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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

Sharpness 
 6.5
Aberrations 
 7.0
Bokeh 
 5.3
Autofocus 
 6.3
Handling 
 6.7
Value 
 7.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
10 53,861 Wed June 3, 2015
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
60% of reviewers $55.80 5.60
SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6

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

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



SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
11 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4.7-5.6
Min. Aperture
F32-38
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
110 cm
Max. Magnification
0.25x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 20-8.2 ° / 17-6.9 °
Full frame: 30-12 ° / 25-10.3 °
Hood
RH-RB49
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 110 mm (2.6 x 4.3 in.)
Weight
270 g (9.5 oz.)
Production Years
1999 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 1:4.7-5.6 80-200mm
Product Code
27597
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Was sold without hood and case
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 80-200mm F4.7-5.6
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-10 of 10
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: 15
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
Location: HAMBURG, GERMANY
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.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,102
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
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.

(REVISED)

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.
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