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Customer Review

74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great travel zoom, April 12, 2011
This review is from: Pentax 21977 DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens for Pentax Digital SLR cameras (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I wasn't sure I'd like this lens from the mixed reviews, but after using mine for 3 weeks on my Pentax K-5 I'd say it's one of the best super zooms you can get for a Pentax DSLR.

Pros:
Weather resistant in rain, snow, etc.
Excellent color and contrast
Auto focus is very quick on my K-5 and quiet
Solid build, especially compared to other plastic extending zooms
Not a macro, but works surprising well for flower shots
Really smooth bokeh for closeups and telephoto
Reversible lens hood
Auto focus doesn't move the focus ring, but can be moved manually anytime for adjustments
Resistant to flare and ghosting

Cons:
Focus ring has no scale and can be moved past the "stops"
It's a varifocal zoom (zooming requires you to refocus a bit)
No aperture ring (unfortunately this is becoming a trend)
Manual focus ring is usable, but not ideal since it only turns 90 degrees (before reaching the soft stops)
Some chromatic aberrations (purple fringe) with high-contrast subjects (correctable with software, or in my K-5)
My copy shows slight visible barrel distortion from 18-24mm, good from 24mm-50mm, and slight pincushion from 50-135mm

Unfortunately this lens is not suited for serious video: where you usually want manual focus, zoom without losing focus, and the ability to rack aperture.

People also complain that the lens is soft -- a common complaint with super zooms. The real question is, "is it sharp enough." That's very subjective. My copy looked good, but a bit disappointing when pixel peeping. I tested it and found it was front focusing slightly. Easy to correct on the Pentax K7 and K5. Now it's sharp in the center, and sharp enough in the corners.

So as a travel/walkabout lens I give it 5 stars.
As a serious video lens: 3 stars -- you're better off with manual zooms and primes that give you much better control and selective focus.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2013 6:30:13 PM PST
I agree. Have had this lens for 12 months and find it a good walk-around lens. Fast reliable focus. I would not use lens for professional use. But how many of us are pros? I know that I have been caught in rain a number of times using my K5 with this lens with no adverse results. Have not encountered the the problems that I see in other reviews. I have other lenses for specific uses. Pentax f1.4 prime. Sigma 10-20mm 3.5. Pentax 35-70mm 3.5 with macro (25 plus years old an my first Pentax lens) my other walk around. Pentax 70-200mm (another classic). Sigma 70-300 with macro. I know a decent picture. The 18-135 is a good all purpose lens.
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