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Old Dec 14, 2008, 1:00 PM   #1
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Long time since I posted here. I still come and read here a lot since I learn so much for this group

Ok so here is the deal. I am getting the k20d for Christmas (shhhh don't tell hubby I know). I have a friend that would love to buy my k100d but she would also like to buy my 2 kit lens with it. I don't really mind selling them but they are my 2 most used lenses by far.

I have money that I was saving up to buy the k20 available for new lenses. I was looking on the web for something I could replace them with and encountered this one, pentax DA 18-250.

Now I have always been warned that lens with that much range are usually not a good idea but the convenience of this lens would save me a lot of headaches. When I go out with my wild kids I only ever bring one lens with me and it always seems to be the wrong one. That would solve that problem but I don't want to sacrifice image quality for convenience.

I would mostly be using it for outdoor candid shot of the kids. I have a fast lens already, For indoor shots. so it would probably never be used indoors.

So for those of you that have it what are your though on it, love it /hate it, pro/con.?????

And any other suggestions for something better to replace my 2 kit lenses with (18-55/ 50-200) would be appreciated??

If not I will just keep them and she can go buy whatever she wants.

Thanks so much in advance


















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Old Dec 14, 2008, 6:53 PM   #2
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The Tamron/Pentax 18-250 seems to be the best of the super-zoom lenses. I don't have it but from the pictures posted here, it's certainly useable. I'm not convinced that the coatings on the Pentax are worth the extra cost over the Tamron (it's otherwise the same lens), but maybe someone who's tried both can address that better than I can. As you know, it's pretty slow so there are limitations with it (but then, you already knew that).

The only other suggestion I would have is to get the new 18-55, which is supposed to be better than the old one, and the DA 55-300 with the K20. The 55-300 seems to be really nice and I would expect it to have better image quality than the 18-250, but I'm not sure it would be enough to give up the convenience of the one-lens solution for you.
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Old Dec 15, 2008, 10:13 AM   #3
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thank you for your response



i not really sure what i willl do just yet, but i still have time to think. if i do go the 2 lens route i willl probably get the DA 50-135.
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Old Dec 15, 2008, 10:03 PM   #4
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The 50-135 is an excellent lens, I love mine and use it often. You'll get significantly better quality from it over the 18-250, but then, you are also spending quite a bit more money. Your situation is such that all answers are compromises.
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Old Dec 16, 2008, 2:21 PM   #5
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julianne wrote:
Quote:

Now I have always been warned that lens with that much range are usually not a good idea but the convenience of this lens would save me a lot of headaches. When I go out with my wild kids I only ever bring one lens with me and it always seems to be the wrong one. That would solve that problem but I don't want to sacrifice image quality for convenience.

I would mostly be using it for outdoor candid shot of the kids. I have a fast lens already, For indoor shots. so it would probably never be used indoors.








Hi julianne

As I recently was on the verge of buying the DA 18-250, You might find the following usefull, -if money is a consideration.

As it is obvious that You are aware of thelimited Image Qualityof a SuperZoom, and just intend to use it as an all-purposelens, to record the kids many actions and everyday life around You: ===>then IMHO:

buy a SUPERZOOM !

=> Not only for convenience, but especially in order to be "equipped" and ready when life happens ! -Kids DO tend to move around a LOT, so does life when You are changing lenses.

I did buy a superzoom! -but as the Pentax DA would set me back about US$ 882, I instead bought the OLD Tamron 18-200 at US$ 257. A lesser lens than the new Tamron and the Pentax I'll agree, but it is still a lens which is justa tad inferior, to the Pentax/Tamron 18-250 I think.

So far the pictures I have taken has been ofreasonably good quality, but greatly appriciatd by those (my (polite ?)family and friends)Icould share what I saw that peticular day. And I'm very happy with what the 18-200 can do

-BESIDES: I learn a lot about my preferences as to angle of veiw and perspective, by skimming the exif data for focal length,and that along with getting useable pictures, and for just US$ 257 !

-And asthe oldTamron 18-200 is being this cheap, I have room for, AND can justify my next probable purchace: the Pentax DA 55-300. Thiswith thevery good kit lens,wiil cover the range 18-300 covered with a satisfying quality.

If You buy a superzoom, Youare likely to get a lot of pictures of everyday life, family, places and people, albeit NOT inhigh IQ. But is perfection moreimportant, if the price to pay for perfection is lots of missed pictures ?

BESIDES:

When the urge to go"artistic" ariseses, I'm sure You'llwant to put on a different pieceof glass, and You might be able to pinpoint what that'll be, by looking at the exif data from Your SuperZoom.

Ole








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Old Dec 16, 2008, 9:19 PM   #6
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I haven't used any of the lenses you're considering, so I have no first hand experience to share. But I have read some very good evaluations of the new Pentax SCMP-DA 17-70 lens. 70 mm at the long end is very far short of 250, but if it would be adequate for your needs, this might be one worth considering.
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Old Dec 17, 2008, 9:24 AM   #7
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Hello,

I don't have the Pentax 18-250, but I have both a Sigma 18-200 (New-$300cdn+tax)on my Pentax K100D& Promaster 18-200 (Used-$150cdn-incl.shipping)on my Nikon D70s(The Promasteris supposed to be a rebadaged Tamron.) [I've posted samples from the Sigma lens below.]

