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11-05-2014, 03:03 PM   #1
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Differences between 18-55 WR and 18-135 WR

I'm still searching to improve my gear.

I have read the user reviews of the 18-55 WR and 18-135 WR but I still can't find the answers I'm looking for:
Is there any difference than the focal length between these lens?

What I would like to know exactly is if in the common range of both lenses (from 18 to 55mm), the sharpness is the same or 18-135 is better?

I would use mainly the range from 18 to 50, but it is attractive the idea to have a walk around lens that is WR and when randomly required would permit me a bigger zoom.

Unfortunately the 16/85 WR is absolutely far from my money range...

11-05-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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Huge differences, the most noticeable being:
  • Generally improved image quality at most (all?) focal lengths
  • Wider zoom range
  • Silent (almost) AF thanks to in-lens motor
  • Price... $ vs. $$


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11-05-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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I'm not interested in silent autofocus, since I never take videos. About the price, I'm aware, but I already have a 18-55, I just want to know if it is worth to upgrade regarding IQ.
So, I'm very interested in the common focal range between the lenses.
11-05-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by flaviopetrone Quote
I'm not interested in silent autofocus, since I never take videos. About the price, I'm aware, but I already have a 18-55, I just want to know if it is worth to upgrade regarding IQ.
So, I'm very interested in the common focal range between the lenses.
The 18-135mm offers a slight IQ bump, but I think the most important difference (other than the added reach) is the AF speed. It focuses more quickly and more smoothly.


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11-05-2014, 03:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 18-135mm offers a slight IQ bump, but I think the most important difference (other than the added reach) is the AF speed. It focuses more quickly and more smoothly.
Thank you Adam.

A difficult question:
do you think that the improvement is worth 400 euro (+/- 500 USD), considering that if I spend this amount now, for sure it will pass a lot of time before I can buy another lens?
Or it would be better to use the money for something else?
I really wanted a WR zoom, but it seems that none of them is affordable.
11-05-2014, 03:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by flaviopetrone Quote
Thank you Adam.

A difficult question:
do you think that the improvement is worth 400 euro (+/- 500 USD), considering that if I spend this amount now, for sure it will pass a lot of time before I can buy another lens?
Or it would be better to use the money for something else?
I really wanted a WR zoom, but it seems that none of them is affordable.
I guess that depends on what other lenses you already have. The 18-135mm is nice because it's an all-in-one lens for when you don't want to carry around your bag of primes. On the other hand, if you just need something with WR, the 18-55mm WR (you could even get the DA L version) is the most economical.

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11-05-2014, 03:24 PM   #7
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Flavio, the 18-135 lens review has a comparison with the 18-55. The 18-135 shows noticeably better sharpness and contrast.

Review: Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 - Image Quality | PentaxForums.com Reviews
11-05-2014, 03:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I guess that depends on what other lenses you already have. The 18-135mm is nice because it's an all-in-one lens for when you don't want to carry around your bag of primes. On the other hand, if you just need something with WR, the 18-55mm WR (you could even get the DA L version) is the most economical.
At the moment I have the 18-55 WR (was in the kit, so I already have it), a Pentax F 28/80, Pentax F 35/80, Pentax F 100/300, an old Tamron 28/200 (I don't remember exactly the model). All these lenses are low budget, I bought everything on the net to test the different focal lenght and to have at least a lens for more or less everything (even if I read before to buy the reviews and I already knew that every one of them was not a great lens).

---------- Post added 11-05-14 at 03:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Flavio, the 18-135 lens review has a comparison with the 18-55. The 18-135 shows noticeably better sharpness and contrast.

Review: Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 - Image Quality | PentaxForums.com Reviews
I didn't noticed it. I go to give a look, thanks.

11-05-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by flaviopetrone Quote
At the moment I have the 18-55 WR (was in the kit, so I already have it), a Pentax F 28/80, Pentax F 35/80, Pentax F 100/300, an old Tamron 28/200 (I don't remember exactly the model). All these lenses are low budget, I bought everything on the net to test the different focal lenght and to have at least a lens for more or less everything (even if I read before to buy the reviews and I already knew that every one of them was not a great lens).
Then my recommendation would be to get a prime lens- even a cheap one like the DA 50 or 35mm. Those will give you a pretty big jump in image quality plus better low-light/bokeh capabilities.

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11-05-2014, 03:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Then my recommendation would be to get a prime lens- even a cheap one like the DA 50 or 35mm. Those will give you a pretty big jump in image quality plus better low-light/bokeh capabilities.
Ok, I could buy even a 40mm XS for a very good price, maybe I will go for it! Thank you for all the informations!
11-05-2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by flaviopetrone Quote
About the price, I'm aware, but I already have a 18-55, I just want to know if it is worth to upgrade regarding IQ.
Short answer....NO. There are people that rave about this lens, but I never saw anything special in it. I've owned both and "my copy" of the 18-135 was not much different in IQ than the kit lens 18-55 version one or two. Get the 40mm XS. That lens will definitely give you decent IQ.
11-05-2014, 06:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Short answer....NO. There are people that rave about this lens, but I never saw anything special in it. I've owned both and "my copy" of the 18-135 was not much different in IQ than the kit lens 18-55 version one or two. Get the 40mm XS. That lens will definitely give you decent IQ.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I have found a copy of the 40 mm xs, new with box and warranty at 120 euro that is really a great price compared with the other online shops here (around 350 euro!). I think that tomorrow I will order it!
11-05-2014, 07:43 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Absolutely a difference in IQ AND Flexibility

Try this with a 18-55, I don't think so...

Taken with the 18-135 WR

Last edited by dcpropilot; 11-05-2014 at 07:52 PM.
11-05-2014, 08:05 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I would get a prime. 40mm XS is great, 40ltd is great and cheap when you buy it used. I really like 50mm F1.8 DA, since you don't mind loud autofocus you would likely enjoy it too. Another good one is 35mm F2.4 (only from reading about it). I like shooting with primes, because it makes you take pictures instead of thinking about what focal length you should be using.

It decreases time needed between thinking about the shot and taking it, making it a better choice for street photo. Within time you will also get used to the focal length and will be able to predict how close you need to be to take a perfect frame. If I have a zoom I tend to tape it to a specific focal length before doing street photos.

Here's a nice link about using primes I read some time ago:
Why shooting with just a 35mm lens WILL improve your photography | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS
11-05-2014, 08:13 PM   #15
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I've had a 40XS, but never warmed up to it. I loved the size and how people would comment on it, but in the end, the PF when wide open, the harsh bokeh, and the "too-digital-look" sealed its fate.

I've had an 18-55 and immediately sold it to recoup the cost of the body, knowing fully well that it will not be used.

I always bring my 18-135 as a walk-around, and weather insurance.
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