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01-05-2011, 07:16 PM   #16
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Have you considered Sigma 50-150 HSM II f2.8 as an alternative? I am eyeing the Sigma myself due to the stupidly high local price of DA* 50-135, but still undecided because I've heard numerous report of BF/FF problem and AF issue with K-5...

01-05-2011, 07:41 PM   #17
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50-135 vs. 18-135

Hi,

I have owned both lenses (50-135 in past, currently using 18-135), and both were/are outstanding. For a travel lens, the 18-135 is great (and I was pleasantly surprised with the image quality). The 50-135 is a great lens, but heavier than I wanted and definitely lacking the versatility of the 18-135.
01-06-2011, 01:09 AM   #18
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@elpolodiablo - Nope. It doesn't seem to have weather sealing and it's not far off pricing from the 50-135 for where I'm at.

@bushwhacker09 - Would you say the 50-135 has IQ that's better by enough to justify the extra cost over the 18-135?
01-06-2011, 05:31 AM   #19
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The 50-135 is prime sharp throughout most of its range. It does get a little soft with some vignetting at 135mm and f2.8, but even there it is really strong. The 18-135 is a fast focusing, super-zoom with image quality that is better than the kit lens, but lags behind the 50-135 significantly.

As to what value you put on sharpness/IQ, only you can say. I periodically consider super zooms, but to this point I have not purchased one, precisely because I am not willing to deal with the drop in image quality you get when you use one.

01-06-2011, 07:02 AM   #20
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The 50-135 takes really great pictures. I hesitated for a long time b.c of the reported SDM issues. I rented the lens first. I found I really liked it. So I bought it and then went ahead and took an extra 3 year warranty. I have had it over a year with no problems and lovely pics.

In fact I was so impressed with the 50-135 that I am seriously considering the 16-50. I just rented this lens last month for a cruise. Not as superb as the 50-135 but still great. If I had not read in these forums about SDM issues i would have put this on my to-buy list without problems. I just got the K5, so lenses are off the budget for now. Good thing. I dont have to think about this lens for a while.
01-06-2011, 09:59 AM   #21
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I really can't say that. Viewed on the computer or looking at prints no bigger than 8x10, I am quite impressed with the cheaper 18-135. I imagine I might miss the 50-135 if I were to shoot mainly indoors, but I bought the 18-135 as a travel lens (and have been thrilled with it).
01-06-2011, 10:52 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by bushwhacker09 Quote
Hi,

I have owned both lenses (50-135 in past, currently using 18-135), and both were/are outstanding. For a travel lens, the 18-135 is great (and I was pleasantly surprised with the image quality). The 50-135 is a great lens, but heavier than I wanted and definitely lacking the versatility of the 18-135.
+1. I love my new 18-135. The versatility for me is outstanding. The problem with the 50-135 besides the SDM issue, extra price and weight is that for me my sweet spot focal range is ~30-100
mm. For all the benefits of the DA* are lost the moment I want to go wider than 50. If you are leisurely shooting and the elements are such that you can make frequent lens changes, then it doesn't matter. However, if the weather is always nice then you really don't need the extra WR of the DA*.

I bought mine for taking pics of the kids at school and play events and travel. The action is constantly moving in and out of the focal range of the 50-135. I have had the 50-200 and the 55-300. I always wanted to go wider. I also needed a faster AF. The 18-135 is wonderfully fast. I am finally capturing some of those elusive moments that the screw drives were missing.

Also, don't dismiss the difference in weight. I rarely use a tripod. The extra weight of the DA* for me will undoubtedly result in more shake at longer FL and reduction in IQ. NB: To get the same focal range versatility of the 18-135 and IQ/extra WR benefits of the 50-135 one also has to have the DA*16-50. Now the weight and price difference really jump up.

As far as image quality, I think it is fantastic. Lens copies are sure to vary as are users' expectations. It has certainly met mine. I don't think I would notice a significant difference in IQ between the two lenses in my photography and more importantly in the format (computer, smaller prints <11x14) I would view the images. Can one find evidence in test shots the difference in IQ? Absolutely. The question is does it matter in your actual images. That is why I don't waste time looking at 100% crops, test images, brick walls.etc.. I try the lens out. I don't think I have ever dismissed a lens due to IQ. It always has to due with usability.

Wow, this is my 500th Post!
01-06-2011, 11:00 AM   #23
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Even though the 50-135mm has vastly superior IQ, the 18-135mm still isn't bad, especially compared to the kit. You can see that here: SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm Review | Pentax 18-135mm | PentaxForums.com

Because of the 18-135mm's faster AF and more convenient zoom range, however, I'd choose it over the 50-135mm. You'll simply use it more!

IMHO, 50-135mm is a shitty zoom range because it's neither a super telephoto nor a wide-angle. Thus, you'll frequently be wanting more reach.


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01-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #24
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Hmmm... manypeople seem to like the 18-135mm lens. Too bad its not available for rental at cameralensrentals.com. If they do I will certainly try it out.

