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08-24-2008, 10:08 AM   #1
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About to buy 200D. Any words of advice?

Hello! Long time reader, first time poster. I'm thinking of buying the 200D and the 18-250 lens. I primarily do outdoor travel photography, so this *seems* like right set up. I may get a wide angle zoom (12-24 maybe?) as well. I have a 50mm 1.4 off my ME that I'll use at parties, etc. It looks like the Tamron lenses are a bit cheaper and, from what I've read, basically the same as the SMCs.

With all that said, any words of advice? Better to buy a kit or body + lenses? Greatly appreciate all your opinions!

08-24-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Captquin Quote
Hello! Long time reader, first time poster. I'm thinking of buying the 200D and the 18-250 lens. I primarily do outdoor travel photography, so this *seems* like right set up. I may get a wide angle zoom (12-24 maybe?) as well. I have a 50mm 1.4 off my ME that I'll use at parties, etc. It looks like the Tamron lenses are a bit cheaper and, from what I've read, basically the same as the SMCs.

With all that said, any words of advice? Better to buy a kit or body + lenses? Greatly appreciate all your opinions!
Do you mean the K200D?
08-24-2008, 10:16 AM   #3
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I think it would make a very nice setup, that body and lens combo. I own the K10D and one of my lenses is the Tamron 18-250, which is basically the very same combo. For walk around, travel and general "one lens does it all", it is a nice lens and unless the kit doesn't cost much more than just the body alone, just get the body and the 18-250 lens.
Try this combo out, along with the 50mm and then decide what your next lens(es) will be once you feel the need.

Have fun!

Jason
08-24-2008, 10:21 AM   #4
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For travel you might, at times, find the 18-250 just too heavy, particularly for those cathedral tours. Get the k200d and the kit lens and also the 18-250. When you are in the zoo, you can mount the 18-250, and in the cathedral, you can use the 18-55 kit lens. For really low light shots, you might want to add a prime lens with a wider (smaller number) f/stop.

08-24-2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
For travel you might, at times, find the 18-250 just too heavy, particularly for those cathedral tours. Get the k200d and the kit lens and also the 18-250. When you are in the zoo, you can mount the 18-250, and in the cathedral, you can use the 18-55 kit lens. For really low light shots, you might want to add a prime lens with a wider (smaller number) f/stop.
The 18-250 is relatively the same size as the kit lens and surprisingly almost as light...no need to mount anything. I use it on my tours through Europe very regularly, around my neck or in my holster bag. It is another one of the advantages to this lens...feels like a kit lens, only a lot more reach.

Jason
08-24-2008, 11:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
The 18-250 is relatively the same size as the kit lens and surprisingly almost as light
Almost the same length when not extend, but considerably longer fully extended, And it's actually over *twice* the weight (455g versus 220g). These made a noticeable difference to me in trying the lens out. That combined with the lack of quick shift focus - I will not buy another AF lens without it - is why I personally could not see myself using this.

Another for the OP: it's not really true to say that Tamron lenses *in general* are cheaper and just as good. That's true of the 18-250 because it really is the same lens - Penax basically just licensed it from Tamron. But there are really very few other lenses that are nearly so similar. Eg, Tamron doesn't offer a cheaper/just-as-good version of the 18-55, or of the 50-200, or the DA40, etc, and Pentax doesn't offer a better/more-expensive version of the 28-75/2.8, the 70-300, etc. Really, in most cases, there is not even a choice to make. For certain types of lenses, Pentax makes the only option, for others, Tamron does and even when there is some overlap, it is by no means the case that the Pentax version is always more expensive or the Tamron version as good.
08-24-2008, 02:11 PM   #7
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G'day Captquin,
I think you will be very happy with the K200D & the 18-250 (with either badge on it). I have the K200D and it is a great camera. Dont have the 18-250, but have a 18-125 instead, which is my wife's favourite lens when travelling.

