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07-30-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
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Alternatives to the 50-135?

I've been toying around with the idea of eventually getting a 50-135, probably sometime next year at the earliest. In the meantime, I wouldn't mind picking up a less expensive lens with a similar range--it can be either AF or MF, but needs to have the "A" on the aperture ring, as I would rather not fool with stepping down. Also, having the long end at 135mm is important to me, as I want to see how much I would use a lens with this length at the long end of it. It doesn't need to be constant aperture, but I would like for it to be faster than the standard f4-5.6.

I've managed to find a couple already--the Sigma 35-135/3.5-4.5 MC, as well as the Sigma 24-135/2.8-4.5. For those of you that have used these lenses, how do you like them?

Does anybody have any other ideas?

Thanks!
Heather

07-30-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
as well as the Sigma 24-135/2.8-4.5.
I own the one - it is much softer (not only mine, but examples from others) comparing w/ what I have seen from Pentax 50-135... Cameta Camera was dumping the old new stock for under USD $100 on eBay not so long ago - that speaks volumes...
07-30-2008, 12:08 PM   #3
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there are ton's of ways to get what you want but are you sure that getting a cheap lens now, is the best.

I might recommend the sigma 50-150 as an alternative, it is probably lower cost, even new, just as fast, and a little longer.

or, you could get something like the tamron 28-85 and an older 135, Even though you talk about not wanting to stop down, the K135 F2.5 is a really nicve lens
07-30-2008, 01:39 PM   #4
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An obvious answer is DA 50-200, and don't exceed 135mm! I believe it is f/4.5 until 135mm.

I don't believe the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 is available yet, though by next year it could be. Not listed @B&H but is listed on Sigma's site.

Also, the F 35-135 f/3.5-4.5 can be sort of a poor-man's DA*. I picked one up with a similar idea. I don't use it all that often as I'm more likely to use FA 24-90 f/3.5-4.5 or FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5. The difference between 105 and 135 isn't super-substantial in terms of application & field of view. The older F-zoom has a rather long minimum focus distance (unless using macro mode), it's rather bulky (though less so than DA*), has a mediocre manual focus ring, and does not come with a bayonet hood. It might offer a fair indication of what a 50-135 might feel like in terms of usage. There was also a similar A-version (manual focus only), probably the same optically.

One other possibility would be a A 28-135 f/4. Faster than anything else mentioned so far at 135mm.

07-30-2008, 04:44 PM   #5
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I could just use my 55-300 and see what percentage of shots I get that are 135mm or less. I'd also given some thought to picking up the FA28-105/3.2-4.5. It runs around $200 brand new and might come in handy for when I don't want to haul around the 17-70 (16oz. for the 17-70 vs. 9oz. for the 28-105. From what I've seen, it has pretty decent IQ for such a small lens.

Pentax smc P-FA 28-105mm F3.2-4.5 AL IF Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

Thanks for all the help so far.

Heather

Last edited by heatherslightbox; 07-30-2008 at 04:50 PM.
07-30-2008, 05:24 PM   #6
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If you are thinking about 28-105 range, have a look at Tamron 24-135 too. Not as fast as the Pentax but greater range on both ends.

cheers
Kenny
07-30-2008, 05:37 PM   #7
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Heather, the fact that you already have a lens that covers the focal range in the guise of the DA 55-300mm and you're asking to pick up a cheap lens in about the same range just shows you got a bad case of LBA frenzy.

I would suggest you BUY NOTHING and go out and use that new DA 55-300mm more. If you're not already using your existing gear often enough, why go out and plan for a DA* 50-135mm? In the meanwhile, why blow money on a used lens that frankly speaking probably won't better the performance of your existing lenses?
07-30-2008, 06:08 PM   #8
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Creampuff, you seem to always have a way of bringing me back down to earth. Thanks.

The reason I've given any consideration at all to the 50-135 is I would love to have a constant f2.8 lens in my lens lineup for lower light situations where I don't necessarily want to use my flash. Weight-wise, it would need to be managable, which means something like a 70-200/2.8 is out of the question. Since I tend to use shorter lengths more often, I've also given thought to the Tammy 28-75, Sigma 28-60, and Sigma 28-70, which are in the same ballpark weight-wise as the 17-70 I have now. Any of these would make a nice compliment to the 12-24 that I'm planning on buying within the next month--$434+change in the savings account now and expecting to get more this weekend at a belated birthday party my in-laws are throwing for me.

