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10-07-2017, 06:59 AM   #1
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Pentax 50-135 2.8 vs Tamron 70-200 f2.8

Assuming I can get them for the same price, Which lens is a better choice (for crop body) and why.

Pentax 50-135 2.8 vs Tamron 70-200 f2.8

10-07-2017, 07:34 AM   #2
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Do you need the extra reach of the 200? Do you mind the extra 360g in your bag? Do you need silent focus? Do you want the better Macro-ish properties of the Tamron? Are you scared of SDM failure? Do you need WR?

Answer those, and your lens is chosen. Both take amazing photos. I chose the Tamron. It is loud (loudest focusing lens I have), and it is heavy. I like it because it has a 1:3 magnification, and goes to 200.

The Tamron is a quite glowy and soft at 200/2.8. Any other focal length or even a little stopped down at 200, everything is perfect.

If I shot events more, I'd pick the DA*50-135. I don't often need more than 135 indoors, and the Tamron really is quite heavy.
10-07-2017, 07:41 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tigs Quote
Assuming I can get them for the same price, Which lens is a better choice (for crop body) and why.

Pentax 50-135 2.8 vs Tamron 70-200 f2.8
I don't own either, although I came close to buying the Tamron.... I settled on the DA*60-250 ƒ4. Between those two I'd go with the 70-200 just for the extra reach, For me it's a weight issue, I doubt I'd want to carry the tammy everywhere I go, like I do with some lenses, but 200mm is the minimum for what I do shooting birds and wildlife, so it's a conundrum.

For people who shoot events indoors in close quarters will no doubt prefer the 50-135.
10-07-2017, 07:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tigs Quote
Assuming I can get them for the same price, Which lens is a better choice (for crop body) and why.

Pentax 50-135 2.8 vs Tamron 70-200 f2.8
I had both lenses. For me the tamron was tack sharp and had good close focus ability. Focus was quicker also, but noiser.

The 50-135mm has "Pentax" colors and is no slouch in sharpness either and is an all around great lens. I got rid of the tamron, which i had first, only because of the weight. I found myself leaving it more than using it. For me the 50-135 is pefect size. I also have a 300mm prime for the long end, so only having 135mm is not an issue. I can take my 21mm, 40mm and 50-135mm and it's a pretty compact kit.

I have samples from both on my flickr page...username 7.62lew

10-07-2017, 08:46 AM   #5
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I've had my DA* 50-135mm for the better part of 10 years and I love it. I've used it on the K-200D, K-20D, K-r, K-5, K-5 IIs, and now my KP, where I've been using it more than ever. It makes a faster-than-average, easy-carrying, high-quality kit with my DA 20-40mm Limited and my KP. I have it in a moderate-size belt holster and the camera w/Limited lens in a camera shoulder/belt holster. It is like having a large, heavy, 70-200mm f/2.8 on a FF body at a fraction of the bulk and weight.
10-07-2017, 12:57 PM   #6
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I don't have either, but I do have the (even heavier) Pentax D FA* 70-200. It's not an everyday/everywhere lens, but it does get plenty of use for specific purposes. If ~200 mm is where you shoot a lot, then go for the Tamron. On a crop body, it is actually quite a long tele.

Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 10-07-2017 at 01:43 PM.
10-07-2017, 01:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
I don't have either, but I do have the (even heavier) Pentax D FA* 70-200. It's not an everyday/everywhere lens, but it does get plenty of use for specific purposes. If ~200 mm is where you shoot a lot, then go for the Tamron. On a crop body, is is actually quite a long tele.
I have both, Tigs. They're excellent portrait lenses.

The Tammy gets you further for sports, but it's bigger as a result, naturally.

10-07-2017, 02:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The Tamron is a quite glowy and soft at 200/2.8. Any other focal length or even a little stopped down at 200, everything is perfect.
+1 on @Kozlok assessment of the lens. I own the Tamron and it is fantastic on the K3 and now on my K1. It is a little soft at 2.8 but sharpens up even a half stop from wide open. It is a fantastic lens and fast focusing. I do not own the 50-135 but tried it a few times at photo shows. To me the focusing was pretty laggy, almost slow motion. Maybe it was the lenses I tried but I did not like the slow focusing of the lens. 50-135 is quite small which is a nice plus. Overall, if I had to buy it again, I would buy the Tamron over the Pentax

10-07-2017, 04:28 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

I dont have fast lenses above 50mm so one of these might be a good fit. Not for a particular type of use. I'd likely use it for portraits, sports and a bit of wildlife

I dont like the idea of using FF glass with a crop sensor (waste of potential) but it looks like the tamron would be a good choice based on the comments.
10-07-2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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From reviews I've read the biggest complaints on the 50-135 are the SDM auto focus being prone to fail and not being fast enough for sports. Mine is decidedly slower than my 18-135 at locking focus, but I bought it used so the SDM may not be performing at 100%. I just got it so I don't have to much experience with it, but I could see it giving issues with fast moving subjects. A general consensus seems to be that the image quality is spectacular though, and I've read of people selling off some great primes like the DA 70 and 77 LTD after getting the 50-135.

For sports and fast moving subjects I would probably pick the 70-200 instead though. The extra reach would be nice too, you would just have to decide if you're okay with the extra size and weight.
10-07-2017, 07:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheOneAndOnlyJH Quote
From reviews I've read the biggest complaints on the 50-135 are the SDM auto focus being prone to fail and not being fast enough for sports
I just can't wait to own a lens that is fast enough for sports!
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10-07-2017, 07:44 PM   #12
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I had and liked the Tamron. I would recommend a monopod if using it for long periods of time.

I always thought of the noise as focus confirmation :-)
10-07-2017, 08:15 PM   #13
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Both are great lenses. I kept the 50-135 and bought a DA 200 to go with it. My primary purpose was weddings and portraits though and for that it shines. If I can, I still use my FA 77, nothing quite compares to it.
10-08-2017, 12:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RedBoomer Quote
I just can't wait to own a lens that is fast enough for sports!
Convert it to screw drive ... really quickens things up!
10-08-2017, 09:38 AM   #15
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I'm with twilhelm. Instead of 70-200mm f/2.8, I went for the DA* 50-135mm for its wide-end range and with it a DA* 200mm f/2.8 so I'm not dealing with any significant size/weight issue at any one time. Of course, a 70-200mm f/2.8 on APS-C is like having a 100-300mm f/2.8 on a FF body, which is great too.

Although I've found focus not to be the fastest with both these DA* lenses, it's fast enough for my uses. My DA 18-135mm is indeed among my fastest-focusing as well as being quiet and sure.
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