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05-31-2012, 09:22 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the input, I decide on the 18-135.

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
This is why the OP should seriously consider the K-30 instead of the K-5. If the Auto Focus improvements are as significant as they're suggesting, you'll definitely want the K-30 when shooting indoors or in low light.

I'd still suggest the used K-x or K-r with a DA*50-135 (the f/2.8 will also help indoors), but the K-30 kit with the DA18-135 would be the next best thing, and a good value at $1200.
When I looked over specs I just brushed it off as a lower quality k-5 (less fps, slower shutter, lower boost iso) but with little better video. Am I missing something?

05-31-2012, 09:30 PM   #17
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The center sharpness is more then decent, just don't shoot brick walls with it
06-01-2012, 12:54 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
According to Photozone's test, the DA18-135 is abysmal at 85mm and higher. Below 85mm, the DA18-55 is better wide open, the DA18-135 is better stopped down. Neither is a great performer.
Well, I also read the Photozone.de review before I bought my copy of the 18-135mm - but I also read user's reviews and studied sample images at this forum and made up my mind: A techical review with all it's curves and graphs is one thing; pleasing pictures may be quite another. (Besides, Photozone apparently got a poor copy + an arrogant answer from the German importer: "This lens is up to specs.")

QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I would get the 18-135 with the knowledge that eventually (say, a year) you will likely know what focal length you use most and will then start buying the appropriate lenses. I would not recommend a single focal length ("prime") lens when starting out unless you like disappointment and frustration :-) You will always wish you had something wide or longer more often than if you have something with range.
+1 on that. I thinks this is a good avice for a first time DSLR buyer!

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Since I don't own the 18-135, I thought I'd take a look at the Pentax Photo Gallery. While it's no DA* lens, I'm having trouble finding the shots that are abysmal:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

I also don't see the 18-55 kit lens quite matching it - despite the efforts of Julie Quarry and others who've worked wonders with the 18-55.
I agree as well on your analysis as on your conclusion. I may not be an excellent photograper, but I have a hard time putting the blame on my 18-135mm. Abysmal above 85mm?? The below is a sample and a 100% crop of that taken at 135mm at closest focusing distance (40 cm).
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06-01-2012, 04:47 AM   #19
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Well, I guess I must sell my 18-135, or maybe just throw it in the trash...............

06-01-2012, 06:18 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by GDRoth Quote
Well, I guess I must sell my 18-135, or maybe just throw it in the trash...............
Yep, you'll need an FA31 to shoot those brick walls!
06-01-2012, 06:24 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nervosa Quote
When I looked over specs I just brushed it off as a lower quality k-5 (less fps, slower shutter, lower boost iso) but with little better video. Am I missing something?
The only thing I can see (apart from video) is the claimed update on autofocus performance for the K30 (and focus peeking for manual focus), but we won't know if it will be better or by how much until it gets out.

Apart from that I believe K-5 is better in general.
06-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #22
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Why are people saying the K30 is great, or even just better, for video ? The DPR review on the K-01 (same video capability as the K30) says quite the contrary - do NOT buy this camera for the video but for the stills IQ. Severe rolling shutter issues and no AF in video are listed as the problems for the K-01. In other words hardly a major jump in video performance from the K5.

As for the K5 having poor AF and needing the K30 for low-light / indoors ? B.S. I have 2xK5s and find them superb for low-light / indoors. Even my work lens, the Sigma 10-20, can focus in a dark storeroom (given any contrast point to focus on) to give me a workable shot ! I find low light shooting with the K5 amazingly good.

Back to the lenses : 18-135 every time. The K5 is at a superb low price now, US$850, and should be snapped up with both hands !
06-01-2012, 12:22 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Since I don't own the 18-135, I thought I'd take a look at the Pentax Photo Gallery. While it's no DA* lens, I'm having trouble finding the shots that are abysmal:
One cannot adequately judge the quality of a lens by looking at images that fill part of a computer display. Any super-zoom point and shoot can look good at such pixel density. The k-5 is capable of much more.

06-01-2012, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Yes, in some people's estimation, a touch under "excellent" is "abysmal". I have 3 18-55s one that is actually an exceptional copy. I can say without a question of a doubt, I would never put an 18-55 on my camera unless my wife had the DA 18-135. And even then I prefer to go with the 21 ltd, 35 2.4, 50 1.7 and 10-17 instead of the 18-55. Don't get me wrong, I have great 18-55 shots, almost all of them from before I bought the 18-135, but the range of the 18-135 means it almost never comes off the camera. A lot of times I carry the 18-135, and DA*60-250 and that's it. IF I need better edge to edge at 60mm to 135 mm I change to the 60-250, which is really strong in that range.. but most of the time the center sharpness is more than adequate. It's as far as I'm concerned the best walk around lens for daylight available for a K-5. It'll do you until you start getting into the DA* lenses, or primes.

