200mm vintage lens shootout (APS-C)

Which of the vintage prime and zoom lenses is the sharpest at the focal length of 200mm? Because using a APS-C sensor, the angle of view compares to a 300mm focal length on full frame. Decide yourself by pixel peeping following 100% crops. 


The test scenario

All shots at the lens shootout location were shot with a tripod, aperture f8 and ISO 400. Here you see a photograph of the scenery shot with a focal length of 75mm. Same lighting condition for all lenses. The balkony of the house marked with a red cycle is used for the 100% crops:

vintage lens 200mm shootout

Now pixel peep yourself, which is the sharpest vintage lens? I included the exposure time. 


Pentacon 200mm f4, shot at aperture f8 and 1/2000s

vintage lens Pentacon 200mm f4

See details about this lens here: 
Pentacon 200mm f4


Canon FDn 200mm f2.8, shot at aperture f8 and 1/1600s

 vintage lens Canon FDn 200mm f2.8

See details about this lens here: 
Canon FDn 200mm f2.8


Tokina SZ-X 28-200mm f3.5-5.3, shot at aperture f8 and 1/500s

vintage lens Tokina SZ-X 28-200mm f3.5-5.3

Interesting, the tokina lens is much slower than indicated at aperture f8! Four times more light at 1/500s instead 1/2000s of the other lenses means a true f16 aperture instead a fake f8 at 200mm focal length. But at true f16, the tokina zoom lens shows almost no chromatic abberation (check the cast iron fence on the lower left of the photograph).

See details about this lens here: 
Tokina SZ-X 28-200mm f3.5-5.3


Vivitar 85-205mm f3.8, shot at aperture f8 and 1/2000s

vintage lens Vivitar 85-205mm f3.8

See details about this lens here: 
Vivitar 85-205mm f3.8


Which lens wins the 200mm shootout?

In my view, East German engineering wins with the Pentacon 200mm f4 lens. If you have a different view, please let me know in a comment below.

Pentacon 200mm f4 vintage lens

Specs: 600g weight, 134mm length, 6 aperture blades, 58mm filter, Praktica B or M42 mounts

Get more information about this vintage prime lens here https://www.pentaxforums.com and here: http://allphotolenses.com


Final remarks

Be aware, though, that the classic lenses are fully manual for focus and aperture setting. Also, some classic lenses do not perform well because of fungus, haze or balsam separation, and/or the lens might have been dropped or been treated badly. Look at the Classic Lens Buying Guide and 10-Points Checklist for more details here:

Better not to end up like Jan Eufinger with his Hanimex Hanimar 28mm f2.8, “probably the worst lens of the world“: https://www.youtube.com


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