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01-31-2012, 11:19 AM - 1 Like   #16
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+1 to what audiobomber said. Point 1... it is better from 18-55 than the kit lens, so definitely an upgrade from kit. It's not as good from 60-135 as my DA*60-250 or Tamron 90 macro (duh). But we have a couple of wildlife shots we wouldn't have, if we'd had to change lenses from a 16-50 or an 18-55. Speed wise, it's just not fast enough.

But as far as I can tell, the convenience it represents keeps it in our camera bag. We just keep using it. Really, if you're going for a walk in a scenic area, and you only want to take one lens, why would you take anything else?

Not to mention the extra flexibility I have with the *60-250. I can change to the longer lens, but a great deal of the time, I don't have to.

To me..The DA 10-17, DA 18-135, The DA*60-250 (with Pentax 1.7 teleconverter), and a couple of primes, in our case the 21ltd, FA 50 1.7 Tamron 90 macro and 35 macro is like a perfect travel kit to cover everything...and then have great primes for locations where you have time to sit down and get serious. We apparently don't like this lens, we just can't find a way to live without it. Especially since we are in snow country and do a lot of outdoor adventuring. The WR of the 18-135 and 60-250 mean they are never going to get left home, despite their weight.

Every time we go south and get near a camera store I fantasize about trading it in on a better lens.

Last night out on my walk, tromping through the woods in a light snow.... guess what was on the camera? I honestly don't think we will ever get around to selling this lens. We'd like to think there was something better. It just has too many little things, not worth a lot on their own, but taken altogether, they all ad up.

+ compact size
+unexpectedly versatile zoom range covering 70% of our images
+ water resistance
+we sell prints taken with this lens.. it does take nice sunsets etc. good colour renditions

- IQ good from 18-55 , acceptable from 60-135, reliability questions over 60mm in terms of too many wasted shots (so just take two snaps instead of one, one will be good)
- isn't really the best at any given focal length, if you get a scene capable being a keeper and you have time, you're going to change lenses to get better glass
- too slow, if this lens was a constant F2.8 with a bit better IQ, it would be my favourite lens of all time








Last edited by normhead; 01-31-2012 at 11:41 AM.
02-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #17
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Original Poster
Thanks everybody
That's exactly the info I wanted

Seems that often
What is seen by computer
Does not match to what is seen by eye
Well I knew that already!
Just wanted to ensure I wasn't contemplating buying a real dud
02-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #18
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I'll add one last thing...
I have a K-x and the 18-135. Using the lens correction in-camera really does wonders and saves me from having to do it later in pp, especially at 18mm end. I haven't noticed any hit in performance. I really like the lens.
02-02-2012, 04:04 AM   #19
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I have this lens, which I purchased to give me more latitude as I do a lot of urban shooting and I notice that I have to adjust many of my photos due to the pincushion distortion, which I think is excessive. I was unaware of this phenomena with this lens and had I to buy it again, I'd pass. I'm satisfied with every aspect of this lens except the above cited. I really don't like spending extra time in Photoshop to fix the limitations of the lens, and the in-camera correction is dreadfully slow. I'm also disappointed that my camera (K5) lacks grid lines which I use for leveling. I know I can buy a different viewing screen but that's not the point. I have owned MANY digital point-n-shoot cameras and have never had the distortion problems this severe as I do with this lens. I think my main problem with it is the TYPE of shooting I do.

Just my fifty-cents.

02-02-2012, 04:34 AM   #20
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I am very happy with mine. I have a default lens correction in Lightroom to correct the pincushion error at wide open. I agree, it is excessive, but with so many good points, it has to be weak somewhere. Of all the optical issues, pincushion is probably the easiest to correct PP. For me, given the choice, I would buy one again.

It is not stellar, but it is versatile and allowed me to capture many shots. Before I got it, my mantra was "I have the wrong lens on".
02-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #21
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I also have this lens, as well as the Tamron 18-250mm lens. The tamron has an amazing zoom range, but lacks the refinement of the Pentax 18-135- quick shift/reassurance of WR/SDM quick and very quiet focussing means the Tamron stays on the shelf.

Here's a Flickr photo set of 5 photos taken in Phuket of a life size statue of a Predator with an Alien head on a spike. A very ingeniusly made statue, with bike chains for dreadlocks etc.

