REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PentaxSMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR
 
4.8

(based on 129 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (106)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (83)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (82)
  • Durable (78)
  • Consistent output (62)
  • Rugged (52)

Cons

  • Heavy (38)
  • Slow focus (17)
  • Heavy / bulky (9)
  • Poor in low light (4)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (55)
  • Sports/action (52)
  • Weddings (40)
  • Low light (37)
  • Landscape/scenery (34)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (39), Photo enthusiast (35), Semi-professional (15), Semi-pro photographer (12), Casual photographer (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (60), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

My first big lens.

For years I shot only the FA50, so this is very much a departure for me. I didn't expect to love it this much! I love my primes but I finally realized that...Read complete review

For years I shot only the FA50, so this is very much a departure for me. I didn't expect to love it this much! I love my primes but I finally realized that shooting events with primes is a hassle that needn't be. This is my first telezoom.
This lens is a headturner. It's beautifully constructed and rugged to boot. On the K5 it screams for the battery grip to balance it out, this is a good thing, it makes the whole rig feel deadly serious and it has an ergonomic edge.
Wide open it can be a little soft depending on the light, stopped to 5.6 its a dream come true, especially around the midrange. Like most zooms it's not at its best zoomed all the way in or out. 60-120 seems to be the sweet spot. The SDM is silent and lively. The bokeh is good even at 5.6.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Autofocus Issues

My first shot taken with this lens was out of focus. I got home and started playing around with the autofocus and noticed that it would not lock on to a subject about 5...Read complete review

My first shot taken with this lens was out of focus. I got home and started playing around with the autofocus and noticed that it would not lock on to a subject about 5 feet away inside my house. I switched it from AF to MF a few times and then it somehow started autofocusing again.

I took it out again the next weekend and it seems to be working normally now with no issues. I'm just afraid, if it happened when it was brand new, it might show up again (I just hope it doesn't happen when the warranty expires).

Reviewed by 129 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Glad I bought it

By Crazy Carl

from Lebanon, PA

About Me Casual Photographer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

    I bought this lens when I bought my K-30 because it was on sale. Now I wish I would have gotten the body only because I don't use kit lenses anymore. Auto-focus is super quiet, pictures are great.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Love it!

    By Dj

    from Md

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

    Awesome lens!

    Share this review

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Wonderful

    By karro

    from Alameda

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate AF
    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction
    • Weather resistant

    Cons

    • Slow-ish Tracking Af

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Medium Tele Applications
    • Portraits
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

    Since I've owned it for a couple of weeks only, can't really comment on the SDM durability, but for now it works fine. I haven't used other cameras with speedy lenses to compare, but for me, the AF speed is OK. Tracking AF feels kinda sluggish, though. AF works surprisingly well in poorly lit indoor conditions, though.

    But all that is irrelevant. Colors! Sharpness! Contrast! This lens well deserves the Pentax name and * rating, because it is excellent. As for the build quality - I was thinking that Tammy 17-50/2.8 (reviewed earlier) was rather nicely built, but the Pentax.. it's just in a different league. That intangible thing, known as "quality" - it's there.

    The lens is not able to do everything; for example, the minimal focusing distance doesn't allow to use it as a true or even half-true macro lens, but it was never intended to be one; as a moderate telephoto zoom this is unbeatable, IMO. is this the best lens I've ever used? if we include primes in the mix - I still have warm feelings about 43/1.9 Ltd, which was beautiful, but 50-135 isn't trailing far behind, but in zoom category, I don't think you can do better.

    Pentax is perhaps shooting in their own foot with having 60-250/4, which also is believed to be perfect. It was a tough decision for me, but I think I made the right choice; add 1.4x TC, and the result is 70-190/4, not quite the same thing, but close. For wildlife, where the reach is required: DA*300/4 or 300/4+TC = 420/5.6, which should be enough for most applications.

    Either way, you can't go wrong with this. It's a marvelous piece of equipment, if you can get it during price drops - go for it!, if not - still, go for it, it's worth the price.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    build tough works fine

    By dd

    from Istanbul

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Night Photography
    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

    Take anywhere, not as heavy & big as the 60-250.
    Nice bookeh, clean crisp pictures.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Outstanding versatile lens

    By PYUSMC66

    from St. Cloud, MN

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Macro Photography
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

    This lens does everything I ask of it. It is heavy, but that helps me steady the shot. It is somewhat slow to autofocus, but I manually focus most of the time, and like to set exposure as well. Don't use it in auto mode very often. Would probably go with a faster lens for sports/action shots. I own many fine SMCP lenses from my k-1000 and Super Program film camers. Use this lens omn my K-20 with good results.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Very good lens but very slow

