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08-29-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
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18-200 and just wondering...

For some time now I have had a 200 buck Tammy 18-200. I bought it almost
out of curiosity being so inexpensive.

Anyway, through the years I have come to like it more and more. Yea I
know all about it's shortcomings but at 18-200 it must be about the most
flexible and useful focal range on a APS-C camera. I don't even mind
the f/3.5 that much given the K5s excellent ISO performance and it keeps
weight and bulk down. Throw in a modest macro (close up really)
capability and you have a real "desert island" lens.

Yes I have excellent primes and long FL glass and a macro that will,
optically, blow it out of the water. But for practical everyday real
world use nothing beats it for flexibility and useability if not for
optical quality.

If a decent 18-200 was available for the Pentax I swear I would buy
another K5 body just for the glass and leave it on all the time and keep
the other K5 for more specialized work.

So far as I can tell there is no other lens in this FL range in the
Pentax camp that's going to be substantially better so I was just
wondering if any other company has spent the time and money to do the
best they can in this focal range? How good or bad is Sony, Canon, Nikon
etc 18-200 zooms if any?

Just wondering..........

08-29-2013, 04:22 AM   #2
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...you mean other than the pentax 18-135wr
or the 18-270?
08-29-2013, 04:27 AM   #3
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I have to second this actually, got this lens on a whim as I found it for 100 boxed and unused and it has only ever surprised me given the cost and inevitable compromises that have been made.

Definitely find that having the extra reach gives me the option to catch the photo that I'd otherwise miss fumbling for the correct lens. The only thing I'd like to change would be to have it go a bit wider than 18mm but hey, you can't have everything!
08-29-2013, 05:31 AM   #4
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I have the same Tamron 18-200 & I get surprisingly good results with it. I use mine a lot, and as a "Swiss Army Knife" of lenses, it's pretty darn decent.

Couple of examples with this lens on an *istDS:

pic 1

pic 2


Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 08-29-2013 at 05:51 AM.
08-29-2013, 06:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
...you mean other than the pentax 18-135wr
or the 18-270?
Both good lenses (so I've heard) however they should be given how much more expensive they are.

Sample prices from WEX:

18 - 270mm: 599
18 - 135mm: 549
08-29-2013, 08:04 AM   #6
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Sigma 18-250 alternative

Personally, I prefer the newest version of the Sigma 18-250 zoom. Independent tests rate it higher than the Tamron/Pentax 18-270 zoom. My favorite part except that I don't have to change lenses all the time is that it close focuses down to 18 inches and is surprisingly sharp when closed down to f11. Last, it was a bargain at $351.11 from Hunt's last May...It is an almost perfect match to my K-30...
08-29-2013, 08:58 AM   #7
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I prefer the Sigma early-model 18-200 over the Tamron - just a bit sharper at tele and less color fringing. A little post-processing and images are quite good. I usually stopped around 170mm so the camera would still read f/5.6 max, but f/8-11 was a better place to shoot.

I have not tried their newer HSM versions of the 18-200 or 18-250 but reviews are good (including the post above!).
08-29-2013, 09:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by judscott Quote
Personally, I prefer the newest version of the Sigma 18-250 zoom. Independent tests rate it higher than the Tamron/Pentax 18-270 zoom. My favorite part except that I don't have to change lenses all the time is that it close focuses down to 18 inches and is surprisingly sharp when closed down to f11. Last, it was a bargain at $351.11 from Hunt's last May...It is an almost perfect match to my K-30...
I will echo this sentiment.

I currently own the 18-250 and I'm a big fan it. I told myself that if it ever gets lost/destroyed/stolen, I would immediately get the 18-270. However, after trying out the Sigma 18-250 macro, I think I'm leaning more towards it as a replacement. That macro ability is something.

08-30-2013, 04:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
I currently own the 18-250 and I'm a big fan it. I told myself that if it ever gets lost/destroyed/stolen, I would immediately get the 18-270. However, after trying out the Sigma 18-250 macro, I think I'm leaning more towards it as a replacement. That macro ability is something.
Yes.
It looks like right now the best you can do is the Sigma 200 or 250. The Pentax 270 is over priced.

I checked the $850 Nikon 18-200 at DxO on Nikon camers and it's not rated as high as the Sigmas on Pentax cameras - go figure.
I thought at that price it would be some kind of ultimate walk-around but it's just another mediocre super zoom.

I still wonder how much better the Sigmas would be compared to the cheapo Tammy....

Last edited by wildman; 09-15-2013 at 06:21 AM.
08-30-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I checked the $850 Nikon 18-200 at DxO on Nikon camers and it's not rated as high as the Sigmas on Pentax cameras - go figure.
My Nikon friend: "But it does have VR!" Which as everyone knows is totally worth it and a massive Nikon advantage.

Sarcasm aside, just IQ alone won't make great images. If everything else is great (focus, composition, light, exposure etc.) and the lens doesn't actively ruin something like with flare, it's fine.
08-30-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Yes.
It looks like right now the best you can do is the Sigma 200 or 250. The Pentax 270 is over priced.

I checked the $850 Nikon 18-200 at DxO on Nikon camers and it's not rated as high as the Sigmas on Pentax cameras - go figure.
I thought at that price it would be some kind of ultimate walk-around but it's just another mediocre super zoom.

I still wonder how much better the Sigmas would be compared to the cheapo Tammy....
I have been using the Nikon since 2006 I think, it is OK but nothing to get excited about. It might be one of the reasons that I now mostly use primes however I was in a job where it was almost impossible to change lenses at times. I believe that a new version has been released though.
08-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
just IQ alone won't make great images.
You will no argument from me on that point but......

.....when you are talking about a lens with 16-18 elements, a lot of moving parts, 1:11 mag ratio and all for under 400 bucks
you are really putting a burden on consumer glass to deliver even modest IQ. On the other hand been messing with photography for over fifty years now and I can tell you there was a time when the capability of the 200 buck Tammy would have been thought of as some kind of optical miracle.

QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
I have been using the Nikon since 2006 I think, it is OK but nothing to get excited about. It might be one of the reasons that I now mostly use primes however I was in a job where it was almost impossible to change lenses at times. I believe that a new version has been released though.
It seems weird that they can get away with asking so much.
Just for the record I rechecked the DxO ratings:

Nikon 18-200 on D5000 - 8 $850
Tammy 18-200 on K5 - 8 $200
Sigma 18-200 on K5 - 12 $400

I don't know how comparable these numbers are but I assume they are at least roughly comparable.

Last edited by wildman; 08-30-2013 at 08:34 PM.
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