Pentax SMC DA* 60-250mm f4 ED (IF) SDM is a STAR!

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3Percent Contributing Member • Posts: 940
Pentax SMC DA* 60-250mm f4 ED (IF) SDM is a STAR!

There should be a bit of a revival for this lens now that the K-3 Mark III is out and fully matured. For the price, I found it to be the best overall zoom lens for action subjects for continuous AF (BIF for example) of several lenses I've tested. But it's got a lot of other things going for it too.


Once it's locked on, it tracks tenaciously in CAF with the K3/III and produces very consistent results with a high keeper rate. The key here is consistency and reliability. Which it has in spades paired with the awesome K-3 Mark III. I'll trade top end focus speed for those two traits any day of the week, including the extra day on leap year. Keeper rates are very high, in fact that's quite annoying because it just means I more post processing work/decision making after a shoot.

As they say, it's a good problem to have.

It may take a bit of time to rack the entire focus range end to end (which is why some claim its slower to focus), but most subjects will be out in the 10% extreme end of focusing. Mix that with the K-3's ability to supercharge this lens (indeed it focuses faster than my K5II). Ultimate focusing speed then, like the 55-300mm PLM for example, is not necessary. It's a winner for action work, and you don't have to stop down either.


Optically, they really don't get better in this class, even wide open its fantastic through the range and at f/5.6 it's ridiculously sharp corner to corner, no bad traits! Add that Pentax has given you a bit of extra room to work with on the wide (60 vs. 70) and tele end (250 vs 200) as a nice bonus compared to the competition 70-200mm f/4 lenses.

There's no vignetting on APS-C, no CA to speak of, its tack sharp from end to end, and has decent close focus. Bokeh its gorgeous too, making this lens highly versatile on APS-C, and a gem workhorse for full frame work. The optics are definitely good enough to resolve the highest MP sensors up too and beyond 2023.

Handling and Build:

It handles great, its weighty enough to be a stable platform but not uncomfortable for all day hand carry. It's mechanical quality is top notch, lots of metal here, a typical DA* pro build w with top notch weather sealing. The zoom and focus rings feel sublime, and there's no creeping. A neat design feature is that the tripod mount foot can be removed while still leaving the rotating collar in place (its a nice aesthetic touch for those who like to hand hold).

It's a Wrap:

Used (and new holiday) prices are insane good on this lens, and its an incredible value.

This is a killer lens for the K-Mount and an especially fantastic companion for the K-3 Mark III. Really good on the K1 class bodies. Its better than the typical 70-200 f/4 class lenses with bonus additional focal length, better weather sealing, and a unique tripod collar design.

The overall performance, versatility, and it's great prices these days makes it easily a 5 star recommendation.

 3Percent's gear list:3Percent's gear list
Ricoh GR Digital IV Fujifilm X-S1 Canon PowerShot S120 Panasonic FZ1000 Ricoh GR II +43 more
Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM
Telephoto zoom lens • Pentax KAF2 • 21750
Announced: Sep 22, 2008
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Pentax K-1 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM
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