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08-26-2013, 07:42 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Both kit lenses are screw drive. BTW, the 18-135 is NOT SDM, but Pentax's "lower quality" silent motor that doesn't break like the "higher quality" SDM drives.
Apologies for my ignorance
I'm sure the blurb says SDM, either way, nearly silent and fast, I like mine.

Glad my 60-250 has "real" SDM

08-26-2013, 07:48 AM   #17
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I'll second the recommendations of the 18-135mm option - but I think it is a matter of personal preferences.

For me, 55mm is a very akward focal lenght where I would have to change lenses.

But from what I have seen, I wouldn't underrate the image qualities of the 18-55mm and 50-200mm WR lenses. So it is really - as always - a matter of preferences vs. cost.
08-26-2013, 07:56 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Esky Quote
Apologies for my ignorance
I'm sure the blurb says SDM, either way, nearly silent and fast, I like mine.

Glad my 60-250 has "real" SDM
No problems. It's just that some of us have argued that since the 18-135 has a different motor that had 0 reported failures in the survey here and yet ALL the SDM motorized zooms DID have failures (some many times, and some specific lenses MUCH more often than others) that perhaps they ought to shift to the technology in the 18-135 for all the zooms. It is silent and fast and mine is in my kit nearly 100% of the time I leave the house with more than 1 lens.
08-26-2013, 09:06 AM   #19
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One more vote for the 18-135. It is bigger and heavier than each of the two others, but better than both, too.

I started with the two-lens combo, but find the 18-135 much more flexible.

Oh, and the focus motor is called DC, I believe. SDM is for the high end lenses. I find it almost too silent, being so used to the screw drive rattling telling me when the camera is focusing

08-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #20
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If I was starting out fresh, I would go with the 18-135 also along with the 55-300. Both are good lenses and reasonably priced. The 55-300 does lack weather sealing but that is easy enough work around.
08-26-2013, 09:36 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
If I was starting out fresh, I would go with the 18-135 also along with the 55-300. Both are good lenses and reasonably priced. The 55-300 does lack weather sealing but that is easy enough work around.
The 55-300 is a very solid lens. One of the best decisions I have ever made was to go for the K-x kit with 18-55 & 55-300 instead of just the 18-55 alone or the 2 lens combo with the 50-200.
08-26-2013, 10:54 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The 55-300 is a very solid lens. One of the best decisions I have ever made was to go for the K-x kit with 18-55 & 55-300 instead of just the 18-55 alone or the 2 lens combo with the 50-200.
Yes, the 55-300 is perfect for hiking. Small and light for a 300, and yet good image quality.

Not saying I'll never get me a 300/4, though, but there's no hurry.
08-26-2013, 12:45 PM   #23
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I'm using the Da18-135 for this month's daily photo challenge. You can go here to see how flexible it can be for many situations.

Single in Aug 2013 - a set on Flickr

08-27-2013, 01:23 AM   #24
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Thanks for the replys. The 18-135mm sounds like a very useful lens!

As a photography novice what other lenses would you recommend to go with it? I would need a wide angle for architectural shots and interiors, and a 300mm zoom... what else? Or will the 18-135 cover most scenarios...
08-27-2013, 01:47 AM   #25
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I would recommend staying with just the 18-135 for a while. When you find situations where you feel limited by the lens you can start looking for alternatives.

Of course, the more expensive way is to buy a lot of lenses right away

- For wide angel you could look at a DA15 Limited, or a DA12-24, or a Sigma 8-16 or 10-20.
- For tele I'd recommend the DA55-300, or to go for a DA*300, or a Sigma 50-500.
- For low-light a DA50/1.8 or DA35/2.4 are inexpensive alternatives, or a manual lens like the M50/1.7. Or FA 31/1.8. Or a Sigma 30/1.4 or 35/1.4. Or a FA43 Limited.
- For portraits, FA77 Limited or maybe a manual 85/1.4

...but it can quickly add up to quite a few thousand.
08-27-2013, 05:23 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
Thanks for the replys. The 18-135mm sounds like a very useful lens!

As a photography novice what other lenses would you recommend to go with it? I would need a wide angle for architectural shots and interiors, and a 300mm zoom... what else? Or will the 18-135 cover most scenarios...
So long as you are willing to do some post processing, the 18-135 will cover most scenarios, but then so would many prime lenses. The range of the 18-135 covers everything from wide angle to telephoto and does it well.

If the lens isn't wide enough, you can use a tripod and stitch multiple images together. Panoramas aren't restricted to the great distant outdoors. If the lens isn't long enough, expose like you are using the longer lens (higher shutter speed) and crop. Need to focus closer than the lens allows? You might be able to fake a macro lens, again by cropping the final image. Perfect solutions? No. But you will soon enough figure out what additional lens(es) you might want.

