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08-14-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
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Pentax 50-135mm or Tamron 70-200mm ?

Now i've got the possibility of getting a Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 for a very good price secondhand : €500

I could also buy a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 for : €450 .

I'm looking to change my 55-300mm f/4-5.8 for something much sharper , i mainly shoop portraits but i would also have to find something with a longer reach for shooting on circuits ... motorbikes.

I know that the 50-135mm will be better at AF and a little lighter too but the Tamron 70-200mm will give me longer range and by what i have read so far , it's very sharp.

I could take the 50-135mm now and later buy a 200mm f/2.8 or 300mm f/4
I could also take the Tamron 70-200mm and use a teleconverter to get to 300mm f/4 ?

Mmmhh difficult

08-14-2010, 02:42 AM   #2
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I'd get the Pentax
Better in every way except the 200mm on the Tammy. And the 50-135 is almost 2x lighter and way smaller. Consider that also.
08-14-2010, 03:20 AM   #3
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This is a common contemplation in searching for a fast telephoto zoom.
Whichever way you go, you can't lose - both are exceptionally good lenses.
If you go Tamron, then be sure to test it out early so as not to come across the prevalent 'sticky aperture' problem - which is a repairable defect under warranty.

Just decide what focal length range you want and just go with that.
08-14-2010, 03:35 AM   #4
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the 50-135mm if you take the SDM risk. You could pair it with a 1.4x TC and get the 200mm reach with a minor loss in IQ.

IF you don't mind the bulkiness and need an even longer reach, go for the Tammy and a TC.

08-14-2010, 04:24 AM   #5
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I spoke to a Pentax repairman a few days ago. Not one 50-135 has been returned due to SDM failure. In Croatia at least
08-14-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr. B Quote
I spoke to a Pentax repairman a few days ago. Not one 50-135 has been returned due to SDM failure. In Croatia at least
hallelujah!

My next question is how many they've sold until now? Croatia is a fairly small yet beautiful country (I have visited it 3 times) so maybe the number of 50-135mm sold is very small
08-14-2010, 01:31 PM   #7
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I really don't know the exact number

I asked about SDM because I intend to get the 50-135 and he just said that if I can find one used at good price that I can take it because the motors work just fine in them.

Hope you liked it in Croatia and that you'll come again
08-14-2010, 09:49 PM   #8
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I have the SDM 50-135 lens and i've always considered it a professional quality lens. I've had it for over a year now and no problems with SDM. according to benjikan who had his SDM motors replaced proactively, the new upgraded motors focus faster than previously. So i'm no longer concerned about failure, i'll just get the upgrade mod. This image quality from this zoom is as good as anything i've seen from Pentax primes - which is saying a lot. I've taken some head shots with the lens for play programs, and i thought the IQ was great for a portrait.

best wishes,

08-14-2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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Will you people stop talking about the damn lens. I can't afford it yet and it's driving me crazy
08-14-2010, 11:51 PM   #10
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I was just going to ask this question myself. I have a 55-300mm and I really wish it were a bit faster at the long end, so I have been having this internal debate with myself about whether to get the 50-135mm or one of the Tamron/Sigma 70-200mm alternatives. I'd really love the DA* 60 - 250mm but that's beyond my budget, plus its largest aperture is f/4 anyway.

I like the idea of the HSM on the Sigma version, and I hear the auto-focus is slow and noisy on the Tamron version. If the DA* 16-50mm is any indication, the 50-135 would be a nice lens, but it would be nice if it were a little longer. If you slap a TC on it you'll end up with an f/4 lens, so I might as well get the 60-250mm then, since I'd have to buy a decent TC too.

I have a 135mm manual focus lens that does 2.8 and is pretty sharp, except it has a pretty bad front focus problem which make s it hard to use.

Oh worrah, worrah, worrah.

Last edited by GregK8; 08-15-2010 at 05:47 AM. Reason: Fix my nasty typos from 3 in the morning.
08-15-2010, 12:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GregK8 Quote

..., and I here the auto-focus is slow and noisy on the Tamron version.
Well, I find the autofocus faster on my Tamron 70-200/2.8 than on my Pentax DA* 50-135, using the K7 body at least. I guess you hear a lot about the slow autofocus on the Tamron because usually when tested it is not on the Pentax mount, meaning the lens have a built in focus motor that is not especially good.

I find the AF quite quick on the Tamron, of course not as fast as some small FA/DA primes, but fast enough in most cases.
08-15-2010, 04:48 AM   #12
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I used to have both of those.
I liked DA* more because of it's size, quiet focusing and more useful range (for me).
On the other side, the close focus ability of Tamron combined with trully remarkable IQ makes it perfect contestant.
Both of these had it's fair share of negative exposure.
DA* has been well know to SDM fail (although I don't see this issue popping up often lately) and Tamron has been know to have sticky aperture lever (my copy had this) and some decentering issues.
I'd say it's dow to:
a) do you need reach
b) do you need close focus
c) do you need WR
d) do you need 50-70 range
e) do you mind size

answer these questions and you'll have a winner.
Truth is, IQ wise you can't go wrong with either IMHO.

my 2p
08-15-2010, 08:10 AM   #13
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The Tamron has great IQ and obviously a longer reach. It also has a sticky aperture problem, in many cases.

The Pentax has great IQ and wonderful build quality, weather sealing, etc. It also has SDM problems, in many cases.

Pick your poison.
08-15-2010, 08:56 AM   #14
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How about the sigma 50-150 mm F2.8 II EX DC HSM?
08-15-2010, 09:54 AM   #15
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Our own jsherman999 has sung the praises of that lens (albeit mounted on a Nikon D90) more than once:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/53035-sigma-50...-shootout.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/52358-sigma-50...pressions.html
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