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11-28-2007, 02:44 PM   #1
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DA*50-135 put to the test... yeah, but....

Just before I laid the dollars down I discovered a co-worker is another Pentax shooter, and was willing to let me try out his new DA*50-135 (with supervision I might add).

He also bought in his Tamron 18-250. He didn't pass any comments on them first - so I could make up my own mind.

The DA*50-135... dang! seductive in every way. Exactly as impressive as comments from users have suggested.

Nothing further to add, except this... the bokeh is, what? um... "squirrelly"? My FA50 1.4 destroyed it for bokeh quality. To my eyes, the DA* was no better than my old 18-125 Sigma in this regard.

And the range - if only! - it's just not long enough for what I need. But to be honest, the bokeh was the deal breaker.

So onto the Tamron 18-250. For how I shoot with a zoom (daylight, outdoors normally, ie: f5.6 to f9, this thing was the equal in image sharpness of the DA*. And the range is unbelievable. Bokeh? No worse than the DA*.

So, I ordered a Tamron 18-250 and another FA50 1.4 (these will run out one day, and I'd hate to be thinking that I'd missed my chance to have a spare). With the change left over, I'm getting a quality monopod - should be worth a few 'stops' on the Tamron :-)

11-28-2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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Thanks for the objective assessment.. a brave call.

QuoteOriginally posted by 123K10D Quote
Just before I laid the dollars down I discovered a co-worker is another Pentax shooter, and was willing to let me try out his new DA*50-135 (with supervision I might add).

He also bought in his Tamron 18-250. He didn't pass any comments on them first - so I could make up my own mind.

The DA*50-135... dang! seductive in every way. Exactly as impressive as comments from users have suggested.

Nothing further to add, except this... the bokeh is, what? um... "squirrelly"? My FA50 1.4 destroyed it for bokeh quality. To my eyes, the DA* was no better than my old 18-125 Sigma in this regard.

And the range - if only! - it's just not long enough for what I need. But to be honest, the bokeh was the deal breaker.

So onto the Tamron 18-250. For how I shoot with a zoom (daylight, outdoors normally, ie: f5.6 to f9, this thing was the equal in image sharpness of the DA*. And the range is unbelievable. Bokeh? No worse than the DA*.

So, I ordered a Tamron 18-250 and another FA50 1.4 (these will run out one day, and I'd hate to be thinking that I'd missed my chance to have a spare). With the change left over, I'm getting a quality monopod - should be worth a few 'stops' on the Tamron :-)
Thanks for that, I had been nibbling around the idea of the DA*, but have been so happy with my Tamron 18-250 for the general flexibility and quality of images, is on my camera all the time.

If I want superlative quality, I use the FA31 1.8 AL Limited... and my feet to zoom.

Phil
11-28-2007, 03:07 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by 123K10D Quote
Nothing further to add, except this... the bokeh is, what? um... "squirrelly"? My FA50 1.4 destroyed it for bokeh quality. To my eyes, the DA* was no better than my old 18-125 Sigma in this regard.

And the range - if only! - it's just not long enough for what I need.

So onto the Tamron 18-250. For how I shoot with a zoom (daylight, outdoors normally, ie: f5.6 to f9, this thing was the equal in image sharpness of the DA*. And the range is unbelievable. Bokeh? No worse than the DA*.
Hum, I have the Tamron and just bought the DA* 16-50mm.
The main reasons are: not a good sharpness of the Tamron lens, its lack of low light performance and its vignetting.

No doubt, it is a very versatile and a very good lens.
The Tamron will stay. It is a good choice, light weigth, no need for lens changes, reasonable macro facility, ready for everything except for low light performance.

However, IMO it does not match the DA* sharpness, short end distortion and low light performance.

I'm wondering what the DA* 60-250 f4 will be like. If that one is released I will be seriously considering buying one.

- Bert
11-28-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
Hum, I have the Tamron and just bought the DA* 16-50mm.
The main reasons are: not a good sharpness of the Tamron lens, its lack of low light performance and its vignetting [...]
- Bert
maybe you have a soft copy of the tamron, or maybe I was using an extra-lucky copy?

for perspective, the tamron, and the da*, were both the equal of my FA50 1.4 at it's best (and it's an intensely sharp copy) - with neither zoom having any edge over the other.

this opinion came from 100% crop viewing in lightroom, not chimping.

11-28-2007, 03:34 PM   #5
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Could you post some examples of the Bokeh vs the 50 1.4's bokeh? I've been looking for a good portrait lens and am seriously considering the 50-135.
11-28-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 123K10D Quote
maybe you have a soft copy of the tamron, or maybe I was using an extra-lucky copy?

for perspective, the tamron, and the da*, were both the equal of my FA50 1.4 at it's best (and it's an intensely sharp copy) - with neither zoom having any edge over the other.

this opinion came from 100% crop viewing in lightroom, not chimping.
Yeah, it is possible that I have not been very lucky with my Tamron.
Still the low light performance and vignetting is linked into its design, as is its weight and zoom range.

I guess there is purpose for having both
Good luck and happy shooting with your lens!

- Bert
11-28-2007, 06:21 PM   #7
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123K10D, perhaps if you could post some pictures, we can get a better idea of what you mean by "squirrelly" bokeh. A side by side comparison with your 50mm would be even better.
11-28-2007, 09:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
123K10D, perhaps if you could post some pictures, we can get a better idea of what you mean by "squirrelly" bokeh. A side by side comparison with your 50mm would be even better.
I didn't keep the shots once I'd compared them to each other. And Dennis (guy with the DA*50-135) bought it in especially for me and doesn't have his kit with him at work.

