Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-08-2016, 03:59 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Alaska
Posts: 66
Good Travel Lens for My K5-IIs

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?

03-08-2016, 04:19 PM - 1 Like   #2
Pentaxian
timb64's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Here, there and everywhere.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,164
Are you trying to get me into trouble with Norm?

There are two threads comparing images from 18-135 and 16-85.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/301618-da-1...at-can-do.html

The 16-85 is a little bit bigger and heavier than the 18-135 and in my opinion gives better image quality.It also depends on what your priorities are re focal length,for landscapes etc the extra 2mm wide is noticeable,but you obviously lose 85-135(heaven forbid you should crop)

I have no experience of the 20-40 so wouldn't want to offer an opinion but I'm sure a search of the Forum will throw up plenty of images/opinions on that as an option.
03-08-2016, 04:25 PM   #3
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Alaska
Posts: 66
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
Are you trying to get me into trouble with Norm?

There are two threads comparing images from 18-135 and 16-85.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/301618-da-1...at-can-do.html

The 16-85 is a little bit bigger and heavier than the 18-135 and in my opinion gives better image quality.It also depends on what your priorities are re focal length,for landscapes etc the extra 2mm wide is noticeable,but you obviously lose 85-135(heaven forbid you should crop)

I have no experience of the 20-40 so wouldn't want to offer an opinion but I'm sure a search of the Forum will throw up plenty of images/opinions on that as an option.
Thanks for the threads, Timb.
03-08-2016, 04:28 PM   #4
Site Supporter
bertwert's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Golden, BC
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,235
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?
I'd say just take the 18-135 and have fun!

QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
Are you trying to get me into trouble with Norm?


03-08-2016, 04:36 PM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington Cascades
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,831
QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
I'd say just take the 18-135 and have fun!
That would be my vote as well. IMHO the 16-85 is somewhat better in some ways, but you give up a lot on the long end. Comparing all features together, I would have a tough time picking one over the other. And you already have the 18-135 so there you go.
03-08-2016, 04:40 PM   #6
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Alaska
Posts: 66
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
I'd say just take the 18-135 and have fun!


Thanks, bertwert. I appreciate it.
03-08-2016, 04:57 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,567
16-85. Image quality, wide angle, and detail.
03-08-2016, 04:59 PM   #8
npc
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 313
The 20-40 limited's zoom rane could be little bit limiting if that's the only lens you will carry. Compared to 16-85 .. well, my copies at least are very close in performance but 16-85 is little better at 20mm while the 20-40 is little better at 24mm-40mm.
Of the two I'd pick the 16-85 for a trip like this because of it's better range.
I've never used the 18-135 ... if you have it already and like its performance then I guess no real need to buy the 16-85.

Forgot to mention I use them on K-5IIs as well...

03-08-2016, 05:01 PM   #9
Senior Member
LoneWolf's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 141
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?
I'd would take the 18-135mm WR as your basic lens as it is an excellent holiday lens. I would not bother with 16-85 as its increase in quality is not enough to justify its purchase, I think, and you are losing that extra length. You might like to consider supplementing it with a small prime with a wide aperture for low light pictures or perhaps a lightweight macro for close up of flowers etc. or possibly the 55-300 zoom for extra length to suplement the 18-135, depending on your interests.

Do not forget to take plenty of memory cards (I recomend Sandisk) and the means to back them up. Also take at least a couple of spare batteries (there are plenty of good alternatives to Pentax's on the market at a much lower price), and a battery charger. There is just so much to see and record, especially if it is first time visit.

Depending on where you are going, make sure you have suitable clothing for the weather. Europe is a big place and although it is generally warm in the summer, it can have some surprises for the unprepared, especially once you get into the hills, even "small" ones.

I do hope you have Scotland in your list. If you do, then the Highlands and Islands off the West Coast are a must, even with the midges. For a contrast explore the Counties on both sides of the Scotland / England Border and Dumfries and Galloway and, if you are feeling adventurous and have the time, go to the Northern Isle of Orkney

Do not forget to take a discrete compact or similar for street photographs. A word of warning: France has very strict laws regarding personal privacy and the UK is almost paranoid regarding taking pictures of children. Many individuals can be (mildly) hostile to photographers with a "professional" looking camera in the presence of children. Other countries I am not too sure about but the best advice I can give you about this pitfall is to be cautious, courteous and not to argue.

Having said that Europe is a wonderful place to visit with ever changing scenery and cultures in a fairly short distance. There are some fantastic pictures to be taken even in the worst of photographic weather. I hope you enjoy your trip and find the people welcoming. I am looking forward to seing some of your pictues on your return. Do your homework.

