very good fully open some CAs

Started Jul 1, 2014 | User reviews
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sandglass
New MemberPosts: 4
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very good fully open some CAs
Jul 1, 2014

The SMC DA* 200 F2.8 comes fully sealed and lightweighted at 850g. It is very handy. the silent focus works at supreme level, it is reliable and quite fast. this is the only option to go for wildlife. mechanical focus systems are normally not usable for wildlife photography except in the ZOO or in commercial Parks. there the animals mostly turn away in a disgusted manner from any two legged individual or are simply bored of humans. In almost real situations only silent focus is doing its job whithout scaring the little beeings off. So SDM is a must have.
The Image Quality:
Above F4.0 the IQ is very good and improves a bit when stepped down to F8.0. In this range the sharpness ist very good all over the frame. the colors are reproduced reliable and authentic.
All apertures slower than F4.0/F3.5 produce a soft image and fully open chromatic abberations are visible even when the image is not zoomed to a 1:1 size. But F2.8 is a valuable option for low light conditions or art shots.

The lens might be a bit pricy. What the customer gets is a high quality fine build handy and good working lens.

1/800s, F5.0 ISO200, Pentax K-50

1/800s, F5.0 ISO100, Pentax K-50

1/500s, F3.5, ISO160, K-50

sandglass's score
4.5
Average community score
4.5
Pentax K-50 Pentax smc DA* 200mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM
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asahi man
Contributing MemberPosts: 637Gear list
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Re: very good fully open some CAs
In reply to sandglass, Jul 2, 2014

Rote Rathaus?

Best regards

 asahi man's gear list:asahi man's gear list
Pentax K-3 II Pentax FA 70-200 F2.8 Pentax FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6
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JeffAHayes
Senior MemberPosts: 1,968Gear list
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Re: very good fully open some CAs
In reply to sandglass, Jul 3, 2014

Pics look great, Sandglass, and it's my understanding the DA* 200 really IS an outstanding lens, as are all FIVE DA* lenses.

In my case, being someone who seems to ALWAYS want "just a little more reach" and who can never afford to get every lens, I opted to spend just a bit more and get the DA* 300. Even though its fastest aperture is F 4, it's still a fantastic lens, and with the high ISOs AND image stabilization available with today's cameras, that extra F-stop is never an issue for me (hasn't been for anyone else I know who has it, either -- and there are LOADS of folks here who have and love that lens -- they're the ones who talked ME into getting it  ).

At any rate, enjoy your 200. Sometimes 200 IS just right. I don't have any 200 lenses, although I have a couple of zooms that go through that focal length. Neither of them is a "fast" lens, nor certainly anywhere near DA* quality, though. But I get by.

Keep on shootin'!

Jeff

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A word is worth 1/1000th of a picture... Maybe that's why I use so many words!

 JeffAHayes's gear list:JeffAHayes's gear list
Pentax WG-3 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-30 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM +8 more
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sandglass
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Re: very good fully open some CAs
In reply to asahi man, Jul 4, 2014

Yepp, the "Rote Rathaus",
the upper tower part.

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sandglass
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Re: very good fully open some CAs
In reply to JeffAHayes, Jul 4, 2014

JeffAHayes wrote:

Pics look great, Sandglass, and it's my understanding the DA* 200 really IS an outstanding lens, as are all FIVE DA* lenses.

In my case, being someone who seems to ALWAYS want "just a little more reach" and who can never afford to get every lens, I opted to spend just a bit more and get the DA* 300. Even though its fastest aperture is F 4, it's still a fantastic lens, and with the high ISOs AND image stabilization available with today's cameras, that extra F-stop is never an issue for me (hasn't been for anyone else I know who has it, either -- and there are LOADS of folks here who have and love that lens -- they're the ones who talked ME into getting it ).

