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07-23-2013, 01:04 PM   #1
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FA 77 or DA*50-135??

Hello all,

I am trying to decide between the above mentioned lenses and am looking for user feedback/experience. I currently own the 77 (tho haven't honestly used it too much). I have really wanted a weather sealed lens to go with my K-30 and love images I have seen from the 50-135. I have the chance to get a used one at a good price. Unfortunately I only have the funds for one of those lenses and to get the zoom I would have to sell my 77. My question to those of you who maybe have both or have gone thru something similar. Will I miss the 77? I know it's a subjective thing but will the iq from the 50-135 be good enough to not miss the 77? I also own the 31 and an older A50 1.7 lens so i am looking for something on the longer end. Any feedback that those out there with these lenses could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Rick

07-23-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Hi Rick,
I had both of the lenses .....regarding your question: in terms of iq.....da50-135 is pretty much on par with fa77...however the handling is completely different. While I liked images from 50-135, i found it too big for k-5 body (it was better on k10d body with grip) ..... eventually I ended up with da70 and I was more than satisfied. Advantages of DA zoom are numerous - reach, SDM, weather sealing, internal focusing, da colours .....but there are also some disadvantages like weight and size and possible troubles with SDM. I reckon if you could get used to its size, you might not miss FA77 as IQ of this zoom is pretty impressive.
07-23-2013, 02:00 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RpM Quote
Hello all,

I am trying to decide between the above mentioned lenses and am looking for user feedback/experience. I currently own the 77 (tho haven't honestly used it too much). I have really wanted a weather sealed lens to go with my K-30 and love images I have seen from the 50-135. I have the chance to get a used one at a good price. Unfortunately I only have the funds for one of those lenses and to get the zoom I would have to sell my 77. My question to those of you who maybe have both or have gone thru something similar. Will I miss the 77? I know it's a subjective thing but will the iq from the 50-135 be good enough to not miss the 77? I also own the 31 and an older A50 1.7 lens so i am looking for something on the longer end. Any feedback that those out there with these lenses could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Rick
I have a DA 70 and a DA* 50-135, so I would like to weigh in on this as the DA 70 is very very similar to the FA 77.

I acquired the DA 70 first, and then the 50-135 shortly after. I've barely used the DA 70 since, but I use the 50-135 all the time. It's such a great lens! The images it makes are outstanding at all apertures, just as good as what can be had from the DA 70. The range is great, and perfectly compliments a wide-normal zoom. The DA 70 is currently on my chopping block of lenses to be sold.

That being said, it's going to depend on your usage. If you plan on using this for events, weddings, studio work, etc. then the size and weight (already reasonable for its class) shouldn't matter. However, if you are planning on traveling or going on long hikes etc. then the smaller prime might be a better choice.

I know there are many proud Pentax warriors who love to go all shock trooper style and carry their full arsenal of lenses with them no matter where they're going or what they're doing. But I've taken the DA* 50-135 on a couple of overnight snowshoe/hiking trips now, and its size gets annoying after a while, even for a sprightly young man of healthy breeding age such as myself.

So unless you plan on jetsetting or going on some human-powered trek soon, I would definitely go for the DA* 50-135. It's amazing!
07-23-2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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I can't speak on behalf of IQ, but in terms of build and handling, they are two completely different animals.

Worst case scenario, you purchase the 50-135 and don't like it... you can always turn around and resell it then.
Don't get rid of the 77 just yet until you've tried the 50-135.

I love love love my small prime lenses and even though I have an arsenal of some pretty nice glass, my little DA 40 Limited is definetly the one that gets the most use. I had the 50-135, I was convinced to get it because I've seen so many wonderful shots with it, but honestly, in the 1.5 or so years I had it, I probably only took it out 4-5 times. Great lens, just not my type, I guess...

I agree with Earl, though. What do you photograph and what lens fits your bill better; a small sharp prime or a WR zoom?

