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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:01 am 
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Please find the list of my :arrow: Pentax K10D Related User Reviews.
---





Bonjour,

After 2 months of wait, the Pentax DA* 50-135mm f2.8 ED (IF) SDM was finally delivered today :)

First impression: we are dealing with truly pro gear. Solid, heavy, impressive.

On the box, the following disclaimer
Quote:
When this lens is mounted on an *ist D series, K100D, or K110D camera,
autofocus is driven by the camera motor, not the supersonic motor in the lens.

It seems good news for *ist D series, K100D and K110D owners.

I plan to do some tests today and to post a user review soon. Stay tuned :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:48 am 
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Hi Rei, we look forward to hearing what you think!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Bonsoir,

This Saturday was sunny, so I could test my new lens.
  1. First hands-on
  2. DA* 50-135mm versus DA 50-200mm
  3. Aperture test
  4. More pictures
  5. Pros and cons and wrap-up

Please note that the pictures shown are un-retouched.
Here we go :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: First hands-on
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:47 pm 
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1- First hands-on

The SMC DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM is an impressive piece of manufacturing. It's heavy, dense, solid.

What a name! This lens is packed with so much technology!
    SMC = super multi coating
    ED = Extra-low Dispersion
    IF = Internal Focus
    SDM = Supersonic Direct-drive Motor

The lens comes with a rear cap, a front cap (of a new and better kind, with inner handling), a hood and a soft case.

A first ring is for zooming, the second for manual focus. Both rings are large and comfortable.

Due to its heavyness, the 50-135 requires great care when fixing and unfixing it to the K10D. That's not easy, since the fixed part between the two ring is not very large. The usual orange dot is here.

When fixed, the center of gravity is no longer on the K10D, but on the lens.

One big feature is that the lens moves inside and stays with the same dimensions outside. No more endless zoom as before!

A dedicated button switches the auto-focus on and off and is logically connected with the AF selector on the K10D (continuous, single, off). Once again, Pentax ergonomics are great.

SDM motor is quiet and fast. Actually so quiet that I strongly recommend to set the bip on for focus, through MENU > Preferences > Sound > Focus.

A small windows gives the distance in metric and imperial units.

All this comes at a price. The weight of the K10D and the 50-135mm combined reaches 1,5 kg / 3,3 lb. Because the center of gravity is on the lens, operating the camera with one hand is not that easy. You may use both hands or, better, you may require the BG2 grip, pushing the weight up to 2 kg / 4,4 lb! Another consequence is the need of a stronger bag.

Needless to remind that K10D firmware needs to be updated to 1.30.

Enough words: to the pictures now :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:14 pm 
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2- DA* 50-135mm versus DA 50-200mm

All pictures were taken in green mode and are un-processed.

At 50mm - DA 1/2000 f9,5
Image

At 50mm - DA* 1/250 f6,7
Image

At 135mm - DA 1/2000 f11
Image
At 135mm - DA* 1/350 f5,6
Image

At 200mm - DA 1/1500 f11
Image
At 200mm - DA* - No picture, and that's a pity.

Full pictures could be found at my albums : DA* 50-135mm album and DA* 50-135mm album.

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Aperture test
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:25 pm 
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3- Aperture test

I performed this test to check vignetting. See by yourself!

1:4000 f2,8 was corrected to f3,5 by the K10D. Sorry.

1:4000 f3,5
Image

1:3000 f4
Image

1:2000 f4,5
Image

1:1500 f5,6
Image

1:1000 f6,7
Image

1:750 f8
Image

1:500 f9,5
Image

1:350 f11
Image

1:250 f13
Image

1:180 f16
Image

1:125 f19
Image

1:125 f22
Image

Full pictures could be found at my DA* 50-135mm album.

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: More pictures
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:35 pm 
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4- More pictures

Despite the test, I managed to take some more pleasant pictures.

Apertures like f2,8 or f3,5 coumd be very tricky since they imply a very selective focusing. Check carefully that the AF is selecting the right zone.

1/4000 f3,5 ISO 200
Image

Actually, I was looking for the big group of flowers, not the small one at front left. The AF decided otherwise.
1/1500 f2,8 ISO 200
Image

So I tried again.
1/90 f19 ISO 400
Image

EDIT Please find a better result :arrow: here :!:


But here is were the unique combination of K10D, shake reduction and f2,8 aperture, really shines: inside the cathedral of Chartres with the beautifull stained glasses.

1/8 f2,8 ISO 1600
Image

1/45 f2,8 ISO 400
Image

And outside also
1/2000 f9,5 ISO 1600, 135mm
Image

Full pictures could be found at my DA* 50-135mm album.

