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01-03-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Lens recommendation - zoom vs. superzoom

Hello all,

Been lurking for a bit...this is an excellent forum with tons of good info. I'm a K100d user (first DSLR, owned for a little over a year), and it has come time to upgrade from the kit lens. Most of my shooting is done outdoors while traveling, so I'm leaning toward a versatile "walk-around" lens. I'd like to avoid switching lenses if possible, and minimize the weight I'm carrying around. The two lenses I'm looking at are the Pentax DA 18-250mm and the Sigma 17-70mm. I've read lots of reviews on both of these (and others), but am wondering if anyone has direct experience with both and can let me know how they compare in terms of image quality across their overlapping focal lengths. My impression is that the image quality and IQ with the Sigma is a bit better, and it's a bit faster lens as well. Of course the trade-off is giving up the longer focal lengths. I tend to shoot mostly wider, however, so I'm most interested in how these compare at the wide end. Also, will I notice much difference between these and the kit lens?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Brandon

01-03-2009, 04:19 PM   #2
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Hi Brandon,
welcome to the forums.
My opinion should not be relied upon, in this matter, because I don't own (never have) any of the two mentioned lenses, but...
in my personal opinion, ladder goes 3 - superzoom, 2 - zoom, 1- prime (many will argue on 2-1). The only superzoom I've ever had was Tamron 28-200, not bad lens, decently sharp but: sometimes too narrow (this is less likely to happen with 18-250), sometimes too short (18-250 will be 250 ONLY when focused on infinity, at closer distances, it "looses" it's reach and it's equivalent to shorter focal lenghts), often too slow (likely to happen with 18-250). So my conclusion, if you want to go with one of those two, go with Sigma 17-70. It's very decent upgrade from DA18-55 and it has very usefull range. If you will decide later that you really do need to go longer than 70, get either DA55-300 or Tamron 70-300 (both are very good, with the Pentax being tad better).
good luck choosing,
BR
Peter
01-03-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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They're both excellent lenses. The only good reason you'd want the 17-70 over the 18-250 is because of the extra speed the 17-70 gets you -- which, to me, is actually important enough to recommend it over the 18-250. But if you do most of your shooting in the daytime, or of static subjects, then the 18-250 is the better bet.
01-03-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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If you haven't done so already, you should have a look at the Photozone tests for these lenses:

Pentax 18-250: Pentax SMC DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] - Lab Test Report / Review

Sigma 17-70: Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC (Pentax K) - Review / Test Report

01-03-2009, 05:58 PM   #5
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I have had experience with both lenses and if I was to choose between these 2, I'd definitely go for the 17-70, as it's just a better lens. I had a Tamron version of the 18-250 and the main reason I got rid of it was that at the wide end, it tended to vigenette (sp?) more than I liked. The Sigma doesn't do that. Another thing about the Sigma that I liked is that it has a good closeup (1:2.3) feature at 70mm. If you find yourself needing anything beyond 70, then you'll be well-served by lenses like the DA50-200 or DA55-300, among others.

HTH,
Heather
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