My copy was bought second-hand off a reluctant seller, and has slightly squeaky AF, and the ridge that the lens hood clips onto on the barrel of the lens has been partially broken. None of which seem to affect the operation of the AF or prevent me from using a hood.

The removable foot works well, I use a black-rapid sling strap on mine, which makes me a little nervous, given the whole thing is attached by one screw, but makes travel very comfortable.

Taking the foot off, I am able to use the K-5IIs and the lens hand-held in good to reasonable light. The weight also means that I often turn off the shake reduction and am comfortable shooting down to 1/160th.
I don't carry things around for long these days, so by the time a couple of hours has gone by when carrying without a strap, my arm is getting tired.

It's a touch short for birds, but very good for larger animals. The AF is adequate (and a lot faster and quieter than the 55-300!).
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2014
Location: St Petersburg
Posts: 372
Lens Review Date: March 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, Killer with a 1.4xTC, Color, Crisp, FAST SDM
Cons: Can't make coffee, hunts a bit in low light, but better than manual results!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K#   

Had an 80-200FA*, downsized. Better AF, half the weight, more range. IQ same, Tammy PZ 1.4TC doesn't hurt IQ. Cant wait till HD PTX 1.4x arrives next week.

B+W UV 1x sufficient cover.

Handholds a bit touchy @350mm, but not the lens fault, SR perfect in K3 for it...

Got it from AUTH dealer NEW - USE the sponsors unless you have a need not too. Worth the few % points... US/ CD Auth is the only way to go... (Depending on where you live)...
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Buy the SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM



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