opinions on the 18-135

Discussion in 'Fujifilm Cameras' started by pixmedic, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ive been thinking of picking up another lens lately....not that i really NEED another lens, but ive been wanting something longer than my 60mm. I had originally considered either the 56mm f1.2 or the 90mm f2 as a portraiture lens, but I have been recently looking at the 18-135 as an alternative.

    My reason for the drastic change in options is twofold. Firstly, i rarely shoot under f4 anyway so the zoom would give me a more focal length options without really feeling like I'm missing out on "wide open" shots....(i don't care much for razor thin DOF)
    Secondly, it would double as a general purpose lens when i need something longer than the 18-55, or just want something that covers a lot of ground both ways.

    This brings me to the actual question....
    Is the 18-135 actually a good lens? Or is it too many quality compromises to cover that much range?


     
  2. Tropicalmemories

    Tropicalmemories No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You'll see some mixed reviews on this lens, but in my view it's a great travel lens. I suspect some mediocre reviews are because people used to wide aperture primes may struggle to get the best out of a general purpose zoom.

    It's very sharp at short to mid focal lengths, and sharp enough fully extended. It does not have an ultra wide max aperture, but OIS helps compensate for this.

    I rarely use my 18-55 as I find it does not have enough range to warrant not using my excellent 35mm prime, but I often use my 18-135 as it's an ideal all-rounder.

    Fuji are also about to release a 16-80 f4 which is also worth considering?

    Some example shots to illustrate its versatility - the low resolution has lost some detail - but they are all sharp at full size.

    2018_0719_17111200.jpg

    2018_0719_19451600_20190421180547097.jpg

    2018_0719_17365400_20190421180718468.jpg

    2018_0718_16334300_20190421180426667.jpg
     
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  3. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    It is an excellent lens optically. Very useful range, razor sharp, and excellent at the wide end and zoom end. Slight corner sharpness falloff at 18 but only pixel peeping at 100% shows it. You will not be dissatisfied, it is that good. People are so hung up on shooting wide open, it has become rather boring in my opinion. I think it has its place but my Lord, just buy a projector lens and call it day already.
     
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  4. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    i almost never shoot wide open. the vast majority of my work is shot f4-f5.6 anyway so i figured the variable aperture was unlikely to hinder me much. on the rare occasions that i might feel the need to use a wider aperture, i have primes.
    i guess mostly i was thinking that the zoom would be a little more versatile than another prime would be. granted, a lot of people have raved over the 56 f1.2 and the 90 f2, and for portrait work im sure they are both spectacular, but i felt something a little more multi-purpose is in order for my next lens.
    i did look at the 40-150 f2.8, and I love it, but i just dont NEED that sort of lens anymore and cant justify the price tag....yet.
     
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  5. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have not used the 18-135 but wanted to suggest you consider the frequently forgotten, much underrated Xc 50-230. It’s a bargain and a great companion for the 18-55 or the 15-45. Small and light for a long zoom, Fuji sharpness - the only draw back, IMO, is there is no external aperture ring.
     
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  6. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    wow...its quite a bit cheaper than the 18-135.
    i had not actually considered that lens even though i already have the 18-55. (and now the 15-45 i guess)
    i guess i mainly looked at the 18-135 because i dont really see much need for anything over 135mm and with it going down to 18mm it will be a good for wider shots as well.
    buuuut....its just a quick lens switch to put on the 18-55 (or just keep it on one of the 3 fuji's i have) if i need wider than 50mm for something.
    damn. something to consider.
    and its half the price...
     
  7. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As a GP lens, the 18-135 on an APS-C camera is a great lens.
    I use the Nikon 18-140 and at the school we use the Canon 18-135.
    Except for when we need to go LONG or shoot in dim light, the 18-135 fits 95+% of our needs.
    The value of the 18-135 is as a wide range GP lens. Don't have to hassle with another lens when you want to reach out beyond what the 18-55 can do. But it IS bigger than the 18-55.

    To me, the value of the 18-135 vs. the 18-55 + 50-230 is in how you will use the lens(es).
    If you end up shooting in the transition range; 30-90mm. Then, swapping lenses back and forth can be a PiA.
    If you you tend to be below 50 and/or above 60, then the 2-lens option is fine.
     
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  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Good range. Used the 18-105mm VR on APS-C a D40 in 2007-2008, VERY handy as a walkabout lens. 18-135, even better range
     
  9. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It’s not a bad portrait lens if you’re in good light.

    [​IMG]Sophia by SharonCat..., on Flickr
     
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  10. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ugh..so conflicted.
    i like the idea of the 18-135 for its versatile range, and a range i am most likely to use, but I like the price on the 50-230.
    i feel like i would be paying for the convenience of the 18-135 in not having to switch lenses, although, for most of what I want the 18-135 for, i would probably be at 50mm or more anyway.
    decisions, decisions...
     
  11. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Feeling guilty...
     
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  12. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, you ARE paying for convenience with the 18-135.

    If you can afford to, get BOTH.
    I have a lot of duplication and overlap with my DX and m4/3 lenses.
    But each lens has a purpose that the other does not fill. So I pick the best lens for the shoot, and reduce the compromise that I have to make.
    • Example1. When I shoot field games at night, I use the 70-200/4, rather than the 18-140. The 70-200/4 lets me shoot at a lower ISO than the 18-140. At night, every stop helps. The 18-140 is my preferred field lens for DAY games.
    • Example2. When I shoot gym games, I use the 35/1.8 and 50/1.8, rather than the 18-140. The f/1.8 lenses let me shoot at a much lower ISO than the 18-140, though I give up the flexibility of the zoom. I have been thinking about the Tamron 17-50/2.8, and might get it next year.
    • Example3. When I shoot tennis, I am not going to be under 70mm, so I use the 70-200. I have the 18-140 in the bag, just in case.
    • Example4. For travel I would take the 18-140 + 35/1.8.
      • On travel I don't want to be changing lenses, and often don't have the time to change lenses. I often have wide and tele shots right next to each other.
      • The DX kit has been replaced by the m4/3, 12-60 + 17/1.8, a smaller and lighter kit.
     
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