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03-17-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
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Pentax all-around-zoom?

Hi, I am new here . I am thinking about getting a Pentax. I have a D40 and 18-55mm + 55-200 atm, thinking about replacing it with a 18-200mm. But then I also like to use manual M42 lenses. After some research, I narrow down to Nikon and Pentax. Nikon is great I like it so far, but trying to get M42 with it is pretty much pain in the ass. Pentax is definitely cheaper, with IS built into the body, which is good for old lenses.

One last thing I have that question my decision is 18-2xx lenses, which is what I desire the most. I have not found much of pentax's version's review, from what I heard it is based upon Tamron's design. 18-200 Nikkor beats Sigma, Tamron and Canon's counter part in just about every section.

Any advice?

03-17-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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I just looked around for info on the Nikkor vs Tamron vs Sigma recently; I think I'm becoming a brand fanboy slowly One thing that I think always works is just to look at pictures. I've seen some great ones coming from the 18-250 Pentax (Tamron). I've also seen it compared to the DA* 50-135 and without pixelpeeping it can hold it's own, so there's no doubt about the quality. Maybe the Nikkor is just super awesome, I don't know. But for the superzoom range the 18-250 Pentax is your best bet in pentaxland. There's a reason that lens rarely comes up in the marketplace =)

Honestly though, not having handled any of them, I think the Nikon might actually be a better choice for you if you want the 18-200 range, especially since you already have the body. AFAIK the 18-200 VR is more expensive than the pentax 18-250 but CMIIW

And remember the Pentax has SMC coating, which might make a difference in image pop as opposed to using the tammy on the Nikon.

In terms of M42s, I never regret the purchase of any of my takumars so I'd sugest you get into pentax even if it's only for Takumars/ M 42s

Last edited by Andi Lo; 03-17-2009 at 07:27 PM.
03-17-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by exe163 Quote
Any advice?
I've been repeating the following mantra on this forum: avoid variable aperture zooms. I never purchased one, although I did receive two as gifts.

Here's another mantra: a great manual focus Pentax zoom lens (although not all-purpose) is SMC-A 35-105 f/3.5. (Manual Focus Forum / PENTAX SMC-A 35-105 F/3.5) ...oh and I really like my DA 17-70 f/4 SDM.

Hmm....You should start with K20D + DA 40 f/2.8 (not exactly normal on a cropped sensor, but pretty close).
03-17-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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Having two zooms to cover that range (and beyond) would be better way to go.
The Pentax DA 16-45 and DA 55-300 would be a good pair and not too expensive. Of course the 16-50 would be even better.
With that pair you would cover the range 16 - 300 which is more than you want and you would be able to take shots in the range you want without pushing the lenses to their extremities.

03-17-2009, 11:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

I am fully aware of that the longer the zoom the more IQ degrade there is. But I really want a zoom that covers wide amount of range as a walk around lens. As stated I have a 18-55 and 55-200. The short end is too short when I see something interesting but cannot get closer objects such as animals to shoot, with 55-200 alone is I cannot get a wide view of the landscape, let alone carrying two lenses with the space they take.

I don't think 3-5 prime lenses would fit my need either .

My plan is to get a 18-2xx zoom and a ultra wide angle, alonge with manual focus primes for low light and fun. Pentax makes amazing primes but I don't see much highly regarded zooms that fits my need.

Really hope I can get some feedback on the Pentax 18-250, Tamron design + pentax lens.
03-18-2009, 05:06 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by exe163 Quote
Thanks for the replies.

I am fully aware of that the longer the zoom the more IQ degrade there is. But I really want a zoom that covers wide amount of range as a walk around lens. As stated I have a 18-55 and 55-200. The short end is too short when I see something interesting but cannot get closer objects such as animals to shoot, with 55-200 alone is I cannot get a wide view of the landscape, let alone carrying two lenses with the space they take.

I don't think 3-5 prime lenses would fit my need either .

My plan is to get a 18-2xx zoom and a ultra wide angle, alonge with manual focus primes for low light and fun. Pentax makes amazing primes but I don't see much highly regarded zooms that fits my need.

Really hope I can get some feedback on the Pentax 18-250, Tamron design + pentax lens.
For your needs the 18-250 is really the only choice it seems. The 18-270 is out there but seems like a large $$ increase over the 250. Older models like the 18-200 were not as well reviewed.
03-18-2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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The 18-250 is a good replacement for the 18-55/50-200 kit pair. IQ is very similar and you'll pick up a litte more range, and close focusing ability (I think...the 18-250 will focus to 18", not sure of the kit lenses).

You'll gain convenience. I use the 18-250 as my vacation lens so my family doesn't have to wait on me to change lenses. So far, it's been to Peru and Disney (plus many shorter trips) and I've never felt like I had the wrong lens. In fact, I just had my first paid cover shot purchased, and it was a shot taken with this lens on the K100D.

AFAIK, the 18-270 isn't available in Pentax mount. Interestingly enough, the Sigma 18-250 with their built-in stabilization is available in Pentax mount with stabilization, according to their statements in Pop Photo. Not sure how that will work (maybe it's an either/or), but it would be good to see how it compares to the Tamron version.

Bottom line, I think the 18-250 is a fine replacement for the kit pair. Here's one example taken with it on the K20D.

03-18-2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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Check this out, pictures taken using the Pentax 18-250mm:
PENTAX Photo Gallery - 18-250mm section
Should give a good indication of what the lens (and Pentax in general) is capable of!

03-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #9
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Another owner of the 18-250 here.

I find this lens a match at least for the kit lens, with a whole lot of convenience thrown in. Sure, it is slow on the long end, but that is just the nature of a super zoom like this.

I will say I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. My primes are so fast, sharp, and small, that I rarely want to use anything else. However, this zoom seems to make it easier to be in the right place at the right time, and I've produced some shots with it that've sold at art shows.

It is well worth the money, and one of the better superzooms out there, so if you insist on having one, my vote is for Pentax, with the 18-250.
03-18-2009, 02:59 PM   #10
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FWIW, I have the 18-250 and love it.

It's been at Pentax repair for 6 weeks and I'm saaaaaad.
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