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02-25-2018, 06:56 PM   #1
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18-135 or 28-105

I just picked up a K-3 (getting back into photography and wanted a nice WR camera for not too much) and now I'm wondering which walkaround WR lens to get.

I know I plan to pick up a K-1 at some point, but I'm not sure if I should get the 28-105 and use it on both, or go with something a little wider for APS-C and just pick up a lens for the K-1 when I pick it up.

I often hear people suggest the 16-85 or 18-135 on APS-C due to the wider low end. That said, I don't often use wide angle. I'm not sure if that's because I don't have a good one, or if it's because my brain doesn't think that way. But my K55/1.8 and 50-135 pretty much lived on my K-30 before I sold it and the 50-135, and I only occasionally wished for a bit wider.

The 18-135 seems to be significantly cheaper used.

Any thoughts?

02-25-2018, 07:06 PM   #2
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If you were fine with 50mm most of the time earlier, then you might feel OK with 28mm at the wide end. My recommendation, though, would be to pick up the 18-135mm now, and either decide to keep it or swap it for the 28-105mm when you get the K-1.

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02-25-2018, 07:11 PM   #3
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The 28-105 is optically considerably better than the 18-135, especially away from centre. However, the 18-135 is no slouch. On APS-C though I prefer the 16-85, both in terms of image quality and focal length range. You may differ, if wide is not your thing.
02-25-2018, 07:33 PM   #4
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I have the 28-105 that I use on my K-1. I'm not sure if I've ever had it on the k-5 IIs. I can say that is a very nice lens and you can't go wrong with it if the focal length and range suit your needs. It's also not a lot different in price from the 18-135 and it is full frame compatible when you do decide to jump on the K-1 train. My only complaint is the lack of a hard stop on the manual focus ring when you reach the min and max of the focal range, and I wish it had an aperture ring.

02-25-2018, 07:35 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Since you do not seem to shoot much wide angle, get the 28-105 now if you have the money. Learn its strengths and weakneses, so once you get the K-1 you know the lens well. The 18-135 is a great lens, but knowing you want to move to FF, why spend money on anything other than FF compatible lenses?
02-25-2018, 07:45 PM   #6
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If image quality is more important than range (especially at the wide end), then go for the DFA28-105.

If you feel the need to take a walk on the wide side, try the DA15 limited and see what all the fuss is about
02-25-2018, 07:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
If image quality is more important than range (especially at the wide end), then go for the DFA28-105.

If you feel the need to take a walk on the wide side, try the DA15 limited and see what all the fuss is about
I've tried the 15mm Limited, but I passed it along to another user because I really didn't have the know-how to justify it. FANTASTIC little lens though.

The IQ thing is the big sticking point. I've had an 18-135 when I first got into shooting, but I sold it because I got into primes and the DA*s, and it, obviously wasn't as sharp or fast and I had unrealistic expectations of it. But I don't know if it'd be a good choice as just as "in-case-of-a-rainy-day" lens, or if I should get a nicer lens that I wouldn't mind using at other times as well, as I'm pretty impressed with what I'm seeing from the 28-105.
02-25-2018, 09:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpartanD63 Quote
I just picked up a K-3 (getting back into photography and wanted a nice WR camera for not too much) and now I'm wondering which walkaround WR lens to get.

I know I plan to pick up a K-1 at some point, but I'm not sure if I should get the 28-105 and use it on both, or go with something a little wider for APS-C and just pick up a lens for the K-1 when I pick it up.
I don't often use wide angle.
If money is tight, and you donʻt need the wide (or the long end) of the 18-135mm, then just get the 28-105mm.

When and if you get the K-1, are you going to keep or sell the K-3? At that point, it may be easier to sell it with the 18-135mm rather than as a body only. And who knows, by the time you get a FF Pentax you may want to consider the 24-70mm or a new zoom that isnʻt currently available.

If you can afford either option, then Iʻd get the 18-135mm for the K-3 and deal with FF when the time comes.

02-26-2018, 05:06 AM   #9
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I own the K3 II and just purchased a 18-135 used from a forum member for $180. I love the range on the lens and the IQ is perfectly acceptable to me. I also own the 16-85 which is also great and has excellent IQ.

The extra 50mm on the long end makes this the perfect walk around lens IMHO.

The first 3 shots were taken this weekend with the 18-135.

