18 135 WR users opinions


MarkTaylor

Link Posted 08/06/2013 - 10:27
I must admit to not having been keen on it at first, as I felt my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 just produced better images... Well it does and it has corner-to-corner sharpness with which the 18-135 simply does not compare, but the difference is not as great as I thought at first and the sharpness is barely an issue unless you're going to make larger prints or crop excessively. I was accustomed to taking full advantage of the wider aperture of the Tamron and of course it would be unrealisic to expect the 18-135 to compete on that score.

The 18-135 has grown on me a great deal, it really is a pretty decent lens and I now feel it's usefulness outweighs it's drawbacks which are really pretty minor. If anything occasionally still annoys me about it, it's that it does produce a bit more purple fringing than I'm used to from my other lenses in high-contrast, (particularly backlit) situations.

It now actually gets more use than my Tamron in daylight, although of course in low light it comes off the camera and the Tamron goes on. Using it means that 9 times out of 10 I can have the Sigma 8-16 on my second body instead of a telephoto, meaning I take a lot more ultra-wide shots that I would otherwise. This makes me happy as the ultra-wide is developing into something of a passion for me, but not to the exclusion of everything else!

I know it's not really a comparable lens to the Tamron but since that was the only 'standard' focal length zoom I had for a couple of years before it's a comparison that's difficult for me to avoid making. Where the 18-135 scores over the Tamron is in terms of zoom range, weather sealing, quiet autofocus, and build quality is much superior to the Tamron.
My Flickr Pentax K-5 K-5 II Sigma 8-16mm F/4.5-5.6 DC HSM Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD ASL SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F/2.8 ED [IF] SDM SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F/4-5.8 ED SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR Vivitar 100mm F/3.5 Macro AF Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2
Last Edited by MarkTaylor on 08/06/2013 - 10:40

weinelm

Link Posted 08/06/2013 - 12:37
Mark, this could be a crazy question: but how does the 18-135 compare with the 50-135 at favourable apertures like f8?

I did have the 16-50 and 50-135 pair, but like you I'd rather be swapping lenses to go wider than longer most of the time (I like my 12-24 and 10-17!)
Panasonic G80, GX80, Pentax K-1, Pentax K-3, Pentax MX, Mamiya 6.

weinelm

Link Posted 08/06/2013 - 12:41
johnriley wrote:
WE have both lenses and the 18-135mm is the better lens technically. It is also WR. However, the 18-250mm, a different beast, is a good lens in its own right.
For travel, the 18-270mm would be my lens of choice, but I can't afford one just now.

Thanks John. Why would you chose the 18-270 over the 18-250? I assumed it wouldn't be optically much different, but if it is a little more contrasty it could be a nice option.
Panasonic G80, GX80, Pentax K-1, Pentax K-3, Pentax MX, Mamiya 6.

johnriley

Link Posted 08/06/2013 - 14:04
The 18-270mm for its extra reach, silent focusing and the slightly better optical performance.
Best regards, John

MarkTaylor

Link Posted 08/06/2013 - 22:00
weinelm wrote:
Mark, this could be a crazy question: but how does the 18-135 compare with the 50-135 at favourable apertures like f8?

I did have the 16-50 and 50-135 pair, but like you I'd rather be swapping lenses to go wider than longer most of the time (I like my 12-24 and 10-17!)

I mostly use the 50-135 when I need the wider aperture i.e. in low light, I do a lot of low light shooting. However if sharpness across the frame were a major concern I'd be using it over the 18-135 regardless of the light conditions.

As stated earlier the 18-135 is very convenient and the IQ is fine enough if you're not going to make larger prints or do extensive cropping... BUT the 50-135 is in an entirely different league, particularly at the 100mm+ range where the 18-135 is not at it's best (although still acceptable). That purple fringing I mentioned earlier mostly shows up in that 100mm+ range, it's not really an issue in the short to middle range.
My Flickr Pentax K-5 K-5 II Sigma 8-16mm F/4.5-5.6 DC HSM Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD ASL SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F/2.8 ED [IF] SDM SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F/4-5.8 ED SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR Vivitar 100mm F/3.5 Macro AF Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2

weinelm

Link Posted 08/06/2013 - 22:57
John and Mark, thanks for the input
Panasonic G80, GX80, Pentax K-1, Pentax K-3, Pentax MX, Mamiya 6.

