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08-18-2008, 09:21 PM   #1
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opinion? - Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II Macro

hi all... just got a k200d 2 months ago. the 18-55 kit lens da II is pretty good kit glass and pretty soon ill be getting the fa 50mm f1.4. next step would be a zoom lens, and i was thinking of the Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II Macro as it covers the whole range and does macro too, so i think it would be a decent jack of all trades, and maybe sell my kit lens. my needs for now are simple.

any opinion on the tamron? popphoto has a favorable review on it.

Lens Test: Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II Macro - - PopPhotoMay 2007

id like a real world opinion many thanks for your wisdom.

08-18-2008, 09:40 PM   #2
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I have used this lens extensively for over six months on a K10D and find it to be excellent. Unless I am shooting low light with a prime, it stays on my lens all the time. I have used it in low light at high ISO and it functions very well.
08-18-2008, 09:50 PM   #3
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thanks for that tarsus. maybe you could share your pics with that lens? so i have a rough idea what it looks like.
08-18-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
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I just finished uploading some photos that were taken with the k10d and the tamron 18-250. You can view them here:
LaRee | Embarcadero August 2008
Photos #89 to the end of the gallery were all taken using the tamron 18-250.
Here is another example (already posted a few days ago in the "post your photos" forum.

It seem to be a good performer. I'm very partial to Tamron glass. I have quite a few tamron lenses and I love them all.

08-18-2008, 10:28 PM   #5
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Very nice lens, and perfect for travel or walking around. Check my set called "Peru" on my Flickr site. I took it to Peru/Machu Picchu as my only lens and never felt like I needed anything else. It's very versatile.

Search around here and on Pentax Photogallery and you'll see lots of great shots with this lens. I've also created a group on Flickr for all the variations of this lens.

Here's a sample, taken at 250mm and f/6.3 where it serves as a "macro" (really a close focusing lens). BTW, full zoom and wide open is where you'd expect the worst performance.

08-18-2008, 10:47 PM   #6
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all your shots look great! thanks for so much for the advice. guess ill be saving up for this soon after i get my prime. still got a ways to go to learn.
08-19-2008, 01:37 AM   #7
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Had the Tamron 18-250 for about 6 months and have used it everywhere. It is my standard 'walk-around' lens (except when I am walking around chasing birds with a 300mm). Walked the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea and it didn't come off my K10D because it was so versatile. It handled moisture and dirt and came through like a dream with great sharp pictures. Good wide aperture to handle darkish conditions at the short focal lengths and enough reach to get unposed snapshots of people at a distance. A little bit of barreling at the wide angle end.
08-19-2008, 04:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by chaos83 Quote
any opinion on the tamron? popphoto has a favorable review on it. id like a real world opinion
I have the Pentax DA 18-250mm, which is the same lens as far as I can tell. My main kit consists of the 16-45mm, 55-300mm, 50mm 1.4 and Raynox 250. The whole kit, including my K100DS fits in a bag smaller than most ladies' purses. I only use the 18-250mm on occasions when I strongly want to avoid lens changes. As a telephoto lens, the 55-300mm seriously outdoes it. The 18-250mm only reaches 250 mm at infinity focus. At close distances it provides less zoom than a 200 mm lens. For long zoom, there's really no comparison. The 55-300mm has significantly more reach, less CA, performs better at minimum apertures, and is sharper above 150 mm.

Calling the 18-250 a macro lens is deceiving. It's not a true macro lens, it just allows close focussing. Note that Tamron claims "macro" but Pentax doesn't. You can actually get tighter close-ups of flowers with the 55-300 than with the 18-250. Neither even begins to compare with the inexpensive Raynox, which allows true macro photography.

I have an original 18-55mm, which I expect will never be used again. The 18-250 beats it in sharpness and brightness, the 16-45 beats both at pretty much everything. The 18-250mm has zoom creep, high distortion at the wide end, and no quick-shift focus. From the tests I've seen online, the 18-55 II may have slightly better IQ than the 18-250 and is a much lighter lens.

The question is, do you want a versatile walking-around lens, or do you want to maximize performance? Unless your main priority is to avoid lens changes, my recommendation is to keep the 18-55 II and buy a DA 55-300mm and a Raynox 150 or 250. The cost is the same, you won't be duplicating a range that you already have, you'll achieve better telephoto and real macro performance. Having the 18-250mm is a lot of fun, but maybe not the best choice for you right now. Here are some photos from my first outing with the 18-250mm: http://picasaweb.google.com/bonhommed/Pentax18250mm

Here's a review of the 55-300mm. Note the last paragraph. http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses/5469/pentax-da-55-300mm-f4-58.html


Last edited by audiobomber; 08-19-2008 at 11:27 AM.
08-19-2008, 05:15 AM   #9
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By chance and a little bit of determination I got one of the first of these in the US, early in '06. I use it extensively on the K100 and K20. Within the limits of its design I believe it to be the best all-around lens value ever produced. Reports seem to indicate the PTX version is as good. Unless the recently announced 18-270 is far superior in some way I think the 18-250 will be around for some time. I have never had a problem with it............

