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05-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #16
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If you are not after ultimate IQ or speed, the 50-200 WR is cheap, small, lightweight, WR, and can produce very decent results.

05-08-2013, 02:53 AM   #17
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May be I recommend OP to watch this video posted (by fellow forum member, Jensen) on youtube. This explains what a DA* can do, rather take



I don’t own a DA* yet but contented with a umbrella
05-08-2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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I pretty much agree here except don't depend on a 100 macro for general telphoto. I've owned the Pentax 100, 50-135, 55-300, 18-135 and 60-250.

The 18-135 won't give you much that the Tamron doesn't have. It's great in its mid range, good wide, and no good at the long end, whereas the 50-135 is good through and through and very good even at f/2.8. You could get the 18-135, sell the Tamron, and by a fast 35 or 50. But you'd still need telephoto.

The 60-250 gives you the reach, and the bulk. It's very versatile. It's ok at f4 and very good to excellent at everything from f/4.5 onward. A monopod will do a lot of the time. And it's still ok to carry in the hand on a K5.

The 55-300 will impress with its optics up to about 240mm, even at wider apertures. Breaks down a bit at infinity but holds its own closer up. AF is noisy and searchy but accurate.

I think the 50-135 would really compliment your Tamron, and you can crop. It's reliable all the way through its range.

You will get good quality from any of them, don't worry about that. How much do you want to carry around? And how many wild animals do you want to shoot at?


QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
I have both the DA*50-135 and the DA55-300

the 55-300 has the reach, but it doesn't match IQ. It's about 80% there, but not quite.

I went with a Sigma 100-300 f4 and both TC's for long and longest reach

I have a DA* 50-135 for medium reach, but I don't use it that often because its min focusing distance and AF is rather long and slow. It's IQ is great but
in my opinion the diff between f2.8 and f4 is minimal, really. yeah its one stop, but so is iso 400 over 200 on a mostly cloudy day

I can get away with 200 iso and f5.6 on most days, handheld and shooting 7fps even after a 4 or 5 mile hike

I think the 60-250 is the way to go, IQ wise and reach wise. If you want more reach, add a pentax 1.7 or even promaster 1.7 TC.
I have the promaster and its coupled with the DA55-300 on GF camera. it still autofocuses and IQ stays pretty good unless you like blowing up 100% crops to 20x30 size

everyone's saying your use will dictate, and that IS the ultimate decision. if you want to shoot birds and animals you MUST have 250mm, 300 better, and 500 really is target but then that's a 5-7k lens unto itself.

if you don't care about animals, then get the 50-135 or even a 70 prime. or to really get your head spinning and get insane IQ, a 77ltd AND a 100 macro.

I say ignore the tamron cool-aide drinkers, the 70-200 is no diff than the 50-135, it really doesn't give you much more than an "oh I wish I had a 300mm" feeling
05-08-2013, 11:16 AM   #19
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First of all many thanks for your inputs, highly appreciated.

Weather resistance is actually a deal breaker so Tamron and Sigma and so on is not on the table for this buy. I don't want to bother about the weather or be messing with an umbrella or similar, in winter time the plan is also to have the camera with me on my snowmobile and it would be great to be able to pick up the camera from the bag even if it's a snow storm. I know that non-wr lenses have been used in rain without any incidents but it just feels wrong and with my current Tamron I stop to use the camera as soon as it starts to rain or snow.

But you all gave me an idea, buy the DA* 50-135 now and complement with either DA* 60-250, DA* 200 or the DA* 300 later on. I don't have the economy to buy two lenses in this price range at once but since I've been using the 17-50 since July '12 I will probably survive having the 17-50 and 50-135 for a while.

The 200/300 would probably be the best buy for me, the weight for the 60-250 worries me. I've got a disability that is causing my hands to be quite weak and don't have that strong of a grip, I actually thought that SLR was out of the question for me after trying out some Canon and Nikon cameras but fortunately I tested Pentax and it fits me perfectly. But I begin to think that I might end up using the 60-250 as a prime due to the weight especially since several points out the fact that it's heavy. Therefore a real prime such as the DA* 200 or 300 is perhaps a better choice even though it's quite heavy but I've got both a tripod and a monopod by Manfrotto which should work just fine.

