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06-02-2016, 05:57 AM   #1
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DAL 50-200 WR vs M 135 f3.5

Hello,
I have a DAL 50-200 WR kit lens on a K-S2. I'm thinking of getting an M 135, f3.5 for it's smaller size. But I'm wondering if I'm gaining anything. Does anyone know how the two lenses compare optically - is the prime actually better? I couldn't find comparisons on the web. TY.

06-02-2016, 06:04 AM - 1 Like   #2
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it's an odd pair to compare, so not likely to find anyone that has tested them head to head; I've owned both and shot with both - the 50-200 is a nice, versatile zoom lens, but the M135 is much better optically, much better built, and has a much better feel to it....


I no longer own a copy of the 50-200 (and my M135 is also listed in the Marketplace....)
06-02-2016, 06:46 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I also have both. Haven't really compared them. the 50 200 wr serves as convenient tele (optically it is quite good) when it is raining instead of my 55-300.
the 135 is not wr, has built in hood, is smaller and gives nicer quality indeed and is MF.

Well, you know all that..
If you can get it for low price, it is worth it. It is sharp and renders nice! Both can co-exist..
06-02-2016, 06:56 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Years ago, there has been a test (field rather than laboratory) of several Pentax 135mm prime lenses + a popular cheap 3rd Party 135mm (Auto Revuenon MC) + the DA 55-300. IQ-wise, the 55-300 - which in this forum is seen as to be superior to the 50-200 - did not EVEN COME NEAR to any of the primes, including the much cheaper 3rd party one.

A PDF of that test is still on the net; it is German only, but there is a comparing sheet at the end which I think can be understood also by non German-speakers.

Look at "PENTAX: Der grosse 135mm Vergleichstest" in
Testberichte - Meine Homepage

The author Thomas Ziska has published such tests several times in the past.
About the author looking at
PENTAX : PENTAX Photo Gallery artist page
would be a start.

As the SMC 3.5/135 is not included in this test, you may have a look in the PF lens database, where several posters compare this to the other Pentax 135mm primes.

06-02-2016, 07:07 AM - 1 Like   #5
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My M135/3.5 is absolutely superb in regards to optics. I don't have the 50-200 so I can't make a comparison but the 135's can readily be found for under $50. It's very compact, has a built in hood and takes 49mm filters. They are well built and Pentax made thousands of them in the film days so they are easy to find.
06-02-2016, 07:21 AM   #6
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Thanks to all for the replies and great info. I took a look at that German chart. Very interesting and the zoom comes out last...
06-02-2016, 08:02 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k22 Quote
Hello,
I have a DAL 50-200 WR kit lens on a K-S2. I'm thinking of getting an M 135, f3.5 for it's smaller size. But I'm wondering if I'm gaining anything. Does anyone know how the two lenses compare optically - is the prime actually better? I couldn't find comparisons on the web. TY.
Why not both? If you end up not liking the 135 you can always just sell it.
06-02-2016, 08:25 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k22 Quote
But I'm wondering if I'm gaining anything.
I don't know exactly what the stop-down points are for the 50-200 because I don't have it, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that at 135mm it's running at f/4.5 when wide open. That being the case, what you would gain is an entire stop of aperture at that focal length.

I have noticed my M135/3.5 has a significant "blue" cast when compared against other lenses under the same lighting conditions and exposure settings*, so you may find yourself having to develop and apply a different set of automatic presets if you're heavily into batch-processing in post.

And if it so happens that you like it and want to keep it, the M135/3.5 is of course full-frame compatible. I do not think the same can truly be said of any of the DA zooms (I think the 60-250* comes closest).

* = by which I mean, I put multiple lenses on the camera, on a tripod, in rapid succession, and shot them all at the same aperture and shutter speed.

06-02-2016, 09:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I don't know exactly what the stop-down points are for the 50-200 because I don't have it, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that at 135mm it's running at f/4.5 when wide open. That being the case, what you would gain is an entire stop of aperture at that focal length.

I have noticed my M135/3.5 has a significant "blue" cast when compared against other lenses under the same lighting conditions and exposure settings*, so you may find yourself having to develop and apply a different set of automatic presets if you're heavily into batch-processing in post.

And if it so happens that you like it and want to keep it, the M135/3.5 is of course full-frame compatible. I do not think the same can truly be said of any of the DA zooms (I think the 60-250* comes closest).

* = by which I mean, I put multiple lenses on the camera, on a tripod, in rapid succession, and shot them all at the same aperture and shutter speed.
Yes, f/4.5. I could use the extra stop. f/2.8 and f/2.5 would be better but smaller size is key. Also just took a gander at a K 135, f/3.5. Longer than my 50-200 but thinner.
06-02-2016, 10:50 AM - 1 Like   #10
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A few years ago I had a box full'a Pentax and other brand'135's', THREE DA 50-200's and a spare afternoon to play with 'em. Since they were all individual copies I'll not attempt to rank them here, but two things stood out as notable.

- Of the three DA 50-200's two were as usually described - OK but nothing special. The third was noticeably superior in all respects and competitive with the (older) primes. It IS possible to find a stand-out among the kit lenses.

- Of eight 135's including three Pentax M42 and SMC-M's and five Sears, Vivitar, Soligor and Tamron lenses there seemed to be two distinct groups - those that excelled as tele lenses at or near infinity and those that were superior as 'portrait' lenses at closer range.

Disregarding unwarranted expectations of older coatings and wide open IQ, at the price of older lenses today it's worth acquiring a few and trying them specifically for your intended use(s). I was pleased, but not surprised, to find some individual lenses that were a pleasure to use and the practical equal of any.

Last edited by pacerr; 06-02-2016 at 12:55 PM.
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