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SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR

Sharpness 
 8.6
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 8.1
Autofocus 
 8.3
Handling 
 9.0
Value 
 9.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
10 52,231 Sun April 8, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
90% of reviewers $86.78 8.80
SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR

SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR
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SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR
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Description:
The Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR is a weather-sealed version of the original DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED featuring the same optical design.

SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
11 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4-5.6
Min. Aperture
F22-32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
110 cm
Max. Magnification
0.24x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 31.5-8.1 ° / 27-6.9 °
Hood
PH-RBD 49 mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC49
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
66.5 x 78.5 mm (2.6 x 3.1 in.)
Weight
235 g (8.3 oz.)
Production Years
2013 to present (in production)
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA L 1:4-5.6 50-200mm ED WR
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Plastic lens mount.
One ED element.
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-10 of 10
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 27
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $18.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Weather resistance, small, light
Cons: Occasionally hunts for focus, No included lens hood
Sharpness: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K7   

Let me first start off by saying that I bought this lens while living in Japan. I stopped in at a second hand store, and this was in the 'junk' case. It was junk because they didn't have another Pentax body to test it on, thus the 2000 Yen ($18) price tag. This lens is far from "junk".

I'm an above average enthusiast. Is this lens good enough for what I do? Yes. Would a true professional be happy with the quality of it? Probably. Would they use it for their work? Probably not. This is a DA L kit lens through and through. Good quality for the price. I usually shoot it at 5.6-8 and photos come out sharp enough. The bokeh is not perfect, but still pretty darn good, and effective.

Yes, I wish it were sharper, but on the whole the clarity is quite nice, the zoom is good for walking around without a tripod, and the lens is light. It may not be the optimal lens for street photography, but you can defiantly do worse. It's not as bad as the FA J lenses, but it's definitely not a DA*

My one true complaint was that there was no included lens hood, and I ended up buying one for the same 2000 Yen as the lens itself.

I shot these photos earlier today. for reference

   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 504

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $74.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, good ergonomics, weather resistant, super sharp
Cons: lightweight, plastic mount, no hood included
New or Used: New   

Now that I have a couple of weather resistant camera bodies, I decided I should invest in at least one weather resistant lens so I can be prepared should I get caught out in the rain. The logical place to start might have been with an 18-55mm zoom but I already have two DA 18-55s and just got rid of a DA L 18-55, so I wasn't to enthused about adding more redundancy. After a little looking, I spotted this nice DA L 50-200 WR. If it hadn't been so highly rated here, I might have passed it by due to its plastic mount but I'm very glad I didn't. This lens is amazingly sharp and even though it's not marketed as a macro lens, it does do nice closeup work. If it went a little wider, say 28mm, it might spend more time on the camera, but given my shooting style, it'll still probably see plenty of use. My one minor criticism is that it, like most DA L lenses, didn't come with a lens hood. All of the ones I found online were located in Asia and were frightfully expensive, starting at $30 and going right on up. I finally found a JJC clone of the original for a little less than $12 in Hong Kong and pulled the trigger on it. I'm looking forward to trying it out once it arrives on the proverbial slow boat.

Update: 18 April 2017óThe lens hood arrived today and is a perfect fit with no vignetting when the lens is zoomed out to its widest 50mm.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 577

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, price, WR
Cons: Feels a bit cheap, but it is!
New or Used: New   

Punches well above its price. Image quality is consistently good (I have found that f9 is its sweet spot), not bad wide open either, AF is quick and accurate on my K-7 and K-S2, the supplied hood is effective and WR makes it an easy companion when you want to venture outside and need some telephoto reach. It's plasticky but that means it's light, and for the price I'm really not going to complain about that.

People often recommend the 55-300, which I'm sure is also an excellent lens, but don't discount this pocket rocket, especially since it's such a bargain.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 12, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrast, price, aberrations
Cons: plastic
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax k500   

Great lens (included even in some kit), very sharp even wide open
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 132

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $48.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good Bokeh, cheap!
Cons: slow-ish AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

I bought this lens on a whim; a camera chain was shutting down its physical stores and this was the last lens in stock (sometimes it pays to shoot a less-known company!). Everything was 50%+ off, and it came to about $60CDN + tax at time of purchase (the above USD is based on that conversion). The sale was final, so there really was no backing out of it.

