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10-29-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
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Replacing the DA 16-45 with the DA 18-135, Good idea?

I only have one general purpose zoom lens in my collection and its my DA 16-45mm lens. I like this lens cause I got it cheap, performs fairly well except for the sometimes troublesome CA, and has a constant F4 aperture. However, the lens isn't weather sealed and I sometimes want a little bit more reach than 45mm but the biggest issue is no WR. The only time I really bring this lens out is if its getting wet or dirty (hiking, biking, etc), other than that I mostly shoot with my primes. I'm afraid that one of these rainy or snowy days this lens is going to let water into my K5 and damage something so I'm considering getting the 18-135mm since its a zoom with WR and fairly compact.

I really like just about everything about 18-135 except for the IQ and the price. For a $400+ lens the IQ really seems to be lacking, at least very sub-par with my cheap 16-45. If this lens was around the $250 to $300 mark I wouldn't really hesitate to try it out but given that its twice the price of my 16-45 I'm hesitant to pull the trigger on one. The other option I'm considering is to keep the 16-45 and just buy a used 18-55 WR for those occasions when I shoot in the rain and snow??? After all I could buy three kit lenses for the price of one 18-135. The 18-135 just seems to be a very poor value.


Here's my lens line up as of today
-DA 15mm
-DA 35mm 2.8
-DA 70mm
-DA 16-45mm
-Tamron 70-200mm

10-29-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by TopherTheME Quote
I only have one general purpose zoom lens in my collection and its my DA 16-45mm lens. I like this lens cause I got it cheap, performs fairly well except for the sometimes troublesome CA, and has a constant F4 aperture. However, the lens isn't weather sealed and I sometimes want a little bit more reach than 45mm but the biggest issue is no WR. The only time I really bring this lens out is if its getting wet or dirty (hiking, biking, etc), other than that I mostly shoot with my primes. I'm afraid that one of these rainy or snowy days this lens is going to let water into my K5 and damage something so I'm considering getting the 18-135mm since its a zoom with WR and fairly compact.

I really like just about everything about 18-135 except for the IQ and the price. For a $400+ lens the IQ really seems to be lacking, at least very sub-par with my cheap 16-45. If this lens was around the $250 to $300 mark I wouldn't really hesitate to try it out but given that its twice the price of my 16-45 I'm hesitant to pull the trigger on one. The other option I'm considering is to keep the 16-45 and just buy a used 18-55 WR for those occasions when I shoot in the rain and snow??? After all I could buy three kit lenses for the price of one 18-135. The 18-135 just seems to be a very poor value.


Here's my lens line up as of today
-DA 15mm
-DA 35mm 2.8
-DA 70mm
-DA 16-45mm
-Tamron 70-200mm
Considering that the 18-135mm, a drop in IQ compared to a constant-aperture 16-45 is to be expected, but with the right post-processing software I don't think the 18-135mm will disappoint. Keep in mind that the 18-135mm is 1. a lot more convenient 2. has silent AF and 3. focuses much faster than the 16-45mm

Adam
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10-29-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
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I have both. The 16-45mm has better IQ, but not enough to defeat the 18-135's main advantages (long range and weather-resistance). I almost always carry the superzoom and primes, leave the 16-45 at home. I can't bring myself to sell the 16-45 though, it's a great lens and the small amount I would get for it doesn't seem worthwhile. My copy has lower CA than some I've seen.

You should read this thread, for actual user reviews and more on the 16-45 comparison.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html
The 18-135mm is way better than the crap review it received at Photozone. The In-Depth review done by Pentax Forums is much more accurate, as are a few others.
10-29-2013, 08:35 PM   #4
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I shared your concerns and ultimately let the 18-135 go for a DA70, so 16-45 + 70 is my wide/midrange team. Adam definitely brings out the high points for the 18-135, WR+range+silent focus are very nice to have. I'd say it depends on how often you 'need' more than 70mm, where the long zoom is at its slowest aperture and weakest IQ. I picked up a 50-200WR so I'm set for foul weather with a small lens that can use the same 49mm filters as my primes. You could also wait for the 55-300WR (though it's bulkier and takes 58mm filters), or watch carefully for a used copy of the 50-135. I really wanted the 18-135 to be just right, but for me it's not the answer.

10-29-2013, 08:49 PM - 1 Like   #5
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10-29-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TopherTheME Quote
The 18-135 just seems to be a very poor value.
I dont have personal experience with it but from reviews Ive read that title belongs to the 18-270.

For me, the 18-135 especially for how much Adorama currently has it advertised is a great value. I despised it at first but it was apparently a bad copy and needed calibration from CRIS. When I got it back and paired with the K5, at relevant aperture/focal-length it was and still is hard for me to tell which photo was taken with the zoom vs. DA35mm f2.4 prime. I bought it for the occasional WR need but ended up being my most used lens.

I had the 16-45mm at one point and it, too was a great lens just quite large for walk around and often find myself wanting more than 45mm. I didn't mind loosing the extra 2mm on the wide end and considered the 18-55WR at first but opted for the longer zoom since I usually shoot in the 70mm-100mm range. So far, I'm happy with the 18-135mm.