Stephen Krystopowicz | Flickr
02-26-2018, 06:08 AM   #10
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If you liked the 50-135, the other lenses will disappoint. Just get another 50-135 and be done with it. Buy used and sell it when you upgrade to the K-1. You can get a used 16-50/2.8 or a Tamron or Sigma 17-50/2.8 pretty cheaply these days to fill in the wide end. Sell these too when you upgrade. Used prices are reasonably stable so it won’t cost much in the end.
02-26-2018, 06:37 AM   #11
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The DA 18-135 a versatile choice but, If you don't usually need wide, then the D-FA 28-105 will give better edge-to-edge/corner-to-corner sharpness on your K-3 (it's on mine most of the time). If your wide shots are of static scenes, set the lens to 28mm, take a few overlapping shots at the same exposure, and stitch them together - if you don't have photo software, then one of the free programs such as Microsoft ICE will do an excellent job of creating a high-res wide-angle image.
02-26-2018, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #12
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If you don't do wide, the 28-105 is for you. My wife uses it on her K-5 and loves it. It's become her favourite zoom, I may have to buy her one of her own, because it's my only walk around lens for the K-1 and she often wants it when I want it.

Here's a question though, are you thinking of keeping the K-3 after you buy the K-1. I use the K-3 for action, wildlife and macro, and with the 18-135 it's great walk around combo for day hikes etc. too. I'd only buy the 18-135 if you plan to keep the K-3. Especially since the 50-135 was good enough for you on a K-30, so it's questionable how often you'd use the 18-50 end in any case.

The DFA 28-105 is nothing like the DA 18-135. It has less range and better IQ. There are times I leave the K-1 home and take the K-3 just because the DA 18-135 is so versatile. There are times I take the 28-105 and leave the K-3 home for the increases dynamic range and IQ, although in the real world, the IQ is pretty comparable between the two systems. IF I'd have to take two lenses for the K-1 to match the range of the 18-135, the longest being 200mm, that would make the walk a lot less enjoyable.

But overall, sounds to me like you just need the 28-105. Anyone who can get along with a 50-135 on APS-c can get along with a 28-105. But you're losing the ƒ2.8 if that was part of the appeal of the 50-135.

The bad part about that is when you go to a K-1 you need the DFA* 70-200 to get the same field of view and f-stop. Now you are talking some major size differences in equipment to get the same thing. I still mostly use APS-c for telephoto situations. And there simply is nothing like the DA 18-135 on FF for the K-1 as a walkaround lens. The 135 end on your 50-135 is now 200mm for the same field of view. There is no easy way to get that on FF.
02-26-2018, 08:01 AM   #13
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The above post is pretty good. I would add emphasis to the fact that the 28-105 isn't just less wide it is also less telephoto. If you only used 50-105 on the DA* then you will be happy. If you often maxed the lens to 135 the 105 may leave you wanting more.

I guess if you loved the 50-135 I'd ask why not get another?

In fairness I don't own a K-1; a 28-105 hasn't ever been on my K-3; but I do own both the 18-135 and 50-135. I use the 18-135 as a compact walkabout do everything lens. I use the 50-135 as a more specific purpose lens or when I carry the sling bag and pair it with my 20-40 or 16-50.

This rambling post is meant to say mostly that while the 28-105 may be higher iq, you give up a lot and gain less than the 50-135 from what I'm hearing. Buy what works for you. The future will bring new challenges and new lenses.
02-26-2018, 09:06 AM   #14
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If you know that a K-1 is in your future then go for the 28-105mm. You can always get one of the 18-5x kit lenses to fulfill a random wide angle itch. Even better is if you can get a Sigma 12-24 or a FF 18-35 for that wide angle itch.
02-26-2018, 09:21 AM   #15
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My best advice= buy a lens that covers 80% of your normal picture interests. Rarely does a long zoom range excel optically at very wide or extended telephoto points, imho. A faster max aperture can be a plus in a shorter zoom range. Everything in photography is usually a compromise choice. :-) I have a K3ii. I use the new 28-105mm occasionally on it and have never been disappointed. It's range covers most of my favorite focal points. I am an older user with memories of 65-75mm ~ 150-165mm zoom ranges and loved those! Part2: I use the DA 20-40Ltd zoom a lot! Totally like it! FWIW; I heard the 18~135mm is less sharp compared to the 28~105mm.
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