And . . .

I would not go without them.

No. They are probably not as good as the Pentax or having separate smaller range zooms or primes, but having the super zoom is amazingly convenient!

And I figure the quality I am getting out of them absolutely justified their cost. And if the Pentax's quality is better, then you will be well off.

Cons
------
- Not so great in low light. (My Pentax has a little trouble focusing indoors at night when there are not a lot of lights on, but I just discovered that my old Pentax 28-80 does really, really, well, so that has become my low-light indoors lens.) (And, when I get my Pentax 540FGZ external flash, I will have that focus assist to help me out then.) (My Nikon D70s has a built-in focus assist light on the body.)
- The corners of the edges are noticeably darker than the center. But I'm not sure how much this compares to other lenses. I just recently got to the point where this has become one of the bigger problems. But . . . I also learned how to fix this in Photoshop, so I can get rid of this if I want. This is annoying when shooting a pale blue sky, because the edges seem blue, but the center seems lighter, almost going to white. But then again, I notice this on the 18-55 kit lens I got with my K100D as well.

Pros
-----
- Until I get a better idea about composition, I will have a better chance of having the "right"focal-length on the camera to get the perspective I want to capture.
- Having two young daughters (7 yrs & 8 mths), I don't have a lot of time to change lenses when I am shooting them and their friends. (This is worth its weight in gold!)

And the quality of the image I get out of these two lenses (Sigma & Tamron) when I toss a lot of light at the subject with external flash just knocks me off my chair. I actually had put a soft-filter on my camera when taking a picture of my wife just to tone down the detail.

Here are a couple of detail shots with the cheap Sigma 18-200.







Here is a sample where you can see the corners (ie. the edges) starting to go dark. I posted this picture before I learned how to get rid of this in Photoshop. [NOTE: This had the soft-filter on. I was trying it out. <grin>]



Take care,
Glen



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Old Dec 17, 2008, 10:13 AM   #8
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Hello,

Sorry. One more thing.

RE: f-stops.

The Pentax 18-250 has an f-stop range of 3.5 to 6.3. You'll have trouble focusing in low light past f/5.6. [So the camera will need the assistance of the built-in flash or the focus-assist on the external flash.]

but . . .

If you get the Pentax 18-250, you'll be better off than me with my Sigma 18-200 that also has an f-stop range of 3.5 to 6.3,

because . . . at 200mm focal length, I'm at f/6.3 and my Pentax K100D is having trouble focusing in low light. To get back to f/5.6 I have to pull back on the zoom to 180mm? to get my Pentax to start focusing quickly again.

Where as the the 18-250, yes at 250mm you'll be at f/6.3, but when you're at 200mm you'd probably be near f/5.6.

So at the same focal length of 200mm, the Pentax 18-250 shouldbe a quicker lens than my Sigma and in theory should focus better and more quickly than my Sigma.

[So . . . I'm guessing that is why when I have my Pentax 28-80 3.5-5.6 lens on, it does not trigger my built-in flash to help it focus indoors, unless it is really, really dark.]

Take care,
Glen


Oh, yeah . . .

Doh, I just recently figured out that when I have trouble focusing in low-light and I don't / can't use the built-in flash to help me focus, I just zoom to 18mm, get the camera to take its best attempt at focusing, then carefully trying not to move my camera, i turn off autofocus and then zoom back in to 200mm or whatever and take the picture. Doesn't always work, but I get better results with that then me trying to focus with my poor eyes.



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Old Dec 18, 2008, 3:36 AM   #9
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Hi Glen, the above photos are very nice and demonstrate that a super zoom has its use. I have a Sigma 28-300 DL Hyperzoom. Have been very happy with photos from family gatherings where wider through to closer candid shots are facilitated. Softness compared to more expensive lenses in that situation isn't so important,as you presumably don't want to show everyone's blemishes!

Cheers

bb2



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Old Dec 18, 2008, 6:54 AM   #10
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Hello beachboy2,

Two of my Canon buddies have Sigma lenses as well. One has the same 18-200 lens as mine (except Canon mount) and the other has the 28-300.

Since I like going wide a lot (ie. 18mm) I got the 18-200 & I thought "why get the 28-300".

But the more I thought about it, and how my buddy shoots, the more I thought the 28-300mm was more a perfect lens for him than the 18-200.

He doesn't shoot wide a lot & he takes his camera on trips a lot to places like Vegas, etc. 300mm is nice to have for him to zoom into distant details.

But, then I think, he should have keep his kit lens so if he wanted to go 18mm he would at least have that lens.

Now I'm trying to figure out how f-stop affects autofocus performance & I'm thinking that the 28-300 will outperform my 18-200 indoors under less than ideal lighting conditions.

How do you find your 28-300 indoors in low light?

(My buddies' are coming over this weekend, so I'm planning to test our their gear while they are here. 28-300 for low-light performance & the Canon XTi & XSi bodies for image quality - going to take pictures of my daughter with off-camera flash through umbrellas and compare it to what I get with my Pentax & Nikon . . .)

Take care,
Glen




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