Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-24-2011, 11:44 AM   #1
Site Supporter
PALADIN85020's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 392
Test shots: K-5 & 18-135mm WR lens

I've been looking for a single "walk around" lens for my K-5 that will enable me to travel light, such as while on vacation, where I can't carry around my full kit of lenses and accessories. After some deliberation, I settled on the Pentax 18-135mm WR zoom. I figure it would cover me from moderate wide angle to moderate telephoto (27 - 207mm equivalent in 35 mm terms) without having to change lenses. I liked the weather resistant claim, as I anticipate I'll sometimes be shooting in rainy weather. Although it's not a particularly fast lens, if it's coupled with the K-5's awesome ISO capability, it should be quite versatile. I've seen most of the reviews on this lens, and some knock it for distortion and/or CA, but I figure that again, the K-5's compensation settings could address these issues. I was favorably impressed by reports of the autofocus being fast, accurate and silent. So I took the leap and ordered one from B&H, and it arrived yesterday.

This morning I decided to try the lens under the worst possible lighting conditions - ambient light in my house (which is fairly dim even in the daylight hours), no artificial light or flash. This would be a chance for the K-5 to show its stuff and for the lens to show its versatility. These are random shots of objects in the house just to see how they would turn out.

This first pic is of some artificial flowers in our living room.
K-5 ver. 1.03, f/f.6, 1/30 sec., 115mm, ISO 3200:



Here is a picture of the "family clock" - it has been more or less continuously running since my uncle gave it to my mother and father as a wedding present in 1936. The date function has worn out, but it still keeps perfect time. I guess they don't make them like they used to!
K-5, ver. 1.03, 1/40 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200, 88mm:



And finally, this is a pic of a bust for which my late father-in-law modeled, it's called "The Judge," crafted by artist James Muir, a member of our extended family.
K-5, ver. 1.03, 1/13 sec., f/5.6, ISO 3200, 88mm:



All shots were hand held. I think the combination of the K-5's great ISO capability, its shake compensation feature, and this lens with its fast, accurate and silent autofocusing worked out great. The colors seem true and the images sharp. Other than downsizing, no post-processing was employed on these photos.

I show these as test shots under the worst possible lighting conditions. I have no doubt that the lens will perform admirably in daylight in an all-purpose role for light travel.

What do you think?

John

06-24-2011, 01:44 PM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 149
Well, at that size, they look great, even w/out considering the high ISO you had to use. You make me discontent with my K20D! Now I want a K-5! :-)
06-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #3
Site Supporter
PALADIN85020's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 392
Original Poster
But wait, there's more!

Next, I went outside, seeing if claims of CA and distortion proved true. Not if this shot (cropped to show relevant portions) is any indication. This was taken from my back porch; K-5, ver. 1.03, 1/320, F/20, 48mm, ISO 320. In my opinion, CA disappears when you stop way down, and any distortion is taken care of by the camera. This was shot in TAv mode.



I love the K-5, and I think the 18-135 WR is a perfect match for an almost do-all lens. I would not hesitate to take it as my only lens on hikes/vacations where minimal gear is a requirement.

John
06-24-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,678
Good account on this good lens - one that was needed for some time, with or without the DC motor.
The WR component of it makes it a versatile all-rounder contending with rival brands.

06-24-2011, 05:19 PM   #5
Forum Member




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Dallas TX
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 90
Awesome shots, John!
Well, my big question is how to set my K-5 for maximum sharpness with a given lens??
I am a “sharpness nut”, which is why I got the K-5 over the Nikon D7000. However, I am having some issues with sharpness “out of the box” with certain lenses, like the DA 15mm Limited, and possibly the DA 16-45mm. I shot a “test shot” handheld with my Pentax K-5 and DA 16-45mm, with Custom AF Adjustment at +8, as well as USM. This was a trial and error setting, but I think this is sharp, but still not sure if I’m getting ALL the resolution and sharpness I can. I'm wondering if you know of a "best practice" for calibrating DA lenses on a K-5. Thank you!
06-24-2011, 06:52 PM   #6
Pentaxian
Dr_who's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 686
QuoteOriginally posted by stevelink Quote
Awesome shots, John!
Well, my big question is how to set my K-5 for maximum sharpness with a given lens??
I am a “sharpness nut”, which is why I got the K-5 over the Nikon D7000. However, I am having some issues with sharpness “out of the box” with certain lenses, like the DA 15mm Limited, and possibly the DA 16-45mm. I shot a “test shot” handheld with my Pentax K-5 and DA 16-45mm, with Custom AF Adjustment at +8, as well as USM. This was a trial and error setting, but I think this is sharp, but still not sure if I’m getting ALL the resolution and sharpness I can. I'm wondering if you know of a "best practice" for calibrating DA lenses on a K-5. Thank you!
Part of it may be the obvious front focus or back focus issues. But if you look up the lens your using often a particular lens has a sweet range of apertures that is its sharpest. Just cause the 50mm 1.4 can open to 1.4, doesn't mean its not a good idea to stop down to 1.8 or 2 just to get that sharpness in. Also for landscapes if you focus on the farthest thing, I find its not as good as focusing on the hyper focal point. Just my 2 cents anyways
06-25-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
Site Supporter
PALADIN85020's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 392
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by stevelink Quote
Awesome shots, John!
Well, my big question is how to set my K-5 for maximum sharpness with a given lens??
I am a “sharpness nut”, which is why I got the K-5 over the Nikon D7000. However, I am having some issues with sharpness “out of the box” with certain lenses, like the DA 15mm Limited, and possibly the DA 16-45mm. I shot a “test shot” handheld with my Pentax K-5 and DA 16-45mm, with Custom AF Adjustment at +8, as well as USM. This was a trial and error setting, but I think this is sharp, but still not sure if I’m getting ALL the resolution and sharpness I can. I'm wondering if you know of a "best practice" for calibrating DA lenses on a K-5. Thank you!
Most lenses do have a "sweet spot" for sharpness. My rule of thumb is to move up a stop or a two from wide open. If a lens has a max aperture of say, f/5.6, move it up to f/8. It's maybe counterintuitive, but stopping way down to like f/16 or f/22, for example, may not give you maximum sharpness. It simply increases your depth of field, and may help to prevent chromatic aberration.

