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06-07-2015, 05:14 AM   #1
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18-50mm WR vs 18-55mm WR

Next month I'll go to India for a business trip and I have about 2 days of private time to take some photos. It is expected to rain all the time and therefore I want to buy a cheap WR lens to accompany my K-5. My local shops sells the 18-55mm WR for ~ 75 dollars / 69 euros. A fair price it seems. But then again, also the new 18-50mm WR (the retractible one) has caught my attention. I really like the compact form factor and the idea of the silent motor. It might pair nicely with my K-01 as well.

The older 18-55mm WR seems a safe choice. But I can't find much reviews on the newer 18-50mm. It can be picked up on Ebay for slightly more (e.g. here).



What do you recommend?

06-07-2015, 05:44 AM   #2
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I've never used the new 18-50 but I believe there was a review on the forums shortly after it was released.
06-07-2015, 06:31 AM   #3
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It was a "first impressions" review, but it did directly compare the 18-50 and 18-55:

Pentax 18-50mm F4-5.6 First Impressions Review - Hands-on Reviews | PentaxForums.com

In terms of IQ, it doesn't sound like either outshines the other. The question is whether giving up a little speed at the wide end, 5mm of reach, and slightly poorer handling is worth it for silent focusing and compactness when not shooting. I think it depends on the situation.
06-07-2015, 06:45 AM   #4
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Between those two, I'd probably go for whatever was cheapest, and I'd look for an old dirt cheap FA 35-to-80 type lens to take with it.

06-07-2015, 06:46 AM   #5
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I would recommend you go for the 18-135 WR instead. While it is not cheap, it has better IQ than the 18-55, and I suspect you can find a good deal on one.

India is full of people, and you will find interesting subjects that require the extra reach. I found it quite useful when I visited (during the monsoon season of course).

India - fotoBilder
06-07-2015, 07:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinni Quote
My local shops sells the 18-55mm WR for ~ 75 dollars / 69 euros.
That is a very decent price. My vote would be with the 18-55 unless the 18-50 is less than$120 euros.


Steve
06-07-2015, 10:39 AM   #7
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18-50 vs 18-55

I am from India and a Pentax K-3 shooter. India is a country that is rich with color and is a magnificent place for street photography - color, emotions, natural wonder and the likes. I have found that some of my best shots have come on the streets of India at night - While the 18-55 mm WR is a good all rounder, I might be tempted to get a DA 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens for low light.
FYI - my walk around lens in India is the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and if weather is an issue, it's the 50-135 DA* f/2.8 - a little big but magnificent IQ and rendering. Enjoy India my friend
06-07-2015, 10:55 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
I might be tempted to get a DA 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens for low light.
2.8? You've already got 40 2.8 in your Tamron 17-50.

For low light DA 50 1.8, then you get something your zoom doesn't have, and if you want to get really exotic and match the IQ of your 50-135, how about a DA*55 1.4. That would be a full two stops better than your zooms. At least consider the 35 2.4 and go for the extra half stop.

06-07-2015, 11:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
2.8? You've already got 40 2.8 in your Tamron 17-50.

For low light DA 50 1.8, then you get something your zoom doesn't have, and if you want to get really exotic and match the IQ of your 50-135, how about a DA*55 1.4. That would be a full two stops better than your zooms. At least consider the 35 2.4 and go for the extra half stop.
At Normhead, What I meant was, I usually carry the Tamron 17-50 but when weather is a concern, I carry the 50-135 WR. My recommendation to him was to get a low light WR lens as a one lens solution, hence the DA 40mm - the 18-55 or 18-135 while versatile is going to struggle to capture the vibrancy, colors and textures of the Indian streets in the evenings
06-07-2015, 02:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinni Quote
Next month I'll go to India for a business trip and I have about 2 days of private time to take some photos. It is expected to rain all the time and therefore I want to buy a cheap WR lens to accompany my K-5. My local shops sells the 18-55mm WR for ~ 75 dollars / 69 euros. A fair price it seems. But then again, also the new 18-50mm WR (the retractible one) has caught my attention. I really like the compact form factor and the idea of the silent motor. It might pair nicely with my K-01 as well.

The older 18-55mm WR seems a safe choice. But I can't find much reviews on the newer 18-50mm. It can be picked up on Ebay for slightly more (e.g. here).



What do you recommend?
We've got an in-depth review comparing the DA L 18-50 to the HD DA 18-50 to the DA 18-55 coming very soon. In a nutshell, the optical performance of the DA L 18-50 and DA 18-55 is comparable, with the 18-55 pulling ahead in some areas and the 18-50 pulling ahead in others. I'd probably stick with the 18-55mm for rainy conditions or if I suspect it might take a beating. Surprisingly, though, the HD DA 18-50mm is much sharper than the other two, rivaling the DA 16-85mm in terms of performance. It's hard to explain but star charts don't lie!

