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05-02-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
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Pentax DA 18-135mm WR or something else?

The DA 18-135mm lens caught my attention when it was announced thinking it would be a great all in one travel lens, aside from low light shots but I have my DA 35mm f/2.4 AL for that. Unfortunately the price is a bit too high for me to afford. I spend a lot of my time in the summer on the beach, at the lake, or hiking and in the snow in the winter so WR is a must. Would it be worth it to buy this lens or sacrifice the convenience of a superzoom and get the 18-55mm WR and the 50-200mm WR? Too bad there isn't a 55-300mm WR, it would make this choice much easier!

05-02-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
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The 18-135 lives on my K-5.

Last edited by crewl1; 05-03-2011 at 08:51 AM.
05-02-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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Until the 18-135mm, the basic all-around zoom lens was the 18-250mm. Manufactured by Tamron and rebadged DA18-250mm by Pentax, the DA18-250mm is a great lens. It was an excellent all-around lens, among all brands incl. Canikons and Sonlympus. The 18-250mm lens is very solid and sturdy, with a solid track record of excellent operation extreme conditions. (The lens is not labelled WR, but many Pentaxians took that lens to extremes with success.)

The lens is not longer in production, but you can find some excellent copies on the market place, at adorama.com and keh.com. A fortnight ago, there were three copies on the market around US$350-380.

To sum up, you could consider the 18-250mm as an excellent alternative. It is cheaper than the 18-135mm and has a wider range of focal length.

Hope that the comment will help.

Last edited by hcc; 05-02-2011 at 09:53 PM.
05-02-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Until the 18-135mm, the basic all-around zoom lens was the 18-250mm. Manufactured by Tamron and rebadged DA18-250mm by Pentax, the DA18-250mm is a great lens. It was an excellent all-around lens, amonf all brands incl. Cankon. The lens is very solid and sturdy, with a solid tack record of excellent operaton extreme conditions. (The lens is not labelled WR, but many Pentaxians took that lens to extremes with success.)

The lens is not longer in production, but you can find some excellent copies on the market place, at adorama.com and keh.com. A fortnight ago, there were three copies on the market around US$350-380.

To sum up, you could consider the 18-250mm as an excellent alternative. It is cheaper than the 18-135mm and has a wider range of focal length.

Hope that the comment will help.
That lens has some excellent reviews! I'm not sure if I want to spend almost $400 on lens and end up sucking sand or dirt into it when zooming though, that's a lot of money in broke college kid dollars. I feel like I could just be being paranoid though.

05-02-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pasteofanchovie Quote
I'm not sure if I want to spend almost $400 on lens and end up sucking sand or dirt into it when zooming though, that's a lot of money in broke college kid dollars. I feel like I could just be being paranoid though.
I use extensively the 18-250mm and other lenses outdoor, with some 'attraction' to foul weather including subtropical rainstorms, dusty beaches, muddy rivers, .... I would like to correct two 'potential' misunderstandings.

Before the WR lenses, the Pentax users worked with many lenses and some 'glasses' (lenses) have had an excellent reputation for outdoor activities. The 18-250mm is one of these and there are numerous relevantthreads in this forum on the topic. Simply the 18-250mm can be strongly recommended based upon its track record.

second, you do not 'suck' water or dust when you zoom out with a classical zoom lens like the 18-250mm. But you need to clean/take care of the lens before you retract it. This is somehow the same the WR lenses because WR = weather resistance.

Importantly, the label WR does NOT mean waterproof or dust proof. Every Pentaxian should read carefully the fine prints to avoid any disappointment.

Hope that the comments will help.

Last edited by hcc; 05-03-2011 at 12:37 AM.
05-02-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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Wow, after browsing around here and on Flickr for some samples of the 18-250mm I may have to get one. It renders colors beautifully! Now I just need to find one. Is the Tamron just as well made as the Pentax model?
05-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #7
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Indeed, there isn't anything like the 18-250 around, but as a single lens it defeats the purpose of having a dSLR.
If you're looking for decent image quality, then the combination of a Tamron 17-50 and a Pentax DA 55-300 provides for a very good combination of range and sharpness. These two lenses will be significantly more capable than the DA/Tamron 18-250, but if all you're after is a superzoom shooting at f/8 or thereabouts, then it would probably suffice (then again, so would a hybrid camera).
05-03-2011, 12:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pasteofanchovie Quote
Is the Tamron just as well made as the Pentax model?
Yes, the DA18-250mm is a renamed Tamron 18-250mm. Both are equally good, although the Tamron 18-250mm tends to be slightly cheaper.

