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Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II Review RSS Feed

Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II

Sharpness 
 9.6
Aberrations 
 8.9
Bokeh 
 9.0
Handling 
 9.7
Value 
 9.4
Autofocus 
 9.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
17 54,031 Sat May 19, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $613.69 9.25
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II
supersize


Description:
* DC lens - APS-C only.
* A lightweight and more useful alternative for crop sensors.
* KAF3 mount - HSM only, no AF on *ist D/DS/DL and K100D/K110D.
* Min. focus 1m/3.28ft.
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:



Add Review of Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II
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Junior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Philly
Posts: 34
Lens Review Date: May 19, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, quick AF, color rendering
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k3    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: Used   

Probably the best lense in rafly equivalent of 70-200 on FF, on K-3 performed very well, I used to own 50-135, traded in for something else, after i got this gem.
Its similar in size and weight to 50-135, but a lot better AF, IQ and color rendering, if I can fault it, it isn't WR.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Treviso, Italy
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: February 16, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, compact, affordable
Cons: overexposure, some focus hunting
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K3    Autofocus: 8   

Bought it used for a wedding and discovered it's a good lens also for outdoors and wildlife.
Sharpness is great, colours real, not too much saturated. No aberration visible in dark/bright transitions. Bokeh is a bit nervous, but not too harsh.
On the other hand there are some limits... some focus hunting in low light, no way of nailing focus with LV (hunts back and forth, then stops ... out of focus) and tends to overexpose outdoors - I normally use it with -0,7/-1 EV setting.
Cannot tell if focus speed is compartively better than DA 50-135 - I've never owned one - but certainly Pentax DC motor on my DA 16-85 is way faster.
Manual focusing is easy to achieve anyway.
So what to say in conclusion?
IQ is top quality, and that's what I care for. So I guess it will remain in my bag for many years to come.
   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Posts: 43
Lens Review Date: January 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, size, weight, sharpness, cost
Cons: not weather sealed, build quality, not as common,
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5ii, K7    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: 9   

I was headed to Antarctica and I didn't have a proper '70-200mm equivalent' lens. After doing some thorough research, the only real choices were either the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 or the Pentax DA 50-135mm F2.8. I probably could have gone with a 70-200mm F2.8 but I didn't want the added weight on a trip where every ounce of gear counted. What really clinched the Sigma for me was the crapshoot of Pentax lenses out there with the 'probability' of bad SDM motors. Furthermore, the Sigma was always the less expensive option and had the extra 15 mm reach.

Pros:


- The lens is sharp. It shoots like a 70-200mm F4 equivalent lens.
- Great for portraits and general 'in the field' shots from a distance.
- There is no tripod collar. A bonus for those wanting to keep it light (the lens is small and light for it's focal range so you really don't need the collar)

Cons:


- Not common on the used market compared to the Pentax 50-135mm.
- 150 mm is still not quite long enough... but not a deal breaker.
- No WR. However, this lens survived a winter trip to Antarctica...so again, not a deal breaker.

Some sample pics from the field

@55mm - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jwfchu/28609137314/
@103mm - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jwfchu/28879263650/
@120mm - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jwfchu/29060902072/

Highly recommended lens!
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: April 11, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Quick focus, great sharpness
Cons: Tends to overexpose outdoors
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K200D & K-5 II    Autofocus: 8   

Great lens - my first HSM lens, which was a revelation. Very quick, very quiet - what a world of difference!
Images are great to - the lens is quite sharp overall; it is quite hefty, though, so I had to get used to shooting at a good bit less than 1/160th to get the best results.
My one main problem with this lens is that outdoors it tends to overexpose quite a bit (tried on two different camera bodies) - something like three stops, which is significant. No such problems indoors, strangely enough - and no, using wide-open aperture outdoors doesn't fix the issue, i.e. it doesn't look like it's just a case of sticky aperture that's not closing quickly enough.
Should probably get it checked out, I suppose, as I otherwise quite like this lens.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: March 30, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons: Not weather sealed.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3    Autofocus: 9   

