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View Poll Results: Delima: Pentax DA* 50-135mm today VS Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 later
Pentax DA* Series 50-135mm 7083.33%
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 1214.29%
Let me tell you about a better choice than either! 22.38%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

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04-12-2008, 05:43 PM   #1
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Delima: A deal on a Pentax DA* 50-135mm, or wait for the Sigma 50-150mm

Dilemma: A deal on a Pentax DA* 50-135mm, or wait for the Sigma 50-150mm to be released.

Decided: Going with the Pentax DA* 50-135mm. Thanks.

Decided: Added 70-200mm f/2.8 to LBA_wish_list.xls

----------------------------------------------------------

I've been waiting for the release of the Sigma 50-150mm in the Pentax mount for reviews to help me decide between it and the Penatax DA* 50-135.

The Sigma release price is estimated to be around $650, but today I found a new Pentax 50-135mm for $700 locally... held for me only until tomorrow morning.

Any opinions on which is the "better" lens to get?

- Background -

I'm looking for an 'indoor ambient light lens' to use in classrooms, auditoriums, kids parties, and hopefully some portraiture work. Far less important would be potential use in kids sports and outdoor concert/picnic/group type gatherings.

Both lenses are f/2.8 'constant', but I've looked in vain for comparative bokeh photos. I'd greatly appreciate opinions on either lenses' bokeh qualities.

I've read that the Pentax AF is fast and correct, but I don't know if AF qualities of the Sigma on other mounts are likely to transfer to the Pentax mount.

An extra 15mm at the 'end' is always appreciated, but for my use, certainly not at the expense of IQ or usability... which I lack the experience with either lens to determine. Help?

The price difference is minimal (Sigma estimated at $650, Pentax available for $700), which also dosen't help me decide. :-)

So... any experiences to share? Any advice to impart? Quickly? :-)

A most sincere thanks in advance!



PS> Planed use is with a K20D and a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 to complement for 'wide' ambient light use.

And of course if there's a different 'fast', minimum 50mm wide, zoo lens you'd recommend, I'd love to hear about it also. Thanks.

Vanity note: Dilemma. Dilemma. Dilemma. Spelling matters... Bah.


Last edited by Cedar; 04-13-2008 at 09:42 AM. Reason: Spelling Matters. Added "resolved section" for folks just joining us.
04-12-2008, 06:09 PM   #2
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I say go with the pentax. the shots you get haivng the pentax lens now will blow the shots that you won't get from the sigma out of the water
04-12-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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If I could find the 50-135 for $700 I would snap it up. Unfortunately its a lot more here
04-12-2008, 07:06 PM   #4
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the Pentax is very high regarded, as well it is weather sealed and has the silent drive motor and pentax coatings
i don't think you'll get many votes for the sigma

04-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
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I'd go for the 50-135 if i needed that length now. for those that do, its now $729 at amazon. As for the poll, i'm waiting on the 70-200mm f2.8 Tamron. to cover 50mm, almost every pentax shooter has a 50mm 1.4 or 1.7 in their kit. one mans opinion

Last edited by ivoire; 04-12-2008 at 07:48 PM.
04-12-2008, 07:36 PM   #6
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Another vote for the Pentax

This lens is just great, very sharp, smooth focusing, and weather-sealed + SDM as a bonus.
04-12-2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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Faced a similar choice and I am the 11th person to concede DA* 50-135
04-12-2008, 08:37 PM   #8
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Da* 50-135

These are the only two shots I have online that show the bokeh from the 50-135. The Eagle was under a rain tent. The Saweet owl was being held just outside the tent. The owl moved just as I shot so he is a little blurred. The background in both was about 15-20 feet away.


1/250 F4.0 135 mm


1/180 F2.8 135mm

04-12-2008, 09:05 PM   #9
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I bought my DA* 50-135 online for $698 shipped after a coupon if that helps anyone. More information here about that deal:

Pentax DSLR Owners: DA* 50-135mm F/2.8 Lens $696 Shipped
04-12-2008, 09:35 PM   #10
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pentax all the way, you do have a 100D and not an SD14 so stick with your heart and get the 50-135mm
04-12-2008, 11:22 PM   #11
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You won't see much difference at all from 135mm to 150mm, but the SDM, weather sealed barrel, SMC coating, Quick Shift, and being a Pentax would put the DA*50-135 way ahead of the Sigma 50-150. I don't see any reason at all to choose the Sigma between these two.

If compared w/ the Tamron/Sigma 70-200/2.8, that's another story. Some might choose the latter because its longer reach and FF compatibility. For me, I'd go w/ the 50-135 first, and change to a longer one when Pentax does have a FF dSLR camera
04-12-2008, 11:23 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
...the SDM, weather sealed barrel, SMC coating, Quick Shift
(emphasis is mine)

Quick-Shift alone is worth the 15mm difference in far side reach to me.

I'll pickup the 50-135mm in the morning.

QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
If compared w/ the Tamron/Sigma 70-200/2.8, that's another story.
Agreed. But a lens now VS a lens later...

Perhaps the 70-200mm will arrive the same time as my "Economic Stimulus" check.

Look! I'm helping! I'm helping! :-)

What a great community and forum. Thanks all!

Last edited by Cedar; 04-13-2008 at 01:03 AM. Reason: Clarification for Type A people, like me.
04-12-2008, 11:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
... waiting on the 70-200mm f2.8 Tamron
What? Yet another great spec lens to want? My wife will not be pleased.

The 70-200 sounds great, and the extra 65mm certainly be a noticeable (and useful) increase in reach.

QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
... to cover 50mm, almost every pentax shooter has a 50mm 1.4 or 1.7 in their kit.
Good point.

EXIF analysis 8-ball, tell me what lens to buy!



EXIF shows I take a lot right at 50mm, which might mean I like really that "distance".

Of it might mean, as you correctly suggest, that I love my FA 50mm f/1.4.

And double points for you, as thanks to craigslist I currently also have two M-50mm f/1.7s. Note from wife: Sell one. Soon.

But it likely also means that I keep hitting 'far' end of my other indoor glass, the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8... like I know I do at 18mm on the narrow side. Just can't afford to trade for the 16-50mm f/2.8 any time soon.

Just musing/rambling, but I wonder if I'd really do that much more swapping back to the 18-50mm with the 70-200mm VS the 50-135. But a lens in the hand...

LBA Wishlist confessions: A new dilemma...

"Thanks" for the "help".

Last edited by Cedar; 04-13-2008 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Type A Personality
04-12-2008, 11:36 PM   #14
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Since they're similar in price, the Pentax is such a no brainer. I don't have my experience with it. But weather-sealed, SDM, SMC coating, and it's a Pentax, one can't say no to that. Of course, I would wait for the FF DA* 70-200/2.8 .
04-13-2008, 12:03 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianK Quote
These are the only two shots I have online that show the bokeh from the 50-135.
Thank you for sharing these great images.

Personally I find the bokeh quite attractive in both.

When shooting indoors I think that the bokeh of a good lens is often the defining magic that hides and transforms the busy, messy, clutter of a confined space into a worthwhile portrait.

I'm looking forward to trying this lens. Thanks.
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