Working When Wet: the 18-135mm

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 4, 2013

Photography is the art of capturing moments.  For me, most moments are unanticipated, let alone planned.  Being ready is paramount to capturing them.  As I ready to encounter them during my explorations, one lens returns to my camera more often than not, the Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR.

Mounted to my K-5, it has traveled from the Pacific Northwest to the Canary Islands. It has been backpacking, in my canoe gearbag, and in a loosely closed dry bag, strapped to the deck of my kayak, always at the ready. The lens has a good zoom range and is fast enough for most situations. It also has a reasonable macro capability. The quick shift feature has been wonderful for fine adjustment, particularly for macro shots. However, I bought it because, when paired with the K-5, it can take a splash. Many of my photos are shot from a paddled watercraft of one variety or another, or on hikes in rainforests. Living in the Pacific Northwest, where moisture is omnipresent, weather sealing is a must.

Sky photos with the wide end of this lens turn out beautifully.  (18mm, F/16, 1/400s, ISO 200)
The lens' macro capability is often overlooked in reviews.  (135mm, F/16, 1/125s, ISO 160)
Weather sealing has been a huge bonus, enriching my enjoyment of paddling, particularly on rainy days, like this one. (68mm, F/4.5, 1/80s, ISO 200)

Click any photo above to browse through later versions

Since purchasing my Pentax K-5, it goes everywhere with me.  I don't always have room or the desire to bring my other lenses.  Changing lenses while paddling or in the rain, begs for an accident.  I need a lens, which performs well under a variety of conditions, with a variety of capabilities.  The Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR delivers this performance and enhances my enjoyment of photography.

- Harry_the_Wombat

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