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09-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #1
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Pentax 18-135mm vs Pentax 55-300mm vs Tamron 18-200mm

Hi All,

I am lucky to have the following lenses:
1) Pentax smc DA 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
2) Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
3) Pentax smc DA L 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 ED


I thought I'll share the photos for anyone who needs to compare them and note:
Photos are taken with Pentax K-5 with the same setting on Tripod.
I did not adjust the tripod or the camera's position and lenses are changed when the camera is mounted on the tripod.

Focus: Single on AQIUM Bottle Letter "M"
F5.6
1/10sec
ISO 1600
Focal Length are different for the lenses due to the magnification:
1) Pentax smc DA 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR - Focal Length 118mm
2) Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) - 88mm
3) Pentax smc DA L 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 ED - 100mm


I would love to hear your comment about which one is better.

Attached Images
     

Last edited by anquire; 09-23-2012 at 06:17 PM.
09-22-2012, 07:51 AM   #2
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The 55-300 seems to be the softest.
09-22-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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Tamron seems to have better Bokeh capabilities. Worst Color Rendition though.

18-135 Seems to be the sharpest from what I can tell.

55-300 Is surely the softest. Most contrast though.

Question though: Why Test the 18-135 at it's longer end? It's been known to be sharper towards the 40-70 range. Granted, it held it's ground, but it still seems like you should've at least tested it at 88mm like the Tamron.
09-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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Hi Parallax and Eulogy, there's some problem with the upload.

I apologise for the error and note that tamron and Pentax 55-300mm photos were mixed. I've edited the arrangement and it's correct now.

09-22-2012, 09:14 AM   #5
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Hi Eulogy,

I will take another 3 pictures at 55mm for the lenses and repost it here.
09-22-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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Take 2.

Hi All,

This is the second set of the photos after comments that 18-135mm is not good for longer range.

Focus: Single on black dot in the middle of the yellow ball.
F5.6
1/30sec
ISO 1600
Focal Length are different for the lenses due to the magnification:
1) Pentax smc DA 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR - Focal Length 55mm
2) Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) - 55mm
3) Pentax smc DA L 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 ED - 55mm
Attached Images
     
09-22-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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Hmmm... The Tammy seems pretty capable. May I ask you to compare the Pentax 18-135 and the Tamron 18-200 at 18mm and, say f5.6? A frame with objects on the sides, too see border performance... Thank you!
09-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #8
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Looks to me like the 55-300 is the loser in both cases.

I have the Tammy and for a 240 buck glass I have no complaints...

Hand held, f/11, iso400, 78mm, 1/60s, K20, full frame


Last edited by wildman; 10-10-2012 at 06:07 AM.
09-22-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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Interesting tests. I have all three lenses. I think they are all decent enough lenses. No complaints from me.

The WR is a good sharp all-weather walkabout, the Tamron 18-200 is also a good walkabout, and the 55-300 has been a sharp and colourful wildlife shooter for me for several years.

The DAL 55-300 can be very sharp but is sharpest at about 70 - 150mm. But I have had hundreds of good results with it at 300mm too. But it usually needs more careful handling - f8 and a good stable base.

FWIW, software support for all three of these lenses is good too - DxO Optics Pro has modules for them all for K-5/K-x/K-200D, Lightroom has profiles for them too.
09-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing. I have noticed the 55-300 is a bit tricky up close at 55mm. At near minimum focus distance at 300, though, it's pretty darn snappy. Still, I have both 18-135 and 55-300 and will use whichever I have on the camera.
These comparisons tell us a lot about how a lens renders and how it "looks."

55-300 at 300mm pretty close - a center crop of roughly 75% of the image or so (mostly to remove some distracting "stuff" in the background:
09-22-2012, 05:55 PM   #11
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Hi Causey,

I took the following photos with my Pentax K-X.


1)Pentax smc DA 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
Focal Range: 18mm
1/50sec
ISO 1600
Focus: Single on letter "U" on the yellow card box

Tripod is unmoved when the lenses are changed.

2) Lense: Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)

Focal Range: 18mm
1/50sec
ISO 1600
Focus: Single on letter "U" on the yellow card box
Tripod is unmoved when the lenses are changed.

Attached Images
   

Last edited by anquire; 09-22-2012 at 06:01 PM.
09-22-2012, 06:00 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Final Test: 70mm range

Hi all,

This is a final test for the 3 lenses.

Focus: Single on circle in the middle of the black fan.
F5.6
1/50sec
ISO 1600

Lenses:
1) Pentax smc DA 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
2) Tamron AF 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
3) Pentax smc DA L 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 ED
Attached Images
     
09-22-2012, 07:00 PM   #13
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Thank you very much. I think the Pentax looks better in the 18mm test, but the Tamron isn't slouch either. Generally, I like the contrast of the 18-135mm.
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