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

(based on 128 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (105)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (82)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (81)
  • Durable (77)
  • Consistent output (61)
  • Rugged (51)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Portraits (55)
  • Sports/action (52)
  • Weddings (39)
  • Low light (36)
  • Landscape/scenery (33)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (39), Photo enthusiast (35), Semi-professional (15), Semi-pro photographer (12), Casual photographer (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (59), 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 128 customers

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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!

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(1 of 1 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

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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

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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

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(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

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(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

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        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

          (1 of 3 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

            (1 of 1 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

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            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

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            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

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            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

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              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

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                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

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                (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

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                      5.0

                      Great Lens, compact and sharp

                      By chevy chase

                      from Canada

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Sports/Action
                        • Wildlife Photos

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

                        This is the perfect 70-200mm equivalent for the K5 series. I have one on my K5 IIs and it is small, light and sharp. Much smaller than the equivalent Canon or Nikon lens and just as good!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

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