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10-07-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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Need Advice On Lenses

Hi All, I'm still looking for a walk about lens for my K5. I currently have the 18-55, and 55-300. I want a lens I can pretty much keep on the camera 90% of the time. I was looking at the Pentax 18-135, but I would like a bit more reach than that. So I started looking at the Tamron Zoom Super Wide Angle 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Lens for Pentax Digital SLR, and the Sigma Zoom Super Wide Angle 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Aspherical (IF) Lens for Pentax Digital SLR. I want something with reliable focus, and fully compatibility with my K5. I do like the fact that the Pentax is weather sealed mainly to keep dust out. I don't mind spending extra money on the Pentax, but also want the extra reach. Which third party lens matches the K5 body color best? If that 18-135 were 18-200 I'd jump on it. I was also thinking of the Sigma 18-250. I'm not sure I like the Finish on the Sigma lens barrel. I don't know. Any suggestions would be great. Ready to order now.

10-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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I recently invested in a DA 18-250. Bought it off the Marketplace. Gives me some excellent results. Only con I have about it is that my model suffers with lens creep. No big deal.
But for a fairly cheap, everyday day, leave on camera lens, this has filled the gap very well.





10-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #3
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I don't really like super zooms, as the IQ is compromised when you're trying to cover such a vast range, but I've shot with the Tamron 18-200 and Pentax 18-250. When I had the Tamron, I always wished the it had an extra 50/100mm. In other words, I wished I had brought along the 55-300mm. Since then, I sold it when I found a Pentax 18-250 and like it a lot more, despite zoom creeping issues (but there's a lock for that). So if I had to choose again, I would recommend something in the 18-250 range instead of the 18-200 range. My travel bag is with the 16-50mm and 55-300mm, as I don't mind switching when I need to.
10-07-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Walkabout lens

I have the Pentax 18-250mm on my camera a great deal of the time. It covers so many situations so well that bringing along whatever prime you may want to play with is always just an additional option.

10-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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My original dSLR kit was the K20D+AF360, FA50/1.4, DA10-17, and DA18-250. Hundreds of lenses later, the DA18-250 is still my most-used lens, especially for traveling and dynamic situations. I consider it my basic lens; all the others are specialty tools.

My absolutely most minimal kit now would be the FA50/1.4 for action and low light and DOF control, the Tamron 10-24 for tight spaces, and the DA18-250 for almost everything else. Throw in a Raynox DCR-250 and I've got a compact working combo.

Check the lens reviews and you'll see that the DA18-250 and its Tamron twin get rather higher ratings than any of the other 18-200 or 28-200 offerings. Zoom creep is trivial, handheld. It's just the most flexible tool around, my optical Leatherman.
10-07-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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While I can understand in many cases why a super zoom may have some interest, for me, you give up too much at the long end.

In reality, if you want something like an 18-200 or more, you are better off with a high quality bridge camera and not a DSLR. The reason is that a brdge camera can easily give an equivelent FOV range and the lenses are actually faster by 1-2 stops over a super zoom on a DSLR, therefore although the smaller sensor may have more noise. you can shoot at lower ISO.

as an example, my old kodak bridge camera circa 2004 had a 10X zoom with 36-360mm (35mm equivelent) lens that was F3.2 at maximum focal length. now this lens would compare to perhaps a 24-240mm lens on a DSLR, but I challenge you to get anything with this focal length at F3.2 It litterally would weigh several kilos and cost $1000's to purchase.

while changing lenses can be bothersome, youo are really better off with limited zoom lenses, the 18-135 is really all you should consider. if you want more get a long tele specifically designed for the focal length you want
10-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
In reality, if you want something like an 18-200 or more, you are better off with a high quality bridge camera and not a DSLR. The reason is that a brdge camera can easily give an equivelent FOV range and the lenses are actually faster by 1-2 stops over a super zoom on a DSLR, therefore although the smaller sensor may have more noise. you can shoot at lower ISO.
I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure I fully agree. Unless you want the smaller size and compactness of a bridge camera, the K-5 + 18-250 will give you superior IQ (IMO). Even if the long end of a bridge camera is a stop or two faster than the 18-250 at the long end, the difference in high ISO performance between the K-5 and the just about any bridge camera is a lot more than one or two stops. Plus, the DSLR + superzoom is generally going to be more respoinsive. The bridge camera is obviously going to be smaller, lighter and a lot less expensive than a K-5+18-250, but again, if you don't mind the size and already have the K-5, I think the 18-250 is a perfectly reasonable lens to buy for this purpose.
10-07-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure I fully agree. Unless you want the smaller size and compactness of a bridge camera, the K-5 + 18-250 will give you superior IQ (IMO). Even if the long end of a bridge camera is a stop or two faster than the 18-250 at the long end, the difference in high ISO performance between the K-5 and the just about any bridge camera is a lot more than one or two stops. Plus, the DSLR + superzoom is generally going to be more respoinsive. The bridge camera is obviously going to be smaller, lighter and a lot less expensive than a K-5+18-250, but again, if you don't mind the size and already have the K-5, I think the 18-250 is a perfectly reasonable lens to buy for this purpose.
Not to hijack the thread and make it a DSLR + superzoom against a Bridge camera discussion, I think you will gind that the high ISO performance on the K5 while exceptional, grew out of the development of higher MP P&S/Bridge camera sensors.

