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SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR

Sharpness 
 8.1
Aberrations 
 7.7
Bokeh 
 8.1
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.3
Value 
 8.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
130 522,131 Tue May 12, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $413.11 8.53
SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR

SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
supersize

Description:
The SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR is a new prosumer walkaround lens from Pentax. The lens currently has an MSRP of $499.95.

This lens covers a wide zoom range and features Pentax's latest lens technology, including the Quick-Shift focus system, SP (Super Protect) coating, and a DC motor for the SDM focusing system. When this lens auto-focuses, the external focusing ring does not move, allowing for comfortable holding and fine manual adjustment on the fly as well as for excellent AF speed. The lens also features an aspherical element, internal focusing, and extra-low dispersion element, and weather sealing to compliment the weather sealing of the K-5. The aperture blades are rounded to help render a very smooth bokeh. Finally, the lens hood also features a filter window for easy use of CPL filters.

Note: this lens uses the KAF3 mount. Autofocus will only work on SDM-enabled bodies: The K100D Super and K10D (w/ 1.30 firmware or higher) and newer.

SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL[IF] DC WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
Optics
13 elements, 11 groups
Mount Variant
KAF3
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5-5.6
Min. Aperture
F22-38
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor)
DC
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
0.24x
Filter Size
62 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76-11.9 ° / 67-10 °
Hood
PH-RBC 62 mm
Case
S80-120 (option)
Lens Cap
O-LC62
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes
Other Features
Diam x Length
73 x 76 mm (2.9 x 3.0 in.)
Weight
405 g (14.3 oz.)
Production Years
2010 to present (in production)
Pricing
$446 USD current price
$530 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-135mm ED AL [IF] DC WR
Product Code
21977
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
Notes
Two aspherical elements, one ED element.
No autofocus on older bodies (*istD series, K100D, K110D, and film).

Features:
Supersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 130
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2020
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Posts: 19
Lens Review Date: May 12, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $458.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: zoom range, versatile, WR, good all-around lens
Cons: small chromatic aberration
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-3 II   

I had it for three years and it has worked really good, great zoom range, and its the lens that its on my camera most of the time. I have shot on the rain with no problem, close to the beach with the breeze blowing and no problem at all, after the session i just clean the camera and lens so no salt remains in the items. Yes it show a little chromatic aberration in some conditions but nothing to worry about and you can fix it in any editing program.











   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 120

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2020 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Versatile, WR, good quality for a kit lens
Cons: Slow, a bit soft
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K50, K3ii   

Would I recomend this lens? Very hard question. I have one which I very rarely use because the max aperture is slow, there is distortion and CA in the images and softness away from the centre. But, it's weather sealed, has a wide zoom range, handles nicely, gives clean Pentax colours and has quick, quiet autofocus. I'm not a one-lens kind of guy, I'd rather take 21mm and 70mm primes and switch as required. So why haven't I sold it? Because maybe one day I'll be in really tough conditions and I'll need a solid lens that I won't mind getting roughed up. Until then, a nice prime will make me much happier. Should you get one? If you want the best IQ this isn't for you. If you want a lens that'll have a pretty good stab at most things and never let you down, then this is it.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2011
Posts: 385
Lens Review Date: November 26, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image quality, build quality, weather resistance, range
Cons: CA in bad conditions
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

I find this lens to be a fantastic upgrade to the kit lens provided with most Pentax DSLRs. It provides the flexibility of the kit lens, and the advantages of a one lens setup, while adding range and increasing image quality. It also has good build quality and weather resistance.

I shot this lens multiple times in the rain and snow without failure. It was the only lens I owned and used for quite a while, and I got great use out of it. Only occasionally would I get frustrated with bad CA or a slow aperture (for indoor shooting, especially). But for a walk-around lens and a flexible landscape lens, ti was awesome. I sold it only because I got a K-1, and it's an APS-C lens



   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Patrick Co. Virginia
Posts: 643
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very quiet, wide zoom range, ed glass
Cons: bit heavy(as expected), focus ring in weird place
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k50,k5   

I waited and waited for one of these to hit the used market at a price I could bare and got a lucky bid at ebay a few months ago.

I took this one to my annual Hillsville Labor day flea market pilgrimage to try out and other than being a bit heavy it performed very well. I really like the almost silent focus no this, especially good when sitting in a blind where I usually have to use manual focus to not scare everything within 100 yards. This lens tends to be a bit expensive, partly due to the ed glass.

