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12-20-2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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DA 17-70 + DA*60-250 or DA*16-50 + DA*50-135

or, of course, I could go DA* 16-50 and the 60-250.

How does the 17-70 compare to the * series glass. I know it focusses blazingly fast. Also, how does the DA* 60-250 compare to the DA* 50-135?

Just curious...

Cameron

12-20-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
I know it focusses blazingly fast
Are you sure about this? They are both SDM...

I would personally select the 16-50 + 50-135 because they are very useful zoom ranges, neither zoom tries to do too much, and my favorite images have been posted from those two zooms.

It's a heavy kit, though!
12-20-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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While the 50-135mm is fantastic optically, I would stay as far away from it as you can. I didn't believe all the stories about rampant SDM failure in that lens. I figured only the vocal minority was yelling the loudest (those with bad experiences tend to shout more). I also figured that since the lens had been on the market for YEARS, Pentax would've done something to solve its constant SDM failure. So I disregarded everyone's warning and bought one anyways.

Just under a year later (last month in fact), it failed at the worst possible time. A sporting event where I received my first ever media pass to be able to take pictures right on the field. It was embarrassing. All the other photographers on the field snickered about it.

Repairs were done quickly and efficiently at C.R.I.S. Less than 2 weeks from the time I mailed it out to the time I got it back. And it was done under warranty, of course. But repeated failures are not uncommon. And if it had failed just a few weeks later, I would've had to pay for repairs.

Stay away from the 50-135mm, unless you want to be sorely disappointed in the near future. I haven't heard the same negative stories from other SDM lenses, it seems failures are less common on other models.
12-20-2010, 01:34 PM   #4
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The focus on my DA17-70 is very fast--as fast as any lens I own. The only obvious thing that might help the focus on the DA* is the larger maximum aperture. For now, I've not been too tempted to invest a lot more money in a larger, heavier, but faster lens.

12-20-2010, 01:38 PM   #5
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If not 50-135mm, then what?

QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
Stay away from the 50-135mm, unless you want to be sorely disappointed in the near future. I haven't heard the same negative stories from other SDM lenses, it seems failures are less common on other models.
If not 50-135mm, then what?

What is as good as, or better?

I was about to go with the 50-135mm. When you're looking at close to a grand, then I'm not about to throw it away on something which has not been fixed after this long of a period.

Or, do some of these stores offer a 3 yr insurance on it?
12-20-2010, 02:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Are you sure about this? They are both SDM...

I would personally select the 16-50 + 50-135 because they are very useful zoom ranges, neither zoom tries to do too much, and my favorite images have been posted from those two zooms.

It's a heavy kit, though!
No where NEAR the weight of the 28=70 2.8 and the 80-200 2.8...


QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
If not 50-135mm, then what?

What is as good as, or better?

I was about to go with the 50-135mm. When you're looking at close to a grand, then I'm not about to throw it away on something which has not been fixed after this long of a period.

Or, do some of these stores offer a 3 yr insurance on it?
How does the 60-250 figure as compared to this? Also, on the Pentax lens roadmap from a few years back, there's a DA 70-300 f4 listed....wonder if that's still happening?

Thanks,
Cameron
12-20-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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I can't speak for Hound Tooth's experience other than to say I think he's just turned into the vocal minority himself. My 50-135 is going strong and I have heard very few concerns with it. Just read the reviews. If it was such an epidemic problem it wouldn't be one of the highest ranked zooms... (just under the 60-250 though) and Hound Tooth, that sucks. Hopefully your bad days are behind you and you can find joy in the lens again.

My 50-135 is a real treat. Next to my FA 35, it's my go to lens. KEH had a used 9+, 50-135 the other day for $700 I think.

I have struggled with the 60-250 for me personally. Don't get me wrong, I would love to trade in my manual focus Tokina for it, but I haven't because, the aperture is a little limited for me. F4 just won't cut it for what I need it most. And when I don't need it, I'm rarely shooting at F4. Though if I had a K5, then I'd probably toss in the towel for one with a smile... assuming I had any money left over to actually buy it.

I think it really comes down to what you think you will be shooting. Optically I think you will be very happy with either. With my 135 it has rarely felt too short and with it being so well balanced, I can walk around with it with ease.
12-20-2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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I have the DA* 16-50mm and love it! Haven't had any SDM issues...

Yes, I would suggest that you go with the faster lenses...

