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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
132 543,015 Sat January 16, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $409.31 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
$396 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



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Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2014
Location: Sth Gippsland Victoria Australia
Posts: 4,964

10 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 16, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Versatility, centre sharpness, colour and contrast, compactness, light weight, fast & quiet AF, WR
Cons: Corner/edge sharpness, nisen bokeh, purple fringing, no HD coatings
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30, K-3, K-S2, KP   

I got this lens in 2015, used but in excellent condition. I wasn't particularly seeking one, but it came bundled with a secondhand K-3. After many thousands of images, I have been very pleased I got it.

Construction and handling: The lens has a metal mount surrounded by a red weather-sealing ring. The rear element is quite small (about 15mm). The front element is about 48mm. The lens takes 62mm filters.

As is common with modern zooms, much of the construction is plastic. This is a key to its relatively light weight (405g), but renders the barrel susceptible to breaking at the base on a severe impact when extended (this happened to my DA 55-300 PLM lens, which has similar construction). To minimise this risk (and to prevent the barrels from becoming wobbly over time) the lens should be retracted after each use (but wipe the barrels first so that dust and moisture are not sucked in).

My copy has stood up well to more than 5 years of considerable use and abuse.

There are only two controls on the lens: a small focus ring at the rear and a large zoom ring at the front. Each has a grippy surface.The lens is compact when retracted. Turning the zoom ring clockwise zooms in from 18mm to 135mm by extending two plastic barrels, which roughly doubles the length of the lens. The zoom ring was stiff at first but after more than 5 years of use it is nicely damped. My copy has not suffered from zoom creep.

The lens is supplied with a bayonet-mount plastic petal hood which reverse mounts when not in use. The hood has Pentax's usual removable piece to allow rotation of a filter. Using the hood will reduce flare and improve contrast and help protect the front element.

The lens is weather-resistant. I have used it in heavy rain without adverse effects, but in wet conditions it is important to dry the barrels before retracting them and to dry the whole lens before storing it.

The weight is light enough to allow the camera to be used with one hand if necessary, such as when feeding a wild bird with the other!


Focusing: Like other DA zooms, this is a lens designed primarily for AF use. Hence the small focus ring, its positioning at the rear, the short throw, and the absence of features such as distance scales, aperture scales and an infinity stop. The lens has QuickShift, which means that it can be manually focused even when AF is activated. This is useful for pre-focusing and where the subject is partly obscured (e.g. a bird in a tree).

This was the first Pentax lens to use DC autofocus. It has proven to be very successful and reliable (in contrast to the early iterations of SDM autofocus). Autofocus on this lens is very quick and quiet - second only to the 55-300 PLM amongst lenses I have used. Focus is accurate on my copy. Due to the slowish maximum aperture, the lens will sometimes hunt in low light, but even in these conditions I have found it is much better than screw-driven AF lens like the DA-L 55-300mm f4-5.8 or the D FA 100mm f2.8 macro.

The lens has internal focusing, so the front element does not move or rotate during focusing. The downside of this is that the lens shows significant focus-breathing, which reduces magnification (in this case by a lot) at or close to the minimum focus distance (MFD). So even with a fairly short MFD (0.4m), maximum magnification (at 135mm) is only 0.24x (compare non-IF lenses like the DFA 100mm macro which at its MFD of 0.3m can do 1:1, the DA 20-40 which can do 0.2x magnification with a much shorter focal length from its MFD of 0.28m or the screwdriven 55-300mm which can get 0.28x magnification at its MFD of 1.4m). Nevertheless, the lens is quite serviceable in a close-focus and pseudo-macro role.


Aperture: Like other designed-for-digital lenses, the DA 18-135 has no aperture ring; aperture is controlled exclusively by the camera. Maximum aperture increments are as follows:
18mm - f3.5
20mm - f4
28mm - f4.5
70mm - f5.6
This is comparable to the DA 16-85 but slower than other zooms in the wide-moderate telephoto range (e.g. Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4).

