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12-03-2010, 09:26 AM   #1
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Request: Comparison between DA 18-135mm and DA 17-70mm

Just throwing this out there for anyone who has both of these (realize not many have the 18-135 yet). I'm really interested in selling the 17-70 to buy the 18-135, IF the IQ is closely comparable (stopped down...looking for mostly landscape use).

So, if anyone has both, I'd love to see any comparison shots that demonstrate sharpness between the lenses (they don't have to be boring test shots, I'll take real-world pics too!)

Anyway, if anyone gets around to this, I think some on here would like to see it! Thanks!

12-03-2010, 06:51 PM   #2
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I don't have both, but here's a simple proof:

The 18-135mm is better than the kit lens but worse than the DA* 50-135mm.
The 17-70mm is better than the kit lens but worse than the DA* 16-50mm and 50-135mm.

Therefore, both the 17-70mm and 18-135mm are better than the kit lens and worse than the DA*, which makes them comparable

I'm sure you've already read our review: SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm Review | Pentax 18-135mm | PentaxForums.com

In a nutshell, the IQ is pretty good, but nothing spectacular considering it covers such a wide zoom range. Stopped down, it's just fine- check those sample photos in the dropdown.

Adam
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12-03-2010, 06:58 PM   #3
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Definitely take a look at these comparisons, especially this one (linked through anchor): SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm Review | Pentax 18-135mm | PentaxForums.com

The new zoom flattens the kit lens in performance at 18mm. Furthermore, we've actually that the new zoom has its worst resolution around 85mm for some reason (also the most vignetting there)

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12-03-2010, 09:09 PM   #4
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Thanks Adam,

One thing though: I'm not convinced the 17-70 is worse than the 16-50, which would mess the tidy comparison up a little bit. I've already read your review (great job, btw), but I'm still not sure. I might be better off just selling the 17-70 to pay for part of a 50-135!

12-04-2010, 03:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
I'm not convinced the 17-70 is worse than the 16-50
Me neither. After owning both lenses, the 17-70 isn't worse in IQ than the 16-50. At least my copies, in my experience
12-04-2010, 06:12 AM   #6
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Before I make the leap to the 18-125, I'm wondering if it's better or comparable to the sigma 18-125 (the older, non HSM 3.5-5.6 model) I have.

It is a rather large chunck of change...
12-04-2010, 12:22 PM   #7
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I'd like to know if the old DA 16-45 is better or worse than the new 18-135 in the 18-45mm range. Anyone have experience with both lenses yet?
12-04-2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
Me neither. After owning both lenses, the 17-70 isn't worse in IQ than the 16-50. At least my copies, in my experience
With tested center MTF values up over 2,200 for both of them at most shared FL and aperture values, they are both excellent to the point that I could see how it might be hard to say one is a clear winner. They are both darn good. Each has other advantages, as well.

12-04-2010, 01:13 PM   #9
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IQ aside, the 18-135 doesn't have SDM. Which makes it the winner in my book.
12-04-2010, 01:38 PM   #10
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Actually, I find the AF on the 17-70 quite fast, but I'm guessing that's the short focus throw. I've had no issues with SDM either.

I've waited for quite awhile for a moderate superzoom with WR and very good resolution. The 18-135 is everything I want, I just want to make sure the resolution rivals the 17-70 for landscapes in the range around F8. If so, it's a no-brainer for me. Until I have some comparison on this, I'll sit on my hands!
12-04-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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I use the DA17-70 and personally find it excellent, I've been following the development of the 18-135 with interest, mainly due to the WR but having read the review, which I didn't think was particularly positive considering its written by a pentax fan, I can't imagine it's as good as the 17-70. I can't see as it justifies spending more cash than the 17-70. Just my initial thoughts

Simon
12-04-2010, 03:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
Actually, I find the AF on the 17-70 quite fast, but I'm guessing that's the short focus throw. I've had no issues with SDM either.

I've waited for quite awhile for a moderate superzoom with WR and very good resolution. The 18-135 is everything I want, I just want to make sure the resolution rivals the 17-70 for landscapes in the range around F8. If so, it's a no-brainer for me. Until I have some comparison on this, I'll sit on my hands!
I also own the 17-70, and I will be very surprised if the 7x lens performs like this excellent 4x which sells for around the same price. I just don't see them as filling the same niche.
12-05-2010, 05:54 PM   #13
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Interestedly following the thread. I sold my 16-45 for a 15mm, but I am really missing a zoom. I have the 18-55mm WR, but it isn't good enough below F6.3-7.1 for my taste, and the colour and contrast are not a patch on the 16-45.

On the table for me are all three: 17-70, 18-135, 16-50.
Each have their pros and cons.
I just wish that the 18-135 had been a 16-85 like another brand - imagine that range, sealed....

I'm scared 18mm will not be wide enough for me. Then again, I shot 28-200mm for a long while on film, so maybe.
12-05-2010, 07:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonkit Quote
I use the DA17-70 and personally find it excellent, I've been following the development of the 18-135 with interest, mainly due to the WR but having read the review, which I didn't think was particularly positive considering its written by a pentax fan, I can't imagine it's as good as the 17-70. I can't see as it justifies spending more cash than the 17-70. Just my initial thoughts

Simon
Interesting. The website in your link has some fairly wonderful photos - kudos.
Do you find you use the 17-70 for a fair bit of your work, or do you use a variety of lenses?
I ask, since my serious (e.g. not family) photography is landscape based.

I'm also curious about the price, since the 17-70 is priced well above the 18-135mm here in Canada, and the 16-50 even more so.

cheers.
12-05-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
Interestedly following the thread. I sold my 16-45 for a 15mm, but I am really missing a zoom. I have the 18-55mm WR, but it isn't good enough below F6.3-7.1 for my taste, and the colour and contrast are not a patch on the 16-45.

On the table for me are all three: 17-70, 18-135, 16-50.
Each have their pros and cons.
I just wish that the 18-135 had been a 16-85 like another brand - imagine that range, sealed....

I'm scared 18mm will not be wide enough for me. Then again, I shot 28-200mm for a long while on film, so maybe.
You can always get a 12-24. That's a wonderful landscape lens! Sorry for attributing to your LBA..
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