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05-21-2009, 04:22 PM   #1
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50-135mm or 70-200mm

I do remember asking this on another forum but the people weren't very helpful and just gave me obvious answers. If anyone has coverage shots that would be fabulous!
My situation: I will get a K-7, 16-50mm, and one of the above this year and I doubt i will ever get another telephoto for a long long long long (never) time.
I have heard the 50-135mm is more useful range.
I have heard the 70-200mm is decently longer
I have heard the 50-135mm is a lot lighter
I have heard the 70-200mm focuses slightly faster
I have heard the 50-135mm is weather proof

600grams compared to 1200? HMMMMM

Anyways, I just wanted to ask ya'll 50-135mm and 70-200mm users what you think about your lenses. If you have both, which one do you tend to use and why? Have any of you 50-135mm (or 70-200mm for that matter) taken any good wildlife or sports shots (post em here)?
Thanks guys!

05-21-2009, 05:37 PM   #2
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I think the 50-135 is a little heavier that 600 grams, closer to 800 with the hood on. I've had the 50-135 for a few weeks now, although I haven't given it a good work out, but I will tomorrow at my schools sports day. The 50-135 focal range is convenient and perfect for me, especially for portraiture. I have the FA 70-200 lens and when I do use it (rarely), I never shoot at 200 so thats why I got the 50-135.
05-21-2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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I have the original Sigma 70-200/f2.8. Love it. Sports shots - yes, see my website below.

I believe the decision comes down to what you think you will use more. No matter which one you get, there will be times when you wish you had the other.
05-21-2009, 06:03 PM   #4
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plan your lens roadmap first

it is not a good idea to ask a question about 2 different lenses with different focal lengths, without mapping out your needs, you r other lenses and your intrests.

in my opinion, you need to get from 10mm to 150/200mm with much of this af F2.8. If you are into wild life you also need a way to to get out to 400mm at F5.6 or better. this should be with 3-4 zooms for general purpose, supplimented with primes for special uses.

How you achieve this might depend a lot on what you have and where you started.

my way is as follows

Sigma APO 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC
SMC-FAJ 18-35mm F3.5-4.5
Tamron XR Di 28-75 F2,8
Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX

I add Sigma APO 1.4x and 2x DG teleconverters to get me to 300F4 and 400 F5.6.

I also have an SMC 300 F4 which I use exclusively with the SMC-F 1.7x AF TC for a 500mm F6.7 lens.

then I have a collection of manual focus primes :24mm F2.5, 28mm F2.5, 35mm F2, 50mm F1.4, 85mm F1.4, 105mm F2.8 and 135mm F2.5

The primes are lightweight and all are fast, except for the 105mmF2.8 all are faster than any of my zooms at the same focal length.

05-21-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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But I don't have a lot of money to buy more lenses...
Right now I am leaning toward the 50-135mm after looking up on other forums/ results from the 50-135mm although I didn't see many great wild-life shots.
Guess I have to stick with one.
05-21-2009, 06:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
But I don't have a lot of money to buy more lenses...
Right now I am leaning toward the 50-135mm after looking up on other forums/ results from the 50-135mm although I didn't see many great wild-life shots.
Guess I have to stick with one.
i don't mean that you go out and get them all right now.

the real question is what do you want to do with the lens. For me it is about right for indoor theater and small shows, and for some portraits, although if you want to isolate your subject from background F2,8 might not be a shallow enough DOF.

If you are considering sports, and wild life, the 70-200 and a really good TC would be better, but right now, sigma is late in delivering a HSM 2x teleconverter.

but I repeat, what do you think you are going to use it for?
05-21-2009, 06:43 PM   #7
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I will be using it mainly for a lot of outdoor/indoor events, potraits, and some wild life ( i doubt I will use it for sports). The 20mm difference is soo much...
05-21-2009, 07:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
I will be using it mainly for a lot of outdoor/indoor events, potraits, and some wild life ( i doubt I will use it for sports). The 20mm difference is soo much...
I guess the next question is how do you think you will cover below the 50/70mm range.

