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12-07-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
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Trying to make a 50-135 decision...

Looking at photozone MTF, the 50-135 is has better resolution at 90mm @ f/2.8, 4, 5.6 and 8 than both the Tamron 90 macro and the D-FA 100 macro.

Price independent, and macro aside, and just based on image quality in all it's many guises, does the 50-135 in fact give you "better" images at 90mm than these other two lenses?
Brian (FHPhotographer)

12-07-2008, 06:11 PM   #2
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But the 50-135 isn't a macro lens, so you should own them all anyway.
12-07-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Looking at photozone MTF, the 50-135 is has better resolution at 90mm @ f/2.8, 4, 5.6 and 8 than both the Tamron 90 macro and the D-FA 100 macro.

Price independent, and macro aside, and just based on image quality in all it's many guises, does the 50-135 in fact give you "better" images at 90mm than these other two lenses?
Brian (FHPhotographer)
you're saying "macro aside", if macro is not important why are you comparing it to 2 macro lenses?
12-07-2008, 07:21 PM   #4
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For what type of images and shots? People, Flowers, Stuffed animals?

I have the 50-135, it's a really nice lens, and I preferred it over the Tamron 90 which I sold in favor of the DFA 100, and the main use for this zoom were people portraits. For still life or macro, I much preferred the DFA 100, and that lens is actually very nice for close in headshots, has a nice skin tone to it, and the Pentax coloring and contrast that the Tamron was missing for me. The DFA 100 has probably better contrast than the 50-135, and Tamron, and while Klaus's charts show more resolution with the 50-135, I think in the real world the DFA's images appear to be higher resolution due to the contrast.

But you can't beat the 50-135 for a zoom, or for a portrait lens. And for macro, I liked the style and recessed element of the Tamron, but preferred the color and contrast of the Pentax. If you want a heavier beast that is perhaps sharper, than the FA100 macro is also excellent.


I think it's easy to get too carried away at photozone, I know I have been guilty of that in the past. Real world images have a multitude of subjective qualities to them that cannot be measured. It is a worthwhile reference site, and I use it now to refer to vignetting, and distortion, but I usually leave the resolution tests alone, as I have used lenses in the real world that were tested as poor resolution which performed better than lenses with better tested resolution.

As there is a balance between contrast and resolution. A lens with terrific resolution and poor contrast, appears as lower resolution (not to a chart, but to us humans), so does a lens with fabulous contrast and poor resolution, and the best lenses of all time are somewhere in the middle with both, a nice balance.

I only say this because you asked about "better" images and photozone charts you refer to only read that it had a higher resolution....

12-08-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
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I compare what's out there

QuoteOriginally posted by dave sz Quote
you're saying "macro aside", if macro is not important why are you comparing it to 2 macro lenses?
Because there aren't any other new lenses in the 90-100mm range that can be compared to the 50-135mm,
Brian
12-08-2008, 12:41 PM   #6
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thanks for the constructive input

QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
For what type of images and shots? People, Flowers, Stuffed animals?

I have the 50-135, it's a really nice lens, and I preferred it over the Tamron 90 which I sold in favor of the DFA 100, and the main use for this zoom were people portraits. For still life or macro, I much preferred the DFA 100, and that lens is actually very nice for close in headshots, has a nice skin tone to it, and the Pentax coloring and contrast that the Tamron was missing for me. The DFA 100 has probably better contrast than the 50-135, and Tamron, and while Klaus's charts show more resolution with the 50-135, I think in the real world the DFA's images appear to be higher resolution due to the contrast.

But you can't beat the 50-135 for a zoom, or for a portrait lens. And for macro, I liked the style and recessed element of the Tamron, but preferred the color and contrast of the Pentax. If you want a heavier beast that is perhaps sharper, than the FA100 macro is also excellent.

As there is a balance between contrast and resolution. A lens with terrific resolution and poor contrast, appears as lower resolution (not to a chart, but to us humans), so does a lens with fabulous contrast and poor resolution, and the best lenses of all time are somewhere in the middle with both, a nice balance.

I only say this because you asked about "better" images and photozone charts you refer to only read that it had a higher resolution....
Thanks, that's the kind of input I was hoping for. Interesting that you prefer the overall image quality of the DFA 100 over the Tamron in many situations even with the superior "resolution" of the Tamron. That's the kind of subjective evaluation that can only come with experience.

Maybe the solution is to order both and return the one that doesn't "fit"for me. Thanks again,
Brian
12-08-2008, 12:46 PM   #7
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Unless you get a very rare lemon copy, the 50-135 is just about the best lens you can buy for Pentax, zoom or prime. If you need the focal range and/or the weather sealing, don't mind the size, and have the $, it's a no brainer!

Do it. Just do it. It's simply a matter of a series of clicks. C'mon.

Learn to concur your fear, like:



(50-135)



12-08-2008, 04:55 PM   #8
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F3.2 ISO400 123mm


Last edited by reknelb; 09-28-2009 at 05:11 PM.
12-08-2008, 07:07 PM   #9
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I just got a 50-135 today and it is a blow away. Didnt think it gets much better than a good 16-50 but it does.
12-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #10
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I sold my 31mm limited and hang on to this Da* zoom in selling gear to make funds for a 2nd system. At first, I thought of trimming all of my zooms and replace zooms with 2nd system. After using DA* zoom for one weekend, I changed my mind. Before the purchase, I was not convinced that weather sealing is important or noise from AF don't bother me as I get used to AF noisy motors from my lens. Once I used it once, I get sold on this lens. It is a difficult to let my 31mm go and keep this. In hindsight, I should have kept both lens but I digress for the plans of 2nd system. It will be a break even decision but one has to go. I will have more use on this lens until I am convinced that my 2nd system can do well in the zooms



Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8

#1 Part of the wired cage make it soft in some portion of the pictures




#2




#3




#4 feel much safer with sand and water in the beach




Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8
Test pictures linked in blog post

Last edited by hinman; 12-08-2008 at 08:11 PM.
12-09-2008, 01:55 PM   #11
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DA50-135 wide open @ 90mm, 100 crop, JPG straight out of K20D:

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