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01-06-2009, 06:57 PM   #16
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Really ... I don't that there is really anything that you could replace the 50-135 with ... it's one of those lenses that Pentax really got right. It's an all in one lens that covers a lot and does it amazingly well. Not many lenses like it.

It may have weight to it ... and be a bit pricey ... but put it this way ... it's lighter and cheaper than 3 primes ... and you don't have to worry about swapping lenses all the time.

I agree there are other great lenses out there ... but this is one lens I wouldnt mind having for a walkabout myself ... I do love the older lenses ... but this is one of the "newer" ones I'd love to have.

Hin ... I do remember your original post of the 50-200 .... it was simply amazing for a "kit-lens" ... now if i can find one out here within reason i am thinking of getting it just to have in my kit.

01-06-2009, 07:02 PM   #17
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I've already got the 43, which is fairly close in FL, but enough of a difference that I like it's FOV better than the 35. With the FLs so close, it didn't make a lot of sense to keep both and I need wider angle, so the 35 needed to go. Once I get the 21, I'll have 3 nice primes: 21, 43, and 100, which should cover most situations. If I need either wider or longer, I've got my zooms to cover anything wider than 21 and longer than 100mm.

Once I get the 21, then I'll back off on buying lenses for a while and see how the setup I have works for me. I've got other things I'm interested in saving up for including a ring flash and possibly a better regular flash that works with PTTL, neither of which is cheap. Depending on what Pentax comes out with in the spring, I may wind up upgrading one of my
bodies.

There is a part of me that is tempted by the 50-135, but the weight is what turns me off more than anything. I know a good strap can make a world of difference, but the question is will it be too heavy for me to handhold steady? I've got tendonitis in my right hand and it's hard for me to handle holding a heavy camera/lens combo. This would be one of those cases where I'd either have to borrow or rent one to try it out before committing to buying.

Unfortunately, I don't have any money trees growing in my yard, so I can't afford to buy everything.

Heather
01-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
Really ... I don't that there is really anything that you could replace the 50-135 with ... it's one of those lenses that Pentax really got right. It's an all in one lens that covers a lot and does it amazingly well. Not many lenses like it.
I find it impossible to find a candidate to replace the DA* zoom. But there feasible choices that can serve well in good lighting condition

QuoteQuote:
It may have weight to it ... and be a bit pricey ... but put it this way ... it's lighter and cheaper than 3 primes ... and you don't have to worry about swapping lenses all the time.
Yes, it is three primes into one lens as in 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm for my use.

QuoteQuote:
I agree there are other great lenses out there ... but this is one lens I wouldnt mind having for a walkabout myself ... I do love the older lenses ... but this is one of the "newer" ones I'd love to have.

Hin ... I do remember your original post of the 50-200 .... it was simply amazing for a "kit-lens" ... now if i can find one out here within reason i am thinking of getting it just to have in my kit.
I do recommend the DA 50-200 for traveling light and use in good lighting. But if you have a Tamron/Sigma/Pentax equivalent in 70-300 or 55-300, you will have an overlap. The DA 50-200 is frequently available in the $100. With the DA 55-300 so dominating, I think you can bargain DA 50-200 for a good price. Between the two kit lens with 18-55, I like the DA 50-200 better as I frequently use it in 50mm to 135mm for portraits and street shooting, and the longer end comes as a sweet plus point. The range is just too versatile to be ignored, though slow as compared to others.
01-06-2009, 07:41 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
I've already got the 43, which is fairly close in FL, but enough of a difference that I like it's FOV better than the 35. With the FLs so close, it didn't make a lot of sense to keep both and I need wider angle, so the 35 needed to go. Once I get the 21, I'll have 3 nice primes: 21, 43, and 100, which should cover most situations. If I need either wider or longer, I've got my zooms to cover anything wider than 21 and longer than 100mm.
You have plenty going in 21, 43, and 100. And your 100mm is small with DFA though it misses the focus limiter as in Tamron 90mm or Sigma 105mm, which will make its tele use a bit awkward with motor traveling front to back to get to focus lock.

I highly recommend looking into 77mm for the future.

The 21,43,77 limited is best limited trio that you can think along the line of ownership.

Now that I see your 43, I won't pick on your decision on letting 35mm limited to go.

QuoteQuote:
Once I get the 21, then I'll back off on buying lenses for a while and see how the setup I have works for me. I've got other things I'm interested in saving up for including a ring flash and possibly a better regular flash that works with PTTL, neither of which is cheap. Depending on what Pentax comes out with in the spring, I may wind up upgrading one of my
bodies.
Flash is difficult topic and I have no clues. I am using AF 540 along with a simple Sunpak 422D flash. The later can be bought frequently in the twenty's

QuoteQuote:
There is a part of me that is tempted by the 50-135, but the weight is what turns me off more than anything. I know a good strap can make a world of difference, but the question is will it be too heavy for me to handhold steady? I've got tendonitis in my right hand and it's hard for me to handle holding a heavy camera/lens combo. This would be one of those cases where I'd either have to borrow or rent one to try it out before committing to buying.

Unfortunately, I don't have any money trees growing in my yard, so I can't afford to buy everything.

