Pentax SMC DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED [IF] SDM - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
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Lens kindly provided by Falk Lumo!
The Pentax SMC-DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED [IF] SDM is a member of the professional grade DA* lineup.
Its field-of-view is equivalent to about 92-383mm on a full format DSLR so it's obviously
a lens which is primarily targeting sports and nature photography. The constant max. aperture
(f/4) allows comparatively fast shutter speeds whereas its effective depth-of-field capabilities
resemble a f/5.6 full format lens. A shallow depth-of-field remains possible but you either need
a comparatively long focal length and/or a close focus distance in order to produce a decent
background/foreground blur (aka bokeh). At around 1250EUR/US$ it is not exactly a cheap lens
but this pricing is rather typical for a lens in this class - see e.g. the
Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED (four-thirds) or the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS (full format).
Typical for a DA*lens the build quality is nothing short of excellent. The dust- and weather-sealed
lens body is based on a tightly assembled combination of metal and (few) high quality plastic parts.
The focus ring operates very smooth and slightly dampened. The zoom ring has a tiny bit of a variable
friction along the range but it's still very well implemented. Similar to its competitors the lens
extends when zooming towards the long end of the range. The tested sample showed no sign of
zoom creeping during the test phase. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer remains
easily possible. The Pentax lens may be a tad smaller and slightly more light-weight than a similar
full format lens but it's still quite a sight especially when mounting the supplied flower-shaped lens
hood. Typical for recently introduced Pentax lenses it features a SP coating on the front element to
repel dust, water and grease. The build-in tripod mount is stable and easy to turn.
Just like its Canon and Nikon counterparts the Pentax' "Supersonic Dynamic" (SDM) takes advantage
of ultrasonic waves to drive AF operations. The AF speed is relatively high although not substantially
faster than a conventional screw-driven AF lens. If you listen hard you may notice a high frequency
noise during operations but this is really not relevant in real world situations. Full time manual
focusing, Pentax calls it "Quick Shift", is available in one-shot AF mode.
|equiv. full-format focal-length||92-383mm|
|equiv. full format max. aperture (depth-of-field)||f/5.6|
|Optical construction||15 elements in 13 groups inc. 2 ED elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||1.1m (max. magnification ratio ~1:6.7)|
|Weight||1040g (lens only) - 1230g (lens, tripod mount + hood)|
|Filter size||67mm (non-rotating)|
|Other features||SDM, Quick-Shift, weather sealing, tripod mount|