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08-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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18mm vs 28mm on a Superzoom

I am looking at purchasing a superzoom to replace the two kit lenses (18-55 & 55-300) that came with my Pentax K-r, because I am getting tired of having to change lenses all the time. Many of the superzooms only go down to 28mm, not 18mm. It doesn't seem like a huge difference to me, but alot of the reviews I have read say things like: "On our smaller sensors the 28mm end should not be considered wide". How big of a difference is there from 18-28mm, and can it really be a hindrance to general shooting?

Thanks!

08-30-2011, 01:55 PM   #2
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Err.. if you have the kit 18-55, you could pretty much check it right there. For what it's worth, I walked around with my 18-55 and my 28-105 once, and I significantly preferred the 18-55 because I had the chance to do the wide angle at 18.

Also for what it's worth, whenever I go out for landscapes, I carry the 35 F2.4 because of the colour rendition and the IQ, but I still bring my 18-55 for when I just NEED that wide angle.

...at least until the future when I can get me a proper wide angle...
08-30-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
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The superzooms that start at 28mm were designed for film cameras. 28mm is not a wide angle field of view on a Pentax DSLR, it is a normal field of view. If you're trying to avoid lens changes, I suggest you get a lens that covers wide angle, i.e. 18mm.
08-30-2011, 02:26 PM   #4
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My original K20D kit included a DA18-250 superzoom, which I highly recommend. I had (and happily sold) a Tamron 18-200 superzoom. Believe me, 18mm is *much* wider than 28mm on any camera, significantly so on our crop-sensor dSLRs. I also have a DA18-55 and Tamron 60-300 set that I don't use together because I shoot a lot between 35-70mm and swapping lenses around 55mm is a pain.

At the long end of the superzoom's range, I have a Lil'Bigma 170-500 that I hardly use since that's just not a good range. At the short end is a Tamron 10-24 which I use a LOT because it IS a good range -- wide enough for tight spaces, long enough for 'scapes. And right in the middle, in that sweet range, is my cheap F35-70, a great people lens, and a real bargain.

My recommendation: Sell the 55-300 and maybe the 18-55 (except that's it's useful to hang filters and optics on); get an 18-250 because it's flexible, and maybe a 35-70 because it's agile and sharp and ultra-cheap. And think hard about a Tamron 10-24 or maybe one of the Sigma 10-20's, because ultrawide is real useful.

08-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My recommendation: Sell the 55-300 and maybe the 18-55 (except that's it's useful to hang filters and optics on); get an 18-250 because it's flexible,
I disagree with that recommendation. The 55-300mm is a much better telephoto than the 18-250mm, both in IQ and range.
08-30-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
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If you take the focal range issue out of it. The 18-2xx super zooms are better reviewed lenses than the 28-xxx lenses, so why not get superior IQ along with your wider angle? I think in the area of super zooms, unlike with other optics, the quality has greatly improved.
08-30-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input! I know there will be some image quality sacrifice but I hope it won't be too bad. I am going on a cruise to Alaska and we will be going on some little boats and trains and trams and I just don't see myself being able to change lenses back and forth without missing something. I just got a pretty tempting offer on a Sigma 18-200mm, anyone have experience with that lens?
08-30-2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The 55-300mm is a much better telephoto than the 18-250mm, both in IQ and range.
I can't comment on IQ differences, but I *can* say that 55-300 is only a useful range when it's paired with a much shorter zoom, like 17-70. And swapping lenses in dynamic situations means missing shots. The IQ of a missed shot is zero, nada, nil.

Yes, it's good to have a hi-IQ prime or specialized zoom for concentrating within limits. If I expect to shoot in certain ranges, I use a F35-70 or FA100-300 or Schneider 50-125. But if I'm somewhere new and/or lively, an 18-250 grabs shots as no other lens can -- unless I'm in a tight space, when the Tamron 10-24 goes on.

But as I mentioned above, I have a Tamron 60-300, and that range just isn't useful for what and how I shoot. Your mileage may vary.

