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11-01-2015, 04:15 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by elementdtlop Quote
The new hd 55-300 was only about 250 new recently I think it's well worth getting that over the da l or older da for wr alone. The hd coating is really nice for contrast with that lens too. You could get 18-55 wr and hd 55-300 for prob 300 if u got 18-55 used. I don't think the 18-250 would out resolve either lens at their respective lengths at only $200. Most of the budget superzooms have notoriously terrible iq. The kit lenses aren't pro quality but with a superzoom most you are better off using a bridge canera
At $US250 the HD WR version of the 55-300 would be an outstanding buy. I'm sure it's well worth the extra $US100 over a used copy of the earlier versions.

As for the superzoom, I disagree with the sweeping statement that IQ is "notoriously terrible" or that you are better off using a bridge camera. Some of the early 28-200 superzooms were notorious, but as far as the Tamron/Pentax DA 18-250 is concerned, you could only say that if you haven't used one, or you got a bad copy. Honestly the IQ is surprising (with the usual proviso for all consumer zooms that you get a good copy). And I say that having used some top-class lenses. You get a lot of barrel distortion at the wide end, but that is easily corrected in PP. Up to about 80mm the Tamron is quite sharp, especially if you can stop down a bit. Photozone said (of the Pentax-badged version), "At 18mm up to 70mm the results are very good and even comparable to conventional standard zoom lenses which is fairly amazing for such a lens." I would actually prefer it to the 55-300 up to about 70mm. Of course it is weaker than the 55-300 at the long end, especially in the corners, and the slow f6.3 max aperture above 200mm is a limitation, but that is part of the trade-off for versatility. And even at 250mm I have got some very pleasing shots with the Tamron - centre sharpness remains pretty good. I would choose a good 18-250 over the 18-55 + 50-200 combination any day for IQ alone, with the added bonus of having one lens instead of two.

Of course for a two-lens solution, the 18-135 (or Sigma 17-70 or Pentax DA 16-85) + 55-300 would be better. But when we are talking about starting out with a DSLR on a tight budget, a used K-30/K-50 with a Tamron 18-250 would be a great starter kit for something like $US400. A few samples from the Tamron below (some taken with K-30 and some with K100DS).



11-02-2015, 06:48 PM   #32
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i think I'm the only person to say i liked the 50-200. maybe i just got a good copy. i have a da wr version and i think iq wise it looks at the very least on par with the examples you're showing me. the 18-55 as well. i have a DA-L wr kit one. i can agree with only having one lens that sounds really nice but price wise i don't know if it is reasonable enough to justify when you could get the 2 kit lenses cheaper 2nd hand offering similar results that are wr to boot or investing in new 55-300 & used 18-55 for 100$ more. wr is nice feature to have when you "outgrow" the zooms and move to primes and need something for inclement weather to utilize the wr body. quick shift is nice too with these lenses. i guess i have a bad taste in my mouth with tamron zooms after using an older 70-300. it fringed horribly and the iq was pitiful. it does look like that model isn't bad at all ill admit but it seems to be more the exception to the rule when it comes to super zooms.
11-02-2015, 10:19 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by elementdtlop Quote
i think I'm the only person to say i liked the 50-200. maybe i just got a good copy. i have a da wr version and i think iq wise it looks at the very least on par with the examples you're showing me. the 18-55 as well. i have a DA-L wr kit one. i can agree with only having one lens that sounds really nice but price wise i don't know if it is reasonable enough to justify when you could get the 2 kit lenses cheaper 2nd hand offering similar results that are wr to boot or investing in new 55-300 & used 18-55 for 100$ more.
After 25 years swapping lenses on a film SLR, the convenience of the superzoom was a treat on my first DSLR (K100DS). I got a lot of shots that I would have missed with my old camera from having the wrong lens on. And I was constantly surprised at the image quality. Hence my fondness for the one-lens solution, as an intro to DSLR. For people who don't use telephoto much, the 18-135 might suffice instead - with the benefits of WR, light weight, silent AF and a little better IQ.

