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06-27-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
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Pentax 18-250 always same as Tamron 18-250?

I've read that the Pentax 18-250 is a rebadged Tamron 18-250. If that's correct, why is there a large price difference? Locally the Pentax is $CAN570, and the Tamron is $CAN860. Unfortunately, the Pentax is available at one store, and the Tamron at another - no way to do an in-store comparison.

My guess is that they are not the same lens. The Pentax is identified locally simply as 'DA 18-250MM 3.5-6.3 ED ZOOM LENS', and the Tamron as an 'AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II XR LD Asph. IF Lens for Pentax'. Because of the price difference I suspect that the Pentax 18-250 is a version of an earlier Tamron 18-250.

Also, PENTAX Digital Cameras and DSLRs - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site lists a lens called a 'SMC PENTAX DA 18-250MM F3.5-6.3 ED AL(IF)' at $US600, and Pentax Canada lists a lens called a 'smc PENTAX DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]', with no price.

Q1: How do I know if the 'DA 18-250MM 3.5-6.3 ED ZOOM LENS' in the store is the same as the current 'smc PENTAX DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]'.

Q2: How do I know if the 'DA 18-250MM 3.5-6.3 ED ZOOM LENS' is the same as the Tamron 'AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II XR LD Asph. IF Lens for Pentax'.

Q3: How does one know when buying a lens that they are getting the latest version and not a superceded or discontinued version?

06-27-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kitkat Quote
I've read that the Pentax 18-250 is a rebadged Tamron 18-250. If that's correct, why is there a large price difference? Locally the Pentax is $CAN570, and the Tamron is $CAN860. Unfortunately, the Pentax is available at one store, and the Tamron at another - no way to do an in-store comparison.

My guess is that they are not the same lens. The Pentax is identified locally simply as 'DA 18-250MM 3.5-6.3 ED ZOOM LENS', and the Tamron as an 'AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II XR LD Asph. IF Lens for Pentax'. Because of the price difference I suspect that the Pentax 18-250 is a version of an earlier Tamron 18-250.

Also, PENTAX Digital Cameras and DSLRs - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site lists a lens called a 'SMC PENTAX DA 18-250MM F3.5-6.3 ED AL(IF)' at $US600, and Pentax Canada lists a lens called a 'smc PENTAX DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]', with no price.

Q1: How do I know if the 'DA 18-250MM 3.5-6.3 ED ZOOM LENS' in the store is the same as the current 'smc PENTAX DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]'.

Q2: How do I know if the 'DA 18-250MM 3.5-6.3 ED ZOOM LENS' is the same as the Tamron 'AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II XR LD Asph. IF Lens for Pentax'.

Q3: How does one know when buying a lens that they are getting the latest version and not a superceded or discontinued version?
I thought it was discontinued? but ya it is the exact same.

Any why would it matter if it is discontinued? it just means they don't make it anymore, but stores still have it in stock.
06-28-2009, 04:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
Any why would it matter if it is discontinued? it just means they don't make it anymore, but stores still have it in stock.
It would matter to me if it was discontinued because there might be a better replacement.
06-28-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kitkat Quote
It would matter to me if it was discontinued because there might be a better replacement.
There might, but there's nothing on the horizon so far. The Tamron 18-250 has been replaced by the Tamron 18-270, but from anything I've heard it's not a better lens and may not be as capable. The reason for its existence seems to be optical stabilization for Canon and Nikon shooters.

There is universal agreement that the Tamron and Pentax 18-250's are fundamentally the same lens. There is a constant and unresolved debate on whether the two have the same coatings. The people who say the coatings are identical say the coatings are the same colour, and it's the colour of Tamron, not Pentax coatings. People who say the Pentax version has a different coating point to the official designation; "SMC" PENTAX DA 18-250MM F3.5-6.3 ED AL(IF). SMC stands for Super Mulit-Coat, and is a term patented by Pentax for their coating process.

