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View Poll Results: Best All-in-One Zoom? (Based on IMAGE QUALITY)
Tamron 18-200   00%
Tamron 18-270 3100.00%
Tamron 28-200   00%
Tamron 28-300   00%
Sigma 18-200   00%
Sigma 28-300   00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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09-11-2011, 10:56 PM   #1
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NEED HELP! Best Wide-to-Telephoto All-Around Zoom? (Like 18/28mm-200/300mm) or wait?

NEED HELP! What's the Best Wide-to-Telephoto All-Around Zoom? (Like 18/28mm-200/300mm) or should I wait?

I used to have the Pentax DA 18-250. It sucked. SUCKED! Soft images. I was better off buying a Compact Super-Zoom consumer camera for the same price or less.

I want something better. There are Sigma and Tamron options. What is the best? It can start at 18-28 or so, and end in 200-300 or so.

I'm looking for the best image quality for an all-in-one wide-to-telephoto zoom. (Yes, I know 28mm becomes 42mm on APS-C, that's fine with me.)

Also, I see many of these are being discontinued! Does that mean NEW versions are coming out? Does anyone know? Should I just wait for these phantom new ones? Some models (like the Pentax) have been discontinued for years with no replacement yet.

Thanks!!!

09-11-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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I am somehow surprised by your comment on the DA18-250mm. The DA18-250mm and its sibbling Tamron 18-250mm are very well regarded by Pentaxians including professionals, and its reputation extends beyond the Pentax community incl, Canikons and co.

Like all all-around zoom lenses, the DA18-250mm is a compromise and one of the better one. Such an all-around lens cannot and should not be compared with prime lenses off course. It is likely that you had a poor copy of the DA18-250mm.

I do not believe that any of the listed lenses will give you better IQ than a good copy of the DA18-250mm/Tamron 18-250mm.

Food for thoughts....
09-11-2011, 11:50 PM   #3
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I did a review of my 18-250 on here and I gave it an "8"... so that is average (sucked is too strong). Yes, I have tons of FA* and LTDs, so compared to them, I am unhappy with the DA 18-250. But that was also my very 1st and only Pentax lens for about a year, after upgrading from compacts... I got a K20D and the DA 18-250 back in the day... and even then I was like, "This is a DSLR? The IQ and sharpness sucks!" And that was $1200 compared to my usual $300 compact mega-zoom. (Again, sucks is too strong a word... but I was just very unhappy, and resorted to mostly primes, LTDs, and *s. Yes, I agree the DA 18-250 is a good "8/10 score" and that broad a zoom range IS A COMPROMISE.) But that being said, I am again looking for an all-in-one zoom... and was curious if they got any better, and which one I should get.
09-11-2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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I know it's not exactly what you asked for, but why not consider a DA18-135?

09-12-2011, 12:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxForums-User Quote
I did a review of my 18-250 on here and I gave it an "8"... so that is average (sucked is too strong). Yes, I have tons of FA* and LTDs, so compared to them, I am unhappy with the DA 18-250. But that was also my very 1st and only Pentax lens for about a year, after upgrading from compacts... I got a K20D and the DA 18-250 back in the day... and even then I was like, "This is a DSLR? The IQ and sharpness sucks!" And that was $1200 compared to my usual $300 compact mega-zoom. (Again, sucks is too strong a word... but I was just very unhappy, and resorted to mostly primes, LTDs, and *s. Yes, I agree the DA 18-250 is a good "8/10 score" and that broad a zoom range IS A COMPROMISE.) But that being said, I am again looking for an all-in-one zoom... and was curious if they got any better, and which one I should get.
I got your point. Let me share a few more info.

I have the DA18-150mm and I compared it to the Sigma 18-200mm, The IQ of the DA18-250mm is way above the shots with the Sigma. I believe that the Tamron 18-200mm IQ is close the Sigma 18-200mm IQ, that is below the DA18-250mm IQ. See also the review of the Tamron 18-250mm in www.slrgear.com.

I do not believe that the Tamron 18-270mm was manufactured with PK/Pentax mount.

Cannot comment on the others...
09-12-2011, 12:24 AM   #6
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It seems the ultra-broad zoom range is still too much of a challenge for DSLR lenses? I wonder if I am better off going back to the compact/consumer BRIDGE camera for a broad-zoom, because for the same price, I can get a high-end consumer 24mm-840mm (equiv) BRIDGE camera, that serves as the lens and EXTRA body, and gives an extra 500mm of reach. It seems the aperture is so small on both the DSLR lens and consumer BRIDGE camera, that the bokeh is not affected, and the DSLR images are a bit soft, so they are probably on par with a top-end consumer mega-zoom BRIDGE.

