Pentax 18-135 WR or Sigma 18-300 choice for novice ?


Link Posted 10/09/2016 - 09:53
Recently returned to DSLR after wanting more flexibility and better image quality than my point & shoot waterproof Panasonic compact could give.
Some time ago I had a Sony A380 DSLR with an 18-200 lens and 18-50 lens. At that time I found I was always using the 18-200 because of the large focal length range.

I am very much a novice and take most of my photos outside in reasonable light.

I've just bought a K-S2 with the standard 18-50 kit lens and would like to add a wider range zoom lens.

I'm torn between the Pentax 18-135 WR which will give me the same WR protection as the body (because it does rain a lot in UK !!) or the SIgma 18-300 with its much greater zoom capability. Both are a similar price new and there don't seem to be many used ones on the market.
Or there are the 18-200 & 18-250 Sigma & Tamron offerings.

I really don't want to carry two lenses around on general trips out, so I have ruled out the Pentax 50-200 WR as an option.

I'm tempted to go down the 18-300 route but would really welcome any views on this decision and feedback from anyone who is using the Sigma 18-300.



Link Posted 10/09/2016 - 12:17
As a rule of thumb the greater the focal range of a lens the more compromises are made which affect image quality. I would go for the 18-135. The chances are it will cover the majority of things that you want to capture. Pair that with the 55-300 which is a decent and cost effective lens and you'll have most situations well covered, but if you only want to carry one lens take the 18-135.

I had an 18-135 which I sold to get a 16-85 and I don't often miss losing 50 at the long end but I do find the extra 2 at the wide end very useful. You may find differently, but for general use the 16-85 is my most versatile lens.

When buying a lens just remember the old adage "Long, sharp, fast & cheap - pick three"
Last Edited by percy on 10/09/2016 - 12:21


Link Posted 10/09/2016 - 12:59
I'm going to commit what on this Forum will be considered heresy but say that for a 'newby' go for the Sigma 18-300 !

My first DSLR was a K-r with the 2 lens kit and I extended to range by getting the DA55-300. However, like you, I soon realised that I didn't want to change lenses 'in the field' but preferred to just carry one lens.

I looked around at several reviews and went for the Sigma 18-250 (the 18-300 had not been released at that time).

I have NO regrets as I've found it a superb lens and you will find many of my shots with this lens in my Portfolio here.

NOTE: I also have the DA18-135WR as I got that as the kit lens with my K50 and that is also a superb lens, which was used for my last 2 postings on this gallery.

I alternate between the 18-135 and the Sigma 18-250 depending on whether I feel I might need that extra reach of the Sigma.

Indeed, having seen the reviews of the Sigma 18-300 I'm tempted to PX some lenses and go for that one now ?

Probably the Pentax 18-135 has the edge over the Sigma on general sharpness but as you say you are a newcomer I would be prepared to sacrifice that small difference for the versatility of the Sigma ?

I'll probably get 'shot down in flames' by other people on this Forum but that is my opinion FWIW !

Whatever you decide, just have fun, experiment and when you can afford more lenses then look around again !

Best regards


Link Posted 10/09/2016 - 13:05
18-135wr all day long.

Better quality over the big sigma, lighter, more compact, WR to match the K-S2 so an all weather combo and also DC motors for quiet operation.

I had the 18-135mm and it was a superb lens
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Link Posted 10/09/2016 - 13:11
I bought my K S2 with the 18 - 135 rather than the standard kit lens , and its not been off the camera since although I have a couple primes. It gives great flexability whilst maintaining great IQ. I am not a great birder or aviation shooter more land/cityscape, party and portrait shooter for which this is a good combination. If I needed to regularly
shoot longer focal lengths I think I would go with the 1.4X rear teleconverter to add to the combination, which seems to workwell according to some other reviers.


Link Posted 10/09/2016 - 16:34
Thanks for all the replies.

I've decided on the Pentax 18-135 WR because after thinking about it this afternoon, for most of the time it should give me a wide enough zoom range.
The WR, DC motor and the fact that it is more compact and lighter than the Sigma tipped the balance for me.
SRS have an offer on at the moment which brings it in at 309 so I've placed an order

I will look out for a used longer length zoom that I can take with me when I know I am going to airshows and the like.
But on balance I am sure the 18-135 will cover most needs and allow me to take just the camera and lens out with me.

Can't wait for the delivery.

Thanks again for your input


Link Posted 10/09/2016 - 22:00
Congratulations on your purchase decision - that does look a good price.
If you don't need the extra reach beyond 135mm I'm sure you will be very happy with the DA18-135 as it is extremely versatile (and WR of course !)

I used my Sigma 18-250 at the Fairford air show last year and was very pleased with the results I got. However, I'd suggest you do a bit more research before deciding which long zoom to go for. I know there are many people here who favour the 300 prime but that is a more expensive choice.
Till then, enjoy the 18-135
Best regards


Link Posted 17/09/2016 - 20:07
Cant help myself! Just ordered a really cheap Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro from Jessops for 85.00. I know some of the reviews aren't that favourable, but as a beginner's long zoom for use in good light, I figure it will be OK for me.

As an aside, I was messing around with the 18-138 this evening in near dark conditions and I am amazed at what the lens with the K-S2 can pull in. Camera technology and the sensors in particular have clearly moved on a lot in the past few years !
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