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12-14-2012, 08:35 PM   #1
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Pentax DA18-135 3.5/5.6 WR or Sigma 18-125 3.8/5.6

I am considering either of the two lenses for my K10D as an all-around carry lens in place of the Pentax 18-55 kit lens. I want a little more reach without having to also carry my DA55-300 when I hike. I have read numerous posts, reviews, specs, and comments about both. I have a Sigma 10-20mm 3.5 which I like a lot for its IQ and smooth, fast auto-focus. I will not be shooting in inclement weather so, although the WR feature is nice, it is not critical.

Sigma has an 18-125 (#853 mfg. number) on their web site, showing as discontinued, with no replacement for it listed. I see both Adorama and B&H show a Sigma 18-125mm for Pentax, and it is the #853 series (853109 for Pentax mount), currently priced at $319.00.

The Pentax DA18-135 3.5/5.6 WR is $469 as the "add to cart" price. My research has a hard time justifying a 47% premium for the Pentax over the Sigma.

Is this Sigma actually a discontinued lens, being heavily discounted by Adorama and B&H (which would surely involve rebates from Sigma due to the discontinuance)?

I like the idea of buying Pentax, just because, and it IS lighter ( a consideration when hiking, or just carrying the camera around). I also like my Sigma 10-20 3.5, and would be ecstatic if I thought a Sigma 18-125 would be as good.

Am I making a valid comparison of the lenses, or am I overlooking something (other than the obvious 10mm difference at the long end, and the WR aspect of the DA)? I would appreciate any input from current users that might help me make a better-informed decision. Thanks.

12-14-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by NRV Shooter Quote
Is this Sigma actually a discontinued lens, being heavily discounted by Adorama and B&H (which would surely involve rebates from Sigma due to the discontinuance)?
I believe the lens is in fact current: Sigma 18-125mm F3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

You'll get better IQ from the Sigma based on what I've read, but the WR in the Pentax makes it a really versatile lens. It's your call, but in this case, I'd opt for the Pentax.

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12-15-2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I believe the lens is in fact current: Sigma 18-125mm F3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

You'll get better IQ from the Sigma based on what I've read, but the WR in the Pentax makes it a really versatile lens. It's your call, but in this case, I'd opt for the Pentax.
I read the lens review on this site, and was surprised to see it listed as "discontinued" on the Sigma web site. The WR feature is weighing on my decision, and would allow me to shoot outdoors in "marginal" weather with the K10D. Thanks for the input!
12-15-2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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A recent thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/208391-pentax-18-135mm-weather...-hsm-lens.html

12-15-2012, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #5
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If you go here ( Sigma AF 18-125mm f/3.8-5.6 DC HSM OS (Canon) - Review / Test Report - Analysis ) then open a new page and go here.. Pentax SMC-DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR - Review / Lens Test - Analysis )

Just a brief comparison... barrel distortion at wide end, Sigma 1% better ( 2.5 to 3.5)

At 18mm , Pentax = better centre sharpness
Sigam better edge sharpness wide open, until F11.

24mm- F 5.6 and beyond the Pentax is superior in every way -but soft edges at F-4.
50 mm - Pentax better centre sharpness but soft edges @ F4.5 after F4.5 superior to the Sigma in every category.

At 125 mm- Pentax superior center sharpness
Sigma superior edge sharpness but both pretty brutal edge sharpness.

In control of chromatic aberrations they look about the same, with the Sigma having the higher CA values, but quite comparable really.

Overall from these reviews I'd say the Pentax is the better lens. But I'd still try and find some one who's shot with them side by side for a final opinion. I went with the 18-135 because of the water resistance. If you have to have a water proof case to protect your gear in a shower, to me that's a huge disadvantage. I just tuck the K20D or K-5 under my coat and don't worry with the WR set up. If it gets a bit of moisture on it, it's not going to be a huge big deal.

The 10mm in the long end probably isn't going to be a factor. You won't notice 10mm plus or minus at that length.
12-15-2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If you go here ( Sigma AF 18-125mm f/3.8-5.6 DC HSM OS (Canon) - Review / Test Report - Analysis ) then open a new page and go here.. Pentax SMC-DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR - Review / Lens Test - Analysis )

Just a brief comparison... barrel distortion at wide end, Sigma 1% better ( 2.5 to 3.5)

At 18mm , Pentax = better centre sharpness
Sigam better edge sharpness wide open, until F11.

24mm- F 5.6 and beyond the Pentax is superior in every way -but soft edges at F-4.
50 mm - Pentax better centre sharpness but soft edges @ F4.5 after F4.5 superior to the Sigma in every category.

At 125 mm- Pentax superior center sharpness
Sigma superior edge sharpness but both pretty brutal edge sharpness.

In control of chromatic aberrations they look about the same, with the Sigma having the higher CA values, but quite comparable really.

Overall from these reviews I'd say the Pentax is the better lens. But I'd still try and find some one who's shot with them side by side for a final opinion. I went with the 18-135 because of the water resistance. If you have to have a water proof case to protect your gear in a shower, to me that's a huge disadvantage. I just tuck the K20D or K-5 under my coat and don't worry with the WR set up. If it gets a bit of moisture on it, it's not going to be a huge big deal.

The 10mm in the long end probably isn't going to be a factor. You won't notice 10mm plus or minus at that length.
Thanks Dan and Norm!
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