08-30-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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For what it's worth, my everyday situation kit is: 18-135 and 55-300. Both lenses cover everything I am going to see and do so with respectable quality (in my opinion at least). Need a fast lens? Throw in my m50 1.7. Need macro? A reverse adapter is small for that 50mm.
08-30-2011, 06:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdxfive Quote
Thanks for all the input! I know there will be some image quality sacrifice but I hope it won't be too bad. I am going on a cruise to Alaska and we will be going on some little boats and trains and trams and I just don't see myself being able to change lenses back and forth without missing something. I just got a pretty tempting offer on a Sigma 18-200mm, anyone have experience with that lens?
200 is too short for Alaska. I would probably want a sigma 50-500 if I ever make it back up there. You should go 300 minimum.
08-30-2011, 06:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdxfive Quote
I am looking at purchasing a superzoom to replace the two kit lenses (18-55 & 55-300) that came with my Pentax K-r, because I am getting tired of having to change lenses all the time. Many of the superzooms only go down to 28mm, not 18mm. It doesn't seem like a huge difference to me, but alot of the reviews I have read say things like: "On our smaller sensors the 28mm end should not be considered wide". How big of a difference is there from 18-28mm, and can it really be a hindrance to general shooting?

Thanks!
A 28-xx zoom will be a full-frame lens and that somewhat defeats the purpose in that it'll be bigger/heavier than you need.

I'm not an expert but I'd be unhappy with just a 28mm; actually, 16-17mm is the least wide I'd consider. Not having that would be a hindrance to me, but probably not to others. The wildlife I've encountered on short trips to Alaska was either too far away for most equipment (I have a max 300mm on my K100d), or close enough to where you wouldn't need anything special. It is true that there are times when wildlife just shows up (like a bear by the roadside or on a trail), and then you always have the wrong lens on the camera. There is lots of wildlife in Alaska, but on a typical tourist visit you won't have time to camp out in prime locations waiting for the best opportunities.

Alternate suggestion: get a P&S that starts at 24mm or wider (equivalent.) Bring the K-r and your two lenses on the trip; just leave it behind if there are times you don't feel like dealing with it. You want two cameras and some lens redundancy for a serious trip anyway.

Paul
08-30-2011, 10:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
The wildlife I've encountered on short trips to Alaska was either too far away for most equipment (I have a max 300mm on my K100d), or close enough to where you wouldn't need anything special. It is true that there are times when wildlife just shows up (like a bear by the roadside or on a trail), and then you always have the wrong lens on the camera. There is lots of wildlife in Alaska, but on a typical tourist visit you won't have time to camp out in prime locations waiting for the best opportunities.
Indeed. I last drove to Alaska when my best camera was a 5mpx Sony P&S. But my current K20D loaded with the Lil'Bigma 170-500 wouldn't have extended my reach much, would have brought me a few eagle shots and not much else -- animals were either too far away or just not there. No bears were at their feeding station during my week in Skagway. Moose and caribou kept their distances.

As for cruises... don't get me started! I'll just say that the 170-500 didn't see much action, either aboard or ashore. I'll repeat that my minimal usable kit are the Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4, supplemented by the DA10-17 and some fast manual primes: 28/2 and 85/2.
08-30-2011, 10:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
As for cruises... don't get me started!
Get started!

This is the first cruise I've ever been on, and I really have no idea what to expect
08-31-2011, 01:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdxfive Quote
Get started!
Our cruise experience consists of 1) taking a Carnival ship: Long Beach - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Cabo San Lucas - Long Beach; and 2) watching parades of cruise passengers disembark from numerous ships at Skagway over a week. Neither was a positive experience.

Samuel Johnson called sailing, "imprisonment, with chance of drowning". I call cruising, "imprisonment, with certainty of obesity". Mediocre food, and lots of it. Mediocre orchestrated activities. The ports-of-call are generally tourist traps. (I'd driven to Mazatlan the year before; it's much better when seen independently.) Without going into detail, I'll just say that the shore excursions generally suck.

My in-laws had much better cruise experiences around Alaska, the Baltic, elsewhere. They also went on small ships that cost about US$1k-2k per day. Ouch! Small ships can go into fjords; big ones stay safely offshore. I think our next cruise will likely be on a 10-passanger trimaran from Guatemala to the Cays. That scale is much better. But I'd better get some WR lenses, eh?
08-31-2011, 05:11 AM   #15
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On the cruise issue, I can say I absolutely adored my Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda. It was short (5 days) and I found the food to be generally pretty good. But I would agree that shore excursions provided by the cruise company are not something to waste your money on. Do your research ahead of time and just do your own sightseeing of the things that interest you while in port. I would go back on the very same Bermuda cruise again and again.

Hope you have a wonderful time!
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