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07-10-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
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One telephoto lens- what would it be?

I've saved enough to purchase a new DFA 100WR to complement the lenses I already have, but I find myself wondering if I should hold out for a bit longer and spring for used copies of either the DA*50-135 or the FA77 instead.

As I don't have the opportunity to test any of these lenses, I ask this question (LBA spare me)-

if you guys could have just one tele AF lens, what would it be and why?

It doesn't have to be one of the three, btw. Just one you've used and loved.

07-10-2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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I would either get the 50-135 or something like a 70-200 tammy or sigma I have been shooting with a tammy 70-300 and love it but if I had the money I would go for one that I listed
07-10-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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50-135 has insane performance. It's my go to lens for tele shots, albeit sometimes I wish I had some greater reach. (Of course, then we're moving toward super-tele)
07-10-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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Those are very different lenses. The FA 77 is a legendary portrait lens, the 100mm is WR and 1:1 macro, and the 50-135mm is a high end zoom that allows a lot of flexibility. But any of these lenses are great, I doubt you would regret getting any one of them, because they are all good at what they do

07-10-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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I have the older FA 100 macro, and it's pretty much the only AF telephoto I use anymore. If I need more reach, I use a cheap Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6. I don't shoot long often enough to justify buying anything more.

The 100mm Macro works great as a general-purpose telephoto, and the focus limiter is a big help for non-macro applications. The DFA versions don't have a focus limiter. If WR isn't essential, I'd recommend finding the FA version used. All of them are optically identical.
07-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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All 3 are promising. I'd probably go for the 100 due to macro. What do you hope to use it for? The 77 is the smallest of the 3 and good for portraits. The 50-135 allows zoom flexibility.

None of those 3 lenses are on my short term shopping list because I tend to shoot wider than 50 or longer than 200, so maybe I should just keep quiet
07-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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Difficult one.
If i must choose from what I have, IŽd say FA80-320 (I use it mainly for landscapes)
Tha K300/4 + 1.7x AFA is really fan but heavy and specialized (500mm f/8 equiv.)
And I am experimenting with the F50 + 1.7x combination also (80mm f/2.8 equiv.)

If I could choose any, it would be the DA*60-250. Although I donŽt know how IŽd cope with the weight...
07-10-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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Try to find a good (wait, they are all so good the lens is legendary?) used copy of the Sigma 100-300 F4

I have both the Sigma and the DA*50-135 AND an FA 100 Macro. I'm selling my 50-135 because the Sigma does everything the DA* lens does plus it goes to 300mm.

I very rarely shoot between 51-99mm and the Sigma actually seems faster focusing and with about the same min focus distance as the DA*. The macro is a great lens, but kinda specialized, I don't think i'd use it for general photos.

For me, after about of year of having both the DA* and Sigma in the bag, I find myself grabbing the Sigma over the DA* every time.

If I had to sell all my lenses except 2, the Sigma and my FA 20-35 would be the 2 I absolutely had to keep.


Last edited by nomadkng; 07-10-2013 at 03:27 PM.
07-10-2013, 03:38 PM   #9
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It does sort of depend on what you want to do with it. A macro is a macro is a macro and the DFA 100 is a very sharp lens. I've used the non-WR version for a number of purposes besides macro work but I wouldn't consider it a general purpose telephoto lens. Never used (will not buy more lenses, will not buy more lenses, will not...) the FA 77 but it's legendary. I used to own the DA70Limited and found it too long for portraits - to my taste - and feel that the FA77 would be really cool but even longer. I own a Vivitar 85mm f1.4 lens and it again is too long for some things and is not general purpose. The DA*50-135 is without doubt (ok without SDM doubt) a great lens and it's my second favorite, but...there are times I wish it was a 50-200mm lens as 135 just doesn't cut it. So I have a Tamron 70-200 f2.8 lens as well. It's really great and although it's reviewed as being slow on the auto focus, I've never found it to be that limiting.

So...what to do? What do you want to do with it? Given that there is no perfect choice, you may just need more than one lens. However, a good macro will open up a whole world of photography all by itself. I'd get that first and plan on another purchase down the road.

Oh, you asked if I could have just one tele what would it be. I think I've settled on the DA 55-300 as my tele lens. I'd love to have the Sigma 50-500 bigma but my budget doesn't support that. The DA 55-300 gives me plenty of range and very good performance.
07-10-2013, 03:47 PM - 4 Likes   #10
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FA*250-600 is all you need.