For all images in this review, please click on them for full resolution.






I almost walked away; but two friends that had joined me pressured me into purchasing it. I'm glad they did!

I mainly shoot with my M50/1.4 and M100/4 Macro, and those two are excellent lenses. Excellent sharpness, good speed (M50/1.4 at least), and amazing bokeh (M100/4). Both being manual lenses, I've gotten rather used to their smooth (but slow) focus rings, as well as purchasing a S-Type Focusing Screen to help with nailing that focus at F1.4.
To begin with, I had zero expectations of this lens. Cheap kit zoom, and experiences with Canon and Nikon's similar offerings were rather lackluster. Regardless, Pentax's kit 18-55 gets surprisingly good reviews, and this 50-200mm is WR.... The lens sat on my desk for about 3 months, and I had taken it out once to make sure it worked properly after I purchased it.

Early October, I decide on a trip to the zoo and needed a long lens for a primary. Perfect testing opportunity for the 50-200! Please keep in mind since I shoot M lenses, Iím used to avoiding situations that would exacerbate CA (old coatings after all) and I consider AF to be mildly annoying.


Sharpness 9/10:

This lens is amazingly sharp. This was taken at 160mm, and you can see the feather detail rather well. Almost every shot came out with this level of detail, as long as I got the focus right! The shooter is definitely the limiting factor, it will definitely out-shoot you.
Why then, 9/10? Corner sharpness is a bit soft. If you look in the lower right corner, the dirt/grass is definitely soft at 50mm, but itís rather minute. Nothing like my 50/1.4 fully open! Any other blur in that image is due to the wind being difficult, as it always is.



Aberrations 9/10:

Honestly that is about as bad as the CA got. The owl was sleeping in a bad place for photos, but I love owls and had to get that shot. Either of my Ms would have struggled with that background and the fence would have had far more significant CA. Below, you can see a bit of CA on the upper branches.



Bokeh 9/10:

Very surprised by this lens, Bokeh is great. There is a bit of haloing appearing in the sides (nowhere near as smooth as the M100/4), but by all means itís very well controlled. Below, you can see how well it handles decently complex backgrounds.


Of course I canít get away from this photo when Iím talking about Bokeh on this lens. It is not the smoothest (again thatíll belong to my M100/4 with a Heliar configuration), but even the mass of needles isnít horribly distracting in the background. Definitely one of my personal favourites from this set!



Autofocus/Focus 7/10:

Yes thatís the camelís tongue.

My experience here is different than most. Since Iíve been shooting manual lenses for the better part of a year, AF isÖ AF. It definitely was convenient, but it was slower than my DA 35/2.4. There were a few occasions where a fence was definitely causing havoc with AF and I had to switch to manual. Surprisingly I do enjoy the manual focus experience on the 50-200. Granted itís nothing compared to the smoothness of the M series, it still holds its own for a modern lens. This may be why AF is a bit slow, good manual performance is usually contradictory to auto performance. Smooth manual requires damping, which slows down AF speeds. In this case, the build of the focusing system on this lens felt a bit damped (probably purely a mechanical reason) which consequently made AF a bit slow. Rated to 7, purely for speed reasons as accuracy is great and MF is good.



Handling 10/10:

The rings arenít super smooth (what do you expect out of $50 of plastic and metal?), but they shift well. As mentioned above, MF functions are handled very well. Travel is about 180ļ, and reasonably smooth. No difficulties at all, but YMMV since I do have an S-Type focusing screen installed. AF tracks very well, but the speed does mean that if youíre trying to catch a flamingo running around, itís a bit hard to keep things sharp!



Value 10/10:

At the price I picked it up at, absolute steal. At full street price, still amazing value. $120CDN gets you superb centre sharpness fully open, great overall bokeh performance, and WR! I honestly expected this lens to fall flat compared to my Ms, but at this point I can say it may have earned a spot when I need a versatile lens for general use.


Finally, a link to my album for more samples of what this lens can accomplish (click the picture below!):
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Golden, BC
Posts: 6,985

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap, large range, WR.
Cons: No quick shift, No lens hood, Plastic mount, Slow AF, Soft
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

Cheap lens in kit.
Kit lens IQ.
WR.
No quick shift.
Hood not included.
Slow Auto-Focus.