Enjoy.....and beware LBA.
Cheers.
08-24-2008, 02:31 PM   #8
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I would get the k10d instead, but that's just me. K10d has more buttons in the body

08-24-2008, 03:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Captquin Quote
Hello! Long time reader, first time poster. I'm thinking of buying the 200D and the 18-250 lens. I primarily do outdoor travel photography, so this *seems* like right set up. I may get a wide angle zoom (12-24 maybe?) as well. I have a 50mm 1.4 off my ME that I'll use at parties, etc.
The super-zooms have poor performance particularly at the wide end. However they are convenient. Since it seems you will favour wide angle I wouldn't get the 18-250mm (a lens I have not used but have seen shots from).

If you have the money for the 12-24mm (excellent quality) and have a fast 50mm (excellent quality) then I think you might want a good to excellent quality lens to make up the rest of the range. Consider the Pentax DA 55-300mm.

Yes this leaves a focal length gap, but maybe not one you'll notice too much. If you do, the DA35 Limited would fill it.

Or, just buy both DA* zooms plus the 300mm.
08-24-2008, 04:41 PM   #10
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BuyDig has a ridiculously good deal on the K200--$539, shipped.
Pentax K200D 10.2MP Digital SLR Body (lens not included) | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

As for lenses, the 12-24 is definitely a good choice. A good alternative to the kit lens is the Tamron 28-75/2.8; you can pick up a gently used one for around $300. You could get the kit lens, but if you know that you definitely want the 12-24, then you've got quite a bit of an overlap between the 2 lenses. As for a telezoom, I definitely second Robin's recommendation for the DA55-300. As for using your 50 at parties, you need to remember that the 1.5x crop factor will turn it into a 75mm equivalent lens, which might be too long in smaller spaces. You might want to consider getting a FA35/2 for your "party" lens. While it's not quite as fast as the 50/1.4, it'll give you a focal length equivalent close to that of your 50mm.

If you can only afford to get one lens right now, then go for the 18-250 so you'll have a basic do-it-all lens and then add other lenses as you can afford them.

HTH,
Heather
08-24-2008, 10:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Almost the same length when not extend, but considerably longer fully extended, And it's actually over *twice* the weight (455g versus 220g). These made a noticeable difference to me in trying the lens out. That combined with the lack of quick shift focus - I will not buy another AF lens without it - is why I personally could not see myself using this.
Yes, same length when not extended, which is how most people travel with it (wear around neck, in a bag, etc). My point is that it takes up no more room in your bag than the kit lens and provides a heck of a lot more reach therefore making it a very suitable carry along lens for those who dont want to take several lenses along.
As for the weight difference, yes, it is heavier, but most may agree it compliments the weight of the body quiet well and doesn't feel like a toy lens (kit lens). My experience in traveling with this lens, visiting museums and cathedrals as well as open areas, it handles the job quite well and until I get that offer from National Geographic, the quality I can live with!

Jas
08-25-2008, 01:24 AM   #12
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08-25-2008, 09:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Yes, same length when not extended, which is how most people travel with it (wear around neck, in a bag, etc). My point is that it takes up no more room in your bag than the kit lens
True. My point is different - that the camera balances differently with smaller/lighter versus larger/heavier lenses when actually using it. You apparently prefer the way it feels with larger/heavier lenses, but I am very much the other way around - the DA40 is *by far* my favorite lens to shot with in this respect.

Also, how one might potentially *feel* different about shooting depending on how conspicuous one appears. And again, I suppose some might prefer the more "professional" look of a larger lens, I prefer blending in more. Although to be fair, when used in the 18-55 range, there really isn't much difference here - but that's another part of why I love the DA 40.

Anyhow, in practice I find that even when I have multiple lenses at my disposal, 90% of the shots I take on basic walk-arounds are covered by the 18-55 focal length. That is, I don't shoot telephoto nearly as much as I imagined I would at first, and it's usually pretty easy to anticipate based on where I'm going when I'll want to take a telephoto lens with me. So I feel I personally would be giving up too much in terms of the feel of actually taking pictures by adding all that weight and bulk to my camera when I didn't need it most of the time.

