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10-09-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
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Pentax 18-135 or Sigma 18-125?

Been looking around for a zoom lens for a walk around lens for my K5, have a couple limited primes for those special shots and have long end covered by a Panny Bridge FZ200 and 55-300 for the K5. Was looking at the Pentax 18-135 WR but it cost approx $549, the Sigma 18-125mm, (which has some good reviews) sells for $339 with 3 yr warranty. I don't really care about the WR, since don't plan on walking in rain or foul weather. Any thoughts or experience with the Sigma? the reviews for the Pentax 18-135 seem to be a mixed bag, some good and others not so much. Will use it on nature trail walk for deer, squirels, ducks, birds and some landscape.


Last edited by gmachine; 10-09-2012 at 12:29 PM.
10-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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I was in the same situation as you three or four months ago and went with the Sigma 18-125. After reading so differing experiences with the Pentax and being highly disatisfied with Pentax SDM (okay the 18-135 has a newer reincarnation of the AF-drive, but nevertheless...), I went with the Siggy. Its user reviews are much more consistently positive.

My real life experience with the Sigma is:
- you need to step down to f/8 to get sharp images across the fov
- anyt faster aperture and the out 50 % of the image are visibly degraded
- The Sigma is much bigger, than the Pentax
- it is very well made, quite near the Sigma EX standard, which is better than I expected from such a walk-around-lens
- it is very useful and I won't want to miss it in my bag anymore.
- I use it at times, when I cannot carry several better (but heavier and bulkier) lenses with me, let's say for walking or climbing

All in all I really do not regret to have chosen the Sigma and can recommend it without hesitation, if you accept, that image quality of a lens with such a zoom range is somewhat compromised.

Ben
10-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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I have the Pentax lens but cannot speak for sigma.

It is a good lens if there is enough light. I use it as my outdoor lens. And if the previous person is saying that the sigma is an f8 lens, this one is probably not that different.

Small-surprisingly so. Fast AF.
Great for travel.
I would say that it does really well on the K5.
Great colors.

Cons: long end is not that great, if the subject is far away.

I have posted some pics in the lens samples section.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/191544-pentax-s...-18-135mm.html
10-09-2012, 02:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I was in the same situation as you three or four months ago and went with the Sigma 18-125. After reading so differing experiences with the Pentax and being highly disatisfied with Pentax SDM (okay the 18-135 has a newer reincarnation of the AF-drive, but nevertheless...), I went with the Siggy. Its user reviews are much more consistently positive.
I have not heard of a single instance of failure of auto focus from an 18-135mm. Build quality is exceptional, better than my D FA 100mm macro. Regarding reviews, one should discount the ones where the lens was defective. I would place the Photozone review in that category, along with some owners' experiences. The review on Pentax Forums is much more representative of how my copy performs. Quality control was poor when the lens was first released, seems better now. https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/smc-pentax-da-18-135mm-zoom/review.html

I believe the Sigma 18-125 has a zoom lock and creeps when the lock is not activated? That was a constant annoyance with the DA 18-250. The Sigma is a respectable choice and priced accordingly, the 18-135 makes more sense when discounted in a kit, but a zoom lock, size, focus and zoom rings that turn in the opposite direction to Pentax are turn-offs for me. Also, I like Pentax colours.

10-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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Sigma or Pentax 18-125 or 18-135

Thanks for the imput, gives me something to think about. I am leaning toward the Sigma at this point, mostly because of price difference. Both seem to have their good and bad points, but generally very close in many areas.
10-09-2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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I've got a similar problem at the moment. I've got an overseas holiday planned, and don't want to lug the K7 and lenses around. I considered the lenses you're looking at, as well as the 18-250 Pentax/Tamron, but I'm now looking at getting the Panasonic FZ200, or if funds are short, a Pentax X5. How do you find the Panasonic?

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10-09-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
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I have the 18-135 and love it. To OP: you said it cost around $540, but it is listed at $527 + free shipping at B&H, but a few weeks ago (I think, can't find the thread now), it was reported that online places like B&H can sell it for considerably cheaper if you call. I haven't checked, but it would be worth a try to get a better comparison.
10-09-2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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Sigma vs Pentax

I might give B & H a call tomorrow and see if they will deal on the 18-135. If I can get it for less than listed price, I might consider it, otherwise $339 for Sigma 18-125mm is a pretty good price. Just worried that the sigma might not be a good choice. I like the FZ200 just fine, but I would like to use the K5 for everything except the longer range stuff (200-600+). I think a smaller zoom would work well for me, on the K5. I don't mind carrying the K5 on walks, sometimes I just need a little more reach than my other fixed lenses. I am 72 and trying to keep from carrying too much gear and keep the weight down. Guess I could sell the K5 and lenses and just use the FZ200.......................On second thought..... Naw don't want to do that

10-09-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I have not heard of a single instance of failure of auto focus from an 18-135mm. Build quality is exceptional, better than my D FA 100mm macro. Regarding reviews, one should discount the ones where the lens was defective. I would place the Photozone review in that category, along with some owners' experiences. The review on Pentax Forums is much more representative of how my copy performs. Quality control was poor when the lens was first released, seems better now. Pentax-DA 18-135mm Zoom Review - Overview - PentaxForums.com

I believe the Sigma 18-125 has a zoom lock and creeps when the lock is not activated? That was a constant annoyance with the DA 18-250. The Sigma is a respectable choice and priced accordingly, the 18-135 makes more sense when discounted in a kit, but a zoom lock, size, focus and zoom rings that turn in the opposite direction to Pentax are turn-offs for me. Also, I like Pentax colours.
Hi Dan, you are probably quite right, in that the Pentax is a very good choice. I just don't have the problems with the Sigma you have on your list, as I already use several other Sigmas (mostly because Pentax didn't have anything comparable in their lens portfolio, when I needed those lenses) and am quite happy with their performance (except for the old 24-135, which is a rather poor performer) and handling. I am so used to switch between Pentax and Sigma lenses, that I do not even recognize their different zooming action. The zoom look might indicate some zoom creep in the future. Currently it is only present, when I take the camera out of the bag, when it was stored face-down. No real problem, especially with the 50-500's zoom "creep".

Ben
10-10-2012, 04:52 AM   #10
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Hi Ben. I've only owned two lenses with a lock, the DA 18-250 and Sigma 150-500 HSM OS. I had to keep the lock engaged at all times when not shooting. The extra step, unlock the lens before a shot, was at least as annoying as the creep. Good to hear your 18-125 doesn't suffer this, but I suspect it varies depending on copy and how you use the lens. I often sling my camera, with the lens hanging at a downward angle at my side, a severe test for creep. The 18-135 has never extended by itself in the year and a half that I've owned it.
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