LoneWolf, Scotland
03-08-2016, 05:06 PM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2012
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,211
I'm going to Scotland this year and trying to decide what kit to take. We are spending a week on Skye and several days in Mull and Edinburgh. I'm very tempted to get a K3ii as an upgrade for my K5 due to the built-in GPS.
03-08-2016, 05:09 PM   #11
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
BigMackCam's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 12,913
I have the 20-40 and while it's a great lens, I don't recommend it as an all-round travel lens. The focal length range is too "limited" (no pun intended), and the rendering is - in my view, and on my copy at least - an acquired taste, though excellent in its own way. In addition to the extra focal length range, the 18-135 shines at slightly wider apertures than the 20-40, too. As for the 16-85, I think it's a great lens - *if* you get a good copy. I'm biased, as I had two brand new units in a row that exhibited previously reported problems with image movement in the viewfinder during focusing, plus one of them was de-centered (though this isn't uncommon with any consumer zoom lens). So, whichever lens you pick, just be sure to buy it well in advance and test it thoroughly upon receipt so you have time to get a replacement if necessary. Given that, I think the 18-135 and 16-85 are equally good choices, but I'd probably pick the 16-85 if IQ at wider apertures was the main priority. It's not heavy, and the size isn't as bad as you might think. If focal length range is more important, the 18-135 seems like a good option.

EDIT: I will throw one more unlikely option into the mix... If WR isn't a real concern for you, how about a "super-zoom"? I previously used a Pentax 18-270 as a do-it-all walk-around convenience lens (which was perfectly decent, if not exactly earth-shattering!!), but recently got hold of a Sigma 18-300 for that same purpose, and I am *really* surprised at what it is capable of. Way better than I expected, in all honesty. Edge performance isn't brilliant, like most super-zooms, but it's better than I expected. And at 300mm, it is by all accounts equal in IQ to my HD DA55-300, which surprised me greatly. I'd say my copy seems weakest at the wide end, but still very decent. It's a nicely built piece of kit, too, for the price. The only downside is the rather slow variable aperture - typical for this class of lens - but unless you're doing a lot of low-light photography, it's not a big concern with more recent cameras. Oh, and the focus throw is so short that it's virtually useless for manual focusing - not really an issue with this type of lens.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-08-2016 at 05:22 PM.
03-08-2016, 05:10 PM   #12
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Alaska
Posts: 66
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by LoneWolf Quote
I'd would take the 18-135mm WR as your basic lens as it is an excellent holiday lens. I would not bother with 16-85 as its increase in quality is not enough to justify its purchase, I think, and you are losing that extra length. You might like to consider supplementing it with a small prime with a wide aperture for low light pictures or perhaps a lightweight macro for close up of flowers etc. or possibly the 55-300 zoom for extra length to suplement the 18-135, depending on your interests.

Do not forget to take plenty of memory cards (I recomend Sandisk) and the means to back them up. Also take at least a couple of spare batteries (there are plenty of good alternatives to Pentax's on the market at a much lower price), and a battery charger. There is just so much to see and record, especially if it is first time visit.

Depending on where you are going, make sure you have suitable clothing for the weather. Europe is a big place and although it is generally warm in the summer, it can have some surprises for the unprepared, especially once you get into the hills, even "small" ones.

I do hope you have Scotland in your list. If you do, then the Highlands and Islands off the West Coast are a must, even with the midges. For a contrast explore the Counties on both sides of the Scotland / England Border and Dumfries and Galloway and, if you are feeling adventurous and have the time, go to the Northern Isle of Orkney

Do not forget to take a discrete compact or similar for street photographs. A word of warning: France has very strict laws regarding personal privacy and the UK is almost paranoid regarding taking pictures of children. Many individuals can be (mildly) hostile to photographers with a "professional" looking camera in the presence of children. Other countries I am not too sure about but the best advice I can give you about this pitfall is to be cautious, courteous and not to argue.

Having said that Europe is a wonderful place to visit with ever changing scenery and cultures in a fairly short distance. There are some fantastic pictures to be taken even in the worst of photographic weather. I hope you enjoy your trip and find the people welcoming. I am looking forward to seing some of your pictues on your return. Do your homework.

LoneWolf, Scotland
Thanks, LoneWolf. I have a son in Germany and relatives in Austria so, we'll have to make it to Scotland on another trip. I'd take more than I am planning to but, we're going to be traveling with backpacks only. This is probably our last time over there so, that's why I was entertaining the 20-40mm and just moving myself closer for the longer zooms. Like in the old days.

---------- Post added 03-08-16 at 03:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I have the 20-40 and while it's a great lens, I don't recommend it as an all-round travel lens. The focal length range is too "limited" (no pun intended), and the rendering is - in my view, and on my copy at least - an acquired taste, though excellent in its own way. In addition to the extra focal length range, the 18-135 shines at slightly wider apertures than the 20-40, too. As for the 16-85, I think it's a great lens - *if* you get a good copy. I'm biased, as I had two brand new units in a row that exhibited previously reported problems with image movement in the viewfinder during focusing, plus one of them was de-centered (though this isn't uncommon with any consumer zoom lens). So, whichever lens you pick, just be sure to buy it well in advance and test it thoroughly upon receipt so you have time to get a replacement if necessary. Given that, I think the 18-135 and 16-85 are equally good choices, but I'd probably pick the 16-85 if IQ at wider apertures was the main priority. It's not heavy, and the size isn't as bad as you might think.
Thanks, BigMack... It's looking like I'll just go with my 18-135. I'll have to remember to keep it "in the zone" while I'm shooting.
03-08-2016, 05:14 PM   #13
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,307
It depends on where you are travelling and what sort of photography you will be doing. "Europe" covers a lot of ground.

