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08-16-2013, 11:57 AM   #1
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Pentax 18-250 vs Sigma 18-250 Macro

Hi, I am new to the forum, but have been reading on here for the last few weeks.

I recently got the K-5II with 18-135mmWR kit. I still have my k200d (18-55 & 50-200 kit lenses). The 18-135 seems to work well, but I am looking for something with a wide range and more reach for shooting at dog shows. I have usually used my 50-200 on the k200d at the shows, but it is a problem if I'm shooting anything close as there is often not room to back up far enough. It's not really an environment where I want to be changing lenses (think dusty, hair flying around, etc - most are either outdoors or in buildings like hockey arenas) and often need to travel light so don't want to lug multiple cameras, etc.

I have been looking at the new Sigma 18-250 Macro (as I do like to take a lot of macro shots in general) or finding a used Pentax 18-250. Wondering if anyone has compared these and what the pros/cons are of each? There are threads about the older sigma or the pentax 18-250 vs 18-135, etc, but haven't found much info on the newer sigma.

Thanks!!

08-16-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by reddobes Quote
Hi, I am new to the forum, but have been reading on here for the last few weeks.

I recently got the K-5II with 18-135mmWR kit. I still have my k200d (18-55 & 50-200 kit lenses). The 18-135 seems to work well, but I am looking for something with a wide range and more reach for shooting at dog shows. I have usually used my 50-200 on the k200d at the shows, but it is a problem if I'm shooting anything close as there is often not room to back up far enough. It's not really an environment where I want to be changing lenses (think dusty, hair flying around, etc - most are either outdoors or in buildings like hockey arenas) and often need to travel light so don't want to lug multiple cameras, etc.

I have been looking at the new Sigma 18-250 Macro (as I do like to take a lot of macro shots in general) or finding a used Pentax 18-250. Wondering if anyone has compared these and what the pros/cons are of each? There are threads about the older sigma or the pentax 18-250 vs 18-135, etc, but haven't found much info on the newer sigma.

Thanks!!
I don't know the Sigma, I have the Tamron 18-250 and is soft at anything over 150mm, at 250 is really soft. The old Pentax 18-250 is very similar to the Tamron.
08-16-2013, 01:32 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by reddobes Quote
Hi, I am new to the forum, but have been reading on here for the last few weeks.

I recently got the K-5II with 18-135mmWR kit. I still have my k200d (18-55 & 50-200 kit lenses). The 18-135 seems to work well, but I am looking for something with a wide range and more reach for shooting at dog shows. I have usually used my 50-200 on the k200d at the shows, but it is a problem if I'm shooting anything close as there is often not room to back up far enough. It's not really an environment where I want to be changing lenses (think dusty, hair flying around, etc - most are either outdoors or in buildings like hockey arenas) and often need to travel light so don't want to lug multiple cameras, etc.

I have been looking at the new Sigma 18-250 Macro (as I do like to take a lot of macro shots in general) or finding a used Pentax 18-250. Wondering if anyone has compared these and what the pros/cons are of each? There are threads about the older sigma or the pentax 18-250 vs 18-135, etc, but haven't found much info on the newer sigma.

Thanks!!
Hey there! I currently own a DA 18-250, and I just recently tried out a friend's Sigma 18-250 Macro.

Image quality wise, they both produce similar results. At f8-f11 you should get some great shots in good light. I would say the Sigma is possibly marginally better, but it's really splitting hairs. Wide open they're both kind of mush.

Build quality, I would have to give a slight edge to the Sigma. It feels a little bit tighter overall, but it's not leagues better. The zoom ring turns the other way. You will get used to it. The DA is just fine though. I've taken mine on several hikes now, and it has held up well.

The Macro ability of the Sigma is GREAT! I love it! I don't normally shoot macro, but if you do, the Sigma's macro ability alone should seal the deal for you between the two. The Macro isn't true 1:1, but it's good enough given everything else it does. In fact, I suspect that if I owned the Sigma instead of the DA, I would shoot Macro a lot more.

