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12-23-2008, 03:07 PM   #1
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IQ 18-250 lens

I would really like some input on this lens, as it has for a while, been itching me for some time now.

- getting tired of hauling around two lenses
- tired of switching lenses, to get the shot i want
- tired of missing the shot i wanted cause i was switching lenses
- not interested in taking photos for Natgeo or equilivent
- past reviews gave this lens a good outdoor rating

So i ask

1 - would this lens be good for use outdoors and indoors use my 360 external flash

OR

2 - should i just use my 16-50 and just crop to suit as if it was a 16-250

Dave

12-23-2008, 03:38 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dafiryde Quote
1 - would this lens be good for use outdoors and indoors use my 360 external flash
I recommend this lens; I think it is great (see e.g. the reviews at perhaps also the reviews at the Pentax Lens Review Database - 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] ). For each application you'll find a lens that is a better specialist but unless you have unlimited funds and want to change lenses a lot, the 18-250 is difficult to beat. That is, as long as you are prepared to live with its limitations.
  1. It isn't fast. That means at the short end DOF control is limited to f/3.5 min. and at the long end you'll be forced to use at least f/6.3.
  2. Vignetting can occur over the whole focal range but is quickly cured by stopping down a bit.
  3. While centre sharpness is often excellent the corners do not reach the same performance.

You may find this photozone review to be useful.

QuoteOriginally posted by dafiryde Quote
2 - should i just use my 16-50 and just crop to suit as if it was a 16-250
While your K20D gives you a lot of pixels to crop from, my guess would be that you cannot replace the range from 50-250 by just cropping. Definitely sometimes cropping can be better than using a 2x converter, but I doubt that this carries over to your specific comparison. An experiment could tell or you could do some math based on resolution figures from the 16-50 and 18-250, taking the loss of resolution by cropping into account.
12-23-2008, 03:38 PM   #3
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Asked and answered many times, most recently in these threads:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/44667-smc-da-1...lr-newbie.html

Pentax 18-250mm IQ: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

I like it, as do many others. You'll also find plenty of people that don't like the compromises.
12-23-2008, 03:45 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
You'll also find plenty of people that don't like the compromises.
Yes, and sometimes for the right reasons. Sometimes, however, I think people still have reservations about super zooms based on experiences with old zooms that were less than stellar performers.

And not every prime is better than the 18-250. I recently got a Pentax SMC M 135/3.5 and while it is a beautiful lens and a joy to handle, the resolution seems only so so and the contrast sub standard. Without further PP, the images from the 18-250 are sharper and more contrasty compared to the 135/3.5 out of the camera.

I haven't concluded my comparison yet -- perhaps I haven't managed to squeeze the best performance out of the M 135/3.5 yet -- but it certainly wasn't the "prime beats super zoom easily by a big margin" experience, I was expecting. On the contrary, so far.

12-23-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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This is a very good lens. Of course, it's not cheap either. I have one and despite my love for primes it just seems to stick to the camera.

Very good resolution stopped down, not so good for dark places. The greatest weakness, vignetting, is fixed with one click if you shoot raw.

Also, surprisingly resistant to flare. Hereīs a shot straight at the sun and you have to look intently to find any flare traces. The same shot with the FA 50 prime was unusable. The FA Limiteds donīt flare but cost twice as much as the 18-250.

Definitely better than cropping from a lower focal length. Much better. IMO will suit your needs well.

My $.02


Last edited by kristoffon; 12-23-2008 at 07:11 PM.
12-23-2008, 08:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
And not every prime is better than the 18-250. I recently got a Pentax SMC M 135/3.5 and while it is a beautiful lens and a joy to handle, the resolution seems only so so and the contrast sub standard. Without further PP, the images from the 18-250 are sharper and more contrasty compared to the 135/3.5 out of the camera.
Depends on aperture. The M135/3.5, of course, kicks the 18-250's butt at apertures wider than f/5.6 :-), and I'd be shocked if it didn't beat the 18-250 right at f/5.6 (not that I have an 18-250 to perform that particular comparison with), but I wouldn't be surprised to see the zoom beat out the prime at f/8, f/11, or f/16. While the 135/3.5 is generally well-liked, I don't know that I'd hold it up as the shining example of what a prime can do, aside from being a stop and half faster than the 18-250.
12-23-2008, 08:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'd be shocked if it didn't beat the 18-250 right at f/5.6
Not so sure. I have a test planned. I'll include an FA 50/1.4. Still want to know whether audiobomber was right or not.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I wouldn't be surprised to see the zoom beat out the prime at f/8, f/11, or f/16.
Why would you expect it to be better at higher f-ratios but worse at lower f-ratios?

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
While the 135/3.5 is generally well-liked, I don't know that I'd hold it up as the shining example of what a prime can do
It's resolution figure isn't that impressive -> Pentax Lens Review by Peter Spiro.
After seeing this number, I was less surprised to see the Tamron come out that well in my quick and dirty comparison.
12-23-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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It's a terrible lens! Just look what it did to my son!!!

Here's what my son really looks like, taken with the DA*50-135



And here is how he looks through the DA18-250!

See how the lens even turned the grass into concrete!?!

Seriously though, you've already gotten plenty of good info on the pros/cons of the lens. I own it, and love it for its utility when I'm out and need just one lens.

12-23-2008, 11:50 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Venturi;428149]


now that is tack sharp and convincing for me

Dave
12-24-2008, 10:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Why would you expect it to be better at higher f-ratios but worse at lower f-ratios?
Virtually all lenses are on the soft side wide open, and f/5.6 is wide open for the 18-250 at that focal length. Whereas it is a stop and half from wide open on the 135 - a place where it should start doing pretty well.

By f/8 or f/11, both lenses are stopped down and should both be close to their best.

QuoteQuote:
It's resolution figure isn't that impressive -> Pentax Lens Review by Peter Spiro.
There's not a lot of info there about methodology, though, nor is the info broken down by aperture, nor is the 18-250 this list. You might find it would have fared even worse.
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