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:25 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:01 pm 
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5- Pros and cons and wrap-up

Pros
  • Build high quality
  • Silent and fast AF
  • Lens and image quality
  • In-door versatibilty
Cons
  • Some vignetting
  • Weight and size
  • Specific handling of the K10D + 50-135mm
Wrap-up
  • 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 :).
  • During my test today, I haven't felt the limitation to 135mm and haven't missed the extra zoom provided by the DA 50-200mm.
  • Most important, image quality is here and I had a lot of fun.

I'm confident Gordon and his team are going to test vignetting, chromatic aberration and many more technical parameters, so CameraLabs readers will get a full picture of this new lens :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:32 pm 
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Hi Rei, great work, thanks!

Just one question though - in your section 2, the outdoor shots taken with the DA* are consistently brighter than the ones taken with the DA. Did you match the exposures? It would be great if you could take photos with both lenses using identical exposures and also show us 100% crops taken from the middle and corners for comparison...

Thanks!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:46 am 
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Hi Gordon,

Quote:
Just one question though - in your section 2, the outdoor shots taken with the DA* are consistently brighter than the ones taken with the DA.


I noticed that. Actually, I was really concentrated on taking care of the lenses (especially, the new and heavy one) and the tripod, so I let the K10D works on green mode.

Thanks for the scientific protocol :) : I'll try and shoot the same picture with identical exposure and publish 100% crops as you mentionned.

Stay tuned :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject: New test
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:21 pm 
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All the pictures are available at my dedicated album DA* 50-135 vs. DA 50-200.

The pictures were shot on JPEF and no picture was post-processed. The crops are 600x600.

EDIT Some pictures may suffer blurring. Please see the :arrow: explanation.


Picture

left: DA 1/60 f6,7 ISO 200 50mm - right: DA* 1/60 f6,7 ISO 400 50mm
Image - Image


Center Crop

left: center DA 1/60 f6,7 ISO 200 50mm - right: center DA* 1/60 f6,7 ISO 400 50mm
Image - Image


Top Right Crop

left: top right DA 1/60 f6,7 ISO 200 50mm - right: top right DA* 1/60 f6,7 ISO 200 50mm

Image - Image



Picture 2

left: DA 1/60 f6,7 ISO 400 135mm - right: DA* 1/45 f6,7 ISO 400 135mm

Image - Image


Center Crop

left: center DA 1/60 f6,7 ISO 400 135mm - right: center DA* 1/45 f6,7 ISO 400 135mm

Image - Image


Top Left Crop

left: top left DA 1/60 f6,7 ISO 400 135mm - right: top left DA* 1/45 f6,7 ISO 400 135mm

Image - Image

:arrow: The DA* lens provides superior quality: less chromatic aberration and crispier images.

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:29 pm 
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Same idea, with DA at left and DA* at right.

The pictures were shot on JPEF and no picture was post-processed. The crops are 600x600.


50mm

left: DA 1/350 f5,6 ISO 200 50mm - right: DA* 1/350 f5,6 ISO 50mm

Image - Image

Image - Image


135mm

left: DA 1/350 f5,6 ISO 200 135mm - right: DA* 1/350 f5,6 ISO 135mm

Image - Image

Image - Image

All the pictures are available at my dedicated album DA* 50-135 vs. DA 50-200.

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:33 pm 
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Remember the AF problem I had? I've tried again. With aperture set at f2,8, focus should be perfect.

I put my K10D on a tripod and then, I switch the AF on SEL mode. I picked the AF spot first on the yellow flower, then on the red one! The distance between both flowers is lens than 10cm / 4 inches.

Image

Image

It works :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:41 pm 
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Hello rei_vilo! Very good comparison of both lenses.
But the "Center Crop left: center DA 1/60 f6,7 ISO 400 135mm" in your last-but-one post to me clearly shows signs of shake there is some doubling of a twig that is not inferior sharpness but double exposure from a slight movement of the cam. So the other crops from this pic should also suffer in this comparison.

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:03 pm 
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Bonsoir tombomba,

You're right. Magnifying the pictures at 200x, the pictures you mention look blurred :? . I'm very sorry: once again, I didn't wait enough for the shake reduction synchronization :oops: .

Since it is now Sunday evening :( , the 3rd round of tests (if any) could not start till next week-end!

However, the message is pretty clear with the other series. DA* lens provides superior quality.

I hope Gordon and his technical experts could test this lens in their laboratory :D .

Have a nice week :)

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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