Heather
Don't get the DA* 50-135 if you are seriously bothered by weight.

01-19-2009, 10:19 AM   #20
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I like the alternative in Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 from Kiron that I sold the K copy and re-buy the same lens but in M42 mount with a 2x doubler. I have not used the doubler yet, but the M42 version looks identical to the K mount. The good thing about the M42 version is the use of Av mode besides the M mode with stop-down metering.

I AM not selling my DA* 50-135mm, but I am always on the lookout for good and cheaper alternatives that can be considered for the budget minded. And my latest purchase is on a Tamron SP 28-135mm f/4.0-4.5 and it is quite heavy at 710g (close to) and I will update you all how I like that adaptall lens. Focal range is great but it is tag slow for indoor. And I already find the f/3.8 in Kiron zoom too slow and the f/4.0-f/4.5 can only compete with the DA* in outdoor.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 01-20-2009 at 01:50 PM.
01-20-2009, 11:08 AM   #21
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I had a Viv Series I 70-210, by Komine. The weird thing is that, it's NOT as sharp as
the cheapy Viv 70-210mm f4.5-5.6, as the Komine one is showing severe purple ...

The cheapy Viv 70-210mm f4.5-5.6 is light, slow, ..., but it is sharp.
If I could do MF better, this one would be a choice.

HTH.

Pinwu
01-20-2009, 11:14 AM   #22
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Agree with what you said about the M42 lenses, that one can use it in Av mode.

As for the heaviness of the 50-135mm, try the new Sigma/Tamron 70-200mm, which are
heavier than the 50-135mm. Haven't taken the Sigma HSM for any walk yet, it's
hard to hold it firm for some considerable time...

Pinwu
01-20-2009, 01:13 PM   #23
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Everyone's needs and preferences are different, but if I were trying to make the decision you are, I'd definitely go for the 50-200 for backpacking - most of the telephoto pictures you'd be taking will be in good light - plus one prime in whatever focal length you think you'd need the "speed" in. For me, no question - that's 100mm, and since I'm happy with my M100/2.8 that costs around $100, that and the 50-200 would do it for me. Others might prefer a shorter prime, or might insist on AF, but there aren't a ton of options that would save you *that* much in price over the 50-135.

01-20-2009, 01:44 PM   #24
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Hin, you're not the only one thinking about this. If weight is a concern, then I would imagine many older zooms may not be a big improvement over the DA* 50-135. I'm thinking that if you're sticking with zooms, one of the better alternatives is the DA 55-300--it is f/4 through most of the range that overlaps the 50-135, and unlike many of the alternatives mentioned here its short end is fairly short at 55mm.

F70-210. Pretty good but not particularly light.

DA50-200. Not bad, small, convenient package, but optically perhaps not as good as some of the other lenses mentioned here. Still, only 1 1/3 stops slower than the DA* and it is very small & light.

F80-200 f/4.7-5.6. Even slower than the DA 50-200 but optically seems to be pretty good, and it's small & light. Kind of plastic-y (I wish they'd put rubber on the zoom & focus rings) but on the positive side features internal zoom (doesn't get longer when focusing). This lens can be bought very inexpensively, but I think Pentax put their money into what's important here as it's quite good even wide open.

F35-135 f/3.5-4.5. As a standard zoom, kind of heavy and bulky, with rather long minimum focus distance--but that is sort of par for the course with tele zooms so it shouldn't lose points for that here. I too had hopes for using it this way but it doesn't appear all that sharp wide open at the long end which makes the loss of speed that much more acute. It doesn't go to 135mm but I might go with FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 over this one.

M75-150 f/4. This is a somewhat credible substitute in terms of weight, size and performance if you can get past the 75mm short end, manual focus, and stop-down metering. I guess this one is somewhat similar to your 70-150 f/3.8 Kiron. Personally I would also probably prefer two-touch zoom but I guess the entire package should be compared between the two. The Kiron looks bigger in the photo, but I don't have specs for either in front of me.
01-20-2009, 06:56 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Everyone's needs and preferences are different, but if I were trying to make the decision you are, I'd definitely go for the 50-200 for backpacking - most of the telephoto pictures you'd be taking will be in good light - plus one prime in whatever focal length you think you'd need the "speed" in. For me, no question - that's 100mm, and since I'm happy with my M100/2.8 that costs around $100, that and the 50-200 would do it for me. Others might prefer a shorter prime, or might insist on AF, but there aren't a ton of options that would save you *that* much in price over the 50-135.
One of these days, I may go take your assessment and re-purchase a used Pentax DA 50-200. I bought way too many lens and I try to cut as much as I can afford. And I sold and repurchase DA 50-200 for two times already for the very reason that I like it best for traveling light and it has the best focal range that I can on. I can carry it for hours and not feel its burden of weight.

Last edited by hinman; 01-22-2009 at 01:15 PM.
01-20-2009, 07:09 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote
Hin, you're not the only one thinking about this. If weight is a concern, then I would imagine many older zooms may not be a big improvement over the DA* 50-135. I'm thinking that if you're sticking with zooms, one of the better alternatives is the DA 55-300--it is f/4 through most of the range that overlaps the 50-135, and unlike many of the alternatives mentioned here its short end is fairly short at 55mm.

