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SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5

Sharpness 
 9.2
Aberrations 
 7.4
Bokeh 
 9.6
Handling 
 8.1
Value 
 8.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
28 111,173 Wed August 7, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
89% of reviewers $344.44 8.85
SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5

SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5
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SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5
supersize

Description:
This is the fastest Pentax 200mm lens ever produced. It has a longer minimum focusing distance and is slightly heavier than the A * 200mm lens that it resembles. Thanks to its fast opening (F2.5) and eight diaphragm bales, this lens produces not only a shallow depth of field wide open, but also a smooth bokeh.



SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
6 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.5
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
200 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 8.1 ° / 6.9 °
Full frame: 12 ° / 10 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
89 x 145 mm
Weight
950 g
Production Years
1977 to 1986
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX 1:2.5 200mm
Product Code
24240
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 28
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 761

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 7, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $271.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh, Impeccable build quality
Cons: Aberrations, No A contacts
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

I wont bore you with a long review, the positive reviews of this lens are mostly dead on. The lens does have limitations, it is not the best in bright, high contrast lighting. My copy has very obvious red CA issues creating a halo in the highlights, especially wide open. However, if used in lighting appropriate to a fast, F2.5 telephoto the lens delivers truly excellent results.

Sharp. Yes starting at F2.5 IF you nail the focus! Practice and patients are needed to use this lens well when focused using the viewfinder. The bokeh is smooth, creamy and just shy of amazing. Colors are good and saturated. Contrast and sharpness respond well to post processing adjustments.

Due to the weight, rather long focus throw and need for best technique, this is not a lens for beginning photographers, it is a lens for those willing to work a bit and enjoy a true classic piece of Pentax kit!

I posted test photos in the Bokeh thread.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,709

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, great bokeh, color and contrast
Cons: little to none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: KX film, K-5iis, K-3   

This is a great lens if you understand its characteristics and you know how to use it properly. It is not a lens for beginners, point and shoot photographers or impatient individuals. It takes time to learn how to extract the best from this lens but once you've mastered it, it will reward you with great photos. Some folks complain about aberrations but that's not a problem if one understands the strengths and weaknesses of a lens and how to use it properly. My copy is sharp at 2.5 and only gets better as you stop down. Bokeh is smooth and pleasant, color is outstanding. DOF is shallow wide open and focus can be a challenge. It probably helps that I have a Katz-Eye split prism screen in my K-5iis.

The following picture was taken mid-day. Can you explain the the aberrations issue?

   
New Member

Registered: January, 2019
Posts: 18

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, fast, great color, nice bokeh
Cons: Heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax LX, MX   

Pentax 200mm f2.5 is a telephoto lens I used most in the 1980s, and I would definitely write my first review of this lens. I can see from previous reviews that some people like and others do not; but I like it.

I had a lot of luck to get it. I saw it only once in a camera store in my hometown. I was buying a used Zenca Bronica medium format camera when I noticed a telephoto lens in the shop window that I had never seen before, but I immediately knew what it was like. I asked from the shopkeeper, if that lens was Pentax 200mm f2.5? He replied that yes it is and a very rare lens. In addition to Zenca Bronica, I also bought it immediately. When a couple of minutes later I was paying for the goods, a young man came to the store. When he saw my shopping, he asked if this Pentax lens had already been sold. We both assured him that the lens has just been sold. He told us he had admired the lens a couple of days in the shop window and finally decided to buy it and get his money from home. Fortunately, he was too slow and lost it. First come, first served.

The lens is actually the fastest 200mm telephoto lens Pentax have ever made. I can only say good things about it. At that time I was very keen on travel photography, and this lens was always with me when I hiked in the Himalayas. I used it when photographing mountains, landscapes and suspicious people, birds and mammals. Though it is a heavy and big lens to carry up the mountains, it was worth doing.