Once I buy the 12-24 I'm thinking that I need to put a moratorium on myself and not buy any more lenses until after Christmas and use the ones I have. Even though his wife imposed it, I think Maxwell1295 has the right idea... https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/everything-else/30919-banned.html

I want to go to a photography workshop next Spring and I need to save up $555 between now and next April in order to make it happen, so that'll be what I'll be saving for once I get the 12-24.

Maybe it was a good thing that my coworker got offered the overtime hours while I didn't. It would just be more money sitting in the savings account, burning a hole right through it.

Heather

07-30-2008, 06:32 PM   #9
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Heather, I'm not discouraging you from getting more gear, heck I just got the DA*50-135mm myself... and I still have the DA 50-200mm on hand.

Fact is all is not well in the world economy and it is prudent to set aside more money for a rainy day. For most of us photography is a hobby and while it is easy to indulge on our pastime, we often need a reality check to distinguish wants and needs, which means taking a hard look on what our existing gear has to offer. I'd offer the advice to look at the kind of photos you like to take and buy equipment that fills the gaps, so if you want to shoot sweeping landscapes for example, then that ultra-wide angle might be the one to go for. I know it is hard to kick that LBA habit...
07-30-2008, 07:00 PM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
I could just use my 55-300 and see what percentage of shots I get that are 135mm or less.
Heather

I would do like you mentioned and see how many shots you are taking in that range with your 55-300 and see as well as to how many of those shots are /were in low light..... this might encourage you to wait for the time that is right to purchase the better 55-135mm lens which I am sure you will be far more happier in the end with
07-30-2008, 07:34 PM   #11
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An interesting thing just happened--I just got a PM from another forum member who's offered to trade me his Tammy 28-75 for my Sigma 17-70, so it looks like I may get to have my constant 2.8 lens cake and eat it too.

In the meantime once I start my moratorium on buying lenses, it may very well make more sense to pick up a second body, so when I go somewhere like the zoo. I can have the 55-300 attached to 1 body for the distant animal shots and the shorter, faster lens attached to the other one for the lower light shorter shots.

Here are a couple of examples of where a slower lens frustrated me on the last trip to the zoo:



I know that I can lighten them in PP or use a flash, but I don't want to scare the animals off with my flash (the external one).

I just ran a few of my pic folders through ExposurePlot and interestingly enough, most of them were in the 40-70 range (equiv. 60-105).

Hmmm...

Heather
07-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #12
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Thats great news Heather

you sound happy with the result as well.

I can understand and see your dissappointment for the fish photo but I would not expect much better from my same lens (55-300mm) shooting at a fishtank in what was maybe a low lite room. The monkey or whatever it is does however seem to be shot from a dull area to a dull area that has a brighter background, maybe someone with far more experience than I might shed more light on how to make the correct shot in that situation.


Happy shooting with the new lens
07-31-2008, 11:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Even though his wife imposed it, I think Maxwell1295 has the right idea... https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/everything-else/30919-banned.html
Well, ummm.....not exactly!

I couldn't hold out any longer! https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/33285-k20d-k200...-55-300-a.html

At least it wasn't LBA.....
07-31-2008, 11:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Here are a couple of examples of where a slower lens frustrated me on the last trip to the zoo:
your fish was ISO200 @ K10D and that animal ISO100 @ K10D ? you could use higher ISO then... I 'd risk 400-800 and something like noiseninja if necessary.
07-31-2008, 12:00 PM   #15
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Anti-LBA Therapy

QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Here are a couple of examples of where a slower lens frustrated me on the last trip to the zoo
Animals can't be hurt by flash; if the zoo allows it go ahead. Or a monopod. Or increase ISO.

I think the biggest issue with these images is incorrect exposure. But also you are not going to get much clarity with a barrier between yourself and your subject. Sometimes one just needs to look for a different shot.

Do you think one extra stop will really help?
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