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06-07-2015, 02:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sumitkar1971 Quote
At Normhead, What I meant was, I usually carry the Tamron 17-50 but when weather is a concern, I carry the 50-135 WR. My recommendation to him was to get a low light WR lens as a one lens solution, hence the DA 40mm - the 18-55 or 18-135 while versatile is going to struggle to capture the vibrancy, colors and textures of the Indian streets in the evenings
But the 50 1.8 is still more than full stop faster than a 40 2.8.
06-07-2015, 02:59 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sumitkar1971 Quote
India is a country that is rich with color and is a magnificent place for street photography - color, emotions, natural wonder and the likes. I have found that some of my best shots have come on the streets of India at night
I am looking forward to visit your country! At home I do a lof of street photography, usually with my Pentax-A 20mm F2.8. From experience I know that this lens can resist some bad weather as well (see this thread). But I'd rather not risk it anymore ...

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
But the 50 1.8 is still more than full stop faster than a 40 2.8.
I'll bring my Pentax-A 50 1.4 as well. It works great at night.

QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
I would recommend you go for the 18-135 WR instead.
The 18-135 doesn't get that much appraisal it seems. Furthermore I'd use that kind of money to buy a nice prime.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
We've got an in-depth review comparing the DA L 18-50 to the HD DA 18-50 to the DA 18-55 coming very soon. In a nutshell, the optical performance of the DA L 18-50 and DA 18-55 is comparable, with the 18-55 pulling ahead in some areas and the 18-50 pulling ahead in others. I'd probably stick with the 18-55mm for rainy conditions or if I suspect it might take a beating. Surprisingly, though, the HD DA 18-50mm is much sharper than the other two, rivaling the DA 16-85mm in terms of performance. It's hard to explain but star charts don't lie!
Thanks for the heads-up on the upcoming review. I am now tempted to pay the extra bucks and get the HD DA 18-50mm if it's indeed that sharp. It seems that new HD coating does make a difference then. I usually walk around with manual focus primes from the Pentax-A era. To have a pocket-size WR performer would be the perfect back-up.
06-07-2015, 03:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinni Quote
The 18-135 doesn't get that much appraisal it seems. Furthermore I'd use that kind of money to buy a nice prime.
I can't believe you said that..... oh well, I've thrown enough tantrums in defence of this lens. Lets go out for a shoot, me with my 18-135 and you with what you think is better. Head to head , mano a mano.

Sample_by_lens_name Slideshow by Norm_Head | Photobucket

DA_18-135-small_flowers Slideshow by Norm_Head | Photobucket

And what kind of nice prime are you going to buy for $400?
06-07-2015, 06:40 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Guys, Vinni just wants to know which 18-5xmm to get. He said he wants a cheap WR lens and it sounds like he wants a small one. Can we not turn this into another "18-135mm vs all the primes" again?


Normhead, we get it, you love your 18-135mm, and you prefer using it to zooming with your feet. A lot of people prefer primes and Pentax make some really good ones.
06-07-2015, 06:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by trevorg Quote
Guys, Vinni just wants to know which 18-5xmm to get. He said he wants a cheap WR lens and it sounds like he wants a small one. Can we not turn this into another "18-135mm vs all the primes" again?


Normhead, we get it, you love your 18-135mm, and you prefer using it to zooming with your feet. A lot of people prefer primes and Pentax make some really good ones.
Hey he said
QuoteQuote:
The 18-135 doesn't get that much appraisal it seems. Furthermore I'd use that kind of money to buy a nice prime.
Dems fighting words.

And on zooming with your feet, I recommend it, I also recommend shooting from the ground, getting up on ladders anything to get a unique perspective and using a tripod whenever possible. IN the studio I'm often rolling on the floor looking for new angles. I don't get fixated on quasi religious photographic doctrines. But much of the time, zooming with your feet is technically impossible. A topic the "zooming with your feet" crowd seem to religiously avoid. I'm never a fan of religious fanaticism.

I'm always the , "you have to do what works" guy. No sense in beating yourself up because you used a zoom to get a shot.

By the way, I'd like to get involved in this 18-135 against all primes thread... where do I find it?

Myself I carry my 21 ltd, 40 XS and 70 macro and DA*60-250 as a compliment to the 18-135 much of the time. But if someone knows how you can get by in every situation with just an 18-135, I'm all ears.

OK, I'm going to bed now, play nice....

Last edited by normhead; 06-07-2015 at 06:59 PM.
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