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01-05-2012, 05:42 AM   #16
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Just to be clear, when I posted that I thought the range was not great for travel, it is not that the 50-135 isn't a great lens, but just that when I travel, mostly to other cities, I find that I rarely shoot above 75mm, and have gotten into the habit of leaving my 70-200/2.8 at home on these trips, and take only my 10-20 and 28-75.

In fact, while I understand why Pentax made the 50-135 (specifically an ASP-C version of the 70-200) I don't understand why Pentax did not take advantage of the new format to redefine the zoom ranges. 70-200 on film was convenient to make, and make cheap at the time, that's why it was popular. It is not, on it's own for film the most practical range. When I got my PZ1 I got a 28-105 as opposed to the 28-80 and found the extra range on a WA zoom was much better than packing my 70-200. The switch in formats has made lenses that end at arund 70mm much more popular because it is long enough for the format to avoid packing a tele zoom when travelling in cities.

There will always be exceptions, as someone pointed out weddings, and I can also suggest some low light inside work like clubs and theater/dance etc, but mostly I find the focal length range does not fit at least my shooting preferences

01-05-2012, 05:57 AM   #17
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one more thing which may or may not be relevant.

If the lens is out of warranty when the SDM fails, its one astronomical repair bill.

So far, dont think Pentax has admitted there having been problems with the SDM drive.
01-05-2012, 07:34 AM   #18
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The problem never existed. If yours failed, you are a troll.
01-05-2012, 07:49 AM   #19
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I had the 50-135 at one time. Great IQ but it is a range that I felt was in the middle ranges of what I needed so when I traveled, I would have to carry 3 lenses. I ended up selling it in favor of the 60-250 and am much happier with it. If I were doing lots of portraits or indoor events, the 50-150 would have been more useful.

01-05-2012, 08:02 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
I had the 50-135 at one time. Great IQ but it is a range that I felt was in the middle ranges of what I needed so when I traveled, I would have to carry 3 lenses. I ended up selling it in favor of the 60-250 and am much happier with it. If I were doing lots of portraits or indoor events, the 50-150 would have been more useful.
what else did you carry?

this is the point I was making, 135 is not long enough on it's own, and the range below perhaps 75 can be filled in with other lenses.

My minimum kit is 10-20, 28-75 and 70-200 (plus 1.4x and 2x TCs)

if I know I am city bound the 70-200 stays home, getting back to a 2 lens kit.

If I had, for example the 16-50 and 50-135, I would still need an ultra wide, (either 10-20 or 12-24) and I end up with 3 lenses because the range from 50-75 is useful in cities.

This is why I have been saying all along that perhaps pentax (and others as well) should have taken the opportunity of the format change and new optical designs and materials, to reconsider the zoom ranges and offer more useful ranges, as opposed to rescaling the ranges to match the common ranges that evolved in the 1970's and 80's with the limited optical designs and materials at the time.
01-05-2012, 12:49 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I've seen great shots with the DA 50-135/2.8 but got the Sigma 50-150/2.8 instead: longer, not SDM, better warranty.
+1 and HSM is much faster AND more reliable. IMO the 50-150 is optically every bit as good as the 50-135.
01-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #22
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The DA*50-135 is a wonderful lens. It has an ideal focal length for portraits on APS-C and is certainly among my best zooms regarding IQ. The real only drawback is the relative slow AF.

Here a few photos:






01-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
one more thing which may or may not be relevant.

If the lens is out of warranty when the SDM fails, its one astronomical repair bill.

So far, dont think Pentax has admitted there having been problems with the SDM drive.
Just wondering if you've owned this lens or any SDM lens for that matter, so why make make such assertions?

01-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
these photos are outstanding! awesome lighting , great subjects, nice and sharp... can't ask for much better!

thanks for sharing, got to go, have to rob a bank for k5 and a 50-135

post more if you have them
Just note that those were taken by Jay, a man who can make any lens look like a pro lens


If I was into portraiture I'd definitely buy this lens, IMO it is the perfect focal length combination for portraits. The times when I have done little sessions I always gravitated to my 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm. That lens has them all!
01-05-2012, 09:13 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Just wondering if you've owned this lens or any SDM lens for that matter, so why make make such assertions?
One hasn't to smoke knowing its harm.
01-06-2012, 02:55 AM   #26
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It's something I've always found hard to understand as well. For me the DA*50-135/2.8 is far more useful than any 70-200/2.8 will ever be.

I used to own a Sigma 70-200/2.8, which aside from some focusing inaccuracies close-up at f/2.8, was a great lens optically. I got this lens because I always like this range for general purpose use when I photographed 135 film. However, after going digital, it didn't take me long to realize that the 1.5x crop made this lens much less useful that what I was used to before.