My thoughts are as follows; take from them what you will.

In large, crowded cities, especially those with tall buildings, I find wide angles are best. On a recent trip to Melbourne, Australia I used the 15mm and 21mm Limited quite a lot, the 40 and 70 a lot less. I ended up buying a 135mm M lens for my ME and MX, and that got a little bit of use, but I could probably have done without that as well. If that's the sort of place you're going to be, the 16-85 would be handier than the 18-135. On the other hand, if you're going to be in a less built up, more rural setting, IMO you will miss the extra focal length. I spend most of my time in the less built up, more rural setting so I rejected the 16-85 and got the 18-135 as my one-does-all solution for unpleasant weather.

And if the weather is fine and sunny, and heavy cropping or massively blown up images are not a requirement, you might even get away with the images offered by the DA 18-270 or similar superzoom. This sort of lens is king of versatility, but you sacrifice a bit of image quality (especially towards evening as the light levels drop; that f/6.3 at extreme zoom is a deal breaker for some shots unless you want to and can carry a tripod) and large prints are not a thing you will want to do.

Seeing as you already have the 18-135, I would not charge out there and buy the 16-85 in a hurry; if you really badly want wide angle for specific things (the inside of cathedrals, etc) and you can afford an extra lens without any issues, your money might better be spent on a DA15 Limited prime (or even the DA 14mm, perhaps not quite the same image quality but you get a bit more field of view and an extra stop of speed, which could be handy where flash and tripods are forbidden).

All that aside, the 18-135 is not to be sneezed at as an all-round solution. Take it and enjoy.
03-08-2016, 05:19 PM   #14
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Alaska
Posts: 66
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
It depends on where you are travelling and what sort of photography you will be doing. "Europe" covers a lot of ground.

My thoughts are as follows; take from them what you will.

In large, crowded cities, especially those with tall buildings, I find wide angles are best. On a recent trip to Melbourne, Australia I used the 15mm and 21mm Limited quite a lot, the 40 and 70 a lot less. I ended up buying a 135mm M lens for my ME and MX, and that got a little bit of use, but I could probably have done without that as well. If that's the sort of place you're going to be, the 16-85 would be handier than the 18-135. On the other hand, if you're going to be in a less built up, more rural setting, IMO you will miss the extra focal length. I spend most of my time in the less built up, more rural setting so I rejected the 16-85 and got the 18-135 as my one-does-all solution for unpleasant weather.

And if the weather is fine and sunny, and heavy cropping or massively blown up images are not a requirement, you might even get away with the images offered by the DA 18-270 or similar superzoom. This sort of lens is king of versatility, but you sacrifice a bit of image quality (especially towards evening as the light levels drop; that f/6.3 at extreme zoom is a deal breaker for some shots unless you want to and can carry a tripod) and large prints are not a thing you will want to do.

Seeing as you already have the 18-135, I would not charge out there and buy the 16-85 in a hurry; if you really badly want wide angle for specific things (the inside of cathedrals, etc) and you can afford an extra lens without any issues, your money might better be spent on a DA15 Limited prime (or even the DA 14mm, perhaps not quite the same image quality but you get a bit more field of view and an extra stop of speed, which could be handy where flash and tripods are forbidden).

All that aside, the 18-135 is not to be sneezed at as an all-round solution. Take it and enjoy.
Thank you, Pathdoc
03-08-2016, 05:20 PM   #15
Pentaxian
Paul the Sunman's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,126
I have both the 18-135 and 16-85. As I've already said on these fora, the 16-85 is a better lens optically, though not quite as punchy as the 18-135. If I were taking only one lens on a trip, it would be the 18-135. If I had room for two, depending on where I was going, I would take either
  • 16-85 & DA55-300 (lanscape and wildlife)
  • 18-135 & DA15 (architecture)
  • 18-135 & DA40 (or some faster mid-range prime for low light)
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
16-85mm, 18-135mm wr, 20-40mm, apertures, k-mount, length, lens, pentax lens, pictures, range, scotland, slr lens, thanks, time, travel lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Good walkaround/travel zoom lens for a trip to Mexico vikranta Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 45 08-14-2015 10:07 AM
Whiche lens for my K5-IIS average: 17-75mm f/2.8 diegopd Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 24 08-27-2014 07:53 AM
Architecture 1st Post From my New K5 IIs 737george Post Your Photos! 2 04-15-2014 12:25 PM
Good travel lens for a new DSLR owner CoreyC Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 30 10-05-2013 08:48 AM
Good lens for Kids + Travel edice Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 07-13-2010 09:04 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:08 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top