No but seriously, of the 3, I would do this:

1) I want a compact short telephoto for the best portraits and fast AF, and I don't need WR - FA 77
2) I want a semi-compact medium telephoto (heavier, longer) that is good for portraits, macro, some animals, that isn't super fast AF but reasonable - DFA 100
3) I want a telephoto zoom that is good for portraits, animals, sports, and is quiet for events - DA*50-135

Then I would also consider:

4) I have fear of SDM failure, do not need WR, but still want #3 - Sigma 50-150 F2.8
5) I want a compact lens, I don't need F2.8, but I want a big range: DA 55-300
6) I don't mind heavy lenses, and I want really sharp results with great bokeh for portraits and animals for a cheaper price - Tamron 70-200 F2.8
7) I don't mind heavy lenses, and I want sharp results with fast and silent AF and I have plenty of money - Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
8) I don't mind heavy lenses, and I want sharp result with fast and silent AF and I have plenty of money and I want WR - DA*60-250
9) I don't mind heavy lenses, I don't need F2.8, but I want a big range: Sigma 50-500, Sigma 150-500, etc
10) I don't mind heavy lenses and I'm bleeping rich - FA*250-600
07-10-2013, 04:06 PM   #11
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Well for everyone it will be different depending on your shooting style and need. All three you mentioned have stellar reputations. The three telephotos I have are the DA*200mm the D FA 100mm wr macro you mentioned, and the DA 70mm limited. I love them all but if I could only have one and be happy I think it would be the 100mm wr macro. I love shooting macro and exploring a world right in my back garden. It doubles as a great portrait lens and like the others has great IQ and build quality.
That is just me though, there are so many great lenses to choose from for everyone’s different shooting needs I could never tell someone what would be exactly right for them.
07-10-2013, 04:51 PM   #12
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+1 on JinDesu's advice

I think it's a good write up



QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
FA*250-600 is all you need.

No but seriously, of the 3, I would do this:

1) I want a compact short telephoto for the best portraits and fast AF, and I don't need WR - FA 77
2) I want a semi-compact medium telephoto (heavier, longer) that is good for portraits, macro, some animals, that isn't super fast AF but reasonable - DFA 100
3) I want a telephoto zoom that is good for portraits, animals, sports, and is quiet for events - DA*50-135

Then I would also consider:

4) I have fear of SDM failure, do not need WR, but still want #3 - Sigma 50-150 F2.8
5) I want a compact lens, I don't need F2.8, but I want a big range: DA 55-300
6) I don't mind heavy lenses, and I want really sharp results with great bokeh for portraits and animals for a cheaper price - Tamron 70-200 F2.8
7) I don't mind heavy lenses, and I want sharp results with fast and silent AF and I have plenty of money - Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
8) I don't mind heavy lenses, and I want sharp result with fast and silent AF and I have plenty of money and I want WR - DA*60-250
9) I don't mind heavy lenses, I don't need F2.8, but I want a big range: Sigma 50-500, Sigma 150-500, etc
10) I don't mind heavy lenses and I'm bleeping rich - FA*250-600
07-10-2013, 06:03 PM   #13
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DA * 50 - 135mm f2.8 hands down

Randy
07-10-2013, 06:11 PM   #14
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My used/loved lenses make a short list - and a few are on the general snub-list
The DA70 is an easy one for me, and saves some cash compared to the FA77. Both have their points that a potential owner must evaluate for themselves. My preferred tele for now is the DA 50-200WR; it uses the Limited's 49mm filters, is sealed for bad weather and it's as close to a pocket-zoom as I know of. I've owned the 55-300 and it's optically excellent but more bulk and more tele than I need most of the time (I've an older & slower Sigma 100-300 for days that need the range).

JinDesu's list covers the bases really well as I see them, and #4 steers me to the 50-150; I really wish I had seen that recent liquidation posting sooner! I do mind heavy lenses (hence the 50-200) so I can add nothing to the rest of the list.
07-10-2013, 10:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by wysz Quote
I've saved enough to purchase a new DFA 100WR to complement the lenses I already have, but I find myself wondering if I should hold out for a bit longer and spring for used copies of either the DA*50-135 or the FA77 instead.

As I don't have the opportunity to test any of these lenses, I ask this question (LBA spare me)-

if you guys could have just one tele AF lens, what would it be and why?

It doesn't have to be one of the three, btw. Just one you've used and loved.
I think it all depends on what you want to do. You mention 3 lenses here with quite different uses and characteristics, so it seems you are really looking for guidance on planning a complete system.

A a result, I won't comment on what you should get next, but more on what I think should be the foundation of a complete system.

Basically, you would want to cover a focal length range from 10-12mm at the wide end to 200mm at the long end, with some planned means to get to 400+mm if you are interested in wild life. The zooms ideally would cover much of this range at F2.8, although with the high ISO capabilities of modern cameras you might want to save weight and $ and consider F4 as acceptable (that is up to you)

I consider the base range will be made up with roughly 3 high quality zooms, and then filled in between with specialty lenses as your needs develop.

The three lenses you mention all could contribute to that complete system, so it really depends upon what you would make the most use of right now. Some of that may depend on the other lenses you own. For example, do you already cover all the way to 135mm and if so, what is wrong with your present glass that makes you want a 50-135? Is it simply LBA, or do you really need F2.8 across the focal length range? You have a macro lens on the list. Are you shooting a lot of macro ? Same with the 77, great lens for portraits, do you take a lot, planning to learn, etc?

In the end, get what makes sense, and adds to your capabilities the most
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