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SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF] Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]

Sharpness 
 9.7
Aberrations 
 9.2
Bokeh 
 9.5
Autofocus 
 8.7
Handling 
 9.7
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
13 59,268 Sun August 12, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $863.18 9.62
SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]

SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]
supersize

Description:
This compact yet fast lens features extra-low dispersion (ED) elements, internal focusing (IF), and an AF/MF switch.

SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 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, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
120 cm
Max. Magnification
0.2x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 8.1 ° / 6.9 °
Full frame: 12 ° / 10 °
Hood
MH-RBB77
Case
S110-160
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
83 x 134 mm (3.3 x 5.3 in.)
Weight
785 g (27.7 oz.)
Production Years
1993 to 2004
Engraved Name
SMC PENTAX-FA* 1:2.8 200mm IF & ED
Product Code
24140
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Two ED elements.
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusInternal FocusingAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-13 of 13
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 360
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh, Weight
Cons: It's not friend of hard lights
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

I also bought this lens second hand some months ago (maybe a year already) and my main purpose was to use it for Motorsport.
And so I did. Just don't do that. Is not even close to good when used to capture action. It is no friend of hard lights like car lights and it tends to purple a lot, and it's not focusing right.

So I was about to sell it, but then last weekend we did a Pentax Barcelona Meeting and I used it a bit for portrait and the results are so amazing that I just decided to keep it.

_IMG1491 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

Please notice that was in a day that temperature was +36 at around 12AM and yet still the bokeh is great, and the sharpness.... check his face! you can even feel the wrinkles!

Definitelly a keeper!
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 128

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ Size
Cons: Auto Focus Hood
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5IIs   

Bought this lens second hand. IQ is really nice, color and contrast are very pleasing. Another good thing about this lens is its size.. i shoot handheld with this lens and, with my k5IIs it doesnt feel out of balance. Now, coming to cons.. auto focus is slow.. and sometimes it just stucks and doesnt want to hunt. The hood is also a pain to lock. Otherwise, its a portable 200mm that you will love to carry with you.

   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Elko, Nevada
Posts: 1,272

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 29, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderful colors, sharp-sharp-sharp, compact
Cons: Silver paint, tiny bit of CA in right circumstance while wide open
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K5iiS, Pentax PZ1p   

Pentax has so many magnificent prime lenses that I find it hard to designate this one as the best lens Pentax ever made, but it is certainly running neck and neck with the other "best" lenses.

The optics are absolutely tack sharp. Anything I point it at comes out looking terrific. I like the color rendition of most Pentax lenses anyway but this one is particularly nice. I have no idea whether or not the color is accurate, but it is certainly beautiful and vibrant. The best aperture range is f/4 to f/8

Ergonomics and handling are quite good. I have read a few people here wishing it had a tripod collar, but I have never had any issue with the weight. I guess my tripods and mounts are up to the task. Besides, I only have two other 200mm Pentax lenses, both manual focus. One, the 200/4 is a tiny little thing and the other, the K200/2.5 is even heavier than this one.

I have no idea what I paid for this lens. It was my very first telephoto bought new at least 10 years ago for my first PZ1p and I have never regretted or been tempted in the slightest way to sell it. I bought a new DA* 200 a couple of years back but could see no difference at all in my photos so I sent it back. I'm sure there are probably better lens coatings and the digital anti reflective coating on the rear lens so for new buyers it is probably a better deal, but it turned out I didn't need it.

My only real complaint with this lens is the finish. Over the years the silver paint on mine has been scratched so many times that it looks like a real leper. But it is still wonderfully sharp and focuses accurate and fast. When the photographs start coming back I could really care less what it looks like.

Like I said earlier, if you are looking for a new version then the DA* 200 is the one you need. If you do not already have the FA* 200 then, like me, I doubt you will regret buying it. Alternatively, if you get the chance to grab the FA* 200 at a good price then jump at it. It is a great lens.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: January 10, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, beautiful colors rendition and contrast even at F2.8
Cons: No tripod collar, a bit noisy AF
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

I feel very lucky to have stumbled across this lens in almost mint condition at a very reasonable price.
What other reviewers said about the sharpness, colors rendition and contrast is true.
For a lens of this size and weight, a tripod collar would be very useful. That is the only thing I wish for.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65545813@N07/31386720934/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65545813@N07/32078879652/in/photostream/
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $915.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: I like the sharpness, colors and bokeh, this is the best lens so far for me at 200mm range.
Cons: No tripod mount and delicate silver color
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3, K5, K01   

