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SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6

Reviews Views Date of last review
13 65,574 Sun April 18, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
69% of reviewers $50.25 6.31
SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6

SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6
SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6

This telephoto lens is similar to its F-series predecessor.

SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 8 blades
11 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
110 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 20-8.2 ° / 17-6.9 °
Full frame: 30-12 ° / 25-10.3 °
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 110 mm (2.6 x 4.3 in.)
270 g (9.5 oz.)
Production Years
1999 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 1:4.7-5.6 80-200mm
Product Code
User reviews
Was sold without hood and case
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-13 of 13
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: April 18, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent sharpness at f11-13 and for close ups
Cons: softness in corners if not stopped down
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: k-5 k200d k.x k.s1 z5 sfx z20p mz-5N   

This lens seems to be somewhat underrated or has "monday production" problems - hm???

My lens is the earlier black edition with

++ metal KAF mount

++ excellent AF

++ very nice bokeh

++ excellent sharpness, stopped down to f11-f13 up to the corners, even with macro tube

++ excellent correction of CAs stopped down to f11-f13, even with macro ring

*** BUT ***

+ aperture wide open only good center sharpness

-/O soft corners wide open with dubble contures :

-/O visible CA wide open at the right side (decentered)


************* STOP IT DOWN - HIGHER ISO - USING FLASH - SUNSHINE LENS *************



New Member

Registered: July, 2020
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: August 4, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Decent performance across FLs, weight, cost
Cons: slow AF, probably wouldn't survive a fall
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax Kr   

This met my desire for a cheap autofocus telephoto zoom to supplement the very good manual focus tele-zooms I use on my Kr.

This lens seems very common and is probably the least expensive Pentax telephoto autofocus zoom lens (3rd party too). Having ignored the lens before due to the poor user ratings here I started looking into it. I realised that it should be a reasonable performer, even setting aside cost.

Recent reviews seem largely positive and the optically identical A and F versions of the lens don't attract the same bashing this lens does. Further, finding that Photodo tested the F version, performance looked very acceptable even at the long end. Of course there may be some copy variation and maybe with the poor reviews this lens suffers more than most?

There was lots of choice when looking for a copy so I took some time to target an auction where both seller and lens looked ok - mine was the only bid 13 GBP including postage!


I find the lens does what I'd hoped. It is sharp across the range at f8-11. It does seem to lose a tiny bit in the corners wide open but the centre still has very good detail even at 200mm. Contrast is good and well matched across focal lengths. In camera jpeg settings produce very natural looking colours.
Bokeh is unobjectionable. Despite being a slow lens, it is still quite easy to separate a subject from a background. I haven't really put it to the test but CAs in normal conditions are entirely absent. (EDIT: now I've used it more I can say I seldomly see CA, when it occurs it is typically red at 80mm and blue at 200mm in harsh sunlight t, mid-range is fine though and at f8-11 you'd be unlucky to see it at all).

It is very easy to handle but obviously misses the smooth feel of my manual focus tele-zooms. The internal zoom is a nice feature that allows you to use the same grip whatever the focal length and because of this there is little danger of accidentally interfering with the rotating focus ring. The AF does seems a bit sluggish.
Build quality is ok. The plastic would probably break if you dropped it but it seems well made for what it is. No wobbles or suggestions the lens is worn out. I will however only use it in the A setting so I don't need to put the aperture ring to the test. A huge plus over many telephoto zooms is there is no danger of zoom creep even shooting in a vertical position.

It is really hard to fault. If it had a non-rotating front element I would probably bump the handling score up but keep the overall score a 9. It's defintely a "keeper" and if it breaks I'll source another.
(EDIT: having moved on to a KS-2 and acquired a Samsung Xenon 50-200mm, I find this lens a lot less consistent. The 50-200mm autofocus seems much better and while the images produced are very similar I tend to trust the 50-200mm more)

Registered: May, 2010
Location: now 1 hour north of PDX
Posts: 3,874
Lens Review Date: January 9, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, internal zoom =tiny at all FL, decent iq
Cons: Slow, feels flimsy.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K200d   

I find 2 curiosities on reviews of this:
  • Nobody noted internal zoom
  • The optically identical (?) F zoom rates at 8+

I wanted a basic tele in silver for my silver k200d, and picked up FAs 28-90 plus 80-200 for $20 at Goodwil auction.

