I received a lens today that I’m going to give a try. A Pentax DA 18-135 WR lens. My DA 17-70 has had the focus lock issues at the telephoto end and I’m finally getting tired of dealing with it. So I’ll try this lens to see if it works for me and then decide if I want to replace the 17-70 with it or get the 17-70 repaired and keep it. The 17-70 is a nice sharp lens and it has served me well optically. I don’t know if this 18-135 will compare in that regard, but if it locks focus than it already has a mark going for it. I kind of like the extended telephoto range because of the way I like to shoot on the run. It always seemed like I was hitting a wall sometimes at 70mm and I needed an extra few mm’s but didn’t have time to change to my 55-300. On the other hand I don’t like giving up the 1mm on the wide end. Even 17mm wasn’t wide enough for me at times but if this lens works OK I’ll try to supplement it with the DA15.
So, armed with a weather resistant camera and lens combo on a rainy day, you would think that is the perfect time to try out the setup. Normally it would be but I’m just rained out by now and the ambition to get wet and cold just wasn’t there today. No fear, there will be plenty of lousy days coming up. I did stick around the house and tried some lighting and processing experiments.
This particular photo of a bowl on my table was shot using the cameras on-board flash with a tissue diffuser and a mix of tungsten light. I then processed the photo by playing around with some sliders in Elements and Topaz to get a cool-warm balance. As a photo it’s not much to look at subject-wise but I do like the color. Pentax K20D, DA18-135
nice shot, it’s so sharp
Interesting new lens choice. I have the 18-55 WR and 50-200 WR lenses. They both serve well and I have used them both in the rain on a paid shoot before. Very happy with the quality for the price, am sure will be the same with your lens if you keep it. I have been steadily leaning towards primes, though I really need a faster version of my 18-55 WR. The DA* lens is nice and fully weather sealed but there are so many negative comments on it’s reliability. I’d rather not go with a Tamron f2.8 zoom and stick with Pentax… fortunately I can’t afford a switch up at this point. Also, interesting idea on the DA15. I used to lust after that lens, but I am actually more interested in the faster 14mm and the 21 ltd at the moment. My next lens will actually be the F 50mm 1.4 which my brother is giving me next week, so go figure.
I enjoyed the color in this image and the pattern helped add further interest. A solid first effort with this new lens.
The lens choice was because I had, well, no choice. Like you, I wanted to stick with Pentax, but the 16-50 is a little too pricey for me right now, reliability aside. I would like more primes but, for the way I work, the versatility of a zoom is almost essential. As for the wide end, I like the idea of the 14 or even the 12-24 but the compact size of the 15 wins out as something I can always have handy. I’m usually not a fan of wide range rooms but the 18-135, so far, seems quite capable and relatively sharp, technical reviews aside.
It seems like a solid performer, and with your amount of post the images are comparable to the other two zooms you’ve been using. Plus, it’s WR and the gaskets add some peace of mind IMO. It seems that you encounter a fair amount of rain when you are seeking images.
Critical sharpness is not essential to most of my work. And you’re right, it is comparable. I don’t think anyone would notice if I didn’t mention which lens I used. The wr is a nice bonus, I do feel like I’m always in the rain.