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12-22-2012, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax 18-270mm hands-on first impressions

Yesterday I received the new Pentax 18-270mm (as well as the new Q adapter) and I will soon be posting a hands-on video with both.

For now, I'd like to offer some first impressions of the lens. To start off, here are the pros:

1. the AF is reasonably fast overall, and there is no hunting on the K-5 IIs (then again, if you have a IIs you likely won't be getting this lens)
2. the build quality is good, and there appears to be no zoom creep (the 18-135mm is a little worse in this respect)
3. it delivers decent sharpness overall

And the cons:

1. no quick-shift. this is extremely annoying, because it means you have to flip the switch on the lens to get MF.
2. in dim/indoor light, it's really bad for shooting stuff that's moves
3. vignetting is really bad at 135mm and beyond (need to be shooting at F11 or above at 270mm). below 135mm you'll be fine if you stop down to F8
4. Bokeh is rather ugly

Strangely, at 55mm, Av mode won't let you select anything faster than F5.6, so it'll feel just like the kit.

And for the record, it's not even made by Pentax, because it says "made in china" on the back

Bottom line: really no reason to get this lens over the 18-135mm unless you just want to have a single lens for everything.

12-22-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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That's really weird if it vignettes heavily that you need to shoot at F8 and higher...
12-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Is the performance of the equivalent Tamron any better?

I've never used a super zoom, so I can't really tell...are these performances typical of this class of lens?
12-22-2012, 02:01 PM   #4
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Well, the tamron isn't available for Pentax, but this new lens isn't any better based on what I've read in reviews of the Tamron.

You can't have everything in one lens: super zooms sacrifice image quality for size and convenience.


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12-22-2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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Is this the re-badged Tamron that is $300 over the Tamron equivalent?

12-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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$799!

Superzoom IQ are just acceptable like Adam said. Instead of spending $799 on this re-branded Pentax, I would rather go for the second version of Sigma 18-250 at $399! The 270mm reach isn't that much different from 250mm in use.
12-22-2012, 11:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
...You can't have everything in one lens...
Now I am sad
12-22-2012, 11:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Is this the re-badged Tamron that is $300 over the Tamron equivalent?
Yup. This is definitely the better alternative:
Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens 880-109


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12-23-2012, 12:09 AM   #9
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DA 18-270: First Day Out....

Christmas dinner strolled though my front yard this morning....Sky overcast; hand held....
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12-23-2012, 12:17 AM   #10
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"Wild Turkey"
(Meleagris gallopavo silvestris)
Norwalk, CT USA
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12-23-2012, 06:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by calculator01 Quote
Now I am sad
You shouldn't be. I've always believed that the "one lens for everything" idea kind of defeats the purpose of the SLR anyhow.

Those turkeys look pretty good though. How about a follow up shot indoors on the Christmas dinner table?

I can fully understand the desire to have a decent walk around zoom that covers a large range though. The wild turkeys reminded me of a time this past summer when I came upon a flock of them close to the road. By the time I stopped the bike and got my telephoto out of the saddlebag, the shot was gone. My problem is that I bought a couple of DA Limiteds and have been spoiled by the IQ. An interesting review sometime would be a comparison of a couple of these superzoom lenses to a couple of the better superzoom P&S cameras. I have a friend with an older Panasonic model (can't remember the exact model but it zooms to around 300mm equiv) and he gets some stunning stuff with that camera.
12-23-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I have a friend with an older Panasonic model (can't remember the exact model but it zooms to around 300mm equiv) and he gets some stunning stuff with that camera.
As long as you don't go above ISO 400.
12-23-2012, 09:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
2. the build quality is good, and there appears to be no zoom creep (the 18-135mm is a little worse in this respect)
I'm not heard any reports of an 18-135 with creep. Mine certainly doesn't, even slung upside down on a long hike.
12-23-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I'm not heard any reports of an 18-135 with creep. Mine certainly doesn't, even slung upside down on a long hike.
It'll start doing it after a while I believe. Mine started showing a little bit after a few months of use.

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12-23-2012, 09:52 AM   #15
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Interesting that the first photos posted with this lens on this thread are turkeys... summarizes what this lens is all about.
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