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Archive 2010 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED
  
 
jcolwell
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


I just snagged one of these rare beauties. I expect that I'll have it in a week or so. I look forward to comparing it with my Canon 200/1.8L, Mamiya A 200/2.8 APO, Leica Apo-Telyt-R 180/3.4, and Canon L zooms.

Stay tuned...



Sep 18, 2010 at 03:36 AM
Krosavcheg
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Nice one! Would love to see the shots!
I just missed one on Yahoo auctions.. or rather, ignored. Nobody seemed to bid on it until the sell expired. Go figure!



Sep 18, 2010 at 11:43 AM
MDelinquento
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


James,
That's one of my two most valued Pentax K-mount lenses (The Voigtlander 125mm f2.5 macro being the other). I'm very curious about how it stacks up to the greats in your collection. These A* lenses are pretty uncommon; I've never seen another copy of mine in person and have only seen 2 for sale ads over the past five years.


Long Beach Plovers









M



Sep 19, 2010 at 04:02 AM
deadwolfbones
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


I think the A* 200 Macro is even more rare, and more valuable...

The non-macro A* 200 is essentially optically identical to the FA and DA 200/2.8.



Sep 19, 2010 at 06:29 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


I'm excited. It will be very interesting to see which one gets sold: Mamiya A 200/2.8 APO or SMC Pentax-A* ED 200/2.8. The Pentax is smaller and lighter, but I'm not sure if it's possible to be better than the APO. Hopefully, they'll be the same in the IQ department.

The SMC Pentax-A* ED 200/4 Macro is currently very scarce, but quite a few of them sold on eBay over the past five years - at least one a month, on average. The Lens$db price buffers are well stocked for both [E+] and [M-] sales of this one, with most recent sales in Jan and May of this year. Before I bought this A* 200/2.8, the most recent sales that I recorded for Lens$db were in Oct 2007 and Mar 2008 - none since then.



Sep 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM
hiepphotog
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


I had the FA* 200 macro in the past. Despite of all the hype that it's the best 200 macro, I don't feel that the lens was as good as the Voigtlander 125. So the current asking price for that lens at around $3500 is quite ridiculous. As for this lens, I though that the latest DA* 200 is the sharpest of them all.


Sep 19, 2010 at 03:13 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


hiepphotog wrote:
...As for this lens, I though that the latest DA* 200 is the sharpest of them all


You might be right, but it won't be so useful on a full frame EOS body. I want to compare it with some lenses that I know are fantastic, just to see how it does.



Sep 19, 2010 at 04:11 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Oooooooh!












Sep 24, 2010 at 03:54 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Here's the competition. It's really not all that big, is it?

I'll post comparisons as time goes on. The highest interest for me is the three primes: Leica Apo-Telyt-R 180/3.4, SMCP-A* ED 200/2.8, and Mamiya A 200/2.8 APO.






















Sep 24, 2010 at 03:56 PM
gasrocks
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


There is an OLY 180/2 up on eBay right now. I am tempted to make them an offer. You gotta get the Leica 180/2 APO!!


Sep 24, 2010 at 05:01 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



jcolwell
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


gasrocks wrote:
There is an OLY 180/2 up on eBay right now. I am tempted to make them an offer.


Looks like a really interesting lens.It's Buy It Now price is in line with the one [M-] eBay sale that I have in Lens$db, in July 2009. Good luck!

gasrocks wrote:
...You gotta get the Leica 180/2 APO!!


You and Conner999 are both bad influences. Stop it!



Sep 24, 2010 at 06:25 PM
HerbChong
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


i had an A* 300/4 and a FA* 300/4.5 at the same time. the A* lens wasn't worth keeping for its optical performance and i sold it after a few months. the bokeh was really harsh for objects just outside the plane of focus and it had much lower contrast by comparison. i eventually sold the FA* lens because i just wasn't shooting anything worth using it on and it was a cosmetically ugly lens anyway, though what matters, the optics, was in perfect condition. having both the FA* 300/4.5 and the FA* 400/5.6 was pointless anyway as the few times i needed a long Pentax lens, the 400 was the better focal length. i still have that.

Herb...



Sep 24, 2010 at 06:28 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Hi Herb,

That's one of the main things I want to look at - bokeh. The Mamiya APO has beautiful bokeh, and it's super sharp. The Apo-Telyt is also super sharp and relatively compact, but it's bokeh isn't all that great in many circumstances.

