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04-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #1
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Which 18-250mm?

This may have been discussed before but I can’t seem to find a thread. Anyway, I was initially looking into DA* 16-50 or Tamron 17-50 2.8 or Sigma 17-50 2.8 as a future upgrade to my 18-55mm kit lens.

However, my wife and I are now looking into the possibility of a Disneyland trip with our 2 and 6 year olds sometime this year. I gave up (for now) the idea of a kit lens replacement and decided on an 18-250mm multipurpose “tourist lens”. Sure I have my 55-300mm and a handful of cheap primes but I’d rather bring less equipment as possible. I can’t imagine fiddling with lenses while in Disneyland carrying “kids and baby stuff”!

As I understand it I have three (or two) choices; used DA/Tamron 18-250 or a new (even used) Sigma 18-250mm. My question is which one? Unfortunately, the rarity of the now discontinued DA/Tamron only increased their value so costs for all three are more or less the same. I’ve also looked into the 18-135, 18-200, even 28-300 range. I’m sure we’ll be visiting relatives and have indoor activities as well as sight seeing so I'd rather have an 18-250mm instead.

I’ve read reviews for these lenses including the ones on this forum and leaning towards the Sigma. Supposedly the DA/Tamron is good but also very slow in focusing indoors or low light and pretty much every review mentioned about zoom creep. Then again dpreview (if you trust them) rated the Sigma as “Recommended with reservations” due to sharpness inconsistencies and soft edge at almost all focal range. So I'm a little torn on which one.

I’m curious, if you were in my position which 18-250mm would you choose? If you have either or both lenses, what are your experiences?

Cheers!!!

04-11-2011, 12:46 PM   #2
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You might still look into the DA 18-135. I found with my DA55-300 I never really got any great shots over about 135mm (but I do with 200mm or 300mm primes). As a result, I sold it and I now use the DA*50-135 in its place. Your experience may differ, however.
04-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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None of the above. If it were me, for an extra $20 over the Sigma, I would pop for the Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED WR. It is a true gem of a lens and it will fully fit your needs for your upcoming trip. I use mine to photograph my Border Collie and I guarantee you he moves faster than your kids! lol Don't worry about the top focal length, it will be more than sufficient for what you will need.
04-11-2011, 04:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
Unfortunately, the rarity of the now discontinued DA/Tamron only increased their value so costs for all three are more or less the same.
I’m curious, if you were in my position which 18-250mm would you choose? If you have either or both lenses, what are your experiences?
There were some 2nd hand DA18-250mm and Tamron 18-250m for sale at Adorama and KEH last week around $360. Check them. (The DA18-250mm is a Tamron 18-250m rebadged.)

I have the DA18-250m and I can understand very well your needs. The DA18-250mm on a Pentax dSLR body is a superb combo, quite compact and very flexible. I am also very happy with the IQ, and the only weakness is the low light conditions.

Hope that the comment will help.


04-11-2011, 09:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
You might still look into the DA 18-135. I found with my DA55-300 I never really got any great shots over about 135mm (but I do with 200mm or 300mm primes). As a result, I sold it and I now use the DA*50-135 in its place. Your experience may differ, however.
QuoteOriginally posted by dmc Quote
None of the above. If it were me, for an extra $20 over the Sigma, I would pop for the Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED WR. It is a true gem of a lens and it will fully fit your needs for your upcoming trip. I use mine to photograph my Border Collie and I guarantee you he moves faster than your kids! lol Don't worry about the top focal length, it will be more than sufficient for what you will need.
dmc, DSims - The DA18-135 is a little pricey (to me) that’s why it wasn’t on my top choice…it does have great reviews, though, better then the 18-250’s I was considering. Based on your comments I may take look back at this lens. Thanks for your input.

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
There were some 2nd hand DA18-250mm and Tamron 18-250m for sale at Adorama and KEH last week around $360. Check them. (The DA18-250mm is a Tamron 18-250m rebadged.)

I have the DA18-250m and I can understand very well your needs. The DA18-250mm on a Pentax dSLR body is a superb combo, quite compact and very flexible. I am also very happy with the IQ, and the only weakness is the low light conditions.

Hope that the comment will help.
I did see the one from KEH. Believe it or not but I actually came across a Craigslist ad last year for a DA 18-250mm (used twice as the ad claims) for $350! It just wasn’t a priority for me back then. Thanks for your comments, yes it does help
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