I am very happy with it. I photographed a lot of early morning and before sunset. The results are stunning. It is very sharp even at 2.5 and don't need to be stopped down to 4 or onward to achieve sharp images. I am also very satisfied with the colors and contrast that are amazing. Bokeh is great, too. In the middle of the day, the sunshine is too bright in the mountains, and I usually avoided taking photos in vain. But when I shot this lens, I was usually happy with the pictures even in bright light.

It was one of my favorite lenses pre-digital era and even one of my all-time favorite telephoto lenses. I bought this manual lens back after many years, but I have not had time yet to try it with a digital camera like K1 and K3. In this regard, I can later complete my review.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2009
Posts: 566
Lens Review Date: January 20, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, contrast
Cons: weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-7   

Its a manual lens, that given if one is used to shooting tele manual, its great.
the writing home about is the bokeh.
My comparison is with the perfect F* 300 4.5,
compact to be carried around when one sees 300 4.5. but the utility for 300 is different to 200.
tamron adaptall 107B 300/2.5 is another beast

let me share shootout, between F*300/4.5 and SMC 200/2.5
F*300/4.5 and SMC 200/2.5 shootout -shot on manual handheld without split viewer , at 2.5 and 4.5
https://flic.kr/s/aHskPimX76

https://www.flickr.com/photos/34859797@N07/albums/72157709775726842
test shots @2.5
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Naples
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 6, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Fast, great colour, wonderfull bokeh
Cons: Old gen tele, many colour aberrations, low contrast, not sharp until f5.6,
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 6    Camera Used: k5 film   

I got this big heavy prime in a stock, likd for free, so I'm not angry or self teasing about it.

First of all, it's a bit overeastimated, like most of the stuff on this website. It's an old gen telephoto, with many problems and some good point. It's heavy, it's big, like many fast tele prime, but at the greater aperture it is not a great performer, so there is nothing to justify its high rank and its high price. It's a good option only for hobbyst ph.s who need a manual tele with a great bokeh and can use it in a kind of studio on a tripod, and can rise up sharpness and contrast in the darkroom or with computers. Bokeh is the only pro, because this tele has f:2.5 and has many blades, so it can deliver a great bokeh, creamy and deep, but affected by some colour aberration, that can be noticed. It's 2.5 and so it can give you a chance to shot at faster time, but from f:2.5 to f:4 sharpness and contrast are low, very lower than the medium of K lens (at that time telephoto was still difficult to produce), and it'prone to flare and lateral colour aberration. There is also an evident puple fringing on high contrast edge. And it's prone to flare too. So it is not really better than many 200mm zoom, until f 5.6. But colors, when not corrupted by the lack of contrast, are great, in the cinematic "takumar" taste. So many weak points, to be a prime, but on dslr it may be easly postproduced to correct all the problems and get a great K\takumar cinematic rendition, at fast speed times and with great bokeh. Anyway without the AE function, it'hard to use on dsrl (stop down) because it's too big and heavy and can easly make you move the camera and get a motion blur. So even on dslr it has no great use without tripod or without strong light condition (but non in the field of view) to avoid blur. It's like a tank, a wonderfull piece of crafting, very sturd and bulky. Has a lens hood, great focusing ring very progressive and slow to get focus at f:2.5 (another thing that make it difficult to use in everyday shooting), and is a joy to touch... like all K lenses.

I can't recomend this lens, not for more than 80 bucks.
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2011
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 287
Lens Review Date: August 26, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Hood, bokeh
Cons: Weight, Wide open performance (Aberrations, softness, flare)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-1, K-2   

This lens was a bit of a disappointment for me. Its wide open performance is pretty weak when it comes to sharpness, flare resistance, and contrast but its real tripping block is its very poor aberration control.

While the lens smartens up around f/5.6 it still didn't win me over. I had bought this lens for the quality of the bokeh it would create at (or near) f/2.5. However, I found that to get results I was happy with, I had to stop down considerably. This, of course, defeated my purpose of buying the lens.

The bokeh is quite nice (in terms of quantity of defocus and smoothness)! But that's about it. My copy had red/green aberration on most everything out of focus at f/2.5 (which is the majority of the frame). This aberration isn't terribly distracting for many backgrounds but it can be for clothing, eyeglasses, and faces.