The only negative i have to say about this lens is the lack of weather seal. Otherwise a perfect lens that covers basically the range of 70-200 on a FF.
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Zagreb
Posts: 73

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, built quality, sharpness, weight, very fast AF with manual override, crop sensor version of the 70-200mm
Cons: doesn't go to 200mm, no WR, discontinued
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-500    Autofocus: 10   

I got the lens used, but in mint condition recently and what can I say... for C/N mounts this lens is often soft wide open and with no OS it's usually ignored.
For Pentax mount however, this is one of the best telephoto zoom lenses money can buy; Sharp wide open f2.8 over the entire focal range, tack sharp corners from f4, lighter than any 70-200mm out there, more useful focal range (on crop sensor it's 75-225mm), very fast and quiet AF... Perfect for indoor sports, portraits and... well... anything this lens can reach and the camera's AF can catch will look amazing.
It's actually even sharper than my Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 (which is the sharpest standard zoom available for Pentax mount).
In short, it you can get one, BUY IT.

Here's an example, and keep in mind this is heavily cropped (almost 100% zoom ratio), but still the image is so sharp it doesn't really matter:



For more examples, check out my Flickr Page

P.S. Flickr wrongly tags the lens as a 70-200mm f2.8
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2012
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 33

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Fast and Great Zoom Range for APS-C!
Cons: Discontinued, Hard to Find
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30, K-3    Autofocus: 10   

This is a fantastic lens and I have enjoyed using it as my go-to for portraits, artistic work, photographing live events and more. In fact, if I had to pick one lens to do all my photography with (thank goodness I don't...ha ha!), this very well might be it. I bought my Sigma 50-150 as new old stock directly from Sigma to compare with the Pentax DA* 50-135 I owned, which is another favorite of mine. The Pentax 50-135 and the Sigma 50-150 are very close in shape, size, weight and basic features. Both are well built and handle nicely despite being somewhat "dense" from having so much glass packed into such small packages. I rarely use a tripod for the type of shooting I typically do, but have had no issue hand-holding these lenses on longer shoots. Although an aftermarket lens, the Sigma looks and feels nearly as "professional" as the Pentax does, which is fantastic considering the cost difference. In low-light AF situations coupled with fast-moving subjects, both lenses perform very much the same and deliver excellent results both wide open and at a distance. Oddly, the extra 15mm indicated in the zoom range of the Sigma remains a bit of a mystery to me, as my real-world test shots showed virtually no difference in range between the 50-135 and 50-150. 5mm? Perhaps. 15mm? No way. So, for all intents and purposes, the two lenses are essentially interchangeable. At this point, you might be wondering..."Where do they differ?" Well, the Weather Resistance (WR) of the Pentax is a rare feature in the industry and, simply put, the Sigma doesn't have it. With a lens this unique and expensive, the WR gives an active photographer like me, who lives in a dusty desert and likes to travel, much needed peace-of-mind, so that's a big plus to the Pentax. Also, the 50-135 has ever-so-slightly better color rendering in my opinion, likely due to the unique blend of fairy dust Pentax uses in their amazing lens coatings. The Sigma is a percentage point or two cooler in its overall tone, but that might also be preferred by some. Regardless, any optical differences between these two lenses is incredibly small and barely discernible even when comparing identical shots side by side. I find the Sigma delivers the same prime-like sharpness that the 50-135 is known for and utilizes an equally silent, but far more confidence-inspiring focusing motor that, at least for me, has proven to be significantly more reliable. In the end, as my second 50-135 began to develop the dreaded SDM failure symptoms after only a month of use (shortly after my first 50-135 had completely quit on me), I opted to return the Pentax and keep the Sigma. More than a year later, I'm still shooting the Sigma regularly and have had zero issues with performance or reliability. Although the Sigma has been discontinued and rarely shows up on the used market, it is well worth the price of admission if you can get your hands on one. Great lens and a viable alternative to the Pentax DA* 50-135 in every way except WR. Highly recommended!
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Christchurch NZ
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF Good optics Well made
Cons: A little CA but easily fixable
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I bought this lens about 2 years ago from B&H, just before they finally disappeared from the shelves.
I was aware of the focusing issues but all the reviews praised the optics so I took the plunge. (Da 50-135 too expensive here in New Zealand).
Sure enough I have had a few "misses" but have learned to watch the focus carefully. I keep in the range 3 metres to 1000 metres and generally have had very
good results. Good sharpness, good IQ, fast reliable and silent AF. With quite low distortion throughout the range it is a very good street lens.
I have used it on K100 Super, K200, Kx and K5. (The AF fine adjustment on the K5 did not really solve the focusing issues).

