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07-28-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
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Do I need the 70mm limited?

Just a quick one,I allready have the da* 50-135mm,do I need the 70mm Limited for portraits.Is the quality of the 50-135 going to be sufficient and should I try to curb the LBA.
P.S I know no-one NEEDS any lens but you know what I mean.

07-28-2009, 12:51 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by timk Quote
Just a quick one,I allready have the da* 50-135mm,do I need t getting irritated.the 70mm Limited for portraits.Is the quality of the 50-135 going to be sufficient and should I try to curb the LBA.
P.S I know no-one NEEDS any lens but you know what I mean.
Depends on your current setup (don't see it in your profile) and what you like to shoot (portraits, candids, etc) IMHO, the 50-135mm is really good for far away candids, but from 50-70mm range, it is hard to get a good candid shot without the subject.
07-28-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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I'm sure the 50-135 does spectacularily well.

What you get with the 70 is small size and weight, and it really is good near wide open. Obviously, you are limited by the fixed focal length in return.

I have the 70 and have little desire for the 50-135... although I wouldn't kick it out of the camera bag if someone gave me one
07-28-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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I love my 70mm wide open, but I'm not sure the quality is sufficiently better than the 50-135mm (haven't owned, but have seen plenty of samples) to make it worth the added purchase. Like others have said, the weight advantage is the biggest selling point here.

Maybe just wait for a particularly good deal on the marketplace, sample, and resell if it's not right for you?

07-28-2009, 02:36 PM   #5
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It Depends

That's a fair question. I would think it depends in part on how you setup and shoot portraits, and what your shooting style is.

I have both lenses. The DA* 50-135mm is, as you know, on the heavy side. The DA 70mm is pocketable. If your approach to portraits is more formal, studio oriented with constant tripod use, then you probably can do without the DA 70mm. If you use fairly standard studio lighting setups, or more or less the same with natural light then the DA* 50-135mm will continue providing very good results.

If, however, you move around during a shoot and find a tripod to be a hindrance, then you may benefit from the DA 70mm. Also, if you depend on delicate lighting, or lighting-intensive shadows and associated effects, then surely purchase the DA 70mm.

Optically I find the DA 70mm to be superior to the DA* 50-135mm. The DA 70mm has a way of communicating lighting details and associated color in a unique, very aesthetically pleasing way. Skin tones very much included. The rendering to me is very special, perhaps the best current Pentax lens, though the DA 35mm Ltd. macro has its own special powers as well.

Your problem is not a bad one to have.

M
07-28-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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Cheers guys,I try to shoot allsorts and Im pretty crap if im honest.All my shots tend to look like snap shots you could get with a P&S,however Im off to Norway for 4 months with work and not having the family around I should be able to practice and get to a level where I dont throw out 9 in 10 shots.Due to the trip I think Ill mainly be concentrating on landscape and portraits/action shots.
07-28-2009, 02:45 PM   #7
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I have the 77ltd and it is my favorite lens. That said, I am constantly shocked at how good the 50-135*. To be honest I think it will give 99% of the performance at 70/77mm.

So no, if you have a good copy of the 50-135* I don't think you need the 70. The only tradeoff is size.
07-28-2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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Miguel I've just read your post after I finished typing my previous one, I wont be taking formal portraits with any additional lighting,just the available stuff and the glare from snow.
I'll be taking my manfrotto 055cxpro4 with ball head but using it for landscapes when ive got time.The portraits will be impromptu when I can whip out the camera.
Just reading what Im typing makes me think the 70mm may be a better option considering the conditions I'll be in.
Would the fact its a prime have any bearing how it will hold up in the sub zero conditions? (would the movement/motor freeze up inside, affecting a zoom).I wonder how my kit in general will fare,maybe I should start another thread on what of my kit i should take

07-28-2009, 02:53 PM   #9
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I've got both...tough call

Your timing is perfect as I've got both the 70 mm f/2.4 Limited and the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8. The 70mm Limited was the first lens I bought with my K10D and carried it over to the K20D. Once I bought the K20D, I bought the 50-135mm a few months later thinking that the 50-135 would replace the 70mm for portraits....and the 70mm did indeed lie dormant in my bag until this past weekend....

...I've embarked on a series of nature/outdoor nudes in the last month and have been using the 12-24mm(!) and 50-135mm exclusively...while the 70mm slept in the bag. But I've been battling what I believe is a front-focus issue, or at least an inconsistent focus issue with the 50-135. So this past week, working with a new model, I decided to simply leave the other two lenses in the bag and shoot the entire thing with the 70mm just to see what I would get.....and WoW was I surprised.