But if you look at shots from the both the DA* zooms that have been posted here, you'll see what I mean. It's almost like the lenses are trying extra hard to resolve details that aren't in focus - like itty bitty little worms were crawling over the lens parts that were bokehed.

I think the DA*s are fantastic lenses, and congratulate all who own either one. It's just that, to me, they don't give the results I can pretty well effortlessly get with the FA50 1.4. Yes, I know I've only tried the 50-135, but the bokeh looks the same to me on both.

And the FA35 f2 gives the same results as the DA*s in my eyes as well. Sharp as hell, but I wouldn't ever reach for it over the FA50 1.4.

It's an artistic judgement that's personal (aren't they all). I was just outlining 'my' judgement call on it. I've got the cash to go out and get both DA*s today, without having to justify the outlay to anyone - but I won't, not because they're not good value (they are), but because neither one offer an improvement in image quality over the Tamron (for what I will shoot), or the kind of bokeh that I take for granted with the FA50 1.4.

If someone else with all lenses mentioned, available at the one time forms a different opinion, that's cool, we're all different :-)

PS: As for the Tamron distortion, I can just batch the shots with PT Lens if they're that bad.

11-29-2007, 06:29 AM   #9
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Doesn't look "squirrely" to me! (that's my Mom!)



Now this might be considered a little "squirrely" -

Last edited by egordon99; 11-29-2007 at 07:30 AM.
11-29-2007, 07:52 AM   #10
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Hmm, I'm not sure what Tamron 18-250 you had, but it may be "sharp" but in no way can it be on par with the DA* 50-135, especially with regards to resolving capability. I've shot numerous 18-250's and even the Pentax branded one and it looks great on the monitor until you zoom in a 100% then the DA* destroys it in every respect especially in the sharpness category. You either used once in a lifetime 18-250 or their is some fluke with the DA* you were using. Just my opinions because the 50-135 is as sharp if not sharper than the Canon 70-200 2.8 and the 18-250 is not even close to the same league.
11-29-2007, 09:04 AM   #11
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Comparing the bokeh of a 50/1.4 against a 50-135/2.8 zoom is the same as comparing a surfboard with a familycar. These are two completely different lenses, its best to have them both in your bag.

Testing shoud not be done on a screen unless one compares at least 100% crops.

If you don't like changing lenses try the new Pentax S10. Has a superzoom and 8mp top quality and fits in to your shirt pocket and is cheaper then a 18-250.

Guido
11-29-2007, 11:11 AM   #12
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Well I've been using the 50-135mm indoor in low light settings
MySpace.com - Lunacalor - 33 - Female - Paris, Ile-de-France - www.myspace.com/lunacalor
the first five and the blog post "Romano Hip hop" are shot with this lens: the AF is lowsy to say the least, AF either on sel mode or centered are on the verge of disaster to my opinion.
My lens is incapable of focussing right, while the old m 100mm non A version at 2.8 made all the other pics along with a 50mm at 1.4! which def means that I can do the focussing and the light control right while a 1000 euros (yep in Europe, that's right) lens can not!
11-29-2007, 01:51 PM   #13
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I just have seen your pictures! wonderfull, very special.

I would ask pentax about this problem, gues its not normal.

Guido
11-29-2007, 06:00 PM   #14
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Not a fair comparison IMHO - Apples and Oranges

QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
Hmm, I'm not sure what Tamron 18-250 you had, but it may be "sharp" but in no way can it be on par with the DA* 50-135, especially with regards to resolving capability. I've shot numerous 18-250's and even the Pentax branded one and it looks great on the monitor until you zoom in a 100% then the DA* destroys it in every respect especially in the sharpness category. You either used once in a lifetime 18-250 or their is some fluke with the DA* you were using. Just my opinions because the 50-135 is as sharp if not sharper than the Canon 70-200 2.8 and the 18-250 is not even close to the same league.
I agree Codiac2600, but I do not think we are really comparing a $450 Tamron superzoom with a $1,200 minizoom * Lens, that would be silly. Nor would it make sense to compare a limited prime with the Tamron.

you are right there is no comparison at 100%. But what about the 'Bang for the buck' and general usability and flexibility of this less expensive lens...

I have the Tamron 18-250, got the first one I could over 6 months ago, and it is a fine lens and possibly the best in it's class, and from my research the Pentax 18-250 is identical, simply a rebadged Tamron.

Good for Pentax as they picked a winner and got it to the market for those who want the name, just don't expect that the name will fix any anomolies of the Tamron, no doubt inherant in the Pentax rendition.

Well the proof is in the images I think, here in no particular order are some samples of what the Tamron does for me, as a super 'walk around lens that has not let me down...'.

Waterbirds and Ponds at Mt. Cootha

Samples - some 100% crop examples

Samples from the Tamron 18-250 Di II

Phil
11-30-2007, 03:40 AM   #15
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thanks for the very nice comment Geyst.
I like animals too...so yours are likely to please me!
The DA will be sent to the pentax team to be fixed...I am so impatient to really use it!
Tomorrow I'll try manual focus, we'll see...

Last edited by Substitute; 11-30-2007 at 05:47 AM.
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