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07-03-2015, 03:12 PM   #1
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Pentax K-3 New User and sampels

Hello everyone, i just made one post previously about flashes.
I recently bought a pentax K-3 moving from Nikon. I love the camera. I opted for the 18-135 that was coming along with it because of its weather sealing and feel of the lens. it felt more solid. However compared to my Nikon, it does feel a little softer even stopped down to say f/8 or f/11 somewhere in the middle focal range say 50-70.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/irfanintekhab/19279789616/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irfanintekhab/18160673884/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irfanintekhab/18099757774/in/dateposted-public/

specially when using artificial lights, there seems to be some serious CA going on. Is there something i am doing wrong with this glass? or is it how this glass really is?

Also can anyone recommend a good lens in this focal range. Specifically depending on its sharpness. Bokeh etc doesnt matter. Just the sharpness is what i am looking for in my type of work.

Thanks

07-03-2015, 03:46 PM   #2
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There are a few offered by Pentax and Sigma in the range you're after (in prime and zooms.) Have a look in the user lens review section and lens sample archives as a starter. Some of the primes in the 30-85mm range are super sharp.
07-03-2015, 06:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Irfanintekhab Quote
Hello everyone, i just made one post previously about flashes.
I recently bought a pentax K-3 moving from Nikon. I love the camera. I opted for the 18-135 that was coming along with it because of its weather sealing and feel of the lens. it felt more solid. However compared to my Nikon, it does feel a little softer even stopped down to say f/8 or f/11 somewhere in the middle focal range say 50-70.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/irfanintekhab/19279789616/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irfanintekhab/18160673884/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/irfanintekhab/18099757774/in/dateposted-public/

specially when using artificial lights, there seems to be some serious CA going on. Is there something i am doing wrong with this glass? or is it how this glass really is?

Also can anyone recommend a good lens in this focal range. Specifically depending on its sharpness. Bokeh etc doesnt matter. Just the sharpness is what i am looking for in my type of work.

Thanks
Great shots! 18-135 has great center sharpness but corner is not as good as primes or other high end zooms. There has pretty lot of choices around this range. If sharpness is your concern, you can try primes like F-DA 50mm F2.8 macro. FA 77 1.8/DA 70mm F2.4 is also pretty sharp when stepped down a little bit . To be a surprise, $100 DA 50 1.8 is one of the sharpness lens at maximum aperture. If you want zoom, 50-135 f2.8 and the new 16-85 might be good choice!
07-04-2015, 12:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for appreciating. And thank you for suggestions. Will definitely look into it.

How is the da* 16-50?

07-04-2015, 01:05 AM   #5
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You must have posted during a global lull in PF activity. Normally, your type of question would attract a swathe of responses!
07-04-2015, 02:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Irfanintekhab Quote
How is the da* 16-50?
I have the Sigma 17-50 2.8 which is directly comparable to the 16-50. Looking at your posted images, I think you're really looking at something at the premium end, i.e. primes. The 16(17)-50mm lenses offered by Tamron, Sigma and Pentax are all very good. PF did a helpful comparative review on all three in the lens review section. It's really up to your own judgement as to how sharp you want to go. I use the 17-50 for most applications, then when I really want something special I pull out the 77mm ltd.
07-04-2015, 07:26 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Irfanintekhab Quote
How is the da* 16-50?
Pentax lenses in order of image quality (and cost):
The 18-135 is a consumer walk around lens. It is in fact very good for what it is, my wife uses it 80% of the time. However, as already noted corner sharpness is not great and it is rather slower. The somewhat newer DA 16-85 is reputed to be sharper and a good lens but I've no experience with it.

The da*16-50 and da*50-135 are the premium combination that cover roughly the same focal lengths as the 18-135. I use da*16-50 for perhaps 50% of my work. It is excellent, with the only issues being some distortion at 16mm and the SDM drive has in the past been unreliable. That seems to be largely fixed as we do not see many complaints these days. The same with the da*50-135. They are both big, heavy professional lenses that deliver as good as you can get in zoom lenses.