    By Natali

    from Montreal, Canada

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Poor in Low Light
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

    I love this lens that I have been using for the last 2 years. In a good light environment, it functions very well. I have done a lot of nature photography and they are just perfect. But the flaw is inside in low light situation, it become very quickly a bit frustrating. Not able to get the focus on time, you miss the right expression when doing portrait photography.
    If you mostly take picture of still object this lens is a must.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great lens

    By Ronen

    from Isreal

    About Me Photography Student

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

          The best lens iv ever owned.Thank you Pentax!
          using the Pentax k-5iis.

          i also own DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 and also DA* 300mm f/4.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          yes,great lens.

          By eorro

          from Shanghai, CN

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output

          Cons

          • Slow Focus

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery

          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

          that's a great lens,a pretty good deal.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          My favorite all time lens

          By Faith

          from Los Angeles, CA

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

            Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

            As a wedding/fashion photographer, this is my "go to" lens. It stays on my camera during a shoot unless the location forces me to put the wide angle on instead.

            It's fast, sharp and reliable. It's expensive, but in the category of "You get what you pay for," this is an example of that.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            DA* 50-135

            By krendel154

            from Texas

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

            Great lens. Just pray for SDM :)

            Share this review

            (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Autofocus Issues

            By Xiong

            from Colorado

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Autofocus

            Best Uses

              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

              My first shot taken with this lens was out of focus. I got home and started playing around with the autofocus and noticed that it would not lock on to a subject about 5 feet away inside my house. I switched it from AF to MF a few times and then it somehow started autofocusing again.

              I took it out again the next weekend and it seems to be working normally now with no issues. I'm just afraid, if it happened when it was brand new, it might show up again (I just hope it doesn't happen when the warranty expires).

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Quality - No doubt.

              By Eebll

              from Perth, Western Australia.

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Absolutely none

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Portraitanything
              • Sports/Action

              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

              Have only had the lens for two weeks, so still getting used to it, BUT, what a difference. I have only used it hand held and my pics are nice and clean with clarity and sharpness and great colour tone. (you still need steady hands tho').

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Gold is always flash

              By jUDASmILE

              from Palo Alto, CA

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Lightweight
              • Nice Bokeh

              Cons

              • Poor in Low Light

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Portrait
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

              I love this lens. This is my first "*" lens.
              I have an manual lens 70-210. I thought this one is better than that one on graph quality. This also creates nice bokeh for any of the lights in the background. This is a auto lens with fast automatic focusing speed that I could leave the moments in my K7 in time.
              Overall I thought the lens is pretty good. It would be the most used lens of me from now on.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Very Sharp Lens, Very nice Bokeh

              By yygomez

              from Miami, FL

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Slow Focus

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

              So far Im very happy, Very Sharp, Nice Bokeh, wheather sealed, Accurate focus but a little slow

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Gotta love it

              By Greg

              from Oxford, NC

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Lightweight
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Macro Photography
                • Night Photography
                • Sports/Action
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                Great lens, easy to use, quiet focus and very well made.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Great lens

                By JasonLEL

                from Johor Bahru, Malaysia

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Slow Focus

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Sports/Action
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                Great lens I must say. Used it to shoot in one of the local drifting event. So far so good. Did use once during rain and the WR does work!

                But the AF is not lightning fast, but is acceptable for me.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Zoom Ninja

                By Kodafixed

                from Tulsa, OK

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                  I bought this lens in 2008 and foolishly sold it because I wanted a mid-tele zoom I could use for both APS-C and 35mm film. I regretted that decision within a month; I corrected that mistake 2 weeks ago. It is the perfect companion for the K-5.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Great lens, slow AF.

                  By MR

                  from Croatia

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Slow Focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                  Very sharp, great build quality, slow AF.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Goods well preserved

                  By Terry

                  from Hongkong

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                  Cons

                  • Difficult to Clean

                  Best Uses

                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                  Find the ideal lens, you can shoot the ideal photo:)

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great lens!!! Just buy it!!!

                  By Airtraffic

                  from Bethlehem, PA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                        I've had this lens now for about 10 days.. I've shot in different lighting conditions both light and dark. All I can say is WOW! I am glad I got this lens!

                        I agree with the other reviewers who said it's almost as good as shooting with a prime! It's just as sharp and fast as shooting with my 50mm f1.8!
                        And, as a bonus, I got it for half price from B&H on Black Friday! Gotta love it!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        Displaying reviews 1-20

                        Back to top

                        Previous | Next »