12-20-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by buster110 Quote
I can't speak for Hound Tooth's experience other than to say I think he's just turned into the vocal minority himself. My 50-135 is going strong and I have heard very few concerns with it. Just read the reviews. If it was such an epidemic problem it wouldn't be one of the highest ranked zooms... (just under the 60-250 though) and Hound Tooth, that sucks. Hopefully your bad days are behind you and you can find joy in the lens again.
You can look it up for yourself. There are hundreds of instances reported on this forum alone, and thousands throughout the web. Both initial failures and repeated failures after repair. Moreso for the 50-135mm than for any other SDM lens produced by Pentax. When I first asked about it (back when I was trying to decide whether or not to buy one), I got an avalanche of replies saying "don't do it, it'll fail". I disregarded them, I just called them the "vocal minority".

Now I suffer.

I've decided not to sell mine. I'll keep using the repaired lens with my K-5 and see if it performs to spec. But if it ever fails again, I'll have it repaired and then get rid of it ASAP. I simply can't afford to be left stranded at the worst possible time.

QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
If not 50-135mm, then what?

What is as good as, or better?
The Sigma 50-150mm HSM has been considered just as good optically, and has an excellent build quality. It has a 4 year warranty from Sigma. It's also almost exactly the same price. The only drawback is it doesn't have weather sealing. To me, that was a deal-breaker at the time. Looking back, I wish I'd chosen the Sigma instead.

edit: upon review, it looks like Sigma has a 2 year warranty on all products, + 3 more years on EX lenses when you register the product, for a total of 5 years (the 50-150mm is an EX lens). Compare that to the 1 year warranty on any Pentax lens, regardless of price.

Last edited by Hound Tooth; 12-20-2010 at 03:48 PM.
12-20-2010, 04:05 PM   #10
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Go with the DA*16-50 and DA*50-135. I don't think you can do better than the DA*50-135 in a Pentax-mount zoom, although FA* zooms may equal it. I specifically chose the DA*50-135 for IQ over the DA*60-250. I was able to get nearly the same IQ as the DA*60-250 from an older, only slightly slower, and much cheaper Pentax AF zoom. And the DA17-70 is good, but I sold it because the DA*16-50 is better.
12-20-2010, 04:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I specifically chose the DA*50-135 for IQ over the DA*60-250. I was able to get nearly the same IQ as the DA*60-250 from an older, only slightly slower, and much cheaper Pentax AF zoom. And the DA17-70 is good, but I sold it because the DA*16-50 is better.
I kept my 60-250mm and sold the 50-135mm and just the other day aquired a 17-70mm and now intend to sell the 16-50mm

Just personal preference at the end of the day.
12-20-2010, 04:22 PM   #12
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i choose 16-50/2,8 and 50-250/f4... at the focal lenght 250 mm you can get f4 aperture... trust me... it usefull..
12-20-2010, 04:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
I kept my 60-250mm and sold the 50-135mm and just the other day aquired a 17-70mm and now intend to sell the 16-50mm

Just personal preference at the end of the day.
I've become accustomed to shooting primes. When I use these fast zooms I can get speed and IQ I'm still happy with, for situations that require a zoom. Also, in rain or bad weather (you have some of that, don't you ) I know I can still get acceptable IQ while covering the normal range.

I don't know if this accounts for the difference in personal preference, but I think I was fine with slower zooms (especially since I've liked the quality of every constant f/4 Pentax zoom I've ever used) before I got used to the speed of primes < f/2.
12-20-2010, 05:34 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
There are hundreds of instances reported on this forum alone, and thousands throughout the web.
Hyperbole much? I don't disagree that SDM on the first two * lenses has been an issue, but if you have to embellish to prove your point, maybe it's not that strong of a point.
12-20-2010, 06:14 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
You can look it up for yourself. There are hundreds of instances reported on this forum alone
I don't want to get into an argument on this point as you certainly sound scorned. Getting mocked by peers and not having a working lens at the time, I'm sure has not helped your mood on the matter.... However, before purchasing my lens I did my research and as you said I did find a few unhappy Pentaxians... but the vast, vast majority are extremely happy, as am I... With any product you have the potential for a bad egg. Thats just part of mass production. Look at all the warnings for Canon's 24-70 lens...yet it's one of their most popular lenses...and for good reason. If my lens does falter then that will suck, but I'll get it fixed or get another one without hesitation. I like this lens that much.

I did notice a common thread when I was researching and that was the motor seemed to be bad upon purchase or soon after and almost all were able to get a replacement with no problems or were able to get it fixed.... and I cannot recall one person stating their repaired lens ever faltered again.

QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
The Sigma 50-150mm HSM has been considered just as good optically, and has an excellent build quality
Yes this is true and it appears to be a very good option... However, it has its own mass production issues of focusing short of the subject and it's not weather sealed ... and what few reviews you can find are for other camera lines and even those recommend or strongly encourage to research the Tokina 50-135... the same Tokina lens that is identical to the Pentax.

Last edited by buster110; 12-20-2010 at 06:21 PM.
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