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01-27-2009, 06:05 PM   #1
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Upgrading from Tamron 18-250

I purchased my first DSLR, a K100D in April of 2008, and shortly afterwards bought a Tamron 18-250 for it; a 'do most things lens'.

However, I am now hoping to upgrade the one lens setup for two lenses, which more or less covers the same focal lengths.

My main aims are to take sharper images than those taken with the 18-250.

It would seem that the longer end is a non-contest, with the Pentax DA 55-300; both the reviews and images posted by forum members seem very impressive, as well as it's price and value for money.

Initially I also thought that the wide-angle option was a shut case, with the Tamron 17-70 2.8 (or Sigma 18-50 2.8);
however the Sigma 17-70 now seems a very attractive option, with it's slightly longer reach, excellent reviews and again value for money (the Pentax 17-70 brought prices down?).

The Pentax 16-45 also seems an attractive proposition, but the focal range seems slightly restrictive.

Most of my images are taken outdoors; therefore, I could envisage the longer reach of the Sigma 17-70 being more of an advantage than the constant 2.8

Whichever options I eventually choose, I plan to either sell/trade the 18-250, as my wallet cannot stretch that far!

Unfortunately, the more expensive Pentax lenses are outside of my budget.

As always, all suggestions and advice are greatly welcomed.

Regards.
Adrian

01-27-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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The Sigma 17-70 would be a great choice in that it also provides a quasi (1:2.3) macro feature in addition to the longer reach. I had one for a while, but got rid of it and wish that I hadn't. I've currently got a 16-45, but it sometimes isn't quite long enough for my taste. I'm considering swapping it out for the DA17-70, if not, then another Sigma 17-70. For the money, the Sigma is probably one of the best deals out there in the way of walkaround lenses.

Yes, the DA55-300 is definitely a no-brainer.

HTH,
Heather
01-27-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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My recommendation is to keep what you have, and save your money. You listed the primary reason for trading the lens is "to take sharper pictures." You also indicate that the faster lenses are not really a necessity for you since you do most of your shooting outdoors. You already have an excellent lens for those conditions!

If you compare that 18-250 to more expensive lenses I think you will see that it holds up quite well in sharpness in outdoor shooting because the aperture is stopped down. I did some tests that I posted here, of the 18-250 compared to the much more expensive DA* 50-135 in outdoor shots. The 18-250 was wide open (worst case). The only way you could tell the difference was at 100% crop, and the difference was very subtle. I have the DA* and the Tamron 17-50 because I need the f/2.8. For outdoor shots, my 18-250 is a versatile, and very cost effective lens. I think you may be disappointed if you sell it in order to purchase any of the lenses you list.

The comparison: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/445365-post15.html

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-27-2009 at 07:34 PM.
01-27-2009, 07:33 PM   #4
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Hm my first thought is that while the 18-250 makes many compromises, sharpness, at least in the center, is not one of them. Are you really having trouble with sharpness? Maybe you're having focus issues?

Otherwise, I think you're on the right track for a mid budget 2 zoom setup. You've got all the usual suspects listed.

01-27-2009, 11:59 PM   #5
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I am agreeing to an extent....the 18-250 when used properly and in the right conditions (not a lens for cathedrals, dark museums, evening shots, etc, unless on tripod) can be rather impressive considering it is a one lens solution. I have thousands of "keepers" from photos using this lens, all sharp enough for my tastes and the comments people mention when they see them are all mostly very positive.

On the other hand, if you just want to get a two lens option with a little more speed and perhaps a step up up in optics, I would suggest something like you are thinking about...the DA 55-300 is a very cool lens and value-wise, unbeatable. This is a fantastic tele zoom, but may still suffer from a little softness when between 250 and 300...may, not necessarily always.

The options of the Sigma 18-50 or or Tamron 17-70 are viable, but I prefer the Tamron 17-50. The results I am getting with this lens are seriously shgarp, clean, good colour, fast when you need to open it up and priced right.

Anyway....you have options, just depends on which road you take...you can spend and have two lenses, or keep the one you have and get to know it a little more.

