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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 
 8.2
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 8.5
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117 434,991 Tue October 24, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $431.73 8.56
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
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
Optics
13 elements, 11 groups
Mount Variant
KAF3
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 (In Production)
Pricing
$389 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
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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Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Burnt Store Marina, Punta Gorda, Fl
Posts: 16

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $459.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good walk-around lens. WR feature a big plus.
Cons: Would have like a little more reach.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

Went on a recent tour. It rained most of the time. Others were doing all they could to protect their gear; not me. Just wiped off with no problem. I spend most of my time around salt water and sand. Had to have at least one WR lens. I would have liked it if it went to 200mm. Overall a good all purpose lens.
Up date: Just got back from a 2 wk tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway; one end to the other . Had 3 other lens with me. Tried them all. By the end of the trip this was the only lens I was using. Auto focus did not fail even once. This lens, on my K5, handles like it was made for the K5. My daughter, who is a Professional Photographer, used it one afternoon and was very impressed. She has a full frame Cannon and only uses F2.8 Lenses. She loved the K5 with the 18-135. Felt it handled easier then her heavier outfit and was a joy. Have now taken 1000's of snaps with this lens and very glad I purchased it. Go for it.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2012
Posts: 20

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 18, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WR, nice range, versatile, build
Cons: sharpness at end of range
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

This lens is pretty great considering the price, range, and weather-sealing. I backpack long distances and have to deal with all sorts of exposure dangers. Needless to say, having a tough, smallish, weather-sealed lens is a great benefit. Stashing a non-WR camera and lens isn't hard, but then you're missing day(s) of shots. Maybe even more importantly, the 18-135 range is just wide enough for landscape while also giving the range to shoot wildlife. It also has underrated macro performance (close-focus at 135 and bokeh are good), and the hood design is easy to use polarizers with. My only major complaint with the 18-135 as a backpacking lens is that the flare resistance is poor, which makes sunrise/sunset shots tough.

That being said, I have owned both this and the DA 18-250 and would say they have comparable IQ (despite the 18-250 having double range). I have also tried the 17-70 pretty extensively and would consider it the best of the three. This lens is better than the 18-55 WR was in every way.

If you're like me and need the WR and build quality, by all means get this lens and you will love it. If you don't need the WR, then this lens probably won't feel like a "9." The 17-70 is the choice for overall IQ, while the 18-250 is a true do-it-all.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom
Posts: 311

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 16, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Versatility / Weather Proofing / Colour Rendition
Cons: Speed
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K30   

This lens represents a significant upgrade on the 18-55mm DA kit lens. Infact, I would say they are not really in the same league.

I decided to go for this lens as part of a K30 kit mainly due it's versatility combined with its weather resistant (WR) capability. What use is a WR lens if you have to swap it out for another one to get the shot? This way I can go walkabout in all climates, have good versatility and be confident my equipment is well protected.

In terms on build quality, the lens feels solid and smooth in use. The zoom control is large and easy to use, although this is somewhat to the detriment of manual focus abilities due to the small MF ring (although I doubt this is the kind of lens you buy if manual focus is your thing!). The lens also benefits from an inbuilt DC motor for auto focus, which I found to be excellent, and results in great AF performance - I think Pentax should consider using this motor in more lenses.

Optically, the lens is surprisingly good. Although it can sometimes get a bad rep, I have found it to be excellent - I think sometimes people place too much weight on contrived artificial lens reviews, which although useful need to be considered in relation to a rounded whole. I've not found any major issues with my lens, thought the zoom range. Some example shots:


Sunshine in Red by Pheo, on Flickr


The F Line by Pheo, on Flickr

As you can see I tend to shoot at the latter end of the zoom range!

The only disadvantage I've found so far is the speed, or lack thereof. Although this isn't surprising, given the price and use case.