However my neighbour has a Nikon version of similar focal length. I have used it on 2 occasions when he wanted me to take pictures of his daughter at indoor events. It just never worked for me indoors. It probably is good outdoors. I wonder whether anyone has used the Pentax and the Nikon ones...
01-06-2011, 12:47 PM   #25
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Thanks for the input everyone. At this point I'm thinking the 50-135 will be more of my work lens for some of the stuff I'm trying to get into, indoor shooting and my more serious outdoor stuff. Then, at some point, I'll pick up the 18-135 for my more lively outdoor stuff (my hiking frequently turns into running, jumping, climbing) when changing lenses just isn't a good idea and I'm not really that concerned with IQ.

Before I get to that point however, I need to pick up a nice wide angle lens and the K-5. I better get to work! haha

@Adam - Initially that's what I was thinking. Then I started thinking about where the bulk of my shooting is for certain applications and it would actually work really well for me. If I drop below ~60mm I'll want to switch to my primes (where I'll be adding one or two wider focal lenses soon) anyway and I just don't heavily zoom in on things at this point (yet). So it seems like it would be a fitting lens for my needs, and if it isn't then I'll just sell it, haha. Thanks for the input!

It's funny how the more I compare lenses before buying it's less about which out performs the other and more about which suits your needs best. There's no overall winner, just a winner for what you need, lol.
01-06-2011, 01:12 PM   #26
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COMPLETELY different animals...

QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
Hey everyone, I've been planning on snagging the new 18-135mm WR lens this month but I took a peek at the marketplace here and now I'm wondering if I should try to snag a DA* 50-135mm instead.

I'm shooting with a K-X and have the 18-55mm kit lens, the new 35mm f2.4 AL and a 50mm f1.7. Since I bought the 50 and 35, the kit lens has become a paperweight, haha. I need something with a little more reach though, but I'm just not sure which zoom would a better decision. Any thoughts?

If I get the 50-135 I'll plan on getting a nice wide angle lens next to cover the lower end of things. So, it seems the 50-135 would be a better decision? Larger aperture, higher quality glass, better weather sealing... yeah?
The 50-135 is in a whole other LEAGUE, but it doesn't have to cover the wide end, which is more difficult to produce well. The 18-135 covers a HUGE range, but has SEVERE distortion, IMHO, and I just wouldn't buy it.

QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
That would be my choice. While I have seen a few photos from the 18-135 that didn't look too bad, I've seen more that are, IMO, unimpresssive. OTOH, the 50-135 is pretty much universally praised for its IQ. I can't imagine ever parting with mine. The only caveats to that lens are the comparatively slow AF and the possibility of SDM problems. I have not personally had any problems with SDM on any of my three, but others are staunchly against it. I can only imagine getting the 18-135 for my wife, as she hates changing lenses and hasn't ever forgiven me for selling her 18-250.
You're being very polite - most of the images I've seen for the 18-135 are AWFUL from most perspectives, but especially some of the wide angle shots I've seen with any kind of straight line in them...will require a huge amount of PP if it is even possible to correct that. As to be expected in a 26-200 ish lens. Travel zoom, where one lens is important, but not in the same league at all as the DA*s.

Cameron
01-06-2011, 02:31 PM   #27
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Well, it came in today! Very excited and can't wait to really try it out. Really makes the K-X feel like a toy. Can't wait to get the K-5; it'll fit my hands much better.

01-06-2011, 02:41 PM   #28
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Congrats and enjoy! I think you'll love it (the IQ, anyway)
01-06-2011, 02:56 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
+1. I love my new 18-135. The versatility for me is outstanding. The problem with the 50-135 besides the SDM issue, extra price and weight is that for me my sweet spot focal range is ~30-100
mm. For all the benefits of the DA* are lost the moment I want to go wider than 50. If you are leisurely shooting and the elements are such that you can make frequent lens changes, then it doesn't matter. However, if the weather is always nice then you really don't need the extra WR of the DA*.

I bought mine for taking pics of the kids at school and play events and travel. The action is constantly moving in and out of the focal range of the 50-135. I have had the 50-200 and the 55-300. I always wanted to go wider. I also needed a faster AF. The 18-135 is wonderfully fast. I am finally capturing some of those elusive moments that the screw drives were missing.

Also, don't dismiss the difference in weight. I rarely use a tripod. The extra weight of the DA* for me will undoubtedly result in more shake at longer FL and reduction in IQ. NB: To get the same focal range versatility of the 18-135 and IQ/extra WR benefits of the 50-135 one also has to have the DA*16-50. Now the weight and price difference really jump up.

As far as image quality, I think it is fantastic. Lens copies are sure to vary as are users' expectations. It has certainly met mine. I don't think I would notice a significant difference in IQ between the two lenses in my photography and more importantly in the format (computer, smaller prints <11x14) I would view the images. Can one find evidence in test shots the difference in IQ? Absolutely. The question is does it matter in your actual images. That is why I don't waste time looking at 100% crops, test images, brick walls.etc.. I try the lens out. I don't think I have ever dismissed a lens due to IQ. It always has to due with usability.

Wow, this is my 500th Post!
One thing to note is that heavier lenses/camera body will tend to decrease camera shake, not increase it. I have no difficulty with camera shake when shooting with 50-135.
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