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View Poll Results: This lens is a good fit for rpriedhorsky.
Yes 2976.32%
No 923.68%
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12-22-2008, 09:45 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpriedhorsky Quote
Taking the advice of edl and others, I did an analysis of my output from the P&S: ("for i in */img_????.jpg */????.jpg; do exif -tFocalLength -m $i; done | sort -n | uniq -c" plus some spreadsheet action). This reveals that fully 68% of my P&S shots are at the wide end (35mm in 35mm-equiv), 8% are one or two stops narrower (48mm), 7% are at the long end (140mm), and all the other zoom stops are around 1 or 2%.

I believe this confirms my intuition that I want a wider wide and a longer long; I clearly bump up against the wide all the time, and the longest long is the 3rd-most-common setting.
OK, but note "the longest long" is only 7% of shots. You say you may pass some up because you know you won't be long enough, so I guess the number may be higher, but what this tells me is that fully 90% of your shots could be taken with a lens that went no longer than 100mm. Would be interesting to sum up everything 105mm and up to see how man shots the 17-70 would handle. The idea being to try to quantify how often you'd *really* be changing lenses with given kits, and how much you'd be giving up if you chose for weight reasons to leave the telephoto half of the kit at home sometimes.

Not that I don't think the 18-250 is a good plan - I'm just trying to encourage you to look at the data a little more realistically.


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 12-23-2008 at 11:53 AM.
12-22-2008, 09:59 PM   #17
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This is an interesting post. I've done some backpacking.

Me? knowing what I know now, I would get a K20D body, and a 17-50mm 2.8 Tamron and a 70-200mm 2.8 Tamron. (I suppose the sigma equivalent is just as good - and quieter with the HSM, but I like Tamron)

Light, and high quality. (and you can never have too much speed -- the 18-250 does not have speed)

and if you have money left over, get a FA 50mm f1.4 for low light.

That's a kit.

MHO.

Honestly, the 18-250 is the sharpest of the super zooms -- but you can get a 28-200mm tamron for *dirt* cheap that is 98% of the 18-250mm in terms of quality. Or you could get a 28-300mm tamron for a little more than dirt cheap.

They're all very similar in quality from my experience -- I'd stick with XR lenses tho for compactness. . but earlier models are cheaper if a bit heavier.


Personally, I'd go with the set up I first talked about and skipped the super zooms for fast zooms.
12-22-2008, 10:40 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpriedhorsky Quote
...............This reveals that fully 68% of my P&S shots are at the wide end (35mm in 35mm-equiv), 8% are one or two stops narrower (48mm), 7% are at the long end (140mm), and all the other zoom stops are around 1 or 2%.

I believe this confirms my intuition that I want a wider wide and a longer long; I clearly bump up against the wide all the time, and the longest long is the 3rd-most-common setting. I also know that I pass up many shots because I can't go long enough.

................
Thanks again,

Reid
Hmmmmm. I'm with Marc on this one. The bulk of your shots are wide/normal making up ~3/4 of your shots, ~1/4 are >140mm.

Why not think of getting the 18-55 kit lens coupled with the 55-300? You'll only be "changing" lenses 1/4 of the time. Or get the 16-50 2.8 with the 55-300. You'll also need to see what f-stops your shots are at. It appears to me that you're outdoors mostly and a fast lens may not be what you want to pay for. Unless of course, you got the bucks :-)
12-23-2008, 01:27 AM   #19
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I guess I'm one of the few, but I voted no. Why?
Sooner or later you will end up not using superzooms. You'll find them not wide enoug on short end, not fast enough indoors, not long enough on long end, not sharp enough for...
Well I could go on and on... but that's just my experience. In your place I'd start with DA16-45 DA55-300 and fast 50.
anyway, good luck choosing
BR

12-23-2008, 07:14 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
In your place I'd start with DA16-45 DA55-300 and fast 50
That's a very potent combination IME. Each of those lenses provide unbelievable bang-for-buck. More lens changes, more expensive, but extra wide, sharp all the way to 300mm, superb for low light and portraits. The 18-250 is a nice all-rounder, but outdone by the above combo in every possible way, except convenience and cost. If one wants to avoid lens changes, the smc DA 18-250mm is the top choice. No single lens will do it all, but an 18-250mm with a good flash is as close to do-it-all as it gets.

It's a judgement call but whatever the choice, it's definitely a step up from a Canon 530. I voted for the 18-250 BTW, because that's what the OP seems to want, good quality with p&s convenience. An 18-250 and a fast prime is still a great system.

