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01-19-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
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Travel Lens: Pentax 18-135 vs. Tamron 18-250

This is sort of a double post, but if possible, I'd like some feedback from people who have used both lens. I know they are different and it's not an entirely fair comparison, but if you could only have 1 of the lens, which would you chose and why?

I can purchase a K-5 with the Pentax Lens 18-135 WR or with the Tamron 18-250, all equipment is new. I travel frequently and I'd like 1 lens that can cover a lot of situations. The price difference is minor (Tamron being $60 cheaper than the Pentax). Thanks

01-19-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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I can't speak for either of those lenses, but can give 2 thumbs up to another lens in this general focal range: Tamron SP 24-135mm f 3.5-5.6 Here are the 2 most recent shots I posted with it in the Tammy Club. I bought this lens, brand new, for $160.02.



01-19-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Jesus, Jewel, that first shot is straight out of a dream!
01-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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I'd be more inclined to go with the DA 18-135. It is weather resistant, uses quick, silent DC autofocus and is a bit smaller. It may have a bit better IQ. The extra range on long end of the Tammy is also where its performance is weakest.

01-19-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by darenka Quote
This is sort of a double post, but if possible, I'd like some feedback from people who have used both lens. I know they are different and it's not an entirely fair comparison, but if you could only have 1 of the lens, which would you chose and why?

I can purchase a K-5 with the Pentax Lens 18-135 WR or with the Tamron 18-250, all equipment is new. I travel frequently and I'd like 1 lens that can cover a lot of situations. The price difference is minor (Tamron being $60 cheaper than the Pentax). Thanks
Have you also considered the Sigma 18-250?

I would say no to the Tamron just due to being screwdrive. The Sigma has HSM.

There is also not much of a price penalty for optical stabilization unlike many of Sigma's OS offerings - At the long end the OS is nice (stabilized viewfinder image and AF system sees a stabilized target).
01-19-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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WoW, some impressive photos Jewell and just the sort of thing I'm hoping to achieve someday. Thanks for another recommendation to put on the watch list. It's just nice to know there are some good options without spending $500+ per lens.

Gene, Entropy, thanks for the feedback--being so new there are so many things I hadn't considered when reading reviews for different lenses. I always seem to run into a glowing review of the Tamron. Since it's been discontinued, I started thinking this might be my last chance to acquire it. That was distracting me from the larger picture so to speak. With everyone's input, I'm 'probably' doing the 18-135--I just have to leave room for one more night of waffling on the issue. :-)
01-19-2011, 06:18 PM   #7
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I have no experience with the 18-250 but I would highly recommend the 18-135mm I have it with a K5 and I love it. Especially when it started raining and all my other travel buddies were scrambling to shield their nikons from the rain.
01-19-2011, 09:20 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
darenka: WoW, some impressive photos Jewell and just the sort of thing I'm hoping to achieve someday. Thanks for another recommendation to put on the watch list. It's just nice to know there are some good options without spending $500+ per lens.

Thanks & you are welcome. This lens retailed for $500, but it is discontinued and still available new. You really couldn't lose with it--later, when you know more, then you could spend more on your precise needs since they would be clear then.

QuoteQuote:
Darenka: With everyone's input, I'm 'probably' doing the 18-135--I just have to leave room for one more night of waffling on the issue. :-)
Take your time and be sure you get what you want--do not rush and discover the negativity of regretful thinking later on--many of us here @ the forum have done this already. The shots I have seen with the Da 18-135 & the Tammy 18-250 were very nice. You just have to weigh the WR of the Da vs the added range of the Tammy.

QuoteQuote:
paperbag846 Jesus, Jewel, that first shot is straight out of a dream!
Sometimes things just get laid in your lap--Thanks for the very kind words.

09-26-2011, 10:23 PM   #9
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i hv the Pentax 18-135, Tamron 18-250 and Sigma 18-250 with me......
what i can say is for exposure accuracy is tamron, sigma, pentax .
for focus speed is Pentax , Sigma, Tamron
sharpness is Pentax, Tamron , Sigma
but for pentax u can use it under rain,,,,,,
09-28-2011, 02:00 AM   #10
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Hi, I have a Tamron 18-250. I too was after a good travel lens with a wide zoom range. I plumbed for the Tamron after comparing other options though this was over 18 months ago now. I like the IQ, colour rendition and contrast of the Tamron. The fact it's a screwdrive I haven't found too much of a problem though focus time and the noise of it are more noticeable at extreme zoom. There is of course some barrel distortion at 18mm which can be corrected in PP though I have not found it so noticeable in most situations that I have bothered. Can't comment on how it compares with the up to date competition though. One of the best purchases I have made.

Paul
09-28-2011, 03:13 AM   #11
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My original K20D kit were AF360, DA10-17, FA50/1.4, and the DA18-250. Now 3.3+ years on, and a few hundred lenses more, the DA18-250 is still my most-used lens when traveling. My most minimal kit now would be the DA18-250, Tamron 10-24, and a Raynox DCR-250. I usually a bit more glass too, but the DA18-250 is always in my Ameribag. It's been from Acapulco to Anacortes, Alcatraz to Amarillo. Its few weaknesses are easily fixed in PP. It's the most flexible tool for ranging from a wide view to distant detail. Don't leave home without it.
09-28-2011, 06:29 AM   #12
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I have the 18-135mm and the DA 18-250. They're both good lenses but I much prefer the 18-135. I find the IQ more appealing and I hate the zoom lock & creep on the 18-250. Build quality is outstanding, WR and DC focus are highly useful features. For wildlife etc I use a proper telephoto., not a superzoom
09-28-2011, 01:16 PM   #13
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Thanks much for contributing to LBA. I'm wondering if Santa would listen to my 'need' for a 18-135 so I could do my own comparison?

After much waffling, I ended up with the 18-250 and it has become a good friend and cherished travel partner. I really do hate that creepy lens aspect though, and the mention of rain made me think LBA truly is justified. At home, you get lousy weather--you probably stay in doors for the day. You don't really have that option when travelling. No one (not even cockroaches) want to stay in my hotel rooms--my motto is go cheap, go more. So out in the rain I go with my 18-250 because who want to change lens in the rain?

So until Santa drops off my new WR 18-135, anyone have any suggestions for a quickie rain set up? Plastic bag with elastic garters were what I ended up with, but it wasn't ideal.
09-28-2011, 03:36 PM - 1 Like   #14
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OP/TECH Rainsleeves are cheap and work well. I have had success with them. Very packable too.
09-28-2011, 05:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
OP/TECH Rainsleeves are cheap and work well. I have had success with them. Very packable too.
+1! Looks great. Too bad I can't order one for a few days -- no online ordering until Saturday. Is there a holiday I don't know about?
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