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03-25-2007, 07:51 AM   #16
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Well, sorry that we weren't able to help you.

It appeared that you were seeking validation on a decision to buy, and carry, a super zoom.

03-25-2007, 09:08 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by EddyinGA Quote
Beth, I believe that Sigma and Tamron both have an 18-200 super zoom. I've used neither so I can't give you any information on them.

If you're seeking a "one size fits all" type of lens. One of those might very well be the ticket.
The only question for anyone looking at one of these lenses is, IS 18 mm wide enough?

I know that for any scenic shots in small towns etc, with film, I found 24 mm was not really good enough, and except for unusual times you never really go beyond 100 mm,

Equate this to digital, and it really suggests something like 16-70 mm (the 16-45 sounds close.

If you need more add a TC.
03-25-2007, 09:12 AM   #18
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Sorry, Beth, didn't mean to rain on your parade. I would be the last one in the world to fault you for wanting to use and SLR -- no P&S can match the feel of using one. There is something fundamentally satisfying about the process of shooting with an SLR that you can't even approximate with a P&S...so I say go for the super-zoom. You'll enjoy using it, and that counts for a lot. I've gotten some pretty amazing shots with an FA 28-90/3.5-5.6, which has been roundly panned as one of Pentax's more ignoble efforts -- so take others' "quality" measures with a grain of salt. Go find a zoom that fits the range you want, and have fun taking pictures.

Happy backpacking!
03-25-2007, 10:19 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I've gotten some pretty amazing shots with an FA 28-90/3.5-5.6,
And I happily took lots and lots of photos with a Sigma 28-105 f2.8-4.0 until I came online and found the pixel-peepers. I had somehow managed not to notice that it's crappy and soft and nobody can live without a lens shorter than 28.

03-25-2007, 11:54 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by EddyinGA Quote
Well, sorry that we weren't able to help you.

It appeared that you were seeking validation on a decision to buy, and carry, a super zoom.
Not exactly; she's got some money that's burning a hole in her pocket and a wish list that's just a tad bigger than the budget. And then she has all the conflicting plans and activities. What she really needs is a big cash windfall-the lottery; I bet we would all like that! And then there is the very slow start-up of lens production that everybody is fretting about. She is just very frustrated!
03-25-2007, 12:00 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by EddyinGA Quote
Well, sorry that we weren't able to help you.

It appeared that you were seeking validation on a decision to buy, and carry, a super zoom.
I was. It's all good. Thanks. And thank you for speaking directly to a superzoom in your first post, even though you didn't have any experience with them.

Finn, I'm not sure where you made the jump from not needing f/2.8 to a compact p&s. Frankly, if I had wanted to purchase a p&s, I would have asked about them, searched the archives, or used the product knowledge I have about selling p&s to buy it, and not asked about lenses for a camera I already own. Cool? cool. You might have also saved your comments about shooting in the dusty, hazy SW until I posted up a slew of pictures that showed I clearly didn't understand that fact. Which I do.

Eurostar, I considered a 21/24mm prime. It's one lens, thats for sure, and would be light. Lowell hit it on the head about perspective. I still think I'm going to pick up something wider, and I'm okay with spending the money for that.

As for teleconverter, 16-45 (even though I specifically asked that it not be recommended), and the Sigma 17-70, thanks for the suggestions. DAP mentioned a Tamron (which I had looked at, and completely forgotten about), and this is the route I think I might take because it meets my criteria, instead of purchasing any of those three items which do not.

Last edited by bdavis; 03-25-2007 at 12:07 PM.
03-25-2007, 12:02 PM   #22
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6 minutes, and he gets a post in before me! Thanks JFD.


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03-25-2007, 01:13 PM   #23
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Sigma 18-200

QuoteOriginally posted by bdavis Quote
While I've got access to a wonderful range of lenses (Hi Dad!), I'm starting to put together my own set. The plan is to purchase top-notch, fast glass stuff as soon as a budget that includes summer school this year, a very expensive field school next year, and a crappy retail job allows.

However, as I read reviews, and virtually put together my dream kit, I'm struck by the realization that these expensive lenses could probably be a liability in some situations. I backpack, and I've lightened my regular load so I can hike further. Do I really want to add the weight of the glass, and potential expense if they get damaged by the elements to the load I'm carrying? I want to carry the SLR, because I'm stubborn and more than tough enough to carry it for the average 3-5 day trip, but what about the extras?

Second, I've got two school-related things coming up. The first is an honors program trip around northern NM to visit spiritual sites and centers at the end of May. The second is that really expensive field school next summer. I'd love to have a camera with me, but I'm trying to temper my desire to take pictures with the reality that these aren't photography expeditions, and I won't have time to fiddle with lenses, or tripods, etc. There is also the weight/expense liability. And in May, at least, there is the possibility that the lenses I want still won't be available.

