Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM SMC DA*

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50-135mm $1,047
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Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM SMC DA*

Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM SMC DA* User Reviews

9.3/10 average of 9 review(s) Build Quality 9.2/10 Image Quality 9.4/10
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Waratah (5 reviews)
    Quality, handling, weather resistance, quick shift,
    SDM (always in the back of my mind),

    Helluva lens. From f3.5 and up has never let me down. Early I tried the 2.8 in unsuitable situation (hasty glamour shoots in nature etc) and was frequently underwhelmed but now I understand it better - its just brilliant.

    If Pentax ever need an idea for a new lens - combine the best of this lens with the best of the 18-135 and create a 30mm ish to 100-110mm ish constant aperture , WR, DC focus lens I'd be over the moon. Other than that I'll never be without this lens as main outdoor glamour lens.

    reviewed June 22nd, 2013 (purchased for $970)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by dugong5pm (52 reviews)
    light, compact, silent, fast AF, fast f/2.8, weather sealed
    build quality.. could be sturdier

    I have used this lens with my K-x, K10 & K20. This lens has a DA* (star) title, which supposed to be a performer.
    AF is fast & accurate, even on the K-x body. It focuses instantly & silently. Image quality is good, though not of the best telezoom I've ever tested.

    Pentax always have that design advantage compered to other, and this lens is one of them. This is a wonderfull lens by design. Small, light, has all the features (with pentax bodies, it has a "shake reduction" too.. wow)

    reviewed June 4th, 2013 (purchased for $825)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by hikenhi (1 reviews)
    Lightweight, Compact, Professional Build, Internal Zoom, Bokeh, Sharp, Price
    Lens Flare

    Bought a lightly used copy of this lens in near mint condition. It's an awesom lens for walk-around photography or if you're carrying it over great distances like I often do on my backpacking and mountaineering trips. I own a Tamron 70-200f2.8 and that thing is a tank, almost twice the weight and 3 times the volume of this lens in it's carrying case compared to this one. I'd like to get the Pentax DA* 60-250 f4, but I'm not too sure about the non-internal zoom design on that lens, not to mention the 2x-fold price difference over this lens. This lens is definitely my funnest lens to shoot with.

    reviewed January 25th, 2013 (purchased for $600)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by oleksa (2 reviews)
    very good aperture, clean image, nice boke
    SDM motor crashes very often

    very good lens but IMHO AF is not so fast as should be with this lens. SDM motor could die and lens should be sent to the service

    reviewed September 20th, 2012 (purchased for $900)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by Tord (30 reviews)
    Sharpest zoom I've come across, and water-resistant! Delightful!
    A bit heavy, and a bit expensive!

    This is the sharpest zoom I've yet come across, and with very pleasing colours, and it is water-resitant as well!

    Having compared shots we've taken with the wife's DA50-135, enlarged to be of similar size to shots taken with longer lenses from Sigma (120-400 & 150-500), Tamron (70-200) & Pentax (55-300), the difference is very small, or to the DA50-135's advantage. We've used Pentax K-5s each time, hopefully comparable!

    Amazing lens! Combine it with a Tamron 17-50 and you have an excellent package indeed!

    reviewed November 14th, 2011 (purchased for $1,200)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by 3systemuser (19 reviews)
    sharp as an expensive prime, mine has good distortion control , small and sealed.
    flare resistance could be a bit better.

    the AF of this lens is on a bit slow side but its very accurate and unlike the DA*16-50f2.8 , it does not share the annoyingSDM failure issue.

    and compared to other manufactures 70-200 zooms, it is ridiculously small but not very light.

    it is built very well, probably better than any of Canon Nikon zooms of this price range.

    And if you use this lens on a K5 or K7 , you will get 1D or D3 level of sealing in very compact system.

    I think this is the main reason why I chose Pentax as my sub always carry kit (my work cameras are Canon and some times Nikon or Sony but thinking about selling Nikon to get more Pentax primes).

