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06-22-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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recommendations sought: which 18-250?

Looks like I have 3 options: Pentax, Tamron and the new Sigma HSM.

On Amazon.com, all three are well rated (4/5 stars or better). The Pentax is best rated by a bit, then Tamron and Sigma. Interestingly, the Pentax is the least expensive (currently under $450), Tamron is about $500, and Sigma's a bit over $500.

Is the Pentax just a rebadged Tamron?

Are there really any differences between these lenses that are significant, other than the price?

I actually used to own the Tamron lens some time ago and sold it. Sigh. I need to stop selling lenses. I just want 'em back later.

Will

06-22-2009, 11:13 PM   #2
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Yes, the Pentax is the Tamron. Whoever rated it better than the Tamron basically just demonstrated they can't run a good controlled test. OK, that's unfair - could be sample variation. In theory, different lens coatings too, although that's been debated.
06-23-2009, 03:22 AM   #3
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When I went through this exercise a while back I chose the Tamron because of the 6 year US Warranty. The Pentax, while cheaper, would have needed an extra hundred dollars or so to the price to add a 3 year warranty.
06-23-2009, 06:09 AM   #4
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I'd take the sigma for HSM, or the pentax for price & having the same badge as the camera. Don't think there's any significant optical difference between them.

06-23-2009, 07:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Yes, the Pentax is the Tamron. Whoever rated it better than the Tamron basically just demonstrated they can't run a good controlled test. OK, that's unfair - could be sample variation. In theory, different lens coatings too, although that's been debated.
NO testing involved. The higher rating is over at Amazon.com, and comes from ordinary consumers. There are currently something like 80 user reviews of the Pentax 18-250, and 15-20 of the Tamron. The Pentax has a 4+/5 star average rating, which is incredibly good for a product with 80 reviews. But the fact that the Tamron gets only 4.0/5 means nothing: 4/5 is also very good. It just looks like more people have purchased the Pentax lens (perhaps because it's cheaper) and they're very happy with it.

By the way, Marc, thanks for confirming that the Tamron and the Pentax are basically the same lens.

Will
06-23-2009, 07:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
When I went through this exercise a while back I chose the Tamron because of the 6 year US Warranty. The Pentax, while cheaper, would have needed an extra hundred dollars or so to the price to add a 3 year warranty.
Yes, that's worth something. Thanks for reminding me about that.
06-23-2009, 07:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
I'd take the sigma for HSM, or the pentax for price & having the same badge as the camera. Don't think there's any significant optical difference between them.
So you think the Sigma's image quality is as good as the Tamron/Pentax? I don't doubt you. I have a couple very good Sigma lenses and don't have sigmaphobia as some here seem to. :-)

The HSM doesn't mean a lot to me. This would be for me mainly a vacation lens. When I'm shooting a wedding or other formal event I appreciate the fact that the Pentax da* 50-135 focuses noiselessly. But if I'm shooting wildlife on vacation, a little focusing noise isn't a problem.

Well, the replies I've gotten here don't make the decision easy! Lenses would appear to be equal in image quality and although the price isn't equal, the Tamron and Sigma lenses may be worth the extra cost. I hate to make decisions!
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