Eric L. Woods

This Old Lens: SMC Pentax-F 80-200mm F4.7-5.6 – Come on. It was $39.

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This is not my first inexpensive film era Pentax zoom. That would be the Pentax 80-320mm. It performed quite well:

Fun lens. At a little more than $100 it was a small price for a lens that reaches 320mm. Had a humble variable aperture spec but the focal length allowed for a good bit of bokeh. It also played well with the full frame K-1. Said this when I bought it:

Received it today and I can already say that this is a keeper.

Not exactly accurate since I eventually sold off both the lens and camera a couple of years ago. Was there anything wrong with the lens? No. It was a typical Pentax lens. Below I will share modified bullet points from the 80-320mm post that also apply to the 80-200mm followed by why I like this lens particular lens.

  • A competent focusing lens. I have briefly tested the focusing at every focal length and it performs just fine.
  • Very compact and lightweight given it’s focal length.
  • Very nice colors. Outside and in it seems to render colors accurately with the K-1.
  • Very reasonable price wise.
  • Produces nice bokeh and at the longer end backgrounds are very well blown out.

Specific to the 80-200m:

Pentax 80-200mm f/4.7-5.6
  • I was smitten with the looks of the 80-320mm with its silver build, but I must admit that I like the more plain and straightforward 80-200mm.
Pentax 100mm f/2.8 WR
Pentax 80-200mm
Pentax 80-200mm
  • $100-$150 is not a lot, but I bought this lens for $39 in excellent condition.
  • The 80-200m is considerably more compact than the 80-320mm. In fact it is not that much larger than the MFT Olympus 50-150mm. But here is the kicker. That is closed at the shortest focal length. This lens zooms internally and is much smaller than even the Olympus lens at the long end. The front element does spin and extend a bit but not that much.
Pentax 80-200mm - at short end of range
Closest zoom focal length.
Pentax 80-200mm - at long end of range
Longest zoom focal length.
80-200mm close focus for infinity
Infinity.
80-200mm close focus for blog post
Closest focus.

I will once again pull from that earlier post as I wrap up.

“…some say that it is no professional lens, but I think that misses the point considering the price point. For starters while I would admit that it would not be a professionals first choice, an enthusiast with a mortal budget could produce some stunning work with this lens.”

I will be adding samples as they gather to this gallery here. But I pretty much know what to expect. A respectable performance.

Pentax 80-200mm

A fine little lens made even better at $39.

-ELW

Pentax 80-200mm
Pentax 80-200mm
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