Pentax 18-135mm WR lens - a set on Flickr


I also have some pics of the Pentax 12-24mm and 10-17mm fisheye. Nothing flashy, just some random pics I took and uploaded.


I should add that the distortion that people complain about is real. I took a photo of a painting at an art gallery front on and the top and bottom sides of the painting frame were very obviously curved, instead of straight. However, I rarely take photos of purely horizontal lines near the edges of the photo, so it doesnt worry me.
02-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #22
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@John Taylor: I stopped reading your post at 'Phuket' and clicked on your link thinking I was going to see some Beautiful Landscape scenes and got...Alien Head!

+1 for the 18-135 mm. If you need a lens that has very nice IQ with the convenience of the zoom range and fast/silent AF, then this is a great option.
02-11-2012, 09:00 AM   #23
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Da 18 -135

Mine has become my default lens. I sold my DA17-70 and replaced it with the 18-135. It is the lens that is usually on the camera. I do plan on getting something wider such as the DA 15, DA 14 or maybe even the DA 12-24 as I like to hike and discover new places and some of those places are in tight areas. I found very little difference between my 17 -70 and this lens. Mainly in the edges and more vignetting. However the lighter weight, dependable DC system (so far) and fast quiet action make it very desirable. If you sell your images and need the very very best lens at all times, this is probably not it. On the other hand, this is a step or two above a standard kit lens. If you photograph for the shear joy of it, you will not be sorry you bought the DA 18-135.

As a small bonus, the lens cap on my DA 17-70 would constantly fall off in the camera bag. There must be extra threads on the DA 18 -135 as the lens cap has never, ever come off unintentionally.

02-15-2012, 12:03 AM   #24
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I vote for the 18-135 as a great all-round lens. Too bad it got trashed by photozone. I think that is a misguided conclusion on their part. I find the lens deficient at the very long end, above 120mm, particular for objects far away. At close range, it's better for some reason. So I just avoid that. Otherwise it is very respectable all around. It's form factor and design make it a really easy lens to take along.
02-15-2012, 01:52 AM   #25
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Personally, I love the lens. Still looking for some more cheap manual focus glass for my collection though. As mentioned, it does appear to lose *some* sharpness in the end ranges(I've only noticed it in shots under 25mm and over 120mm). But I'm no expert on identifying issues. It shoots good enough photos for me to keep it for sure.

As mentioned, the focus is very quiet, and in my opinion, the convenience outweighs the loss of quality.(After all, if you're going to push for perfect quality, you'll select a lens designed for what you are doing, probably a prime if there's one in the right range. A zoom is always going to be a compromise for convenience at the cost of quality)

The Weather-Sealing scared me at first, but after the first month of worrying about taking it into snow, I managed to slip on ice and drop the whole damn thing into fresh snow. Still shoots perfectly, and now I'm much less timid about the seals.(Though still deathly afraid of freezing it up on those -30 degree days)

Sure blows away my brother's Sigma 18-250 though. He's regretted buying that for a long time. Of course, that's a very unfair fight between a super zoom and a...super-er zoom? Also seems to get a slightly better review than Canon and Nikon's counterpart.
02-15-2012, 05:13 AM   #26
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I have both the DA*16-50 which I have been using since 2009 and got my DA18-135 only in June 2011 and love the IQ that the lens produced. The DA18-135 is my holiday lens while the DA*16-50 is my work lens for event shooting. The DA18-135 has been maligned too many times IMHO.

02-15-2012, 05:49 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
It's true, the 18-135 isn't a great lens for shooting test charts and it is a bit weak towatds the edges/corners. When I want outstanding shots of test charts, I typically select a different lens.
LOL! How true!

The amount of "keepers" that a setup produces is always the key indicator. And I have to say that the 18-135 does produce lots and lots of keepers for me.

Of course, when I go out shooting a landscape, I use my sharpest prime, set to MF, in clear weather, with my gear on a rocksolid tripod.

But when I'm unsure of the conditions and/or what length to bring, and/or have to shoot fast moving subjects, the 18-135 is very very good. I sold my 16-45 and 18-55 to get the 18-135 and was a very good move.
02-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #28
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I'm very happy with my 18-135 and haven't looked back. I don't think I've used the kit lens since I got the 18-135. I like not having to change at 55mm when walking around since I like taking lots of photos both longer and shorter than that.
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