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07-15-2012, 06:04 AM   #1
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pentax *50-135 question

In the future, I would like to buy a really great glass... I like the 50-135 but how good is it for weddings? I don't do that many but when I do I would like to have a really good lens to go with my future K? investment.

thanks

randy

07-15-2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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I have it and I do use it for weddings, but I actually use the 60-250 more even though it is not as fast as the 50-135. That said, the 60-250 is my favorite zoom, so that might be why I am defaulting to it.

The 50-135 if fast enough to use in a dark church without flash during the ceremony. I have found that at most reception sites you have to use flash, so it's speed doesn't matter there. I am always happy the 50-135 is in my bag when shooting a really dark church because it is faster than the 60-250. The 50-135 is also easy to handhold, so that is another perk at weddings.

As far as your future investment goes with the lens and the future camera, that all depends on if a FF ever becomes a reality and if you would buy FF if it is available. If you intend to stay aps-c then go for it. If you want to go FF then you need to either accept that some new lens purchases would go with it, or go with the 60-250 because it is already FF compatible. Personally, I do plan to go FF when available, but I am planning on keeping one crop sensor as a back up too, so I will be keeping my 50-135 for the next several years.
07-15-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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The 50-135 is an excellent portrait lens (small groups, head & shoulders, and headshots - all in one package!), so it's probably great at weddings and small gatherings. But I'm usually raising a different kind of glass when I go to weddings, so I think Allison's advice must be spot-on, since she's a pro wedding photog!
07-15-2012, 06:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Allison Quote
I have it and I do use it for weddings, but I actually use the 60-250 more even though it is not as fast as the 50-135. That said, the 60-250 is my favorite zoom, so that might be why I am defaulting to it.

The 50-135 if fast enough to use in a dark church without flash during the ceremony. I have found that at most reception sites you have to use flash, so it's speed doesn't matter there. I am always happy the 50-135 is in my bag when shooting a really dark church because it is faster than the 60-250. The 50-135 is also easy to handhold, so that is another perk at weddings.

As far as your future investment goes with the lens and the future camera, that all depends on if a FF ever becomes a reality and if you would buy FF if it is available. If you intend to stay aps-c then go for it. If you want to go FF then you need to either accept that some new lens purchases would go with it, or go with the 60-250 because it is already FF compatible. Personally, I do plan to go FF when available, but I am planning on keeping one crop sensor as a back up too, so I will be keeping my 50-135 for the next several years.
I just bought a new DA 50-135mm I'm planning to use at weddings. However Allison I find it a little soft at f2.8 sor far... I have to play with it more maybe. I'm extremely pleased at f5.6 but under....meh....

07-15-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicoprod Quote
I just bought a new DA 50-135mm I'm planning to use at weddings. However Allison I find it a little soft at f2.8 sor far... I have to play with it more maybe. I'm extremely pleased at f5.6 but under....meh....
That's not been my experience with it at all. I know it's a bit trite to say "you got a bad copy", but that may be the case. Any way you can exchange it?
07-15-2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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I do not have the 60-250 but do have the 50-135. So in the interests of friendly debate:

I don't do weddings, but do a lot of promo and dress rehearsal shots for a local live performance theater. For that work, i find the DA50-135 to be a perfect lens for the tighter shots or the outdoor plays. (For many indoor shots i get by with the Pentax 17-70 or Tamy 28-75) The wider 50mm end of the lens is very advantageous over the widest 60 of the 60-250 lens. If i need a tighter shot than 135 (rarely), i just crop to it. Also note that the 60-250 is a lot heavier and a bit longer than the 50-135. the 60-250 weighs 1130gms and the 50-135 weighs 765gms.