This is now my goto walkabout lens despite the extra weight over the kit DA 18-55.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great all rounder
Cons: could have 'lock' button
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k70   

So it was my first pentax lenses which i got as a kit with my k70
its really good allrounder
extra fast af which always surprises me
litlle poor at waide angle on the corners but still good to menage
if you want to take a walk and not to cary any other stuff than your camera and one lenst take it

its really weather resistant, i walked with it on me camera in the rain, even i poured beer at it by accident and then washed it under a tap and still working as new

as to cones it could have a lock button to lock the corpus, sometimes in heavy terrain when you wlk it can expand it self under weight
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2019
Posts: 66

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, very fast AF, WR
Cons: non for me
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

I found this lens used looking for a replace to Da 18-55wr; it surprised me for the AF speed and the good IQ.
DC motor is rapid and silent and the end at 135mm avoids me to carry too much lenses.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 283

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
New or Used: New   

I am going to make this simple. I have two K1s and one K1-II, and a KP and a Sony a7iii and here are the lenses I own.

HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6
ROKINON 85M-P 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Pentax.
Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited Prime
HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW which I use on my full frame Pentax K1).
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 Limited WR
Pentax DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM (Also Weather sealed).
Pentax DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (SDM)
Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Zoom Lens.
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens 64 GB.

The only kit lens I have is the SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens and on the KP is an outstanding performer.

Here is a photo of a flower I took, just walking out in my yard and taking it for this review. Here is a photo of a flower at 135mm standing freehand, no tripod, and the settings were ISO 100 135mm f/8 1/200. This is a RAW file and editing done to the first photo and I only cropped the the second one. I have taken many more with the KP and 18-135mm and it is an outstanding performer. Someone might say I got a good copy or maybe the lens is better than a lot of folks say, at least this one is that I bought for my KP for a quick walk around and so glad I did.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: central sharpness; contrast
Cons: edge softness; distortion
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-70   

This is the standard zoom that came with my K-70 package. I have been using the Sigma 18-300 and only recently spend more time with the 18-135. I am not happy with the image quality of this lens. Central sharpness is good, but anything beyond 1/2 away from the centre, sharpness drops off drastically, even at f8. This is present in all focal lengths. This observation seems to agree with the ephotozine review findings (MTF50). Unfortunately I won't be as lenient as their conclusion. I also notice some strange distortion from 18 to 50 mm FL - some sort of complex wavy distortion that is still present with the camera's lens distortion correction switched on. Architectural shots show curvilinear distortion one way on one side of the picture and distortion the other way on the opposite side. These cannot be corrected by rotation or perspective aspect correction therefore they are not the causes. May be I got a bad copy of the lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 260

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 20, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, fast AF, versatile, weather sealing
Cons: Not the sharpest lens in the catalog
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70   

First off, this lens is often compared to the excellent, and much more expensive, Pentax HD PENTAX DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR. I own BOTH, at the time of this review.

Yes, I get a few more "keepers" with the 16-85. Yes, under ideal conditions, the 16-85 is sharper, especially in the corners, where the 18-135 can tend to get to be pretty soft. BUT, the 16-85 is MUCH larger and heavier and around TWICE the price! Yes, the extra 2mm at the wide end is more than it might seem at first, but the difference between 85 and 135 at the long end makes the 18-135 much more practical in my bag, and if I had to leave the house with only one lens, this is the one that would make the cut, 9 out of 10 times.

Mine came bundled as a kit, with the K-70, which I purchased lightly used. After a couple of months and a couple thousand snaps of the shutter, if I had to buy a kit brand new today? I'd buy the K-70 and 18-135 all over again. Wide enough to get most of that sort of work done, long enough to be a very usable lens for wildlife, landscapes, and even portraits, affordable, and weather sealed. If it were just a little sharper in the corners, I could have easily given this one a 10.


IMGP4160 by oktyabr, on Flickr


Sunset by oktyabr, on Flickr


IMGP4210 by oktyabr, on Flickr


IMGP2596_result by oktyabr, on Flickr
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 796

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 10, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, light, good af, great zoom range, WR
Cons: Slow aperture, no focus scale
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30, KP   

This lens is a great travel zoom, it has much better IQ then the DA18-55 WR. This lens with the DA15 and a portrait prime (FA43, DA50,...) creates a really small and versatile three lens kit. Without the portrait prime the two lens kit is still very versatile. I reccomend this lens, it's excelent to photograph the family holidays and very usful in harsh wether where you can't change the lens. This lens is smaller and lighter then the DA16-85, altough it has a little worse IQ as I heard. The build quality is very good and the AF is fast.

Here are some images:
IMG180211_0056 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG180211_0003 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG180211_0094 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170626_0147 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170830_0002 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170628_0019 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170627_0044 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170626_0164 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 17

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $210.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fine detail, Auto Focus, Construction, wide range, weather sealed.
Cons: edge fall off if not careful
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

Nice construction, reasonable weight not as light as a FA 28-105 (Tokina version)

Weather sealed for hiking and inclement weather if you shoot a lot in poor weather.

Nice all around focal range for walkabout, but not great at the long end, so if your serious about birds or distant subjects, the various 55-300 range from Pentax are a far better budget option. (I tested this against my old original 55-300 at 135mm and it was beaten by the longer kit lens) But it gives you a cross over if you want a 2 lens system.

