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09-08-2017, 08:46 PM   #1
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Keep 17-70 or buy a 18-135

Hi

I've reached a position where I need advice on whether to keep my DA17-70 or buy a 18-135 to replace it.

I quite like the 17-70 and am very happy wit the images it produces but I need to know if the 18-135 will offer any improvements in image quality.

WR and the extra reach are not a consideration. Only considering if the 18-135 will give me a better image quality in the 18-70 range.

Your advice will be well received.

Cheers
Frank

09-08-2017, 08:48 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by FreeSpirit9 Quote
Hi

I've reached a position where I need advice on whether to keep my DA17-70 or buy a 18-135 to replace it.

I quite like the 17-70 and am very happy wit the images it produces but I need to know if the 18-135 will offer any improvements in image quality.

WR and the extra reach are not a consideration. Only considering if the 18-135 will give me a better image quality in the 18-70 range.

Your advice will be well received.

Cheers
Frank
If you're after image quality, you should go for the 16-85mm, and yes, it would be a step up. The 18-135mm would feel about the same, and it's noticeably narrower at 18mm.

Adam
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09-08-2017, 08:53 PM   #3
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Love my 17-70. Take a look at my Flickr account and see my landscape picture with that lens and K5. But as Adam said 16-85 has better optic
09-08-2017, 08:57 PM   #4
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OK thanks

Will keep an eye out for the 16-85.

Cheers
Frank.

09-09-2017, 06:34 AM   #5
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Personally I don't see where you're going to gain anything in image quality, but you lose the constant aperture. The DA 17-70 was my most used lens until recently when I acquired the DA 20-40. The 17-70 is very sharp and was my go-to for paid work. The only issue I ever had was the AF would hunt occasionally. My workaround was a quick zoom, in or out and return to my original point.
Now, as far as acquiring a lens just to get it, I'm not one to talk...
09-09-2017, 07:38 AM   #6
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I have both of those lenses. I prefer using the 18-135 for its reach and compact size but I can't notice any difference in optical quality.

If that is your main consideration get the 16-85.
09-09-2017, 08:39 AM   #7
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As has already been stated,16-85 would give you better IQ and wider option.
09-09-2017, 10:20 AM   #8
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I have a 17-70 and really like its image quality but really dislike its autofocus. When I had the chance I got a used 16-85 in like new condition. Here is my assessment between the two that I have.
1. size and weight, they are about equal.
2. build quality, 16-85 feels much better built and that is comparing a used 16-85 to my 17-70 that I purchased new and handled gently. My 17-70 has a noticeable barrel wobble whereas the 16-85 has zero wobble even when fully extended. The zoom and focus rings are smoother and better damped on the 16-85.
3. weather resistance, the 16-85 is WR the 17-70 is not but I have not tested either in rainy conditions.
4. aperture, constant F4.0 is an advantage but I never had an issue with the f3.6 to f5.6 on the 16-85
5. zoom range, the 16-85 is more versatile giving more range on both ends
6. image quality. they are close below 50mm maybe the 16-85 slightly better. Above 50mm I really start to notice the 16-85 being the sharper of the two.
7. autofocus, two completely different worlds here. The 17-70 SDM is very balky if it sits unused more than a few days and it takes a while to get it working. When it works, it is great below about 50mm, fast and quiet but rather poor from 50mm to 70mm. it often fails to lock focus and hunts too much on both K-5 and K-3. On the other hand the 16-85 has no startup issues and is consistent, quick and quiet at all apertures and focal lengths. By far the 16-85 is the better of the two.
I hope this helps. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the 18-135 since I got the used 16-85 for less than a new 18-135, so I have no experience with the 18-135.

