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03-25-2012, 10:52 AM   #16
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Note that the Tamron-designed 18-250 does not have quick shift. To some that's important (like me), to others not. I prefer the slightly smaller Sigma 18-200 1st generation, less barrel creep and very similar IQ to the 18-250 (I had them both in my Sony day, sold the Tamron).

03-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #17
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I have the Pentax DA 18-250. The main advantage of this lens over its Tamron or Sigma counterparts is that aberrations can get corrected in-camera automatically. As these lenses tend to exhibit many aberrations, this is a big plus. For example, here's how looks my garage door with the Pentax 18-250 at 18mm (you can click on the pictures to inspect them full size):



And here's the same door with lens aberrations correction enabled:



It's not 100% perfect, but it's nonetheless much better!

Cheers!

Abbazz
03-25-2012, 05:26 PM   #18
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When I moved from an advanced P&S to a dSLR, I asked myself, "What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?" The answers were ultrawide, superzoom, and low-light. So my original K20D kit consisted of the DA10-17 (the lens that drove me to Pentax), the FA50/1.4 for speed, and the DA18-250. Adding a Tamron 10-24, those are still my most-used lenses, despite having gone hog-wild and buying hundreds more.

I'll omit my no-two-kit-lenses rant because you're not considering those. I *will* go into my superzoom rant:

The DA18-250 is the most versatile lens around. It's my basic lens; all the others are specialty items. It's especially good for travel, and for dynamic situations where I don't know what to expect, or where I can expect a wide range of targets. It's great to be able to go almost instantly from an 18mm context shot to a 250mm detail closeup. I've used it in tiny vertical villages and huge cities, at seashores and mountains and deserts and forests, in weather good and bad. No, the IQ isn't perfect, but the IQ of a missed shot is zero. One member here said the main difference between his DA*50-135 and his daughter's DA18-250 was that she sold shots and he didn't. And Benjikan, our resident fashion-cover pro, says he uses the DA18-250 for some shoots.

I haven't tried any of the other 18-xxx superzooms; I just read the user reviews, and the DA18-250 tops them all, generally. No, it's not fast. Yes, zoom creep is a slight bother. No, it's not compact. But I don't find it a heavy bulky brute either. I have *much* heavier lenses (that don't get used a lot). At 450g it's just 50g heavier than the K50/1.2, and 20g lighter than the S-M-C Takumar 135/3.5 or Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro -- and 500g lighter than the monstrous Jupiter-21M 200/4!

The DA18-250 is like an AmEx card -- don't leave home without it.
03-25-2012, 05:49 PM   #19
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To bring up the speed argument... I've used the 18-135mm to take photos of indoor soccer games.. 8 to 12 people on a relatively small court can lead to a real fast paced game that can require a real fast autofocus. The only times I've ever missed a shot was because I accidentally ended up focusing on the damn net instead (i press the lens against the net and while the net isn't big enough to let me put the lens through, it can be big enough for the edges to be essentially out of view... unless i ended up placing my camera such that the net is smack bang in the middle of the lens, hah)

03-25-2012, 09:37 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the informative responses guys

I think I've talked myself into the DA 18-250mm, as it seems like it would satisfy what I'm looking for more considering I have no decent long focal lengths in my collection

However, I can't seem to find any!! I missed out on the one in the Marketplace, and there is only one on Ebay (that is at the very beginning of auction only). I know this lens is discontinued, but is it really hard to find?

Would I be ill-advised to go with the Tamron 18-250 (which is basically the same as the DA if I'm not mistaken)?

I might have to go with the 18-135 by default, though that doesn't sound necessarily bad from your responses
03-25-2012, 10:59 PM   #21
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Itís a Tamron designed lens so it should be no issue to go with the Tamron. The only difference other than name tags is the ability to do in camera lens corrections with the DA and current model cameras. If you shoot jpeg and would use that function, it is the only consideration also there is no quick shift focus on either lens.
Rio Rico is spot on with his comments about this lens. My Tammy is used exclusively for travel with a few select primes. To maximize the IQ of this lens i use it at f8 in the 18-120 range and at f11 above, the barrel distortion is mostly gone at 20mm if critical. I have compared it with my DA14 f2.8, real world shooting both at f8, 100% crops are the same across the entire image, sharp and detailed. I always use the zoom lock and on my last trip I used a black silicone wrist band aound the barrel and that sorted any zoom creep.
03-25-2012, 11:45 PM - 1 Like   #22
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The 18-250 is a great lens. Of course, it covers an almost incredible range (click on a picture to view it fullsize -- all the pictures in this post are straight JPEGS absolutely unedited):


18mm


27mm


35mm


50mm


78mm


130mm


200mm


250mm

And this lens is not so bad at 250mm (just check the full size picture above, sorry for the dust on the sensor). Wide open at 250mm, the borders are soft, but at F/11 the picture quality is quite OK -- don't forget that my samples are unprocessed. With a bit of curves and a dash of accentuation, it's perfect for a 13x19 print! 250mm is also great for those flower shots without having to creep in the mud:













Cheers!

Abbazz
03-26-2012, 06:25 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Codazzle Quote
Thanks for all the informative responses guys

I think I've talked myself into the DA 18-250mm, as it seems like it would satisfy what I'm looking for more considering I have no decent long focal lengths in my collection

However, I can't seem to find any!! I missed out on the one in the Marketplace, and there is only one on Ebay (that is at the very beginning of auction only). I know this lens is discontinued, but is it really hard to find?

Would I be ill-advised to go with the Tamron 18-250 (which is basically the same as the DA if I'm not mistaken)?

I might have to go with the 18-135 by default, though that doesn't sound necessarily bad from your responses
I think I read somewhere that the DA is a bit tighter to reduce zoom creep, otherwise it is the same as the Tamron. You can also choose the Sigma 18-250 OS HSM for your K5. My reading of its reviews indicated that it was very comparable to the Tamron 18-250. Plus I get the almost silent focusing.

Abbazz's series shows the huge advantage of this range for unpredictable situations. RioRico worded it very well indeed, Travel photos almost always are taken where the location or situation controls you.

Gerrit


Last edited by humbr; 03-26-2012 at 06:45 AM.
03-26-2012, 06:40 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by humbr Quote
I think I read somewhere that the DA is a bit tighter to reduce zoom creep, otherwise it is the same as the Tamron.
That's a myth. The Tamron and Pentax are the same except for cosmetics. My DA doesn't creep to 250mm, it runs. The only difference between the two is what was mentioned above; in-camera corrections for CA and distortion are only available on the Pentax version.
03-26-2012, 12:09 PM   #25
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Thanks guys. Ill keep an eye out for a Tamron 18-250mm as well. Though I may get impatient and get the 18-135 .

How big of a lens downgrade would those 18-200mm be? They are quite a bit cheaper from what I've seen. Am I getting what I pay for basically?
03-26-2012, 03:57 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Codazzle Quote
Am I getting what I pay for basically?
In a word: yes.
03-27-2012, 10:24 PM   #27
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Well, due to impatience and frustration in the lack of 18-250s on the market, I almost marched to the store and bought a widely available 18-135mm. It's features were really starting to grow on me (that quick, quiet auto focus and weather sealing was almost winning me over! I also saw some image comparisons showing better IQ with the 18-135mm, though I hear differing opinions on that matter), however, I managed to track down a 18-250mm on Amazon! Found it while searching for 18-135mm prices; the 18-250mm was masquerading as an 18-135mm since he couldn't list a discontinued lens on Amazon :P

Unfortunately, now I have to wait for it.... damn internet shopping, that double edged sword!!!
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