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04-21-2011, 11:53 PM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
I've played with another RAW files from K-r - situation is better at f11 in telerange.
The huge difference in results (but wide-angle is good in any cases) means POOR QC and assembly defects.

It's a pity.
But you were one of the first to state the lens was crap

Glad to see you have realized that there might be sample variations.

Again. People trust PZ and Pentax to hard. PZ may have tested a bad sample, that Pentax Hamburg thinks is within "factory specs".

04-23-2011, 03:10 AM   #152
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So it's official: Pentax is trying to pander to lomographers, now.
04-23-2011, 07:47 AM   #153
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As to the price on this lens, rightly or wrongly, it seems to be consistent with what Pentax has done with several lenses lately. The DA* 55mm/1.4 tests on PZ to be almost identical in performance to the FA 50/1.4 This is a FL that Pentax and others have designed and sold for half a century. It (not at F1.4) was the kit lens of the 20th century. However, the new product with SDM and WR is almost double the price of the old and bumps it up into the $600 range.

Let's say that Pentax actually tried to make money on the kit lens (I'm not sure if they do or don't right now) rather than packaging it for next to nothing with a new body. They make it WR (available already) and add their newest replacement for SDM. What does it end up selling for? Probably $300-$400 even at volume? Now require a redesign to make the long end 2.5 times as long. I'm not sure that a longer, WR, silent, kit zoom isn't what we are paying for these days at $500.
04-23-2011, 02:59 PM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
As to the price on this lens, rightly or wrongly, it seems to be consistent with what Pentax has done with several lenses lately. The DA* 55mm/1.4 tests on PZ to be almost identical in performance to the FA 50/1.4 This is a FL that Pentax and others have designed and sold for half a century. It (not at F1.4) was the kit lens of the 20th century. However, the new product with SDM and WR is almost double the price of the old and bumps it up into the $600 range.
I don't think the comparison is apt at all. The DA* 55 f/1.4 is a nice lens when you look at the competition. On the other hand, the truly poor results of 18-135 are rightfully causing controversy. You may be right about 55's MTF numbers, but the marginal improvement apparently required a much more complicated design. Take a look at the optical formulas of the DA* and the latest Nikon 50mm lens. There is more glass, and more expensive glass in the 55 than in the old Pentax 50. Also, based on some shots I've taken with the Pentax 50 f/1.4, Sigma 50 f/1.4 and DA* 55, the 55 is actually brighter in terms of the t-stop. With marginal improvements over already good lenses, you expect to pay disproportionate amount of money. DA 18-135 on the other hand is *not* an improvement (optically) in any way over any other competing lens.

EDIT: To summarize, you're comparing a lens that is optically a marginal improvement to a lens that is optically a significant disappointment.

04-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote

EDIT: To summarize, you're comparing a lens that is optically a marginal improvement to a lens that is optically a significant disappointment.
No, please read my entire post. I'm not comparing the quality of the DA* 55 to the DA18-135. I'm saying that the price of the 18-135 is not far off what one would expect if they added WR and SDM and some reach to the kit lens.

Last edited by GeneV; 04-23-2011 at 04:26 PM.
04-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
No, please read my entire post. I'm not comparing the quality of the DA* 55 to the DA18-135. I'm saying that the price is about what one would expect if they added WR and SDM and some reach to the kit lens.
I know you're not comparing the quality of the lenses. I'm saying that DA* 55's high price can be justified not because of SDM and weather sealing, but because of marginal improvements in optical quality through disproportionate amount added complexity to the optical formula. DA18-135 is a step down optically. I don't know what Pentax's own justification for DA18-135 price is.
04-23-2011, 04:34 PM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
I know you're not comparing the quality of the lenses. I'm saying that DA* 55's high price can be justified not because of SDM and weather sealing, but because of marginal improvements in optical quality through disproportionate amount added complexity to the optical formula. DA18-135 is a step down optically. I don't know what Pentax's own justification for DA18-135 price is.
Again, my price comparison was to the kit lens. I don't know that we can really say yet that the DA 18-135 is a step up or down in quality from that lens.

Basing the decision on the numbers at Photozone (per the subject of this thread) there is no difference in the MTF resolution of the two ~50mm lenses that I would not expect to be within the margin of error for testing or sample variation between good copies. We are talking 10-30 LW/PH or even single digits for most apertures on resolutions that sometimes bump against theoretical limits, and they don't all go the same way. Based solely on those tests, one could expect that the only thing one would get for the difference in money is SDM and WR. Now, whether PZ numbers are the best way to judge lenses is part of what is discussed on this thread.

Last edited by GeneV; 04-23-2011 at 04:46 PM.
04-23-2011, 04:52 PM   #158
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What I enjoy about photozone.de is how they seem to really rip a lens to shreds, and then mark it as highly recommended.

These guys clearly look for something massively awesome. The FA 31 ltd, which IMO is the gold standard in it's class, as you read the review, if you haven't read their other reviews, doesn't seem exactly glowing, and ultimately receives (only) 4.5 starts for optical quality.

And only 3 stars for price/performance.