I have just bought a K30 and this lens was the second one I tried on it. Took it out on a shoot and was astonished to find this combo nailing
sharp accurate focus 100% at any aperture or focal length. The performance I had always wanted - I think this lens will remain on the K30 more or less permanently.

I do not understand how or why the K30 would tame the Sig. Don't really care - it works. Good work Pentax!!
   
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Klaipeda
Posts: 77
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $675.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Speed, bokeh, light
Cons: All frame good from f4, center from f2.8
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8   

Very good speed.
On K-x bad focus 50>70mm and 135>150mm.
On K-5 after AF correction no more focus mistakes, and now my images more sharp



   
New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: March 26, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well made, HSM, good design, big aperture.
Cons: None really - heavy?

After reading the other reviews I spent an hour or so in the garden trying to notice any difference between 135 and 150mm and looking for back or front focus problems.

My conclusions are that any problems are very, very, slight and nothing to worry about. Even at larger than A3 size the image is crisp with good contrast and realistic colors (Images from Pentax lenses generally look a bit warm to my eyes).

It might be possible to further sharpen the image by playing around with in camera focus adjustment but I did not manage it and the gain will be very small as things are already very good at both long and short focal lengths.

Therefore I would recommend this lens, especially if you can get it at the sort of price I paid. Unlike another reviewer, I would say it's heavy. Just remember the Laws of Optics dictate that good zoom lenses will not be small or light!
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 11,311

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 25, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great IQ, Sharp, Fast Competent AF, Easy to Carry & Handle
Cons: Needed Sigma calibration

This is a terrific lens. I chose it over the DA* 50-135mm for the AF speed, the extra 15mm and the superior warranty coverage. Dissatisfied with resolution, I sent the first copy I received back to the retailer. The second was just as bad but this time I sent it to Sigma for calibration. Good move: it came back sharp as a tack. My primary use is for scholastic basketball: the results with this lens on the K-5 have been very good. I also find it a great take-along for general shooting. I can't think of any reason to give it less than a 10.
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 104
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Sharp, Perfect for shooting kids
Cons: Not made anymore

Superb lens for portraits and other short telefocal uses as is as sharp as you need for these purposes. With the K-5 it is even gave me a decent shot of the supermoon.

It has HSM autofocus (unlike my other sigma pentax fix lenses) which is both fast (beats 50-135) and silent.

It is light and perfectly hand-holdable. Compared to its successor, or a 70-200 lens, you will find it fits in a camera bag much easier. That said it is not a pop in your pocket lens like the DA70.

Portrait


General telefocal


The only complaint is you need to check the focus on close shots at 150mm. That said, I picked this up for 350 which is a steal compared to the DA*50-135 even without waterproofing.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Niagara Region, Ontario Canada
Posts: 417

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 19, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cost, Fast AF, Fast, Sharp, Lens Hood, Nice Heft, Fast AF
Cons: Long Min Focus Distance, Some CA, Only Very Good Bokeh, Magnification, Lack of a Tripod Collar

I purchased this lens new when it was being discontinued at a close out price. I was going back and forth between this lens and the Pentax 50-135mm f2.8 for almost 6 months, and had purchased the Pentax a week before I got this lens.

My review is based upon the comparison of these two lenses. For reference at the point in time of my purchase the Pentax was $1,299, while the Sigma was $800 everywhere else. I returned the Pentax 50-135mm f2.8 after using the two lenses for a week and shooting with both. I typically shoot landscapes and macros, though I've now started getting into models. I have only shot one wedding, and as a second photographer.

