One of the reasons I really like Pentax is the quality of their weather sealing on many of their camera bodies, notably the K-5. In order to take advantage of that, however, one must also have a weather sealed or resistant lens to couple to the body or you’ll end up with one fairly large point of failure in the weather sealing. Fortunately, a lot of Pentax lenses are either weather sealed or, at the very least, weather resistant. What’s the difference? Well, the weather resistant lenses aren’t quite as well sealed, but they’re more than adequately sealed for the purpose of walking about in the rain.
So, I have a couple of the Pentax weather resistant lenses for primary purpose of vacation photography and, in particular, the Pentax DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL[IF] DC WR lens. Reviews are a mixed bag on this lens, with many of the review sites suggesting that the sharpness of the lens is a major point of weakness. Not having put it against a lens chart in controlled lighting, nor having a strong need to examine every corner of my images, I’m not especially worried about it. Why? Because the lens parameters potentially make it one of the most ideal travel lenses around. It’s small, it’s weather resistant and it goes from a decent wide to a decent telephoto length. Sure, you’re not going to go do wildlife photography with it, but it wasn’t designed for that. So, this is the lens that I never removed in my week at Cannes… Some outcomes:
There was only one day with a little rain, so I never really ended up needing the weather resistance of that lens to play in, though I did get it snowed on in New York City, so I know it works. However, as you can see, the lens is quite versatile, covering a nice range making it ideal as a walk-about travel companion for any sporting a Pentax camera.