07-23-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
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I have both, and can't imagine selling either. Both are outstanding. The versatility and weather resistance of the zoom is unbeatable, and it has less chromatic aberration, but there is something special about the handling and rendering from the FA77, and that extra stop and a half comes in handy sometimes.
I sold my DA70 on. While it had no real flaws, it never really grabbed me either.
07-24-2013, 03:56 AM   #6
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I started out with a DA70 a couple of years back, which became my favorite lens. Then got the FA77 about half a year ago, which now is my favorite A close friend has the DA* 50-135 that I have borrowed a couple of times (about a week per occasion). I did some test shots at home and also compared them at a couple of portrait shoots and a christening. Like already stated they are more different then one might think.

I shoot with the K-5 and have the D-BG4 battery grip as well, still I found the 50-135 too large and front heavy too my liking. The DA 50-135 was slower to focus, especially at the longer focal lengths. At 135mm it had some difficulties to lock focus in the church, something I've never experienced with the primes. SDM is silent, but it is not faster then a screw-drive prime, my experience is the opposite. Also, when the primes (especially the FA77) are stopped down to the same aperture as the 50-135, they are super sharp and will allow a fair amount of cropping. I have used my FA77 on indoor events as the only telephoto, it worked very well. Even if the 50-135 is pretty sharp at F2.8 and has a nice smooth bokeh, it is also a pretty boring bokeh. The Limiteds has a bit more character. I would only go for the 50-135 if WR or the zoom range really is needed.

Here are a few examples


Portrait with the DA*50-135 @ F3.5 / 95mm / ISO200



Portrait with the FA77 @ F2.5 / ISO100



Indoor event with the FA77 @ F2.2 / ISO400
07-24-2013, 07:55 AM   #7
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Don't buy the 50-135mm second hand when it is allready older (pre 2011). You will have chances that you will look into SDM trouble and since your budget is limited you will have a financial problem.

In all other ways the 50-135mm is a fantastic and vesatile lens.
07-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #8
RpM
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Thanks for all the responses. Actually I do love small primes (ironic Im considering this lens). I love portraits and street photography. I know it seems the 77 would be the obvious choice but something about having a WR lens is very appealing. I have had WR cameras for years and never a lens to go with it in bad weather (I do love to shoot in Rain and Snow). I have also only had small primes for years now and the idea of trying something different is also appealing. Did you ever try the 50-135 for street candids?

QuoteOriginally posted by Julie Quote
I can't speak on behalf of IQ, but in terms of build and handling, they are two completely different animals.

Worst case scenario, you purchase the 50-135 and don't like it... you can always turn around and resell it then.
Don't get rid of the 77 just yet until you've tried the 50-135.

I love love love my small prime lenses and even though I have an arsenal of some pretty nice glass, my little DA 40 Limited is definetly the one that gets the most use. I had the 50-135, I was convinced to get it because I've seen so many wonderful shots with it, but honestly, in the 1.5 or so years I had it, I probably only took it out 4-5 times. Great lens, just not my type, I guess...

I agree with Earl, though. What do you photograph and what lens fits your bill better; a small sharp prime or a WR zoom?


07-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #9
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Thanks! Those are some great portraits! Especially the one with the 77


QuoteOriginally posted by DonThomaso Quote
I started out with a DA70 a couple of years back, which became my favorite lens. Then got the FA77 about half a year ago, which now is my favorite A close friend has the DA* 50-135 that I have borrowed a couple of times (about a week per occasion). I did some test shots at home and also compared them at a couple of portrait shoots and a christening. Like already stated they are more different then one might think.

I shoot with the K-5 and have the D-BG4 battery grip as well, still I found the 50-135 too large and front heavy too my liking. The DA 50-135 was slower to focus, especially at the longer focal lengths. At 135mm it had some difficulties to lock focus in the church, something I've never experienced with the primes. SDM is silent, but it is not faster then a screw-drive prime, my experience is the opposite. Also, when the primes (especially the FA77) are stopped down to the same aperture as the 50-135, they are super sharp and will allow a fair amount of cropping. I have used my FA77 on indoor events as the only telephoto, it worked very well. Even if the 50-135 is pretty sharp at F2.8 and has a nice smooth bokeh, it is also a pretty boring bokeh. The Limiteds has a bit more character. I would only go for the 50-135 if WR or the zoom range really is needed.

Here are a few examples


Portrait with the DA*50-135 @ F3.5 / 95mm / ISO200



Portrait with the FA77 @ F2.5 / ISO100



Indoor event with the FA77 @ F2.2 / ISO400
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