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08-12-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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Please recommend a 18-200-250mm lens...

Hello:

I'm looking to purchase a 18-200-250mm lens. I've looked at Tamron, Pentax, and Sigma brands. Many of you have much more experience reviewing, testing, and actually using lenses from these manufacturers. Overall, I'm looking for a lens that provides the best IQ. Any recommendations?

Regarding what I usually photograph, I'm all over the place. From landscape, pets, niece running & playing kickball, beach, etc.

The Pentax lenses seem to be priced a little more than Tamron. Not sure if the added expense gets me a better lens...

Thanks,

PJ

08-12-2008, 11:13 AM   #2
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I got the tamron 18-250. Decent lens. No complaints. Cheaper.
08-12-2008, 11:33 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=phatjoe;315213]Hello:

I'm looking to purchase a 18-200-250mm lens. I've looked at Tamron, Pentax, and Sigma brands. Many of you have much more experience reviewing, testing, and actually using lenses from these manufacturers. Overall, I'm looking for a lens that provides the best IQ. Any recommendations?

Regarding what I usually photograph, I'm all over the place. From landscape, pets, niece running & playing kickball, beach, etc.

The Pentax lenses seem to be priced a little more than Tamron. Not sure if the added expense gets me a better lens...

Thanks,


I have the Pentax 18-250 and can't imagine a better walk around lens. Very, very happy with the performance (other than the lens creep when the lens is not "locked". Minor issue.) However, as with most zoom lenses, there is a speed sacrifice...meaning this is a great outdoor zoom, but for indoor shots I through a prime back on to avoid using the flash. You may want to check the lens reviews if you haven't already. For example:

PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD

Bottom line is that if I could only have two lenses, the 18-250 would be one of them...
Good luck.
08-12-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Interesting posts so far. I just bought the Pentax 18-250 for traveling, should be here this week. Everywhere I looked the Tamron version was 50-100 dollars more expensive.

08-12-2008, 12:40 PM   #5
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having gotten bit HARD by both the measurbator and LBA bug i can give one opinion on the matter.

out of any of the super zooms, unless you own all 3, sit down and take identical pictures in a controlled environment, you will not discover any mind blowing differences.

so buy whichever will hurt your wallet the least, you should not be disappointed either way.
08-12-2008, 01:01 PM   #6
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Most people frown upon ultrazooms. The Tamron/Pentax 18-250 (same optical design, somewhat different coatings and focusing system) seems to be one of the few ultrazooms that people don't bash all the time.

So I would strongly reccommend one of the 18-250s. The Pentax seems to be (surprisingly) cheaper and has better coatings. I think the Pentax has the "quick shift" focusing capability too.
08-12-2008, 04:29 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
The Pentax seems to be (surprisingly) cheaper and has better coatings.
Which is why I went with the Pentax. I can't wait to get it!
08-12-2008, 04:51 PM   #8
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I took my DA 18-250 on a trip to Alaska, along with most of my other lenses. I used the 18-250 most of the time except for indoor shots. The color it renders is fantastic.

Here are a couple of samples, downsized for my website. I don't think you can go wrong with the Pentax or the Tamron version of this lens. No PP done on these.





08-13-2008, 03:48 AM   #9
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I have the Tamron 18-250 I purchased in February 08, and at the time it was about 50 euros cheaper than the Pentax version. Both were what I was after, just which one was cheaper and in stock here. I think Tamron has a longer warranty (?)

I use this lens as my primary travel lens and so far, other than some minor vignetting which I can correct in LR, I am very happy with the overall results I get in tandem with the K10D. The size is perfect and for a somewhat long reach lens and it fits into my holster perfectly. I recommend it.

Jason
08-13-2008, 06:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
So I would strongly reccommend one of the 18-250s. The Pentax seems to be (surprisingly) cheaper and has better coatings. I think the Pentax has the "quick shift" focusing capability too.
This is disinformation. The Pentax DA 18-250 is identical to the Tamron 18-250, no quick shift, no better coating. The only differences are the name on the lens and the warranties (1y Pentax or 2 in Canada vs 6y for Tamron) and the prices (not that much differents).