Evel79

Link Posted 08/06/2013 - 23:56
It's my most used lens. Others have been sold or replaced, this has stayed the course. I have no intention of getting rid.

As others have said great travel lens, and should you need it a fully weatherproofed system, the perfect go-to combo for a K5.

The good for me:
-fast and near silent focusing
-build quality
- compact
- weatherproofing for when you need it
- great images throughout the range, taking into account the usual limitations of distortion at 18mm and drop off in sharpness at the long end.

Cons - more minor niggles:
- despite some reviews out there to the contrary, yes there is some lens creep
- There is some border softness, but I can honestly say it doesn't distract unless zooming in to the borders.
- The lens hood is now dead loose to the extent it has fallen off once. I need a new one after 2 years. Hoping it's the thread on the hood and not the lens, or this will be more than a minor niggle. But I'm an optimist.

Have included a (not perfect) shot taken at 135mm in monsoon weather in New York. No-one else was taking photos. Actually no-one else was even in the streets, but I love taking pics of people in the rain. It has had a little post-processing, but no need to protect camera or lens and shows it's still quite capable at the long end.



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Last Edited by Evel79 on 08/06/2013 - 23:56

AndrewH

Link Posted 14/06/2013 - 12:26
Well, I have been looking for a replacement for the 18-55 ALII kit lens that I recently sold with my K20. I had been thinking of getting a Tamron 17-50, but yesterday had the very good fortune to stumble across an 18-135, boxed (seems to be a rarity as many are split from kits) and in mint condition at an exceptional price before anyone else noticed! Having read this thread, I had looked for one but prices had been out of my reach, so grabbed it with both hands

First impressions are of a solid, very well-built and compact lens. I had to check that it did actually focus the first couple of times as the speed and quietness (especially the latter after years of screw focus lenses) are unbelievable! Can't wait to get out & about - it appears to be an ideal travel lens (with the potential limitations regarding distortion at wide angle and softness at the longer end noted) with the not insignificant bonus of WR. Will post some images soon, but this thread was certainly a contributing factor, as were the pictures posted by Blythman from Appleby, so thanks OP and all others!
flickr

ronniemac

Link Posted 14/06/2013 - 23:07
My 18-135 is the lens that stays on the camera, others get used from time to time, then the 18-135 goes back on. Not perfect, but really useful and very likeable because the range enables good composition for so many different situations.
Last Edited by ronniemac on 14/06/2013 - 23:11

jemx99

Link Posted 15/06/2013 - 16:29
I was thinking about getting the 17-70 (had been thinking about the Sigma 10-20mm but have gone off that one) but having read all of these positive comments the 18-135 sounds useful - how do these lens compare to each other and which would you recomend? I have the 18-55wr so don't really need the wr on another lens but the extra reach would be great.

ronniemac

Link Posted 15/06/2013 - 16:45
The 17-70 is sharper & constant F4 but some had probs with the SDM, the 18-135 is softer off-centre, F3.5 - 5.6 & weather sealed. Don't have the 17-70 so not a true comparison.

Beware sods law - it only rains when you leave the WR lens at home!

macabee

Link Posted 15/06/2013 - 17:07
The 18-135 has become my 'standard' lens it ticks all my boxes.

jemx99

Link Posted 15/06/2013 - 19:43
Thanks guys - the 18-135 seems to be in the lead for me at the moment!

tyronet2000

Link Posted 15/06/2013 - 19:49
It's my most used lens and the one I would keep even if the others had to go.
Regards
Stan

PPG

joostdh

Link Posted 16/06/2013 - 09:55
It never ceases to amaze me how poorly this lens was reviewed yet how happy actual users are.
Pentax K-1| Pentax K-01 | D-FA 28-105mm | FA 28mm F2.8 | FA 35mm F2.0 | FA 43mm F1.9 Ltd | FA 50mm F1.4 | FA 50mm F2.8 Macro | FA* 85mm F1.4 | FA 100mm F2.8 Macro | DA* 200mm F2.8 | Pentax AF 540FGZ
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