Pentax SMC DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Saturday, 16 February 2008 15:45
Page 1 of 3
Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Oliver Kirchner!
The Pentax SMC DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM is a long awaited lens in the Pentax community. Prior of
the DA* 200mm f/2.8 and its sister lens, the DA* 300mm f/4, Pentax users had to consider
third party lenses when seeking for high quality lenses beyond the DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 "kit" lens.
When having a deeper look at the optical construction of the lens the reason for the delay
is actually a bit mysterious. The DA* 200mm f/2.8 doesn't seem to be an all new design but
strongly based on the old FA* 200mm f/2.8 (discontinued in 2004). Consequently it is also a full
format lens despite the "DA" part of the name. On today's APS-C Pentax/Samsung DSLRs its
field-of-field is equivalent to about 310mm in classic terms.
The DA* 200mm f/2.8 is part of Pentax' professional grade lens lineup and, correspondingly,
it is a beautifully crafted lens. The outer body is obviously made of metal and
the broad, rubberized focus ring operates very smooth. The lens is also sealed against dust
and moisture and The Pentax Super Protect (SP) coating on the front element has been
optimized to repel dust, water and grease. Thanks to an IF (internal focusing) design the
front element does not rotate and the physical size of the lens remains constant regardless
of the focus setting. The deep lens hood features a removable "window"
which provides access to the filter area so it's possible to use a polarizer even with
attached hood - a simple and smart solution.
The lens uses the new SDM ("Supersonic Dynamic Motor") which is similar to Canon's USM or
Nikon's silent wave drive. Typical for most of these AF implementations the operation
is virtually silent and very fast. Thanks to a "Quick Shift" system it is possible
to override the AF in single-shot AF mode without the need to switch between AF and MF mode.
There's also the old drive-screw AF interface so the lens does also support pre-SDM SLRs
|Optical construction||9 elements in 8 groups inc. 2x ED elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||1.2m (max. magnification ratio 1:5)|
|Filter size||77mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Barrel shaped (supplied)|
|Other features||ultrasonic AF motor with quick-shift. SP-coating.|