Last edited by audiobomber; 12-23-2008 at 07:24 AM.
12-23-2008, 08:35 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
In your place I'd start with DA16-45 DA55-300 and fast 50.
I would ordinarily agree with this, as these are both great lenses and good value but each alone weighs close what the 18-250 weighs, and if weight savings (not to mention bulk) are a priority, perhaps this isn't the best kit.

This idea probably would be negated by many with a preference for wide angles, but I have used my FA 24-90 as a one-lens walkaround, with a versatile focal length range similar to many compact cameras. If you can do without wide, the FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 is a lightweight, moderately fast champ. The extra 'speed' over the compact doesn't necessarily come with the lens, it's with the D-SLR's better high ISO capability. D-SLRs today can produce output at ISO 800 that digicams struggle to match at base ISO of 64 or 100.
12-23-2008, 09:10 AM   #22
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I will add my 0.02 Canadian pennies in the discussion.

I do own this lens and i like it. It's verry usefull to have something that covers such a large focal range and it's quite sharp (it's not a 31mm Limited, do not be mistaken). The only complaint is that it's too slow for any kind of indoor/available light shooting. Use a properly bounced flash and the problem dissapear, but that add to the bulk. Given that it will be used with a K200D, the shake reduction should help a little bit in indoor shooting conditions. (and it's not every day that one will shoot indoor at 250mm-f/6.3, at least i'm not doing so...)

Personnaly, as soon as i go outdoor, that's the only thing i bring with me. The next logical step is to get a faster zoom (i'm looking for a Tamron 28-75 2.8, or something close) and i already own a 50mm 1.4 (everybody should have this one) for those indoor/poor light shots, or to get that creamy bokeh that you cannot get with a 18-250.

For a first lens, something close to a kind-of-jack-of-all-trade lens, that would fit perfectly. And in the long run, you will get LBA and want to get something else and it's a perfectly normal evolution process (?), but for the versatility and the range you get from a single lens, it's hard to beat.

And remember, there is no such things as a FA10-400mm f/1.8 Limited. (If such thing exist, i will provide my credit card number to get one)
12-23-2008, 09:23 AM   #23
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Hello from another Minnesotan! Last year I've been rolling with a A501:2 and the Kit 18-55 and a Quantaray 70-300. I am buying the Tamron 18-250 to replace the two zooms. I was switching out between the two zooms enough that I think I will be using the 18-250 exclusively until I need to go into a low light situation. For that I think next on deck would be either the FA50 1.4 or the DA*55.

Also another consideration I went with the Tamron version of the lens because it has a 6 year warranty vs the 2 year warranty for the Pentax. From what I've seen online images produced between the two are indistinguishable. You will pay a little more for the Tamron but it has a longer warranty.

12-23-2008, 11:22 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
I am buying the Tamron 18-250 to replace the two zooms.
Hopefully you're aware that the 18-250mm has reduced range compared to other designs. Because of the lens design, when set at 250mm it has the same FOV as the 70-300mm with a lower setting. i.e. At 250mm, it looks more like:
160mm @ 9 ft
200mm @ 30 ft
230mm @ 1 mile
Check this for the proof. http://picasaweb.google.com/bonhommed/FLCompare?authkey=xbsF9JAjscs# (Test was done vs DA 55-300mm, but 70-300mm has the same FOV)

The 70-300mm also has much better close-focus than the 18-250.

QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Also another consideration I went with the Tamron version of the lens because it has a 6 year warranty vs the 2 year warranty for the Pentax. From what I've seen online images produced between the two are indistinguishable. You will pay a little more for the Tamron but it has a longer warranty.
That depends on what country you're in. As far as I could tell, in Canada I would have gotten the one-year international warranty on the Tamron vs two years on the Pentax.

I haven't seen conclusive evidence that the lens coatings are the same. Given the "smc" designation on the Pentax version, I have doubts. Isn't SMC copywrited by Pentax?

Last edited by audiobomber; 12-23-2008 at 11:33 AM.
12-23-2008, 01:32 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
But the 18-250 won't be any better in low light than the Canon lens - the OP will need another lens for that (something f/2,8 or better at whatever focal lengths he is most interested in).
Marc, you're correct about the lens, but the camera will be much better than the Canon P&S at low light, plus the shake reduction will help with static low light scenes. So overall, the K200D with the 18-250 should be much better at low light than the P&S, hands down better.


