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07-08-2011, 10:44 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by bimjo Quote
What's the exif data on the smokestack pic?
I'll have to check when I get back to my desktop, I'm away for the weekend. Apparently picasa doesn't upload the exif data from raw files it uploads as jpegs.

I'll try out RonHendricks studio set suggestion before giving up on the lens.

07-08-2011, 10:44 PM   #17
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I looked at a couple of the K-7 photos in your gallery - including the one with the heron flying left to right - and the EXIF is stripped?
07-08-2011, 10:48 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Immunogirl Quote
I'll have to check when I get back to my desktop, I'm away for the weekend. Apparently picasa doesn't upload the exif data from raw files it uploads as jpegs.

I'll try out RonHendricks studio set suggestion before giving up on the lens.
It looks like the photo with the smokestacks was severely underexposed. Picasa will boost the exposure to what it feels is the correct level, but this will of course increase noise.
07-09-2011, 12:01 AM   #19
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I think maybe some experimentation (aperture / shutter) will give you better shots.

07-09-2011, 06:33 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
It looks like the photo with the smokestacks was severely underexposed. Picasa will boost the exposure to what it feels is the correct level, but this will of course increase noise.
Yes, that's a big problem, Picasa auto adjusts levels when displaying raw images, and is very heavy handed with it. Aside from that, Picasa is designed for processing jpegs, not raw files. It is only working on 8 bits, losing the extra bits the raw file contains and therefore compromising noise levels in processing.

Immunogirl, you need a proper raw conversion program. I suggest you use Pentax Lab that came with the camera. It does a great job and diretly translates camera settings. The new version also has a Dodge control for boosting mid tones that is extremely useful and is not available in Picasa.

I clicked on this thread because I have an 18-135 that performs very well. By that I mean it slightly outperforms my 18-55 and 18-250, both well respected for what they are. I have to run +10 on my auto-focus. Maybe you need to calibrate as well. So far it's very unclear whether you have a lens problem. I see possible motion blur and exposure issues, and poor conversion. The smokestack photo looks like the focus was in the foreground and the industrial plant is in the bokeh. You're going to have to do a proper lens test before you can determine what is going on.

Get out your tripod or set the camera on a table. Shoot in jpeg to level the playing field. You won't be ajusting any parameters, so raw is unnecessary. Set the shutter for 2s delay and shoot a target with a clear focal point. Mount a couple of comparable lenses and repeat. Check focus performance and adjust if necessary. Until you do that, you're just guessing.
07-09-2011, 06:51 AM   #21
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My $.02. Like the OP, I always have my Optio with me when I am shooting. I have the Optio W80. It's common for the Optio in various auto modes, to get great looking images, but that is only if I have not set correct factors on my DSLR.

One of the simple things that I have started to get into the habit of, is to set my white balance manually on the DSLR. When I leave it in auto, it never gives me the results I am looking for.

The other thing is that the Optios are pretty decent cameras, so it's not a surprise that they can give a DSLR a run for it's money.

Optios are still Pentax glass/quality.
07-09-2011, 08:57 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
[snip]

The other thing is that the Optios are pretty decent cameras, so it's not a surprise that they can give a DSLR a run for it's money.

Optios are still Pentax glass/quality.
Up to what point? Posting on the web? Printing 8x10? Printing bigger? Not trying to start a war here, I'm seriously considering getting something I can carry in the cargo pocket of my pants so I'll always have a cam with me. The ruggedness of the Optio line interests me.
07-09-2011, 09:07 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by bimjo Quote
Up to what point? Posting on the web? Printing 8x10? Printing bigger? Not trying to start a war here, I'm seriously considering getting something I can carry in the cargo pocket of my pants so I'll always have a cam with me. The ruggedness of the Optio line interests me.
I have a W90 because of its ruggedness and water proof and use it a lot in the canoe and boat, but also underwater stuff for work to get pics of invasive plants. Sometimes I can get decent shots with it, sometimes I can't. The newer version maybe better, at least it has gps tagging.

07-09-2011, 09:58 AM   #24
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I don't normally do this...but I am considering this lens, and my friend won't mind......Take a look at these, he just posted them from his recent vacation to the Bahamas, where it rained almost every day and he used his WR 18-135 almost exclusively. If anyone couldn't be very happy with these, then just hang it up....you can't be pleased!

Play it as a Slideshow...it takes a little while, but if you are really interested in this lens, it is worth a few minutes....

Best Regards!

Big Al's Bahama Vacation with the 18-135 WR and a K5 Makes me want ot go on vacation.....makes me want the 18-135!
Vacation 2011 - a set on Flickr
07-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #25
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Thanks everyone. I'm not sure what to make of a lot of you finding what I consider horribly cruddy pics not as horrible as I do.