Overall, compare this lens to something in a similar class /budget and it will fair well to excellent. Anyone trying to compare it to say, a Limited lens, or a 24-70 L is somewhat foolish. Personally, I'm more than pleased with mine and would encourage the extra outlay over the 18-55.
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 157

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 10, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: wr, range
Cons: sharpness everywhere, tiny focus ring, price
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 4    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5iis   

I haven't owned many lenses but this is by far the worst. I returned it after 2 weeks, and I was stunned how bad it was. Throughout the range you get kit lens sharpness, and 135mm is mush. Distortion is apparent at 18mm and the midrange. Bokeh is harsh. The autofocus and the wr is a plus, but really this is a kit lens with a long end, and is worth around $200. Sharpness is really quite horrible, you need to stop it down to f8 to get any decent iq, and 100-135mm is unusable until f8. 18-24 is OK, but you need to stop it down to f5.6 there to get decent sharpness. I traded it in for the 17-70 and haven't looked back. I admit no wr is a concern, but I get superb sharpness wide open at any focal length, great mfd and bokeh, and semi-wr, for the SAME PRICE! IF this lens was $200, sure I would try it, but at this price range you have so many alternatives. I recently purchased a Tamron 70-200 for $100 more and the sharpness is beautiful and everything about it is awesome, for $100 more. Worst value lens, and I don't recommend it to anyone, but beginners be wary! Get the 18-55 which imo has equal/better iq because of the small focal range and still has wr. Pick up a 50mm prime and you have two good lenses in your bag. Top class? No, but better than this.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 505

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 11, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $429.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: versatile, very sharp,nice IQ, quiet,durable, WR
Cons: reach, but I can live with it
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

This lens is awesome, I researched many different lenses and I needed a good "walk around" lens that in my experience is actually very water resistant.

I bought this lens mainly for my trip to Disney World and Universal Studios along with my Pentax grip for my K-5. I then proceeded to go on my vacation and put this lens through some serious field testing. It performed flawlessly! I took it on most every ride with me even the water rides, and what was really cool is I was usually the only one on those water rides that had my DSLR out shooting away, some folks thought I was crazy.

This is the only lens I used on that trip even though I did pack a few others, I just didn't want to worry about toting along a bunch of lenses, and i did not want to worry about whether or not I had the right focal length, this lens eased all those concerns.

This lens on a K-5, along with the BG4 grip really balances out well and no matter what I ALWAYS have this combo on me at the ready, if I am in a hurry and want to grab my camera on the way out the door, this combo takes care of me.

The only draw back is the reach, but it takes such good images, I still manage to be able to pull a decent crop most of the times. However I will be looking for a good "birding" teliphoto/zoom lens.


IMGP1861.jpg by MacawDude 007, on Flickr

Here is a nicely cropped image that I was talking about-

IMGP3093.jpg by MacawDude 007, on Flickr


IMGP1898.jpg by MacawDude 007, on Flickr


IMGP1897.jpg by MacawDude 007, on Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,845

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 31, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great bokeh, weather resistance, versatility, contrast, color, compactness, fast AF
Cons: strange placement of focus ring
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

I got this lens in the kit with my K-30, and at that price it is a superb value. I've had the lens for almost three months now, and it has been my most-used lens during that time due to the fantastic versatility of the focal range.

I had been looking for a lens to replace my DA L 18-55 kit lens for over a year. Having read many reviews, I was more confused than ever. When I heard the K-30 announcement and that the 18-135 would be available at a substantial discount when bought with the K-30, my mind was made up. I could always sell it later if I was disappointed, after all.

Well, no such disappointment here! The 18-135 is one of my favorite lenses. It's focal range makes it a perfect walkaround lens. Could it be longer? Sure, but it would also weigh more and likely the IQ would suffer with a greater focal range. I have not found it lacking on the long range in any of my situations so far. If I knew I was going to be trying to photograph birds or wildlife, I'd simply bring along my 55-300.

About the IQ -- I find very good throughout the focal range. The sharpness is just fine stopped down and when wide open, the middle of the frame is still quite good. You can get some very nice pseudo-macro shots at 135mm with this lens. Some have complained the lens is not sharp at all at 135mm. Not true! Or maybe I got an extraordinarily good copy. No, the corners aren't great, but the center is quite sharp. I have found photos from this lens sharpen up very nicely in post processing, as well.