I can have my Pentax DSLR and */LTD/FA/Tak lenses for normal use, and my consumer BRIDGE mega-zoom SANYFUJICANIKON for the all-in-one zoom.

Opinions on that idea?

Last edited by PentaxForums-User; 09-12-2011 at 03:39 AM.
09-12-2011, 03:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxForums-User Quote
It seems the ultra-broad zoom range is still too much of a challenge for DSLR lenses? I wonder if I am better off going back to the compact/consumer camera for a broad-zoom, because for the same price, I can get a high-end consumer 24mm-840mm (equiv) camera, that serves as the lens and EXTRA body, and gives an extra 500mm of reach. It seems the aperture is so small on both the DSLR lens and consumer camera, that the bokeh is not affected, and the DSLR images are a bit soft, so they are probably on par with a top-end consumer mega-zoom.

I can have my Pentax DSLR and */LTD/FA/Tak lenses for normal use, and my consumer mega-zoom SANYFUJICANIKON for the all-in-one zoom.

Opinions on that idea?
I suspect that if you were to compare at the pixel level images taken with better bridge cameras and images taken with all-around zoom lenses on APS-C, after adjusting files to the same size, you would be surprised at how much difference in IQ you still see. The exception might be at wide apertures, which magnify the effects of focus errors and appear as softness. (I know that in my own day-to-day shooting lens sharpness is almost always irrelevant -- focus issues at wider apertures and handholding technique at slower speeds are much more important factors.) :-)
09-12-2011, 05:45 AM   #8
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Didnt vote in your poll.

Although I've never owned any you listed I think the general consenses is they all are worse than the Pentax(Tamron) 18-250. I tried my father-in-laws Tam 18-270 (on his Canon) and found that it wasnt as good as my Pentax18-250 i had. The zoom creep was worse. (I dont like zoom creep) All the others are older designs I believe.

Sold the 18-250 because I just didn't use it much. My copy was pretty good but I just preferred to grab a couple of primes & maybe my 55-300.

Maybe you had a dud copy? but anyway, by its nature a superzoom is a compromise favouring convenience over ultimate IQ so it's probable no current superzoom will satisfy you.

09-12-2011, 06:21 AM   #9
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Adam, are you working on the system to award a negative reputation point? I just do not like the use of words like "it sucked".
And yes, I am prepared to receive negative reputation myself.
09-12-2011, 06:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
Although I've never owned any you listed I think the general consenses is they all are worse than the Pentax(Tamron) 18-250. I tried my father-in-laws Tam 18-270 (on his Canon) and found that it wasnt as good as my Pentax18-250 i had. The zoom creep was worse. (I dont like zoom creep) All the others are older designs I believe.
I'm finding you might be right! Almost all the other ones got terrible reviews.

My DA 18-250 was normal quality, not a dud copy... like I said, I gave it a 8/10. I was just frustrated with it, cuz it was never sharp, never full featured, and just as good (without totally pixel peeping) as a bridge camera mega-zoom. I just never said "wow!"

As I research, it seems there is no ultimate all-in-one lens, and that Pentax/Tamron version may actually be the best.

I'm leaning towards getting a high-end 2012 BRIDGE camera instead.
09-12-2011, 06:38 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nowhere Matt Quote
Adam, are you working on the system to award a negative reputation point? I just do not like the use of words like "it sucked".
And yes, I am prepared to receive negative reputation myself.
Take it outside.
09-12-2011, 08:13 AM   #12
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Some lenses *do* suck (especially screw-in optical adapters). The DA18-250 isn't such, not unless it's a damaged or bad copy.
09-12-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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A 28-200/300 is not an all-round zoom on a Pentax DSLR. It is normal length to telephoto, no wide angle.

As others have mentioned, the best 18-200/250 is the Tamron or Pentax 18-250mm (Pentax is a rebadged Tamron). IME the best all-around zoom for Pentax is the 18-135mm WR. I have the DA 18-250 and much prefer the newer superzoom for IQ and especially mechanical features (silent AF, WR, quick-shift, metal construction, no zoom lock, no creep).

If you're mostly concerned about telephoto, the 55-300mm IQ is superior to any superzoom at the long end.
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