Thank You.
For a bit more reach and flexibility the DA* 60-250 f/4.0 is a real option. if using longer focal length than aperture below f/4 is mostly pointless. the depth of field gets small as a peace of paper.
If U intend to own a zoom lens ranging through 200mm and if this should be excellent, the Pentax DA* 60-250 might be the very best choice though the prime 200mm is much more handy.
kind regards
Peter

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Brentliris
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Re: very good fully open some CAs
In reply to sandglass, 3 months ago

I'm resurrecting this old thread because I'm going through a hard decision process about longer reach. I've looked at the 60-250, the way it extends, and the weight bothers me, I'm thinking using the DA*200 and then poppiing the 1.4 TC that I already own when I need extra reach could be a good solution. Also the lens being 2.8 gives some interesting possibilities for low light work and working with creative use of Out of focus areas..

Another thing to consider is the DA*200 2.8 is based on a older FF lens, so it will likely perform quite decently on the upcoming FF camera..

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Reflections, understandings, discoveries and intimations..

 Brentliris's gear list:Brentliris's gear list
Ricoh GR Pentax K-5 Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited +9 more
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candgpics
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Re: very good fully open some CAs
In reply to Brentliris, 3 months ago

Hi Brentliris:

I own the DA* 60-250 and DA* 300 lenses. I tried the DA*200 for a few weeks.

I also own the Sigma 70-200 2.8 APO EX DG HSM (lots of letters!!!).

The 60-250 is a pretty good sized lens. I use a Carry Speed camera strap when I use the 60-250 (as well as when I shoot with the Sigma). The 60-250 is a great lens, but it does expand when you zoom; and, retracted it is almost the size of the Sigma (not quite; the Sigma is a beast in length and weight and I am a big guy).

The 60-250 is an excellent lens, even wide open. Of course, it sharpens when stopped down, even just to f4.5, but it has that nice "Pentax rendering" wide open.

The 300 is a wonderful lens. I think it is better than the 60-250; wide open at f4 it is just great. Again, it sharpens up at f4.5 and some more at f5.6, but it really is a great lens wide open. I have used it for portraits even though I was a bit far from my subject. The focal length and the lens itself produces really nice bokeh. It, too, has that intangible Pentax rendering that we all (or at least some of us) talk about perhaps a bit too much. I do not use the 300 often, but it is one of those lenses that I just cannot sell despite my infrequent use of it.

The 60-250 and the 300 are about the same size--though, as noted the 60-250 expands when zooming.

The 200 is a nice lens, similar in size to the Sigma 18-35 f 1.8 lens. The 200 is big enough that a tripod collar would be nice, though it is not necessary. Weighty, but not so much that it feels too front heavy on a camera.

The 200 is a very good lens, optimized I think to be sharp (though not bitingly sharp) at f2.8. I found it did sharpen up a bit stopped down, but it really seemed made to be sharp no matter the aperture--so, the improvement is much more limited than one might expect.

In terms of purple fringing on the 200, it is there, but it is there with my DA* 55, too, when I use it at the beach or at our pool. The 200, I think, however, exhibits more PF than my 55 or other lenses, but I always shoot RAW and edit in Photoshop CC--and do not mind spending a lot of time on individual photos (this is a hobby for me; a serious one, but a hobby). And, some efforts can be taken to minimize PF (e.g., not shooting directly into a bright/high contrast scene and stopping down), but I recognize that is not always possible--after all, one buys an f2.8 lens for a reason.

I chose to not keep the 200 because I felt I would not use it as much as I had initially thought (I owned the 300 at the time). Later I decided to sell my DA* 50-135 and purchased the 60-250.

Also, with the 300, it really is kind of sublime. I am sure I am making things more poetic than need be, but shooting with the 300 is like shooting with the 31 Limited. I am sure there is some placebo effect, but there does seem to be something "extra" there. I did not get that feeling with the 200. Having said that, one of my favorite pictures of one of our children was taken with the 200 (I made it b&w) at a local beach. I made it into an 8x10 and it sits framed in my office.

So, all (or at least most) lenses are capable of producing fine images.

Hope the above is helpful.

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM +6 more
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