And last, for the ultimate sharpness you need to go with primes. Whether a particular shot will be better with a prime or a da* lens is hard to say. The da* lenses are close but most still give the primes an edge. The classic Pentax Limited set would be the FA 31mm, FA 43mm and FA 77mm. The DA set is 15mm, 21mm, 40mm, 70mm. These are even smaller and lighter but a little slower.

So based on your post I would suggest trying a DA*16-50 or taking a look at several of the FA or DA Limited primes.
07-04-2015, 08:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawsy Quote
You must have posted during a global lull in PF activity. Normally, your type of question would attract a swathe of responses!
I didn't understand. What means global lull in pf activity?

---------- Post added 07-04-15 at 08:42 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Pentax lenses in order of image quality (and cost):
The 18-135 is a consumer walk around lens. It is in fact very good for what it is, my wife uses it 80% of the time. However, as already noted corner sharpness is not great and it is rather slower. The somewhat newer DA 16-85 is reputed to be sharper and a good lens but I've no experience with it.

The da*16-50 and da*50-135 are the premium combination that cover roughly the same focal lengths as the 18-135. I use da*16-50 for perhaps 50% of my work. It is excellent, with the only issues being some distortion at 16mm and the SDM drive has in the past been unreliable. That seems to be largely fixed as we do not see many complaints these days. The same with the da*50-135. They are both big, heavy professional lenses that deliver as good as you can get in zoom lenses.

And last, for the ultimate sharpness you need to go with primes. Whether a particular shot will be better with a prime or a da* lens is hard to say. The da* lenses are close but most still give the primes an edge. The classic Pentax Limited set would be the FA 31mm, FA 43mm and FA 77mm. The DA set is 15mm, 21mm, 40mm, 70mm. These are even smaller and lighter but a little slower.

So based on your post I would suggest trying a DA*16-50 or taking a look at several of the FA or DA Limited primes.
Thank you so much for the detailed answer. I apologise not having mentioned the focal lengths. Yes of course the primes would be sharpest and primes are exactly what I was looking for. Apologise again for not mentioning properly.
So coming to primes I mostly do products and automotive. And for that I need real sharpness without any distortion and minimal CA due to artificial lights.
In some automotive shots I do need a little background too sometimes. So 100mm would be a lot I suppose.
So in the range of 35-50mm primes, which would you guys recommend? Again based on sharpness. Center to corner.

---------- Post added 07-04-15 at 08:44 AM ----------

Also is it worth buying an FA lens with a thought that if Pentax ever goes full frame?, I can probably use these lenses. Or is it like Pentax won't ever go full frame?

07-04-2015, 10:09 AM   #9
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I'm so tired of saying this, and I've said it so many times, at this point I'm just going to come out and flat out say it. Some of the above poster's are lying.

In parts of it's like range 24mm to 28mm, the DA 18-135 has edge sharpness rated as excellent, better than any Pentax prime at those ranges. In that sense it's simply a superlative lens and beyond everything else available from Pentax. It is not and can in no way be described as "edge soft. IN fact to say it would be edge excellent would be just as accurate as to say it's edge soft, because both describe only part of the lenses Focal Length range. Yet people constantly describe it as edge soft. Usually people who don't use the lens. No one who has used it for landscape from 22-30mm would say it is edge soft. Other people who prefer to use other lenses say this when they are blowing their horn for the lens they prefer, even when the lens they own doesn't match it in it's best FLs.

Now to the subject at hand. CA. The 18-135 has high CA values for a prime, (not for this type of zoom), so for that aspect you can improve on performance in the desired focal lengths. Unfortunately the DA*16-50 isn't a lot better than the DA 18-135 in it's range, nor is the DA*50-135 in the 50-70range. In that range, something like the DA 70 ƒ2.4 is probably what you are looking for control of CA i The DA*55 1.4 is also excellent in control of CA until ƒ8 and over. Then it starts to get out of my comfort zone. But looking 50-70 mm for control of CA and excellent IQ those are your best choices. The DA18-135 CA numbers are acceptable from 50 to 85mm but by then it's starting to get edge soft. outside that range they are pretty poor, well over 1.5 pixels on a 16mp camera.