If you are looking at one of the 16/18-50mm F2.8 lenses the 50-135 would be good, but if you are looking at something like a 24-70 or 28-75 F2.8 then you might find the 70-200 is a better fit. a 28-75 does a great job for indoor events.

like i said, you need to map out where you want to be overall, to see where and how this decision fits in. If this is your first purchase, it is the most important because ir will determine a lot of how you make the rest work

05-21-2009, 07:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
I will be using it mainly for a lot of outdoor/indoor events, potraits, and some wild life ( i doubt I will use it for sports). The 20mm difference is soo much...

for 50-135

Indoor events - it really depends on what kind of indoor events
Outdoor events - Great
portraits - Great
Wildlife - Not enough ( I remember I took a pic of a woodpecker pic with it before, then I go buy my M42 400mm :P )
05-21-2009, 07:37 PM   #10
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Well to give more information: I have a FA 100mm macro (which I will sell to get a flash), 18-55mm kit, and a 50mm f/2 (which is kinda hard to focus so I don't use it). After looking around, it is possible for me to get a 17-70mm f/4 which looks nice, but I still am not sure. After taking a look at my photos, I realized most of them are landscapes followed by events and potraits, so the 50-135mm looks appealing to me as of now (basically I am leaning towards it). The only thing that disturbs me is not having the option to take wild life shots and such. OH WELL! Guess like ya'll said, time will come when I have money again! Thanks for your help guys!
05-22-2009, 11:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
i don't mean that you go out and get them all right now.

the real question is what do you want to do with the lens. For me it is about right for indoor theater and small shows, and for some portraits, although if you want to isolate your subject from background F2,8 might not be a shallow enough DOF.

If you are considering sports, and wild life, the 70-200 and a really good TC would be better, but right now, sigma is late in delivering a HSM 2x teleconverter.

but I repeat, what do you think you are going to use it for?
I don't think DOF will be a problem. At 135mm, and 10 feet from the subject, the DOF is only 2 inches.

I agree that 135mm might be a bit short for wildlife, but it depends on what kind of wildlife, how good you are at sneaking up to the animals etc. Without an infinite supply of money, we have to make compromises. As you suggest, we have to try to figure out what we would use the lens for, then adjust accordingly. For me, I bought a cheapo 100-300mm lens to see if that range interested me. Turns out most of my shots with it was at 300, and those needed some cropping, so I would probably need something even longer to be happy.
06-09-2009, 08:41 AM   #12
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I know I am reviving an old thread, but I am just about to buy the 50-135mm. One of my friends however, told me that the 70-200mm would of been a better option for portraits and volunteering events, which is what I want to use the lens for. Will a 70-200mm be TOO much for portraits?
06-09-2009, 08:54 AM   #13
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Get the 50-135mm and a teleconverter.
06-09-2009, 09:07 AM   #14
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Does your friend use a FF digital or film camera? If so, 70-200 for his camera *is* 50-135 for yours. Otherwise, he's probably just recommending the 70-200 because for the longest time that's all there was for Canon or Nikon APS-C, so people learned to live with it.

Saying 70-200 is better than 50-135 for portraits on APS-C is just bizarre. Hardly anyone ever shoots portraits above 135 on APS-C; lots of people shoot below 70 a lot. Of course a 50-135 is far better suited for portraits. As for events, that depends on the size of the even and how you wish to shoot it. Again, I personally would find 50-70 far more useful than 135-200. But sure, in some cases, more than 135 would be nice. But you can always crop or use a TC if necessary.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-09-2009 at 08:26 PM.
06-09-2009, 09:19 AM   #15
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Warning MATH involved

With so much indicision and discussion let's throw out some math and perhaps a little calculation will provide the best answer of all.

you need to consider final image size (on your sensor) which is 24 x 16 mm (w x h approximately)

Image size = subject size * focal length / subject distance

A person 1.5 meters high (5 feet tall) shot from 10 meters (33 feet) will have an image height of 20mm (just inside the vertical format of the sensor.

The same person shot at 200mm will have an image height of 30mm i.e. bigger than your sensor.

Think about what you are shooting, and how far back you will be, and decide with reason what you need.
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