First shots look quite good, sharp indoors and speedy focus. I put 7 ratings in several rating slots which will be revised after further tests e.g in stronger light and for looking at OOF highlights.

Clearly inferior copies exist, I was on the lucky end this time.
New Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: June 3, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, Weight, bang per buck.
Cons: Low light performance.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

Bought this today from a local store for 35. possibly overpaid slightly looking at ebay prices. It was an impulse purchase, so I didn't know what to expect. I took a few shots while on the school run and ran the RAW's thru CS6 when I got home.

I was extremely pleased with my purchase to be honest. Sharp, no purple fringes, fast AF, super light and internal focussing. I wouldn't even consider trying to use the lens in anything other than daylight conditions though, as it's slow as a sloth.

As long as you use the lens within its limitations, you'll be as happy as I am.

New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: December 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, sharp, good colour and contrast, across the full zoom range
Cons: Slow, narrow zoom range, and there are better (though maybe not as cheap as this!)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Samsung GX-20   

I had no need to buy this, but when an eBay auction came up offering the FA 35-80mm f4-5.6, the FA 100-300 f4.7-5.8, and this lens together, curiosity got the better of me, and 43 including postage later I was the proud owner of all three. I apportioned this total to give the indicated price.

These lenses can have seen little use. They look optically perfect, their bodies are almost unmarked, their zoom mechanisms are astonishingly smooth, and there is none of the looseness that characterises the other silver FA lenses I have owned and used. They are plastic, with plastic mounts, and look flimsy, but the benefit is lightness. Whereas the Pentax F 70-210mm f4-5.6 weighs over 500 gm, this only weighs 300 gm.

I spent a couple of afternoons playing with this, the Sigma, the Pentax F 70-210 mm, the Pentax FA 100-300mm f4.7-5.8, and some Tamron Adaptalls with the Pentax 1.7x AF in the back garden, once on a sunny day, and once on a miserable grey day when I had to shoot hand held at 1/50 s or less at all focal lengths. My conclusions were:
  • The Adaptall/Pentax 1.7x AF combination lacks contrast compared with the AF zooms, and there was no reason to prefer any of the Adaptalls (the 03B 135mm f2.5, the 04B 200mm f3.5 and the 19AH 70-210mm f3.5) plus the Pentax 1.7x AF over any of these, except the F 70-210mm at 200mm.
  • At 100mm the order was 1 Sigma 70-300, 2 Pentax F 70-210, 3 FA 100-300, 4 FA 80-200. The Sigma is a bit ahead, and the other three are very similar.
  • At 200mm, the order was 1 FA 100-300, 2 FA 80-200, 3 Sigma 70-300, 4 F 70-210. The FA 100-300 is a bit ahead, the Sigma 70-300 and the FA 80-200 are similar, and the F 70-210 is just awful.
I used a hood on all of them.

To my surprise, given that this lens is so slow, this lens plays really well with the Teleplus 2x Pz-AF DG MC4. It usually quickly locks focus at all focal lengths, and the images at 300mm stand comparison with the Sigma 70-300 and the FA 100-300 at 300mm without using a teleconverter.

Colours, contrast and sharpness are all excellent in the centre of the frame.

Why are there so many poor reviews for this lens? It could be copy variation, or it could be a reflection on the flimsy build quality. But mine is still excellent.

So I give it 8.
Inactive Account

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Lightweight, portable
Cons: Soft throughout the range
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 5   

I bought this before doing any real research on Pentax lenses, and my haste was rewarded as it should be (!). I naively thought that going for a Pentax zoom I was relatively safe compared to a 3rd party manufacturer...oh dear...

I got the lens pretty cheap off ebay (aboiut 40 USD equivalent), and when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised at the light weight and portability of the lens (especially compared to the DA AL 18-55 I was using). Unfortunately that light-weight "plastic" feeeling seems to also seep into the optics, since the quality of the images I shot with it initially were quite poor. Thinking it was something I was doing wrong, I tried a variety of different ISO settings, shooting in RAW rather than JPG etc, and to be honest the images aren't BAD, they're just lower quality than I expected from a Pentax lens.

I guess if you've never used a DSLR before the pictures it takes are fine for snapping, but even with a moderate start-up camera these days its quality can suffer by comparison. As most people buying a DSLR are unlikely to just be "happy snappers", however, I really couldn't recommend buying the lens - especially because I tend to buy a zoom for it's far-end performance as much as anything else.

