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01-12-2009, 12:03 PM   #1
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Upgrade from DA 50-200?

Howdy everyone! I recently went on a trip to the Calgary zoo. My most used lens for the trip was the DA 50-200. It is generally my most used focal range. I got some decent images from the lens, and am happy with the lens overall, but I feel that I missed some indoor shots because of the lens speed. It was also spitting rain on the trip, and I stopped shooting for probably half of the trip, so I would like the capapbility of shooting in light to moderate rain. I would also like to see a jump in overall image quality and sharpness. It seems to me that I have a few options when considering an upgrade, given my needs. The DA* 50-135 seems like a very good candidate, as it is in the general focal range i'm looking for, has weather-seals for when i'm feeling brave, and is regarded as one of the best pentax zooms on the market right now. What concerns me is if I would miss the 136-200mm range. Some other options would be the 70-200/2.8 by tamron and sigma, but I understand they lack any kind of weather protection, and only the sigma is HSM compatible. Also, would I be dissapointed if I bought either the sigma or the tamron image quality wise, compared to the DA*?

01-12-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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You could always have a look at the DA 55-300. Sure, its a step down from the DA*50-135, but ifyou are looking for the extra length this lens would fill that need.
Its light, and gives vary satisfactory results, is very cost effective. No weather sealing is a drawback.
For use at the zoo, or similar, surely the extra length would be an advantage.
It is a cheaper Pentax lens, but I suggest you will get results definitely no less than the 50-200 is giving you.
FWIW.
Just took this 15 mins ago with K10d and 55-300.



#Suggest checking out photos posted by DSPORT in "Post Your Photos" to see the capability of this lens. They are magnificent.

Last edited by Bramela; 01-12-2009 at 03:22 PM.
01-12-2009, 01:04 PM   #3
Igilligan
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I want that DA 50-135 too... I have the tamron 28-75 constant ap lens and I will never go back to a variable ap zoom. But, my 50-200 is one of my favorite length zooms... I find the extra 20mm at the wide end more important than the extra 100mm of my 70-300.

What I would do if I was you, is to take your 50-200 and dial it to 135mm... walk around with the 135 limit and take some shots. then play between 135 and 200. You should get a feel if the 135 will work for you.

If 135 will work, then you have your answer. If you find that you would want more length then.....

IMO the weather seal is less important than if the length is right... But I live in California... and "it never rains in California"

I don't want to spend that kind of money and too often wish I had more zoom.

Last edited by Igilligan; 01-12-2009 at 01:10 PM.
01-12-2009, 02:29 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
I want that DA 50-135 too... I have the tamron 28-75 constant ap lens and I will never go back to a variable ap zoom. But, my 50-200 is one of my favorite length zooms... I find the extra 20mm at the wide end more important than the extra 100mm of my 70-300.

What I would do if I was you, is to take your 50-200 and dial it to 135mm... walk around with the 135 limit and take some shots. then play between 135 and 200. You should get a feel if the 135 will work for you.

If 135 will work, then you have your answer. If you find that you would want more length then.....

IMO the weather seal is less important than if the length is right... But I live in California... and "it never rains in California"

I don't want to spend that kind of money and too often wish I had more zoom.

Good advice on this. I too wanted the 50-135mm but was unsure about 135mm being long enuff, so i picked up a takumar F 70-210mm auto focus for $75 and did the same 135mm walk around test. For me, its not long enuff. now I'm waiting to see what the 60-250mm price and IQ will be prior to making a decision between it and the 70-200mm sigma or tamron. in the meantime, the takumar is doing just fine. this lens and its counterpart, the pentax smc f 70-210mm, are sharper than the 50-200mm.

01-12-2009, 03:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Black Magic Quote
I recently went on a trip to the Calgary zoo. My most used lens for the trip was the DA 50-200. It is generally my most used focal range. I got some decent images from the lens, and am happy with the lens overall, but I feel that I missed some indoor shots because of the lens speed. It was also spitting rain on the trip, and I stopped shooting for probably half of the trip, so I would like the capapbility of shooting in light to moderate rain. I would also like to see a jump in overall image quality and sharpness.
It sounds to me like you are describing at least two different lenses. I mean, if you're looking at using a lens indoors, 50mm is already on the long side - no way would 70-200 work better even if it were faster. And if we're talking about shooting animals outdoors, it is true that 135mm is probably going to feel not long enough more often than you'd like.

As for rain, put a plastic bag over the lens when you're shooting, put the camera in the bag when not shooting, and don't worry about it so much - that's what I say.

So if it were me, I'd be thinking 55-300 for even more versatility and better IQ outdoors, plus something fast for indoors - a prime perhaps, or a 28-75/2.8 type zoom. Because any single lens you get to do both jobs is going to be a compromise. Maybe the 55-300 is a bit of a compromise too since it isn't sealed? You could always wait for, and shell out for, the 60-250. But given the price difference, I'd go with the plastic bag and the 55-300...
01-12-2009, 03:41 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the quick replies. Bramela-- Judging from the pictures you and dsport posted, it seems that the 55-300 is a very capable lens. Some great pictures there. However, I don't know if it is worth upgrading to the 55-300, as I don't believe I need those extra 100mm. Igilligan, I tried walking around dialed in at 135mm, and it didn't seem long enough, although looking through posts of 50-135 shots sure made me drool. Has anyone made the jump from DA 50-200, to either the Tamron or Sigma 70-200mm, and if so, do you regret your decision?
01-12-2009, 04:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Black Magic Quote
Howdy everyone! I recently went on a trip to the Calgary zoo. My most used lens for the trip was the DA 50-200. It is generally my most used focal range. I got some decent images from the lens, and am happy with the lens overall, but I feel that I missed some indoor shots because of the lens speed. It was also spitting rain on the trip, and I stopped shooting for probably half of the trip, so I would like the capapbility of shooting in light to moderate rain. I would also like to see a jump in overall image quality and sharpness. It seems to me that I have a few options when considering an upgrade, given my needs. The DA* 50-135 seems like a very good candidate, as it is in the general focal range i'm looking for, has weather-seals for when i'm feeling brave, and is regarded as one of the best pentax zooms on the market right now. What concerns me is if I would miss the 136-200mm range. Some other options would be the 70-200/2.8 by tamron and sigma, but I understand they lack any kind of weather protection, and only the sigma is HSM compatible. Also, would I be dissapointed if I bought either the sigma or the tamron image quality wise, compared to the DA*?
I have the 50-135 and am waiting for the SDM 1.4X converter - which would bring it up to a 70 - 205 f/4 lens - much like my 70-210/4 A series. But lighter than carrying both lenses.
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