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10-04-2009, 12:41 AM   #1
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cheap vacation zoom: 18-200, 28-200, and 28-300

Looking at cheap vacation zooms where I don't quite have the time to change lenses. Obviously not expecting stellar quality, but these 3 tamron (XR versions) all are relatively close in price. The 18 has the huge advantage, but of course costs more and I think I could be ok without it, maybe bring the ol' 18-55 if I feel like it.

How do they compare in the ~28 - 200 focal lengths? I assume the 28-300 would be crap at 300mm, but how is it at 200mm? Is the 18-200mm better at 28mm than the other lenses? Are they all significantly less long FL wise at less than infinity? How are the lenses close focusing ability?

Thanks!

10-04-2009, 08:56 AM   #2
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FWIW, I wouldn't go to the trouble and expense of buying a superzoom - ostensbily to cover a wide range and reduce lens changes - that didn't go wider than 28mm. I mean, I'm often happy shooting a 28mm prime, but I didn't pay superzoom price for it, nor am I carrying superzoom weight, or being limited to superzoom maximum aperture or IQ. If I'm going to make all those concessions in the name of convenience, I'd bet get some real convenience - not worry about whether I need to carry a second lens around to make for the limitations in my superzoom.
10-04-2009, 01:52 PM   #3
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You did not mention the DA 18-250mm. That would be my first choice. I have the Tammy 28-200mm and the DA 18-250mm beats it IMHO. I got mine at that big auction site. They seem to be discontinued now, but show up at auction commonly.
I don't know what your budget is, but the 18-250 is only slightly more than than 18-200.
GP
10-04-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
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Good point Marc, I was hoping I could just step back several steps in most cases to cover the 10mm at the wide end but I'm probably being a little optimistic.

I took the 18-250mm out of the running since I can find the other ones for much less, and would use that money for non-superzooms. I had always heard the 18-200mm is inferior to the 18-250m significantly, but the 28-200mm XR is pretty good for the money. I had never really seen comparisons between the 28-200mm and the 18-200mm. I'm close to buying it, but just want to hear the 18-200mm is better/comparable/not much worse than the 28-200mm XR in the focal lengths it shares.

10-04-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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Look at Tokina AT-X 24-200mm, it is better then 28-200mm XR and 18-200mm. And can be found for quite cheap comparing to 18-250mm. Build quality is much better then any other superzoom, as it is almost all metal lens.
10-05-2009, 09:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
Good point Marc, I was hoping I could just step back several steps in most cases to cover the 10mm at the wide end but I'm probably being a little optimistic.
Very optimistic, I think :-). 10mm isn't a lot a the telephoto end, but it's *huge* at the wide end.

Anyhow, tough call, but if it were me, I'd just carry an 18-55 and 50-200 and not sweat the occasional need to change lenses. Unless this vacation is a wildlife safari, I would expect to use the 18-28 range *far* more than I'd ever need anything beyond 55mm.
10-05-2009, 09:17 AM   #7
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The Tokina looks pretty good but has some rotten reviews on other sites like slrgear/FM - quality control? Maybe the Tamrons will come down once the 18-270 is released.

Part of the reason I want a superzoom is to entice my SO into photography, because we all know big zooms impresses non-photographers, specifically not having to use your feet to frame everything- encouraging her to tightly frame pictures.

However, I've really been wanting an autofocus prime - still haven't decided which one.

Last edited by Eruditass; 10-05-2009 at 10:42 AM.
10-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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I recently went on a professional tour and had no idea what to expect in terms of photography, whether we'd predominantly be inside, and what size of room, outside, weather, on a bus, walking, etc. Had to be prepared for anything and rather than bring my whole camera bag I just took a chance and brought along my K10D with Sigma 18-200. Fit the bill perfectly, compact in that I didn't bring anything else (except a spare battery in my jacket pocket), and this trip wasn't critical for whether I got good photos anyway, more documentary for my own reference than anything else and I didn't want the photography to get in the way of paying attention to the tour and information and sights.

BTW, it was a tour of the Ontario Power Generation's infrastructure along the Niagara River near Niagara Falls.

10-05-2009, 01:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leaf Fan Quote
I recently went on a professional tour and had no idea what to expect in terms of photography, whether we'd predominantly be inside, and what size of room, outside, weather, on a bus, walking, etc. Had to be prepared for anything and rather than bring my whole camera bag I just took a chance and brought along my K10D with Sigma 18-200. Fit the bill perfectly, compact in that I didn't bring anything else (except a spare battery in my jacket pocket), and this trip wasn't critical for whether I got good photos anyway, more documentary for my own reference than anything else and I didn't want the photography to get in the way of paying attention to the tour and information and sights.

BTW, it was a tour of the Ontario Power Generation's infrastructure along the Niagara River near Niagara Falls.
I never thought of that - that is another great reason. I actually like to go on tours every so often - including some bird tour. Forgot about the sigma - how does the sigma 18-200mm compare with the tamron?
10-05-2009, 02:02 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
I never thought of that - that is another great reason. I actually like to go on tours every so often - including some bird tour. Forgot about the sigma - how does the sigma 18-200mm compare with the tamron?
Can't give you a direct comparison because all I've used is the Sigma. I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of the Sigma, and for the $200 pricetag I'm very happy with it.
10-05-2009, 02:09 PM   #11
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I'm reading about the sigma having problems autofocusing at 200mm, how does yours fare?

And where did you get it for $200?
10-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #12
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Wow, that's awful, does anyone know how the 18-200mm stacks up with respect to this?

QuoteQuote:
I did some detailed testing on this. I found that the 18-250 at 250mm is equal to the following compared to the 55-300:
at about 1 mile, 230mm
at 30 feet, 200mm
at 9 ft, 160mm
A review I read said it was equal to a 125mm lens at minimum focus distance. It has better magnification than the 55-300 at close focus, but less than my 16-45 (Tamron calls the 18-250 a macro lens, LOL).
10-06-2009, 10:41 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
I'm reading about the sigma having problems autofocusing at 200mm, how does yours fare?

And where did you get it for $200?
It's definitely better in the middle of the FL, but not bad at 200. I keep it on my K10D which I basically carry with me as much as possible, so I'm typically taking spur of the moment photos with it.

I bought it from the Pentax Forums Marketplace from an awesome guy who made a smooth transaction and delivered as promised. waqas
10-06-2009, 10:59 AM   #14
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By all accounts, the 18-250 (pentax or tamron at least) easily beats the sigma 18-200mm (which i have).

I have also noticed that a great deal of my photos taken with the 18-200mm were under 28mm, so in my opinion the 28-200 s are not as useful.
10-06-2009, 02:03 PM   #15
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Mate do not even consider a superzoom that starts at 28mm .... pure madness
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