Last edited by normhead; 06-01-2012 at 12:54 PM.
06-01-2012, 06:49 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
In general, your best lenses should cost close to or more than the (rapidly depreciating) body. You might consider a used K-x or K-r with better glass. For example, a used K-x with a used DA*50-135 will amaze you. Then just add something like a Tamron 17-50 or similar lens.
This is the best advice I've seen on the forums in many a post The IQ of photos taken with *this* set up would be far superior to the K-5 + 18-135, and upgrading camera body to the K-5 in a year would be very cost effective.
(said as one who owned the K-x and loved her K-5!!)
06-02-2012, 02:38 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
The below is a sample and a 100% crop of that taken at 135mm at closest focusing distance (40 cm).
Nice example - looks good on it's own merit, and even better when you realize it comes from a full-range zoom! Of course there would be certain advantages to the same image taken with, for example, the DFA 100WR, but whenever you get a nice shot with nice qualities - well then, that's exactly what you have!
06-02-2012, 03:31 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
One cannot adequately judge the quality of a lens by looking at images that fill part of a computer display. Any super-zoom point and shoot can look good at such pixel density. The k-5 is capable of much more.
I can see significant differences between lenses even with the relatively low resolution/small size on the PPG. When combined with our own experience and in conjunction with comparisons to shots on sites like PBase and others, we can make many accurate determinations about a lens.

For example, I know that I never need to buy an A50/1.2 to compare it with my K50/1.2. After having owned about a half dozen of the better 50s, and then looking at the PPG, I have a pretty good idea of what I'd be getting. With all these 50s (most of which I've sold) I compared the PPG (and other sites) to my own shots, and I saw the same characteristics coming through. This validated what I was seeing.

Because I did this with the 50s (and many other lenses) I can now get a fairly accurate idea of how a new lens is. Just looking at the online examples gives me about half the picture - the other half comes from using it.

I won't comment too strongly on a lens unless I've used it. But half the picture is enough for me to say for certain that the DA18-135 neither stinks, nor will it ever be confused with the DA*50-135.
06-02-2012, 07:52 AM   #28
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I guess my question with the DA* 50-135 would be why wouldn't you just go for the Tammy 70-200 2.8, save yourself some money and add some focal length? The 50-135 is an odd lens in that it's focal length is covered by some great lenses. ( DA* 60-250, Tamron and Sigma 70-200). F2.8 is less than "special" at 50 mm. In low light and 50 mm range, I'm going to have my 50 1.8 on. The focal length of that lens just seems ill conceived to me. To my way of thinking the 16-50 makes much more sense combined with the Tammy if you're going to carry two lenses. But then, my whole thing is always about carrying as few heavy lenses as possible. The 18-135 goes from wide angle to telephoto. On APS-c the 50-135 is strictly telephoto. It's not a walk around lens. And the 16-50 is also not a walk around lens, it doesn't go long enough. My guess is the 18-135 is pretty much top of the line of lenses that have both telephoto and wide angle capacity, and are a good weight to carry. I'm sure others will tell me different. The whole idea of the walk around lens is you don't have to changes lenses to go from wide to telephoto.

Last week in Niagara falls I was getting wet from the spray coming from the falls. The 18-135 was there for close ups of Maid of the Mist at 135 or wide angle for shots of tourists viewing the falls. A combination of two lenss is useles in a heavy shower like that, no lenses are going to be safely changed. I'm going with water resistant and and on the camera. So with your 16-50 and 50-135 combination, you're asking me to choose, which of these images don't you want, because I can't have them both?





Two images taken seconds apart. The 18-135 because of it's range, allows me to do that. A combo of the 16-50 and 50-135 couldn't have done this. That's why you carry an 18-135. Water proof (and I was getting sprayed for these shots) acceptable resolution and range. Take the range out of the equation, and of course there are better options. The first and best reason to buy the 18-135 is it's range. If you start talking IQ that's a different issue. Then you get into what is good enough. Some will decide it's not good enough. They won't get any argument from me. It's a judgement call and not worth arguing. Even if you owned the 16-50 and 50-135, you still might want to have them in your bag while you had the 18-135 on the camera when you go for a walk. Personally I prefer to go zoom to prime based on focal length. First get the shot, then go for maximum IQ. I expect my primes to be fast and great IQ. I expect my zooms to be convenient. The 18-135 rated overall for convenience would be way up the scale.

Last edited by normhead; 06-02-2012 at 10:02 AM.
06-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #29
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Normhead, I've the DA*16-50 and DA*50-135 and have used the DA*60-250 several times.
The later two are very different lenses each with his different uses, i would never buy the DA*60-250 for myself, it simply isn't my lens and i'll hardly use it while i love the DA*50-135 and his rendition.

as for your example, i simply need to look at my concert photos to see why i would want f/2.8 over convenience.
Or at my portraits why i would want the DA*50-135 and not the DA*60-250 or DA18-135
I'm not saying you're wrong simply that there are two sides off the coin.
06-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #30
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Exactly, but someone who's looking for 2.8 isn't even considering the 18-135 in the first place. INteresting your take on the 50-135 though. concerts, eh... I don't get many of those in Whitney. (Pop. about 200) But then, you probably don't get many wolves foxes and bears where you are.

Last edited by normhead; 06-02-2012 at 10:45 AM.
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