Contrast is excellent as is color reproduction. It actually makes for a pretty good portrait lens because of the accurate skin tones and fantastic bokeh!

Speaking of the bokeh... yeah, it's fantastic. Rounded aperture blades are apparently to thank for that, although I don't know much about that technical stuff. I just know the bokeh looks awesome.

The autofocus is the fastest of any lens I own and quite accurate, as well as quiet. And the weather sealing provides excellent peace of mind when you are out in inclement weather. The lens is quite compact and relatively lightweight for its zoom range and is a pleasure to carry around on your camera.

The only nitpick I have is the placement of the focus ring is just weird. It's located right next to the camera mount. I always have trouble finding it because it is the only lens I own with this arrangement. Oh well, no one's perfect. Fortunately, manual focus isn't needed often due to the accuracy of the AF.

Below are some samples of shots I've taken with this lens. Don't overlook the DA 18-135 WR! I heartily recommend it as a kit lens replacement, especially if you need weather resistance and a great walkaround zoom!

135mm, f/8:

insect in the morning - Explored by loco's photos, on Flickr

100mm, f/5.6

berry bokeh by loco's photos, on Flickr

115mm, f/5.6

proud Culpeper resident by loco's photos, on Flickr

21mm, f/8

Sperryville farm by loco's photos, on Flickr

53mm, f/6.3

red brick building by loco's photos, on Flickr

40mm, f/4.5

fallen maple leaves by loco's photos, on Flickr
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: LODINGEN, Northern Norway
Posts: 274
Lens Review Date: October 6, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $415.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weathersealed, lightweight, deacent performance
Cons: Not DA Limited
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I have read some awfull tests on these lens. After a week of trial, I have bought one. Its much better than its reputation.
OK, it isnt a very fast lens, but its weathersealed, and its a 18-135, wich gives me what I need on rainy days.''
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 231

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 22, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Weather Proof, Dependable focus mechanism, fast autofocus
Cons: Above 60mm the image quality drops fast. Vignetting above 100mm
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

I would probably rate it at 7.5 but round it up to 8. I bought this lens to replace my DA17-70 because it was constantly breaking down and needing expensive and time consuming repairs. On that aspect the DA18-135 is excellent! The new DC motor is quiet, dependable and feels and sounds like it will last a long time. Pentax got the autofocus right.

I noticed that some people said that this lens is heavy. That surprises me as it is much lighter than my 17-70. I would say it is very light and for that reason makes a great travel lens. I get great images from the lens in the 18 to around 60 to 80 range. After that vignetting gets seriously bad. At 135, depending on the image, I need to use the full amount of correct that Lightroom 3 offers to fix it. On the bright side, Lightroom does fix it and it is quick and easy to do.

I would recommend this lens to someone who wants a quality 18 to70 or 80mm and considers the rest of the focal range to be a bonus in case they stumble upon a wild animal or something else that needs that extra reach. It is nice to have it occasionally. If you plan on shooting a lot or primarily in the 135mm range. Look elsewhere.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2011
Location: Red Oak, TX
Posts: 462
Lens Review Date: September 19, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Focal range, IQ, WR, AF
Cons: It leaves a coat of dust on my other lenses
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

I danced around for a while when the lens was still around 500, but when I saw one at 400 ending soon, I had to grab it. I haven't regretted it for a minute. The first time I used it, what do you know, a surprise rain shower popped up when I was half a mile down a trail; not a single worry(other than my iphone).
I don't have a ton of experience with other brand dslrs other than store displays, but I've played with a Canon 5d mII with the famed 24-70 lens. I have to say, my 18-135 seems like it snaps to focus quicker and more accurately even in difficult lighting.
Image quality seems fine wide open, but really shines past f8. Field shots tell the tales.