Personally I believe it's unlikely that the term smc is being misused by Pentax. The specs page at Pentax Imaging says the 18-250 was "Developed specifically for PENTAX digital SLR cameras", but it's common knowledge that it's a rebadged Tamron, so maybe this means the two are not completely identical. My Tamron 70-300 cannot render some colours correctly, adding a sort of brown or muddy cast. I do not see this cast with my Pentax 18-250. My conclusion is that the two versions of the 18-250 have a slightly different coating formula, possibly an added coating on the Pentax, which would explain why it looks like a Tamron coating.


Last edited by audiobomber; 06-28-2009 at 07:35 AM.
06-28-2009, 08:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for your reply, Dan. Basically I was wondering why, if these lens are 'the same', why the Tamron would be almost $300 more than the Pentax. And I though that the Tamron might be a newer version with better specifications. I was also wondering what lens the local store is selling for $CAN570 if the US list price is $US600. In other words, is the US listing a more recent version of the lens and my local store is selling an older not-so-good model.
06-28-2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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The Pentax is discontinued meaning that they won't make any more of it (except if they change their minds later) but apparently there's plenty of stock available.

It's a great lens though and that doesn't mean it's better or worse than the Tamron. Enjoy the low price. In the US they seem to go for pretty much the same price.
06-28-2009, 09:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kitkat Quote
Thanks for your reply, Dan. Basically I was wondering why, if these lens are 'the same', why the Tamron would be almost $300 more than the Pentax. And I though that the Tamron might be a newer version with better specifications. I was also wondering what lens the local store is selling for $CAN570 if the US list price is $US600. In other words, is the US listing a more recent version of the lens and my local store is selling an older not-so-good model.
Nope, there's only one 18-250. It is confusing though, with each seller using different codes to describe the lens. As far as the price differential, it's simply due to marketing decisions.
07-05-2009, 03:55 PM   #8
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Pentax 18-250mm

QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
The Pentax is discontinued
FWIW, the lens still appears on the Pentax website

but Buy Now link is busted: "Sorry, the item you are looking for is not available."

07-06-2009, 08:44 AM   #9
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same lens, only perhaps a different lens coating...otherwise all of your questions can be answered by using the search function as I recall many threads and discussions about this about a year and a half ago.

Jason
07-06-2009, 01:49 PM   #10
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Hi kitkat

Apart from minor cosmetic differences, to all intents and purposes they're effectively the same lens. I believe that in the USA the Tamron comes with a generous 6-year manufacturers warranty, whereas Pentax only merits a miserly 1 year guarantee......you choose......simply toss a coin for either one. In my case, I've owned the Tamron version for a couple of years now and found it an excellent walkaround lens.

Best regards
Richard
07-06-2009, 01:58 PM   #11
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another +1 for this lens (either brand). Looking at pictures taken from either lens if you can tell the difference between them then you have a more discerning eye than me. Which ever brand you choose you just need to be aware of the len's shortcomings and ideal applications as you would with any other piece of glass.
07-08-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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I had both at the same time at some point and I did not notice any difference between the two. Images were the same. I my experience the Pentax is more expensive than the Tamron (Resale value). So if you go either way is fine. it is practically same lens.
07-08-2010, 08:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kitkat Quote
Thanks for your reply, Dan. Basically I was wondering why, if these lens are 'the same', why the Tamron would be almost $300 more than the Pentax. And I though that the Tamron might be a newer version with better specifications. I was also wondering what lens the local store is selling for $CAN570 if the US list price is $US600. In other words, is the US listing a more recent version of the lens and my local store is selling an older not-so-good model.
Once something goes discontinued, pricing tends to become unpredictable.

"OMG you can't get this any more" -> price goes up
"Paving the way for something new" -> fire sale prices

In the case of the Pentax/Tamron 18-250, it's "OMG you can't get this any more" with a little bit of "That Sigma 18-250 is so sweet!" keeping most prices reasonable on old stock.
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