Sharpness between f/2.5-f/4, even on a tripod and dialed in with liveview just isn't very good.

If you find yourself looking for creamy bokeh with a telephoto prime without breaking the bank, I would look for a K 135mm f/2.5 rather than this k 200mm f/2.5. I'm very pleased with the performance of my copies of that lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2017
Location: Pretoria
Posts: 2,753
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great IQ, bokeh
Cons: Heavy, tricky to focus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 6    Value: 8    Camera Used: K10D   

I haven't had mine for very long, but I love it. This is the first lens in this class, i.e. large aperture, that I have owned. The possibilities that it opens up really adds a new dimension to the pictures that I am able to take.

I paid $200 for my copy. It looks like it lead a rough life in the hands of the previous owner(s) but the glass is still good to go.

As far as handling goes, it is quite heavy. A tripod collar might have been nice but then it would have been even heavier.

Focus is not easy to master. At first I got quite a few focus errors but with a bit of practise things are looking better now. I haven't tried action photography yet. The gain in shutter speed would be useful, but we will have to see how the handling part goes.

Here is a sample image.

   
New Member

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: May 30, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: cheap, easy to improve on in post production
Cons: outdated, low contrast, slow focus, no A, no AF, heavy
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 3    Value: 5    Camera Used: K2DMD, LX   

Really sorry to be the party breaker here Used this lens in the 80s and 90s on film and was so happy to get rid of it... Lacking IF it was terribly slow to focus but the worst thing was the lack in contrast, all the pictures had that kind of damped look which was typical of outdated telephoto lenses above 135mm before the introduction of ED glass. Slides were kind of mediocre right away, but even b+w was difficult to vamp up in the darkroom Emptied my bank account and bought the then new FA 2,8/200 IF&ED. It was like coming from hell to heaven. Contrast, clearness, sharpness, operation speed... Perfect pix without worry at first shot.
However, reading all the super-positive posts here, I realize three things on the pro side:
1) Today's digital corrections in post production obviously make this lens much more useable than back in the old film days Play with curves, contrast, clarity, sharpness, saturaton and hey, you get great pictures nevertheless! It is like adding ED glass through the computer...
2) It is and always was better than similarly outdated or cheap third party zoom lenses...
3) It is a budget lens when it comes to fast telephoto equipment.
But for heaven's sake, if you can afford it and take things seriously, go and get the A, FA, DA 2,8/200 and never look back
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice bokeh, fast, quite sharp
Cons: Quite big, heavy and slow to focus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Me Super, LX, MX, K5   


Once abroad I stumbled across one of these lenses and bought it. It's an interesting lens and in some instances it creates outstanding images with good sharpness and colors. And the bokeh is what really makes this lens shine - the f/2.5 giving it an edge regarding bokeh compared to most other 200mm lenses made by Pentax or other brands. It's great for portraits from a distance because of the pleasant bokeh (on full aperture). Unfortunately its quite cumbersome to focus! The focus ring has a lot of resistance and cannot be turned with one finger and the focus throw is long. I've sometimes experienced a somewhat harsh contrast with this lens and some CA on digital cameras. I made a direct comparison with Olympus 180 mm 2.8 (which is said to be very good) but the Oly had much more CA than the Pentax. Shooting in strong light against the sun also posed some problems with the Pentax 200 2.5; ghosting (of the sun) etc. In that respect the image quality from this lens isn't so consistent. Thats why I ended up selling my lens just to later on regret it and buy another copy of this beautiful and rare lens - it's that good and special.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: ON
Posts: 41

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp and fast
Cons: Focusing is a workout, CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

I bought this lens to replace my A 70-200mm f4 zoom, which was too slow for taking pictures of the kids running around indoors. This fits the bill nicely.

I have actually ended up using it a lot for taking handheld pictures of birds in the yard.

This lens is very sharp, and I find it easy to get an accurate focus using a Katz Eye screen. Except that I really have to wrench the focusing ring and it has a long throw. So much so that I start shooting with my elbow up so I can put the weight of my arm into it.

