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02-13-2014, 09:59 AM   #1
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DA* 50-135mm: Amazing Results, Unweildy Package

I know there are a large number of fans of the mighty DA*50-135 around here, as am I but ever since about a month or two after picking it up years ago I just don't use it except for when I'm a) on genuine gig and want the quick flexibility, or b) when I spot something I need some added length for while I'm at home (not terribly often) and pray that I can get it out and ready in time (even less often).

I've heard so many opinions of quite a few here that it is the one lens they'd never part with (I think it's a sort of 'desert island lens' for quite a few) and many have called it the perfect 'walk around lens'. For me personally this couldn't be further from my experience. I LOVE the thing in terms of it's flexibility and how amazingly well it renders, but in terms of a walk-around I never, *never* choose it simply because it's so unwieldy and people notice me and my "f off" camera from 100 yards. For all of these reasons it's been on the brink of a Craiglist sale for a year (I've actually posted it then taken it down twice now!). I've finally decided to hold on to it, but... yeah, I just don't get how anyone would be comfortable using that much lens on a full DSLR body casually while out and about. Thoughts?

02-13-2014, 10:04 AM   #2
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I'm not sure who "many" are, but generally a walkaround lens is wider than 50mm... That being said, I've walked around with my Tamron 70-200 for a different perspective quite a few times, and it's fun.
02-13-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I'm not sure who "many" are, but generally a walkaround lens is wider than 50mm... That being said, I've walked around with my Tamron 70-200 for a different perspective quite a few times, and it's fun.
The semi recent thread about keeping just one lens has a few (maybe I exaggerate but there were enough to notice). I think a "walkaround" could largely have as much to do with the style that you normally shoot as it does a particular length, greater or less than... But sure, for most it would be somewhere between a 28 and a 50, which the DA* obviously falls into at least at the short end.
02-13-2014, 10:15 AM   #4
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I think I as one who said it' be my 'one' lens, but I agree that it's not something you just carry around. It's big, it's heavy and it's noticeable. No, I love the 50-135 for the fact that the images you get out of it are beautiful, and creatively I really like the focal length. If I had the 50-135 I could conceivably carry on doing most of the photography I love doing and be happy. I do know what you mean with it being on the brink of sale though, the cases were I feel ok using it are relatively few, so it doesn't get used nearly as much as my wider primes, but still, when it DOES come out it's by far my favourite lens. I think a lot of that ahs to o with my lazy approach to photography at the moment though, I don't go out on a photo-mission often enough, where the heavy gear isn't as much of an issue.

But for casual walking around? I agree, you want something much wider. I I had to use only the 50-135 I'd probably prefer to just take my phone.

02-13-2014, 10:16 AM   #5
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It's a little tough because I used to do a lot of walking around with my Sigma 50 F1.4, and in New York City it was way too tight for use on a sidewalk. I'd back into the street just to take pictures of a store or something. Perhaps in a city or town that's more spacious.

But when I was walking around with my 70-200, I was taking photos mostly of wildlife (squirrels, pigeons), plants, interesting architectural features, utilizing the immense bokeh at the tele end, etc. Not a lot of people shots for same the reason that you described.
02-13-2014, 10:18 AM   #6
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The definition of "walk-around" greatly influences the lens choices that fit that category. If you like wide angle, the 50-135 is not one of them.
02-13-2014, 10:26 AM   #7
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I had the same experience as the OP.
I loved the performance of the lens, but just could not use it enough to justify my keeping it.

It was too long for walk around, and not long enough for most outdoor sports and the zoo (i am a zoo junkie lol).
02-13-2014, 10:27 AM   #8
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I guess my case in point, at least personally, is the simple fact that though I would LOVE to have the rendering and range that this guy provides while traveling, I would NEVER consider taking it traveling for it's sheer weight and bulk in the pack.

---------- Post added 02-13-2014 at 11:28 AM ----------

Not to mention the target it would paint on me for theft and just generally being noticed by everyone.

02-13-2014, 10:35 AM   #9
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For me 'walkaround' does not include 18mm very often; I'd prefer a 24-80ish lens but 28-70 is more within my comfort zone for size and weight. I'm torn between the size of my current Sigma 28-70 f/2.8-4 (manual focus) or the AF Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 - I shall know better in a week or so
02-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
I guess my case in point, at least personally, is the simple fact that though I would LOVE to have the rendering and range that this guy provides while traveling, I would NEVER consider taking it traveling for it's sheer weight and bulk in the pack.
'Walkaround' is a subjective thing. I walked around Dublin, Ireland on a recent trip there with the 50-135 and it was fun. Did not use a hood to reduce bulk. Its a different perspective from the usual wide angle travel photos. Of course, I did have a tamron 17-50 with me in my hotel room. I was there a few days, so I alternated the lenses. I definitely got better pics with the 50-135.

But you are right, for a regular walkaround lens I prefer something smaller and versatile and the 18-135 was preferred. But things have got more complicated now that compact cameras are getting better and I plan to use the Sony rx100ii on my next trip. I am hoping it works well.
02-13-2014, 07:58 PM   #11
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til death do us part.

QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
'Walkaround' is a subjective thing.
What psychdoc said. I hand carry this guy all the time when I hike. It is a great (non wide) landscape lens. I've also used it for high school track, youth soccer and football. Quite versatile that is why it will be in my bag 'til the end I think.
02-13-2014, 09:34 PM   #12
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It's a very good portrait lens and its light enough to carry all day along with the second camera and it's wider lens. Chihuahua was 12-24, Setter with 50-135. Each have their use. One on each shoulder and generally a 28-75 in my vest pocket. Bag stays in car.


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