Pentax SMC-FA Zoom 28-200mm f/3,8-5.6 AL (IF) Reviews

Nov 27th, 2006rae2

Priced Paid
? see text

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

Lens came bundled with an eBay purchase of the Pentax MZ-5 body. It seems to "work" OK - manual zoom is fine, and AF works "as advertised."

Results range from good (bright conditions, medium zoom) to noticeably average (lower light, full zoom). I wouldn't rate this lens as "excellent" under any conditions. Whether this is the fault of the operator or the lens or some combination I cannot say for sure.

I own an older, manual Pentax 85mm f/1.8 "prime" lens and have only the results using this lens to use as comparison. I MUCH prefer the sharpness and subtle handling of contrast I get from the 85mm. The results using this lens I would rate as excellent all the time.

While the 28-200 zoom is a very handy "all purpose" convenience at times (all auto - just point and shoot), it is heavy and causes the camera to tilt down when carried over the shoulder. After a few paces the lens extends to its full length under its own weight. Bothersome and looks silly.

Also, when partially extended (zoomed) there is a noticeable wobble in the 3 sections that comprise the barrel. I can't imagine this random variability in lens element positioning having a POSITIVE effect on sharpness!

When the potential quality of the shot is important to me, I use the 85mm. For 4x6 snapshots and convenience, the zoom is OK (but 200mm zoom for a film camera is not really very much power - anything small like a squirrel or bird far away will still be "far away" with just 200mm).

Since I bought the lens bundled I don't know how much I paid... I wouldn't actually pay more than $75 for it by itself. The cost for a good photo is mostly in the time, trouble and expense of getting in a position to take it. Why blow what could have been an EXCELLENT picture by shooting with a mediocre lens or cheap film?
Mar 3rd, 2007Pinnie3151

Priced Paid
don't know

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

I have been in photography for 35 years.
The only thing I agree with the last comment is the fact that the lens will extend while pointing down but I don't know many lenses of this size that doesn't extend under these conditions. Yes it's a little heavy, but considering the lightweight of the Pentax 10D it IS going to point down if not supported. As far as sharpness is concerned, I have taken many closeups that are very sharp.I can see separate strands of hair on a babies face. Pretty sharp to me. Maybe you need to us a good tripod at low lighting!
Dec 19th, 2011Birdsong

Priced Paid
4 100

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

Some say this lens was actually made for Pentax by Tamron. It does have the Pentax SMC coating. I purchased one for times when I wanted to carry just a single lens. It is heavy on my K20, but I do not get any lens creep. Overall image quality is good and requires little editing. I can recommend this lens to anyone.

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