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07-17-2015, 11:20 AM   #1
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DA* 50-135 with HD 1.4x converter, or 70-200 f2.8???

In the market right now to upgrade/consolidate my long tele-zooms. Looking at what possibly is the best overall option. Main focus is in general outdoor landscape & wildlife. Portraits, and some formal photography involving parties and weddings.


Last edited by nms_photog; 07-17-2015 at 12:30 PM.
07-17-2015, 11:36 AM   #2
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Either one of those lenses is (will be?) a good choice but you'll have a tough time finding a HD 1.7X converter !

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07-17-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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I had a 70-200 f2.8 Tamron. It really is not long enough for wildlife, too long for landscape and for everything else you shoot, well it is just too big and heavy. It's one of those lenses you just must have and then when you have it, you wonder why? I got rid of it and use my SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 which I love. It does everything I want it to, just isn't as fast as the Tamron.
07-17-2015, 12:14 PM   #4
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Even if you could find a 1.7x converter with DA* 50-150 f2.8 your going to lose to two full stops. The lens then becomes a 85-255 f5.6 lens when using the converter. On a APC-Sensor that will give you a crop factor of 128-383mm. With a 1.4x converter your going to lose one f-stop down to f4. If you go for the 70-200 f2.8 you have a 105-300mm crop factor on an APC-S camera at a constant f2.8. 300mm is plenty long for shooting most wildlife and sports.

To me the logical choice is the 70-200 because of the constant aperture. An alternative to the 70-200 would be the Pentax FA* 80-200 f2.8 that is selling for $1,000 to $1,300 on eBay and it's full frame compatible, and a $1,000 cheaper than the newly announced DAF* 70-200mm f2.8 ($2,299).

07-17-2015, 12:34 PM   #5
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Sorry guys..........I'm sure you know I meant the HD 1.4x converter combined with the 50-135. I'm leaning slightly along these lines simply because of versatility and compactness. I don't shoot long very much, but when I do I "need" a 2-300mm. Nothing much longer, but anything more is a plus. I've just never held one of the fast 70-200 f2.8's and might be put off a bit by their size.

If it matters, I'm currently shooting a k5

Last edited by nms_photog; 07-17-2015 at 12:57 PM.
07-17-2015, 12:57 PM   #6
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Hi nms_photog,

My opinion probably does not agree with most here, but I agree with Rimfiredude as I don't find a 70-200/2.8 very practical. About 9 years ago, I picked up a Tokina 80-200 f2.8 AT-X AF Pro for a very good price as it seemed like a good idea to have a fast zoom in that range (and this class of zoom is still very popular for some reason). What I found is that I rarely used the lens as it's way too short for birding and too big and heavy (for me) to use as a walk around tele zoom. The only use I regularly put it to is when I go to the zoo, where the speed is useful for indoor work and the zoom range is usually not too much of a handicap since zoos are setup to give reasonable viewing distances for the mostpart. I have kept the Tokina though it's not the very best in class because it's not worthwhile for me to upgrade. The lens might not be the best, but it's close, and good enough for the purposes and amount I use it.

Although I've use premium primes (FA* 300/4 and FA* 300/2.8) + TCs for most of my ultra to super tele work, I picked up a DA 55-300 to try as a lightweight alternative and liked it enough that I also got one of the HD/WRs in addition. With the higher ISO capabilities of the newer bodies, the f5.8 max aperture isn't really much of a handicap, and the weight savings is a huge bonus. With the increased AF sensor sensitivity in the K-5, K-5iIs, and K-3, it's also possible to use a 1.4x TC to stretch the reach to 420mm in good light while retaining AF. This gives me a lot of versatility in a very lightweight (comparatively) kit.

For events, the combination of a DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 with APS-C gives me the same FOV range and speed of the traditional 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 combo that has been a standard in 35mm photography for this purpose, but with a much lighter and compact kit. I'm sure that many will disagree, but for me the 70-200/2.8 class lens is just not that useful.

Scott
07-17-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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If you're fine with f/4 (50-135 + 1.4x TC gives you f/4), maybe consider the DA* 60-250? It covers a wider range, has great IQ and is smaller and lighter than any 70-200 f/2.8 (though it does extend when zooming). It's also not that much more expensive than the 50-135 right now.