Let me explain: I never considered the 70-200 a good range for use at the long end. If I wanted a long lens (for wildlife or sports) I always went for 300mm at least and mostly added a 1.4x TC onto this in the 135film days because even 300mm was mostly too short. This hasn't changed much on APS-C, only I use the TC much less. Even with the 1.5x crop I still noticed that when I used 200mm on the Sigma 70-200 it was mostly still too short and I should have used 300mm instead. Furthermore, on the short end of the 70-200 range, I found 70mm too restricting on APS-C, and found myself switching back to my standard zoom (the DA16-45/4 in those days) very frequently, to the point that the 70-200 saw less and less use. It's simple: 70-200 just isn't general purpose for me on APS-C.

Consider the DA*50-135. This is actually the same range in terms of FOV on my APS-C camera as the range the 70-200 gave on 135film. Ok, 135mm is shorter than 200mm. But I had noticed that I rarely used the 70-200 above 135mm with satisfying results anyway. And being able to zoom back to 50mm has actually *reduced* lens switches dramatically for me. In short: 50-135 is my now perfect general purpose mid-tele. Some argue the Sigma 50-150 has a better range, but to be honest for me the 135-150 range is already in the same "I must go longer but I cannot go longer" range as 200mm, i.e. the range that requires switching to 300mm at least... so I would rather have the 50-135. The fact that this lens is much smaller than the other f/2.8 telezooms makes it even more of a pleasure to use.

A matter of personal preferences no doubt...

Wim
01-06-2012, 05:43 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
what else did you carry?

this is the point I was making, 135 is not long enough on it's own, and the range below perhaps 75 can be filled in with other lenses.

My minimum kit is 10-20, 28-75 and 70-200 (plus 1.4x and 2x TCs)

if I know I am city bound the 70-200 stays home, getting back to a 2 lens kit.

If I had, for example the 16-50 and 50-135, I would still need an ultra wide, (either 10-20 or 12-24) and I end up with 3 lenses because the range from 50-75 is useful in cities.

This is why I have been saying all along that perhaps pentax (and others as well) should have taken the opportunity of the format change and new optical designs and materials, to reconsider the zoom ranges and offer more useful ranges, as opposed to rescaling the ranges to match the common ranges that evolved in the 1970's and 80's with the limited optical designs and materials at the time.
I would end up carrying a 16-50 and if I wanted extra range, 55-300mm. I have found that a one lens travel kit for me is the 18-135 and a two lens kit would add the 60-250. If wider is needed then I would either add the 10-17 or drop the 18-135 and take the 16-50. The 50-135 is a great lens in the right setting. Seems like the more lenses we have available, the more confusing it gets to choose what to carry.
01-06-2012, 08:32 AM   #28
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The DA*50-135 is also a lovely lens to use, it balance very well and the lens is quite small for it's size and personally i think it has one of the best Bokehs of the DA* lenses.
I've tried the DA*60-250 on a pentax meeting but i don't see the appeal off this lens, the 60mm and it's sharp but for the rest... I like the SIgma100-300 better.
01-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #29
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During the 35mm film era, the most popular telephoto zoom lenses by far were those in the 70-210mm/80-200mm range while the 100-300mm zooms weren't that popular. Fast forward to digital and everyone is so accustomed to seeing in "tele" due to the crop factor and the fact that lens makers still produce modern iterations of their popular tele zoom range that the 70-200mm is the firm favorite.

To me, the 50-135mm focal range is pretty versatile and our Pentax DA* 50-135mm just shines in picture sharpness and color rendition. I've been impressed with it because it delivers such pleasing results. About the only minor negatives I have found is that due to the number of elements, night shots can occasionally show a little internal flare. Yes the focus can be a little quicker and the hood is huge, but it has superior contrast and sharpness. Certainly a lot lighter and more portable than the 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms.


DA* 50-135mm shot wide open. SDM is so silent, even my dog didn't take notice.

Last edited by creampuff; 01-06-2012 at 10:46 AM.
01-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #30
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It's a fantastic top tier lens, but lets be honest, I am certain the only reason why "why aren't 50-135 more popular" is the cost. Look at the cost of it compared to other lenses comparable in focal lengths (or close focal lengths), the 50-135 is $850 new (which is actually a low price now) compared to a Tamron 70-200 @ $700 new, or a Tammy 2.8 with a wider and slightly shorter focal length for more than less of half the price. The focal length is fantastic, and the IQ is simply incredible throughout it's focal range (check out forum members fs999's flicker stream Flickr: fs999's Photostream, he has quite a bit of work done with the 50-135 that rivals the best work I have seen done with prime lenses).
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