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10-08-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
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Photozone review of Pentax 18-135 lens ouch!

I had just about decided on this lens to take to Italy till I read the review at photozone. They really panned the optical performance. Saying it was not a good lens for architectural work. Well, thats 80% of Italy. What are your thoughts? I really like the fact it's weather resistant, and I love quick shift.

10-08-2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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From the PZ review, 18-50mm is a bit better than 15-55 WR lens but the 85-135 mm range = crap. You should stick with your 18-55 WR unless you don't need border sharpness from 85-135.
10-08-2011, 11:35 PM - 1 Like   #3
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The 18-135mm covers the 56-135mm range better than any 18-55 will.
10-08-2011, 11:42 PM   #4
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This thread has nothing to do with the K5 and should be in the Lens Discussion section.

Also there are a lot of people who own the 18-135 who would disagree with the Photozone review. There is already a thread in the Lens Discussion section about this lens.

10-09-2011, 01:33 AM   #5
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i suggest you to read this article found in another thread

LensRentals.com - Notes on Lens and Camera Variation

it will help you understand some facts about lense testing.
10-09-2011, 02:56 AM   #6
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This review has been discussed when it was just published. So if you do a bit searching here, you can find the opinions about the review as well as about the lens. I think you can find plenty of samples that will show what the lens is capable of (or is not capable of) and judge for yourself. If I'm not mistaken, the lens has also been tested by pentaxforums as well .

Best is to go to a shop and try it before you buy. Or possibly rent/borrow it to test.
10-09-2011, 05:23 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
i suggest you to read this article found in another thread

LensRentals.com - Notes on Lens and Camera Variation

it will help you understand some facts about lense testing.
Except that Klaus sent the lens back to Pentax and they said it was functioning within specification (ie not a bad lens)

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
If I'm not mistaken, the lens has also been tested by pentaxforums as well .
It has been but (with the greatest of respect to the reviewers here) it's hard to take a superzoom lens review which doesn't mention distortion seriously.
10-09-2011, 06:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrCynical Quote
It has been but (with the greatest of respect to the reviewers here) it's hard to take a superzoom lens review which doesn't mention distortion seriously.
But you're forgetting...around here, any lens with the name "Pentax" on it is automatically assumed to perform better than its competitors. That's why my Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM will never really be the equal of the Pentax 50-135mm.

10-09-2011, 06:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I had just about decided on this lens to take to Italy till I read the review at photozone. They really panned the optical performance. Saying it was not a good lens for architectural work. Well, thats 80% of Italy. What are your thoughts? I really like the fact it's weather resistant, and I love quick shift.
Depends what you mean by "Architectural Work". If you're taking travel photos of buildings and monuments the 18-135 will do fine and has an ideal range for travel.

If you photograph buildings for the sake of studying them later, measuring them an so on, and you therefore want all straight lines to be perfectly straight, only a good prime lens will do the job.

All zoom lenses have distortion, more pronounced at some focal lengths than at other.
10-09-2011, 07:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
But you're forgetting...around here, any lens with the name "Pentax" on it is automatically assumed to perform better than its competitors. That's why my Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM will never really be the equal of the Pentax 50-135mm.

I guess they swapped the number around at the end of Comparative Review: Fast Normal Zoom Shootout - Introduction

Pentax DA*16-50: score 7.6
Sigma 17-50: score 8.0
Tamron 17-50: score 7.7
10-09-2011, 08:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
Depends what you mean by "Architectural Work". If you're taking travel photos of buildings and monuments the 18-135 will do fine and has an ideal range for travel.

If you photograph buildings for the sake of studying them later, measuring them an so on, and you therefore want all straight lines to be perfectly straight, only a good prime lens will do the job.

