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03-08-2016, 05:21 PM   #16
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If only taking one lens, the 18-135 would get my nod over the 20-40, and I already own both. The reach is so useful for detail shots, sections of scenery, people and animal pictures, etc. And I do notice the amount that the 18 gets wider than 20, which comes in handy in tight European cities. Indeed, I really prefer to have a super wide angle for those areas, down to 10mm if possible. With all that said, the 16-85 might be an even better choice, but not having one myself it is hard to judge. If I owned all three and the IQ was reasonably equal I think I would prefer the range of the 16-85 to the other two for "one lens travel". But its size and weight could be a deal breaker, I don't know. My 18-135 does such a sufficient job that it is hard to justify getting another zoom.

03-08-2016, 06:21 PM   #17
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I too vote 18-135 for these reasons:

1) you have it and know it. It is a good copy I assume.

2) size vs performance is great.

If anything I would suggest one small prime that is reasonably fast as a good addition. Perhaps the 35 macro or da 40 (any version).
03-08-2016, 07:05 PM   #18
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I've traveled/hiked cities and the great outdoors with the k7 + full complement of lenses, and also done it with only a GR. IMHO:
1. Wide is more important than long.
2. Weight is not an issue, but bulk can be.
3. The crop-ability of a 16mp sensor and a really sharp lens is stunning.

With this said I am completely happy traveling with the GR only. Even when I do make a 15+" print at 100% crop, I still get all the detail and sharpness I could ever ask for.

Go for wide and sharp, the bulk of any of the lenses you mention on a K5 body will be so close it will not matter. Weight will also be close enough to be of little concern.

Oh...if you prefer available light and like shallow dof, consider a fast prime as a second lens. This is the one item I routinely miss when I travel with only the GR.
03-08-2016, 07:34 PM   #19
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Take the 18-135, bring an UWA along such as the Sigma 10-20, toss in the 55-300.

03-08-2016, 07:39 PM   #20
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The 18-135 has served me well on several European vacations visiting nine or ten countries. I know a lot of people say the 16-85 is a better lens, but I have not yet seen an image taken with the 16-85 that makes me want to replace the 18-135.

The 10-17 FE is available at an attractive price these days. It's comparatively compact and light, would make a good choice as a second lens to accompany the 18-135.
03-08-2016, 09:39 PM   #21
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I always recommend the 12-24 (or something similar). I would take wider over longer for travel.
03-08-2016, 10:36 PM - 1 Like   #22
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For what it's worth, here is the data from my recent trip to Varanasi, India, showing the number of shots I took at each focal length:

The lenses I had with me were DA15, DA40, DA70, DA 16-85 and DA 55-300. I usually use the DA15 much more, but the scenery on this trip was not generally well suited to it. Quite a few shots were taken at night with the two faster lenses, the DA40 f/2.8 and DA70 f/2.4.

If I'd taken the 18-135 with me, I'm sure I would have had many shots at 135.
03-08-2016, 11:06 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlamDesiAK Quote
My apologies if this has been covered multiple times over the years. I'm taking a trip to Europe and just taking a backpack. I usually carry a large camera bag and that just ain't fitting the plan this time around. I have a 18-135mm WR that I might take but, wanted to know what others thought abou a 20-40mm instead. Or, I could throw caution to the wind and buy the 16-85mm and not worry about the size of the lens. Any general comments on the Limited lens vs the longer zoom ranges? Is the 16-85mm "that" much better than the 18-35mm? Or, is the 20-40mm a no-brainer due to it being a Limited and supposedly sharper and faster?
Same as the others, IMHO : 20-40 too short, not long enough. 16-85 great lens, less reach than the 18-135. For a one-lens trip, I'd go for the 18-135 without hesitation. Writing from Paris where the 18-135 + your K-5IIs will do virtually everything you need. Have fun.

03-08-2016, 11:58 PM   #24
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Owning an 18-135 I also happily recommend it as a one lens kit. An overall good performer with a nice balance of size, IQ, range.

Having said that... I'm about to go on vacation and have opted for a 2-lens kit... my 16-50 and 50-135. But I'll bet my 16-50 will be mounted at least 75% of the time...

