Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-08-2013, 01:27 AM   #1
Forum Member
peos99's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 53
SMC-DA 18-135/3,5-5,6 AL should I buy it?

Thereīs a discount on a Pentax SMC-DA 18-135/3,5-5,6 AL (IF) DC WR lens in a shop here.
The price is if i convert it from swedish crowns about 570$ or 465 Euro, should I go for it? (The normal price here is 770$/630Euro)
I have the 55-300 today which i really like, and also a Tamron 17-50. But i somtimes miss the focal length when using the Tamron.

I have read different rewievs concerning this lens but i guess if i like the 55-300, this one wouldnīt dissapoint me?

01-08-2013, 01:49 AM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,958
QuoteOriginally posted by peos99 Quote
Thereīs a discount on a Pentax SMC-DA 18-135/3,5-5,6 AL (IF) DC WR lens in a shop here.
The price is if i convert it from swedish crowns about 570$ or 465 Euro, should I go for it? (The normal price here is 770$/630Euro)
I have the 55-300 today which i really like, and also a Tamron 17-50. But i somtimes miss the focal length when using the Tamron.

I have read different rewievs concerning this lens but i guess if i like the 55-300, this one wouldnīt dissapoint me?
The 18-135mm is much more convenient than a standard kit lens, and a bit better optically. It won't be as good as either of your zooms, but it does have weather sealing and faster (+quiet) AF, so if I were you I'd go ahead and get it. I have one myself and it's what I generally use for everyday snapshots. If you have photoshop you can easily fix the vignetting and distortion issues.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

01-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #3
Forum Member
peos99's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 53
Original Poster
But i expect it to be much better than the 18-55 kit lens ,isnīt it?
01-08-2013, 02:47 AM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 631
QuoteOriginally posted by peos99 Quote
But i expect it to be much better than the 18-55 kit lens ,isnīt it?
Personally, having now used both, I can say that the 18-135 outperforms the 18-55 in everything past 24mm. Might have just been my copy, but it seemed soft at the extreme ends. (Might have to do with it being a larger zoom range)

Also, the 18-135 vignettes a bit. Adds a nice touch to artsy photos, but for certain shots, you'll need to enable lens corrections in LR or Photoshop. (Or whatever your editing software may be)

All that said, I still sort of miss my 18-135. The range really was nice, as Adam put it, it's fine for everyday shots. (Though, if you're looking for amazing quality for the same range, I'm pretty sure a 16-50+50-135 would work well. It's what I'm aiming for, but I can't get over the fact that I'd end up getting the 60-250 eventually, causing massive redundancy in the kit)

01-08-2013, 04:17 AM   #5
Forum Member
peos99's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 53
Original Poster
Well I ordered it today! I hope i wonīt get dissapointed.
The 16-50 and 50-135 is far too expensive for me so they can i just dream about.
01-08-2013, 06:25 AM   #6
Site Supporter
loco's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,836
I don't think you will be disappointed. I have been really pleasantly surprised by mine. It's just fine for more than snapshots, IMHO. You will need to increase sharpness in post, but otherwise contrast and color are very good! Have fun with it.
01-08-2013, 06:58 AM   #7
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,734
The only place you'll want to keep using your 17-50 will be 17mm to 20, or in low light. From 21-45 the 18-135 either excels, is equal to or is very close to whatever is out there. From 70-135 the 18-135 remains center sharp, but gets really soft on the edges. You'd be amazed how rarely that actually makes a difference. Unlike opinions expressed by many, if as it seems to have been, a choice between excellent center sharpness with soft edges, or average center sharpness with better edges, I like the choice Pentax made. Going out for a day with the DA 18-135 on the camera and the DA* 60-250 in a holster with my K-x on it, means I'm ready for anything. Very rarely do I need longer, or shorter. Most shots are fine with the DA 18-135. There's many hikes I never even use the other lenses I'm carrying. It's the utility of the other lenses I question... not the DA 18-135. That being said, I carry the 21 ltd, 35 mm 2.4 and FA 50 1.7, and switch to them whenever I can. But those lenses don't weight much or take a lot of space. If you have time to set up your tripod, you have time to switch lenses. If you don't, the DA 18-135 is the guy for the job, 95% of the time.
01-08-2013, 06:48 PM   #8
Veteran Member
nanhi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 438
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 18-135mm is much more convenient than a standard kit lens, and a bit better optically. It won't be as good as either of your zooms, but it does have weather sealing and faster (+quiet) AF, so if I were you I'd go ahead and get it. I have one myself and it's what I generally use for everyday snapshots. If you have photoshop you can easily fix the vignetting and distortion issues.
Very confusing Adam, when you say the 18-135 is better optically than the Kit Lens (assuming the better 18-55 ALII). The Pentax Lens Review lists the Sharpness and Aberrations of the 18-55 as 8.1 & 7.8 respectively, when it is only 7.8 & 7.4 for the 18-135. These two are the main factors deciding optical quality. So the Kit Lens is better - no?
Regards. Bipin.
camp:Thornhill, Ontario, Canada.

01-08-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 631
QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Very confusing Adam, when you say the 18-135 is better optically than the Kit Lens (assuming the better 18-55 ALII). The Pentax Lens Review lists the Sharpness and Aberrations of the 18-55 as 8.1 & 7.8 respectively, when it is only 7.8 & 7.4 for the 18-135. These two are the main factors deciding optical quality. So the Kit Lens is better - no?
Regards. Bipin.
camp:Thornhill, Ontario, Canada.
That's user reviews, he's correct, it's better at most ranges.