I do own the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8, and I find it quite useful as a general purpose telezoom with good IQ and speed for low light. It is actually one of the smallest and lightest in its class, but still big in absolute terms of course. It also is one of the fastest and most accurate focusing screwdrive lenses I own. It will not focus properly in Live View mode, though, and MF is pretty meh. It's also not weather sealed, if these things are important to you.

Last edited by Cannikin; 07-17-2015 at 01:26 PM.
07-17-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nms_photog Quote
In the market right now to upgrade/consolidate my long tele-zooms. Looking at what possibly is the best overall option. Main focus is in general outdoor landscape & wildlife. Portraits, and some formal photography involving parties and weddings.
The 50-135mm f2.8 is wonderful for portraits and landscape, but is probably too short for wildlife, even with the 1.4x TC (that will only get you out to 189mm).

The 70-200mms may be kind of long on an APS-C camera for portraits unless you are doing head/shoulder shots and/or have plenty of working distance.

The 60-250mm f4 is good for landscape and maybe some wildlife you can get pretty close to your subject, but f4 is a little slow for portrait unless you get real close to your subject.

I know you are looking to consolidate, but I think your best solution is a 50-135mm + 300mm f4 combo.

07-17-2015, 03:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I know you are looking to consolidate, but I think your best solution is a 50-135mm + 300mm f4 combo.
And if money was of no concern, this would be the winner right here.
07-17-2015, 03:51 PM   #10
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The 70-200 is just not practical for most portraits. My Sigma 70-200 2.8 APO is soft wide open and really is better at F4. The 50-135 is much sharper wide open so both at F4 would have about the same IQ. I would go with the 50-135 with tele converter that way if you take the tele converter off you still have a perfect portrait lens that is a lot lighter with the added bonus of using the tele on other lenses!

Good luck with your choice

Randy
07-17-2015, 04:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nms_photog Quote
And if money was of no concern, this would be the winner right here.
Yea, i understand...i have champagne taste and a beer budget. That's why i wanted to spend your money

What about 50-135 + 55-300mm combo? You get a damn fine portrait and landscape lens plus a decent lens for wild life.
Or if wildlife/landscape is more important, the 60-250mm + a used DA 70mm for portraits?
07-17-2015, 11:04 PM   #12
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I disagree with a lot of the posters here, but I am not sure you can copy my set up as it is now quite old, and newer lenses can't support all what my old kit does.

I have a sigma APO70-200 F2.8 EX (non DG non macro) from the end of the film era. The lens is screw drive, not hsm and works extremely well with sigma's 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, which are optimized for a very small number of fast tell and tell zoom lenses.

This gives the option of using the lens on its own or with the TCs and with a 2x the resulting 400mm F5.6 is suitable for small wildlife and sharper and faster than the 55-300.

It is heavy, but it has been well worth it over the 12+years I have owned it.

The problem today is there is no 2x HSM teleconverter and I am not so sure about stacking two 1.4x converters.

The 70-200 on its own is excellent for theatre, and indoor sports Like basket ball and hockey, and also good for outdoor portraits
07-18-2015, 05:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nms_photog Quote
And if money was of no concern, this would be the winner right here.
A K3 with the DA* 50-135 along with a K3 with the DA* 300 with the 1.4x in the pocket for either happens to be a setup I carry around a lot for trips to wildlife ponds. I have never been happier with a pair of body/lens kits for that use.
07-18-2015, 05:55 AM   #14
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my feeling is that the 50-135 is just not long enough. Once I want longer than a 40mm or 50mm, I want REACH. I'd get the 70-200 and a 1.4 to take you further
07-18-2015, 07:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
A K3 with the DA* 50-135 along with a K3 with the DA* 300 with the 1.4x in the pocket for either happens to be a setup I carry around a lot for trips to wildlife ponds. I have never been happier with a pair of body/lens kits for that use.
Now that.....sounds like a great combo. Only thing I'm missing is the HD 1.4 TC. I hope to have that sometime later this year.
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