The Sigma can be found used for around $50 more than the DA/Tamron, but depending on condition they're roughly in the same ballpark.
ignore that I was thinking of the old Sigma 18-250. I don't know what the new one goes for used.

Hope that helps.

E

Last edited by EarlVonTapia; 08-16-2013 at 01:38 PM.
08-16-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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I have the Pentax version and had the Tamron. The wife likes the Pentax a lot. If I were going to buy it again I would get the Pentax DA 55-300 for a $100.00 less used.

08-16-2013, 03:13 PM   #5
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You already received some nice comments. I have the DA18-250mm and the DA18-135mm. I am not sure that the DA18-250mm will bring you much more than the DA18-135mm and they overlap, unless you use them on two different bodies. That is my case where the DA18-135mm is on my K-01 and my DA18-250mm on my K-7. If it is you case, then the selection of the DA18-250mm (or Tamron 18-250mm) makes completely sense. The DA18-250mm is (I believe) smaller, slightly lighter than the Sigma 18-250mm, and it doe snot have HSM. (A strong point if you travel and do not want to be bothered by HSM problem.

If you do not use two bodies, you would be better off complementing your DA18-135mm with another lens: the DA55-300mm is a sound choice. A prime lens (FA*300mm or DA*300mm) is another option.

My 5 cents, and I hope that it might help your decision.
08-16-2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
Hey there! I currently own a DA 18-250, and I just recently tried out a friend's Sigma 18-250 Macro.

Image quality wise, they both produce similar results. At f8-f11 you should get some great shots in good light. I would say the Sigma is possibly marginally better, but it's really splitting hairs. Wide open they're both kind of mush.

Build quality, I would have to give a slight edge to the Sigma. It feels a little bit tighter overall, but it's not leagues better. The zoom ring turns the other way. You will get used to it. The DA is just fine though. I've taken mine on several hikes now, and it has held up well.

The Macro ability of the Sigma is GREAT! I love it! I don't normally shoot macro, but if you do, the Sigma's macro ability alone should seal the deal for you between the two. The Macro isn't true 1:1, but it's good enough given everything else it does. In fact, I suspect that if I owned the Sigma instead of the DA, I would shoot Macro a lot more.

The Sigma can be found used for around $50 more than the DA/Tamron, but depending on condition they're roughly in the same ballpark.
ignore that I was thinking of the old Sigma 18-250. I don't know what the new one goes for used.

Hope that helps.

E

I have had the Pentax and currently have the new Sigma. Earl's pretty much spot on here. Only thing I would add is that the Sigma has HSM (silent) AF. That may or may not be a big deal to you, but it definitely adds value to me, or, more correctly, to my wife as she is the principal user.


QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
and it doe snot have HSM. (A strong point if you travel and do not want to be bothered by HSM problem.

If you do not use two bodies, you would be better off complementing your DA18-135mm with another lens: the DA55-300mm is a sound choice. A prime lens (FA*300mm or DA*300mm) is another option.
There's no such thing as HSM problems, to my knowledge. Perhaps hcc is thinking of SDM, which is a Pentax thing, not Sigma. HSM is all win. Fast, silent AF, no reliability issue.

I agree, though, that you would probably be better off supplementing your 18-135 with another lens, and the 55-300 is an excellent choice. Unless it's important to you to have an all-in-one (It certainly is to my wife. Boy did I get in trouble when I sold her Pentax 18-250).
08-16-2013, 11:31 PM   #7
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Doh! Thanks HCC and DogLover. I forgot to mention that the Sigma has HSM. The HSM is noticeably a little faster than the screw drive of the DA 18-250, though I wouldn't call it lightning fast. It's definitely much much quieter, which can be a bonus in certain situations.
08-17-2013, 05:16 AM   #8
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I can't speak on the 18-250mm Pentax, but I do have the 18-270mm. Seems soft at widest angle, then gets better. Soft at the far end and wide open. I've had the lens only a couple of weeks, and on one outing though. This image is from a zoo trip yesterday with it and the K-5. The blur on the right is from the enclosure; ASA 200, f6.3 at 270mm.