And I can also complement the FL loss between 135 and 300 with a Tamron or Sigma zoom, not all lenses have to have WR. But that is a later question.

Once again, thanks for all your help.

By the way, does Pentax have world wide warranty?
Thinking about buying lens from UK, i.e. the 50-135 is about 310 USD/£200 cheaper in UK than in Sweden but if it has to be sent to UK for any warranty service I'm not sure if it's worth the money I save. Yes, having the SDM issues in mind.

05-08-2013, 12:19 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samoht Quote
Once again, thanks for all your help.
You seem to have gotten helpful information and your reasoning is sound. Great!

QuoteOriginally posted by Samoht Quote
By the way, does Pentax have world wide warranty?
Yes, one year. Some countries will get you charged a one-time repair fee (50$ in Canada for lenses bought outside the country).
05-08-2013, 12:56 PM   #21
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I rented a 60-250 for an airshow years ago - fortuitous because it wound up being a rainy day, unfortunately.
The K-10 weighs about a kilo, the 60-250 weighs about a kilo. That's a lot of weight to track planes all afternoon...

I like your choice, and I'm also considering a *300 purchase eventually.
05-20-2013, 05:55 AM   #22
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Am about to place an order for a 50-135 and found that a store her in Sweden has a demo of it for sale. Spoke to the store and they got it into their stock in January '13 but couldn't see when it was manufactured. It's been used as a demo for about 4-5 months, is in good condition according to the store and if I buy it I'll get full warranty. The original box is however missing but a UV-filter is included, will probably not be used though since I'm not a fan of UV-filters.
As I understand the SDM was updated sometime during the 2nd half/end of 2012 so depending on how long the lens has been laying in stock at Pentax Sweden it may, or not, have the updated SDM.

The difference in price compared to a brand new isn't that much, about $195US. If I go with a brand new instead I will certainly get the updated version since the 50-135 is out of stock at the Swedish distributor and they are waiting for a batch from Japan within a week or two.
Price for a brand new in Sweden is $1544US and for the demo $1348US. Due to the SDM reports I'm actually thinking of buying the lens in my own country instead of UK, mostly with any future repairs in mind and also the fact that if I buy it here in Sweden i've got 2 years of warranty and by local laws a 3 years complaint period. The 3rd year is not the same as a warranty though but for an SDM issue during the 3rd year it would be applicable and the lens should then be repaired without any cost for me.

Is it stupidcheap (the Swedish expression "dumsnål" translated), meaning that it may not be so wise to go with the cheaper option just to earn a few bucks when the more expensive option in theory may prevent some grief later on. Or is it just a earn a few bucks-situation, perhaps impossible to give a correct answer for since we don't know when it was manufactured but I tend to over think stuff so I'll check with you just to be sure.
05-20-2013, 06:31 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samoht Quote
As I understand the SDM was updated sometime during the 2nd half/end of 2012 so depending on how long the lens has been laying in stock at Pentax Sweden it may, or not, have the updated SDM.
The "SDM update" is just based on hearsay.
Allegedly one Pentax employee said something along these lines during Photokina. I personally don't believe there is a lot behind this. I'm pretty sure it isn't a redesign or better quality components. If anything, perhaps just a more reliable assembly approach.

I'd go with the "old" copy. While there are too many SDM stories for comfort, there are also many SDM users who never had an issue. Now that it is possible to activate the screw drive mechanism in case the SDM packs up (by manipulating the lens firmware), the SDM ghost lost quite a bit of its bite, AFAIC.

05-20-2013, 06:43 AM   #24
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A funny thing is that I talked to Pentax Sweden, or at least Focus Nordic which is the Swedish distributor for Pentax, and asked specifically about my concern regarding SDM issues and that I wanted to make sure to get the updated version. The answer I got was that since it is out of stock and they are waiting for a batch from Japan those lenses would have the updated SDM.

So either the SDM has been updated or the guy I talked to didn't have a clue of what I was talking about and rather just agreed with me instead of "losing his face" and reveal that he didn't know anything about it.
05-21-2013, 05:08 AM   #25
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Just ordered the demoex, seems like I'll be getting it before the weekend. Placed an order for a Lowepro Nova 180 bag as well.
05-22-2013, 09:28 AM   #26
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Impressed by the delivery, had the lens within 24 hours despite the fact that the store is located more than 500 km away.
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