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02-19-2014, 05:14 AM   #1
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Buying a used 18-135WR

I am interested in purchasing a used Pentax 18-135wr. From what I understand, early copies had QC issues. Does anyone know what serial numbers this correlates with and what the newer copy serial numbers are?
Thanks!

02-19-2014, 05:58 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Well, I am not too sure about these initial QC problems. There was a herostratically famous review in ePhotozine.de where they had obviously gotten a poor copy and where an ignorant/arrogant local representative responded that "the lens was up to specs".

If you take a look at the database section there are 85 entries as of today, spanning from the earliest serial numbers until today - and there are no systematic negative trends to observe:

SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Serial Numbers - Pentax Serial Number Database - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com

Opinions on the optical performance have always been mixed - but with the vast majority of owners being happy with their lens. I am one of the happy owners and my lens' serial number is: 5398745. (The list above starts around 40XXXXX).
02-19-2014, 06:42 AM   #3
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can't say I have heard of these early QC issues either. As mentioned above, majority of people like their lens and the rest expect to much of an 18-135

I was an early adopter and love this lens.
02-19-2014, 07:35 AM   #4
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I like mine too. Have it nearly a year now. Printed some of the pictures taken with it up to a size of 45x30 cm. You can also crop a lot for more range or different composition when going smaller. My serial is 5657237. But I wont sell mine

02-19-2014, 07:51 AM   #5
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Looking at the lens rentals information, any lens can have QC issues, there is sample variation of even the best and most expensive lenses, and there is just no guaranty you will get an above average lens, whether you buy new or second hand. So your best source of info is your seller. I wouldn't sell mine either, so my question would be why are they selling. When buying second hand there is always the chance you'll get a poor copy. But whether or not you're more likely to get a poor copy than you'd be buying new, I can't guess. The only advantage to new, is, you can test it right away then take it back for an over the counter exchange, if it isn't functioning properly.

And they can be had for under $400 new these days.

I'm also an early adopter and have taken over 20,000 images with the lens. I've never had any kind of problem with mine, and it's been on 100s of kilometres of hikes etc, out of the case, on the camera, and still works as good as the day I bought it.

Last edited by normhead; 02-19-2014 at 08:08 AM.
02-19-2014, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I think the early issues were related more to disappointment and value/price expectations. I was an early adopter who let my copy go, as I expected more from it for what I paid - yet I have a used copy now with similar IQ that I paid less for, and I'm satisfied. Shots taken above 100mm will need to be reprocessed for best results, I accept that as a 'feature' of this lens - and of most superzooms.
02-19-2014, 08:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I think the early issues were related more to disappointment and value/price expectations. I was an early adopter who let my copy go, as I expected more from it for what I paid - yet I have a used copy now with similar IQ that I paid less for, and I'm satisfied. Shots taken above 100mm will need to be reprocessed for best results, I accept that as a 'feature' of this lens - and of most superzooms.
Like you, I'm still not happy with what I paid for mine, but at that time I was still using the kit lens for most of my images. This was definitely an upgrade, and affording the 16-50 and 50-135 was out of the question. But then, that can be said of just about everything. Early adopters pay the big bucks.
02-19-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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Early adopter here and no issues with mine .
It's a versatile lens with slightly better IQ than the 18-55 kit IMHO.

02-19-2014, 09:23 AM   #9
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I bought my 18-135 used from B&H. I paid about $60 more than I could have on eBay at that moment, but B&H accepts returns.
The 18-135 stays on my K-3 pretty much all the time. For special occasions, I will swap for the DA*50-135 or HD-DA55-300.
The 18-135 has that Goldilocks "just right" thing going for it. The combination of focal length ranges, image quality, size, and weight make for more of a win-win-win-win than a compromise.
02-20-2014, 04:25 AM   #10
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I have an 18-135 and the biggest problem I have with it is LBA. Well, the 18-135 is so versatile that I cannot really justify getting a "better" lens (and I do really want to acquire more glass)! While the 16-50 and the 50-135 will probably improve the IQ, I am likely to miss many shots while I swop between the two lenses.

I thought of giving it to my wife to use to justify purchasing additional lenses, then realised that it was my most used lens and if I were to give it to her, it would be to buy another 18-135!
02-25-2014, 05:41 PM   #11
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Regarding the 18-135 and LBA: Its a gateway drug. Since obtaining this lens, I have quit buying cheap kit lenses and now only buy primes to augment the 18-135.
02-25-2014, 06:14 PM   #12
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To me, that's a great strategy for anyone starting out. The 15, 31, 77 and 200 2.8 or 300 4 and the new TC would be a fantastic kit to go along with it. Go right from "good enough" to great, no need for any stops in between.
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