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01-11-2010, 09:14 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
If you want the versatility, have the money and you're willing to take a gamble on SDM, go with the DA* zoom. If you want a compact 135mm with fast and accurate AF & stellar IQ, get the FA.

I opted for a Sigma 70-200mm for versatility but go to the FA 135mm when I'm after candid portraits.
Street shooting is the exact reason why I want a 135mm. One of my flickr contacts uses a Canon 135mm f2.0 L for candid street shots and they are stunning. Don't know if a Pentax equivalent exists, but the SMC-K 135mm comes close. However, I do want AF and thus I must choose between the FA or the DA*.

Again, thanks for all the folks who have chimed in. Love this forum.

01-11-2010, 09:16 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
Better what? Resolution?
Both resolve better than the sensor of the K20.
The DA is sealed, has SDM, quick shift, and is better built. Definitely.
I guess what I'm looking for is better resolution/sharpness and bokeh. Thanks.
01-15-2010, 12:46 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
If you want the versatility, have the money and you're willing to take a gamble on SDM, go with the DA* zoom. If you want a compact 135mm with fast and accurate AF & stellar IQ, get the FA.

I opted for a Sigma 70-200mm for versatility but go to the FA 135mm when I'm after candid portraits.
Which Sigma 70-200mm do you own? DG or non-DG or HSM. I was reading about these lenses in the database and can't figure out which ones the owners are referring to or which one is the best.
01-15-2010, 02:34 AM   #19
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I used to own 50-135 and now have FA135.
I'm not so much of a long shooter so my observations are bit sketchy.
Anyway, as far as the quality of the build debate goes, I wouldn't say DA* is better, but neither it is worse IMO. The FA is made of metal which gives it reassuring feel, I agree on the focusing ring being sloppy but since it's AF is good, you are not likely to use it too often. DA* is very well put together, despite being made of plastic, it's very high quality plastic indeed. The zoom ring on my copy was bit wobly though. One big addvantage of DA* is quicck shift IMO. The ability to re-foccus MF when AF is slightly off is great. I couldnn't care less about WR. I shot many non WR lenses in rain, fog and recently snow andd all is OK.
IQ wise, well sharpness is roughly equal IMO, but I like the output of FA better. I found pics from DA* lacking the punch I was after. I haven't done any bokeh comparison so won't comment on that.
Wersatility: well I used my DA* at 50 or 135, very rarely in between. So if you have 50 covered I wouldn't buy DA*.
FA is much smaller lens, easier to carry around and much less intimidating on the street. It's AF is well proven to last.
Overall, I don't regret my decision to get rid of the DA* and get FA135.
But the choice is yours.

BR
Peter

01-15-2010, 02:55 AM   #20
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The DA 50-135 is supposed to be at its weakest optically at the long end. Before i bought the DA, i had an A 135 f2.8 lens for a few months (which by the way i paid $140, which is not a bad price for my way of thinking) The A type 135 is easy focusing and quite discrete for its size, as well as lightweight compared to the DA.

Anyway, 6-8 months ago when i got the DA, I compared its resolution wide open at 135mm with the A type. Comparing 100% crops, i could see no sig. difference between the A 135 and the DA 50-135. When i went to 200% crops, the prime outdid the DA 50-135. Around town and for the local amateur playhouse, for which i do media photos, i use the DA 50-135 because of its flexibility and fousing ability. It has great rendition and color. I also like to use it in rainy conditions, because the lens hood is long enough to keep raindrops off the lens, besides its WR nature. If you're not going to use the 135 FL a lot, you might consider the A 135 f2.8, which is quite a nice lens, IMO. and is easy to pack. They are not nearly as rare as the FA, and therefore cheaper.
01-15-2010, 05:40 AM   #21
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I'd say that the two downsides of the DA 50-135 are the size and auto focus speed. It really is amazing. I know people say that it is soft at the long end, but it is still awfully good. I just see a little vignetting there that is easy to fix in post.
01-15-2010, 03:04 PM   #22
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Is there any difference in the F vs FA 135mm f2.8 lens?
01-16-2010, 02:12 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
Is there any difference in the F vs FA 135mm f2.8 lens?
cosmetical only AFAIK.
Opticcaly it's the same thing

01-16-2010, 07:30 AM   #24
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It took me some time and effort to find the FA version, but to me it was well worth the effort. I am delighted with it. The built is really nice, although there is a tradeoff between the fast AF and MF feel. MF is doable, but not so nice.

