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04-02-2010, 04:35 PM   #1
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18-250mm or 55-300mm?

Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO
Or
Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD
Or
Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]
Or
Pentax DA 55-300mm F4-5.8

Which one would you buy if you were going to bring 1-3 lenses traveling and you already have a kit lens?

EDIT: ACK FORGOT TO MAKE A POLL ;(.

04-02-2010, 05:05 PM   #2
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DA 55-300 is the best choice

I believe that the DA55-300 is the best choice out of all your choices. I have used an extra long telephoto before, specifically the tamron 18-250, and found that the sharpest just isn't on par with the 55-300, in all the range. The optics in all-in-one lens has gotten better, but in term of quality, it is much better to own a 18-55 and a 55-300 for a pentax user.
04-02-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
hcc
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Before recommending one lens or another, it must be acknowledged that there are some huge differences between travelling with one, two or three lenses. In the former case, the lens is always mounted on the camera and you can use a small camera bag for the camera body + lens. If you have more than one lens, you will need a larger bag to carry the camera and the lenses, and be prepared to swap lenses as you deem relevant and necessary.

If you want one lens only, the 18-250mm is the obvious choice (see below). If you are prepared to carry 2 or 3 lenses, there are a number of options that you may consider, including (a) the two kit lenses 18-55mm & 55-200mm, or 55-300mm (WR or not); (b) a couple of better zoom lenses (eg 16-45mm & DA*50-135mm), (c) a few prime lenses (e.g. 15mm, 50 mm, 100 mm), and (d) a combination of zoom and prime lenses. There are huge price differences between these options associated with very significant differences in image quality (eg. prime vs kit lenses).

Coming back to the 18-250mm, there have been many relevant threads in www.Pentaxforums.com on the 18-250mm: please search for 18-250mm. A few recent examples are:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/95926-tamron-18...l-18-55mm.html,
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/89888-18-250-pentax-tamaron.html,
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/92104-superzoo...8-300-etc.html,
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/86984-pentax-d...50mm-lens.html,
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/64586-pentax-18-250-question.html,
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/86984-pentax-d...50mm-lens.html.

The last URL is worthwhile to read because it was written by a professional.

The DA18-250mm is the ideal all-rounder lens. The Pentax DA18-250mm that is a rebadged Tamron 18-250mm is a highly regarded lens. It is far superior to the older 18-200mm lenses and considered equivalent to, or better than, the kit lenses. The Pentax DA18-250mm and Tamron 18-250mm are very, very close. The Pentax 18-250mm is unfortunately no longer for sale, but some excellent 2nd hand lenses can be found (eg. www.keh.com, www.adorama.com, www.ebay.com). The Pentax 18-250mm tend to be favored over the Tamron 18-250mm , but not by much. An advantage of the Pentax lens is that it is recognised by the camera body and the lens correction can enable and successfully applied.

There is also the newer and more expensive Sigma 18-250mm DC OS HSM. The reviews are positive but (a) there have been some forum discussion on reliability & maintenance issues of the HSM technology, (b) the optical stabilisation OS is redundant with the Pentax image stabilisation IS, and (c) there are only a few limited reports from Pentax users.

Hope that the comment will help ....
04-02-2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
I believe that the DA55-300 is the best choice out of all your choices. I have used an extra long telephoto before, specifically the tamron 18-250, and found that the sharpest just isn't on par with the 55-300, in all the range. The optics in all-in-one lens has gotten better, but in term of quality, it is much better to own a 18-55 and a 55-300 for a pentax user.
Hmm... sounds good... but still a hard choice between getting a DA 55-300 and a 18-250mm.

Also yeah Hcc comments always help.

04-02-2010, 09:51 PM   #5
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I would say 55-300 just the same.
04-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Only you can decide if not needing to change lenses and saving weight in your bag is more important to you than slightly more range / slightly better optical quality / slightly more flexibility.
04-03-2010, 12:19 PM   #7
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I've had both. Up to 125mm the superzoom is quite good. But at longer focal lengths, CA increases and sharpness decreases. I found the 55-300 to be better there. The 18-250 outperforms the kit lens at that range though (except for distortions at wideangle). And it autofocuses faster than the 55-300.

In the end, I decided to sell the superzoom. I knew that, if I were to keep it, either the 2-lens set or the superzoom would not be used much. I decided I'd rather not use the superzoom much. So I saw no reason to keep the 18-250. This brought me to ordering a 16-45 to replace the kit.

There's probably also a psychological factor in here somewhere that having two lenses makes more of an impression to noobs .
04-03-2010, 02:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Only you can decide if not needing to change lenses and saving weight in your bag is more important to you than slightly more range / slightly better optical quality / slightly more flexibility.
Again, this is very true, I guess I'm going with the 55-300mm, thanks for the help guys.


QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I've had both. Up to 125mm the superzoom is quite good. But at longer focal lengths, CA increases and sharpness decreases. I found the 55-300 to be better there. The 18-250 outperforms the kit lens at that range though (except for distortions at wideangle). And it autofocuses faster than the 55-300.

In the end, I decided to sell the superzoom. I knew that, if I were to keep it, either the 2-lens set or the superzoom would not be used much. I decided I'd rather not use the superzoom much. So I saw no reason to keep the 18-250. This brought me to ordering a 16-45 to replace the kit.

There's probably also a psychological factor in here somewhere that having two lenses makes more of an impression to noobs .
LOL true! ;P Thanks for the Info

04-03-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
I believe that the DA55-300 is the best choice out of all your choices. I have used an extra long telephoto before, specifically the tamron 18-250, and found that the sharpest just isn't on par with the 55-300, in all the range. The optics in all-in-one lens has gotten better, but in term of quality, it is much better to own a 18-55 and a 55-300 for a pentax user.
I second that. I have the Tamron 70-300 and borrowed my friends DA55-300 and although the Tamron is well worth the $ of 150 the Pentax is superior in almost every way. Faster AF, sharper pictures through out the zoom and less (almost none) CA.
04-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #10
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I agree with the general notion in here, my vote goes for the DA 55-300 also.

I have that lens, and although I haven't shot much with it lately, its a very sharp lens through out its range and is usually accompanied by a wider zoom, such as 16-45/18-55 AL II/16-50

And I also have the DA 18-250 but its sole purpose is to come out only when no other lens will accompany it.
04-09-2010, 10:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by EsBee Quote
I agree with the general notion in here, my vote goes for the DA 55-300 also.

I have that lens, and although I haven't shot much with it lately, its a very sharp lens through out its range and is usually accompanied by a wider zoom, such as 16-45/18-55 AL II/16-50

And I also have the DA 18-250 but its sole purpose is to come out only when no other lens will accompany it.

I agree with Esbee; I too have the DA 55-300mm, it is indeed sharp and contrasty. Like many others, I have grown out of it (seems like every new comer like long tele and zoom) and more interested in short and wide (primes in particular). However, I would still take it with me on long trips. I don't have the 18-250 (used to be called superzoom) but I have the Tamron 28-300mm, it is soft on the long end and slow on the short end. Therefore, it is quite a compromise.

Again, as many have suggested, only you can decide on what is best for you. If you like to use only one lens (than the choice is obvious), but if you want to get better quality (instead of convenience) than a couple of short zooms and prime will give you the best tools to get the job done. As you gain more experience, you will know what focal length you need on what occasion.
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