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05-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #1
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Photozone's 18-135 WR Review

I have the 18-55 WR on my K200D and after using it for a four day trip feel that I'd gladly pay twice the price for it, the only thing more I would want from it is perhaps a constant f/4 and extra reach. The 18-135 certainly gives the extra reach, but PZ's review is disappointing, particularly the increase in barrel distortion at the wide end. Do any owners of this lens find the same problems with it as PZ?

05-09-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by KMMD Quote
I have the 18-55 WR on my K200D and after using it for a four day trip feel that I'd gladly pay twice the price for it, the only thing more I would want from it is perhaps a constant f/4 and extra reach. The 18-135 certainly gives the extra reach, but PZ's review is disappointing, particularly the increase in barrel distortion at the wide end. Do any owners of this lens find the same problems with it as PZ?
Check out the section of users' reviews in -
Genuine Pentax Lens Reviews

and in there is:
Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
05-09-2011, 10:46 AM   #3
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In my opinion, the 18-135 is nowhere near as bad as PZ makes it out to be. Yes, at certain apertures/focal lengths the corners/borders can be less than stellar, but if you're taking photos where you want the viewer's eyes drawn to the corners or borders, you should probably find a different hobby.

I work for a regional magazine publishing company, and although my principal duties are not related to photography, I do shoot for the magazine from time to time, and a number of the photos that have been published have been shot with the 18-135.

All lenses have design compromises, and the 18-135 is a very capable lens when used to it's strengths.

Is it overpriced? Probably, but with Hoya it seems the days of bang for the buck lenses are over, and it doesn't help that the US gov't is inflating the currency like there's no tomorrow (which there might not be).

Overall, I'm very happy with the lens, though for some it may not be a good fit, it works for me very nicely.
05-09-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
In my opinion, the 18-135 is nowhere near as bad as PZ makes it out to be. Yes, at certain apertures/focal lengths the corners/borders can be less than stellar, but if you're taking photos where you want the viewer's eyes drawn to the corners or borders, you should probably find a different hobby.

I work for a regional magazine publishing company, and although my principal duties are not related to photography, I do shoot for the magazine from time to time, and a number of the photos that have been published have been shot with the 18-135.

All lenses have design compromises, and the 18-135 is a very capable lens when used to it's strengths.

Is it overpriced? Probably, but with Hoya it seems the days of bang for the buck lenses are over, and it doesn't help that the US gov't is inflating the currency like there's no tomorrow (which there might not be).

Overall, I'm very happy with the lens, though for some it may not be a good fit, it works for me very nicely.
+1.

Not sure I could have summed it up myself any better. It's a great all-around, WR lens that I enjoy shooting with even if the optics aren't perfect. It seems most people that have actually taken pictures with this lens feel it's pretty decent overall depsite its shortcomings.

Regarding the price, I agree it's a bit pricey and doesn't represent a great value for the dollar. Most of my lenses aren't great in terms of value for the dollar, I'm used to it I'm sure the 18-135 would sell more readily if it was about $300, closer in price the a 2 lens kit like the 18-55WR + 50-200WR, as opposed to the $500 price tag it has at the moment.

05-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #5
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I believe PZ tested a poor copy. Unfortunately Pentax Germany said it performs within spec. I am very pleased with my 18-135. My tests show it bests my DA L 18-55 and 18-250mm in their common ranges, and build quality and mechanics are far superior. Superzooms do have more barrel distortion, but I find it an acceptable tradeoff. It's definitely not as distorted as the 18-250, and a lot of people are very happy with that lens.

Last edited by audiobomber; 05-09-2011 at 11:24 AM.
05-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #6
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I guess I'm the exception, I don't find the 18-135 overpriced. Last time I checked it was $140 more than the 18-55 and 50-200 WR lenses. I consider one-lens convenience, silent AF and superior build quality to be worth it.

It's not much more dosh than the Canon 18-135 which doesn't have WR and is probably not as solidly built.
05-09-2011, 12:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I guess I'm the exception, I don't find the 18-135 overpriced. Last time I checked it was $140 more than the 18-55 and 50-200 WR lenses. I consider one-lens convenience, silent AF and superior build quality to be worth it.

It's not much more dosh than the Canon 18-135 which doesn't have WR and is probably not as solidly built.
Very good points. I have the original 18-55 & 50-200 for my K100D and have never looked at the prices for the WR versions of these lenses. $140 premium for convenience, faster/quiet AF, and build quality doesn't sound like a bad deal even allowing for the reach advantage of the 50-200.
05-09-2011, 01:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
...It seems most people that have actually taken pictures with this lens feel it's pretty decent overall despite its shortcomings...
Whereas most (or at least some) people who don't even own the lens think it's the worst lens Pentax has ever made.

Anyone thinking about buying this lens should evaluate both negative and positive views but give more weight to the opinions of those who actually own the lens, imho.

05-10-2011, 01:32 PM   #10
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As we think about it, price does not correspond with value.

Price = what you pay.

Value = what you get out of it.

For inclement circumstances, there's no real alternative to this WR.

You can easily find better glass and better value (in terms of image quality) if you're willing to swap lenses on a regular basis - which is exactly what you don't want to do in this situation.

For me the tradeoffs are:

* Pay USD $500 for 18-135 WR or
* Limit myself to 18-55 WR or
* Put the K-5 away sometimes.

Price is objective but value is personal. I'll take door number one, thanks.
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