Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax Lenses

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 10, 2009, 11:59 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Alright... yet another string with questions about the Pentax 18-250 lens. It's clear most Pentaxians who buy this lens understand the compromises that come with such a long focus range - or just don't care. Either way, the majority of people who own them seem pretty pleased.

I've just begun considering this lens myself - not for any serious work, but for outings with family and friends when two conditions are present: 1) Photo opportunities at wide-angle and telephoto distances in rapid enough succession that changing lenses means I will undoubtedly miss quite a few shots. 2) Carrying around a two-lens kit would be highly inconvenient and even uncomfortable.

One example: Going to a Major League Baseball game with a bunch of friends on a hot, summer day. One would want to get those long shots of pitchers, batters, etc... but two seconds later, one might want a picture of your friends being goofy just a few feet away. Remember, the walk out to the stadium and one's seats is pretty long (in the NYC area, one is usually walking from the subway, not the parking lot) and conditions in the seats are a lot more cramped than many realize - particularly if food or drink are present.

Before you answer, know that I have a K200D and three lenses: the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8, the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 and the DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8. So the lenses I have aren't that small and light to begin with.

The 55-300mm lens would appear to be the one to take from my current kit: With a 35mm equivalent of 450mm on my camera, the long shots will be no probem. But with an 82.5mm equivalent at the short end, I'll probably still have to take quite a few steps back to get those candid group shots. In many cases, no doubt, the moment will be lost.

So for these reasons and applications, I've begun to think about the 18-250mm lens, which is even a bit physically shorter and lighter than my 55-300. Adorama offers this lens for about $389 right now.

But... for the same money - or even a bit less - I can pick up something like a Panasonic FZ28, which has a lens with a zoom range of 28mm to well over 400mm (equivalent) while remaining faster than the Pentax 18-250mm throughout. Plus, the entire package would be smaller and lighter than my K200D with the long zoom on it. Owners report the FZ28 has pretty speedy performance as well.

Yes, I'm aware that the Panasonic is working with that small 1/2.3 sensor. But we're talking almost exclusive daylight applications here (or very bright lights at the ballpark). For that reason, even the 18-250mm lens's slow f/6.3 at the long end can probably be worked around.

One last thing: If I go with the 18-250, that's a 375mm equivalent at the long end. Assuming I'm sitting in the cheap seats, I'd probably have to crop those shots anyway - at least a bit - no? A friend of mine doesn't seem to have a problem with the 436mm equivalent on his Canon S3 IS.

So... those are the arguments for both solutions - at least on paper. Have any Pentaxians had real-world experience with both the 18-250mm lens and one of the better, up-to-date, megazoom point-and-shoots? At the end of the day, in the kind of photographically non-critical but ironically demanding situations I'm talking about, which solution makes more sense? Or do you have a suggestion that hasn't occured to me?

Thanks for your time - half the fun is asking these questions and enjoying the resulting interaction.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 11, 2009, 12:14 AM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Default

I have no experience with either but if you want instant wide to tele a P&S wouldn't be too good. I'm thinking >1sec for P&S and <0.5sec for SLR zoom. Focusing on a P&S would take another 1sec atleast, while the K200D(I have one) would take less than that espesially if you use the quick shift focus ring to make it go faster.

And 375 vs 435 is not much of a difference! Just my thoughts... :-)
MaxwellL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2009, 9:48 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
tacticdesigns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 998
Default

Tough decision.

If price were no object, my answer to this would be . . . yes. Get both. <grin>

But you've got the lenses.

The other option is you get the Panasonic, stick it in your pocket (it might just be small enough), stick the 55-300 on your Pentax K200D and go to the game. Take field shots with the Pentax & when you want group shots, pull out the Panasonic.

And, if there are occasions where you want to have a camera, but don't want to risk your Pentax, just take the Panasonic. (Like me today. I'm taking my daughter toboganning & I don't want to risk breaking my Pentax K100D, so I'm taking my small P&S instead!

When I go to get-togethers with friends and family, half the time I pack my small P&S in addition to my Pentax & when I don't feel like carrying my dSLR around, I just toss the small P&S in my pocket.

The other option is to get one of those water-proof P&S (although they are tough to control). For me, this would be interesting because I could dive into the pool or lake with my daughters and take in-situ shots without worrying about the camera. And the water-proof P&S are all really small and pocketable. My buddy just got the 8meg Olyumpus water-proof.