If you really want the area around 70mm in a zoom and you want excellent control of CA plus excellent sharpness centre and edge, the DA*60-250 is probably your only option, but it's only an ƒ4 lens. It stacks up nicely with any prime you care to put it up against.

Last edited by normhead; 07-04-2015 at 10:27 AM.
07-04-2015, 12:34 PM   #10
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I guess I would say that if you want more of a walk around lens that is sharper edge to edge, then the newer DA 16-85 is probably a better choice. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is sharp and pretty nice in that range. As Norm say, the 16-50 f2.8 is a nice lens but suffers from CA and purple fringing through its range.

Don't get me wrong, the 16-50 has nice colors and good contrast, but CA just isn't its strong point.
07-04-2015, 03:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Irfanintekhab Quote
I didn't understand. What means global lull in pf activity?
It just means the forum was very quiet for while. Normhead sorted that out.
07-04-2015, 05:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawsy Quote
It just means the forum was very quiet for while. Normhead sorted that out.
We all gotta do our jobs.....
07-05-2015, 01:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I'm so tired of saying this, and I've said it so many times, at this point I'm just going to come out and flat out say it. Some of the above poster's are lying.

In parts of it's like range 24mm to 28mm, the DA 18-135 has edge sharpness rated as excellent, better than any Pentax prime at those ranges. In that sense it's simply a superlative lens and beyond everything else available from Pentax. It is not and can in no way be described as "edge soft. IN fact to say it would be edge excellent would be just as accurate as to say it's edge soft, because both describe only part of the lenses Focal Length range. Yet people constantly describe it as edge soft. Usually people who don't use the lens. No one who has used it for landscape from 22-30mm would say it is edge soft. Other people who prefer to use other lenses say this when they are blowing their horn for the lens they prefer, even when the lens they own doesn't match it in it's best FLs.

Now to the subject at hand. CA. The 18-135 has high CA values for a prime, (not for this type of zoom), so for that aspect you can improve on performance in the desired focal lengths. Unfortunately the DA*16-50 isn't a lot better than the DA 18-135 in it's range, nor is the DA*50-135 in the 50-70range. In that range, something like the DA 70 2.4 is probably what you are looking for control of CA i The DA*55 1.4 is also excellent in control of CA until 8 and over. Then it starts to get out of my comfort zone. But looking 50-70 mm for control of CA and excellent IQ those are your best choices. The DA18-135 CA numbers are acceptable from 50 to 85mm but by then it's starting to get edge soft. outside that range they are pretty poor, well over 1.5 pixels on a 16mp camera.

If you really want the area around 70mm in a zoom and you want excellent control of CA plus excellent sharpness centre and edge, the DA*60-250 is probably your only option, but it's only an 4 lens. It stacks up nicely with any prime you care to put it up against.
Thank you for the detailed response. So if I get you correct, I can use the 18-135 at say 30mm and it'll be just as sharp and controlled like the 16-50 at 30mm?

The 60-250 looks promising. Cuz I'd have this 135 to cover till 30. I also bought a 50mm 1.8 since it was really cheap just 30 KD here. and someone said it's very sharp. Indeed it's really sharp. But the built is obviously not so good. It's fine until it's giving me those sharp images. And then I can use the 60-250 if I ever need to go that far. 😊
07-05-2015, 03:39 AM   #14
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Welcome aboard!!!