Same overall range, but better speed (f2.8) but also unfortunately much more heft (2 lenses, either of which dwarfs the 18-135 in size and weight). But there it its, I do plan on bringing a camera bag (and I'm probably throwing in a couple of small primes just because they take next to no room next to the two zooms)
03-09-2016, 01:38 AM   #25
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I'd take a 31mm and 18-135mm for my case. But if you would choose one only, 18-135 may be more versatile.
03-09-2016, 03:47 AM   #26
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Another vote for 31 + 18-135
03-09-2016, 04:46 AM   #27

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Honestly, I don't things other can vote for you, because this is subjective. What more important? Great sharp wide view or tele view (that can be cropped from the 85mm framing) ?

Do you prefer to shoot more wide or more tele ?

That (here DA15):

Or that (here F135):

Couting that at 77 framing you could do that too ?

We are arguing focal length. The thing that depend of the subject, your preferences etc.

The thing is the 18-135 is also quite cheaper or for 16-85 money you could have tamron 17-50 + 55-300 and get more of everything basically. Larger apperture, more reach and 17mm not that far from 16 anymore... 55-300 long enough for a safari even if not perfect while neither 16-85 or 18-135 would do, and 17-50 great for events, indoor, low light and being quite sharp stopped down.

Reality is even if we remove the monetary aspect some people will prefer one solution or the other or even cumulate. I think norm has a 17-50 or some f/2.8 zoom and also a 60-250 on top of his 18-135...

On my side, I'll end up with 17-50 + 55-300 in a few months on top of my prime and decide what to take depending of the occasion...

If I was to choose the 18-135 and that was my only lens, I would think to get also a DA15 or a sigma 8-16 or pentax 12-24 one day or another.
if I was to choose the 16-85 and that was my only lens I would think to get something longer at least up to 135mm on the occasion. 55-300 or maybe the F/FA135...

In both case I'd want to compliment with some low light/bokeh capability so DA35 f/2.4, DA50, 17-50 f/2.8 or 24-70 f/2.8 or something along the lines...

And sure different people would prioritize differently.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 03-09-2016 at 04:56 AM.
03-09-2016, 08:35 AM   #28
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As others have said, the 18-135 is a wonderfully versatile lens for numerous reasons, including ability for closeup shots. I too recommend it if you limit yourself to one lens. The 12-24 is about the same size (a little larger) without lens hood (I'd leave the hood at home because of its size), so it would likely be my choice as an second lens. Less bulky wide alternatives to the 12-24 that would be potentially useful are the 15 mm Limited and the 10-17 fisheye. The fisheye defishes in post processing pretty well in the upper half of its zoom range.
Enjoy your adventure!
03-09-2016, 09:09 AM   #29

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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I too vote 18-135 for these reasons:

1) you have it and know it. It is a good copy I assume.

2) size vs performance is great.

If anything I would suggest one small prime that is reasonably fast as a good addition. Perhaps the 35 macro or da 40 (any version).
Faced with similar situations as the OP, what I have done is taken my 18-135mm and my 15mm Ltd. That gives more on the wide end, when needed, as well as a whole different type of shooting for big skies, cityscapes, etc. If you are not familiar with it, look for the "15mm Limited Controls My Mind" thread to see examples.
The 18-135mm is really a pretty decent lens and covers all the bases. Handled well, it gives nice results. I'm using both mentioned on 16mp sensors -- the K30 and K5iis.

Last edited by yucatanPentax; 03-09-2016 at 12:42 PM. Reason: added link to 15mm limited examples
03-09-2016, 11:07 AM   #30
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Thanks very much for all of your feedback. I'll definitely be taking my 18-135mm and, possibly, look into a prime of some sort. I own many great lenses from the film days (50 f/1.8, 35 f/2.8, 28 f/2.8 - all M-Series) but haven't have a lot of luck getting satisfactory results. I take the blame for that in not spending enough time with using my manual lenses. Again, sincere thanks to everyone for contributing. I appreciate it very much.

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