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01-03-2012, 12:46 AM   #1
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18-135mm vs 18-55mm WR kit lens

After two years of research my friend and I will be buying our first DSLR, the venerable Pentax K-5. However I can't decide between the Pentax 21977 DA 18-135mm or the Pentax DA 18-55mm AL WR lenses.

My concerns...

1. How much will image quality suffer when taking wide angle shots with the 21977 lens compared to the DA 18-55mm?
2. Will the in-camera software corrections be able to correct most image quality issues, when using the 21977 lens?
3. How much slower does in-camera post processing slow down write speeds, when correcting 21977's lens issues? I.e., 10% or 50% slower?

Would the image quality of 'wide-angle' photos taken with the Pentax 21977 DA be considered "generally on par" compared to the DA 18-55mm lens?

Thanks

01-03-2012, 02:51 AM - 1 Like   #2
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You should probably have posted this in the lens section, so I'm going to go ahead and split these posts into a new thread after I reply.

In-camera lens correction adds processing time for every lens. I believe you can apply the corrections during post-processing if you're using the photoshop software or have the adobe lens profile, if you want to speed things up when shooting.

The 18-135mm is a *better* lens than the kit, albeit just slightly. You can see the IQ comparison here:
Pentax-DA 18-135mm Zoom - Review - PentaxForums.com

One nice thing about the 18-135mm is the AF- it's very fast and quiet. If you ask me, it's worth getting, as it's a very handy all-purpose lens!

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01-03-2012, 03:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
In-camera lens correction adds processing time for every lens. I believe you can apply the corrections during post-processing if you're using the photoshop software or have the adobe lens profile, if you want to speed things up when shooting.
I don't intend to do any kind of post processing on computers (too lazy), hence the in-camera processing will be all thats done. Any idea roughly, how much speed reductions I can expect? Basically... if the 18-135mm wide angle lens's performance is the same or better as the 18-55mm WR kit lens, I'll be happy, my eyes aren't trained enough to notice these issues yet.

This camera will be used on adventure/active trips. Got sand in my Canon PowerShot S95 (truly the low light king) last time I went buggying in the Sharjah Desert

Last edited by incidentflux; 01-03-2012 at 08:17 PM.
01-03-2012, 02:50 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Lens corrections add a second or two of processing time to each shot.
You can still shoot and adjust exposure settings while it's processing though.

Lens corrections introduce two limitations:
1. The buffer size is reduced to 4 shots (3 on the K-x).
2. You cannot view images or go into the menus while it's processing. Anything
that displays on the rear lcd is blocked until it's done processing.

I usually have one or both of the lens corrections on when I'm working
slowly. I switch them off when burst-shooting sports.

Regards,
--Anders.

01-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #5
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All indications suggest you won't sacrifice a thing with the 18-135 over the 18-55. In fact, you'll gain a whole bunch of reach and a really nice focus motor in a compact package. Don't expect much past 115mm but up to there it's pretty good. At the wide end, quite respectable, and from about 24-100mm really quite nice. I've got limited primes and the 50-135 and for general shooting, the 18-135 is respectable in comparison. Its form factor is its greatest strength and that's why I own it. Optically, it's 'good enough' for a hike or casual non-photographic holiday.

I've turned off in-camera corrections. It slows things down by 3-4 seconds, but as noted you can keep shooting, so if you ignore it you're fine. I shoot RAW anyhow, but I do capture 2mp JPGs along with in case I need a small file to quickly send somewhere.
01-04-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
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Something I find odd about the PF in-depth review of the 18-135mm: the comparison between the 18-135 and the kit lens actually refers only to center sharpness, although it gives the impression that the test pictures show border sharpness as well. But the full size pictures the review compares are mentioned below the comparative results of the sharpness test (there is a link below "Bokeh" and "Low-Light Reproduction," which I reproduce HERE). The linked pictures, which I assume are the pics used in the sharpness test, have a rather small sharpness chart in the center--this is the same sharpness chart that appears in the "18-135mm vs 18-55mm" sharpness comparison.

Last edited by causey; 01-04-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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