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12-24-2012, 06:01 AM   #1
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Some questions in regard to Pentax DA18-135 superzoom lens

Hi Pentaxians,

I'm planning to buy the DA18-135 lens for my k-x. The only lens I currently have is the Sigma 30mm/f1.4. I have sold my DA17-70 because of the reach (wide angle is ok but 70mm max. focal length turned out to be too short for me) and the fact that the SDM autofocus didn't always focus reliable. Manual focus is not practical with kids moving around so autofocus has to be perfect reliable in my next lens.

I have read a lot about the DA18-135 but following questions haven't been answered for me yet.

1. Does the k-x internal flash interfere with this lens, resulting in a shadow when using shorter focal lengths, if yes on which focal lengths? (I also have the Pentax AF540FGZ external flash but sometimes it's convenient to use the internal flash).

2. What may I expect in regard to lens creep? For Sigma/Tamron zooms lens creep is generally known, but does this Pentax superzoom also creep after a certain period of usage? It has no lock on the lens barrel.

3. Is vignetting visible with this superzoom lens? Reviews on test charts show up some vignetting but what are your experiences when real life shooting?

4. What are your experiences with lens flare resistance, is it necessary to use a hood in (sunny) daylight?

5. Recently Pentax also has released the DA18-270 (derived from Tamron's 18-270 PZD), how does this compare to the DA18-135? Which of these lenses is favorable for an 'one zoom lens shooter' ? I don't plan to buy more zoom lenses.

Hope you can answer my actual questions left.


Last edited by Bandit2006; 12-24-2012 at 07:39 AM.
12-24-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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Flash - not really able to comment accurately as I'm not certain I've tried it other than using the internal flash as a controller, and I always get sub par results with the onboard - but it's not a big lens so I wouldn't expect problems (not particularly bigger than my 18-55 by memory, and not much longer than your Sigma

Zoom creep - don't have an issue with this at all - think the weather sealing helps as the air "locks" the lens. Also doesn't extend dramatically in distance either anyway

Vignetting - not noticed this in use myself at all

Lens flare - again, no major issues, no more so than any other lens, and I suspect only a problem if you provoke it. I normally haven't used the lens hood.

It's a great walk around / versatile lens :-)
12-24-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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1. My K5's popup flash doesn't produce any shadow. I wouldn't not expect your KX do so either.

2. I haven't experienced any lenscreep at all. It's not a very heavy lens, and it stays in place, even when carrying it with the lens downwards.

3. There's very little vignetting. And any visible vignetting is easily recovered in PP.

4. I ALWAYS use the lens hood, with every lens. In my opinion, it's always required. Just take some before and after picutres with any lens, with and without hood. The gain in contrast alone should do it.

5. Can't answer you there.

I love the 18-135, it's my workshorse. I prefer using primes, but the 18-135 gets the most abuse during bad weather conditions. In my opinion, WR only makes sense on zooms with a broad zoom range. When conditions are so bad that I need WR, then I wouldn't want to switch lenses either.
12-24-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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1. I barely ever pop up the flash, on my K5, but my sister has with this lens and you will see a shadow if you have the lens hood on(pointing out) on closer subjects.

2. I do get lens creep if I walk around with the strap on my shoulder for a while with it pointed down, but the weather seals kinda keep it together for the most part. Although you are using a Kx, so you may not benefit from the sealing.

3. There is a little vignetting, but not very noticeable, unless you shoot a lot of blank walls.

4. The lens coating does very good at reducing flare, but like any other lens, use the hood to keep the contrast up.


For low light: I grab a fast prime
For wildlife: I grab my lil' Bigma
For everything else: this lens has me covered (rain or shine)

12-24-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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I have to add,if I have a polarizing filter on, I will get some vignetting. It pretty much disappears if i take the filter off, which I rarely do. Some shots have been affected. Not many. I've never stopped to figure out exactly which focal lengths are affected but I'm guessing the wide end.
12-24-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
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1. If you have the hood on the lens, there is shadowing from the pop up flash. Take the hood off, no issue I know of.

2. My lens creeps from 18mm to 21mm when I walk. Standing, no issues.

3. Minor vignetting, very minor. So minor it won't matter.

4. Always use the hood. I have never had a flare issue, but I always use the hood.

5. No comment on the other lens.
12-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #7
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You will be making a wise choice with this lens for a perfect well balanced walk around lens. I have both the K-5 and K-x and really have no issues on it when it comes to using the flash, ya when you are doing close up shots make sure you remove the hood because then you will get a little flash blockage, but what do you expect with a tiny flash that is situated so close to the top of the camera, get yourself an external flash and you wont have that problem.
This lens has very little to no lens creep, and take it from me I have put many miles on this lens in amusement theme parks.
I have also never noticed any vignetting or abnormal lens flare issues with it as well.
If you are on the fence regarding this lens---------Get It! you wont be disappointed
12-25-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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No shadowing if I don't use the hood on the lens when using k5 pop up flash.

Never noticed Vignetting.

Never had a significant problem w/ flare.

No Lens creep.

Likely more compromises will have been made in the 18-270 than in the 18-135. Also, as I understand, the 18-270 is a rebranded tamron, so maybe read reviews on the tamron before deciding? Just a thought.

12-25-2012, 10:22 PM   #9
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A pet peeve of mine is when I see people taking pictures with their lens hoods actually attached but reversed. I think to myself "what the heck is the point?"

But I digress...unless I don't have a lens hood for a particular lens, I always use one! And with the DA 18-135mm there really isn't much of an excuse not to use one. The hood even has a removable door so you can rotate a polarizer
if you need to use the pop up flash, remove it for that shot...then do yourself a favor and put it back on immediately afterward
01-01-2013, 01:44 PM   #10
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Pentax 18-135 lens

I have used the pentax 18-135 WR lens for about one year. The first copy was purchased used from amazon, had focus issues, and was returned. I then purchased a new lens from amazon, and in my opinion, it functions well. Yes, it is somewhat soft at the edges, but the central 2/3 frame is about as sharp as my primes, at least in good light. I have not noticed lens-creep or vignetting. I have noticed ghosting when aiming in the direction of the sun, but I wonder if that might be related to the inexpensive uncoated UV filter I have used. We live in a wet environment (Great Lakes), and I enjoy being able to capture images rather than hiding my camera and lens under a jacket. I would recommend this lens to those interested in a WR general purpose lens in the Pentax system.
01-01-2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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The Pentax DA 18-250 is another lens to consider, or its Tamron equivalent. I prefer the 18-135 for the weather sealing, but 250 gives you a lot more reach. Good luck!

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