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01-28-2009, 09:12 AM   #1
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pentax 50-135mm - AF is fast?

hello.

i see in youtube some video test about pentax 50-135 AF.

for example here
YouTube - PENTAX 50-135 SDM

about you it is fast?
all pentax 50-135 are similar fast or there are some lenses not fast (limons)?

pentax 50-135 faster then 16-50mm AF? or slower?

01-28-2009, 09:37 AM   #2
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That video looks about right. The DA*50-135 is excellent in image quality. AF speed is not one of it's strengths though. I would say that it focuses the slowest of all my lenses. I don't think it is the camera, I think it is just the maximum speed of the SDM motors used in the lens, and the fact that it has a rather fine focus ring (presumably for MF shooters.)

I don't find it to be the type of lens you can whip out and get that quick shot of your kids running across the room, but with some planning you can make up for that. I have shot basketball games with mine. (see post #8 for update)

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 03-01-2009 at 12:19 AM.
01-28-2009, 10:02 AM   #3
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Original Poster
thanks for info!

i read a lot of info in this forum about pentax 50-135mm.

so ALL pentax 50-135mm are "slow"?
there aren't aome fast pentax 50-135mm and aome slow pentax 50-135mm?
01-28-2009, 10:32 AM   #4
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Mine was pretty good in decent (outdoor) light, but was a little sluggish indoors. My Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS is MUCH faster.

01-28-2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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I've never considered my DA*50-135 slow at AF. I regularly use it with AF-C and it pretty much always gets the shot.

Now, I've never tested it for absolute speed, but for my normal action shooting, it's plenty fast. This includes indoor rodeos in dim lights, outdoors road (foot) races, kids outdoors, etc. I don't take many shots indoors of my kids, though.

For that, I've used the DA*16-50 to good result.
01-28-2009, 12:24 PM   #6
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I find my DA* 50-135mm to be quite slow at focusing. Its accurate, the but the speed at which the motor drives the lens is really slow. But it definitely is still much quicker than my Quantaray 70-300mm which is terribly slow. I also have the 16-50mm and FA35 and those lenses focus a lot faster.
01-28-2009, 01:18 PM   #7
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My 50-135 won't win any races. It does, however, trump most other mid range zooms in IQ and stealth. I can definately forgive a little slowness for the images that this thing produces. If I need it to focus a bit faster, I'll grab the ring and do it myself. I rarely have to resort to that, though.
03-01-2009, 12:09 AM   #8
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No its not fast!

I thought I would revisit this thread, because doggone it, the 135 focuses slow! I shot another basketball game tonight, and was in a location where I couldn't pre-focus quite as frequently (I won't go into detail). I had to focus on the running players directly.

It is not a low-light, or hunting issue. It just turns the ring too darn slowly (see the video that the OP posted.) I can actually focus the 135 manually (using the Katzeye) faster than the AF. I switched to my 70ltd, and that thing focuses lightning fast. In fact the only complaint I have ever had regarding Pentax focus speed is on lenses with SDM. I wish I could get the screw drive to AF my DA* to bypass the SDM.


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 03-01-2009 at 12:20 AM.
03-01-2009, 12:13 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
In fact the only complaint I have ever had regarding Pentax focus speed is on lenses with SDM.
I see you haven't tried DA 55-300.
03-04-2009, 08:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
I thought I would revisit this thread, because doggone it, the 135 focuses slow! I shot another basketball game tonight, and was in a location where I couldn't pre-focus quite as frequently (I won't go into detail). I had to focus on the running players directly.

It is not a low-light, or hunting issue. It just turns the ring too darn slowly (see the video that the OP posted.) I can actually focus the 135 manually (using the Katzeye) faster than the AF. I switched to my 70ltd, and that thing focuses lightning fast. In fact the only complaint I have ever had regarding Pentax focus speed is on lenses with SDM. I wish I could get the screw drive to AF my DA* to bypass the SDM.
Not doubting you, Poke, but that's just not my experience. Mine seems to track moving bodies just fine.

BTW, y'all better watch out this fall when my Dawgs come to town! Woof!
03-04-2009, 10:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Not doubting you, Poke, but that's just not my experience. Mine seems to track moving bodies just fine.

BTW, y'all better watch out this fall when my Dawgs come to town! Woof!
I'll chime in that my copy focuses fairly slowly as well, but that the one time I've used it for tracking on AF-C, it held it's own - it's when I hadn't been tracking, and I let the action get too far away, and then need a snap-shot, that I find myself waiting for the lens.

A quick and dirty focusing speed comparison vs. the Tamron 70-200/2.8 is in this post.
03-05-2009, 07:28 AM   #12
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Hi gemini,
As I found out the 50-135 is slow. At least in comparison with other da* I have. I attribute it to the actual distance it has to travel.
Fortunately (or maybe not), I'm not a 'racer': in critical situations I try to prefocus with MF.
But, as others pointed, its optical quality outweighs any 'speed' issue.
To cure this, I'm about to buy da *** 50-135 MkX F1.8 which is about the size and AF speed of DA 40Ltd. And please be quiet all - it's such a wonderful dream.....
03-05-2009, 08:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
I'll - it's when I hadn't been tracking, and I let the action get too far away, and then need a snap-shot, that I find myself waiting for the lens.
Yeah, I could agree with that. That's probably what PentaxPoke is saying as well.
03-05-2009, 08:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Yeah, I could agree with that. That's probably what PentaxPoke is saying as well.
Agreed. It does a good job tracking. Just when it needs to make major focus changes, it is quite slow.

Mine also has this odd quirk: when I first put it on the camera, SDM almost never works the first time. I have to "wake it up" in a sense, by turning the camera off and on, and move the focus ring. Then it works fine.
03-05-2009, 09:47 AM   #15
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I frequently use my 50-135 for news photography. For low light conditions, aperture wide open (90% of my shooting) AF is acceptable, but not as fast as I'd like . It's all relative, but I think for speed of AF, most primes will would beat the 50-135 hands down.

Different subject, but the 50-135 is *magic*!The IQ is spectacular and I don't regret buying the lens.
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