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05-26-2012, 04:09 AM   #1
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Pentax 18-135mm WR.

I wanted to know how much of a difference in quality I can expect between the 18-135mm and my standard 18-55mm DAL lens and whether or not I should go ahead and purchase one? The thing that attracts me to the 18-135mm is the range and that it's weather resistant. It seems to be a very good choice as a walk around lens in most situations.

Thanks in advance.

05-26-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
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I have the 18-135mm and I find it to be a solid lens. I replaced my Sigma 17-70 with it and feel the IQ is very similar. I love it for my walk around lens and it gives you the extra zoom. Fast focus and very quiet. I have been doing a lot of urban explore of old abandoned buildings and have been some wet or dusty areas and I don't have to worry!
05-26-2012, 06:24 AM   #3
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In terms of image quality, it's not much worse than the DA L 18-55mm. The corners may be somewhat softer, but it's not a big difference. You might want to look at PopPhoto's test of the DA 18-135mm lens as well as my own first impressions. The DA 18-135mm lens is a very good lens and you should consider getting it.


Last edited by bwDraco; 05-26-2012 at 07:05 AM.
05-26-2012, 06:38 AM   #4
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It's a great lens, I have both, and here are my impressions.

The 18-135 is very much sharper in the center, where your subjects are. The edges on the 18-55 are actually sharper than on the 18-135, but that is probably to be expected because of the shorter zoom range, and Pentax has made a good comprimise here, in allowing the edges of th 18-135 to be a little softer so the whole center can be much sharper. You won't notice the softer edges, but the sharper center will make your subjects really pop.

My 18-55 seems to exhibit more vignetting, whereas the 18-135 is quite even across the field.

The 18-135 is a little bigger and heavier than the 18-55. But not so much that I am afraid to commit to putting it on and using it as my only walk-around lens. As you zoom, the barell extends considerably, so in use, the overall size can be much larger than the 18-55. But carrying it around it's not much larger. And I haven't heard of zoom creep being a problem -- it doesn't extend under its own weight -- certainly mine doesn't.

The DC focus motor is very slick, quiet and fast.

Build quality is great.

Colors of the 18-135 are typical Pentax, and similar to the 18-55 -- that is to say, very vibrant.

I think 18-135 is a great overall focal length range, but that is a matter of personal choice.

If you can't tell, I am a proponent of this lens.

Good luck and enjoy!

05-26-2012, 07:27 AM   #5

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I'm looking all over, but can't find much user opinion on how much Lens Corrections affect this lens. @Tanzer looks like you've done a pretty good checkup, care to shoot a contrasty scene, then turn on Corrections, then shoot again? I'd like to know how effective it really is.
05-26-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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I use the 18-135 on a K-x and love it. There is some lens distortion, especially at the wide end, but I have turned on the in-camera distortion correction. It works very well. I don't really need to apply corrections later in PP. It does add a little bit of time to processing the shot, but if I'm not shooting bursts, it is quite acceptable.
05-27-2012, 04:12 AM   #7
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I agree with Tanzer. Looking at the technical reviews, the lens is so-so. Using it in real situations, (and remember that it has a long range) it is an ideal walkabout lens. It does have quite bad pincussion at 18mm, but PP can fix it. The focus motor is magical. Love the lens!!
05-27-2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Timd Quote
...Looking at the technical reviews, the lens is so-so...

I prefer to look at photos.

I made some 8x12 prints, a calendar, and a photo book of images I shot in Europe last summer. Most of the photos were taken with the 18-135. The printed photos are nothing short of stunning.

05-29-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
I prefer to look at photos.

I made some 8x12 prints, a calendar, and a photo book of images I shot in Europe last summer. Most of the photos were taken with the 18-135. The printed photos are nothing short of stunning.
My point exactly. I think many Pentax lenses (and indeed the cameras) get luke warm reviews as they "technically" do not perform (they do not photograph test sheets well - who frames test sheets and sticks them on the wall!?). In real life situations, the lenses perform well. The 18-135 is probably an extreme case where it performs badly technically, but produces excellent results. A bit like the bumble bee that technically has been proven not to be able to fly, however, no one told it so....

In short, my 18-135 is mostly on my camera..

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