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09-04-2011, 12:57 AM   #16
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I have had and used the 18-55 kitlens, 55-300 and 18-250 (the Pentax sample), and here is what I think: the 18-250 is definitely better than the 18-55 over the same focal range. Sharper, better colors, etc. It does show vignetting, but overall, I would still prefer it to the kit. Comparing it to the 55-300, though, is a different story. After 100 or 135mm it isn't that sharp and punchy anymore. At 200 or 250mm, even stopping down doesn't help a lot, and the 55-300 is clearly better here (as well as being about 2/3 stop faster). The fact that the 18-250 still vignettes (does so at most focal lengths) also doesn't help it. In the end I decided to keep the 55-300 and get a replacement for the kit. As for changing lenses, I never got dust on the sensor (btw it's behind a shutter). I got dust on the mirror once or twice, but that can be blasted away easily using a blower. And when using a 2-lens kit, you can invest in better glass as well (f/2.8 lenses come to mind; good for shallow DOF).

Not saying you shouldn't buy a superzoom though; for what it is, it is a good lens, and when used within its limits, you can enjoy it very much. But it is a compromise.

09-04-2011, 04:02 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Redundant Banker Quote
I mainly use smaller prints (6 x 4 inches).
well then superzoom will be just fine. try to get good copy of da.18-250 .
09-23-2011, 03:15 AM   #18
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Well, I've answered my own question. As I think I said earlier, the cost of the 18-250s was too much for me, so I ordered a Tamron 18-200. Picture quality is slightly worse and the autofocus is dreadful - it hunts backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards........................

Lens is being returned today. Thankyou UK Distance Selling Regulations!
09-23-2011, 08:26 PM   #19
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May I suggest...
I've been through the same deal as you, mainly wanting a not-expensive walk around lens for my K-x. I also looked for the Pentax/Tamron 18-250 but never found one under $400. I think the Pentax 18-135 would also be great, but that's more expensive. SO:
1) I didn't particularly like the 18-55, so I did get the Pentax 16-45 ($220 used). A bigger lens, much better quality, nice to have the extra 2mm wide... but 45mm is just not long enough for a lot of shots. (I am keeping this lens as my 'wide' lens.)
2) Found an inexpensive F35-70 ($20). Very nice lens in a good range, very small and light, excellent quality,... but just not wide enough. (I am keeping this one...)
3) So I tried to find a wider range lens I could afford and started looking at used 28-105mm. Found a very nice Vivitar ($24), but it's heavy; it does have auto-aperture, but is manual focus; I use catch-in-focus quite successfully, but for a general purpose lens, I decided I want auto-focus; I could live w/ the range, but I especially missed the wider end (selling this one)
4) Tried a Pentax FA 28-105 (the 62mm variety; $50); very nice color/contrast and center sharpness, but I think I got a bad copy since it had a fair amount of softness on one side; if you can find a good one of these, it might do the job (selling)
5) Am now using a Tamron 24-135mm. ($140) I have not had it long, but I think this is the ticket! It's a big (in diameter but not length), heavy lens (it makes the 16-45 look petite!), but it takes gorgeous pics; a 24mm wide works in most instances (I can always stitch photos, and I still have that 16-45 if I really need wide), low distortion, virtually no CA, not the fastest lens but good enough and does focus quickly and accurately; the 135mm at the long end is a nice increase compared to the 105mms.
SO: I suggest looking for a good used Tamron 24-135!

09-24-2011, 12:06 PM   #20
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@mgvh,
* I really think the DA18-250 is worth saving-up for. It really is the most flexible walkaround lens.
* Some here claim that DXO brings the DA18-55 IQ up to professional level. I've not tried that yet.
* The F35-70 is a sweet little bag of primes, but no, it's not general-purpose; fine for people though.
* I agree that MF zooms aren't great as general-purpose walkabouts. Some are fine niche lenses.
* I've tried various AF 28-70, 28-80, even 28-200 glass, but the ranges just aren't handy on APS-C.
* I can't comment on the Tammy 24-135, but it probably teams-up well with the Tammy 10-24.
* I'll say it again: I really think the DA18-250 is worth saving-up for.
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