To the OP, check out my Flickr set for my trip to Disney World. I used the 18-250 exclusively on the K10D (same basic sensor as the K200D, but different processor). (Note - some of the shots in this set were taken with my cell phone. Those are worse. )

Disney World 2008 - a set on Flickr

Here's a low light sample from that combo (230mm, f/6.3, 1/4s, ISO 800):


I also took the K100D and the 18-250 to Peru and never felt like I had to miss a shot. You can see those shots in this set.
Peru - a set on Flickr

Here's one of those shots (33mm, f/9, 1/250s, ISO 200):


Finally, the close focusing capability (Tamron calls it "macro" but that's stretching it) is very handy. Here's an example of a shot taken with the K20D (250mm, f/6.3, 1/125s, ISO 1600 - taking advantage of the K20D's high ISO performance):
12-23-2008, 01:37 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
(snip)
Honestly, the 18-250 is the sharpest of the super zooms -- but you can get a 28-200mm tamron for *dirt* cheap that is 98% of the 18-250mm in terms of quality. Or you could get a 28-300mm tamron for a little more than dirt cheap.

They're all very similar in quality from my experience -- I'd stick with XR lenses tho for compactness. . but earlier models are cheaper if a bit heavier.

(snip)
I had the 28-300 XR before getting the 18-250, and in many ways it was better. It was a full frame lens, so you didn't get vignetting like you do on the 18-250. Sharpness was about the same to my eye. However, over time I did find that I used the 18-27mm range more than I missed the 251mm -300mm range. Therefore I sold the 28-300 and kept the 18-250. If you can find the 28-300, that's a much cheaper alternative and you'll still get a lot of the benefits. I've never used the 18-200, but they don't get as good a review as the 18-250.

Just another comment on the 18-250 and dust. You will still get dust as the zoom will suck it in as the lens extends. This will happen with just about any non-sealed zoom.

Also, while the 18-250 isn't the lightest, it's noticably lighter than the DA* lenses and large aperture lenses that others have mentioned. I never notice the weight of the 18-250 but do notice the weight of the DA* lenses when walking around. In backpacking, I'd imagine it would be even more of a concern.

Last edited by rfortson; 12-23-2008 at 01:43 PM.
12-23-2008, 02:26 PM   #27
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rfortson: did you use a polarizer on that second shot?

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber:
The 18-250 is a nice all-rounder, but outdone by the above combo in every possible way, except convenience and cost. If one wants to avoid lens changes, the smc DA 18-250mm is the top choice. No single lens will do it all, but an 18-250mm with a good flash is as close to do-it-all as it gets.
I think this puts it well: I have to compromise somehow, and I think this is the right compromise for me.

Regarding the body: I would like one that is equipped with tiny rocket motors that can hold it vibrationless at an arbitrary position and orientation. It should also come with a team of adorable fluffy bunnies to keep things clean. When will this be available?

Reid
12-23-2008, 03:42 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpriedhorsky Quote
rfortson: did you use a polarizer on that second shot?
Nope, and that's one of my gripes about the Tamron. The lens hood doesn't have the little cutout that Pentax does that makes it easy to use a polarizer. I bought one to take to Peru, but couldn't easily use it without removing the hood. As I'd rather leave the hood on at all times, I ditched the polarizer.

What you're probably seeing in my shot is my affinity for a "well saturated" shot (what others would call "cartoonish" colors).
12-23-2008, 04:55 PM   #29
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I think you'll be really happy with the upgrade from your P&S to the DSLR. I did something similar - I have a Canon S3is and although it went to ISO80 and was f2.7 at the wide end, it was really only usable to ISO200 before the noise got terrible, so I had a lot of difficulty taking good shots when walking in rainforest. I found that a K100D, even with the kit lens at f3.5 produced far superior shots at ISO400. The larger sensor in the DSLR means that the higher ISO ranges become much more usable. Moving to better lenses made the difference even more stark. The Canon doesn't get used any more.

Don
12-23-2008, 08:41 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
(and you can never have too much speed -- the 18-250 does not have speed)
At the long end f/6.3 could be faster to get you higher shutter speeds, but fast long focal lengths lenses quickly become heavy and expensive.

For "low light" one really needs good high ISO performance. Even if the lens supports f/1.4 then the DOF is so thin that it is great to create artistic effects but not for capturing a relevant zone in sharp focus.

So called "fast glass" was important in film days but with today's high ISO performance of DSLRs there is much less need to put up with ultra thin DOF when you don't want it. I therefore regard fast lenses as giving me more DOF options, but not as buying me speed.

The other reason to pay attention to the minimum f-stop ratio of a lens is the fact that most lenses have considerably better IQ if stopped down a bit. So expect to use the 18-250 at around f/8 at 250mm.
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