If you really want max sharp from your camera and lens, then use a tripod and go full manual to control both aperture and exposure. When doing this, use the 2-second delay to let the mirror slap vibrations subside, or use the mirror-up setting. Also dispense with any filters and use a lens shade. Then you will have as good as it gets.

Most zooms will also have a sweet spot for minimum distortion. On this 18-135mm, I've found that the least distortion, either barrel or pincushion, is found in the range of 24-30mm. To me, that's important only when doing architectural shots where I want to be sure that I have straight lines rather than curved. At other settings and other subjects, distortion is minimal and can be corrected within the camera with compensatory settings.

If I'm going to print or publish an image, I almost always will apply some sharpening in post-processing. I use Photoshop Elements 7, and it does a good job. I think most of the commercial shots you see published are also post-processed for sharpening; you cannot expect razor sharpness direct from most cameras.

I photograph firearms as part of my job - here's an example using all of the above techniques. It was shot with the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens - nothing special.

Hope this helps.

John

06-26-2011, 06:20 AM - 1 Like   #8
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 167
This was my first snapshot with the k-5 and da 18-135. It's shot wide open at 135mm, and I put exactly 0 effort into taking it. Seems sharp to me, and looks promising when I learn to use it.



06-26-2011, 09:06 AM   #9
Site Supporter
PALADIN85020's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 392
Original Poster
Skog, sure looks sharp to me! Although not a macro lens, the 18-135 can get in pretty close, and with the large 16.2 mp photos the K-5 generates, cropping can bring up pretty small details. Nice shot.

John
06-26-2011, 10:58 AM   #10
Site Supporter
LaurenOE's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,463
Nice Skog!
06-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,883
QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
And finally, this is a pic of a bust for which my late father-in-law modeled, it's called "The Judge," crafted by artist James Muir, a member of our extended family.
K-5, ver. 1.03, 1/13 sec., f/5.6, ISO 3200, 88mm:
I held my hand in exactly the same position when I scrolled down and this picture came up. Kind of freaky.
06-26-2011, 02:16 PM   #12
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 167
QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
Skog, sure looks sharp to me! Although not a macro lens, the 18-135 can get in pretty close, and with the large 16.2 mp photos the K-5 generates, cropping can bring up pretty small details. Nice shot.

John
Thanks. This is a full frame shot by the way, no cropping involved. I'm not sure how far away from the minimum distance though. Not as close as possible I think. Cropping would be easy yes, it's sharp at pixel peep level. Not like my da 35 limited, but impressive for a zoom lens! A super zoom at the extreme focal length shot wide open, is hardly what you would consider to be optimal hehe, but it delivers.
06-27-2011, 10:16 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,255
QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
If a lens has a max aperture of say, f/5.6, move it up to f/8.
A quality f/4 lens and a quality f/1.4 lens intended for a 135 or APS-C camera will both be sharpest at around f/5.6 in the center. Regardless of the max aperture, the image will be evenly sharp at around f/8. The max aperture does not necessarily affect the aperture at which sharpness peaks.
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!
camera, daylight, dslr, house, k-5, k-5 ii, k-5 iis, k5, lens, light, pentax k-5, pic
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nature Some test shots after my lens back from calibration kengoh Post Your Photos! 31 04-21-2011 07:47 AM
Pentax SMC-A 135mm F2.8 - Test Shots legacyb4 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 04-11-2010 05:18 AM
Test results: resurrected Zykkor 135mm Manual Lens ismaelg Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 09-27-2009 07:36 PM
135mm Lens test: Six primes and a zoom Just1MoreDave Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 27 07-30-2009 09:38 AM
Test shots w/ Tamron BBAR 135mm/F2.8 maxwell1295 Post Your Photos! 5 03-25-2008 12:24 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:56 PM. | See also: NikonForums.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