First thing, the 70mm seems to focus lightning fast compared to the 50-135 with SDM (no kidding). It just locks in, WHAM!, and doesn't seem to hunt nearly as much. This may go against the conventional wisdom that the SDM should be faster or at least no slower than the screw-drive. My perception after doing a couple hundred focusing test shots is that the 50-135 just seems slow compared to either my 12-24mm or the 70mm Limited...could be a function of lens size, focal length, etc., but that's my story for now.

On the sharpness side, I'll say that the 50-135mm is useless wide open...very soft...and goes soft again from f/16-22 (diffraction limited I suspect). Now I only shoot the 50-135mm at f/5.6-f/11 if possible.

The 70mm on the other hand is noticeably sharper than the 50-135mm at the same focal length/aperture....and just seems to have a certain "quality" about it that the 50-135mm doesn't capture. Shot some photos yesterday of a tombstone/marker and the 70mm just seemed to have way more detail in both hilites and shadows of the out-of-focus trees in the background....I could see a lot more detail in the bark and the foliage where the sun was coming through...the 50-135mm just seemed to be too "contrasty" compared to the 70mm. The detail on the stone itself was just a bit sharper with the 70mm, not so much on edge detail but the "wormy" texture of the granite stone was better with the 70mm....hard to describe.

I'm actually considering getting rid of the 50-135mm and going with something like the DA* 60-250mm that has some real "reach" to it....and probably go back to the 70mm Limited as my primary portrait lens.

And I've been THIS CLOSE to getting either the DA* 16-50 or the DA 17-70...but now I'm thinking I should reconsider that move and think about getting a couple more of the Limited lenses in that focal length range....assuming they're all as good as the 70mm Limited.

Anyway, that's my rambling 2 f/stops worth.

Terry
07-29-2009, 06:41 AM   #10
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Great post Terry. I could have written a very similar post, though from the perspective of a hobbyist as opposed to a professional shooter. I really can't stand the focus hiccups with my 50-135, and it is a shame because it is such a good lens. But the DA 70 simply a special lens. Quick focus, beautiful colors and sharpness from wide open, etc. For an owner who has the 50-135, there is a definite place for a DA 70 (or FA 77 for that matter). I use my DA 70 much more often than my 50-135.
07-29-2009, 07:43 AM   #11
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Hi timk,
I'd say the answer to your question is how tough you're against LBA.
As other posters pointed out the main trade-off is size vs zoom. Optically you'd probably need to pixel-peep to prove that 70 is better.
Good luck,
07-29-2009, 09:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tlwyse Quote

...

On the sharpness side, I'll say that the 50-135mm is useless wide open...very soft...and goes soft again from f/16-22 (diffraction limited I suspect). Now I only shoot the 50-135mm at f/5.6-f/11 if possible.

...

Anyway, that's my rambling 2 f/stops worth.

Terry
Wow, that's the first time I've ever read anything like that about the 50-135. Mine is very sharp wide open and only gets sharper as you stop down. You have to get really critical from 5.6 to 11 to tell whether the 50mm 1.4 is sharper or not. You really have to have it side-by-side with a 100% crop from a prime lens to even see the difference. Since statistically it's extremely unlikely that anyone would get a lens that performs *better* than spec, I'd have to venture a guess that yours is a - maybe not bad, but less than perfect - copy..?

As far as focus speed goes, I agree with most of what's been said; it's *not* fast, although my copy is one of the most accurate focusing lenses I have, outside of my FA 35mm f2.

None of this stops me from wanting the 77mm *desperately*, but I do think the 70 would be unnecessary duplication.
07-29-2009, 09:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tlwyse Quote

On the sharpness side, I'll say that the 50-135mm is useless wide open...very soft...and goes soft again from f/16-22 (diffraction limited I suspect). Now I only shoot the 50-135mm at f/5.6-f/11 if possible.
I think you have a rare bad copy of the lens. I have pixel peeped the same shot back to back with 77ltd and 50-135* at 77mm and often cannot see a difference. The only advantage the 77 has is that it is smaller and faster. And has some pixie dust.
07-29-2009, 10:05 AM   #14
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Either it's a bad 50-135, or focus is just enough off to make it look soft. Either way, posting some sample images - including of a focus test chart - might be in order.
07-29-2009, 10:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I think you have a rare bad copy of the lens. I have pixel peeped the same shot back to back with 77ltd and 50-135* at 77mm and often cannot see a difference. The only advantage the 77 has is that it is smaller and faster. And has some pixie dust.
Yup... 50-135mm is sharp as a nut at f/2.8 on my copy too. Easily comparable to the FA-100mm macro and even higher in contrast.
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