Jim



Sep 24, 2010 at 06:35 PM
gasrocks
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Have you also considered a Nikon 180/2.8 ED AI-S? I still have my copy. Nice for when I get tired of holding the bigger lenses.


Sep 24, 2010 at 07:56 PM
gasrocks
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Have you also considered a Nikon 180/2.8 ED AI-S? I still have my copy. Nice for when I get tired of holding the bigger lenses.


Sep 24, 2010 at 07:57 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Thanks for the suggestion Gene, but I think I'm in deep enough, already. Also, I've tried many Nikkors, and the only one that I'm hanging on to for the long term is the ED 500/4P - long term is defined as, until I get an EF 500/4L IS II.


Sep 24, 2010 at 08:17 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


I actually got a double-take out of Dave today, at the Camera Repair Centre (CRC) in Halifax. I walked in, and said "Hi, Dave". Then I put my camera on the counter and said (as I often do), "look what I found". He looked down at the A* 200/2.8 + 1DsIII, looked away, and then I had it - first time. I've laid a lot of primo glass on that counter, and this is the best reaction ever, so far.


Sep 24, 2010 at 09:49 PM
MDelinquento
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Hi Jim,
So how did you mount that A*200mm on your EOS? It looks like an adapter. What degree(s) of functionality still exist?
If I could get mine to work on my 7D, I'd be super happy.

Thanks,

M



Sep 25, 2010 at 12:11 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


Hi M,

First, you cut off the aperture lever and lever shield at the mount. This operation is commonly called an aperture leverectomy. Then you attach a Pentax-K to EOS adapter, and mount it on the camera. I'll describe the procedure in a little more detail in the next posting.

You have to do the aperture leverectomy to put a K-mount lens on a full frame or 1.3x crop factor body, but not on a 1.6x CF body. I decided to 'fix' the -A* 200/2.8 right away, because I'm most interested in its full frame performance.

Here's a sequence of photos that show what I mean.

1. first view of K-mount aperture lever and lever shield
2. second view
3. unmodified K-mount with K to EOS adapter attached
4. leverectomized K-mount with K to EOS adapter attached

Jim






















Sep 25, 2010 at 01:04 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · SMC Pentax-A* 200/2.8 ED


I perform this operation in a straightforward and somewhat brutal fashion. Note that, on some K-mount lenses, it's possible to remove the end of the aperture lever without the snipping described below, but many have a single-piece lever that goes all of the way in, right to the diaphragm. With this arrangement, you can't simply remove the whole lever, as it disables the diaphragm. I don't bother fussing around any more. Off with his head!

First, I remove the plastic ring/sleeve that the lever shield is attached to (usually it's a single piece). The shield ring is held in place by three small screws that go into the side of the K-mount. You can see the head of one of these screws just below the leverectomized K-mount in the first photo below.

Once the shield ring is off, I cover all of the butt end of the lens with masking tape, and then cut off the aperture lever with a pair of crosscut or bullnose wire cutters. One snip - right off! The -A* 200/2.8 is deeply recessed into the lens body (about 4cm), and so you don't have to worry about getting sticky tape stuff on the glass. Many other lenses have the rear element right at the mount. In this case, I simply cover the rear element with a small disk of clean paper, and than tape it up. The lever is very hard steel, so don't loose control of what you're doing while you're cutting it off - stay in balance. It's easy to nibble off the shield using a Dremmel, but I usually take the cutters to that too - brutal! I don't attempt to Dremmel or cut off the aperture lever, as I figure the vibration imparted to the lens can't be a good thing.

I've done this to a few quite valuable Pentax lenses that I later sold, and it had no apparent effect on price. I suspect that there are more EOS DSLR shooters using manual focus Pentax K-mount lenses than Pentax DSLR shooters. I'll be snipping my first -FA* lens later today.

I have two types of K to EOS adapters (more correctly called K to EF adapter), as shown in the second photo below, which is a front/back composite of both adapters. The one on the left was the first one I found in 2004, made in Germany by Mr. Rolf. I don't know if he's still in the business. I haven't seen them on eBay for many years. The second adapter on the right in the photo below arrived on a lens that I bought about five years ago from Mark Hubsand (16-9.net). I don't know anything more about it, but it's a really good adapter. I have no experience with the K to EOS adapters currently on the market.













Sep 25, 2010 at 01:09 PM
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