Others, of course, are more bothered by changing lenses every once in a while, and don't mind putting all their lens weight on the camera rather than carry the 18-55 on the camera with, say, a 50-200 in the bag for when it is needed. Note the overall weight of the bag is almost exactly the same either way, but I'm much less sensitive to the weight of my bag than the weight of the camera as I shoot.

Also, FWIW, the kit lens doens't feel like a toy at all to me, although to be honest, I don't actually use it all that much - most of my shooting is with one of my primes. If I feel like traveling simple and light and take only one lens, it's the DA40 if primarily indoors and the 18-55 if primarily outdoors.

Anyhow, I'm just pointing out that there *are* tradeoffs to be made that different people will make differently. Hopefully we've described the advantages and disadvantages of each and our own preferences well enough for the OP or others to be able to come to their own conclusions about what would work for them.
08-25-2008, 11:38 AM   #14
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I think that would be a great kit. I have the 18-250 and have used it on my K100D, K10D and now my K20D. It's a great travel lens and I've never really found it that heavy. Volume-wise, it's pretty much the same as the kit lens.

I find the image quality great. Yes, there are compromises (occasional barrel distortion and purple fringing - both easily correctable in post processing) but for how I use my images (viewing full screen on my 24" monitor, printing at 8.5x11") it works great and I never notice the compromises.

I've taken numerous trips where this was my only lens and I never felt like I missed any shots. Indeed, I probably got more shots since I rarely had the wrong focal length on the camera. Plus, my family appreciates it since they don't have to sit around and wait on my hobby.

Now, when I'm going out specifically for photography, I'll sometimes see just how many lenses I can take. And I do love the shots I get with my other lenses, some of which the 18-250 couldn't take (low light action being the main area). However, for what it is, the 18-250 is the best superzoom out there today. If it suits your needs, you won't find a better one.

See my Flickr set on "Peru". All the shots there (including the low light cathedral shots) were taken with the Tamron 18-250 and the K100D.
08-25-2008, 06:24 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I think that would be a great kit. I have the 18-250 and have used it on my K100D, K10D and now my K20D. It's a great travel lens and I've never really found it that heavy. Volume-wise, it's pretty much the same as the kit lens.

I find the image quality great. Yes, there are compromises (occasional barrel distortion and purple fringing - both easily correctable in post processing) but for how I use my images (viewing full screen on my 24" monitor, printing at 8.5x11") it works great and I never notice the compromises.

I've taken numerous trips where this was my only lens and I never felt like I missed any shots. Indeed, I probably got more shots since I rarely had the wrong focal length on the camera. Plus, my family appreciates it since they don't have to sit around and wait on my hobby.

Now, when I'm going out specifically for photography, I'll sometimes see just how many lenses I can take. And I do love the shots I get with my other lenses, some of which the 18-250 couldn't take (low light action being the main area). However, for what it is, the 18-250 is the best superzoom out there today. If it suits your needs, you won't find a better one.

See my Flickr set on "Peru". All the shots there (including the low light cathedral shots) were taken with the Tamron 18-250 and the K100D.

Completely agree, I have the 18-250 on the k200d. Took it with me to the Chinese Lantern Festival this last weekend and the shots turn out great. I used it from bright day light, indoor and outdoor pitch dark and it does the job very well. Some shots looks so good I can't believe its taken by me (a complete newbie who bought the DSLR just 2 months ago). Here's 2 samples:






A few more in my flickr, all of them are taken using the 18-250 except one:

2008 Chinese Lanterns Festival - a set on Flickr


I LOVE this lens, it simplifies my current AND future lens setup and gives me lots of room to grow. Until my skills justify the purchase of some great prime lens this one will suit me for a long time.
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