Otherwise the 18-250 is a good lens and has been shown better than the 2 kit lenses (18-55 + 55-200) so it's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. That's the perfect vacation lens. That said, do not expect miracle perfomances from it, borders can be awful at times, vignetting is visible on blue skies wide open and CA can be seen on high contrast transitions. But it's sharp and contrasty in the center and can yield very decent performance.
08-13-2008, 06:38 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ManuH Quote
This is disinformation. The Pentax DA 18-250 is identical to the Tamron 18-250, no quick shift, no better coating. The only differences are the name on the lens and the warranties (1y Pentax or 2 in Canada vs 6y for Tamron) and the prices (not that much differents).

Otherwise the 18-250 is a good lens and has been shown better than the 2 kit lenses (18-55 + 55-200) so it's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. That's the perfect vacation lens. That said, do not expect miracle perfomances from it, borders can be awful at times, vignetting is visible on blue skies wide open and CA can be seen on high contrast transitions. But it's sharp and contrasty in the center and can yield very decent performance.
Ooops, I could've sworn I saw somewhere that it had the new SP coatings. Guess not.
08-13-2008, 07:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
Ooops, I could've sworn I saw somewhere that it had the new SP coatings. Guess not.
It does have the "smc" coating according to the Pentax website (however, I'm not sure if that is the same as the "SP"?) As mentioned by many though, it sounds like it is pretty much the same lens, therefore price (and re-sale value) would likely be considerations in your decision...
08-13-2008, 01:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by beaumont Quote
It does have the "smc" coating according to the Pentax website (however, I'm not sure if that is the same as the "SP"?) As mentioned by many though, it sounds like it is pretty much the same lens, therefore price (and re-sale value) would likely be considerations in your decision...
SP is Pentax's new "Super Protect" coating - supposedly SMC optical performance plus it is scratch resistant.
08-13-2008, 02:59 PM   #14
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When talking superzooms these days, I'd say the 18-250 is "da bomb"! I have the Tamron (got it the week it came out for a trip) and it's the same as the Pentax (confirmed by Pentax collector Jim King on DPReview, and by my Tamron rep). The Pentax is a little cheaper, and the Tamron has a much longer warranty (at least in the US).

I love mine and sold my kit lenses because of it. It's also my travel lens when I'm not traveling for photography. It was the only lens I took on my trip to Peru with my wife (a "once in a lifetime" trip), and I never felt like I missed a shot because of it. Indeed, I feel like I actually got more shots because I didn't have to switch to the correct lens.

About the only area this lens falls down is in low-light action shots, which are a specialty area in my book anyway. I took numerous low light shots with this lens inside dark cathedrals and the shake reduction really helps with the extra stops, so you're getting an equivalent of ~f/2.8 if you're shooting wide (maybe ~f/4.0 at the tele end).

Are there compromises? Of course, but unless you're printing posters or doing extreme crops, you really won't notice them. PF is very well controlled. There's vignetting at the wide end. However, both of these are easily correctable in post processing.

Here are some examples taken with the K100D and Tamron 18-250.







You can see the full sized shots in my Flickr stream under the set marked "Tamron" and "Peru".
10-14-2008, 02:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Here are some examples taken with the K100D and Tamron 18-250.
These are nnnnnnnice! Well done!

I second all the good stuff that has been said about the Tamron 18-250. Above being a very versatile super zoom, you can also do very nice macro work with it. It's close focus distance is just ~16 inches and although it doesn't have 250mm anymore at this focus distance, the magnification factor of 1:3.08 enables you to do nice, virtually undistorted, and sharp macro work.

In contrast to another poster, I'd suggest to stay away from the Tamron 18-200mm. From what I've read about it, its IQ is considerably lower than that of the Pentax/Tamron 18-250mm.

Last edited by Class A; 10-14-2008 at 03:01 AM. Reason: typo
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