I believe the only way to obtain a 5 star rating is to land a $45 pancake f1.0 lens, made of pure titanium, that shoots with perfect extreme corner to center sharpness wide open, with results that out resolve our modern sensors. Oh and it needs to be able to be waterproof up to 60'.

When you're *only* awarding 4.5 stars for the optical quality of the FA 31 ltd, a review of a tiny weather sealed superzoom isn't going to compare; nor frankly should we expect it to.

QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
On the other hand, the truly poor results of 18-135 are rightfully causing controversy.
I just don't see the controversy. It's optical quality isn't amazing. Yawn. You want pro gear? Buy pro gear.

If you want amazing, you pay the price for the pair of F2.8 DA* lenses. If not, you buy this, and you get mush in the corners at 135mm. For your average pick up a dslr and spend some more on an upgraded kit lens, this will do fine.

For us quality junkies, (photozone.de included), this lens isn't going to compare, nor did I expect it to.

04-23-2011, 06:15 PM   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
What I enjoy about photozone.de is how they seem to really rip a lens to shreds, and then mark it as highly recommended.

These guys clearly look for something massively awesome. The FA 31 ltd, which IMO is the gold standard in it's class, as you read the review, if you haven't read their other reviews, doesn't seem exactly glowing, and ultimately receives (only) 4.5 starts for optical quality.

And only 3 stars for price/performance.
That's how a lot of reviews go. In a review you are looking for deficiencies, but well, most things you are reviewing have them. So you need to compare across reviews.

As for star ratings, I much prefer the way they rate than the typical american star ratings.

Photozone Rating System

QuoteQuote:
Some of you folks may be a bit surprised by the "rather low" ratings in the verdicts here at photozone.de. This isn't really intentional but you're simply experiencing a cultural effect.

So this is strictly different compared to the more popular anglo-american-style meaning of the word where an "average" is equivalent to about as bad as it gets.

5 stars: technical maximum
04-23-2011, 08:53 PM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Again, my price comparison was to the kit lens. I don't know that we can really say yet that the DA 18-135 is a step up or down in quality from that lens.
I understood your post Gene.

My 18-135 outresolves my 18-55 II in the center and across the frame in my testing (wide open, at 18 and 55mm). I just went on a photo jaunt with the 18-135, 15mm Ltd and 10-17. The only lens that disappointed was the fisheye. It doesn't have contrast and deep colours like the other two, and shows more pf. The 15mm has better contrast than the superzoom, but the corners frankly can be pretty ugly, so i'm not sure anyone could reliably which was used other than fov.

I have a K20D and have been waiting for a WR superzoom. I don't want to change between the 18-55 and 50-200 WR in the rain. That alone is worth $140 to me (difference between WR kit lenses and superzoom). On top of one-lens convenience, I got build quality that beats my D FA 100mm macro and smooth, silent focus. I paid $40 more for the 18-135 than the DA 18-250. The difference in IQ, AF speed, MF feel and build quality between these two is laughable. If you don't want decent superzoom/kit lens IQ, then don't buy, but bitching about the price is ridiculous IMO.

Last edited by audiobomber; 04-23-2011 at 10:31 PM.
04-23-2011, 09:14 PM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote

I just don't see the controversy. It's optical quality isn't amazing. Yawn. You want pro gear? Buy pro gear.
I was talking about the controversy on photozone's site. ("After the friction this has caused in the community I will request a statement from Pentax once again why they think that this is a valid sample.")

And I was thinking of Canon and Nikon's 18-135 lenses. DA 18-135 is bad compared to Canon's lens, which itself isn't great. Canon and Nikon's 18-135 aren't "pro gear."
04-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Again, my price comparison was to the kit lens. I don't know that we can really say yet that the DA 18-135 is a step up or down in quality from that lens.
I just looked around at online prices and DA 18-135 is sold for the same price as Canon EF-S 18-135MM, at least in one store. Canon EF-S 18-135MM doesn't seem great either.
04-23-2011, 10:34 PM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
DA 18-135 is bad compared to Canon's lens, which itself isn't great.
According to PZ, but I don't believe the lens reviewed by PZ was representative.
04-24-2011, 12:05 AM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
According to PZ, but I don't believe the lens reviewed by PZ was representative.
I looked around for reviews of the Canon lens:

Ken Rockwell thinks it has "excellent optics."

Here's a third opinion (PZ didn't think the Canon was great):
Canon EF-S 18-135/3.5-5.6 IS Review - Bob Atkins Photography

I'm just posting this for other folks. I was never interested in any of these lenses.
04-24-2011, 05:42 AM   #165
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I read several reviews that were disappointed in the Canon. On the other hand, last summer, I and another person were the photographers for a dance camp. The other photographer shot almost the entire camp with her brand new Canon 18-135. (She brought one body, while I brought several) I looked over her photos this morning, and two things are apparent. 1) The quality of the lens was not a factor in her shots and 2) She did not need the superzoom. I had difficulty finding a shot that was not taken at a range that would be well within the reach of the DA 17-70 I keep on one of my bodies. Most of her shots are between 30 and 40mm.

I was about to post some of the shots, but it came to me that I don't have her permission.

Last edited by GeneV; 04-24-2011 at 05:48 AM.
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