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10-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
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Need help deciding on lens

I am upgrading from my K-r to the new K-5II--- if it ever comes out!
I am trying to decide if i should sell my Pentax SMC DA* Series 50-135mm f/2.8 Lens to buy the new Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 .
My current lens list

Kit lens 18-55 and 50-200
smc PENTAX FA 50mm F1.4- use it for low light stuff, not my favorite
SMC PENTAX D FA MACRO 100MM F2.8 WR- just got and love the macro!

We live in mighigan and i love taking scenery shots on the beaches, but need to be able to still take great shots of kids and family.

I would love the zoom on the 18-270 and it would be nice to not change lenses all the time. I am afraid I will lose a great portrait lens if I trade for the new zoom. I just cant justify having both. Right now i can sell my 50-135 and almost cover the cost of the new zoom.

Why is the 50-135 so expensive now? I bought mine for about $500 less last year. If the 18-270 is less $$, does that mean it isn't going to be as good?

Sorry for all the questions!!!

10-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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Do not sell that lens to buy the other zoom. You will be trading a much better lens for a
Lower quality one. You probably got a steal on the lens due to price changes as they cleared inventory. Dont do it. You will regret it. Read
The reviews in the lens review section.
10-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Supposedly the 18-270 is a fairly good lens considering the range. It is in theory the Tamron 18-270 re-badged for Pentax.

However, no super-zoom (15x zoom) is going to give you the quality you have from the DA*50-135 (2.7x zoom) they are just not in the same league. Neither is bad, just built for different purposes. But if YOUR purpose fits the 18-270 better then by all means replace it. Just understand you gain a lot of range but lose some image quality and you lose the constant f/2.8. The 50-135 is a 'pro' or 'semi-pro' lens, the 18-270 is a very good consumer zoom.

I just picked up an 18-135WR. It duplicates my DA*16-50 for a lot of the range but when I'm on vacation or just hiking the 16-50, while a great lens, is too heavy for me to carry. So when I'm working I expect to use the 16-50 and for family, vacation, casual shooting I'm planning on using the 18-135.
10-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #4
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Yeah i would agree with Steveeboy, Don't sell. To begin with your DA* is WR.
And yes, do read up on the reviews, The lens seems stellar.

Just save up for another Zoom if you Really think you need one.

10-18-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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That 18-270 in it's Tamron/Nikon lenses if you look at the Photozone numbers is one of the lowest rated lenses of all time. It got 1.5 stars out of five. The Pentax 18-135 by contrast, is generally thought of as a dog (but not by me, I love that lens). From 18-50 and particularly at 24 and 50 mm, the 18-135 is an excellent lens. If you look at the photozone report the 18-270 isn't excellent anywhere in it's range.

At 24 mm the 18-135 looks better than the 16-50 and at 50 it's not as centre sharp but it's better edge and extreme edge+ you get very good to excellent center sharpness all the way to 135 mm.

The advantage to the 16-50 is it's 2.8 and that's nothing to sneeze at, but if you don't need 2.8 in most categories, the 18-135 is better than the 16-50 as far as I can tell. I know that's blasphemy around here... but when I read the photo zone review I can't understand how the DA* 16-50 got a 3 rating and the 18-135 got a 1.5. I even tried the 16-50 on my camera once, and I still didn't get it. But hey, as I said, everyone else thinks I'm crazy. Well except for those who own an 18-135. You can snow people who don't own the lens. Those of us who own it know what we're using.

Last edited by normhead; 10-18-2012 at 07:06 PM.
10-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #6
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Dump the 18-55 and 50-200 (and perhaps the 50 as it is not very good wide open so the low light issue is still open). Keep the rest. Get the 18-270 if you must, though the 55-300 is better on the longer end. They all serve different purposes.
10-18-2012, 06:25 PM   #7

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You really run the gamut in lens quality right now, from the OK (kit lenses) to the really nice (DA*50-135 and DFA100WR)!

Any other zoom lens will be a downgrade from the 50-135. Jatrax and normhead have a good idea - if you really want a wide range zoom, add the DA18-135. It's much more affordable - especially if you buy it used.

Since you love the DA40, but not the FA50/1.4, sell it. You don't need it, and they are readily available if you ever change your mind. You can also sell the kit lenses if need be (they're easy to re-purchase as well). Better yet, you can trade out the DA40 for an FA43. You'll probably love it even more, and it can take the place of both the DA40 and FA50/1.4. I sold all my AF50's after I got it - even the best one (F50/1.4). The FA43 outdoes the F or FA50/1.4 in IQ at every aperture between f/1.9 and f/2.8, and probably at all other apertures as well. You won't miss the others. I've also seen some good used prices for it lately.

Then, if you still need the long reach, set your sights on a F*/FA*/DA* 200 and/or 300mm lens. I really don't think it matters that much which you choose - you should be pleased with either focal length. Or, save some money and get the wonderful K200/2.5.
10-19-2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice

I am going to keep the 50-135 mm and save for a zoom.
I will check out the other lens suggestions also. More research! So much fun. I love my pentax!


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