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Old Aug 9, 2007, 1:29 PM   #1
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Hi All,

After seeing Harriet's shots with her new DA* 50-135, I was convinced that I wanted this lens, and having already saved the money in anticipation of the release, when I got the call from my dealer that he had just gotten the lens in the store, I went over to have a look. I hadn't already upgraded to v1.3 firmware, so I did so before taking off to try the new lens.

In the store, I took a few shots in the shadowy corners of the store, and was impressed by the hardly discernable focusing sound and the sharpness wide open as seen on the LCD. I'd been looking forward to using this lens as my primary candids lens, and I don't think I'll be disappointed.
Needless to say, I bought the lens. . .

One of the things I was curious about was the AF/MF switch on the lens barrel. I had expected to have to use the switch before manual focusing, but that is not the case. The DA*30-135 is like other DA lenses, and has true Quick shift capability in that you don't have to switch anything to MF, just rotate the ring! The switch does act as a "remote" AF/MF switch, and disconnects all AF functions with either the K10 or the DS. In other words, when you switch to MF on the lens, either the in body motor on the DS, or the SDM motor on the K10 are disconnected, and the focus indicator need not be lit for the camera to be able to take a shot. Pretty cool .

The focusing ring, unlike my other DA lenses, rotates past the stops, but you can both feel and hear when it has reached the limit at either end, so I don't see an functional problems here. Unlike most of my other AF lenses, the focus ring is pretty well damped, is very large, and is reasonably smooth in action. I don't get the impression that MF functionality on this lens was an afterthought to the design as it seems to be on many other AF lenses.

The hood is surprisingly big, but it doesn't get in the way, and has a removeable cutout for positioning polarizing filters and the like. Despite the size, at 50mm, the hood doesn't interfere with using the popup flash like as on some of the wider angle lenses on the K10, but on the DS, only at the shortest focus distance, it barely occludes the frame at the bottom center. Because of its size, it protects the front element of the lens very well, and I'll not feel the need of a protective filter except in extreme conditions.

Focusing speed? My impression is that it's faster than non SDM lenses, but not as fast as the quicker Nikons and Canons I've had a chance to try. It is quiet tho, especially comparing it to the non SDM lenses. I really can't say how this aspect compares to N or C USM lenses. In very low light, I'm getting a couple of adjustments before it locks, but it seems to perform well.

Going out to play now -- I'll be back with some shots later. . .


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Old Aug 9, 2007, 3:44 PM   #2
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Looking forward to your shots, Scott - bet they'll blow my first ones way out of the water!

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