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03-01-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
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da*50-135 vs da*60-250. Need help choosing

I'm more or less new to the DSLR world I wold really appreciate more experienced users thoughts. From reviews all around I find both lenses are absolutely top class. As they are both quite expensive, I can only afford one of them.
-All (99.99%) will be handheld shooting (is the 60-250 too heavy?).
-Will be used mostly for shooting "outdoor action" (e.g. kids playing, fishing trips, hunting etc). I can definetly see the longer tele come in handy....
-Mostly daylight conditions.
-Will be carried a lot during fishing trips and hunting. Again weight will be an issue.
- For indoor use I think thyre both a little too far on the tele side....?

Will be used on a K-7 body.

03-01-2010, 02:38 PM   #2
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The 50-135 has a very nice size to it. Its very comfortable to cary around on the K-7. As the K-7 is a small camera, you will be kinda holding the lens with a camera attached to it when shooting

It has the 135mm limit though. But its a very nice lens to use for portraits and nature. I used it alot indoors to, works fine when you want to sneek around and take headshoots without beeing close to people.

I could have the 50-135 on the camera around my neck for long periods, but any heavier would have been to much.

Hope it gives some insight, but i havent seen or touched the 60-250 so i cant compare.

But the 50-135 is a very handy size!
03-01-2010, 03:11 PM   #3
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I face a similar dilemma a while back. I ended up choosing the 50-135mm for a few reasons:

- faster lens (F2.8) is useful both indoors and outdoors
- lighter and smaller
- less expensive

The larger aperture also makes for more pleasing portraits or close-up shots. It's easier to blur out the background and focus only on your subject.

A major disadvantage of the 60-250mm is it has a minimum focusing distance of almost 4 feet. It really doesn't work very well for anything but long-distance outdoor shots. Meanwhile, the 50-135mm has a minimum focusing distance of 3 feet. While not stellar, at least I can use it to shoot things downward while sitting. I can't do that with the 60-250mm.

About the only downside to the 50-135mm (at least compared to the 60-250mm) is the shorter maximum focal length. But I find that 135mm is perfectly usable for most long-distance shots, and it's a perfect pseudo "macro" focal length. Technically, it's comparable to a 70-200mm on a full frame or 35mm film camera.
03-01-2010, 03:13 PM   #4
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If you don't need the weather sealing, the Sigma 50-150mm 2.8 HSM comes in Pentax mount and costs quite a bit less than the 50-135mm in Norway. (5995,- vs 8995.-)

IQ is very similar to the 50-135mm (the Pentax might be a tiny bit better), but AF is faster on the Sigma and size is very close.

03-01-2010, 03:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shashinki Quote
If you don't need the weather sealing, the Sigma 50-150mm 2.8 HSM comes in Pentax mount and costs quite a bit less than the 50-135mm in Norway. (5995,- vs 8995.-)

IQ is very similar to the 50-135mm (the Pentax might be a tiny bit better), but AF is faster on the Sigma and size is very close.
Yeah, I seriously considered that one too. That was a harder choice for me, I almost got the Sigma instead of the Pentax solely on the basis of Pentax's crappy SDM. Those 2 lenses are so similar, the only real difference makers are HSM vs weather sealing. I suppose the 4+ year warranty helps too.

In the end, I picked the weather sealing over HSM and a longer warranty. I figured when Pentax finally replaces SDM with something else, I can sell my lens and by whatever replaces the DA* 50-135mm
03-01-2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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Weather sealing is vital. Outdoors in Norway is not necessarily dry.
If SDM/HSM fails. Will normal (camera driven) autofocus work?
03-01-2010, 03:46 PM   #7
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If you bought your 50-135mm before the price rise it would have made sense to me too, but nowadays some Pentax lenses are ridicilously overpriced.

Use a currency calculator on NOK 8995,- and see how much that is... ridiculous!
03-01-2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shashinki Quote
If you bought your 50-135mm before the price rise it would have made sense to me too, but nowadays some Pentax lenses are ridicilously overpriced.

Use a currency calculator on NOK 8995,- and see how much that is... ridiculous!
I dunno, I don't buy that far abroad I bought my brand new DA* 50-135mm for $799 (no tax, free shipping). This was 1.5 months ago. The Sigma 50-150mm was $769 at the time. Price was not a consideration in this case.

03-01-2010, 03:50 PM   #9
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I have owned both and, while IQ and build are fantastic, they both had some limitations from being kept permanently in my bag.
The 50-135 is an unbelievable lens - IQ is as close to ltd's as they come and weather sealing is such a plus. Build quality is tremendous and the large aperture is great to have. But......135 is just too short on the longest zoom end. I strained to get a lot of shots.
The 60-250, once again, is built like a tank, unbelievable iq and weather sealed, But f4 was just too slow for what I was shooting. I sold the 50-135 and bought the FA 77ltd and just sold my 60-250 and bought a Sigma 70-200. I will be buying a DA*55 to round out the focal range I carry in my bag. It will be complimenting a Sigma 10-20 and my DA*16-50.
If you don't need the focal length and need the speed, go for the 50-135. If you need the reach for nature and outdoor shots, go for the 60-250. They are both fantastic lenses, but neither seemed to be (for me, at least) ideal focal lengths or speed for what I photograph.
03-01-2010, 03:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shashinki Quote
If you bought your 50-135mm before the price rise it would have made sense to me too, but nowadays some Pentax lenses are ridicilously overpriced.

Use a currency calculator on NOK 8995,- and see how much that is... ridiculous!

I'm traveling to the US every once in a while, so probably will pay "only" about $ 800.
03-01-2010, 04:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bfo Quote
I'm traveling to the US every once in a while, so probably will pay "only" about $ 800.
Cheaper than what I payed for mine new They were almost US 900 when I bought mine - it found a nice new home in New England, though with another member.
03-01-2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bfo Quote
I'm traveling to the US every once in a while, so probably will pay "only" about $ 800.
Good luck if the SDM fails after 1 year then, eh...
03-01-2010, 04:10 PM   #13
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I repeat my question from above as none of you seems to have seen it.

Will normal AF work if the SDM/HSM fails? or will the lens then be MF?

Thanks for all the feedback! Really helpful for a newbie like myself
03-01-2010, 04:13 PM   #14
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if SDM fails, the lens becomes manual focus. The screw-drive focusing will not work. This is a major gripe with us SDM lens owners.

Same with HSM, although that doesn't typically fail, and Sigma lenses are warranted for MANY years.
03-01-2010, 06:15 PM   #15
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If SDM fails, put it on a K100D or a K10D with old firmware and it is autofocus again (if I'm not mistaken). Or do Peter Zack's modification. He shorted some contacts by accident on a K20D and now it only used screwdrive; the title of his thread was something like 'I broke my camera and couldn't be happier'.
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