........I also have the DA 55-300 and while it is a good lens the close range of the 18-250 is more useful to me. In my unprofessional opinion the IQs of these lenses are equivalent......

Last edited by John Kovarik; 08-19-2008 at 05:19 AM. Reason: add info
08-19-2008, 11:11 AM   #10
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I've had the 18-250 Tamron now for a year.
It is a very good general purpose lens. We have taken it to Africa and not once changed the lens for something else.
At the short end there is some vignetting, easy to handle in PP.
We have made many thousands of shots with it, pitty the lens is not weather and dust sealed as the camera is, lately I discovered a spec of dust inside.
Fortunatly it does not show on the pictures

Lots of luck with it.

- Bert
08-20-2008, 07:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by chaos83 Quote
hi all... just got a k200d 2 months ago. the 18-55 kit lens da II is pretty good kit glass and pretty soon ill be getting the fa 50mm f1.4. next step would be a zoom lens, and i was thinking of the Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II Macro as it covers the whole range and does macro too, so i think it would be a decent jack of all trades, and maybe sell my kit lens. my needs for now are simple.

any opinion on the tamron? popphoto has a favorable review on it.

Lens Test: Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II Macro - - PopPhotoMay 2007

id like a real world opinion many thanks for your wisdom.
Sorry but, why not the 18-250 from Pentax instead ? with SMC treatment, isn't better?
08-20-2008, 07:54 AM   #12
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This mirrors my experience, i will take it on vaction in case i find lens changes too taxign but IMHO it it stronger than the kit lens but weaker than the 50-200 but overall it does a reasonable job of covering the two kit lenses ... but at a STEEP price.

Distortion is just massive.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I have the Pentax DA 18-250mm, which is the same lens as far as I can tell. My main kit consists of the 16-45mm, 55-300mm, 50mm 1.4 and Raynox 250. The whole kit, including my K100DS fits in a bag smaller than most ladies' purses. I only use the 18-250mm on occasions when I strongly want to avoid lens changes. As a telephoto lens, the 55-300mm seriously outdoes it. The 18-250mm only reaches 250 mm at infinity focus. At close distances it provides less zoom than a 200 mm lens. For long zoom, there's really no comparison. The 55-300mm has significantly more reach, less CA, performs better at minimum apertures, and is sharper above 150 mm.

Calling the 18-250 a macro lens is deceiving. It's not a true macro lens, it just allows close focussing. Note that Tamron claims "macro" but Pentax doesn't. You can actually get tighter close-ups of flowers with the 55-300 than with the 18-250. Neither even begins to compare with the inexpensive Raynox, which allows true macro photography.

I have an original 18-55mm, which I expect will never be used again. The 18-250 beats it in sharpness and brightness, the 16-45 beats both at pretty much everything. The 18-250mm has zoom creep, high distortion at the wide end, and no quick-shift focus. From the tests I've seen online, the 18-55 II may have slightly better IQ than the 18-250 and is a much lighter lens.

The question is, do you want a versatile walking-around lens, or do you want to maximize performance? Unless your main priority is to avoid lens changes, my recommendation is to keep the 18-55 II and buy a DA 55-300mm and a Raynox 150 or 250. The cost is the same, you won't be duplicating a range that you already have, you'll achieve better telephoto and real macro performance. Having the 18-250mm is a lot of fun, but maybe not the best choice for you right now. Here are some photos from my first outing with the 18-250mm: Picasa Web Albums - Dan - Pentax 18-250mm

Here's a review of the 55-300mm. Note the last paragraph. Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 - - PopPhotoSeptember 2008
08-20-2008, 10:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Distortion is just massive.
Any examples of this? I haven't really seen anything other than some vignetting at the wide end, and a little barrel distortion at the longer end, both easily correctable.
08-20-2008, 01:08 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TanGU Quote
Sorry but, why not the 18-250 from Pentax instead ? with SMC treatment, isn't better?
Maybe because of price? You can pick up a used tamron for much less than a new Pentax 18-250, and I think you'd be hard pressed to see a difference in the images it produces. The tamron new is less than the Pentax too. The tamron has coated glass, not the brand name SMC, but still good coating that performs well.
08-20-2008, 02:24 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaRee Quote
Maybe because of price? You can pick up a used tamron for much less than a new Pentax 18-250, and I think you'd be hard pressed to see a difference in the images it produces. The tamron new is less than the Pentax too. The tamron has coated glass, not the brand name SMC, but still good coating that performs well.
Jim King (uber Pentax collector on the other forum) reported that the lens coating on his Pentax DA18-250 looked different than the coating on his other Pentax lenses. He speculated that the coating was actually the same on both lenses.

I think you'd find it next to impossible to tell the difference between shots with both lenses.
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