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05-12-2019, 03:28 PM   #1
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Looking for guidance before buying DA*50-135

Hi folks

Looking into DA* 50-135 for the K3 camera.

Knowing that majority if not all critique of this lens comes down to slack/not working properly/dead SDM and that it is quite an old design I was hoping that you guys could have some recommendations if there is stuff to know in regards to what to be aware of before the buy, eg serial numbers of xy are oldish and probably higher chance the SDM wouldn't work or something similar.
Looking to buy either here if there is one to be had or ebay and hoping to get one fr around AU$600.

Cheers!

05-12-2019, 03:58 PM - 1 Like   #2
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There's a lower chance of failure if you buy a lens made after 2013, and use it regularly. If the box says Ricoh on it, then it's a safe bet.

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05-12-2019, 10:04 PM   #3
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I have owned it, a very capable lens and enjoyed using it. Few months ago I switched to the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II which I like even more. Only downside off this lens is no weather sealing. Apart from that a good contender for the 50-135, perhaps worth to look into.
05-12-2019, 11:32 PM   #4
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Mine was supposedly a dead sdm unit but woke up and never gave me any trouble. Screw drive conversion of this lens is reasonably easy, and it is not a huge loss. The focusing is rapid enough, and the noise is lower than most expect.

05-13-2019, 03:41 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I picked up mine new this year and it's become a staple travel lens for me. Especially when coupled with the teleconverter.
05-13-2019, 04:03 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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I loved my first copy, and absolutely hammered it shooting live music commercially for several years. When that gig dried up I sold it for a song to help a friend get her child photography business up and running. It's still going strong.

I missed it so much I've bought another recently. What a great lens it is.
05-13-2019, 05:43 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Carpon Quote
I have owned it, a very capable lens and enjoyed using it. Few months ago I switched to the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II which I like even more. Only downside off this lens is no weather sealing. Apart from that a good contender for the 50-135, perhaps worth to look into.
I tried the Sigma two different times. One of those times was for over a week. I just couldn't love it. The lens is shorter but wider and seems a bit bulky compared to the 50-135. Colors don't quite seem "right". The outside lens rubber coating isn't nearly as nice feeling as the Pentax either.
05-14-2019, 12:15 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I tried the Sigma two different times. One of those times was for over a week. I just couldn't love it. The lens is shorter but wider and seems a bit bulky compared to the 50-135. Colors don't quite seem "right". The outside lens rubber coating isn't nearly as nice feeling as the Pentax either.
Good you considered it, for event photography I find it to be snappier in focus performance and sharper beyond 100mm. Just shows how personal a lens can be. And again I find the 50-135 also a remarkable lens, can't really go wrong with it.

05-14-2019, 02:34 AM   #9
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I guess if you are able to test it before buying, should be pretty safe that things work as they should. No guarantee for the future of course but 'issues' tend to get blown out of proportion on the 'net.
(FWIW - got mine on evilbay Oz and absolutely love it)
05-16-2019, 09:13 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Iíd give up every lens I own before Iíd give up my 50-135.
Having said that, Iíd never buy a used one unless it was dirt cheap or returnable. While SDM failure is a concern, it can be fixed. Iíd be more worried about optical issues.
Iíve had 3 copies of the lens.
First one bought new, images were horribly out of focus and fine tuning could not fix. Sent for warranty repair and it was fantastic until I dropped it.
Second one bought new and had obviously decentered elements. RMAíd and the replacement lens was perfect with zero fine tuning required.
I canít imagine anybody making a better lens than the 50-135 when itís right. But in my experience (slightly better than an O1), it is a crap shoot.
Military guys will get the O1 ďexperienceĒ reference
05-21-2019, 06:30 PM   #11
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I've reprogrammed dozens of 50-135 lenses and not seen any that had the issues @simple1 has had. My clients all report excellent results as well. I'm shocked he has had such bad luck because it seems atypical of the experiences of that lens others have had. Glad he finally got a good one.
05-21-2019, 07:14 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
I have one bought new in 2009. Been on 9 DSLR bodies, not babied, probably 300 K exposures made, seen plenty of airplane luggage bins, the floor board of my truck and has outlasted LowrePro Nova 5 bags. If I have the room, its my portrait lens. To steal an English phrase, its a brilliant lens.

Brooke,
Absolutely one of the best portraits of the agility, determination, and focus of a herding dog. It sums up the Aussie, Blue Heeler, and now English Shepherd that we’ve loved over the last twenty years. Just terrific!
05-21-2019, 07:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I've reprogrammed dozens of 50-135 lenses and not seen any that had the issues @simple1 has had. My clients all report excellent results as well. I'm shocked he has had such bad luck because it seems atypical of the experiences of that lens others have had. Glad he finally got a good one.
I can’t wait to get mine back from UncleVanya’s SDM Re-education Camp. I really don’t understand the fetish about ‘noise’ anyway. My DA20~40 is certainly silent, but my screwdrive 16~50 isn’t’t that much noisier.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-21-2019 at 07:25 PM.
05-22-2019, 06:06 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I canít wait to get mine back from UncleVanyaís SDM Re-education Camp. I really donít understand the fetish about Ďnoiseí anyway. My DA20~40 is certainly silent, but my screwdrive 16~50 isnítít that much noisier.
I shipped it yesterday btw. Lol. Love that phrase, I feel like a North Korean dictator now!
05-24-2019, 12:03 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I've reprogrammed dozens of 50-135 lenses and not seen any that had the issues @simple1 has had. My clients all report excellent results as well. I'm shocked he has had such bad luck because it seems atypical of the experiences of that lens others have had. Glad he finally got a good one.
Well - Iíve had two good ones

Glad that my experience is atypical of the broader sampling. I was not hesitant at all to buy the last one new because it was worth the possibility of a return/repair to have a good copy. In fact the 50-135 was the reason I stayed with Pentax when I needed a new kit.
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