Pentax SMC-FA* 80-200mm f/2.8 [IF] ED - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Pentax
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2007

Special thanks to Oliver Kirchner for providing this lens!


The Pentax SMC FA* 80-200mm f/2.8 [IF] ED is part of the classic silver-colored professional grade lens series made by Pentax. The lens has been discontinued back in 2004 and eventually it will be replaced by the new Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8. Typical for lenses of this design era it is a full format lens and when used on today's APS-C DSLRs its field-of-view is equivalent to about 120-300mm. Regarding the large max. aperture of f/2.8 the typical applications are portrait and press photography.

As expected the build quality is excellent thanks to a durable metal lens body made and tight tolerances. Pentax implemented a focus clutch mechanism so you can change between AF and manual focusing by pushing/pulling the broad rubberized focus ring (without needing to switch the AF mode on the camera). In manual mode the focus ring operates very smooth. The zoom mechanism is rather unusual - you can choose between a motorized (power-)zoom and a conventional zooming (also by pushing/pulling the zoom ring). Using the power-zoom function feels odd and not overly precise but it is a strictly optional feature anyway. Thanks to a dedicated tripod mount the lens feels well balanced when used on a tripod. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem.

The FA* 80-200mm f/2.8 has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. Thanks to an internal focusing system and the decoupling of focus ring and AF motor the AF speed is very high. The AF accuracy was Okayish with the tested sample.

Equiv. focal length120-300 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction16 elements in 13 groups inc. 4 ED elements
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance1.4 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5)
Dimensions88 x 195 mm
Weight1510 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel shaped, snap-on type (supplied)
Other featurestripod-mount, AF/MF clutch, power zoom

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