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01-11-2011, 10:01 PM   #1
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If you had to pick one lens: DA* 16-50 or DA WR 18-135?

Ok well as I posted about before I ordered a DA* 16-50 from Abe's of Maine and the motor squeaks so I am sending it back. I decided to go for the 18-135 DC WR instead, no QC issues thus far and sounds like a great focuser, but then saw that I could order a DA* 16-50 with a 7 year warranty for only $35 extra. If the SDM breaks down on me every 6 months it isn't worth it anyways just for the hassle, but if SDM failure isn't likely to just continually happen to me then I am really tempted.

SO: I will have just one lens as my go-to fly fishing lens. Which is more versatile? The 16-50 offers extra width for those wide angle shots, is faster for morning and evening shots, and is supposedly better sealed (though I have never heard of a WR lens having issues with water or sand in it) The 18-135 has the added tele reach and is lighter/more compact though.

Which would you choose? I have heard of people with failure after failure of SDM but can't get a sense of of this is common or if it is recent as much as it is outdated......

some help would be really appreciated! -LE

01-11-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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The 16-50mm
01-11-2011, 10:30 PM   #3
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There will be no way of knowing whether SDM issues will affect your copy, but if you get a good one - or you take out the comprehensive insurance, the DA* 16-50 is the way to go.

Just a personal preference - the 16-50's image quality is just outstanding.
01-11-2011, 10:52 PM   #4
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Da* 16-50

I have suffered through the SDM failure(s), yet still choose the quality of the results from the DA* 16-50.

01-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #5
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Da*16-50

I think the advantages of the IQ and fast aperture of the DA* outweigh the longer reach of the other lens.
01-12-2011, 12:15 AM   #6
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As above.

DA*16-50 with insurance. You can always pick up an older lense on the cheap to get you by if really necessary.
01-12-2011, 12:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
DA*16-50 with insurance. You can always pick up an older lense on the cheap to get you by if really necessary.
Agreed - any constant f/4 Pentax zoom is pretty good, in my experience.
01-12-2011, 01:58 AM   #8
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I'd strongly recommend looking into the the Tamron 17-50 over the DA*16-50. Half the price, twice the IQ and three times more warranty. And best of all never any possibility of an SDM failure. Those be the facts!

01-12-2011, 02:29 AM   #9
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DA*16-50 is my choice (though I would more likely buy a Tamron 17-50/2.8 since its cheaper and very close performance).

The 18-135 does have better versatility in terms of reach. You'd need to see if you need that reach in the photography you do when fly fishing.
Frankly, imho, its quite an expensive 'kit lens'
01-12-2011, 02:52 AM   #10
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great help, thank you all! After some more thinking on the pricing of these lenses......what about the 18-250? I was thinking the 10-17 and the 18-250 would make one hell of a little travel combo.... any thoughts? I guess my one drawback would be low-light shooting since the 18-250 is pretty slow? (K-7 by the way) I had been really attached to WR but if I could just setup a sleeve or something to protect my lenses + the sealed body then maybe I would be safe for nasty conditions?

Thanks!
01-12-2011, 02:41 PM   #11
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I'll be the voice of dissent and propose the 18-135 for the purpose of fly fishing. If I were making my living shooting weddings or the like, I'd probably go for the DA*, but for an outdoor lens at half the price, the 18-135 is pretty attractive.
01-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #12
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16-50
01-12-2011, 03:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
great help, thank you all! After some more thinking on the pricing of these lenses......what about the 18-250? I was thinking the 10-17 and the 18-250 would make one hell of a little travel combo.... any thoughts?


I have the 18-250 and the 10-17 and the 16-50. I either travel with the 10-17 and 18-250 or the 16-50 and the 55-300. I think there is a place for all 4 lenses. Not to confuse you more, but any of the combos you have mentioned would work well. I would guess you should consider how often you want to change lenses.
I too was considering the 18-135 over the 18-250 but decided I would rather have the extra range when I wanted a single travel lens vs the WR.
FWIW, overall the 16-50 is,day in and day out, my most used lens.
01-12-2011, 03:39 PM   #14
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18-135 since it has a longer reach, doesn't have AF falling out, is smaller and lighter...
01-12-2011, 04:54 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
but if I could just setup a sleeve or something to protect my lenses + the sealed body then maybe I would be safe for nasty conditions?
That could be an interesting experiment.
I`ll stick with 16-50 and K7 combo for adverse conditions.
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