I got this lens with my K-50 so I could have a more telephoto lens and it only cost $100 more than without in the kit, the DA (not DA L) version improves most of the cons, but is more expensive.

I wouldn't recommend it just save your money a bit and get the 55-300 as it is a better lens.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Black Isle, Scotland
Posts: 405

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 1, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $176.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, sharp enough when used correctly, cheap
Cons: Slow, awkward manual focus
New or Used: New   

I bought this lens in the fairly standard plan for building a lens collection of having zooms throughout the range then buying primes for quality within the range. Whilst there are certainly better lenses that cover a lot of this range, I am of relatively limited means, and also want the WR for a bit of insurance. So that's why I bought it.

It has been my primary lens throughout August 2015 for the Single In challenge, and after getting some time with it I feel reasonably able to give an informed verdict. Personally, I have a bit of a rough relationship with this lens; because it's long-ish, and quite slow with a minimum aperture of F5.6 at the long end, I find myself bumping up the ISO more than I normally prefer. Usually this means AutoISO with a spot of EV compensation for highlights or particularly dark situations. As such I'm rarely able to make best use of what actually seems to be half-decent glass because it really needs lots of light and I live in Scotland. However, it is a cheap, telephoto zoom, and it is light, and it does feel reasonably well put together (I'm not the most delicate of lens owners).

On a more objective note, I can't really say I'd disagree on any points with the PentaxForums official review of the DA 50-200 which features the same optics. It needs to be stopped down a fair bit at the long end to get the best sharpness from centre to corner, but is a bit more forgiving all-round around the 100mm mark. I've only taken the odd shot at 50mm with this and can't really complain too much, but I'm only using it on the K-30 sensor. I'm sure its flaws would show up a great deal more on a K-3, for example. There's a touch of CA in most shots with high contrast, but usually these clear up in PP with little fuss.

Overall I'd probably give this the thumbs up. If you're looking at this lens then you probably know why you want it, and I can't think of a good reason you should avoid it. Just be prepared to accommodate its lethargic aperture.


Example shots at various lengths and apertures (200, 135, 100, 50 respectively):

   
New Member

Registered: March, 2012
Location: California
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 18, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cost Weight WR
Cons: None for this price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

Got this with a kit and man am I impressed. I mainly bought the 2 lens kit to sell the lenses individually. I sold off the 18-55 wr but decided to keep this one because of the quality. Generally im a prime guy. Use MF lenses a lot of the time and happy with it. Very surprised with this DA L. The build is a lot nicer than the non WR DAL lenses. Not to heavy or too light. Similar build quailty to the Pentax 18-135 WR without the metal mount. Tight zoom ring. Focusing ring is meh. AF is fast and true. Pictures speak for themselves. If you have a chance to buy this lens for under 150 dont think about it!





   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2014
Location: Nelson
Posts: 257

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Weight, colour,contrast, sharpness
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-X   

Just picked up a S/H unused DA-L 50-200 WR off our local on-line auction site to go with a K-X I bought for a steal recently. K-X only came with the 18-55 kit lens and despite having an extensive array of various MF and AF lens I thought if a matching 50-200 kit lens came up I'd grab it. Not disappointed -just did a quick trip to our local harbour to trial it, nice colour and contrast, tack-sharp on AF. This really is a lovely lens, underated I believe by many on the basis that it's a 'kit lens'; it delivers nonetheless. Grab one if you can, I won't be parting with mine

Images with no post-processing, circ. pola:





   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 101

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap, WR, 49mm filter
Cons: None, considering price
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30, K-01   

Wow, for the price you just can't go wrong with this one. I bought mine new for under $100 including shipping!

