Best 200/4 for action?

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ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 4,622
Re: Best 200/4 for action?

sportyaccordy wrote:

Looking at Rokkor 200s... seems there's a bunch of them. Which one is the best bang for the buck? 200/3.5, 200/4, 200/4.5? I am leaning towards the 3.5 for more speed, but it looks to be the cheapest.... I want the one that performs the best wide open.

The f/2.8 generally gets the most respect, but it's pricey, big, and rare. The f/4 is widely discussed as being the "best" of the others, but it depends. Apparently the f/4.5 is supposed to be a lot like the f/4, but even skinnier and not quite as good. The f/3.5 is bigger and has more of that old school sharpness decay off axis... which arguably makes it better for APS-C sensors. I've not personally used other than the f/4 of these Minoltas.

In truth, 200mm is not a focal length I use that much. However, I really like the fact that my MD Tele Rokkor-X f/4 is so much like my MD Tele Rokkor-X 135mm f/2.8 in nearly every way (including size).

If you really want an f/3.5, I'm not kidding that the cheaper-than-dirt Vivitar 200mm f/3.5 is also a very solid performer in every way but axial CA -- for many kinds of action, you don't have anything slightly out of focus, so the axial CA wouldn't be obvious. How bad is the axial CA on the Vivitar?  Here's my standard worst-case example:

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