I won't disagree the high ISO capabilities of the K5 are great, but the point I was making is that the bridge cameras do come with fine lenses, which are fast, compared to a super zoom, and it would be an interesting test to shoot a super zoom vs super tele.

But I think that the super tele has so many drawbacks, that it really won't do a K5 justice and for many applications a bridge camera is a very capable alternitive.

as for responsiveness and other capabilities such as flash etc, I agree a K5 wins hands down, but there is a place for a bridge camera, as a small light weight walk around as good in most daylight situations as a DSLR and super zoom

10-07-2011, 01:43 PM   #9
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I probably should have mentioned I need this for a trip to Italy.
10-07-2011, 02:00 PM   #10
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If I were (and it is very unlikely) to buy such a lens, I would wait for the tests of the new Sigma 18-200 with their pseudo fluorite glass. They made some very good use of it so far (8-16, 70-200), I would be curious to see how it affects the image quality of an average super zoom.
10-07-2011, 02:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Not to hijack the thread and make it a DSLR + superzoom against a Bridge camera discussion, I think you will gind that the high ISO performance on the K5 while exceptional, grew out of the development of higher MP P&S/Bridge camera sensors.

I won't disagree the high ISO capabilities of the K5 are great, but the point I was making is that the bridge cameras do come with fine lenses, which are fast, compared to a super zoom, and it would be an interesting test to shoot a super zoom vs super tele.

But I think that the super tele has so many drawbacks, that it really won't do a K5 justice and for many applications a bridge camera is a very capable alternitive.

as for responsiveness and other capabilities such as flash etc, I agree a K5 wins hands down, but there is a place for a bridge camera, as a small light weight walk around as good in most daylight situations as a DSLR and super zoom
Yeah, I certainly wasn't disagreeing with your overall point about the usefulness of a bridge camera as an alternative to a DSLR+super-zoom. I was merely pointing out that if one already owns a K-5 (as the OP does) and he doesn't mind the larger size, then the purchase of a super-zoom for an upcoming trip might a better option for him than purchasing a high-end bridge camera. Of course this once again depends on the priorities of the OP and I could easily see a smaller, lighter weight package (bridge camera) being more important for this application than having a more responsive setup with better high ISO capabilities (K-5 + 18-250).
10-07-2011, 06:09 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I probably should have mentioned I need this for a trip to Italy.
When I travel in Europe I t
Generally take nothing longer than 85mm. I would think the 18-135 is a good idea
10-07-2011, 06:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
When I travel in Europe I t
Generally take nothing longer than 85mm. I would think the 18-135 is a good idea
I'd also second the 18-135, I personally prefer it to the 18-250 as an all-purpose lens. Yes you give up some reach, but in exchange you get a better built lens with faster, quieter AF. You also get a WR lens to pair with your K-5. I know some of the "official" reviews were critical if it's IQ and price, but I personally I think it gives you a ton of versatility in a small, silent package.

Last edited by dgaies; 10-07-2011 at 06:34 PM.
10-07-2011, 06:42 PM   #14
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I've been quite happy with Sigma's old 18-200, but I'd worry about its talent on a 16Mpixel sensor. It was great on a 10M and decent with the k-x (but much improved with PP work). I really liked its compact size, lack of creep (on two separate copies) and it stayed f/5.6 out to 170mm.

My experience with the DA18-135 on a K-7 was mixed: if I had stayed below 100mm it was fine but more than that needed the in-cam corrections turned on or much PP. I didn't like either of those choices forced upon me so I let it go.
10-07-2011, 08:08 PM   #15
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The 18-135mm is so quiet and focuses so fast. I only got a chance to play with it in daylight, so I don't know if it hunts, but it sure is nice.
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