Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Sample Images

Here're some quick'n dirty sample images taken with the K10D and RAW-converted via ACR 3.7.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE (=several megabytes) which requires quite some bandwidth for downloading so please don't waste the limited resources here.

Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 55.0mm
Exposure Data: f/5.6 @ 1/400s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 75.0mm
Exposure Data: f/2.8 @ 1/1600s
Size 3872x2592
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/5.6 @ 1/500s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 58.0mm
Exposure Data: f/5.6 @ 1/400s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/7.1 @ 1/400s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 85.0mm
Exposure Data: f/2.8 @ 1/800s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 75.0mm
Exposure Data: f/2.8 @ 1/640s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 103.0mm
Exposure Data: f/2.8 @ 1/400s
Size 3872x2592

Verdict

The Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM is a high quality medium tele zoom lens but just like its Tokina cousin it is not without flaws. The resolution figures are generally very good to excellent except a drop in border quality at wide-open aperture towards the long end of the zoom range. Based on some real world shots it seem as if it is getting somewhat softer at very close focus distances but then it's not a dedicated macro lens anyway. The level of distortions is about average for a lens in this class. Typical for most APS-C lenses the vignetting is a bit higher than desirable at max. aperture but it is not a real issue beyond. Lateral CAs can be a visible in some scenes when using the extreme ends of the zoom range. 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.

Despite the comparatively large aperture the lens is still pretty compact and relatively light-weight and fortunately Pentax managed to do this without sacrificing build quality which is on a very high level. Regarding its weather sealing the lens is also a natural match for the Pentax K10D. A major new feature from a Pentax perspective is naturally the new Supersonic Dynamic AF Motor (SDM). It provides relatively fast, near-silent AF operations - a welcome upgrade to the screw-driven AF. However, don't expect this specific lens to be a AF speed daemon. Regarding its relatively moderate price tag of around 800U$/€ the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED [IF] is a quite sound offer.

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