F70-210. Pretty good but not particularly light.

DA50-200. Not bad, small, convenient package, but optically perhaps not as good as some of the other lenses mentioned here. Still, only 1 1/3 stops slower than the DA* and it is very small & light.

F80-200 f/4.7-5.6. Even slower than the DA 50-200 but optically seems to be pretty good, and it's small & light. Kind of plastic-y (I wish they'd put rubber on the zoom & focus rings) but on the positive side features internal zoom (doesn't get longer when focusing). This lens can be bought very inexpensively, but I think Pentax put their money into what's important here as it's quite good even wide open.

F35-135 f/3.5-4.5. As a standard zoom, kind of heavy and bulky, with rather long minimum focus distance--but that is sort of par for the course with tele zooms so it shouldn't lose points for that here. I too had hopes for using it this way but it doesn't appear all that sharp wide open at the long end which makes the loss of speed that much more acute. It doesn't go to 135mm but I might go with FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 over this one.

M75-150 f/4. This is a somewhat credible substitute in terms of weight, size and performance if you can get past the 75mm short end, manual focus, and stop-down metering. I guess this one is somewhat similar to your 70-150 f/3.8 Kiron. Personally I would also probably prefer two-touch zoom but I guess the entire package should be compared between the two. The Kiron looks bigger in the photo, but I don't have specs for either in front of me.
Thank you for the pointers. I have been wanting to try out M 70-150 but I settle now for the M42 with Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 from Kiron with two touch zooms an in M42 mount. The M42 mount mount allow me to use Av mode which save me the extra step in shooting. Most the following pictures are done in f/5.6 and some in f/3.8 wide open but I don't remember which one.

I used the Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 from Kiron in M42 mount to shoot neightboring goose and results are reasonable, not as sharp as the DA* zoom but I have little complaint for a $40 lens. I also get good results with a similar one touch zoom but I prefer the two touch zoom for less mistakes in moving the focal zoom position


a bit soft due to movement


His name is Martin, a big male goose
with a lot of character, he constantly moves
around and it is difficult to focus on his beautiful
bluish eye, soft due to user error


I focus on the beak
Her name is Lily





Similar lens in these blog posts
Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 from Kiron in K mount -- one touch zoom

Viviatar 70-150mm f/3.8 from Kiron in K mount -- two touch zoom

M42 version to be documented with test pictrures in Av mode in f/5.6 and some in f/3.8


Last edited by hinman; 01-22-2009 at 01:16 PM.
01-22-2009, 01:06 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by fsdogwood Quote
I had a Viv Series I 70-210, by Komine. The weird thing is that, it's NOT as sharp as
the cheapy Viv 70-210mm f4.5-5.6, as the Komine one is showing severe purple ...

The cheapy Viv 70-210mm f4.5-5.6 is light, slow, ..., but it is sharp.
If I could do MF better, this one would be a choice.

HTH.

Pinwu
Yes, I do find CA in my Komine Vivitar Series 1 zoom to be more frequent than I would like but not as severe as the Tamron 70-300 Di LD zoom. The Vivitar Series 1 has its strength on fast speed, good color and decent close up.


A big toe from a large bronze statue
CA in lower right corner


Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4.0 from Komine

I am trying to get hold of Tamron SP 70-210mm f/3.5 with adaptall mounts as the Adaptall variants on 70-210mm are better in CA control. I will report back how my targetted Adaptall lens in Tamron SP 28-135mm f/4.0-4.5 and Tamron SP 70-210mm f/3.5-4.0 work in K20D. But one lens that stand out in my finding with alternatives is the Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 from Kiron in 2-touch zoom in either K or M42 mount. For AF with slower speed, I highly recommend the simple kit with Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6
01-22-2009, 02:56 PM   #28
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Hmmmmmm...??

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
A big toe from a large bronze statue
CA in lower right corner
May I ask if the subject and setting is illuminated by...

1. unfiltered sunlight, or...

2. artificially lit?

If artificial, is it possible the "CA" you see might actually be a true color added to the setting on purpose? If the color is included for a reason by the lighting designer and the lens faithfully picks it up, is it fair to say the lens design is faulty?

Just curious...

Cheers!
01-22-2009, 03:37 PM   #29
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Have you ever considered the SMC Pentax-A 35-105/3.5? It is a quite highly regarded zoom, but doesn't take you quite as far as the 135mm of the DA* zoom. It is also a 2-touch zoom which you seem to be in favor of.

I'd also put in a word for the SMC Pentax-A 70-210/4 zoom. Very nice handling in my opinion (even though it's 1-touch), but not necessarily the smallest of the bunch. I have really enjoyed using the one I have.
01-23-2009, 10:58 AM   #30
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Hi Hin -

I've got a Tamron Adaptall (1) 70-150mm zoom that I like a lot. It's not light, and it is pretty long, but it does have a nice built in hood. And it will go down to 1:2.5 macro at 70mm. I've never had a DA* lens, but given that you can get one of these from KEH for under $20 (plus shipping) and given that I am cheap, I probably never will.
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