Poor Man's 50-135mm?


Daydreamjay

Link Posted 30/10/2014 - 18:22
Earlier this year I had all my camera equipment stolen and this included a brand new K5 iiS body and also my beloved Pentax 50-135mm f2.8

I have been unable to afford to replace it and it has taken me this long to get a replacement body - a K5.

Unfortunately it will be a while before I can afford another 50-135mm (which I bought via the classifieds forum on here,) and I am looking to what alternatives there are that are significantly cheaper.

My main line of work is portraiture and it is a portrait lens that I need. I am not into using primes as they slow me down too much, but I would welcome suggestions about any other alternatives.

I have a Vivitar 70-210mm that I am going to try, it was one of the only lenses that wasn't stolen. But I would prefer if possible something automatic.

Any suggestions? I am not too fussed about the 2.8 apperture as I rarely shot wide open anyway.

Mike-P

Link Posted 30/10/2014 - 19:19
Pentax A 35-105mm f3.5 LINK

You should be able to pick one up under 100 ... superb lens for the money, there was one on sale here for 70 but I just had a look and it's sold.
. My Flickr

davidwozhere

Link Posted 01/11/2014 - 00:05
Depends what you mean by 'significantly cheaper'?
What about a Pentax A 35 - 70mm? If you add in the 'extra' focal length you get with a digital camera you end up with a nice VERY cheap portrait lens, together with the A series super image quality. They look good on the end of the camera too. There are dozens of them for sale in two flavours (zoom ring or push-pull). In fact, they are so cheap you can chuck it if you don't like it!
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 01/11/2014 - 07:26
Yeah if you're not interested in shooting below f5.6 the F35-105 is a great option, I used it on portrait shots and it's got a very handy range. Eventually I did get the DA50-135 though as I wanted the f2.8 and sdm.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

andy_bell

Link Posted 05/11/2014 - 17:59
what about a 18-135 WR?
A few bits & Bobs

davidstorm

Link Posted 05/11/2014 - 23:02
andy_bell wrote:
what about a 18-135 WR?

I don't think you can compare the 18-135 with the DA*50-135, it just doesn't produce any similarity of IQ or bokeh. I'm not suggesting the 18-135 is a bad lens, just that the characteristics are not similar to the 50-135.

Regards
David
Flickr

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Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

andy_bell

Link Posted 06/11/2014 - 08:31
davidstorm wrote:
andy_bell wrote:
what about a 18-135 WR?

I don't think you can compare the 18-135 with the DA*50-135, it just doesn't produce any similarity of IQ or bokeh. I'm not suggesting the 18-135 is a bad lens, just that the characteristics are not similar to the 50-135.

Regards
David

David, I'm aware that the 18-135 isn't in the same class as the 50-135, I have both lenses, and of the two the 50-135 never comes off one of the camera bodies I have,
However, he did say he was on a budget and the 18-135 is a decent enough walk around lens for general use, it is also compact and WR....and much cheaper than the 50-135!

Andy
A few bits & Bobs

Daydreamjay

Link Posted 06/11/2014 - 12:17
Hi Andy, I checked out the 18-135 but to be honest it seems to get slated a bit for image quality. Also - I am not looking for a walk around lens as you put it, it's purely for portraiture.

MattMatic

Link Posted 06/11/2014 - 13:46
There's nothing quite like the DA*50-135, alas. It's seriously sharp and has beautiful rendering.

However, the DA17-70 is a very fine lens optically. There's one being sold here...
The DA16-45 might be a bit on the short side, focal length wise, but is seriously good value for money. Very sharp.

For longer focal lengths, the DA50-200 is not that bad. It can produce very sharp results with good contrast. Very compact. Have seen these go for 50.

Another suggestion: SMC-A 70-210/4 is pretty stunning optically. Mine was under 40 (Now nabbed by my son!) It's much better than the Vivitar (which isn't a slouch).

A lot will depend on the focal lengths you use...
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

Conqueror

Link Posted 08/11/2014 - 10:08
Daydreamjay wrote:
Hi Andy, I checked out the 18-135 but to be honest it seems to get slated a bit for image quality. Also - I am not looking for a walk around lens as you put it, it's purely for portraiture.

The 18-135mm isn't bad at all... take a look at this thread on the US forum

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-18-13...
K-3ii

johnriley

Link Posted 08/11/2014 - 10:14
We also have plenty of discussion of the 18-135mm here on PU, and the upshot is that those who have it tend to like it.

I reviewed it for PU and EPZ and it does have technical limitations, but it also has a very good overall rendering and a crispness, a "wiry" quality that can make images look very good indeed.

Lens testing measures certain parameters, but the overall "character" of a lens is a complex thing that is more difficult to quantify.
Best regards, John

ears

Link Posted 09/11/2014 - 21:02
I can vouch for the A35-105.

I was very lucky, I was given this lens, along with a couple of others, by the original owner.It was lucky coincidence - I'd just bought my first DSLR - my first Pentax - and he'd had his old Super A and lenses sat in a bag for 20 years so gave them to me.

It's taken me a while to get used to it. There's something about it that's not optically perfect, but I don't know enough to know what. If you look straight down the barrel of the lens, from the lens end, it looks perfect. But if you just look from an angle where you can bounce some light of it, there's a layer of tiny speckles that reflect light on one of the elements near the lens end. I don't know enough to say whether it's dust or fungus (i'd probably plump for dust) but it doesn't seem to affect picture quality in any way.

It's taken me a long time to get used to it mainly because up until recently I insisted on using the viewfinder. I've found that the MF assist on my K30 is not brilliant (the bit that beeps and goes red when it thinks it's in focus) and for a while I felt like using live view wasn't appropriate somwhow on a DSLR.

But since switching to live view when using manual lenses and using the contrast focus assist, I've had massively better results - hardly a photo out of focus. I don't know how well it would do in bright sunlight though.

Hugely impressed with the image quality from this lens - and the colours - just so accurate and representative of the subject and background.

Although I don't have a high end portrait zoon to compare it to...
K30; DA35 2.4; DA50 1.8; A35-105 3.5; Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 APO DL; M 80-200 F4; 18-55 WR Kit; Sigma 24-70 2.8

gwing

Link Posted 09/11/2014 - 22:54
Yes the A35-105 is a really good lens. Even a superb lens.

But it's heavy, very heavy. And the focal length range perhaps more suited to its original film role than APSC - but its optical quality is I think right up there even with the 50-135.

ears

Link Posted 09/11/2014 - 23:19
Not as heavy as the Sigma 24-70 2.8!
K30; DA35 2.4; DA50 1.8; A35-105 3.5; Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 APO DL; M 80-200 F4; 18-55 WR Kit; Sigma 24-70 2.8
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