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01-21-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
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Help Me Choose Pentaxians!

I am looking to get a new lens. I have read the reviews for both my options. Right now I just want some solid hard opinions.

16-50 2.8 or 50-135 2.8?

Doing a lot of portrait work with 90% natural lighting and about 10% studio.

01-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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50-135. No doubt.
01-21-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
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The classic range of focal length for portraits is served by the 50-135. The 16-50 would be too wide for portraits except at the long end.

Note that the 16-50 has developed a bad reputation of being decentered and/or dying from SDM failure. I also think that there are better alternatives to the 16-50.

One also hears of 50-135 SDM failures but not quite as much as of 16-50 failures, I think.

Do you want to take the portraits in the studio or outside? In the studio, almost any lens with an appropriate focal length (range) will do as you will use it stopped down. Outside, the 50-135 will be a very good choice but not as good as some specialist lenses like the FA77/1.8 or a 85/1.4.
01-21-2011, 04:31 PM   #4
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You've already got some good advice above. For portrait work, the 50-135 will be far more practical. It's a reliable lens with great IQ.

01-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #5
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your question is like asking - which is better, apples or oranges?

my suggestion is oranges. definitely oranges.

all kidding aside, you have to pick which focal lengths work best for you and go with that.

do you have a kit lens? what are you using now?
01-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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Tamron 28-75 + 100mm macro.
01-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
50-135. No doubt.
+1
If you are choosing between those two, the 50-135 wins hands down.
01-21-2011, 05:44 PM   #8
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OK, it's Heresy Time!

If you're shooting impromptu facials outdoors, the 50-135 is ideal. If you're shooting formal portraits under controlled (studio) conditions, you don't need autofocus. Two of the manual zooms I've kept are a Tokina-made 35-135/3.5 (US$9) and a better Tomioka-made 55-135/3.5 (US$7). I also use various cheap f/2.8-4 enlarger and projector lenses of 60-75-80-90-100-105-127mm on bellows, to good effect.

So, what's a better portrait lens? It depends on how you define 'portrait', and how and where it's to be used. Cheers!

01-21-2011, 06:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ordahl_alicia Quote
16-50 2.8 or 50-135 2.8?
OK, OP asked about 2 specific lenses. 50-135 is the most logical answer.
01-21-2011, 07:04 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSD Quote
You've already got some good advice above. For portrait work, the 50-135 will be far more practical. It's a reliable lens with great IQ.
No question the concensus is this lens has great IQ from every report I've read, but many would claim this lens is anything but reliable after lots of reported SDM failures with it.
01-21-2011, 08:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
but many would claim this lens is anything but reliable after lots of reported SDM failures with it.
Well, at least relatively. More failures with the 16-50.
But by reliable, I really should have said IQ consistency.
01-22-2011, 06:13 AM   #12
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For portraiture, my favorite two lenses would be (1) DA 70 f2.4 and (2) DA *50-135 f2.8. With either one of these lenses, you would be satisfied. The 16-50 is a little short for doing portraits and is a little soft at the 50mm end anyway.
01-22-2011, 06:37 AM   #13
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