If you want some good examples:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v628/manacho/Facebook/Red%20Bull%20Soapbox/
-Had it on AF.C the whole time, switching between center and auto select focus.
   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 40

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build, rubber grips, wide-end sharpness, silent and quick autofocus
Cons: Disappointing long-end sharpness, awkward autofocus ring position, heavy and bulky
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 5    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

Sharpness (Wide Open):

18mm - Pretty good sharpness (8/10)

35mm - Pretty good sharpness (8/10)

50mm - Impressive sharpness (9/10)

85mm - Good sharpness (7/10)

100mm - Bad sharpness (5/10)

135mm - Baaaad sharpness (3/10)

Overall - Aperture doesn't help make the bad sharpness in the long-end go away, but it does help the corners, especially noticeable with the wide-end.
(0/10 is point of uselessness, 1/10 is just difficult to use)

Aberrations: Although the lens generates a sizable amount of chromabs, it can be removed. Flares are controlled decently. Colors are reproduced pretty nicely, no doubt about it.

Bokeh: The lens just does this part beautifully. I think you'll agree.

Autofocus: Autofocus is quite good. Quick and silent, simple as that.

Handling: Sealed and unsealed. When the camera has all its holes plugged, it's sealed. If, for example, the seal for the K-5's microphone jack is unplugged, a stream of air blows in and out of that mic jack as you zoom with the WR lens.

Sealed: Tight but not too tight. Just tight enough for you to control the zoom pretty well, not tight enough for it to be stressful.

Unsealed: Too slippery for me.

Value: I got this with my camera as a cheap bundle. If I refer to its $600 price tag, I find it TOO expensive in regards to the sharpness it offers on the long-end. I think that the autofocus, build and bokeh of the lens is convincing for a person who doesn't care about sharpness, or who won't use the long-end focal lengths.

I'll improve on the review later, since I'm very sleepy right now.
   
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 62
Lens Review Date: August 23, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $380.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Pretty sharp, CA is avoidable, spot-on and quick focus, good handling and range
Cons: heavy CA at lower apertures, poor sharpness of corners, bad when used as tele lens
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

I have this lens for a couple of months now. I had to wait for half a year until I was able to buy the k5 with the 18-135. These 6 months I kept doubting about what lens to buy. Finally I had the following list:
  1. Tamron 17-50
  2. Sigma 17-70
  3. DA 18-135

After reading every single letter written about of these lenses, and watching lots of photo's I finally ordered the 18-135. And I'm glad I've made this choice. I ordered it because I wanted the WR; the longer zoom range; the ability to travel with an one-lens-kit (for traveling with airplane with only hand-luggage); small dimensions of the lens; absence of zoom-creep; the fine focusing system and the O.K. optical qualities. On vacation it's just the perfect one-lens-kit. For months I was sure the Tamron 17-50 would be the choice but in the end I wasn't happy with the focal length as my only lens.

I mostly use the lens on higher apertures (f7-f12). On these apertures it takes sharp pics. At lower apertures with the main subject of the photo close (within approximately 30 meters) it's brilliant as well. The contrast and colors are very good as well.

For more fine work I will get the Tamron 17-50 eventually. This one makes sharper pics with a more 3D look.

Some pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/85652064@N06/7845369290/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/85652064@N06/7845357986/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/85652064@N06/7845353004/in/photostream/
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 509
Lens Review Date: August 19, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Light, Well built, Compact, Fast AF, Contrasty
Cons: border 135mm f5.6
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

I can not resist the temptation, so I bought it to simplify my long trips and make my camera system weather resistant. I made the decision after my trip to China because the air pollution made long lenses less useful.

The image quality in the field is higher than what I expected. My expectation was largely built on the photozone.de review. This is a typical example that field results are different from those of lab findings.

What are the main traits that I like?
1. it is light, very light.
2. it is very well constructed, e.g., it feels better than my DA17-70.
3. very contrasty even at f5.6
4. AF is one of the fastest Pentax lenses that I have ever used. Fast and precise in most cases. Much better implemented than the SDM on my DA* 55. Focusing throw is short which has made AF fast. Wish Pentax can use this type of focusing motors on more lenses.