08-17-2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone

Thanks for all the input!
I'm still deciding what to do. In an ideal world I would have a handful of bodies and array of lenses with an assistant to lug them all around for me and hand me what I want at a moment's notice
But since I have to live in the real world on a budget, that's not gonna happen.

The range of the 18-250 is really appealing for dog shows -- I usually use the 50-200mm, but it's frustrating to miss shots because I'm too close. A few issues with shooting at dog shows: subjects are sometimes very close and sometimes 50 feet away and moving around so there's not really time for changing lenses w/o missing good shots. The other issue being that I am typically moving around a lot to get pics. There often aren't good places to set things down which means I have to carry/hold everything so packing light is essential.

The downside of the 55-300 is that I would run into the same issue I have w/ the 50-200 of not being able to back up enough to get close shots. And it's not a good environment for changing lenses (dust, hair flying all around, hairspray, dog slobber, etc). I think it would be a nice lens for other situations (wildlife/bird/nature stuff) though...

So now I'm debating between just seeing how the 18-135 works at the next dog show (next weekend) and see if it will get me close enough with cropping after if needed. Or, ordering the sigma 18-250 macro now so I can try it out and compare, return it if I don't like it. A new DA55-300 or Sigma 18-250 Macro are about the same price. I did actually go look at a used DA55-300 at the local camera shop last week. I tried it on my camera but didn't actually take any pics and was disappointed at their grading of the lens (was supposedly "near mint", but I would put it a grade or 2 lower based on it's wear and large dust specks in front, but then I'm no expert and can't say if the dust affected image quality). And usually the people there know their stuff, but the guy helping me that day didn't really seem to know much about pentax at all. Originally, I was going to take some shots with their lens, take some of the same shots with both my 18-135 and my 50-200 then go home to see how they all compared on the computer, but after my disappointment in the grading of the lens and his lack of knowledge, I just left. Maybe I'll go back a different day when someone else is there and test it out better.

Part of me wants to just order the new sigma AND get a pentax 55-300 (new or used) - but I'm trying to exercise some element of self control. After all, I just got the K-5II kit 3 weeks ago and just bought a used AF540 flash last week (just arrived today).
Must remind myself that this is a hobby and doesn't pay the bills!!

Thanks again! Will keep you updated and look forward to learning as much as I can on here
08-17-2013, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #10
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This thread I started a while ago might be of interest.... I believe these images were shot hand held at about 180mm... i'm having trouble seeing the lack of sharpness with the Sigma 18-250. The only issue in this thread is the bokeh is better from the DA* 60-250. TO me the 18-250 is just as good as the 18-135, but different. The 18-135 has excellent centre sharpness through out it's range but soft edges at the long end. The Sigma 18-250 isn't as centre sharp but is better edge to edge. It's best at it's long end, and at it's short end, and weakest in the middle, unusual for a super zoom. In fact it may be the only super zoom ever that is sharp in it's long end. Seriously, people who complain about the SIgma being soft in the long end, probably don't really understand how necessary it is to use a tripod shootnig at 250mm... > Just because you can reliably shoot with the lens at 30mm hand held, doesn't mean you can crank it out to full reach and expect the same.

Last edited by normhead; 08-20-2013 at 09:43 AM.
08-17-2013, 07:23 PM   #11
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Thanks normhead, I just ordered the Sigma 18-250macro so I'm gonna try it out and see how I like it next weekend at the dog show.
I figured I could spent countless hours over the next couple weeks researching the lenses and going back and forth, or I could just order the darn thing and get some other things done...like look for some things to sell on ebay to help finance my new toys...or actually use my camera!
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