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07-04-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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Pentax should announce their intentions regarding the 18-250mm

While I think it's absurd that Pentax stopped selling it, they should at the very least let their customers know if they have any intention of replacing it.

Someone else mentioned that perhaps they were planning on releasing a WR version, which would be a fantastic idea.

The point is, that while many users enjoy the primes or larger-aperture zooms, there is still an important "vacation lens" market.

If Pentax announced that they planned on releasing a new 18-250 (or 18-270 etc), many Pentax owners would wait for it, rather than go to Tamron / Sigma. Pentax are simply giving money away.

07-05-2010, 01:41 AM   #2
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The Pentax 18-250mm was made by Tamron, so I'm sure some conflict took place or something.

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07-05-2010, 05:27 AM   #3
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A WR wersion of a duo-cam lens extending so long would be quite a challenge.

The 18-250 was made by Tamron, and they stopped manufacturing it in order to release their 18-270. Unless Pentax strike the same kind of deal they did before for that new lens, they will not be able to use the 18-2x0 designs from Tamron. We'll see where that goes, I'm guessing not that many customers got the 18-250 from Pentax, seeing as it was the same lens as the Tamron, but slightly more expensive.
07-05-2010, 08:17 AM   #4
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I still think a good 'travel zoom' should be a part of the Pentax line up ... I suspect there must have been some value addition (better electronics chatter with the body, maybe ?) when Pentax took the Tamron 18-250s and re-badged them as Pentax versions ...

07-05-2010, 08:31 AM   #5
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I own the Pentax version of the 18-250 and it's a better lens than the specs would indicate. In fact, it's really quite excellent from 28-200mm with most of the compromises inherent in such a design apparent only at the extreme ends of the total 18-250mm zoom range. What's more, it was a popular lens in the Pentax lineup. Whatever the reasons, Pentax's decision to offer no replacement for the 18-250 for so long is a mistake.

We can only hope Pentax will offer something along the lines of a WR version of the 18-270 - or perhaps its own unique design - at Photokina this fall. I'm eagerly awaiting Photokina for some sign that Pentax plans to begin filling the massive holes in its lens lineup. If some of the rumors many of us have heard don't begin to pan out, I suspect the enthusiasm of many Pentaxians will be at risk, which would be unfortunate. But our patience can only last for so long.
07-05-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.

Tamron also worked with Sony with the same lens and charged even more than Pentax.

That isn't the point. Pentax need a superzoom lens.

How can they ignore this? I'm certain they can't, which leads me to conclude:

- They are inept (in which case surely just continue with Tamron)
- They want to do it themselves, but are hindered by budget

My hope is that they are working on something unusually good.

I still find the silence baffling, nay, disrespectful to their customers.
07-05-2010, 10:10 AM   #7
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I would imagine that now that since the Sigma is available, Pentax would have little reason to need to bother wasting resources putting out a competing lens. I could see Pentax eventually putting out their rebadge of the Tamron 18-270 if it could be done much cheaper or lighter than the Sigma, but not otherwise. But my default assumption is that the existence of the Sigma means Pentax considers themselves off the hook here, and I'd argue that's a legitimate decision.
07-05-2010, 11:10 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
I suspect there must have been some value addition (better electronics chatter with the body, maybe ?)
That borders on wishful thinking. when a company purchases a product as OEM, the whole point is to put no money whatsoever in R&D. You just pass it along with your own badge on it and keep some money in the process. Otherwise, considering the cost of the OEM product itself, it's much better to just ask your own R&D to develop it.

It's a case of "been there, done that" in my everyday work.

07-05-2010, 08:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I would imagine that now that since the Sigma is available, Pentax would have little reason to need to bother wasting resources putting out a competing lens. I could see Pentax eventually putting out their rebadge of the Tamron 18-270 if it could be done much cheaper or lighter than the Sigma, but not otherwise. But my default assumption is that the existence of the Sigma means Pentax considers themselves off the hook here, and I'd argue that's a legitimate decision.
As a business decision, I wouldn't say they were off the hook, more like off their heads.

Why let Sigma and Tamron make the money in such a large selling segment? Surely Hoya would prefer those profit dollars in their own account?

Pentax has recently attracted a lot of first-time DSLR users with the K-x, a user-base that could be very interested in a superzoom lens (particularly with the K-x in-body CA and distortion correction).
07-05-2010, 08:56 PM   #10
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Because Sigma and Tamron have expertise in producing such "superzooms" and Pentax does not. Plus, Sigma and Tamron have the much larger production numbers that would enable them to sell such a lens for cheaper. Pentax' verisn of uch a lens would almost undoubtedly be more expensive and optically inferior. So why bother?
07-06-2010, 06:07 AM   #11
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I take your point that Tamron and Sigma have the expertise and breadth of scale to be at a possibly advantageous position, but taking that argument to its conclusion would lead Pentax to not bother with any zoom lenses.

I think it's worth the bother as it would rank very highly in their best selling lenses. Pentax could certainly charge a $100-200 premium over Sigma/Tamron, and if they can't make a very healthy profit on that with their Vietnamese production costs, then they have problems.

