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01-16-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Differences between Tamron and Sigma 18-200mms?

Hey,

I've been contemplating on getting a new lens.

I now own a Pentax K-r, with SMC Pentax DA 1:3,5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR, and a Chinon 200mm prime.

I love taking photos of bands playing live (from the audience and the pit) and of our cats that aren't too afraid of the camera even up close, but sometimes still might need some reach aswell. I like photographing flowers and such aswell (interested in doing some macro, but haven't got any special equipment yet). Well anyhow, i've used my Chinon for band photography when i'm further away, but it's quite a hassle to get to focus properly since it's manual and it's driving me mad sometimes because of the lack of the zoom. It isn't really that good when the crowd is packed and you'd have to move around to get the right crop.

I've read so many reviews, forum posts and threads on having either 18-200mm or 28-300mm that i'm getting even more confused. I haven't had a DSLR for a full year yet, so i'm still quite new to all of this.

The questions I have are:

What is the difference between these two and which one would be better for me?

Sigma 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 DC Pentax (260,90, shorter with 78,1mm, 405g, closest focus on 45cm)
- No autofocus?

Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II Pentax (189,90, 83,7mm, lighter weight with 398g, closest focus on 45cm)
- No DC - not for cropped sensors, does it still work with my K-r, since it has a K-mount? This would be lighter to carry around, cheaper, and XR better glass on lenses(?).

Either one, this could work as my mostly used lens and often I wouldn't have to carry more than this lens around.. But some said photographing with more reach might affect the sharpness and IQ. Is it something to consider on band photography for example or does it mostly affect the quality on something very detailed like birds and stuff?

There is also this one to consider:

Sigma 18-200 mm F3.5-6.3 II DC HSM zoom lens, Pentax (399,90, 88mm, 490g, silent focus, closest focus on 45cm)
-What are the other differences to the Tamron one? Silent focus would be great photographing weddings and pets etc. but what else am I missing here or am I just paying 200 on a silent focus?

Or, should I rather get this one?

Tamron XR 28-300mm F/3,5-6,3 Di Pentax AF (429,90, 83,7mm, weight: 420g, closest focus on 49cm)
This would be an actual upgrade in a way, cause I think I could take photos of bands from either at the pit or in the audience with the same lens. Often with the 200mm you would have to be further in order to take better band photos of live shows and the 18-55mm is often not enough reach at least on bigger stages. This lens would offer both more reach and I could use the same lens for most occasions and would complement my 18-55mm nicely.


Am I completely lost or on the right track here? Which one would you guys recommend for me? I'm looking for one that would both suit my needs, be great quality to money and also give me something to use when I get better in photography, not just a patch to help me out for a short while. So, in other words, a nice investment.

Thanks for your help in advance!

01-16-2013, 10:28 AM   #2
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Given your 18-55 lens, I'd suggest that you look at the Pentax DAL 55-300 - it's an outstanding introduction to zooms and has great reach.
SMC Pentax-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA L Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
01-16-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
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I was also looking at that one, but i'm a bit iffy about the f4.0, since the other one has f3.5.
01-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KRLove Quote
I was also looking at that one, but i'm a bit iffy about the f4.0, since the other one has f3.5.
I'd read the reviews first. The numbers are not always the most important issue. The 18-200s are not real well regarded. The 55-300 isn't the fastest lens but its sharp and has good color rendition. If you really want one lens to do it all the 18-250 from Tamron and the DA version of it from Pentax is much better regarded than the 18-200s.
SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

The only drawback to them is that they are no longer made so you have to buy used or find a New-Old stock one.

01-16-2013, 10:56 AM   #5
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I have the Tamron 28-300 (it's actually for sale due to overlapping range) and stopped down it's not too bad. You do get a HUGE range with it too. There have been times while hiking that I had it stuck on my camera for most of the hike. The only issue I would see for you with it and the rest of these lenses is low light situations. None of them would really be idea for that.
01-16-2013, 11:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by KRLove Quote

Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II Pentax (189,90, 83,7mm, lighter weight with 398g, closest focus on 45cm)
- No DC - not for cropped sensors, does it still work with my K-r, since it has a K-mount? This would be lighter to carry around, cheaper, and XR better glass on lenses(?).
It is my understanding that the "DI II" designation is for use ONLY use "Crop" sensors

From the product description:
"Di II
Lenses are designed for exclusive use on digital cameras with smaller-size imagers and inherit all of the benefits of our Di products. These lenses are not designed for conventional cameras and digital cameras with image sensors larger than 24mm x 16mm."

I have this lens and use both on my K-X and K-30. I think it's underrated and makes a great walk around lens, It's not perfect and you do have some trade offs at the higher end but It's a lot of bang for the buck.

You mentioned one of the beat features that's the close focusing, it's nice not to have to back up to shoot something.

I will say that it might not be the best lens for band photography since it becomes slower the more you zoom in and you need a wider aperture in situations like that.

Hope this helps.
01-17-2013, 03:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
If you really want one lens to do it all the 18-250 from Tamron and the DA version of it from Pentax is much better regarded than the 18-200s.
I found Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD IF Asp - Nikon, in an online store here in Finland, but the shop answered me it's not compatible with the Pentax K-mount. Can't find any others online from around here at least and I don't want to have to pay for expensive customs. I guess i'm gonna have to go with 50-300mm or the 28-300mm.
01-17-2013, 05:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by KRLove Quote
I found Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD IF Asp - Nikon, in an online store here in Finland, but the shop answered me it's not compatible with the Pentax K-mount. Can't find any others online from around here at least and I don't want to have to pay for expensive customs. I guess i'm gonna have to go with 50-300mm or the 28-300mm.
Sorry, they do get scarce. I also didn't realize you are in Finland.

01-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by KRLove Quote
I was also looking at that one, but i'm a bit iffy about the f4.0, since the other one has f3.5.
I wouldn't worry about a 1/3rd of a stop. I don't think you would notice the difference.
01-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #10
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The 18-xxx and 28-xxx lenses are only f/3.5 at the short end. By 55mm, they'll be f/4-ish just like the 55-300. So you can completely forget any difference in speed - in fact, the 55-300 will actually be faster by the time you get to the longer.

You can also forget any miniscule differences in quality between the different 18-xxx or 28-xxx lenses - none of them are good enough to make anyone take notice, or so bad you can't take snapshots with them. The 55-300 *will* be noticeably better than any of the others.

Really, though, the main consideration is simply the focal length range. The 18-xxx lenses will allow you to use only one lens and not feel too limited. If sometimes you want more reach, you can always just crop. The 28-xxx lenses might trick you into thnking you can get away with only one lens, but you'll really miss the 18-28mm at the wide end. This will be *way* more significant than any quality difference between any of these lenses.

The 55-300 is indeed better enough to possibly matter, but of course, there is no way that can be your only lens.

So your choice is really between the 18-55 / 55-300 combo versus an 18-xxx, where you trade some noticeable improvement in quality against convenience.

Nut nne of these options will be worth a darn in low light - they'll all be f/5.6 or so by the time you get to the telephoto range. Much better to get a used manual prime lens like a 100 or 135 if you are trying to do concert photography on the cheap.
01-20-2013, 05:37 PM   #11
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Hello KRLove

The advices here are great and I point you specially to the wise words of Marc Sabatella (and before even spending any money, check his great tips about concert’s – in his blog url find the 3 posts beginning with “Concert Photography”).

If I was you I would just consider two choices (independent of money restrictions of course):

1 – the Pentax 55-300mm f4.0-5.8 (so much positive feedback here I would not say more);
2 – Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 (or the Sigma equivalent), for the “big guns solution”.

Best regards,
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