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07-11-2018, 09:27 PM   #1
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Need assistance deciding between 2 lenses

Hello all!

We are going on vacation later this month and wanted to pack light. Normally when I leave the house I take my DA50 and FA77 with me. However, switching the lenses when I am out is starting to become bothersome.
So, I am in the market for a new walk around lens I can keep on my KP full time.

Currently I have a
Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8
Pentax smc PENTAX-FA 77mm f/1.8
and a Kit 50-200 that came with a KS2 I bought earlier in the year before upgrading to a KP a month ago.

Currently I am looking at the

HD Pentax-D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
and
SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR

Both appear to have great reviews and the price difference is only about $100 or so but I am having a hard time pulling the trigger on either of them because they seem so similar.

Does anyone have experience with one or both lenses that could assist me in my decision?

Any advice is welcomed

Thank you in advanced,

07-11-2018, 09:44 PM   #2
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For travel on an APS-C camera, then the obvious first choice is the 18-135. I use the D FA28-105 on APS-C, and its an excellent lens (DC autofocus, build, bokeh, design) …. but 28mm is not wide on APS-C, and without something wider you'll surely struggle in places. The extra reach from 105-135 will be useful as well.

I wouldn't travel just with the 28-105 ….I'd take the 18-55 as well. So for you, the 18-135 has it all.
07-11-2018, 09:44 PM   #3
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What about the DA 16-85mm? It'll deliver better image quality than the 18-135mm. I wouldn't get the 28-105mm unless you really don't care about the wide end (in which case you should get it, because it's a fully frame lens and will be great in the center on a crop camera).

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

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07-11-2018, 10:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
What about the DA 16-85mm? It'll deliver better image quality than the 18-135mm. I wouldn't get the 28-105mm unless you really don't care about the wide end (in which case you should get it, because it's a fully frame lens and will be great in the center on a crop camera).

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
As Adam suggest I'd throw in on the DA 16-85 ED DC WR 😀 The two added MM on the low end can really help fit things in & your IQ is plenty good to crop at the long end.

07-11-2018, 11:06 PM   #5
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If you don't mind added weight and price you should consider DA 16-85mm
07-12-2018, 12:11 AM   #6
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I would vote for the DA 18-135mm for such all-around use. And it is very compact and amazingly lightweight for such a zoom range, yet very well-built, ideal for the design of the compact KP. It has excellent fast, accurate AF and a good record for dependable, high build quality, with virtually absent reports of getting a defective copy. IQ is very good to excellent from 18-70mm and excellent in the central part of the image all the way out to 135mm. Only the edges are compromised for sharpness, just in the longer tele range where it usually matters less. It can deliver a good closeup too.

If you need the extra width of 16mm vs. the extra reach of 135mm, then the DA 16-85mm might be best. But it is substantially larger and heavier.

Last edited by mikesbike; 07-12-2018 at 12:17 AM.
07-12-2018, 01:37 AM   #7
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If you truly don't care about the wide end and 28mm is more than good enough, then the DFA28-105 is a great lens (and better than my IQ than my DA18-135). Especially if you think you might be interesting in FF some day.

Otherwise I would second the suggestion for the DA 16-85.
07-12-2018, 01:44 AM   #8
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I have both, but if you're shooting a crop camera the 18-135 gets my vote. That extra 10mm at the wide end is the difference between a wide-ish normal lens and a proper wide angle. The extra 30mm at the long should not be ignored either.

I'd still pack one of your fast primes for low light or special portraits. And consider a DA15 for ultra-wide duties.

07-12-2018, 02:30 AM   #9
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I too would either get a 16-85 or 18-135 as long as you are planning to continue to shoot a crop camera. The 28-105 is a full frame lens and as such isn't wide enough for a lot of things on a crop camera and it's shorter than the 18-135 and not a whole lot longer than the 16-85.

The DA 16-85 seems to have better reviews (I haven't used one), but the DA 18-135 is very nice (a bit weak on the long end).
07-12-2018, 02:50 AM - 1 Like   #10
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DA 18-135mm - it was born for an APS-C camera....

DA 18-135 WR, Show us what it can do - PentaxForums.com
07-12-2018, 02:56 AM   #11
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I agree with above. I think the 18-135 would be a very good one lens for walk around for your needs.
07-12-2018, 03:01 AM   #12
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I join in the recommendation of the DA 16-85mm zoom

DA 16-85 WR,show us what it can do. - PentaxForums.com

since you live in the US, you have the option of considering renting a lens to do your own testing or just to use on your vacation

I have used LensRentals.com from Tennessee with good results. There is at least one other company.

if you choose to rent, purchase the best protection policy the company offers to cover loss and damage
07-12-2018, 03:04 AM   #13
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As a walk-around lens on APS-C, in price and weight costs for performance you can't beat the 18-135. It has become the main lens for vacation travel, in fact it will accompany me today on my long weekend on the beach. It is relatively compact and light, I've taken it on walks and hikes, for hours with no effort. It is responsive and has good IQ in many types of shooting. I might have a wider prime, or even a fisheye for special shots, and a long telephoto 0f 300mm or more for those occasions, but most of my needs are met by the 18-135mm
07-12-2018, 03:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I too would either get a 16-85 or 18-135 as long as you are planning to continue to shoot a crop camera. The 28-105 is a full frame lens and as such isn't wide enough for a lot of things on a crop camera and it's shorter than the 18-135 and not a whole lot longer than the 16-85.

The DA 16-85 seems to have better reviews (I haven't used one), but the DA 18-135 is very nice (a bit weak on the long end).
+1 on this one. I would get the 16-85 or the 18-135, personally between them I would opt for the 16-85 because: 1) you already have the 50-200 if you need more reach 2) 16mm vs 18mm at the wide end can sometimes make a difference 3) good reviews and better IQ it seems for the 16-85
07-12-2018, 06:04 AM   #15
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Of the APS-C lenses, I definitely think the 16-85 has better IQ, 18-135 is more versatile (and cheaper). The biggest difference is the sharpness in the edges and corners. If you don’t print, and have 1080 monitors, get the 18-135. If you are a pixel peeper, may want to print large or have a 4K monitor get the 16-85.

If WR is not important to you, any of the Sigma 17-70s will be excellent and less than the 16-85, especially used. Their IQ is in between the 16-85 and the 18-135, and they focus very closely if you like near-macro.

Last edited by Kozlok; 07-12-2018 at 06:12 AM.
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