I also do landscapes which i sell and most of those shots come from the DA50-135. Sharp lens across the field and out to f2.8. If i could only keep one lens for Pentax, it would be the 50-135. Had it for 3 years - no problems with it - and always go to it in the rain. I was up snowshoeing at Hurricane Ridge last winter, and i found it worked just to stuff the lens and K5 right into my partially open parka like a holster.
07-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #7
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I bought this lens mainly just for weddings (also portraits and some landscape work). I think it was a great choice. Very sharp, fast and versatile.
07-15-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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This is a awesome lens bro, you will love it especially for weddings, it doesn't hunt a lot which makes up for it's slower AF; and for saying slower it is comparing to the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 which is blazing fast but hunts more often than the DA*. I find my copy of the 50-135 to be faster than my previous one which is quite strange. But here it is.

My new K-5 and new DA*

My old K-7 and old Tamron


07-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicoprod Quote
I just bought a new DA 50-135mm I'm planning to use at weddings. However Allison I find it a little soft at f2.8 sor far... I have to play with it more maybe. I'm extremely pleased at f5.6 but under....meh....
I haven't had problems with mine at 2.8 and this is one lens that went through a lot of good copy/bad copy debate a couple of years ago. The debate largely centered around SDM failure, but i believe i do remember some rumblings about front and back focusing.

I do try to stay away from wide open if I can avoid it, but I do that on all lenses. And a lot of the focus issues that I tend to see with my lenses have more to do with the AF system, but that is a whole other discussion, isn't it?

If you are seeing it as a little soft I would run some test shots. Try dialing in some AF compensation specific to the lens too.
07-15-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Allison Quote
...the 60-250 because it is already FF compatible...
Very unfortunately the 60-250 does not appear to be fully FF compatible -- it has heavy vignetting on the tele side to 250 mm - see sample photos

Ricehigh has a comprehensive FF lens compatibility list with samples.

Last edited by Gray; 07-15-2012 at 07:30 PM.
07-15-2012, 08:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gray Quote
Very unfortunately the 60-250 does not appear to be fully FF compatible -- it has heavy vignetting on the tele side to 250 mm - see sample photos

Ricehigh has a comprehensive FF lens compatibility list with samples.
Well, that is news to me since the lens was designed as full frame and the patent on file even lists it as a full frame lens. There are several posts on here regarding its suspected compatibility with a FF digital camera. Of course, we will never know until we see an actual FF digital camera from pentax.
07-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicoprod Quote
I just bought a new DA 50-135mm I'm planning to use at weddings. However Allison I find it a little soft at f2.8 sor far... I have to play with it more maybe. I'm extremely pleased at f5.6 but under....meh....
I've found this as well, esp. from about 90 mm and up. I think it has more to do with the fact that it's hard to nail perfect focus with such a thin DOF. But I've also read the Photozone review, for example, which states a "performance drop" regarding f/2.8 with this lens at longer focal lengths, more at the borders than at the center. I've found that the bokeh wide open is not so great either at these focal lengths; in fact, it's sometimes quite bad! So I don't think you have a bad copy, nor do I, but that this lens just isn't that impressive at f/2.8.
07-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #13
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I would direct your attention to the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM. It is not a very well known lens since it was only produced for a short time and was not heavily promoted. But many consider it to be sharper than the Pentax 50-135mm, and it has a little bit of extra reach. But the biggest advantage is the silent HSM autofocus motor, which is much faster than the 50-135mm's SDM, and the HSM doesn't seem to have any reliability problems. The only problem is that the lens is pretty rare, and can be hard to find in Pentax mount.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that I have one for sale in the Marketplace right now. I have a bunch of full size pictures in the listing shot at f/2.8 at various focal lengths.
07-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #14
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My DA50-135 has just been sent off for an SDM issue. I noticed it was significantly slower focusing when it came back from repair a few months ago but I ended up dismissing it as my imagination after not using it for 6 weeks. Then I saw the video earlier in this thread and saw right away it was operating at about 3x (or more) the speed of mine. Thanks for showing that video as I only have 5 weeks left on my warranty.
07-16-2012, 07:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
My DA50-135 has just been sent off for an SDM issue.
Now this is why I was so hesitant in buying one when I did. I am so sorry that happened to you, but at least it is still under warranty!
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