Reason for lower user reviews is the kit lens runs ~$100 and the 18-135 runs ~$500(or more). People expect DA* quality when they pay almost DA* prices.
01-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #10
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,958
QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Very confusing Adam, when you say the 18-135 is better optically than the Kit Lens (assuming the better 18-55 ALII). The Pentax Lens Review lists the Sharpness and Aberrations of the 18-55 as 8.1 & 7.8 respectively, when it is only 7.8 & 7.4 for the 18-135. These two are the main factors deciding optical quality. So the Kit Lens is better - no?
Regards. Bipin.
camp:Thornhill, Ontario, Canada.
Yeah, you can't look at user scores (or even in-depth review scores) alone. Here are some comparative shots:

Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 Review - Image Quality - PentaxForums.com

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

01-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #11
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,734
The 18-135 runs around $500-$600. A DA* runs $1000+ I don't know where people get these "near DA* prices" idea from.

Looking at the MTF numbers, the 18-135 is clearly better no debate there... and it has more reach. It's CA numbers are not as good, but on a lot of pictures that's not relevant as there is no noticeable CA. The way i see it, you get DA* when you pay DA* money. The DA 18-135 is considerably less than DA* money. People who claim it should be cheaper are just unwilling to pay for what they get. it's in the same value for performance as any other lens in the Pentax stable. Don't let grumpy people who want a pro lens for pro-sumer prices put you off. if you want a pro lens, buy one. The DA 18-135 is in between kit and pro, and is priced accordingly.



http://www.photozone.de/pentax/597-pentax_18135_3556?start=1
01-08-2013, 09:38 PM   #12
Veteran Member
nanhi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 438
Thanks for the clear technical comparison. Actually I have both the ALII Kit lens and the 18-135 WR. I do feel looking at the photos that the 18-135 is a tad better than the 18-55. I got the 18-135 as a K-5 Kit from Henrys for CAD 1108 shipped. Prices are slightly higher in the US for this combo.
But I now feel let down as I would make buying choices based on the Pentax Lens Reviews. What a fool I made of myself. I hope Adam gives a statutory warning for use of the Pentax Lens Review on the header for this section.
Regards. Bipin.
camp:Thornhill, Ontario, Canada.
01-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #13
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,734
For some reason, a number of people have jumped on the " this is a bad lens" bandwagon. Personally I think it's affected the reviews. There are two kinds of people. Those who use the lens, who find that the supposed "limitations" are pretty much imaginary. And those who don't use the lens, many of whom are upset with it's price, because they haven't really looked at the numbers or used it. In the very review I linked to the reviewer complains about the lens and rates it 1.5 out 5 and warns people to stay away from it. The man clearly didn't understand the meaning of his own numbers. Ever since he posted the review it's been a refrain on this site.

People are sheep sometimes, people have unrealistic expectations sometimes. I've read through the lens section where every person raves about a given lens, and then one guy who probably was clinically depressed when he wrote the report just trashes the lens and marks it way down. And that affects the numbers that get posted for the lens. So what's unfair about that? The guy doesn't own every lens. He only trashes the lenses he owns. So every lens he writes about takes a hit in the database rating, and every one he doesn't own gets a free pass. You can't run a user rating system, and then start picking and choosing which guys you're going let post. Even though some may be using the lens rating system as therapy rather than information sharing.


QuoteQuote:
Yeah, you can't look at user scores (or even in-depth review scores) alone. Here are some comparative shots:
The test images Adam posted were actually critical to my buying the lens in the first place. Numbers are wonderful, but you really don't know what they mean until you see some side by side images.

I'm not sure there's anything Adam can do about that. I've thought about it, and any solution I can come up with involves a lot of work for someone. I'm not willing to propose that on a site run by volunteers, you could find anyone willing to take that on. It would be a thankless task that went on for ever, and the moderation would present just as many problems as it would solve. I've often pointed out that unwarranted criticism is a problem on the site. We are the most pro Pentax site anywhere, but at the same time we are also the most anti-Pentax site anywhere. There could be a solution to that, but the solution is probably worse than the problem.

Last edited by normhead; 01-09-2013 at 07:38 AM.
01-09-2013, 07:45 AM   #14
Veteran Member
nanhi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 438
Thanks Normhead for the very sensible reply. I think the onus for using the Pentax Lens Review sensibly for buying decisions lies with us. Luckily I made just one mistake in choosing a long tele zoom lens. Here is what I do now:- I ignore the 1 & 2 star ratings if they are less than 12% of the total. I then average out the 5 to 3 star ratings for all the products I am comparing. This is what I did when I decided to sink $ 150 for an electric shaver.
Moral of the story: Read up technical comparisons from Pro sites specific to the product you are buying. I have attached an example below.

Last edited by nanhi; 03-25-2013 at 11:41 PM.
01-10-2013, 12:43 AM   #15
Forum Member
peos99's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 53
Original Poster
Ok now I got it. arrived in the mail yesterday. So now i have it on my camera and will test it during the day at work.
First impression is good anyway. Small and really light weight!
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, dslr, k-5, k-5 ii, k-5 iis, k5, lens, pentax k-5, price, smc-da, tamron
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 AL WR GDRoth Sold Items 5 08-09-2011 12:09 PM
Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL I Lens Samples jct us101 Lens Sample Photo Archive 2 07-29-2011 05:27 PM
Should I buy an SMC FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 AL for my DS? mediaslinky Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 04-01-2007 03:51 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:15 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