I actually hate my optio & the photo quality I get out of it. If I keep the exposure on the optio to about -0.7, I can usually force it to take a good picture, and I can work with it. I have tried the w80 & the w90 after my w60, and I think they have worse photo quality & greater noise... The reviews on the wg1 aren't very good, if my w60 dies, I'll probably switch to a panasonic ts3. But the w60 has survived 3 years of me beating it up (it is epoxied back together) and getting wet several times a week, so I won't replace it till it dies. Waterproof cameras are all compromises, they put such tiny zoom lenses into them and sensors - so compared to a comparable priced point& shoots they tend to be disappointing. The gps tagging features I think just eat up batteries - I often go on week or longer kayak camping trips, so I need something that's got a reasonable battery life (I just take like 5 charged batteries with me)

I'll look to see if I can find my pentax software, I haven't used it since the k10d days and I remember it as horribly slow. I have adobe lightroom on the computer, and I've tried opening up the same pics in lightroom vs. picasa before and haven't seen much difference. Lightroom tends to crash on me, so I dont use it.

I'll do a few more tests on the lens vs. other ones - but the reality is, that if I have to play around with the camera settings aperature/shutter, etc. in order to force the camera to take a good pic with the lens, I'm not keeping it. I saw the noise/softness of focus in almost all the pics I took with it that day (which was over 600 pics & I only posted the best of them on here) and it's not something I see with other lenses even with my poor conversion, etc. I bought the lens specifically for using it kayaking, I'm more than happy with my primes & my 16-45 for walking about - so if I can't get a good picture out of a WR lens without playing with the controls while in an unstable kayak, then it's not a lens that's suitable for me taking it kayaking. If there was motion blur, that day was me paddling on absolutely flat water & mostly good lighting, which is not where I'm usually kayaking - typically, I'm on rougher water and I'm taking a pic, shoving the camera strap in my teeth, taking a few strokes to stabilize the kayak or get away from some obstacle, and then taking another few pics... Which is not a situation which really lends itself to me making a lot of adjustments to the camera, especially since I tend to paddle boats that are known for being maneuverable/tippy and not what you'd consider a photography platform. I've taken it out to a farm & a picnic and was also disappointed in the photo quality then, so it's not a lens I'm going to use walking about.
07-09-2011, 11:14 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
I don't normally do this...but I am considering this lens, and my friend won't mind......Take a look at these, he just posted them from his recent vacation to the Bahamas, where it rained almost every day and he used his WR 18-135 almost exclusively. If anyone couldn't be very happy with these, then just hang it up....you can't be pleased!

Play it as a Slideshow...it takes a little while, but if you are really interested in this lens, it is worth a few minutes....

Best Regards!

Big Al's Bahama Vacation with the 18-135 WR and a K5 Makes me want ot go on vacation.....makes me want the 18-135!
Vacation 2011 - a set on Flickr
Your friends look a lot better than what I've gotten out of the 18-135.

https://picasaweb.google.com/ImmunoGirl/2011_07_04BuffaloMills

At pic 31, I switched to my 70 mm limited or my 35 mm macro... Before that, the landscapes are somewhat soft out of the 18-135 and the close ups aren't bad... The bokeh's nicer out of the 70mm, the bokeh/background in closeups on the 135 just seem pixellated.
07-09-2011, 01:24 PM   #27
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I would also venture to guess that one reason the cruise photos look sharper is that they are taken in bright light and they are processed for more contrast and vibrance.

These farm shots remind me of shots I took of the German landscape on trips in my film days. The sky was always threatening rain, the fields and the ponds were giving off vapors (the Swabians say the rabbits are cooking in the woods) and the air is thick. These scenes are not going to have much contrast, and the mist will make distant areas seem less sharp. In addition, most of these shots seem underexposed, even the shots with the limited primes.

Opinions on this lens are mixed, but I'm not sure comparing these two sets of photos tells you much about the performance of your lens.

Last edited by GeneV; 07-09-2011 at 04:12 PM.
07-09-2011, 01:30 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
. . .

Opinions on this lens are mixed, but I'm not sure comparing these two sets of photos tells you much about the performance of your lens.
Given the price point of this lens, I think people scrutinize it far more than the do the DA 18-55mm II WR. I think its a kit lens that is playing in a higher league and is going to take a beating at times.
07-09-2011, 01:38 PM   #29
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for $500, I'm disappointed that it is not better.
07-09-2011, 01:39 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Given the price point of this lens, I think people scrutinize it far more than the do the DA 18-55mm II WR. I think its a kit lens that is playing in a higher league and is going to take a beating at times.
Agreed.

I look at the 18-135WR as an upgraded 18-55WR. For the extra money, you get 2.5x the reach, a very fast and quiet AF motor and a (slightly) smaller aperture around 50mm. Granted the "extra money" is over $300 more than the 18-55WR, but depending on how much people value those upgrades, it might be worth it to them.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
for $500, I'm disappointed that it is not better.
Which is a valid position as well. It certainly doesn't perform as well as a lot of $500 lenses. Then again, not to many other $500 lenses have a 7x zoom range, WR seals and a fast, quiet, built in AF motor. As I said above, I guess it just depends how much someone values those particular attributes. Certainly you can get better IQ for the money if you're willing to give up the things I listed above.
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