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06-19-2011, 07:40 AM   #1
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Is there such a thing as a decent superzoom (for Pentax)?

And if so, what would be your nomination for the title?

There are times when I just can't have all my lenses with me and fumbling between them.

06-19-2011, 08:20 AM   #2
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"decent superzoom" = oxymoron

superzoom = crap image quality is mostly true ;-)

What range do you consider "superzoom"? The Tamron 18-250 was ok at the time but has been discontinued...
06-19-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
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The Pentax DA / Tamron 18-250mm is a more than decent superzoom--unfortunately, discontinued.
06-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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The 18-135 is excellent, unless you want more reach.

06-19-2011, 08:26 AM   #5
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18-135mm is "super" enough . I will go and look at some sample pics now.
06-19-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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18-250 was a decent superzoom.
06-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #7
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For versatility, it's hard to beat the 18-250, and it's my favorite lens for all around use. I don't know why Pentax discontinued it, but if you look around, it can still be found occasionally.
06-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #8
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Unfortunately I sold my Pentax 18-250mm zoom to finance the DA18-135 both for the WR (I shoot from a kayak at times) and I was really tired of the lens creep, even after Eric serviced it. But the range was unbeatable. IMO, the 18-135 has superior IQ up to about 100mm then they even out. But its quit, feels very solid and hopefully survives a little water now and again.

06-19-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanielT74 Quote
And if so, what would be your nomination for the title?

There are times when I just can't have all my lenses with me and fumbling between them.
I guess that the answer depends on how you define "super" and "decent." The greater the focal range, the greater the optical compromises that must be made to build the lens. My own approach is to accept limits and shoot only with high quality limited focal range zooms or with primes. If a photo presents itself that is out of the range of lenses that I have at my disposal, I just pass it up and take a different photo.

This is probably not the answer that you were looking for, so I will let others offer concrete advice on superzoom lenses. I do understand that there are times when getting the absolute best IQ is not the priority.

06-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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My current super-zoom setup for all weather conditions is the 18-55mm WR on the K200d and DA* 300mm on the K20d.
06-19-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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I'm sure it depends a lot on how you intend to display your photos.

I went through an exercise looking at the parameters that result in displayed images that appear equivalent to the viewer (shot noise, sharpness, dof, width of scene, scene brightness, scene distance, for a particular display width, display resolution, etc.)

To my surprise the dominant term is the display (resolution/width) ratio raised to the 5th power! The bottom line is that if the display is small, many things are forgiven! An 8x10" display is 32 times more demanding than a 4x6" display for exactly the same scene and viewing distance (width, distance, dof, image noise, etc) with a handheld camera.

So use a superzoom to photograph your wanderings; the images will look great if you don't push them much.

PS the equivalence relationship for a handheld camera (taking the 1/f rule and Image Stabilization into account as CameraSlewRate) is:

Last edited by newarts; 06-20-2011 at 04:39 AM.
06-19-2011, 04:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
The Pentax DA / Tamron 18-250mm is a more than decent superzoom--unfortunately, discontinued.
+1. This zoom is my walk around lens and the lens that I leave on the camera for my better half to use in "Green" mode. As long as you understand what the strengths and weaknesses of this lens are you will be able to capture satisfying images consistently.

Taken with my K100DS:

Taken with my K5:
06-19-2011, 08:33 PM   #13
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No superzoom is 'decent' -- they are all lascivious, prurient, phallic -- that sliding in and out, that obscene protrusive activity... oh, you mean optics? Well then, the DA18-250 is damn good once the pixel-peepers stop whining. It depends on what the images are, and how they are to be seen. If your goal is perfect high-res shots of optical test cards, don't use the DA18-250. If you want to win juried contests with perfect pictures of boring crap, don't use. If you want to shoot in many diverse situations without changing lenses, use it. It's my basic lens. All my 213 other lenses are specialty tools.
06-20-2011, 08:37 AM   #14
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Since the Tamron/Pentax 18-250 are discontinued - the Sigma 18-250 is also an excellent lens.

It is FAR better than any Sigma superzoom I've ever worked with in the past.
06-20-2011, 01:10 PM   #15
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Not being a fan of super zooms I would rephrase the question. Is there a decient super zoom. Note the answer is still the same. NONE

In my opinion the compromises made in super zooms cost too much in IQ A good bridge camera can offer the same equivalent focal length range with a faster aperture therefore offsetting the noise issue at higher ISO with the smaller sensor

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