The best pro lens FA* at 200mm range. Thanks Pentax.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything
Cons: Weight
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: MZ-S, K10D   

An excellent lense: sharp at full aperture and ultra-sharp at f5.6, nice minimum distance of 1.2m, useful MF/AF selector (done by moving the focusing ring), gorgeous metal build quality.
It is heavy, though, and I wish that Pentax will make one day a 200 mm f3.4 for APS-C format only. It could weight something like 500g instead of 785g (without hood)
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2009
Location: ita/swiss
Posts: 270
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, built like a tank, compact for a f/2,8
Cons: Silver finish prone to scratches
New or Used: New   

I fund this lens to get a good AF 200, fast.
And I must say it is.
Like its older brother A * 200, both very sharp and defined.
Beautiful colors, internal focusing, optics really nice, f / 2.8 presents a friming light.
The blurred for a 200mm is not bad, even really good.
Although the lens is SDM, its AF speed is remarkable.

As always, the silver paint is delicate

Sharpness 10
Contrast 10
Bokeh 8,1/2
Color 9
Handling 9,1/2 (heavy enough to need a tripod collar, like that AF/MF quick switch)
Build 10
Distortion 10
Aberations 10
Sharpness 9 (from 2.8 upwards)
Flare and CA 9 (very little flare, slight CA wide open)
AF speed 9
Value 9

Probably the best lens I've ever had
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2009
Location: egypt
Posts: 407

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: super sharp,amazing colour,FF
Cons: none

when IWAS looking for a k20 copy in a local shop,Ifound this lens priced 600$
Iasked for help and advice becouse ihavnt any idea about fa* SERIES but after aweek trying it ICAN SAY igot a TREASURE YES IT IS TRUE
   
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Trier
Posts: 66
Lens Review Date: March 30, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent quality of picture; sharper is not possible; solid metal tube
Cons: none so far

Hello,

I fell for this lens, as I saw it being sold in the DFN.net Forums.

As I read the review, I could not resist. Just to say it plain:
This is the lesn for a razorsharp photo. Just go as far away as necessary and take your photo, the results are astonishing and crystal-clear.

This is (at least one of) the holy grail(s) for a Pentaxian.


Greatings from Germany
Georg

PS: I am proud of being an Pentaxian.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: March 8, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: compact for 200mm F2.8
Cons: some fringing

one of my (all time) favourites, excellent lens, in numbers it would
be something like:

Sharpness 9
Bokeh 9
Color 10
Handling 10 (like that AF/MF quick switch)
Build 9 (silver paint can be easily scratched)
Distortion 10

it is joy to use, not too heavy and I at least do not miss a tripod colar
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2008
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Posts: 972

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, built like a tank
Cons: Heavy. Silver finish prone to scratches

Probably the best lens I've ever had. Super tack sharp from f/4 and down. At 2.8 is still tack sharp but looses a bit of contrast.

Some of my photo friends have called my FA*200/2.8 a "telemicroscope" because of its sharpness.

One word of advice. Never attempt glamour photography with this lens. It will show every single skin flaw without mercy.

Robert
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 1,187
Lens Review Date: May 2, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Must compete for the title of finest 200mm lens ever made
Cons: Silver finish prone to scuffing.

Yes this lens is expensive, rare and heavy but thats because its one of the very finest telephoto lenses ever made by anyone. The build quality is superb, AF is sparky, the results are breathtaking. Its almost impossible to find one anywhere!

breakdown

Sharpness 10 (from 2.8 upwards)
Contrast 10
Colour 10
Flare and CA 9 (very little flare, slight CA wide open)
AF speed 9
Handling 9 (manual focus clutch not as handy as new DA version)
Bokeh 9
   
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: April 20, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $780.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Razor sharp, superb lens
Cons: Heavy

Easily my finest lens. Also does well with the Pentax 1.4 teleconverter! Sharp is an understatement! Deserves the "*"!

Sharpness 10
Bokeh 8
Color 9
Handling 9 (heavy enough to need a tripod collar)
Build 10
Distortion 10
Aberations 10
Value 8

Has no tripod collar, so I use the Manfrotto "long lens bracket" - works quickly and easily with the quick release.

I got an incredible bargain - last one in stock in the "mark down" counter at a local store.

Hope the new 200mm will be just as good!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF]



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