Versatility: The wide range of focal lengths is one of the major strengths of this lens, because you can get a decent shot without having to carry or switch to another lens. This makes it great for capturing the moment, whether it requires wide angle (24mm) ...

... or telephoto (115mm)


Or both wide (31mm)

... and long (135mm)

... in quick succession.

Sharpness: It is difficult to rate sharpness overall, because it varies considerably. Centre resolution is generally very good to excellent throughout the range. Corner and edge resolution are not great (especially at the long end) but are acceptable when the lens is stopped down. The best resolution is from about 20mm to 70mm (the range where the maximum aperture is f4 or f4.5), although centre sharpness remains very good right through to 135mm.

The only setting (below diffraction-affected apertures) in which I find the lens is not sharp enough anywhere is at 18mm, wide open (f3.5). Fortunately, this is not a setting I use often. At 18mm, sharpness improves markedly on stopping down. The centre is very good by f5.6. At 18mm f8, the corners are also sharp enough (see the bottom left corner here):


For landscapes, if you stick to f8-f11 and crop the corners a little where necessary, there is little to complain about.
18mm f10


21mm f8


21mm f11


48mm f8


60mm f10


It can even be used as a basis for stitching panoramas. This is from 3 images at 31mm f8.


For particular subjects, the centre-sharp/corner-soft combination can help to accentuate the subject. 135mm f5.6.


Every so often it can produce images with a 3D effect. 68mm f4.5.


The lens is sharper at each setting than the Tamron 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 which I had previously, but not as sharp across the frame as the DA 55-300 PLM in their common range (55-135mm). For sharing on phone and tablets, web viewing and moderate-size printing, sharpness is quite sufficient if the lens is used within its limitations.

General image quality: In a typical Pentax way, colour and contrast are very good and the lens is capable of producing vibrant but lifelike images. Of course it is not on a par with a Limited (which is one reason why I prefer to use the DA 20-40 these days), but quite good for a wide-ranging zoom.














For more samples, see my Flickr album. Note that all the images in this album (and shown here) have been shot in RAW and processed in DxO OpticsPro or its successor DxO PhotoLab. Shooting RAW and processing is essential, IMO, to get the best results from this class of lens.

Bokeh: The narrow maximum apertures mean that this could never be a bokeh monster. Nevertheless the bokeh can be pleasant enough, especially with a distance between the subject and the background.


But the lens is also prone to ugly nisen bokeh (parallel lines).


In this regard, the lens is showing its age. More recent Pentax zooms (e.g. DFA 28-105 and DA 55-300 PLM) have much improved bokeh and smoother transitions.

Aberrations and distortion: Flare control is quite good (for a non-HD lens).


There is significant vignetting at wide apertures and distortion at the wide end. Personally I don't find either a major limitation, because each is easily correctable in processing (this will occur automatically if your processing software has a suitable lens profile). Jpg shooters should turn on the in-camera distortion and peripheral illumination corrections.

More of a problem is that the lens is very prone to purple fringing in high-contrast scenes. Sometimes this can be removed effectively in PP, but it often leaves a residue. In this regard it compares unfavourably to other zooms such as the DA 12-24, the DA 20-40 and DA 55-300 PLM.

Value: The best way to buy this lens is in a bundle with a new camera (with a full warranty in case you get a badly decentred or otherwise defective copy). The effective price, compared to buying a body only, can be 40-50% less than the MSRP. Because so many are sold this way, the lens is also quite cheap on the secondhand market. I have rated it as 10 for value at these discount prices. The value rating would be lower at the full MSRP where the price difference from alternatives such as the DA 16-85 is much less.

Conclusion: The DA 18-135 is a versatile and capable lens, without being bland or generic. It has a distinct, but typically Pentax, character of its own - capable of producing crisp images with good contrast and colour reproduction. It provides an excellent travel and walkaround option for photographing a wide range of subjects or whenever carrying or using multiple lenses is impractical (e.g. on a boat trip or on a hike in wet or dusty conditions). I happily recommend it for this kind of use with an APS-C camera.

