Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM

Last updated (28 June’10):
– Review by Ephotozine

Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM features 50-135mm at focal length with maximum aperture of F/2.8. The lens construction has 18 elements in 14 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 31.5 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 39.6 inches and has a filter size of 67mm. The Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM lens weighs 1.5 pounds and it measures 3 inches in diameter and 5 inches long.

Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM Reviews

Ephotozine reviews the Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM and writes;
“As one of the first in Pentax’s new lens line-up, this optic is impressive. OK, it’s not a cheap item, and with no need for in-lens stabilisation you might wonder at the price, but you do get what you pay for and this lens is both well built and specked and produces excellent results. “
rating: N/A

Photozone reviews the Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM and writes;
“The bokeh, the out-of-focus blur, is generally smooth and buttery although it can get a bit nervous at very close focus distances in some situations. The behavior in contra light is generally very decent. Naturally you can produce some ghostings and veiling glare but the Pentax lens seems better than average here.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM User Reviews

Superb zoom for the K20D | Rating: ★★★★★
“Optically I was a bit worried at fist due to the first copy being bad and I gave the 2nd copy a real workout. On test targets it was obvious the lens is very sharp, a tad sharper than my 70mm limited with the exception of 135mm F2.8, it’s ok in the center but soft corners that sharpen up at F4, at F5.6 to F11 this lens really shines at all focal lengths. I have not noticed too much bad Ca’s or any purpling with my 2nd copy either. “ – by Brendan Bhagan

Excellent so far | Rating: ★★★★☆
“So far this is a much better lens. The SDM motor is great. Much faster and quieter than the motor in the SIgma (not HSM) I spent over $900 for the Sigma lens a few years ago. There is no detectible back or front focus as I have experienced with my Sigma lenses on my K10D. “ – by Francis E. Buckley

Exceptional Zoom Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“I’ve used Canon L glass, the excellent Tamron SP zooms, and Nikkor zooms, and this one whips ’em all. I’ve dug out old slides and eyeballed ’em with a loupe just to make sure my memory is serving me well. This lens produces excellent color saturation, excellent contrast, and exceptional sharpness. “ – by J. S. White

Excellent telephoto zoom lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“On a lighter note, I even tested the lens attaching my inexpensive play with 2X Promaster tele-converter, and the picture quality remained surprisingly good. The lens was so quiet and smooth that, in the beginning, I had to check the lens to see if it was actually working even though I could see it focusing through the viewfinder. For the money (I paid $750) you won’t find a better lens.” – by Nature Man

DA* 50-135mm, Excellent but not for all. | Rating: ★★★★★
“It is sharp as my macro lens even when it is set to f/5.6 and my 50-135mm is wide open (even more contrasty too!). If you stop it down it gets even MORE sharp, although there isn’t enough head room because f/2.8 is already near perfectly sharp.” – by Xiaochun Yu Liu

This lens + K20D = Match made in heaven! | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens simply takes awesome photographs. Focus is razor sharp, even at the wider apertures, and your subjects just POP relative to the background. Build quality is superb; this is some heavy glass. The petal lens hood is well made and locks onto the lens both directions, bayonet style. A portion of it snaps out so you can easily access your circular polarizer. “ – by Writeb

An Extraordinary Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“At 50mm it may be just a slight bit less sharp than the 40mm f/2.8 limited but at the same settings it’s a slight bit sharper than the 50mm f/1.4 FA lens. The photos from this lens are amazing. It is well worth the money. “ – by bisjack

Flawless! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I thought my K20D was only so-so until I got this lens, now any mediocre images I get are my fault (but still crisp). Focus quick & quiet, depth of field entirely under my control if I use aperture priority. It seems heavy when I’m carrying it, but balances nicely in the hands when shooting.” – by M. Kerezman

A SUPERB LENS | Rating: ★★★★★
“This review is for both 16-50mm and 50-135mm DA*lenses. I have both of them and they are fantastic! If you only have enough money to get one for now, I would suggest getting the 50-135mm first. This lens is so sharp you couldn’t believe it. Yes they are expensive, but they are worth the money.” – by H. Y. Nguyen

Great Outdoor Lens! | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Outdoors, this lens is at its best. Sharpness is impressive at any focal length, including the extremes. Even at F2.8, overall sharpness is surprisingly good. I’ve never seen a lens that gives such great results wide open. Of course, stopping down to F4 makes things even better. “ – by Tiffany Pincombe

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Features & Specifications

Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM Specifications

Designed for exclusive use with Pentax digital SLR cameras, the Pentax DA series 50-135mm telephoto zoom lens makes it easy to capture close-in sports shots or intimate wildlife photography. The lens is distinguished by its aspherical elements, special optical-glass elements, and original glass coatings, which help produce a high contrast, unmatched clarity, and edge-to-edge sharpness. The lens also boasts a tightly sealed weather- and dust-resistant housing that stands up to rainy or dusty conditions. And users will love the new SDM system, which produces smoother, quieter autofocusing using a built-in supersonic motor. Other details include a Pentax-original Quick-Shift Focus System that switches instantly to manual-focus operation, a Pentax SP coating that protects the exposed lens elements, and a focal length equivalent to 76.5-207mm in the 35mm format.


* Lens mount: Pentax KAF2
* Lens construction: 18 elements in 14 groups
* Angle of view: 31.5 to 11.9 degrees (when used with Pentax digital SLR camera body)
* Aperture control: Automatic
* Minimum aperture: F22
* Metering system: TTL open-aperture metering
* Minimum focusing distance: 1 meter
* Filter size: 67mm
* Maximum magnification: 0.17x
* Dimensions: 3 inches in diameter and 5.4 inches long
* Weight: 24.2 ounces (without hood)

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