Last edited by K57XR; 10-29-2013 at 10:34 PM.
10-30-2013, 12:12 AM   #7
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I would seriously consider the 18-55WR then 55-300 WR combo as an option since you are already considering the 18-55 AND have nothing past 200. This would fill the gap you seem to need filled plus add a bit of lenght for you. I've no experience with the 18-135 though so can't comment on that lens. You would be looking at about an extra $150 if you bought that combo today (over the 18-135) and you lose the convenience of one walk around lens.
10-30-2013, 02:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I have both. The 16-45mm has better IQ, but not enough to defeat the 18-135's main advantages (long range and weather-resistance). I almost always carry the superzoom and primes, leave the 16-45 at home. I can't bring myself to sell the 16-45 though, it's a great lens and the small amount I would get for it doesn't seem worthwhile. My copy has lower CA than some I've seen.

You should read this thread, for actual user reviews and more on the 16-45 comparison.

The 18-135mm is way better than the crap review it received at Photozone. The In-Depth review done by Pentax Forums is much more accurate, as are a few others.
I agree with everything AB said here. I too have a copy of the 16-45 which shows little CA, except wide open at 16mm. I have the 18-135 and it is a whole different beasty - it sticks to my K5 like glue, and there isn't that much difference in IQ between my copies of the 2 lenses. The WR is great, the motor driven focus snappy and quiet and best of all I change lenses infrequently, a real bonus in wet and windy UK. I got a good deal on the 18-135 (unboxed, new, split from a kit) and definitley have not regretted it. I still treasure the 16-45 (I got it second-hand and it isnow a little frayed round the edges) but it is still in my bag for the16-18mm range which I need sometimes.

10-30-2013, 03:06 AM   #9
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I do own 18-135,
Just sharing my experience:
My 18-135 sharpness is very near my Tamron 17-50 in the same range but at f/8!, and as Adam said with some sharpening in LR, it's quite good for rainy/wet days.
And due to my comparison, its sharpness in the long end. (@ 135mm) is quite good and much better than what Photozone.de test says.
10-30-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenHampshire Quote
I agree with everything AB said here. I too have a copy of the 16-45 which shows little CA, except wide open at 16mm. I have the 18-135 and it is a whole different beasty - it sticks to my K5 like glue, and there isn't that much difference in IQ between my copies of the 2 lenses. The WR is great, the motor driven focus snappy and quiet and best of all I change lenses infrequently, a real bonus in wet and windy UK. I got a good deal on the 18-135 (unboxed, new, split from a kit) and definitley have not regretted it. I still treasure the 16-45 (I got it second-hand and it isnow a little frayed round the edges) but it is still in my bag for the16-18mm range which I need sometimes.
Agreed. Verbatum. I, too, have both and elected to keep both lenses.

I also have excellent copies of the Tamron AF 17-35, the AF 24-135 and the AD-2 SP 35-80. Each has characteristics I find worth keeping around here at the Ol' Lens Retirement Home despite the overlaps.

H2

Last edited by pacerr; 10-30-2013 at 07:48 AM.
10-30-2013, 08:16 AM   #11
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If you want WR go for the 18-135 and quit stressing. It's a modern lens, efforts have been made to control CA that you won't see in older lenses. Even in the review that trashes it is rated "excellent" for centre sharpness right up to 135mm. It's an excellent lens. Just looking at center sharpness, it has centre sharpness rated as excellent, in a higher percentage of the FL/ƒstop charts than any lens less than a DA*. And in the middle of it's range it has excellent edge sharpness as well. rare in a super zoom. The sleeping elephant is all these conversations is, if you look at a lot of zooms, pick an F-stop, and compare photo zone rankings, the DA 18-135 is equal to or better what's being recommended ahead of it, a high percentage of the time.

I'm not going to say it's good for everything. There are times we take it off the camera for our Tamron 17-50, or a DA21 or 35, and I definitely swap it out for the DA*60-250 over 60mm for landscape, it's just not in that class. But, I'd definitely say buy it first. It's numbers are good enough that you may decide you don't need anything else in it's range until you start looking for something faster. And really, for faster, how about that new SIgma 18-35 1.8? If you want fast wide angle, now there's a piece of glass.
10-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I think you all convinced me to get this lens, at least pick up a used copy. Although I looked today and I see its now going for $395 on Amazon. I may have to order a copy today as that seems to be the lowest price I've seen for it to date.
10-30-2013, 11:17 AM   #13
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I have both and kept both. The 16-45 is outstanding indoors in particular, where the 45 is just enough reach in meetings etc. I don't use it as often, though, as the 18-135 now. Mostly that's because of the convenience factor. I do have filters for the 16-45 though, so if I'm doing something special with ND or CP it's on the camera.

I picked the 18-135 up used for over $300, so if you see it new on Amazon for $395 I think that's pretty good. I have been caught in the rain several times with the 18-135.
10-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #14
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my reaction would be you would miss the width, but seeing you have the 15mm i would do the trade
10-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
my reaction would be you would miss the width, but seeing you have the 15mm i would do the trade
Good point. It wasn't just the 18-135mm that sidelined my 16-45, it was a combination of 18-135 and DA 15mm. The Limited is so small, I almost always have it in the bag.

Last edited by audiobomber; 10-30-2013 at 03:51 PM.
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