I once had a DA L 55-300 which I liked OK, but wasn't happy with at the extremes. It was good in the 55-150mm range, but went downhill after that. Zoomed all the way to 300mm, it was pretty soft. So I sold it, thus beginning a year-long quest for a decent but affordable zoom for occasional wildlife shots, kids soccer games, etc. I cycled through a bunch of different options trying to find one that would be nice and sharp in the 200-300mm range. The lenses I tried were:

Pentax DA-L 55-300mm
Pentax F 100-300mm
Sigma 70-300 APO and non-APO
Tamron 70-300 LD DI II
Quantaray 70-300

Long story short, I've come to the conclusion that all of the something-to-300mm lenses are very similar in terms of image quality (or lack thereof). They are all big and bulky, they are all soft when zoomed in, they all suffer from CA. You'd be really hard pressed to tell the difference between images from one lens and another. They are all OK, but "blech!" when you start pixel peeping. Even the cheapo Quantaray which I bought for $15 produces images which are indistinguishable from those produced by any of the other, much more expensive lenses. Sure, one may have a slight edge at a certain combination of focal length and aperture, but then another one will have a slightly different sweet spot. They are all about as exciting as a bowl of pablum.

So why am I writing so much about lenses which extend to 300mm, when the lens reviewed here only goes to 200? Because I started to really question the value of that extra 100mm, that's why. Sure, that extra 100mm sounds like a lot, right? But is it really? It's a law of diminishing returns kind of thing... the field of view changes much more at lower focal lengths than it does at higher ones. For example, comparing a 14mm lens with a 16mm lens... a 14mm lens produces a diagonal field of view of 102.7 degrees, whereas a 16mm lens produces a field of view of 95.1 degrees... a difference of 7.6 degrees with just a 2mm change in focal length. Now how about going from 200mm to 300mm? The field of view goes from 10.3 to 6.87... a mere 3.43 degrees over a full 100mm change in focal length!

So how badly do you REALLY need to get to 300mm? I'd take a good 200mm over a mushy 300mm any day!

Enter the DA L 55-200. To be clear, this is for the newest iteration of this lens... the one which takes 49mm filters and is weather resistant. I bought this lens new for under $100 shipped! It is very well built - the zoom ring and focus rings operate very smoothly and all the tolerances are tight. Sure, it doesn't have the solid heft of classic '80s Pentax glass, but build quality is quite good - much better than Tamron and about on par with Sigma.

It takes 49mm filters, which is a HUGE plus for me, as I have a decent collection of filters in that size. 49mm is quite a common size for Pentax lenses (primes especially), so I now have 5 lenses which all take the same filter size. That's very convenient and saves me a lot of money.

Weather resistance for under $100? You betcha! Sweet!

The size and weight are MUCH less than any of the -300mm lenses I tried. For a long time I convinced myself that I didn't care if a lens was huge. I'm a guy - I can hack it, right? Well yeah I guess I can... but I don't want to anymore. If I'm going to carry around a lens that is practically as big as a fireplace log, then it had better be pretty darn good, and none of the -300mm lenses were good enough for that. This DA L 55-200 is only slightly bigger than the kit 18-55. Sure it extends when it zooms, but that's no big deal. I LOVE the lesser size and weight. I actually have extra space in my bag now!

How about image quality? It's good! Perfect, no, but it is quite good. Sharpness wise, If I take a picture at 200mm with this lens and zoom it on the computer so that the subject is the same as that taken with one of the -300mm lenses, I can see that this one is at least on par with them, and actually a little bit better. It's also a little bit faster, as it's able to achieve F/4 at least up to 100mm or so.

As far as CA goes, all zooms exhibit CA - it's just a question of how bad. This one isn't too bad at all. I didn't run side by side tests, but I think it controls CA better than any of the -300mm lenses.

There is definitely some pronounced vignetting, especially at wider apertures and certain focal lengths. But vignetting is very easy to remove in Photoshop, so this doesn't bother me at all.

Color and contrast are probably the hallmarks of Pentax glass and this one is typical... color and contrast are simply excellent.

I find AF to be very fast and snappy on my K-30.

All in all I love this little lens! It is probably the smartest hundred bucks I ever spent on any photo related item. Image quality isn't perfect, but it's good enough to make you forget all about going all the way to 300mm. Would I like a high-end zoom like a Sigma 120-400mm APO DG? You bet I would! But I don't have a thousand dollars to throw around. Maybe I'll start saving my pennies to purchase an awesome lens like that someday, but in the meantime I can get pretty good pictures with the dirt-cheap DA-L 55-200mm ED WR.

Here is one of the very first shots I took with this lens - not the best lighting, but it captured the moment:

_IGP3523 by Jimmy_Buzzard, on Flickr
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR



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