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07-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]

I'm looking for a good walk around/vacation lens. We went on vacation and I found that I needed 20 one minute and 300 the next. (I have the kit lens and a 70-300 lens.) So every time I turned around, I had the "wrong" lens. This was a new experience for me as I am coming from a Canon SX30 IS that has a 35x zoom all in one. As this K-x is my first DSLR, I've been looking now for a more versatile lens for traveling. I was originally looking at a Tamron 28-300 lens but have recently stumbled upon a SMC Pentax DA 18-250 ED, AL, IF for $180. It appears to be selling for more than that on ebay and the ratings on this site are really good.

The chart shows that it should work on the K-x. Is anyone using this on a K-x and how do you like it? Is it worth the price? Anyone have any thoughts? It shows that the "quick shift" isn't an option but everything else should work. What is quick shift anyway?

Any thoughts on this lens.... would it be worth the price now? I have no idea what it would be worth now since they don't make them anymore.

07-06-2013, 07:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hope9811 Quote
What is quick shift anyway?
Adjusting the focus manually / overriding the AF at any time, as opposed to having to change modes or hit switches first.

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07-06-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
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I have this lens and have found it very useful. It's prone to "zoom creep", meaning that the zoom will extend under gravity even if tilted down only slightly. Mine did this when I first got it; I had it serviced by C.R.I.S. and now the zoom holds its position unless pointed straight down. It's useable over the entire range, slightly soft at the wide end but sharp from maybe 50mm on. At $180, it's a steal at $180 if it's in good condition, even if it does have zoom creep.

Here's a crop of a photo I shot with mine earlier this spring. Hand-held, through window glass.

Attachment 179540

Last edited by dshombert; 02-16-2014 at 11:27 AM.
07-06-2013, 08:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hope9811 Quote
I stumbled upon a SMC Pentax DA 18-250 ED, AL, IF for $180.
What is the condition of the lens? I would check and test it if possible because one usually doesn’t find this lens under $300. Finding it for $180 in good condition is a steal! I had this lens for years on my K-x and was the only lens I had during a Disneyland trip and never wished I had something else. It is a Tamron re-badge and may not have the IQ of a prime or newer zooms but imo, it is an excellent walk around lens. It is notorious for barrel creep. I only sold it to fund an 18-135WR. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more the latest version of Sigma 18-250 Macro is currently $399 at B&H.

07-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Yes $180 is very good for that lens. I had it as a Tamron in my SonyAlpha days and it served well. I later got an 18-200mm Sigma DC that was its near twin in performance and IQ for under half the price, so I let the Tamron go. It did nothing wrong at all (OK it crept more than the Sigma) but for its high resale value it was the best one to sell! And I know that 3 years ago I sold it for more than $180...
07-06-2013, 11:32 PM   #6
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Yes at $180 it is a steal. The DA18-250mm will work with any K-x, K-r, K-7, K-50, ...... That is any Pentax digital SLR camera.

The DA18-250mm is a great lens IMHO. It has only two weaknesses: low light performances and zoom creep. The former is inherent to any all-around zoom lens: these are not designed for low light conditions and you are better off using a fast prime lens (eg f1.4 to f1.8). The latter (zoom creep) can be fixed very simply and cheaply ($1):

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/161684-da18-250mm-...ion-works.html

Hope that the comment may help.
07-07-2013, 12:49 AM   #7
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Yep, it is a great lens and you should snap it at $180.

I have the Tamron version of this lens and will keep it despite all the specialist lenses I've accumulated over time.
It is almost possible to beat as a walk around lens if you want to travel light.

BTW, my copy is super sharp at the wide end. It gets a bit softer over 200mm but that's to be expected. Stop it down to f/9 or higher and it is fine even at 250mm.
07-07-2013, 01:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hope9811 Quote
Any thoughts on this lens.... would it be worth the price now? I have no idea what it would be worth now since they don't make them anymore.
For $180 take it before anyone else does. It's great superzoom lens. It has distortion, vignetting and soft corners wide open (if you pixel peep) but it can do a lot of things well enough. Combine it with DA35/2.4 and you got nice travel kit. One advantage over third party lenses may be automatic in-camera distortion/CA correction if you shoot jpg (but may not be available in k-x). Build quality is also quite good IMO. Only feature I miss sometimes is quick-shift. WR and SDM/DC motor would be nice also but it may be too much to ask

Here are some examples what it can do:











07-08-2013, 11:06 AM   #9
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When people say zoom creep, that's only when walking around.... it doesn' t cause problems while taking a picture does it? I've seen zoom creep bands.... do these work to help with that? What are the pros and cons to those? Would one of them work on this lens if I get it?
07-08-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for the images everyone and your thoughts. I went ahead and bought it. It says it's in "amazing" condition. Hopefully that's true. It should arrive in a couple of days so we'll see..... here's to hoping as I really want a nice all in one vacation lens. :-)
07-08-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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Zoom Creep only happens when the lens is pointed down and the lock is not engaged.

I've developed some muscle/lens memory to the point that as soon as I take a picture and decide to start walking around, my hands automatically twist the lens down to 18mm and engage the zoom lock. The zoom creep bands work on these lenses.

Problem solved. To me this was a non-issue for the walkaround-requirement the lens resolved.
07-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Francis Quote
Zoom Creep only happens when the lens is pointed down and the lock is not engaged.

I've developed some muscle/lens memory to the point that as soon as I take a picture and decide to start walking around, my hands automatically twist the lens down to 18mm and engage the zoom lock. The zoom creep bands work on these lenses.

Problem solved. To me this was a non-issue for the walkaround-requirement the lens resolved.
That sounds easy enough. I'll just have to get into that habit also! Thanks for the tip!
07-08-2013, 01:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hope9811 Quote
When people say zoom creep, that's only when walking around.... it doesn' t cause problems while taking a picture does it?
Hi Hope9811,

I t could cause a problem when shooting if the zoom ring is unsupported and you tilt the camera up or down -- The lens could retract or extend after you compose your shot, and before you trip the shutter, so you could get unexpected composition or even focus changes if the lens is not truly parfocal (where focus does not materially change at different FLs). Not a big deal if your hand positioned on the zoom ring during the process, or if you have an elastic band that prevents the creep.

That being said, I have a DA 18-250, and with a body that has good high ISO capability especially, the lens is a very good one. I think you'll like it -- especially at the price you got it for. . .

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; 07-08-2013 at 01:45 PM.
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