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Old Sep 21, 2011, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default finally made a lens decision

I do not own a "great" zoom lens, I have a number of good primes (DA 14mm, FA 35mm, FA 50mm) and a high quality "fun" zoom in the DA 10-17mm but after that it is just the WR kit lenses (good for what they are, kit lenses) and a very mediocre pair of long zooms in the FAJ 75-300mm and the F 100-300mm. After a great deal of thought (and quite a few images made with the Fuji S2 with Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8) I have made a decision. For my shooting style and the APS-C sized sensor of my K20D, the DA* 50-135mm f2.8 lens is my best option.

I have watched several videos on the KelbyTraining website and by far the most popular package, for photographers who shoot much like I would like to, is a full frame Canon or Nikon with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. The 50-135mm gives an equivalent to 75-202.5mm, definitely in the focal length ballpark. Except for its very slow apertures I love the DA 50-200mm WR so the DA* 50-135mm will give me the added flexibility of better low light performance and much more control over limited DOF in a much more manageable package than the huge and heavy 80-200mm Nikkor/Fuji kit I am using now (I like this outfit because it only cost me $500 total for a pro grade zoom, but I prefer the Pentax ergonomics, shake reduction and higher resolution, the AF 80-200mm is not a VR Nikon)

It may take a while before I can afford it but it seems a sure thing right now. I looked at the DA* 60-250mm f4 but it has a number of things I don't really want, a slower aperture, a body that extends as you zoom and a higher price. Although a longer lens would be nice I don't see needing the extra reach as a high enough priority to warrant the price difference of over $300.

Thanks for letting me think out loud.
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http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Last edited by Monza76; Sep 21, 2011 at 12:35 AM.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 7:38 AM   #2
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Just be sure you take out one of the 7 year / 10 year, or whatever they are, extended warranties available in the USA. Otherwise if that SDM goes are one year then you are going to be a few hundred more out of pocket.
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 9:26 AM   #3
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I used a 50-135 DA* f2.8 and ws very plesed with the IQ (very sharp and excellend color rendition) as well as the SDM focusing (worked flawlessly). I think you will like it...except that you'll always be yearning for a few more mm's of zoom.

Jehan
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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I love my DA*50-135! It was one of the first sold in Southern California and I've never had a problem with the SDM. Someone on another board wondered if using a lot of quick shift might be a cause of the problems - since I don't manually focus the lens it wouldn't surprise me. Mine back-focused slightly on the K20 and K7, seems to be OK on this K5. My K10 didn't like the DA*50-135 at all, though I'm sure that was the camera rather than the lens. I love focal range, it's very good for me as a walk-about lens. For a long time I was happy with the DA*50-135 and A*300 lenses, skipping everything in-between wasn't a big issue.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 5:43 PM   #5
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Hi Ira,

I think it's a very good choice. You generally shoot shorter than I do, and I find the FL range perfect for the longer shots at events and for shooting longer range candids. Like Harriet, I tend to shoot more at 50-135mm, then go to 300mm and longer, and don't miss the 135mm-299mm range at all.

The DA*50-135 is also about my limit for weight when shooting indoors with an external flash. I shot an event with my 80-200/2.8 Tokina and a flash once, and it took a couple of weeks for my shoulder and elbow to work normally again. . . This aging thing sucks. . . a big reason why I'm looking so seriously at the Q.

BTW, I also have a very early DA*-135 -- one of the first ones in IL, and never have had any hint of a problem with it.

Scott
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 7:06 PM   #6
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I would love an old FA* 80-200mm f2.8 but a used one costs hundreds more than a new DA* 50-135mm f2.8 ?!?! I have heard of the SDM issues (actually found a dead one in a camera shop in Edmonton). I don't think I would make much use of the quick shift (I use it very infrequently on my current lenses) so if that aggravates the problem it shouldn't be an issue for me.

I am also considering the DA 18-135mm for Annette. Right now she has the kit lens and two primes (FA 50mm f1.4 and DAL 35mm f2.4) but she travels quite a bit for work and the 18-135 would make an excellent travel lens for her K100D Super.
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Ira
Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
_______________________________
Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Sep 21, 2011, 7:22 PM   #7
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Please don't flame me for this but there is a very, very small chance that I can get a Nikon D700 from a friend who is considering a new D3 (or D4 if they arrive soon). Hard to pass up a full frame camera at a bargain price. This could put the DA* on the back burner for a while (I will not leave Pentax, just reevaluate which camera system best suits which type of shooting). Just thought I would share this now, it is only a very slight chance but one I would go for if it does happen.
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Ira
Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
_______________________________
Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Sep 21, 2011, 7:46 PM   #8
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I have never had the pleasure of using the DA* 50-135, but I have heard onlt rave reviews. Seem it's a superb lens.

If you have the good fortune of getting the full frame Nikon at a bargain price, rejoice and don't feel guilty. Speaking just for myself, I'm interested in photographs and photography, and I am fully aware that there are other companies that also make very fine cameras. I'm more interested in the image than in the device that recorded it.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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ditto what mtnman says
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 10:37 PM   #10
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Can't give any input on the lenses, but I agree with mtnman and Bowenp. It's photography I love, not the company name.

I told someone at our camera club tonight that I just bought a new camera. She was all excited until she asked what I bought and I told her the Pentax K5. Then, there was a pout on her face. Doesn't bother me any.

Patty
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