09-09-2017, 02:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
I have a 17-70 and really like its image quality but really dislike its autofocus. When I had the chance I got a used 16-85 in like new condition. Here is my assessment between the two that I have.
1. size and weight, they are about equal.
2. build quality, 16-85 feels much better built and that is comparing a used 16-85 to my 17-70 that I purchased new and handled gently. My 17-70 has a noticeable barrel wobble whereas the 16-85 has zero wobble even when fully extended. The zoom and focus rings are smoother and better damped on the 16-85.
3. weather resistance, the 16-85 is WR the 17-70 is not but I have not tested either in rainy conditions.
4. aperture, constant F4.0 is an advantage but I never had an issue with the f3.6 to f5.6 on the 16-85
5. zoom range, the 16-85 is more versatile giving more range on both ends
6. image quality. they are close below 50mm maybe the 16-85 slightly better. Above 50mm I really start to notice the 16-85 being the sharper of the two.
7. autofocus, two completely different worlds here. The 17-70 SDM is very balky if it sits unused more than a few days and it takes a while to get it working. When it works, it is great below about 50mm, fast and quiet but rather poor from 50mm to 70mm. it often fails to lock focus and hunts too much on both K-5 and K-3. On the other hand the 16-85 has no startup issues and is consistent, quick and quiet at all apertures and focal lengths. By far the 16-85 is the better of the two.
I hope this helps. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the 18-135 since I got the used 16-85 for less than a new 18-135, so I have no experience with the 18-135.
I have neither the 18-135 nor the 16-85, but the comments relative to the 17-70 alone are pretty close to my experience with my 17-70. There are numerous approaches for zooms of this range, but from the photos I've seen, the difference i not great enough for me to replace the 17-70 with either of the other two. I did go a slightly difference direction and got a 16-50, but that is probably a different approach altogether. If buying new without having had any of them, I'd probably go with the 16-85. I really like the constant aperture, but could probably live with the aperture maximums of the 16-85. My $0.02 worth.
09-09-2017, 07:58 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your replies.

I think that on the basis of what has been said the 18-135 will not be a future consideration for me.

Thanks again and best regard to all.

Cheers
Frank
09-09-2017, 08:44 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Personally, I'm not selling my 18-135 anytime soon. But I've also been through this so many times you get tired of saying for some people the 18-135 is the better lens. Regarless of what's been posted here, rom 20mm to 50mm the lenses are pretty close according to Photozone. Every else says the 16-85 is better, but they can't show you why they say that. It always comes down to wider as opposed to longer. None of the mentioned lenses are terribly good at controlling CA.

In your shoes , I'd probably be looking at keeping the 17-70 and looking at some primes. The 100 macro would be good with the 17-70.

There is nothing you can do with a 16-85 that will match what the 18-135 does on 80% of your images at 135mm.

There's nothing the 18-135 can do to match the 16-85 from 16-85. So are you the kind of guy that likes telephoto, the 18-135 is better.
If you're kind of guy that likes wider, the 16-85 is both wider and longer, than the 17=70.

But essentially all of those lenses are the same generic type. When I see discussion about them, I see and awful lot of hair splitting.

SO my choice would be keep the 17-70 and get a 100 macro. If you can afford it, also with the 1.4 TC to give you 140mm ƒ4. That's what will make the most difference to your potential image quality. And there are other primes 35 2.4 and 50 1.7 you can use as faster lenses for low light situations.

Boy, you go away for a few minutes and everyone start picking apart your lens.

It may be worth pointing out, those who decided to go 16-85 when it came out are everywhere telling you how much better the 16-85 is. Those of us who stayed for what ever reason with the 18-135 continue to post here.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-...ml#post4085833

But if you're talking a choice between the three lenses considered, my vote would be with the 18-135, partly because of the price, but mostly because of what you get for the price. I'd figure this out using desired focal lengths and aperture. Much as the 16-85 guys hate to hear it they are all pretty much the same type of lens. A notch above kit, a notch below DA* lenses.

A lot of difference hardly. A bit of difference. Probably which lens comes out on top of any comparison is the lens tha tis the best copy, Sample variation will determine more than the differences in lens design.

Last edited by normhead; 09-09-2017 at 08:57 PM.
09-09-2017, 09:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by FreeSpirit9 Quote
Thanks everyone for your replies.

I think that on the basis of what has been said the 18-135 will not be a future consideration for me.

Thanks again and best regard to all.

Cheers
Frank
Sensible decision
09-10-2017, 01:28 AM - 1 Like   #13
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The only time a constant-aperture zoom lens is of practical advantage is when shooting wide open, except with an older lens requiring use of mechanical control by using an aperture ring. When not wide open and using a lens not requiring use of an aperture ring, as DSLRs have electronic aperture control instead of needing a mechanical aperture ring, the aperture selected will be kept stable while zooming.
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