You are not the only one to like the 50-200 - just as the 18-55 has plenty of fans too. The 50-200 probably suffers by comparison with the 55-300, which was supplied in DA-L form as the corresponding kit lens with some previous model cameras. As kit lenses go, they seem pretty good - which hasn't been the case with some of the F and FA series consumer zooms.

QuoteOriginally posted by elementdtlop Quote
wr is nice feature to have when you "outgrow" the zooms and move to primes and need something for inclement weather to utilize the wr body. quick shift is nice too with these lenses.
It's a paradox that while the kit zooms now have WR and QS, many of the finest lenses ever made for Pentax (e.g. the FA Ltds) don't have either feature.

Not many third-party lenses for Pentax have autofocus with manual override. Nor did any of the Pentax lenses (zoom or prime) before the DA and DFA series (even the * ones and Limiteds). And some of the DA series primes don't have QS (e.g. DA 35 f2.4 and DA 50 f1.8).

As for WR, very few primes have it: DFAs, DA* primes (55, 200, 300) and the 560. And that's about it at present AFAIK.

QS and WR are nice features to have, but to insist on both would mean passing up a lot of great lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by elementdtlop Quote
i guess i have a bad taste in my mouth with tamron zooms after using an older 70-300. it fringed horribly and the iq was pitiful. it does look like that model isn't bad at all ill admit but it seems to be more the exception to the rule when it comes to super zooms.
The Tamron 70-300 is colloquially known as the Purple Monster for its fringing. (The Sigma 70-300 seems to be better, and a reasonable cheap alternative to the Pentax 55-300.) I haven't used another Tamron zoom but many people like the Tamron 17-50, 28-75 and 70-200, provided you get a good copy. I think it's a pity Tamron aren't selling their newer lenses in K-mount.

There are other decent superzooms. Obviously the Pentax-badged versions of the Tamron-designed 18-250 and 18-270, and the most recent Sigma 18-250 also gets pretty good reviews.

The main thing with a superzoom is to accept its limitations and work within them. Avoid the extremes if possible. Use them for outdoors or with flash, so you can stop down wherever practicable. Shoot RAW and correct any distortion, vignetting and CA in PP. For travel take a compact prime for low light, or when you need higher IQ. If these limitations (which would apply to the kit lenses too) don't match your shooting needs, get suitable lenses that do - like the f2.8 zooms or a kit of primes.

Last edited by Des; 11-02-2015 at 10:44 PM.
11-03-2015, 12:07 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote

QS and WR are nice features to have, but to insist on both would mean passing up a lot of great lenses.
it definitely matters what you are shooting and where but wr could mean the difference between having pictures and not wanting to risk your gear so having at least one lens to fall back on is nice. for the price getting one or 2 of the 3 i mentioned would be a relatively cheap alternative to the one you posed and would have the wr ability and cover about same focal length prob without weaknesses inherent of a superzoom a beginner may not know how to handle in post. i do agree something like the sigma or tamron's wider f2.8 zooms or one of pentax's other zooms on the wider end would be a better match with the 55-300 for quality but the price goes up with it to match its quality. the 18-55's sell for next to nothing though so its hardly an investment that would limit further growth. with the 55-300, aside from primes, the lens is about the best one could foreseeably need in that length unless they needed more or didn't need as much reach and/or wanted pro quality. with any of those options you're probably looking at a $600+ investment at the least as opposed to the 250 for that lens.
it really is a shame sigma and tamron are not supporting pentax as much but it makes sense financially for them. the market share is not big enough. pentax's own lineup has most focal lengths covered past to present or will after like the wa ff zoom and such are all released. one thing hurting pentax is that a lot of their lenses filling the gaps are older designs with screw drive and the lenses that had sdm everyone is wary of.