    Well, this lens is very sharp with very good contrast but not as sharp as the Canon 70-200f2.8LISMK2 or f4LIS , though it is cheaper and much smaller.

    compared to the Nikon VR2 , I think this Pentax is just as sharp or almost as sharp at wide end and the Nikon beats it clearly at long end wide open but stopping down both to f4 , they are quite similar, the Canon is still sharper than both Nikon and Pentax here.

    I love its color rendition , especially with my K5 , the color tone is a bit cooler than that of the Nikon or Canon imo but it is good , I dont like warm color cast of many new Nikkors.

    I think its minor weak points are:

    1 CA at long end.
    2 a bit weak flare resistance , flares more often compared to the Nikon 70-200f2.8VR2 and the Canon IS2.

    But at least this lens is compact and sealed very well, so for my needs shooting street people without shocking or intimidating them , it is a great lens.

    Since I had the DA18-135WR , I was debating this one vs DA*60-250f4SDM for a long time (6days) but I am glad I got this lens back (I had it when I was a K7 shooter).

    But I think I might get the DA60-250f4 too soon since all reviews I read on it are great ,especially the one I read here at this very site.

    Or I may be getting the DA*55f1.4SDM instead, which was also highly rated here.

    Any way, this lens is so small , so well made and balances well on a small body like the K5.

    There are many Nikon D7000vs K5 threads in many forums out there but I think they are not in the same class of cameras and regardless of the Nikon d7000 body size , the Nikon kit always becomes much bigger once a Nikon pro grade lens is mounted on it (because all Nikon serious lenses are designed for FX bodies), and obviusly it is much much bigger than this K5 based kit.

    so for me the K5 is a much better camera than the D7000,which I had befoere and returned it for this K5.

    by the way , the K5 + F1.4 prime beat the D700 +f2.8 zoom in low light and I found the DA*55f1.4 sharper than the Nikon 85f1.4G.

    reviewed February 27th, 2011 (purchased for $800)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by kjelle (3 reviews)
    IQ, SDM
    AF a little on the slow side

    Color and Contrast

    AF a little on the slow side

    A very nice lens i can reccomend, its not too heavy and the feeling is really proffessional.

    reviewed May 12th, 2009
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by farmerjim (2 reviews)
    Smooth lens, great photos
    (small gripes) Weight and lack of tripod collar

    A great lens. I use this one and the 16-45 F4 as my primary lenses now.

    The operation of the lens is smooth in manual focus and zoom. It feels great when handling the lens, controls are well dampened. Balances well (all things considered) with the K10D.

    Images are outstanding.

    Autofocus (with the firmware update on the K10D) is fast and again, smooth. The lens is more than fast enough to sneak a candid or two in before discovery...only the shutter will give you away.

    Very slight chromatic distortion when the lens is wide open disappears when closed down a few steps. In my case it was only visible with dark tree branches on a very washed out bright and cloudy sky.

    Images are outstanding.

    Color rendition is great. Clear, sharp and very true to life.

    I was using the lens in a rain storm recently. The weather seals held up with no water issues at all. Waterfall mist is in its future now...

    I know I said that "Images are outstanding." many times, but negatives aside, this is a great lens and should be on many shopping lists. The lucky people who get one will not be unsatisfied.

    reviewed January 2nd, 2008 (purchased for $800)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by rei_vilo (2 reviews)
    Excellent image quality • Build high quality • Silent and fast AF • In-door versatibilty
    Some vignetting • Weight and size • Specific handling of the K10D + 50-135mm

    With this new lens, we're dealing with truly professional gear. I would say that the DA* 50-135mm is the lens the K10D was waiting for. As always with Pentax, ergonomics and ease of use are great.
    But this comes at a price, in term of weight and size, which may imply a learning curve, and also a stronger bag and a solid tripod.
    Most important, image quality is excellent.

    reviewed September 28th, 2007