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09-22-2010, 07:30 PM   #1
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Should I get the Pentax 50-135mm F2.8 or Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 for Portraits?

I'm stuck on which one I should get and I need to buy one in the next couple of days. I heard only good things mostly about both lenses but probably more good things about the Pentax. I will be using them for Outdoor Portrait Work and Weddings. Which do you think is better overall (focusing, colors, contrast, "pixie dust" look, build, etc.). The Sigma has the 4 year warranty on its side as opposed to only 1 year from Pentax. Thanks.


Last edited by crossover37; 09-22-2010 at 07:44 PM.
09-22-2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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The warranty, in my opinion, is the only advantage the Sigma lens has over the Pentax, in my opinion. I rented both before I purchased the 50-135 and it is now my most used lens. It's the sharpest zoom I've ever used, the build quality is exceptional, and the bokeh / colour rendition is very "Pentax-like" (ie: excellent).
09-22-2010, 07:59 PM   #3
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hmm interesting. Thank you for your input. Do you think the reach would be good enough for weddings too?
09-22-2010, 08:00 PM   #4
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I guess it depends on a few things. Which body are you using them with? The DA is weather sealed, so if you have a weather sealed body that may be a factor for your outdoor work. I'm not familiar with the Sigma, but I don't think it is weather sealed.

The DA 50-135 is a STUNNING portrait lens, it is the closest thing I have come across that can bear the designation 'a pocket full of primes'. Seriously, I have half a dozen DA*, Fa Ltd , etc primes and this lens loses nothing in comparison. The primes are just smaller and more discreet to use. The 50-135 is a monster lens in comparison otherwise it would basically live on one of my bodies at all times..

I'm not sure that Sigma has the 'pixie dust' formula. Apparently Pentax keep it in a top secret vault somewhere deep underground in Japan.

09-22-2010, 08:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
hmm interesting. Thank you for your input. Do you think the reach would be good enough for weddings too?
I think it should be. The FOV is similar to a 70-200 on a FF camera. I think for every time you might want a little extra reach, there will be at least as many times you'll be happy to have the extra width. I really love my 50-135 and the IQ is outstanding. It's also a lot smaller than the 70-200 alternatives. My only "issue" is I haven't used it as much lately since getting the 60-250/4 and 85/1.4.
09-22-2010, 08:40 PM   #6
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Cool, thank you for the advice. I'm think I will go with the 50-135mm! but what about the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8? Is that one not as good as the Sigma? What's weird is I read the 50-135mm focusing is really slow and the bokeh isn't as nice as the Sigma's. If the focusing is really slow on the 50-135mm that won't be good.

Last edited by crossover37; 09-23-2010 at 12:23 AM.
09-23-2010, 03:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
Cool, thank you for the advice. I'm think I will go with the 50-135mm! but what about the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8? Is that one not as good as the Sigma? What's weird is I read the 50-135mm focusing is really slow and the bokeh isn't as nice as the Sigma's. If the focusing is really slow on the 50-135mm that won't be good.
I personally prefer the Tamron 70-200/2.8 to the Sigma 70-200/2.8 (original). The Sigma has the faster AF, but I preferred the overall IQ from the Tamron, including what I felt were sharper images wide open a f/2.8.

Comparing the Tamron 70-200 to the 50-135, I would say the IQ between the Tamron and Pentax were on par, which is to say I had no complaints about either one. AF was a bit faster with the Tamron; as the Pentax is (as you read) a bit on the slow side. That said, I don't think you'd have any issues using the 50-135 as a wedding lens. In addition, there are several advantages of the Pentax over the Tamron (IMO), including the reduced physical size, near-silent AF, (the Tamron is pretty loud) and a better focal length range for people shots (again, IMO).
09-23-2010, 03:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
I'm stuck on which one I should get and I need to buy one in the next couple of days. I heard only good things mostly about both lenses but probably more good things about the Pentax. I will be using them for Outdoor Portrait Work and Weddings. Which do you think is better overall (focusing, colors, contrast, "pixie dust" look, build, etc.). The Sigma has the 4 year warranty on its side as opposed to only 1 year from Pentax. Thanks.
I used both for some time.
Pentax is much smaller .
Sigma HSM is fast and AF is very reliable - tested with K20D.
I've never tested them together but never had any problems with quality of shots. Both are best in their class zoom lenses. I tested sharpness of Sigma at f2.8 against some prime lenses and results were exceptionally good.

So in my opinion you should take into account: weight, size, price and your preferences - do you need more wide or longer lens.

From time to time 200mm i very usefull.

Pentax PENTAX K20D,Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM
1/320s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso200


Pentax PENTAX K20D,Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM
1/800s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso200


Pentax PENTAX K20D,Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM
1/500s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso320


09-23-2010, 04:30 AM   #9
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The 50-135 is the perfect set of focal lengths for wedding photography when paired with a wider angle (17-50, 16-50) zoom. The Sigma and Tamron both suffer from being longer and not wide enough. Even at 50mm, there are times that you wish you could zoom out a little farther, whereas the extra length on the end isn't nearly as useful. The Tamron is a pretty noisy lens too and wouldn't necessarily work so well in wedding situations. Get an extended warranty with your lens and it will cut the worries down signficantly.
09-23-2010, 05:42 AM   #10
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I don't do weddings, but for street/travel portraits I think I'll find the extra 20mm at the wide end much more useful than the extra 75mm on the long end.

Plus the Pentax is smaller and is weather-sealed, if those are important to you.
09-23-2010, 09:13 AM   #11
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OT, which is better between the da* 50-135 and the fa 77 for portaits? thank you.
09-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #12
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For street stuff I use the DA* 60-250mm (even though I have the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8).
With cameras getting better and better at high Iso I don't think you need 2.8 so much, especially outside.







09-26-2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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How about the Sigma 50-150 mm F2.8?
09-26-2010, 10:22 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
Piotr:Pentax PENTAX K20D,Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM
1/800s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso200

This is a fantastic portrait!
09-26-2010, 10:35 PM   #15
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In small churches its nice being able to back out to 50mm.
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