This is where the super-zoom comes in, because they aren't terribly expensive ($350-500) for something that will probably only see situations like the above, and seem to fit the bill in terms of portability and range. I'm considering the super-zoom plus a nice, fast, super-wide angle, which I want anyway. What do I look for in a super-zoom though? I want acceptable quality; at least as good as the kit lens up to 8X10, and sturdy build. I'm concerned about the max aperture to some extent (but not totally). Also, is there any real reason to go for, say, a 24-135, instead of a whole-hog 28-200, 18-200, or 18-250? The 24-135 range will be covered with much better glass, and I think I'd feel more 'guilty' about it long term.

Any suggestions? Third party and optimized for digital are great! Please don't tell me to buy the 55-200, 50 f/1.4, or 16-45 f/4. I want a one lens solution for this. I will eventually acquire much better lenses to cover the range those three do.
I have a Sigma 18-200 lens for my Canon gear and found that between 18-140 mm to be a very nice lens. Very sharp stopped down 1 to 2 stops and quite acceptable wide open. I wish I could mount it on to my K10D to take advantage of the SR...OH well.

03-25-2007, 02:30 PM   #24
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I have a Tamron 24-135 (Model 190D) and a Tamron 28-200 (Model 171D).

The 28-200 was part of a lens and camera package and wasn't a lens that I would normally seek out. There were a few models of this lens and some were reported to be sharper than others. Stopped down a bit and in the range of 35 to 135 or 150, this lens is decently sharp and the bokeh is OK. It is not in the same league as the 16-45 for IQ It does have macro but I've never used it. Front element does not rotate

I like the 24-135 much, much better. Sharper through most of the range. Comes with a petal hood that reverses (the 28-200 has one too. The focusing and zoom grips are much nicer to use as they have ridges around the circumference. The 28-200 is mostly smooth rubber. The overall build quality of the 24-135 is better as well. Front element does not rotate and there is a sliding lock that prevents the lens from zooming out to a fully extended position. This could come in handy if you are walking with the lens out of your camera bag. The only caveat with this lens is that 24 is not very wide on a dslr.

Both lenses have 72 mm filter diameters and weigh about the same (they are not light).

If you think that you are going to need wider but not longer then you are probably going to be happiest with a 18-125 or 18-200 and have to live with the lack of sharpness at either extreme
03-25-2007, 03:28 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
I have a Sigma 18-200 lens for my Canon gear and found that between 18-140 mm to be a very nice lens. Very sharp stopped down 1 to 2 stops and quite acceptable wide open. I wish I could mount it on to my K10D to take advantage of the SR...OH well.
But the lens is available on the Pentax mount? There are many people who own the Pentax mount of the Sigma 18-200mm here.
03-25-2007, 04:56 PM   #26
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Hi Beth. There's a bloke over on dpreview who swears by his Sigma 18-200 and has posted many good pics; here's a thread to start you off:

Re: Must insist!: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
03-25-2007, 08:29 PM   #27
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I would also say probably the best quality in a long range cheapish zoom would be the Sigma 17-70.. next I would say the Sigma 18-125, then the Sigma 18-200 (or the Tamron)..
03-25-2007, 08:40 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
I would also say probably the best quality in a long range cheapish zoom would be the Sigma 17-70.. next I would say the Sigma 18-125, then the Sigma 18-200 (or the Tamron)..
Yeah, I had seen what Joel's previous lens sigma 17-70 can do - a nice price for its capability.

I had a sigma 18-200 which must have been a bad copy ...
03-26-2007, 08:41 PM   #29
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I like my Tamron 28-300. I found a new one last summer for a song ($140) and it's been worth every penny. It's a great travel lens as it's not too heavy and most outdoor shots are fine with it. Indoors, I have to brace myself pretty good to get some nice low light shots, but it can be done. SR obviously helps. I have the non-DI version. If I was buying today, I'd consider the 18-250 as occasionally I've wished for wider than 28mm, but usually I'm glad to have the long end.

Ask yourself honestly how you'll use the shots. If you're not going to print larger than 8x10 or view larger than full screen on a 17-19" monitor, then you won't see any faults with these types of lenses. If you're planning to print much larger, or do 100% crops, then this lens may not be for you.

We're planning a trip to Machu Picchu later this summer and I'll probably just take the K100D with this lens. I may break down and carry my 50/f1.4 or a 28/f2.8, but I kind of doubt it.
03-26-2007, 09:06 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdavis Quote
I was a bit frustrated when so many of you didn't

really answer my query
It's because your question has no answer :-) If there was one lens that did everything, we would all own it.
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