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10-30-2012, 05:33 PM   #16
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I was nervous about buying the 18-135 with my new K-30, but it was such a good deal and gave me the WR zoom I did not have. Well, I am thrilled with the lens, it performs way above my expectations. I have to wonder if the newer ones are improved from the earlier runs. I can't say anything about the other two since I have not owned them, but the non WR DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL I used to own was nowhere close to the 18-138 in IQ.

10-30-2012, 06:16 PM   #17
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If WR and durability is an issue...I would suggest the 18-135. According to the reports, it has the most reliable SDM ever.

Actually SDM is the only thing doubtful about high end zooms (for me, that I travel a lot).
10-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
That said, when I know I have to get some nice landscape shots I travel with the tamron 17-50 and the pentax 50-135. The former is not WR. I did try the pentax 16-50. Not as sharp but not bad either, I was just too paranoid to travel with two sdm lenses, not that I have had any problems with the 50-135 but I did get an extended 7 year warranty on that lens. 3 years and so far so good...

best of luck!
It would absolutely have to be weather sealed. As just one example, after backpacking out here in the desert for 3 days, my old Olympus E-3 would be covered in dirt. Every recess, button or body joint would be grimy as can be. It usually takes me about an hour to clean everything using wet Q-tips and compressed air. I share the paranoia concerning the SDM. I have read far too many forum posts from people who have had theirs fail on them. Of course those who have never had it happen tend to downplay the issue and claim that it isn't an issue. I just don't know if I can convince myself to take the chance with the 16-50. I would in a heartbeat if there was some official confirmation from Pentax that the SDM issue is no more, but seeing as how they don't/won't even acknowledge that there is an issue to begin with, I'm not going to hold my breath. Ski season won't be in full swing for a while yet, so no huge rush for me to come to a decision, but I would like to know exactly which lens I need to order when that time does get here.
10-30-2012, 09:49 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by NVSteve Quote
It would absolutely have to be weather sealed. As just one example, after backpacking out here in the desert for 3 days, my old Olympus E-3 would be covered in dirt. Every recess, button or body joint would be grimy as can be. It usually takes me about an hour to clean everything using wet Q-tips and compressed air. I share the paranoia concerning the SDM. I have read far too many forum posts from people who have had theirs fail on them. Of course those who have never had it happen tend to downplay the issue and claim that it isn't an issue. I just don't know if I can convince myself to take the chance with the 16-50. I would in a heartbeat if there was some official confirmation from Pentax that the SDM issue is no more, but seeing as how they don't/won't even acknowledge that there is an issue to begin with, I'm not going to hold my breath. Ski season won't be in full swing for a while yet, so no huge rush for me to come to a decision, but I would like to know exactly which lens I need to order when that time does get here.
In terms of reliability, the DC motor in the 18-135 has been excellent, and it apparently focuses fast and quiet with the K-5. It is a well built lens without too much bulk. It's centre performance is excellent across the range, however it's borders wide and long are just fair to good; in the lab anyway. It is supposed to have decent bokeh, and if you are using the long end for more portrait-type work, the softer edges might not be as important if what you want is subject isolation. Those experienced and novice who have used it as a walk/hike around lens have enjoyed it, especially if you get the lower price as part of a new kit. If you are shooting for magazines, it might not be what you need; but then you might not have anything in the 18-70mm range if WR is mandatory. There are lots that love the Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 17-50 or 17-70, but none of these are weather sealed.

A decent travel kit might include the 18-135 for general purpose (and it's pretty decent from 24-70+), and the DA 15mm Limited for the wide/landscape stuff. The limited's are not weather sealed, but they are pocket-small and light, and would make up for the shortcomings of the 18-135 on the wide end of it's focal range. However, that is a $500 solution to the shortcomings of a $400-$500 lens

11-01-2012, 07:22 AM   #20
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If you need wide angle, you've already listed the 3 options: 18-55, 18-135, 16-50. If you need something close to normal, you can add the da *55 but you said no primes. The only other option is the sigma 12-24 (Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM II Wide-Angle Zoom 204109). However, no one really has a clue how good the splashproof wr from sigma is.
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