There is some CA with this lens, but I find it cleans up well in Photoshop. I have also seen some ugly CA in out-of-focus areas (branches behind birds), but this might be typical for telephoto lens.

The colour and contrast are very pleasing.

Overall, I really enjoy shooting with this lens and I feel it was well worth the price.

   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 237
Lens Review Date: January 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, inexpensive telephoto
Cons: havent found any yet
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k5   

I picked my copy up pretty inexpensively on Ebay. The lens has seen a lot of use - but the optics are still great.
For the price I paid it was a steal. Great fast little telephoto lens. Obviously it's fully manual, but having started out life with manual photography that's not a biggie for me.

The overall score is heavily weighted by value - for the price it is an amazing piece of hardware.

I've updated my review to add some photos taken on a recent holiday - this lens was a lot of fun, lugged it everywhere with me as a staple in my camera bag...
I love the narrow DOF which allows the subject to be in focus and the background/foreground to be blurred... was a fun (but challenging) lens.

   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 233

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 21, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have never owned or handled this lens, so I won't put in any review numbers or comment on the quality of the images, but there is one thing that disturbs me very much about this lens.

It is the only lens in the Pentax lineup that is blantantly a "liar lens".

f-stop is defined as focal length / diameter entrance pupil

This being the case, the focal length is 200mm, the maximum diameter of the entrance pupil (or aperature) is 77mm (since that is the filter diameter) actual entrance pupil would be even smaller because of the edge of the rim.

200mm / 77mm = 2.597 as a theoretical maximum for f-stop of this lens.

Exaggerating on f-stop is common with many 3rd party lenses, but I have never found any other Pentax lens to be so blantant in this regard. Other lenses may not actually have the advertised f-stop, but at least it isn't theoretically impossible.

This lens should really have been advertised as a f2.8
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Champagne Ardennes, France
Posts: 7

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 25, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Speed, IQ, bookeh
Cons: Heavy, manual settings, some CA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K100D   

All metal quality of build (but big and heavy), easy to focus, similar to the K135 f2,5, produces nice pictures.

Very sharp even at F2,5, with nice bookeh (see pictures).
Purple fringing can appear at full aperture with extreme light and contrast.

This lens is difficult to find and prices are increasing, but it worths the money under $300.

Bookeh test picture at f2,5 : you can see some CA in the lower part of the picture.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 26, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super Sharp
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is a perfect lens. i love the bokeh and handling on this lens. the bokeh actually is crazy. I am using it with my canon 50D with an adapter to EOS mount.
overall a perfect lens.
Here is a photo made with this lens on flickr.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ermali/6752564429/in/photostream/lightbox/
   
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 36
Lens Review Date: December 17, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh, Contrast, Color rendition
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Personally... I hadn't put much thought into buying this lens until I saw the auction and did a bit of research on it. An online google search found some intriguing photos and I figured I'd bid on it. I got it for a steal and have noticed the price continues to go up. I figured if the lens was average... I'd make my money back selling it considering it is the fastest 200mm lens Pentax has made thus far... I won't have to worry about ever selling it. This lens is a keeper for sure.

Compared to my now gone Pentax-M 200mm F4, this lens is sharper at 2.5 in my opinion. In harsh sunlight at 2.5 some very mild glow is noticeable... which in my opinion makes its pictures very pleasing... in normal and other lighting conditions the lens is very sharp and contrasty. One click past 2.5 and it becomes extremely sharp and looses all glow... at F4, compared to the M200 f4... it just whips it in every direction possible. The richness of the way it renders colors is outstanding as well. It's simply a very special lens which handles wonderfully. I can hand hold it easily and I like the fact that it allows for me to take candid's without intruding very much and end up with quality photos that just knock my socks off.

I'm never letting this thing go!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanbelmonte/6494804717/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanbelmonte/6494804265/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanbelmonte/6494803723/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanbelmonte/6494803125/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanbelmonte/6494802843/
Add Review of SMC Pentax 200mm F2.5



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