Better than the 18-55 kit lens I had at the wide end and especially likes being stopped down to f8/f9 to eliminate edge fall off. Fine detail is quite impressive but that absolute quality of f2,8 lenses is not quite there.

I didn't really find a lot of CA or distortion as has been mentioned by others, but if any, was easily fixed in PP.

My K3 has a bad habit of producing soft images at iso 100 (shutter shock), so at 1/60th and below or 1/200th and above produced quite pleasing images. I am used to quality pro glass, so I know what is really nice and what is acceptable. When working in the sweet spot, it gives a lot of pleasure and could conceivably be one of the great all-rounders.

I may be one of the unusual ones who likes the manual focus ring at the base of the lens, quite intuitive for me.

Loved the typical entry / mid level close up focus with this lens and quite a bonus for the hiker wanting to shoot forest floor fungi etc.

Lovely colours and flare resistance as we expect from Pentax glass.

Overall a very pleasing walkabout lens sold as a kit. It adds more capability than the standard 18-55 whilst not being an absolute standout performer in IQ terms but very handy enough to suit most needs. Long end gets softer at edges but still works ok in good light and for isolating more distant subjects or as a portrait lens.

I tend to need a portrait lens longer and a wide landscaper, so this little gem is here to stay for me.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 4,604

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 28, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, versatile focal range, WR, colours!
Cons: Zoom creep
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-S2   

Love this lens! I bought it to replace my DA-L 18-50 RE and I really feel like the 18-135 outshoots the DA-L in almost every way!
I really wish this lens had a lock on the zoom though, because it creeps out when I'm walking with the lens!
However, I'm very, very happy with this lens.
Together with the 55-300 PLM these two lenses perform very well !
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Hingham MA
Posts: 34

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 28, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lite Weight, Useful Range, Weather Sealed, Cheap
Cons: Not much when considering the price
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k-50, K-70   

For the price this is a great lens. Handles well, lite weight, great zoom range. Sharp enough from 24-125. Less so outside
this range. Great for travel, hiking, or walk around. Definitely performs better on my K-70 vs my old K-50. Not sure if the new
firmware on the k-70 helped. Sold my DA*50-135 as it was collecting dust after buying this lens ( yes I know it's a way better lens but too heavy for active use). btw, I would give sharpness 8.5.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 8

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 27, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: All round, range, WR, optics between 24-70mm range,colors&contrasty
Cons: optics outside of the above range
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5 K1   

Well rating this wide range zoom is not simple
But come on, rating the sharpness 3 or 5 is not serious regarding what it is = the range and the price....
(If you are a real pro with $$$$$ lenses ok but you never buy this in fact)

I have very hig quality primes in my quiver.I will say that optically that's not really great nor very good. BUT its a long range so not so surprising
Really very good performance withtin the center in the whole range

The (small) range 24-70mm is really good enough among the whole frame. In the others ranges ie 18-24 and 70/135 = poor corners

In fact the handling and range are such good that i used it a lot finally, with all weather conditions and shooting always at F8 + PP with DXO

If you don't want to carry several lenses with you THat the choice for good average results. This is already an improve in optics quality/ 18-55mm kit. the 16-85 is much better but bigger and a kind of short range and you may will feel the need to buy an additional mid tele prime or mid tele zoom so not the same budget and 2 lens to carry

I must say i took pleasure with this one. It's OK for general use / holidays. OK if your are advanced shooter you won't choose this one

I have some gems and Star lenses and i'am not ashamed to have used it. Now using K1 with great lenses, i keep it on my K5 for the no brain use and won't sell it.

Some nices PICS with it (i always use quick PP with DXO standard lens profile correction, an a polar filter with sea landscape) :













This one really shows the weaknesses : such poor borders and corners even with DXO. Not great yes but not so awful. its a nice souvenir taken from a "moving" small boat with no brain no fear.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 1,207

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Compact size, weather sealing, price
Cons: Image quality outside of the center
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 6    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

I had this lens for a few months, did rigorous testing with it to compare it to another lens for an article.

Pros:

Compact size - For a superzoom, it's actually quite compact, noticeably smaller and lighter than any 18-2xx zoom out there.

Weather sealing - Used it at Burning Man, one of the most demanding environments for an interchangeable lens system. After I got back I literally rinsed it off with a hose in my driveway with no issue.

Price - It's actually a decent price for a lens that covers its focal range.


Cons:

Sharpness outside of the center - Center sharpness is good-great. But edges and corners are blurry and full of distortion, CA, and vignetting. This really limits its use for landscapes or any situation that calls for somewhat decent sharpness across the frame.

* * *

Folks, this is a kit lens. It has its fanboys, but lots of objective reviews of this lens pin it as an overall middling performer. You can see sample images here at PF and other places on the web and make your own call.

Unless you're spending lots of time in a desert or white water rafting, you don't really need the weather sealing, so check out one of the longer superzooms and enjoy more focal range and better image quality. If you must have weather sealing, I suggest taking a look at the newer and higher rated 16-85.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR



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