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07-15-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
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DA18-135WR worst lens investment…so I thought..

I bought the DA18-135WR to match my K5. Unfortunately, the images I was getting were disappointing and equals what I can get with a 3-megapixel point and shoot, regardless lens is mounted on a K-x or K5. I was on the Photozone review bandwagon. Although they were purchased separately, the K5 and the 18-135 were still under warranty so I decided to send both to CRIS for evaluation. About three weeks later they simply showed up at my front door – I guess CRIS need not contact me because they’re still under warranty?

CRIS Report:
Lens: “Check to factory specification, Adjust optics for optimum focal point.”
Camera: “Check to factory specification, Update Firmware, Adjust AF with master lens, Adjust AF for optimum sharpness for your lens. Check for near and far sharpness.”

I test drove the “new couple” last weekend and – oh my goodness! Focus is unbelievably fast and accurate while sharpness easily comes close to (or matches) that of primes – to me. Out of >100 shots I took last weekend ~95% were keepers. Whether it was the lens or camera (or both) but whatever CRIS did gave my K5+18-135 package a whole new attitude! The lens is not going anywhere now and perhaps one of the best lens investments I made to date. It will more than likely be welded on the K5. The difference before and after CRIS is night and day!
–Just thought to share my experience –

07-15-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
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Good to hear it was just out of calibration. It's really quite a good lens.
07-15-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
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Congrats! Glad things are well for you now.
I really like the 18-135 on my K-5, never had a reason to hate it.
07-15-2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Congrats! Glad things are well for you now.
I really like the 18-135 on my K-5, never had a reason to hate it.
me too - it's versatility and weight make it a go-to lens more often than I thought.

Glad it worked out for the OP!

07-15-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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Congratulations. I just wish some reviewers had done the same.......
07-15-2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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My brother owns this lens and I tried it out last time I was with him. Despite Photozone's review, I thought it was plenty sharp, even at the long end and really a nice lens. Since it is weather sealed to boot, I would have no problem highly recommending it for anyone buying a K30/K50/K5, etc. I don't think I would get it, just because I like wider apertures too much, but I have thought about it more than once.
07-15-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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Too bad about your initial experience, but alls well that ends well. Photozone says the lens is centre sharp even to 135 mm. The differences he's talking about only show up on a system mounted on a very sturdy tripod in a lab. I've never been able to duplicate his findings in the real world. Definitely not hand held.
07-15-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Do you find it much better than the DA18-55WR? I upgraded to the DA*16-50 Because I still see the DA18-135 as a kit lens..

07-15-2013, 05:13 PM   #9
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I had both the 18-55WR and 50-200WR and the 18-135 I felt had better center sharpness, had quiet and fast AF and a very convenient focal range.
I sold those two once I got the 18-135.

I have never used a DA*16-50 so cannot compare, I am sure it is a great lens.
07-15-2013, 05:17 PM   #10
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I was literally on the verge of putting this lens on the market. I just cannot in good conscience do so believing the potential buyer will be getting an inferior lens. Based on the majority of good reviews on this forum I thought I’d give it another chance – I’m glad I did. Thanks to you all!

QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Do you find it much better than the DA18-55WR? I upgraded to the DA*16-50 Because I still see the DA18-135 as a kit lens..
I cannot comment on the DA18-55WR - I do not have experience with it. I do have a good copy the DA-L18-55 that came with my K-x, which to my understanding is built with same optics. Yes, the 18-135 is much better than my copy of the 18-55.
07-15-2013, 05:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Do you find it much better than the DA18-55WR? I upgraded to the DA*16-50 Because I still see the DA18-135 as a kit lens..
They are very different lenses. The DA 16-50 is heavier, wider and shorter. I think the 18-135's performance falls somewhere in between the kit lens and the 16-50. It has good center sharpness, but does have weak borders wide open, where in my experience the 16-50 is pretty good in the overlapping focal lengths -- maybe a little weak at 50mm and f2.8. If you are shooting at f8 all of the time, then you probably would be hard pressed to find a difference. It is seen when you are shooting wide open.
07-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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Similar experience with a new Sigma 8-16. CRIS is also a Sigma Warranty Repair Center. Sent the camera and lens in and both came back perfect - the lens was way out of calibration.

I can only recommend sending the lens in, rather than suffering with it. I am glad that everything turned out so well.

07-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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I don't like hearing this kind of thing. It makes me paranoid about my lenses. None of mine are grossly out of whack, but my fear is that they are a little off and I just can't tell. I like to think that spending hundreds of dollars on a lens will almost guarantee me quality optics.
07-15-2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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I just picked up the k-5 ii with the 18-135mm lens and I had similar issue after unboxing.
I updated firmware (came with 1.00) and what a difference! Focuses without fault and the images are crisp and clean. I do wish the aperture was a little more wide, but for a kit lens this thing is quite remarkable.
07-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #15
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I don't have a 18-135 but I do know that at least 3 or my zooms did not reach anywhere near their potential until I spent some time fine tuning autofocus (with decent focus charts). When lenses are used wide open (and especially for close subjects), focus is accuracy is important.
From what I have read this is quite common. The camera and the lenses are calibrated at the factory to be within certain tolerances, however tolerances for separate gear can "stack up". For example if the camera is actually -2.1% out and the lens is +1.9% out then total error would be nearer to 4% out. Its fairly random as to what combination you might end up with.
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