I would say that size is an important differentiator to the zoom and the fact that it is FF. I think I am going to like this lens even better at it's intended length.
12-01-2010, 07:48 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner0427 Quote
Street shooting is the exact reason why I want a 135mm. One of my flickr contacts uses a Canon 135mm f2.0 L for candid street shots and they are stunning. Don't know if a Pentax equivalent exists, but the SMC-K 135mm comes close. However, I do want AF and thus I must choose between the FA or the DA*.
The Pentax equivalent would be the magnificent A*135/1.8, which sadly is out of production. It lacks AF, making it not quite as practical for candid photography, but in all other respects it's a stunner.

The SMC-K 135/2.5 is a good lens, though it does suffer from lateral CA at wide apertures. And again, lacking AF.

I have no experience with the F/FA135 so I won't comment on that.

If you're ok with a slightly shorter length, I have seen the FA100/3.5 macro (Cosina design) for pretty cheap, though I'm not sure how it performs.

I've also seen some excellent portraits taken with the DFA100WR macro, and you gain the versatility of it being a true macro lens.
12-02-2010, 04:01 AM   #26
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As philbaum says the DA*50-135 is not at its best at 135mm. I made a shoot out with the DA*50-135 against the A50/1.7, A*85/1.4, A100/2.8 and the A*135/1.8 (its somewhere on the forum back in 2008). In the 85-100mm range it performs very well comparable to a good prime. Therefore it is a very good portrait zoom. At 135mm it was clearly soft. You can also see some distorsion at 135mm. So if you specifically wish to shoot at 135mm I would say that both the A*135, K135/2.5 and the FA135/2.8 will be better choises. The zoom is of course more versatile, but the FA135 has a reputation of a really fast autofocus.

There are plenty of shots with the FA135 in the 135mm club thread, and some with the others as well.
12-02-2010, 05:26 AM   #27
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This is my DA50-135 against my K135/2.5:
K10D, MF, best out of about 20 each.

100%crop
12-02-2010, 06:18 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner0427 Quote
Street shooting is the exact reason why I want a 135mm. One of my flickr contacts uses a Canon 135mm f2.0 L for candid street shots and they are stunning. Don't know if a Pentax equivalent exists, but the SMC-K 135mm comes close. However, I do want AF and thus I must choose between the FA or the DA*.

Again, thanks for all the folks who have chimed in. Love this forum.
The Canon 135/2 is a hard lens to beat wrt using it at f2. I'd say perhaps a FA85/1.4 shot wide open to be able to match it in terms of subject isolation.

I have the K135 and recently got the FA. While the K135 is sharp, I don't find it appreciably any sharper than the FA. Getting tack focus wide open in real situations for people photography can be a pain. The K135 does render better.
I have access to the 50-135, but I find that AF is rather slow. Its also much larger than the FA135. I've never compared sharpness between the two, (DA and FA) but on different samples, they look to be as good.
I chose the FA over the DA due to portability (size) and prime based lens usage.



So my few cents :
Primes, weight, size - FA
FL versatility, WR - DA
Match a Canon135/2 at f2 - look elsewhere (maybe a FA85/1.4)
12-02-2010, 07:57 AM   #29
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To throw a bit of a spanner in the works, what about a Sigma 50-150 f2.8? Quiet focussing, is good at 135mm and, as they have discontinued the lens, you can pick them up with a great disount at the moment.
12-02-2010, 07:59 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuchulainn Quote
To throw a bit of a spanner in the works, what about a Sigma 50-150 f2.8? Quiet focussing, is good at 135mm and, as they have discontinued the lens, you can pick them up with a great disount at the moment.
Discount? where?
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