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smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens
 
4.8

(based on 135 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (111)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (87)
  • Strong construction (87)
  • Durable (81)
  • Consistent output (66)
  • Rugged (55)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Portraits (55)
  • Sports/action (55)
  • Weddings (43)
  • Low light (42)
  • Landscape/scenery (36)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (39), Photo enthusiast (37), Semi-professional (15), Semi-pro photographer (14), Casual photographer (11)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (66), 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 135 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

shakey start, strong finish

By oldugly

from Albuquerque NM

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Night Photography

    Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

    The first use of this lens was a early morning balloon launch I was ready to return it and give up on Pentax lens. After rechecking the fine focus(it was ok} I took some zoo pictures with my grand-daughter, and some low light photos indoor and some moonlight photos outside that are excellent.
    This lens does not seem to like the AF.C mode on my K3, and seems to work best in manual and Av modes. As my main use will be low light and night photography this works well for me.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Purchased to replace damaged lens.

    By DC Cebula

    from Newark, DE

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

      This is my second Pentax DA 50-135mm Pentax lens. I purchased it because I loved the first one so well. The first one was destroyed when the retaining clip on my dual camera harness failed and the my K3 with the 50-135mm lens attached took a tumble to the floor. It landed on the lens hood, which snapped off destroying the threads not only on the hood but the lens as well. Something inside was damaged during the fall as well and the lens could no longer focus in either auto or manual mode. I purchased the original because it was becoming increasingly difficult to control the weight of my Sigma 70-200mm lens. I do not shoot with a monopod as I need the ability to change camera/lenses on a moments notice when covering sports, dances, concerts, etc. By using a dual camera strap I can carry 2 cameras and have a much wider lens range. Depending on lenses used, this can range in various combinations from 10mm to 300mm. This Pentax lens was a great replacement for the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 I had been using. I purchased it to shoot indoor sports and other events. Though not as fast focusing as the Sigma, this Pentax's focus system is very accurate and its lighter weight make it ideal for me. No matter how fast a focusing system, if you can't maneuver the lens into position and stabilize it to capture the sports image in a timely manner, focusing speed is third on the list of my priorities. For me, the Pentax 50-135mm lens is lighter, easier to maneuver, and easier to stabilize than the Sigma. The Pentax's focusing is just about as fast and is more accurate than the Sigma.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Great purchase

      By Patrick

      from Washington

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Photography
        • Sports/Action

        Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

        I have taken pictures that I normally would have had to have used a tripod.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (10 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        After 41 years of Pentax use, this is my absolute favorite

        By volosong

        from Palmdale, CA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

          I've been a Pentax user, exclusively, since 1976. I own a lot of Pentax lenses, and a few third-party K-mount lenses. Of all of them, including the legendary FA Limiteds and the A50 1:1.2, the DA* 50-135 is my absolute favorite lens. The best pictures I have taken have been with this lens.However! The SDM auto-focus quit...twice! I paid to have it fixed the first time. Several years later, it quit again. No more. It is having a firmware hack installed which will disable the SDM and autofocus with the screw drive only. It has been said that the screew drive on this paricular lens is just as fast, if not slightly faster, than SDM. Just a little more noise. I can live with that to be able to use one of the best lenses Pentax has ever made in this focal length.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens

          By Bill

          from NJ

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fast / accurate auto-focus

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Sports/Action

            Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

            This is a relatively fast lens, I believe weather resistant (although I haven't confirmed this myself). Nice for portraits, and a good general purpose lens.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Zoom that rivals primes

            By GeneV

            from Albuquerque, NM

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

              I'm normally a prime shooter, but this can make me leave more of them at home. The construction is first rate, including water resistance and that intangible quality of the shot is there. It is terrific as a portrait lens, and it is long enough to catch some action shots.

              I love the silent focus (which is less intrusive that some of my best primes), and SDM problems have supposedly been resolved. The quick shift focus is also a big plus, since I sometimes like to fine tune the point of focus.

              I wish I had picked this lens up long ago.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                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

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                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Love it!

                By Dj

                from Md

                Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                Awesome lens!

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                (5 of 5 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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                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.

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                • No

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                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                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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                (2 of 5 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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                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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                (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great lens

                By Ronen

                from Isreal

                About Me Photography Student

                Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                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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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

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

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                  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

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                  (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  DA* 50-135

                  By krendel154

                  from Texas

                  Verified Buyer

                  Comments about smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                  Great lens. Just pray for SDM :)

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                  (3 of 6 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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                    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

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                    (3 of 3 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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                    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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                    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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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    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 smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM Lens:

                    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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