Coming from a Fujifilm bridge camera background, the only thing that was improved in this lens was the lack of purple fringing shown in long reaches - I've not really seen any chromatic abberations in the shots I've taken, though I do find the Bokeh not to my taste.

I suppose I shouldn't have had such high expectations from the lens, and as there are plenty of similarly priced alternatives out there, it's a lesson in doing your research first!
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 188
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: cheap and light
Cons: no hood, rotating front
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 4    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 5    Value: 8    Camera Used: kx, ac3   

this lens is a little bit underrated ... i tested it at 200 and 100mm against the pentax fa 28-200 (the tamron thing) and it outperforms the hyperzoom. sharpness increases if u add a hood .. i got a telehood i use for my fa 50mm which is way to short but i can see already improvements in sharpness.
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2012
Posts: 31

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $53.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Light weight - very small price
Cons: Plastic build and mount very cheap
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 5    Value: 7    Camera Used: pentax K-x   

Sure, it's not a great, great lens... but for it very small price, it does it job and the results are not very bad ( see my pictures with it). I use it one a Pentax K-x with - 0.7 AV. and in some occasions it can be very usefull for producing interresting pictures.

(Non working links removed)
New Member

Registered: April, 2009
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: February 27, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: weight, sharpness, price, full size circle
Cons: no hood included, plastic bajonett

Bought a new one (NIB) in 2010 - it was "Made in Vietnam". Optical it is the same as the PENTAX F 80-200/4.7-5.6 - only a little bit lighter, without metal bajonett, and without the plastic distance window. Again you can see really great quality spreads in the series - from excellent to "nogo". I could select and the best from 4 pieces was a fine one. Performing on my PENTAX K-X better than a normal DA50-200.

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,443
Lens Review Date: June 12, 2009 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Weight
Cons: Cheapy - soft
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 3    Autofocus: 3    Handling: 5    Value: 3    Camera Used: MZ7, KX, K5ii   

Budget lens that came as part of the MZ series kit
I got one with a used camera.
As someone else said, you get what you pay for.
If you ar ein a budget try getting the Sigma 80-200 4.5/5.6 which performs better for more or less the same price.

Keep using it after many years, in the KX it was OK, but in the K5ii it really bad
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Frederick, MD USA
Posts: 111

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 28, 2007 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $79.99 | Rating: 4 

Pros: cheap, lightweight
Cons: Aberations, soft, slow, did I mention fringing?

I rated this a four and did not recommend it because this is a photography site, and the expectations at this site are above the average consumer level. With that said, if you want a telephoto lens and are on a budget, it gets the job done. My recent trip to the zoo as well as to a shooting range would have been very boring without the lens, simply because it is my only telephoto. So, if you can afford better, do so, but if you need a cheap telephoto lens, look no further. Just remember, this is a situation where you get what you pay for.
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2006
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,530

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Nice for outdoor shooting. Light weight. Despite plastic construction, it can take a small hit.
Cons: Small Aperture. Plastic mount (blah!). Must switch to MF if you need to focus manual. Lens can be a touch soft. Rotating front element can interfere with using filters.


After much use of the lens, I'm actually begining to enjoy it!

I found it is a decent lens for bright outdoor or well lit areas. If I don't expect too much out of this lens I get some decent results. The image quality is not stellar when compared to other zoom lenses, but I've found the lens can give me some good looking 8x10's, but I still have to give it a real test against the used Sigma 70-210mm I recently acquired.

Because of the slow aperture (f4.7 at 80?!), exposures can be affected very quickly when the lighting drops below optimal. Despite this deficiency, I was still be able to pull off some decent shots on my K100D.

I have to stress when using this lens to mount your camera on a tripod - I found the center sharpness can be surprisingly good when doing so. The border sharpness can be disappointing when at 80mm, but on my copy, it seems to improve a bit on the long end. I'm posting a couple shots in my user gallery on this site shortly.

I stand by my first verdict though - well worth the price if it is $40USD and in great condition.
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 1,420
Lens Review Date: January 11, 2007 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros: Light weight, has a K mount, can be re-sold
Cons: Slow, soft at all apertures, cheap plastic build

Easily the lowest-quality images I've produced from a Pentax lens. Images were soft across the zoom range and at all apertures, the rest of the image couldn't overcome the slow aperture and cheap plastic.
This was the first Pentax lens I sold.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6

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