11-03-2015, 06:20 PM   #35
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You make a good case for the WR zooms @elementdtlop. If you want primes there aren't many WR options (yet).
11-03-2015, 06:39 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
You make a good case for the WR zooms @elementdtlop. If you want primes there aren't many WR options (yet).
DA*55, DA*200, DA*300, D FA 50mm macro, D FA 100mm macro all weather sealed.
11-03-2015, 06:42 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scorpio71GR Quote
DA*55, DA*200, DA*300, D FA 50mm macro, D FA 100mm macro all weather sealed.
Also the da 560.
11-03-2015, 06:47 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Also the da 560.
Yup forgot that one, it's so far out of my price range it never registers in my head.

11-03-2015, 10:58 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scorpio71GR Quote
DA*55, DA*200, DA*300, D FA 50mm macro, D FA 100mm macro all weather sealed.
Isn't that what I said (plus 560) at post#33 ;-)
QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
As for WR, very few primes have it: DFAs, DA* primes (55, 200, 300) and the 560. And that's about it at present AFAIK.
Of all the K-mount primes out there, that's not many.
11-15-2015, 02:39 PM   #40
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K50 vs K-S2

For me the option of being able to use AA batteries would make the choice easy for me. Unfortunately, the K-S2 can only use its proprietary battery.
My vote is for the K50...
GR
11-15-2015, 04:27 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by grcolts Quote
For me the option of being able to use AA batteries would make the choice easy for me. Unfortunately, the K-S2 can only use its proprietary battery.
My vote is for the K50...
Coming from the K100D to the K-30 I thought the AA battery option would be useful, especially as I had plenty of Eneloops and a good charger. I got a cheap AA adapter, but I have hardly used it. DLi109 batteries are much lighter - you can carry a couple of spares and it still weighs less than a set of AAs. And good third party DLi109s aren't expensive either. DC chargers (to use in your car) are cheap too. Of course, AAs are a handy backup for an emergency or if you are away from power for an extended period, and a set of AAs probably lasts longer so more likely to last the distance shooting an event like a wedding, but personally I wouldn't give that factor too much weight unless you have particular a need for AA capability. (If you do, consider a camera that takes a grip, like the K-5 or K-3.)
11-16-2015, 09:25 AM   #42
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Hey Des,
I agree you can purchase the extra battery packs for the K5 and K3 bodies but that adds much more bulk and weight to the camera too. Plus, I have had those batteries without warning go dead on me while on a trip. I like the security knowing I can get AA batteries just about anywhere.
AA batteries for me are a must as I shoot away from places where plug-ins are available and extra proprietary batters are more expensive. I know many people do not need the option of picking up AA batteries in a pinch but when you need them you need them!
Cheers!
GR
11-16-2015, 02:52 PM   #43
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Makes sense for your needs, GR. But the AA battery option does take up space. The K-50 might be the last Pentax DSLR to have the option of using AA batteries in the body.
11-16-2015, 03:40 PM   #44
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To the OP - it's nice to choose between two excellent bodies, isn't it? Don't waste energy looking back, enjoy that K-s2!

QuoteOriginally posted by elementdtlop Quote
i think I'm the only person to say i liked the 50-200. maybe i just got a good copy. i have a da wr version and i think iq wise it looks at the very least on par with the examples you're showing me.
... i guess i have a bad taste in my mouth with tamron zooms after using an older 70-300. it fringed horribly and the iq was pitiful. it does look like that model isn't bad at all ill admit but it seems to be more the exception to the rule when it comes to super zooms.
I also like the 50-200. Its sharpness does not match the 55-300 in general (among my copies of each), but it was always a good 'atmosphere' lens. Color, bokeh, the entire package made several excellent images that conveyed mood. Sharpness and moody are not often compatible for my shots. And I also had a fringey copy of the 70-300 Di; a fine lens to about 120mm but at 135mm and higher it wasn't nice.
11-18-2015, 10:44 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by grcolts Quote
...AA batteries for me are a must as I shoot away from places where plug-ins are available and extra proprietary batters are more expensive. I know many people do not need the option of picking up AA batteries in a pinch but when you need them you need them!
Cheers!
GR
Same here. I've just upgraded from the old trusty K-x to a K-50 with 18-55 DA WR.

If the price drops further around Black Friday / Boxing Day, I might call MasterCard re: price protection
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