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04-30-2015, 11:30 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The 18-135 is a zoom. Statements like the 18-135 is not optimal at the corners... depends on the focal length. At 24mm the 18-135 is actually excellent at the corners and I use it like a prime at that focal length. I'm not sure how you get through a whole analysis of the two lenses without referring to things like that. 16-18 the 16-85 is better. I'm assuming 50-85 the 16-85 is better. 85 to 135, the 18-135 is better. 20-50 I'm assuming from whats been written is pretty much a saw off, but nobody has addressed it, head on. When I look at them, I see the 16-85 as an excellent companion for my 60-260, where the 16-18mm FL is worth more to me than the 85-135. I'm still not seeing how 85 is enough reach for a single walk around lens. They seem to me to be totally different lenses.

The 16-85 is a kit, and in fact that's what Pentax markets it as, a step up from kit. The 18-135 is an improved IQ version of the 18-200, or 18-250 super zooms. It blows away the optics in those zooms with the compromise being less reach. I don't see the 16-85 filling the same gap. From my perspective, even if I buy the 16-85 as part of a two lens kit with the 60-250, I still need the 18-135 for days I want to go out with one lens.
I was deciding between the 16-85 and the 20-40 lens while I was in Japan, I ended up getting the 20-40 lens instead. I too have the 18-135, which I find it to have plenty of sharpness, at least around my focus point. I am not too concern about corner sharpness, as I don't really care about that.

Another point about the 18-135 is that it is more compact than the 16-85; so it is great for traveling. Now, my travel kit including both 18-135 and 20-40. I find this combo is great for street photography as well as for indoor shots. I also find that 16mm is a bit too wide for people shot (too much perspective distortion on close subjects).

PS. I am sure the 16-85 is a great lens.. just because my 18-135 copy is sharp... so it is not quite as useful in MY case..


Last edited by aleonx3; 05-01-2015 at 12:37 AM.
05-01-2015, 04:54 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
- I tend to shoot wide a lot, and for a lot of my pics, I would like my edge sharpness, so that's why the 16-85 is especially appealing to me. In practice, is anyone finding the benefit of the extra 2mm and extra edge quality at the wide end of the 16-85 to offset the lack of 86-135mm?
I played with the 18-135, and own the 18-55. I can say that the leap to 16mm is much more significant than I would have thought. Even going from 17 to 16 is visible.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
The best comparison is against the Sigma 17-70 Contemporary zoom, which is a little faster at the expense of 15mm of reach at the long end, isn't WR and is significantly less money
And one mm move at the wide end. I own the Sigma v1 and I'll keep it for the wider aperture inside, but the 16-85 feels more responsive at all times. DC focus is just great.
04-13-2020, 06:58 AM   #18
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Hi All. Happy Eastern everyone
I can't compare DA18-135 to DA16-85, but I will share you my story with comparison to Tamron 17-50/2.8.

Untill 2016, I mainly had one set: K20d+Tamron 17-50/2.8. I bought DA18-135 second hand along with K50 set. After purchase, I stopped using Tamron and I have built a lasting bond with DA18-135. Why? For travel and going-out photography I love to use 18-135 due to it's light weight, small size, WR, SDM, very useful range. Furthermore, Tamron was excellent if it focused without BF/FF. I have a lot of super shots with BF :/ For more challenging tasks, like landscape or portraits, I use primes or dedicated zooms (like Sigma 10-20 for landscape). 01/01/2020 I tried to do some descent portraits with DA18-135 in rather poor light conditions and I wasn't satisfied.

I consider again pros and cons of both zoom lenses and... shocking, last month I have sold my 10-year old Tamron (!)...

No doubt, that I exchange Tamron's superior IQ for much less sharper and slower lens (DA18-135), but if you consider advantages mentioned above and the fact, that I have never used Tamron for portraits, but only for travel holiday photography, that is reasoable choice. That brings me to the original topic: DA16-85 vs DA18-135. I assume, that if I will change DA18-135 for DA16-85, I will get better IQ, but I will lost everything, that I got yet. And I will be dissapointed, because I will end up with worse set in terms of IQ, that I already experienced with Tamron, with more limited range that DA18-135.

To sum up, if you, like me, for your holiday take only one lens and you prefer broader range and as little size as possible, with WR and quiet AF motor and you know, that you want to save your memories more, that analyze image quality in 1:1 magnifiactions, you should keep your DA18-135 kit and have other lenses for more demanding acations.
Furthermore, here in Poland brand new DA18-135 cost $380, used one is for $190-200, and you have to have at least $660 for new DA16-85 KIT. For me that price for kit lens is unacceptable, but I respect everyone that want that extra 2mm and better IQ. It always up to you.
04-13-2020, 07:59 AM   #19
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The 16-85mm is a very good lens, much hailed on it's release, but it's not perfect, the major flaws being the price for a slow zoom, and the focus glitches. However, if you decide to get it despite the price, when it focuses properly then it gives very pleasing results across the entire range. I have found that it gives me superb colours and that exposure is probably the most accurate across all the Pentax-fit lenses I have. Maybe this is due to it being a relatively new design, I don't know.

Regarding the performance from 86-135mm compared to the 18-135mm, I remember a comparison being done (probably here) that concluded that cropping images from the 16-85mm at 85mm gave virtually identical resolution to images at 135mm on the 18-135mm due to the superior optics. I got the 16-85mm in order to get a WR lens that's better than the 18-55mm kit and wasn't really concerned about focal range (I'd have bought a standard fast prime if one existed) but I wanted something with above average optics so the only other real contender was the 20-40mm Limited. I'd probably have preferred the Limited, but the 16-85mm is good enough and the complaints I have about it are not related to optical performance.

04-13-2020, 05:53 PM   #20
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I have both the 18-135 and 16-85. I haven't been able to part with the 18-135 because it is relatively small and light and it's a good range for hiking in nature.
I much prefer the 16-85 for most everything else. That extra 2mm at the wide end is very useful for more of my style of shooting, and the edges are better than the 18-135 at 18mm. Also, cropping at 85mm on the 16-85 is just about as good as shooting at 135mm on the 18-135.
04-13-2020, 08:46 PM   #21
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Both lenses have their good points, perhaps the reason some people own both. The DA 16-85mm has a wider angle which is very important to some people, and delivers sharper edges at some zoom settings. The DA 18-135mm is more compact, has one of the fastest and accurate AF performance, has much more zoom range unless one does not need the reach it offers, and its central area sharpness is very good to excellent throughout its large zoom range- an exceptional accomplishment. And usually as one zooms more into telephoto range, the edges of the photo tend to become less important anyway. It can also deliver very fine closeups and with very good bokeh (smoothness of out-of-focus background).
04-13-2020, 10:32 PM   #22
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I've owned both and agree with the assessment given by mgvh at Post #20 (sorry I hate addressing people by username but they don't give their real name!).I didn't find the size/weight difference a concern.
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