For outright image quality, it seems to have been surpassed by the DA 16-85, with its better off-centre resolution, better control of purple fringing, better bokeh and HD coatings (as well as a precious extra 2mm at the wide end). But the DA 18-135 remains a viable cheaper alternative, which has the extra pros of being more compact, lighter and having 50mm more telephoto reach.

This lens is more than the sum of its parts - which is why I have rated it 8 overall (rounded up from 7.5), even though some aspects rate lower. (The rating has regard to the class of lens to which it belongs - a wide-range slow-aperture zoom - rather than simply being an absolute rating against every K-mount lens. Otherwise the top quartile of ratings would be the exclusive preserve of star and Limited lenses and their counterparts.)

Anyone considering this lens should look closely at the images and comments in the DA 18-135 samples thread and the DA 18-135 WR, Show us what it can do thread. All the zoom lenses in this range for APS-C cameras (e.g. the DA 16-85, DA 20-40 Limited, DA 18-50 or 18-55, DA*16-50 f2.8, Sigma 17-70 or Sigma or Tamron 17-50 f2.8 or any of the 18-xx superzooms) involve compromises (whether in image quality, focal range, aperture, focus ability, weather resistance, robustness, weight, bulk or cost). You need to weigh up the compromises that come with each lens before deciding which best meets your needs and your budget.
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2020
Location: smoky mountains, NC
Posts: 136
Lens Review Date: December 7, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, focus speed, IQ, Versatility
Cons: slight corner softness
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

I got this lens as part of a K 70 kit, so the price reflects the difference between the body only and the lens included kit. At that price I couldn’t pass it up as the new price is quite high, and even used ones often run more than $250! My first impression was very good. The build quality is equal to or even better than the HD DA 55-300 (non-PLM) with very good fit and finish. The zoom tubes are tight with no wobble, and the hood fits tightly with no play or shaking. Auto focus is extremely fast and quiet, but a tad slower than the 18-50 DC motor. There is a slight sound as the motor focuses, but for all intents and purposes it is “silent”. The manual focus ring is surprisingly pleasing to use, with nice damping and no play. Manual focusing is fairly easy to achieve, and with quick shift you really never need to use the AF/MF switch. The rear element is surrounded with highly anti-reflective paint to reduce reflections on the sensor, and is an improvement over the black plastic in other lenses. I have been using this lens mostly in the KP and have been very happy with the results. I have noticed some SLIGHT edge and corner softness at the extreme ends wide open, but that diminishes when stopped down. I would not think that is a problem because you shouldn’t shoot landscapes wide open, and when shooting portraits the background and corners are out of focus anyway! Center sharpness is excellent at all apertures, and the color rendition is great, too. I have debated over buying this lens for years, and due to the negative reviews, bought a used 16-85 two years ago. That lens was wonderful, but it self-destructed after about 11 months, and I was so disgusted that I went back to the 18-50 kit lens until I found this included in the K70 kit which I was buying anyway. So far I have been very impressed. I plan to use the lens for a “walkaround”, vacation, and hiking lens so I can minimize lens changes in the field. I highly recommend this lens. No, it is not a pro-level lens, but if you know the limitations and work a little harder, you can get great shots. Overall I give it a 9. Very useful and versatile lens.

Here are the f-stop progressions relative to the focal lengths. I obtained this info from the EXIF data in the Pentax KP:
f 3.5 18mm
f 4 21mm-28mm
f 4.5 31mm-68mm
f 5.6 78mm-135mm
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2020
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Posts: 37

1 user found this helpful
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: 127

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: 417
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



   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Patrick Co. Virginia
Posts: 718
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: 69

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
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 346

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

1 user found this helpful
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.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 354

6 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: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70 K3 K3ii   

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


IMGP4730_01 by oktyabr, on Flickr


IMGP4709_01 by oktyabr, on Flickr
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 795

4 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.
   
Custom User Title

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 5,214

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 !
   
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Registered: February, 2013
Location: Hingham MA
Posts: 37

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.
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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