Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-24-2012, 05:38 AM   #1
Junior Member

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 37
Looking for the best zoom covering 70-135mm range

For a K-30 body. If you already have some excellent prime lenses in the range up to 50mm (in this case, 21, 35, 50 macro, 55mm) then what are the REALLY good zoom options to cover the remaining range up to 135mm or 150mm? Not too bothered above that, but a 70-200 range zoom would work fine. Would consider all options including manual focus, but preference would go to AF.

Sigma APO models e.g. 70-210, 50-150 etc
Pentax manual focus e.g. 45-125mm
Pentax AF e.g. 50-135mm f/2.8

Or any others?

11-24-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
Veteran Member

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 631
50-135 is going to be an obvious choice, due to amazing IQ and weather sealing, however, if you have the 50 range covered, and wish to go longer, a Tamron 70-200 wouldn't be a bad bet for cheap(ish)
11-24-2012, 07:13 AM   #3
New Member

Join Date: Oct 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10
DA* 50-135/2.8 is a spectacular lens, you won't be disappointed.
11-24-2012, 07:45 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Louicio's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 432
DA* 50-135 f2.8 is wonderful.

11-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,548
Or stretch the end some, and go for the DA* 60-250. It's on my LUST list.
11-24-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,816
Two lenses come to mind.

1. DA*50-135
2. Tamron 70-200
11-24-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
Zav's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,339
The Pentax 60-250 would be one of the best options.
11-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #8
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,233
I'd say go for the Sigma 70-200mm:
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM for Pentax 589109 B&H

If this price is too steep, then you can for the Tamron version, or the Pentax 50-135mm, which is on a 50% off special right now (it's a great lens, I just don't like the focal length range):

Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens 21660

Adam Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)'s high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

11-24-2012, 11:17 AM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,107
I see that you are across the pond, over in the UK, but through Monday here in the Colonies, B&H has both the zooms (50-135 and 60-250) at around 50% off. B&H does international sales, and since these are fairly expensive lenses, this may be an opportunity...
11-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
Junior Member

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 37
Original Poster
I have indeed been considering the B&H offer but over here in the UK that means adding customs and shipping - not so great then. In the UK the lens is around 550-620 used. They come up reasonably frequently, i.e. not rare. I'm not convinced about the autofocus - I've seen ads where they even recommend getting the motor serviced. But there's no disputing the image quality.

The alternatives are commonly a 70-200 type and that remains an option. The good ones are also expensive, and get big and heavy.

But the alternative of covering 70 to 135 with primes means a lot of lens changing in the field if you are travelling and taking distant objects. At one point I used two bodies and all primes, but I'm just an amateur and that's a bit nuts.

The lens is needed for my son who's a design student and will need lenses professionally. He has a K-30 which he bought specifically because he liked the smaller size and the ergonomics of the Pentax system, plus the IQ and colour of the lenses. Unlike the EOS system which I have (I use one or two old Leica and Contax lenses besides M42s) the choice of really good lenses is very restricted. It's hard to think of a good alternative to the 50-135 that has IQ in the same class.

Still ruminating on primes v. zoom but a zoom is so practical in this range.
11-24-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
Site Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: St. John's, NL
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 449
I love my DA 50-135. A great combination with the 16MP sensor in that k30. I don't use mine professionally, so can't reliably comment on the robustness of the AF. The AF has been fast enough for my own needs-primarily family pics and kids plays and sports and the like.

I supplement the DA with a rokinon 85mm, although I can only consistently use the manual focus above f2.8. It's a compact alternative to the 50-135, not much lighter though.
11-24-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
Site Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Langley, BC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 528
An inexpensive yet good option would be the F70-210 f4-5.6. It's as ugly as sin, but it produces wonderful shots. I recently picked one up and it's impressing me quite a bit. And, as they say, it's as cheap as chips.
11-24-2012, 07:17 PM   #13
Veteran Member
oxidized's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: USA - Delaware
Photos: Albums
Posts: 434
Well, I have the pentax 50-135, and it is an amazing lens! It is probably worth it at around $650 (if you get it with a body). $750 is pushing it a bit. Otherwise, as an alternative you should go for the 70-135 by Tamron. In my opinion it is a better bang for the buck and the range may be a bit more useful. Besides the only complaint I have the Pentax is that it is a bit softish at 135 and 2.8. The Tamron will probably be okay through the entire range you are looking for.
11-24-2012, 07:32 PM   #14
Miguel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,726
The DA* 50-135mm is an excellent lens. Your son should be aware that it is not light and small. Any of the 70-200mm lenses are not either. Unless one has a requirement for the longer reach, I'm not a fan of the 70-200mm lenses because they are more intended for FF cameras, as the focal range reflects that size image capture area from the film era. The DA* was Pentax's way of appropriately sizing a zoom to cropped-sensor scale.

If your son likes keeping the Pentax system sizing advantage, an alternative would be the 70mm DA Ltd which is outstanding, and the classic and cheap 135 mm f3.5 M lens. Though I generally favor AF lenses, the compact size of that 135mm is unusual, and the image quality is good. I always seem to find room for it on hiking trips.

Something else to ponder.

What kind of design is your son studying?

11-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #15
Senior Member
gebco's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Winnipeg
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 284
Sigma 50-150 if you can find one

I have the Sigma 50-150 HSM and it is without doubt my favourite lens. The photo below was shot wide open at 2.8. It appears a little soft due to Photobucket, but the original is sharp with good contrast.


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af, e.g, focus, k-mount, options, pentax, pentax lens, range, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
18-135mm: How to AF Fine Adjustment over the full zoom range? strahl Pentax K-30 & K-50 4 10-06-2012 06:31 AM
Best (sharpest) lens in the 18-70mm range for landscape/architecture? zosxavius Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 37 06-21-2012 11:01 PM
Best lens for the K-5 with ~500mm range brosen Pentax K-5 9 11-09-2011 03:02 AM
best mid to long range zoom lens sany Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 28 06-08-2011 07:59 AM
Looking for something in the 200mm range dj_saunter Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 32 02-28-2011 02:23 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:07 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]