Alternatively, they could go back to licensing an existing lens and using their own coatings. At least offer something

Also, the CA and distortion correction doesn't work for Sigma/Tamron, so the JPEG shooters (which would be likely buyers of the lens) would actually have an optically superior end result from a Pentax lens.

Hoya wants Pentax to grow in profit and market share; they certainly aren't going to achieve that by ignoring important segments.

**Not being a downer here. Hoya/Pentax deserve great credit for introducing 3 stellar bodies in the last year (and a bit).**
07-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
I take your point that Tamron and Sigma have the expertise and breadth of scale to be at a possibly advantageous position, but taking that argument to its conclusion would lead Pentax to not bother with any zoom lenses.
Well, not really - i didn't say Pentax had no zoom expertise - just no *superzoom* expertise. But as for production capability, indeed, that will still give Sigma and Tamron advantages even in areas where pentax can compete technologically. And I think you'll see Pentax taking pretty much this exact tactic. They aren't putting out their own 70-200/2.8, or their own 10-20mm, or their own 8-16mm, or their own cheap 70-300, or their own 50-500, and so on. Pentax zooms are mostly lenses that have no exact analogue from a third party (or at least, that had none at the time of release).

QuoteQuote:
Pentax could certainly charge a $100-200 premium over Sigma/Tamron, and if they can't make a very healthy profit on that with their Vietnamese production costs, then they have problems.
I don't get why you think anyone would *pay* a $100 premium for such a lens, though - especially if their lack of expertise meant quality was worse.

QuoteQuote:
Alternatively, they could go back to licensing an existing lens and using their own coatings. At least offer something
But the question still remains - *why*? What would be gained?

QuoteQuote:
Also, the CA and distortion correction doesn't work for Sigma/Tamron, so the JPEG shooters (which would be likely buyers of the lens) would actually have an optically superior end result from a Pentax lens.
OK, that's one tiny advantage, but you can't correct away all the things that Pentax would probably do worse than the folks with extensive experience in this area.

So I'm still not seeing the advantage overall - why a customer would pay a premium for a lens that would most likely be worse overall. Not that I'd be opposed to them going out on a limb and risking spending all that R&D money to develop a more expensive and optically inferior lens that wouldn't sell well, *if* they thought they did have a reasonable chance of success (defined as being able to do it either cheaper or better than the more experienced people who have been doing it for over a decade and have much larger production capabilities and hence lower unit costs).

But I'm not seeing it as being a very wise move personally, and I certainly am not seeing any reason for saying that failure to take this enormous risk is "baffling" or "disrespectful". That just makes no sense at all to me. It's one thing to go out on a limb and ask that Pentax take a giant gamble, it's another to insult them for not doing it.
07-07-2010, 12:20 AM   #13
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I guess we simply disagree.

Pentax are able to produce a very competent and well priced nearly-6X zoom in the 55-300. While it's obviously apples to oranges, they make a competent 26X zoom for their bridge model.

Every camera maker offers a (more expensive than 3rd party) branded superzoom lens. Every one. Except Pentax.

I am not insulting Pentax for not making a superzoom. Please note that I said their silence was disrespectful, not their decision to make / not make the lens. BIG difference.

All they have to do is say "we plan on / do not plan on making a superzoom". This shows respect to their customers by giving them information that will affect their purchasing decisions.

As per the title of the thread, their silence helps no-one.
07-07-2010, 05:27 AM   #14
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The lack of a Pentax superzoom probably seems less odd to many of us who bought into Pentax in the film days. I remember when the Pentax zoom was always more conservative than third-party zoom, but it was built like a tank and sharp at all focal lengths. (The 75-150 comes to mind) The third-party manufacturer claimed the niche of the more aggressive zoom ratio with extremes that were usable, but not stellar.

From looking at the reviews of the Tamron 18-270, I can see why it might not fit the Pentax line as well as its predecessor. Its AF is reported to be slow, and its main advantage is built-in image stabilization--which may accentuate a reputed Pentax weakness and adds a feature which is less important to Pentax owners, but who knows?

I'd like to see Pentax reclaim its old niche by making a travel lens that is more restrained in its range but of higher quality and/or more compact and/or featuring WR. That would be a genuine alternative, especially if they could extend the wide end by a mm or so. I would snap up a 17-150 that is sharp at both ends in a heartbeat. Add WR, and you'd have a killer travel lens for the enthusiast.

Last edited by GeneV; 07-07-2010 at 07:16 AM. Reason: typo
07-07-2010, 06:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
Pentax are able to produce a very competent and well priced nearly-6X zoom in the 55-300. While it's obviously apples to oranges, they make a competent 26X zoom for their bridge model.
55 to 300 is from tele to supertele, and less than 6x. 18 tot 250 is from wide to supertele, and nearly 14x. That's quite a difference. I also doubt Pentax designed the X90 lens. My guess is the Pentax P&S and X90 are all made by other, unknown companies (that also churn out equally boring cameras for other brands).

That said, I think Pentax could benefit from having their own superzoom. Perhaps the zoom-ratio need not be as ambitious as the Tamron lenses, but adding WR would provide Pentax with yet another niche. As said, a 17-150 WR lens would certainly turn heads. Especially if Pentax come up with a new budget WR body.
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