Jason
01-28-2009, 12:19 AM   #6
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Outdoor shot from my 18-250. (Pentax version, but same as Tamron) Sharpness is not a problem for this lens! I could understand you looking at other zooms if you needed a wider max aperture, but by your own admission, you don't. I agree with deuces in that if you are having sharpness issues, it may be your focus not the lens. Optically, the 55-300 is no better than the 18-250 other than it is a bit faster at the long end. But in return, you lose the versatility of the 18-250.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-28-2009 at 12:30 AM.
01-28-2009, 03:45 AM   #7
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about me PENTAX\TAMRON 18-250mm is a nice lens.


maybe you can choose a pentax 17-70:
- AF quite and fast
- from wide to tele
- f4 always
- sharp at f4
- nice colors
- good body

pentax 17-70 is better then sigma 17-70!
01-28-2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
I am agreeing to an extent....the 18-250 when used properly and in the right conditions (not a lens for cathedrals, dark museums, evening shots, etc, unless on tripod)
I beg to differ. All these were taken handheld with the K100D and the Tamron 18-250. Shutter speeds range from 1/6 sec to 1/40 sec.









01-28-2009, 11:52 AM   #9
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Fantastic shots Russ! Think we can convince the OP to keep this wonderful lens?
01-28-2009, 12:34 PM   #10
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I agree and disagree with some of the above observations. IMHO from the images I have seen, the 55-300 is a noticeable step up in quality over tthe 18-250 over the same range. Note the 18-250 is much short than 250mm at closer focussing fistances, in my experience 250mm is equivilent to 130mm ont he 50-200 at about 6 feet.

However, this lens is VERY strong from about 23mm through 70mm and I use it as such with the remnaining focal length a bonus so to speak. As a result, I would not consider the 17-70 from either Pentax or Sigma a big enough improvement to justify the cost and the onconvenience.

Strap on the 17-50/2.8 however and you now have a much more versatile lens (portraits) and the extra speed that can be useful. See sig for lens examples.
01-28-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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I have this lens also (pentax version) and agree it's very sharp. The 55-300 won't be much of an upgrade IMHO, if you realy wish to upgrade you need to get to DA* land.

Take a look at this shot - 100% view shown. Can you deny its sharpness?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdallacosta/3216021337/sizes/o/
01-28-2009, 01:52 PM   #12
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I'll also agree that you're not going to improve significantly on the sharpness of the 18-250 outdoors - especially not by getting more consumer-grade zooms. If I already had the 18-250, I'd be thinking about getting a prime or two to make for a smaller / more responsive kit indoors. As Russ shows, it's certainly *possible* to shoot in low light with the 18-250, but f/2.8 or better really *does* make a difference. So can the difference in weight/bulk between the 18-250 and something lke the DA40 or FA35 (not so much in IQ but in how I feel about using the camera). And FWIW, I find the DA40 *is* a noticeable improvement in sharpness over the 18-55 (either version), at least below f/8 - I kind of assume that would also be true comparing the DA40 or FA35 to the 18-250. So there could be a slight win outdoors as well. But perhaps not so much that it would make the 18-250 off if you already had it mounted.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 01-29-2009 at 04:28 PM.
01-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=rfortson;468658]I beg to differ. All these were taken handheld with the K100D and the Tamron 18-250. Shutter speeds range from 1/6 sec to 1/40 sec.


Nice shots indeed. For my use, I would never shoot ISO so high that I would get the noise as you do from these shots (the first 2 in particular)...hence the faster shutter speeds. Maybe also because using my K10D, anything over 400 is too grainy for my taste. EXIF is gone on these...what ISO did you shoot here?


I shoot in Cathedrals and museums all over Europe on a regular and find the use of a tripod to be either inconvenient or not allowed...therefore I like having a faster lens for these situations. Outside, or in daylight with my 18-250, never a problem.

Last edited by Jasvox; 01-28-2009 at 02:48 PM.
01-28-2009, 03:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote

Nice shots indeed. For my use, I would never shoot ISO so high that I would get the noise as you do from these shots (the first 2 in particular)...hence the faster shutter speeds. Maybe also because using my K10D, anything over 400 is too grainy for my taste. EXIF is gone on these...what ISO did you shoot here?
Agreed, noise tolerance is a personal thing. I don't really notice it here, but that's just me. BTW, these were shot at ISO 800.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
I shoot in Cathedrals and museums all over Europe on a regular and find the use of a tripod to be either inconvenient or not allowed...therefore I like having a faster lens for these situations. Outside, or in daylight, never a problem.
I agree that faster is better, but I find the 18-250 good enough, but of course that's highly subjective.
01-28-2009, 05:32 PM   #15
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TBH it's not that sharp an image. IMHO the 55-300 is sharper with much better colour and more contrast. The 18-250 has weak mid tones, I am always tempted to tweak the middle slider in levels.


QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
I have this lens also (pentax version) and agree it's very sharp. The 55-300 won't be much of an upgrade IMHO, if you realy wish to upgrade you need to get to DA* land.

Take a look at this shot - 100% view shown. Can you deny its sharpness?

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