NOTE: The copy I received was tested extensively and has no centering issues, it required a -3 to ensure no front/back focus issues. This may not hold true for other copies.

And now for the review.

Handling:
The Sigma fits very nicely on the Pentax K10d/k20d body and balances very well with and without a grip. The lens hood is very solid and has a flat front, this is a great advantage allowing the camera to be rested on the lens in a vertical orientation. The hood is also very deep and secure and I'm using the Sigma without a filter and without fear of damage to the front element.

The zooms ring is smooth and wide, and the zoom is linear without any bunching at one end. The focus ring behaves smoothly, and continues to rotate after reaching one end or the other. Both are big and easy to handle.

The lens mounts securely and confidently, however there isn't a dot visible on the outside of the lens, so aligning it can be a bit tricky.

This lens is of course an internal focus lens so the focal length changes with the focus distance.

I'm torn about a tripod mount. I don't think I miss it, but it might be a much bigger deal on a smaller camera like a Kx.

For the record I also considered the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 as well, but conduced it was simply too big.

Focus:
This lens is fast to focus and locks quickly and confidently. Having been able to shoot this with the Pentax 50-135 f2.8 side-by-side it was like night and day.

I also have the FA 50mm f1.4 and this lens focuses faster than the 50mm in all lighting conditions and locks faster and with less hunting.

This one advantage over all the disadvantages makes this lens for me.

However this lens has a relatively long minimum focus distance. I'm a macro nut, and would have liked this lens to focus closer. That being said, I don't really have any issues switching leses to my dedicated macro.


Optics:
a) Resolution vs. FA 50mm f1.4 - I found the Sigma to be sharper wide open at 2.8 than the 50mm. I have a split prism focus screen installed and am able to ensure accurate focus with the 50mm, however I was rarely satisfied with it wider than f2.8. My copy of the Sigma is sharper and has significantly higher contrast than the 50mm f1.4. From about f4 onward there are very similar.

Resolution vs. DA 50-135mm f2.8 - This comparison is much, much closer. To my eyes I think the resolution figures are the same. Both sharped up very well in Photoshop, though the contract might be higher with the Pentax.

Most of the reviews I saw criticized the Sigma at close focus distances and a 150mm. I've found that if you back the Sigma off a hair (to 145mm) the image quality improves, though not hugely. I think the Sigma should have had a slightly lower long focal length. At 135mm I think the two lenses are almost the same, it matters more where the focus point is than anything else.

b) Field of Focus - I've found the field curvature to be vary minor, and certainly nothing relevant. Though at 50mm there are better lenses for shooting brick walls and macro reproduction.

c) Bokeh - This is the one slight weakness of the Sigma, there is minor colour fringing in the highlights, though not terrible. Compared to the FA 50mm f1.4 this lens is far and away superior. Personally I have always found the 50mm very busy and harsh and not at all pleasing (Personal choice).

Shooting against the Pentax 50-135mm f2.8 the bokeh is not as smooth and displays some minor colour fringing in blown highlights. However I found this excusable, it is just that the Pentax is so good. A forgivable weakness.

Conclusions:

This lens is a no brainer at $400. Even at $800, I after handling this lens and the Pentax 50-135mm f2.8 at the same time I would have still chosen it.

If I had found the Pentax for the same price as the Sigma or if the Pentax was cheaper I would have picked differently.

Highly Recommended (with Reservations)
   
Inactive Account

Registered: September, 2010
Posts: 56
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: brilliant pair line resolution trhought the focal range
Cons: under/over focus on K-7

Brilliant lens. only donwside I have found so far is over/under focus. Unfortunatelly, it is different on 50 and 150 end. AF compensation fix the problem, but you have to keep in mind what end of lens do you use.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 787
Lens Review Date: July 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $729.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, silent, FTM
Cons: a little heavy

excellent lens. bought this instead of the 50-135.
the HSM is fast and quiet (not 100% silent)
optics are top notch

there is some back focus, but easily adjusted
Add Review of Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM II



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