Downside?
1. resolution for 135mm f5.6 at the border (However, center is better than my DA55-300 at 300mm f5.8, also with less aberration). Certainly usable for snap shots.
2. some visible aberrations especially on the border.
3. no scales on the focusing ring. I do not care much, but other might.
4. 62mm filter ring which is rather odd for a pentax lens.
5. manual focusing ring hard to use. Because of the small aperture, I have not had a strong desire for MF.

Satisfied so far. I would have given 7.5 if possible.

My current paring choices:
1. DA18-135 + DA*55 or F50 f1.7
2. DA15 + DA17-70 +DA*60-250 + DA*55 + Tamron500 Mirror
3. DA18-55 + DA55-300 + F50 f1.7
4. DA15 + F50 f1.7 + Sigma105 Macro or (Pentax100 f3.5Macro--lightest option)

http://pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/yyyzzz

EDIT: lower the score a bit. Aberrations is a big problem on the corners. While the mechanical quality is superb, corners are a bit dark at 135mm. Distortion is also a bit problematic, in comparison with DA17-70mm.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2011
Location: South Florida
Posts: 30
Lens Review Date: July 30, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $429.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, color
Cons: Cannot find any
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

I am not much for a methodical, scientific study of a lens but I own many legacy Pentax lenses, some very highly rated here (35-105mm and 70-210mm) and I also own a Nikon D300 with a 105mm F2.8 pro lens.

I took some pictures in Key West (Fl) when I first got the K-5 and the 18-135mm. I was using a K-10 before. The colors were reall really good, almost too good, and the sharpness looked real good too. But.......last weeken I did a model shoot of a three time Galaxy contestant (she came in second in the Southern Classic fitness bodybuilding competition the night before and she was still all "cut" and tanned. The pictures were amazing! Every pore, line of make up, mole, etc, showed perfectly when blown to 100%. The word that came to mind to describe the lens was "clinical". Mind you, this woman is gorgeous and was totally at her best after competing. The Nikon with the 105 lens did not do as well. I had to use Photoshop to cover up a bit some of the imperfections on her face and body.

Soooooo.....maybe I have a specially good sample or maybe some other reviewers were sting in their evaluations.

Happy shooting (cameras that is)!!!!!
   
Emperor and Senpai

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Nashville, IN
Posts: 5,427
Lens Review Date: July 29, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $343.64 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Fast AF, WR, decent sharpness close up, nice color
Cons: vignetting, purple fringing, softness on distant objects
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

I got this lens mainly as a lens to be used when hiking in dusty conditions or when there are showers in the area, but I took it out today to see how it would do. I noticed at some lengths there is some pretty bad vignetting, esp. the longer ones, and that in bright light as it was today you get bad purple fringing on certain subjects. Stuff that is closer than 100 feet or so can be nice and sharp, but longer distances, such as across a lake things are a bit soft, even stopped down some. Still, it will make a decent lens for me to use while hiking in threatening weather or in the desert, but I'll have to remember to not expect alot from long distance things.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,015
Lens Review Date: May 23, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $529.95 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Versatile zoom range, superb build quality, good bokeh, quiet autofocus, weather sealing
Cons: Wide-open corner softness at all focal lengths, complex distortion at wide end
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

The DA 18-135mm is a very good overall lens, and its weather sealing and highly versatile zoom range makes it a superb choice for the K-5 or any other Pentax DSLR, weather-sealed or otherwise. AF is fast and very quiet, the lens build quality is superb, both focus and zoom rings are exceptionally well dampened, and sharpness is good in the center. Bokeh is also very good with smooth background blur, and the seven-blade rounded diaphragm certainly helps here.

With regard to the corner softness problem many have discussed, the lens is soft with visible chromatic aberration in the corners at all focal lengths wide-open. However, it's not exceptionally so at either end of the zoom range except at close focus distances (unlike what the Photozone review indicated). At close focus distances, the lens does get very soft in the corners at the wide end (probably due to field curvature), but this is not a common usage scenario. Once stopped down by at least one stop, the overall performance is very good. This is within reason for a superzoom lens, and should not be cause for concern. There is also complex distortion at the wide end of the zoom, but this is again normal for this type of lens.
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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