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11-16-2012, 08:33 AM   #1

K30 18-55 or 18-135 kit lens??

Hi all, I'm about to buy my first DSLR and have settled (I think) on the K30. Aside from A-level photography some 17 years ago , my knowledge is very limited, but I want a good entry/mid that I can 'grow' with. I've only read good things about the K30 when it comes to stills and I'm not interested in video. Anyway, I'm just baffled as to which kit lens to go for and the budget is limited!

I'll be mostly...

taking everyday portrait type pics...
using a tripod to snap motobikes.. (non-moving)
capturing sport - ie football players whilst in the stands 50-100 ft away. (not so important but would like the ability to do this reasonably well)

for the future...

a macro lens 1.1 I absolutely love close up photography.

the 18-135 kit is some 230 more then the 18-55..... but is that probably my best bet for getting those sport shots? I don't really understand why it's so much when the twin lens pack of 18-55 & 50-200 is 100 cheaper? Is it just a better quality with the benfit of being more of an all-rounder?

Thanks in advance for any help

11-16-2012, 09:23 AM   #2
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Paul, the 18-135 is a WR (weather resistant) lens and also has a faster autofocus system using motors in the lens rather than the motor in the camera body. Optically, it is generally considered to be better (in terms of sharpness and contrast) than the 18-55 kit, but not by a huge amount.
If you are on a budget the 18-55/50-200 twin pack is good value, although the 50-200 is not WR and I think the 18-55 is the non-wr version too. However if you intend to take footie pics, 200mm is better than 135, and you probably won't miss the wide angle at a soccer match.

It might be worth getting the K30 with the standard kit lens, then looking for a second hand version of the 55-300 which is a well regarded lens, will give you a lot more reach and is optically generally thought to be a notch above the 50-200. Good luck whichever way you go.
11-16-2012, 09:33 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The difference between the three packages is future usefulness. The 18-55 and 50-200 are both lenses you wont want to use down the line. The DA 18-135 has much better centre sharpness than either of them. I find even after purchasing better lenses, I still use the 18-135 because of it's versatility and excellent resolution. My 18-55s (all 3 of them) havent' been off the shelf for months and there are much better options from 50-200 than the kit version. If you want that range and don't want to spend a small fortune go for the Tamron 70-200 2.8 (find a used one). Also, the 18-55 and 50-200 are both screw drives...the 18-135 is a DC internal motor, that is much quicker an quieter, and it's weather sealed.

For pictures like this one, mine was pretty much the only camera out that day, because of the heavy mist blowing off the falls. Weather sealed camera and 18-135, it's no problem.

There's a thread, click here here

Last edited by normhead; 11-16-2012 at 09:40 AM.
11-16-2012, 10:46 AM   #4

Thanks Stephen & Norm for your quick and valuable info! I'm still a little unsure which I'll settle on but at least I now understand the cost difference between those lenses. I imagine the 18-55 will be perfectly serviceable for the majority of what I shoot, though the WR 135 is very appealing.

11-16-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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First of all I dont have the 18-135, but I hear that it is somewhat poor IQ at the long end. This is not surprising as it is the case with most super zooms. One reason I dont buy superzooms. If you prefer image quality over comfort, you should get the 18-55. Besides the 135 is not going to be enough for the football shots anyways. You would need 200mm+ lens.

As far as macro, look for cheap old manual focus lens with A-setting on ebay. With macro you dont need auto focus and there is a lot of high quality glass out there. I personally have a vivitar 105mm F2.5 which is all metal and AMAZINGLY sharp even wide open and runs for about $200-250 usually on ebay. Another option is a sigma 50mm F2.8 (the old MF variant) which also has 1:1 and goes for about $100.

Last edited by oxidized; 11-16-2012 at 12:55 PM.
11-16-2012, 11:42 AM   #6
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I love the 18-135 and have used both it and the 18-55 kit lens. In my experience, the 18-135 is perfectly fine at 135. I have used it for "pseudo-macro" shots on several occasions with good success. It's not the sharpest out of the camera, but sharpens up very nicely in post processing.

The flexibility and weather resistance, as well as improved autofocus (both speed and accuracy) make it well worth the difference in price. It's also a pretty nice portrait lens as the bokeh is very nice.
11-16-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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Definitely the 18-135mm. See this guide!

Pentax K-30 Lens Guide - Pentax Camera News & Rumors -

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11-16-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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I love my 18-135 and it's my go to lens for bad weather. That said, if you are new to dSLRs and want to do football and othe sport it won't reach out and capture the images you want. I went with the 18-55 & 55-300 combination when I started and I still, some 40 lenses later, find the 55-300 a real gem. I'd take Stephen's advice, get the 18-55 and find a nice used 55-300, you won't regret it.

11-17-2012, 07:13 AM   #9
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I would also recommend the 18-135. As others have said, it is a great versatile lens for travel and walkabouts regardless of the weather. It is superior in every way to the 18-55 (which I also have sitting on my shelf). If you're going to do much sports, you will eventually buy a 70-200/2.8 anyway, so the 50-200 would be relegated to the bench.
11-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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The 18-135 is a unique blend of range, WR, and silent focus. In a kit with body it's a great price. The only good reason to take the 18-55 in my mind is if you need to buy at full price, and you already have some nice options above 55mm; I have a DA70, 100mm macro and 55-300 zoom so the 18-55wr is a better fit with the rest of my kit.
11-17-2012, 12:29 PM   #11
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I've got both lenses in the WR version, although I've only just got the 18-135 (as part of a K5-II kit). I found that the 18-55 was a bit short some times and if I was just out doing a "general" shoot for the day, I was more likely to have this lens mounted to the camera. (I've also got a Sigma 17-70 which doesn't like the cold/damp/anything like "off" weather.) So far, I really like it and have found it flexible in the way it works. Picture quality is ok in what I've done/shot so far, although I've not done any staged tests as yet with it. The HSM motor is also nice and quiet as well.
11-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #12
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I bought my K-30 with the 18-55mm WR and then added the 50-200mm WR later on. I also have a Sigma 10-20mm that gets plenty of use as well.
11-20-2012, 07:05 AM   #13
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Just to say thanks to all who have replied on this thread. I genuinely feel this forum helped confirm the k30 as my chosen dslr, due to all the knowledge and opinions I've read.

I've now settled on the 18-135 kit. The real draw is being able to take my camera out on those rain filled days, of which we see (too) many in the uk! Hoping to have it in the next few weeks so fingers crossed for snow this xmas.
11-20-2012, 07:07 AM   #14
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The k30 black body is out of stock at my chosen dealer.... what do you guys think of the white & blue? I could perhaps go for the white as I think it looks fairly slick but the blue seems a bit over the top for.... well, a serious camera
11-20-2012, 08:44 AM   #15
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I have the White body... It's a real attention getter! Compliments and Questions... you'll get plenty of both when folks see you with it.

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