05-03-2011, 06:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Indeed, there isn't anything like the 18-250 around, but as a single lens it defeats the purpose of having a dSLR.
If you're looking for decent image quality, then the combination of a Tamron 17-50 and a Pentax DA 55-300 provides for a very good combination of range and sharpness. These two lenses will be significantly more capable than the DA/Tamron 18-250, but if all you're after is a superzoom shooting at f/8 or thereabouts, then it would probably suffice (then again, so would a hybrid camera).
I understand what you're saying, but I don't 100% agree that owning and using a single lens on a DSLR defeats the purpose of owning one. While the ability to change lenses on a DSLR is one of it's biggest advantages over other cameras, using the 18-250 on a DSLR is a far better (IMO) compared to a superzoom camera (like the Canon SX30IS, which I happen to have). While the super zoom compact is smaller and actually gives you an even larger range than the 18-250, the overall performance of the camera falls short in may critical areas. This included high ISO performance, continuous shooting speed, overall responsiveness and VF quality. So even if one were to buy a K-x+18-250 and never buy another lens, I personally think there are significant advantages over a superzoom compact (and there should be, as the former costs 2-3x the latter).
05-03-2011, 01:29 PM   #10
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OK, I have a Tammy 70-300 and am getting tired of the purple fringing. Focus is always pretty good and so is exposure but the fringe!!! My wife is making comments at increasing frequency as well - which I take as tacit approval to search for a better lens.

It seems to be worse on the K-5 than on the K-10, but that might be "confirmation bias" on my part. It was bad on the K-10 in high-contrast too.

The 18-135 intrigues me but I'd like more reach. Is the 18-250 so much better?

Mostly I want a mid-long range zoom so the 55-300 would be fine, too. I rented one for an airshow, but it turned out to be overcast and I didn't have any issues with fringing.

I'm just trolling for experiences here.
05-03-2011, 02:12 PM   #11
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is this the lens you are speaking about?
Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Asp. (IF) Macro dla Pentax - ABCDOMU24.PL sklep internetowy z AGD RTV MULTIMEDIA ARMATURA

Ok it's in polish (and I dont understand iether) but it is teh best price in my east europe area equivalent to 268 euros.

but it looks like they sell it new (you said it was not produced anymore)
05-04-2011, 01:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
as a single lens it defeats the purpose of having a dSLR.
Not at all! In fact, having a single lens is the best way of using the Single Lens Reflex camera system lol

(joking, of course)
05-04-2011, 11:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Indeed, there isn't anything like the 18-250 around, but as a single lens it defeats the purpose of having a dSLR.
If you're looking for decent image quality, then the combination of a Tamron 17-50 and a Pentax DA 55-300 provides for a very good combination of range and sharpness. These two lenses will be significantly more capable than the DA/Tamron 18-250, but if all you're after is a superzoom shooting at f/8 or thereabouts, then it would probably suffice (then again, so would a hybrid camera).
I just want a superzoom for travel so that I'm not stuck carrying lenses around and having to change them in unsafe locations (beach, busy sidewalk, etc.). It could be easier to buy a hybrid camera or a P&S, but then I'd be losing out on easy changing of settings, image quality, and the ability to switch to my 35mm f/2.4 for lower light shots.

Although, that Tamron 17-50 is tempting, but still out of my price range. I'm used to being told to not buy third-party lenses (zooms especially) for the best IQ, but after seeing some shots from it I think I'd have trouble not buying it if I had the money!
05-05-2011, 02:11 AM   #14
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I was pretty much prepared to hunt down a decently priced 18-250mm and buy, but then I noticed that this lens doesn't have quick shift. That's a deal breaker for me, since that is the one thing I hate about my 35mm f/2.4. After some more thinking I am wondering if I should just go with the 18-55mm WR and the 50-200mm WR and use what money I save to put towards another prime.
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