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05-30-2016, 04:28 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Another Travel/Superzoom question

Hi All,

My family and I will be in Denmark this summer and I love the idea of taking my K30 with only one lens. I currently have the 18-55, 50-200, 55-300 for zooms and the 35f2.4 along with an assortment of 50mm manual lenses, so I have been looking at superzooms as a one lens vacation solution. I have seen used copies of the Pentax 18-250, Sigma 18-250 and Pentax 18-135 for roughly the same price and am having a difficult time choosing between them. In reviewing all the similar posts here I usually settle on the 18-135, but keep second guessing my decision and fearing that I will miss the range of the larger zooms.

My reasons in favor of the 18-135:
1) I reviewed many of my travel photos (especially the ones from my last trip to Denmark) and realized that most of them (and nearly all my favorites) are on the wide side.
2) The last time we traveled to Denmark was 6 years ago on our honeymoon - this time we will have a 5 year old and 3 year old with us and most of my non landscape/scenic photos will be of them (my apologies in advance if you are on the plane with us!)
3) WR incase we get caught in a shower, or I get an errant splash from the North Sea from one of my boys.

My reasons in favor of either of the two 18-250s:
1) Fear of needing the extra range

Again, sorry to ask this question for the millionth time, but can anyone offer their opinion between these three lenses?

I feel bad asking a question with my first post, so here are a few of my favorite photos from my last trip to Denmark (taken with a second hand *st DS and just the kit lens).

Many thanks!

-BPS

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05-30-2016, 04:42 PM   #2
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The 18-135 is my travel lens. I have never needed the added range.
05-30-2016, 05:09 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Welcome to PF.

IMO get the 18-135 over the 18-250. Those Denmark samples show that even 55mm is enough reach for a vacation. The 18-135 will give you 2.5x more reach than that.

QuoteOriginally posted by bpschmutz Quote
..most of them (and nearly all my favorites) are on the wide side...
Let me complicate matters: have you considered the 16-85? Those extra 2mm make a big difference on the wide end. If you currently take a lot of photos with your 18-55 at 18mm, you might appreciate being able to go wider. The 16-85 is WR.
05-30-2016, 05:09 PM   #4
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The 18 - 135 would be all I would need in those circumstances

05-30-2016, 05:10 PM   #5
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Get the 18-135, it covers most everything and will be a better lens than any of the super-zooms. Pack the 55-300 'just in case' and you are good.

Personally, I would never go on a trip with only one lens, what if it breaks? If I had your kit, I would add the 18-135, then take the 18-55, 18-135 and 55-300. Use the 18-135, keep the 55-300 in luggage if you do not wish to carry it in case you might need the extra reach and the 18-55 also in luggage as a back up. YMMV.
05-30-2016, 05:14 PM   #6
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I have the DA18-250mm, DA18-135mm and Da18-270mm. I considered the Sigma 18-250mm but the lens is bulky and heavy. Since I like to backpack and bushwalk, weight and bulk are two issue.

The DA18-250mm and DA18-270mm have more reach. The DA18-270mm is surprisingly very quiet, albeit more expansive than the DA18-250mm. The DA18-135mm is WR and very quiet.

If you not need the extra reach, the DA18-135mm is a great lens IMHO.
05-30-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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Why not go with two lenses

18-135, and the 55-300 for reach - then you have the reach if you know you're going somewhere where you'll need it. Otherwise, leave it behind - if you're sure it'll be safe, of course.

EDIT: Already said by jatrax
05-30-2016, 05:20 PM   #8
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I just checked my Lightroom catalog and it turns out 135mm is the most common focal length with my DA 18-135 lens, even after I purchased the DA 55-300, so I can't justify stating that I've never needed the extra range, but I can say that I leave the 18-135 on my camera as much as I can. You didn't mention DC autofocus as a reason in favour of this lens, but I find it to be one of the best features of the lens. Based on the photos you posted taken with the 18-55 kit lens, you are capable of getting good results from any lens, but I think you will find the 18-135 is better optically to be noticeable. I highly recommend it.

05-30-2016, 05:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Based on the photos you posted taken with the 18-55 kit lens, you are capable of getting good results from any lens
Yes, you got that right!!
Forgot to say above, awesome images!!
05-30-2016, 06:31 PM   #10
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Since you are going to a place you've been before, and haven't needed the extra range in teh past, I recommend the 18-135, especially since WR is more of a factor than extra range, no sense in letting a downpour stop you from shooting.
05-30-2016, 06:51 PM   #11
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Go for better image quality. Get the DA 16-85.
05-30-2016, 06:57 PM   #12
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Just to be totally different I am really pleased with my Sigma 18-250, and I find the extra range really useful, I used to have a DA 55-300 but found it really soft at and above 250mm compared to the Sigma. A friend of mine who uses Ca*on was so impressed with my Sigma 18-250 that he bought one and now doesn't use anything else. The AF is quiet and works well with my K3, image colours are accurate rather than vivid and low light performance is excellent. The downsides are the lack of weatherproofing and it is quite chunky, but I find the heft reassuring. If the you fancy a super zoom then the Sigma 18-250 should be on your short list. :-)
05-30-2016, 07:36 PM   #13
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In my vacation travels, I use the 18-135, and it's been great. If I were starting today, however, I'd think about the 16-85. With my 18-135, I've brought both a Sigma 10-20 and the DAL 55-135, but I used the 10-20 far more often.
E.g., out of about 1400 shots, 32% were at 18mm and another 11% were in the 10-17mm range. Only 10% of the shots were in the 90-300mm range.
My conclusion: I'd probably use that 16-17mm on the 16-85, and I could get by without the 86-135 range and just use the 55-300 when I really needed it.
05-30-2016, 07:37 PM   #14
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I have none of these, but have decided that 135 is long enough for most uses. And 135 is actually quite long - about 200 mm equivalent, which should be good for most all except wildlife and sports, and it sounds like you won't be doing the sports and wildlife, however.
05-30-2016, 08:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Get the 18-135, it covers most everything and will be a better lens than any of the super-zooms. Pack the 55-300 'just in case' and you are good.

Personally, I would never go on a trip with only one lens, what if it breaks? If I had your kit, I would add the 18-135, then take the 18-55, 18-135 and 55-300. Use the 18-135, keep the 55-300 in luggage if you do not wish to carry it in case you might need the extra reach and the 18-55 also in luggage as a back up. YMMV.
What if the body breaks? I'm OK with one lens one camera etc. If it dies it dies. This isn't a pro assignment - you can and do have to make choices for weight and simplicity.

For me the 18-135 is my travel lens for SLR. The 16-85 might be a good alternative to consider if the shots are mostly on the wide side. The 18-55 might even be sufficient honestly. This year in Europe I took a simple Panasonic LX7 because I was traveling with two kids and my father in law and brother in law and wife. I knew an SLR was too much for that many people ( I was herding cats! ) and so I compromised. The pictures are lovely and the 24-90mm range (full frame equivalent) would be about 16-60 so I suspect the 16-85 would be a fantastic choice. The 18-135 isn't a bad choice either.

(To be fair the LX7 can actually get as wide as 21mm and as tight as 105mm due to format changes from 4:3 to 16:9 to 1:1 but the 4:3 mode is roughly 24-90.)
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