The 60-250 is a well respected lens. The 50mm 1.8 has a nickname on this board. It is called the plastic fantastic. Pentax is going to release a full frame camera in about 4 months. If you plan on going full frame than keep this in mind for the lenses you purchase. There is a sub forum on the board called the Lens Club. It is devoted to specific lenses and there is an 18-135 thread there. Look it over. There are several threads there on all sorts and brands of lenses. The lens review section is a good source of information too.
07-06-2015, 07:24 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Thank you for the detailed response. So if I get you correct, I can use the 18-135 at say 30mm and it'll be just as sharp and controlled like the 16-50 at 30mm?
The reason for the 16-50 is a waterside ƒ2.8, as afar a I can tell. By 30mm mm, the 18-135 at ƒ4, You need to let in twice as much light, to get to ƒ2.8, so the DA*16-50 needs to be quite a bit heavier and for DoF if you want it, the DA*16-50 is going to open wider and create more pleasing out of focus areas. There are advantages. But, landscape at ƒ5.6 or higher insn't one of them between maybe 22and 30. Personally I've stopped carrying my DA*35 2.4, because the DA 18-135 will give me the image I want, even thought the DA 35 is a very good lens. I'm sure the DA 35 will be marginally better pixel peeping, but as in my 50's example above, any differences will be insignificant. The 18-135 is two lenses, a very high end 18-50 and a centre sharp DA 60-135. Every one of the criticisms I've seen on the forum has been people comparing the 60-135 part of the lens to someone else's 16-50 or 17-50. That's just misrepresentation. And personally, I find it offensive, that after I've taken the time to correct this over and over again, people who support other lenses for this role, continue the malign the 18-135, and proposed other lenses that are no where near what it is at it's strongest.

The only lens I'd recommend over it based on the test charts would be the Tamron 17-50, and I have to put an asterisk on that because so many have had mechanical issues with that lens. I was already at the point of refusing to recommend it, when the AF on mine totally died. It's adjusted to +10 and still won't focus.

IN a way, it's not that the 18-135 is all that great, it's that the other offereings The Sigma 16-50, the Pentax 16-50 and the Tamron 17-50 are rated at the highest , an 8 put of 10.

DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison Review - The Bottom Line | PentaxForums.com Reviews

The DA 18-135 rated at 8.4 is right behind the DA*35 2.4 rated at 8.5 and a half point ahead of any of the above 3.

The people who go on about these other lenses, putting down the 18-135 just shooting off their mouths without doing their home work. At this point there is just no excuse for that. Personally, I'm going to start ramping it up a bit when the OP asks for something top notch and people recommend inferior lenses for the described purpose. The question isn't "What lens did I buy, that I'll stick with no matter what?" The question is, "For the use described by the OP, what is the best lens?" These question turn into cheerleading sessions for one lens or the other.

Even in a football game half the cheerleaders are wrong every game, in that the team they cheer for isn't the best team that day.

There area pile of folks who post here who are nothing but cheerleaders for helens they bought, and absolutely no restraint recommending it over better lens. Accept no advice without supporting links or investigating the forum reviews and Photozone. That would be my advice. These guys who buy on helens and think they know everything, or who got a bad copy of a lens and continuously trash that lens, ignore them. Use multiple sources read what the forum reviews and protozone have to say, and look in the Lens Clubs both for images and for what people say about the lens, and you have a informed decision.

Some jackass saying crap like "the 18-135 is soft at the edges" don't even pay attention to the one liners. They clearly haven't done a stitch of research on the lens, and are just repeating nonsense posted by other posters.

Now if someone wants to make a coherent logical case stating some other people's research and testing, other than joe blow shooting off his mouth, I'll be happy to look at what you come up with. I'e got my case outlined above with relevant quotes. Bring it on.

I won't be holding my breath. I've been through the evidence enough times, to know, you have nothing.

My biggest regret is that the first time this trash was tossed out as advice I didn't create a comprehensive file I could just paste into every thread where it cam up , and create a bot to do it automatically. I have continually put the information out there, and people I can only describe as lazy have continued on about how weak the lens is, without actually looking at the tests and reviews.

Lazy, there's no other word to describe those attitudes.

At this point I'm almost certain there's going to be a few people come on and justify their bad advice. Not with reviews, not with test scores, not with side by side comparisons of images, but with a rehash of every poster who's contributed an untruth about this lens.

Last edited by normhead; 07-06-2015 at 07:39 AM.
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