All zoom lenses have distortion, more pronounced at some focal lengths than at other.
This would just be for travel to Italy. It would be mounted on my K5. I will be doing a lot of inside shooting with it, but I figure if I can get between 1/30 - 1/60 I can hand hold it, and with the K5's high ISO performance, I think that will work.
10-09-2011, 08:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I had just about decided on this lens to take to Italy till I read the review at photozone. They really panned the optical performance. Saying it was not a good lens for architectural work. Well, thats 80% of Italy. What are your thoughts? I really like the fact it's weather resistant, and I love quick shift.
Few points/questions to ponder:

1. The bigger the zoom factor (max focal length / min focal length) - the worse (in general terms) the IQ may be. To achieve bigger zoom factor, manufacturers have to make compromises.
2. Do you think you can actually work around the specific issues of your specific lens, be it at shooting time or in post processing time?
3. What are your priorities - one camera - one lens combination, price, weight, etc? May I suggest something like a combo of two lenses; DA 21 (or may be even DA 15) for wide angle stuff and FA 50/1.4 for low light, modest tele photography? From experience I can tell you - this can be still very satisfactory gear to get both good shots and wonderful memories from your trip.
4. What are your shooting habits? zoom, prime, wide, tele, etc? Do you really need all the focal lengths between 18 and 135 mm?
5. What gear do you have right now? May be you don't really need the new lens?
10-09-2011, 09:08 AM   #13
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Da-18-135

QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I had just about decided on this lens to take to Italy till I read the review at photozone. They really panned the optical performance. Saying it was not a good lens for architectural work. Well, thats 80% of Italy. What are your thoughts? I really like the fact it's weather resistant, and I love quick shift.
I bought this lens despite the photozone review. I've read a lot of positive comments about it and tried it out at the local store. There are so many positives with this lens that you really have to consider before rejecting it.
Positives:
  1. Great focal length for a walk around. You will rarely want to change lenses when you own one of these.
  2. Light but not cheap light. It is much lighter than my DA17-70 which makes it very nice to use on the smaller body of the K-5
  3. Well made overall. The focus ring has the right amount of resistance to it. There is no lens creep. The whole lens has a feel of quality and it should because while it is not priced like the DA* line, it is not cheap either.
  4. This lens focuses fast and quiet. I'm very optimistic about the new DC motor system that replaces the problem prone SDM system.
  5. I've compared it to my DA17-70 and there is very little difference. I do get some vignetting which is noticeable on the top corners but I'm prepared to except that.
Quite simply it is a great lens and everyone should have one. The only really bad thing about owning this lens is that I can no longer justify buying a DA*50-135! I can justify buying a DA15 or 12-24 though.
10-09-2011, 09:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glen Quote
I bought this lens despite the photozone review. I've read a lot of positive comments about it and tried it out at the local store. There are so many positives with this lens that you really have to consider before rejecting it.
Positives:
  1. Great focal length for a walk around. You will rarely want to change lenses when you own one of these.
  2. Light but not cheap light. It is much lighter than my DA17-70 which makes it very nice to use on the smaller body of the K-5
  3. Well made overall. The focus ring has the right amount of resistance to it. There is no lens creep. The whole lens has a feel of quality and it should because while it is not priced like the DA* line, it is not cheap either.
  4. This lens focuses fast and quiet. I'm very optimistic about the new DC motor system that replaces the problem prone SDM system.
  5. I've compared it to my DA17-70 and there is very little difference. I do get some vignetting which is noticeable on the top corners but I'm prepared to except that.
Quite simply it is a great lens and everyone should have one. The only really bad thing about owning this lens is that I can no longer justify buying a DA*50-135! I can justify buying a DA15 or 12-24 though.
+1 on the 18-135. FWIW, I had the 12-24, bought the DA 15 and subsequently sold the 12-24. Technically, the 12-24 may be better but the DA 15 works for me.

Last edited by Spotmatic; 10-09-2011 at 12:30 PM.
10-09-2011, 12:08 PM   #15
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I've gone back and forth on buying this lens. I'm not unhappy with what I've seen of its performance, but then I still think the kit lens version II is hard to beat as a "walk-around" lens. It is so light, and inexpensive, that there are no worries with it. Throw the DA70 (which you can crop) or DA50-200 in the bag, and you've got your tele. Still, one small lens is tempting....

Last edited by GeneV; 10-09-2011 at 08:25 PM.
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