It is always tough for me to not drag all my gear along wherever I go. But my body sure thanks me later when I don't. If I have to go light and have no idea what I will be shooting, in addition to spare power, memory and a small blower, I carry in a small case - my camera with the 18-135, my 55-300, and a small flash I can use off-camera instead of or in addition to the built-in flash. For serendipity walks with the dog or family events (think snapshots) I usually take only the 18-135. And sometimes I (gasp!) just cram a small P&S in my pocket.
08-27-2013, 05:49 AM   #27
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I've heard great things about the 18-135, and I've seen great examples of the 18-135. Based on that, I bought one for use at Disneyworld this summer. I just couldn't make friends with it, and I sold it shortly after we got back. I used it, maybe 5% of the time. IDK, maybe I didn't give it a chance. I rarely shoot below 40mm, so I needed a zoom 50-whatever. I loved the focusing of the 18-135: it focused smoothly and quietly. But I didn't find it to be tack-sharp, and I didn't use it below 50mm, so half it's focal length was wasted. It's a great lens, but I felt $400 was a bit much. I sold it for nearly what I paid and replaced it with a 85mm prime and a DA-L 50-200 that is, I feel, as good as the 18-135, or not any worse when price is factored in. Now, read all the posts here, and I'm sure I'll generate a bit o' flame, as all the reviews and posts here indicate that the 18-135 is great. I only post this to make you aware of one thing: When I bought the 18-135, I thought it would be great and a one-stop shop, always mounted kind of lens. But for me, and for my $400, I only thought it was meh...

I guess a better question might be this: of the available AF zooms with a wide focal range under $400, is the DA 18-135 WR the best choice? Then prolly so.
08-27-2013, 06:00 AM   #28
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No flames, just pointng out that if you don't use any lens to it's strength, you probably aren't going to like it. Sounds like you're the prime candidate for a DA* 50-135. Buying an 18-135 and not using it below 50 is like buying a Maseratti and not using 7th gear.

QuoteQuote:
I guess a better question might be this: of the available AF zooms with a wide focal range under $400, is the DA 18-135 WR the best choice? Then prolly so.
You already said you don't use a wide focal range..if you're looking for a super zoom with a strong long end, the Sigma 18-250 or DA 55-300 sound like the best... but, why aren't you just carrying the kit lens for when you need it?

You didn't say if your DA-L 50-200 and 85 combo is tack sharp... how are you doing... even the detractors point out the 18-135 has excellent center shaprness all through it's range.. if your images weren't center sharp, then there's another issue Lack of use of a tripod @ 135mm causing motion blur?). Soft borders are expected, a centre that isn't tack sharp at f 5.6, something else is wrong. it's not the lens, unless your copy need adjustment, and that has happened before.

Last edited by normhead; 08-27-2013 at 06:14 AM.
08-27-2013, 06:05 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by tele_pathic Quote
I've heard great things about the 18-135, and I've seen great examples of the 18-135. Based on that, I bought one for use at Disneyworld this summer. I just couldn't make friends with it, and I sold it shortly after we got back. I used it, maybe 5% of the time. IDK, maybe I didn't give it a chance. I rarely shoot below 40mm, so I needed a zoom 50-whatever. I loved the focusing of the 18-135: it focused smoothly and quietly. But I didn't find it to be tack-sharp, and I didn't use it below 50mm, so half it's focal length was wasted. It's a great lens, but I felt $400 was a bit much. I sold it for nearly what I paid and replaced it with a 85mm prime and a DA-L 50-200 that is, I feel, as good as the 18-135, or not any worse when price is factored in. Now, read all the posts here, and I'm sure I'll generate a bit o' flame, as all the reviews and posts here indicate that the 18-135 is great. I only post this to make you aware of one thing: When I bought the 18-135, I thought it would be great and a one-stop shop, always mounted kind of lens. But for me, and for my $400, I only thought it was meh...

I guess a better question might be this: of the available AF zooms with a wide focal range under $400, is the DA 18-135 WR the best choice? Then prolly so.
Well yes, most primes will be sharper than zooms. I owned a DA L 50-200 and find the 18-135 to be sharper. For both of us it could very well be tolerance variations in our copies of these lenses. If you lean on their relative strengths, both lens can produce great shots.

Using the DA L 50-200


Using the DA 18-135 AND this is shot from far out in center field and cropped to about 1/3 of the original image
08-27-2013, 06:40 AM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
Thanks for the replys. The 18-135mm sounds like a very useful lens!

As a photography novice what other lenses would you recommend to go with it? I would need a wide angle for architectural shots and interiors, and a 300mm zoom... what else? Or will the 18-135 cover most scenarios...
Super wide angle: Tamron 10-24mm is a good bargain.
Super Zoom: Pentax DA(L) 55-300mm is a great lens for a great price.
Low light: Sigma 18-35mm F1.8, Pentax DA 35mm F2.4, Pentax DA 50mm F1.8.
Portrait: Pentax DA 70mm F2.4 Limited or Pentax FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
Macro: Pentax DFA 100mm F2.8 WR

My two cents
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