Pentax FA 135/2,8 vs Pentax DA* 50-135/2,8 comparison: 135mm

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cport Forum Member • Posts: 77
Pentax FA 135/2,8 vs Pentax DA* 50-135/2,8 comparison: 135mm


I am a long-term Pentax FA 135/2,8 user. This lens is light-weight, unobtrusive and provides nice "take-it-everywhere" option. Apart from that, this lens is very very rare (There have been no offers on Ebay for months.), provides very welcome old-lens feeling with AF capabilities.

But as my kids are growing, I tend to prefer zooms over fixed focal lenght lenses. Recently I have bought a used Pentax DA* 50-135/2,8, which is considered optically simply perfect. So I was thinking of selling my old friend (FA 135/2,8), but I was curious how "bad" is the older lens. I tried to find a comparison of these two lenses at 135mm focal lenght, but I found nothing. That was the main reason why I have decided to write these lines. I am not a pixel-peeper, so I spent only a little time with this comparison.

My conclusions are:
- in terms of sharpness (F 2,8 or F11) there is no significant difference between these two lenses (both at infinity and for close-up photos).

- there is no significant difference in the field of view between these two lenses at infinity, there is a little difference for close-ups.

- definitely, DA* lens is more controlled in terms of fringing and abberations - which is often welcome, but can make you difference in bokeh. (Later I should add some portraits here.) FA 135/2,8 may look like soft when shooting objects at 5-10m distance.

- the major advantage of FA 135/2,8 is its weight, size and min. focus distance (70mm).

- I will not sell any of these lenses.

 cport's gear list:cport's gear list
Pentax KP Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax smc DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye Pentax 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE +3 more
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