And then the other option is to get another Pentax dSLR (even a used Pentax K100D for ~$300) and that way you can have the 50-300 on your Pentax K200D and your 16-50 on the Pentax K100D & just get a nice knapsack style camera bag with spots for 2 cameras. [This way, you're lined up to put the 10-17 fish-eye on the K100D when you get the fish-eye lens. <grin>]

Take care,
Glen



tacticdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2009, 11:50 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Yes... the 10-17mm... you HAD to suggest that, didn't you, Glen? Now there's yet another lens on my list. ':?'
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2009, 6:17 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
tacticdesigns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 998
Default

Yes... the 10-17mm... you HAD to suggest that, didn't you, Glen?

Ha, ha, ha!

I guess I've kinda been thinking about my next purchase (or series of purchases) like you.

I just got the AF540FGZ flash unit, and before I upgrade my camera (I still have a lot to learn and room to grow into my K100D), I'm thinking of slipping in the 10-17 to play around with.

When I finally do upgrade the camera body, I'm really swaying to hanging on to this K100D just to keep the 10-17 on it so instead of switching lens when I want to go fish-eye, I just grab the other camera.

Which way are you swaying / what are you thinking about your predicament now? I'm really curious.

Take care,
Glen



tacticdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2009, 7:11 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Well, I''ll tell you this much... I think hanging onto your K100D is a good idea even after you upgrade the camera body. Depending on the specs of the K30D (whenever it actually is unveiled), I may go for that camera or a leftover K20D. But in either case, I'll keep my K200D.

Now, to lenses: The 10-17mm fisheye is definitely on my list. But, before I go with that, I think I'll pick up at least one "normal" prime lens. The DA 35mm f/2.8 macro seems to make the most sense because it is a macro lens. But if I had the money, I'd love the 31mm f/1.8 Limited. I like the idea of having at least one really fast prime - faster than f/2.0 - for low-light work. Because it'll be only one (at least for a while), I'd want it to be roughly the traditional 50mm equivalent. Maybe I can find a deal on a fast FA lens.

But I want to make a decision on the 18-250mm lens or a mega-zoom P&S before spring, when those family gatherings and special outings begin to take place. The idea of the Pentax lens appeals to me because I'd still be able to take advantage of what a DLSR has to offer. But if I'm honest with myself, weight and size are very important at a MLB baseball game - or out on a small boat, for that matter. I have a bit of time before making a decision and welcome additional input.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2009, 8:58 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
tacticdesigns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 998
Default

Yeah. I hear you on the fast fix lens.

The two lenses you mentioned are out of my budget, but I've been eyeing the 50mm 1.4 @ $200cdn.

I just had my manual focus 50mm 1.7 lens out yesterday for a friend's son's BDay.

An Article in February's Popular Photography about 50mm'sreminded me I had the lens.

So I wanted to see if 50mm was workable indoors (I found it hard to compose shots because it acts like a 75mm. But then found it forced me to rethink things through, since I couldn't do what I usually did). I also shot most of the night without flash. And played a lot with the shallow depth of field.

Lots of fun & a completely different look than the super zoom.

Comparing my 50mm 1.7 to my Sigma 18-200, I realize how difficult it is to play with depth-of-field with the 18-200.

But since I already have the 50mm 1.7 MF lens, I'm moving the other stuff up higher.

Hey. When you decide what you're doing, please post. I'd be interested to know your final decision!

Take care,
Glen



tacticdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2009, 9:27 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Glen, have you seen this review of the 50mm lens you're thinking about?

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/pentax_50_1p4_p15/
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2009, 10:19 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

I think I'd be more tempted to get the p&s. I would normally say get the 18-250, but there are some advantages to the p&s for what you want it for. You'd have a much bigger DOF so you wouldn't have to pay as much attention to the aperture when you are shooting at the ball game. Also, I thought that some professional sports venues restrict SLR cameras, so you might be able to take the p&s more places. There are compromises both ways.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 2009, 5:55 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
tacticdesigns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 998
Default

Hello Biro,

Thanks for the link. I read it through.

This write-up seems more favourable then the quick write-up from Popular Photography where I believe their review of image quality was one of the lowest.

But for $200cdn, it's a cheap way for beginners like me to whet my appetite for playing with shallow DOF. [But I'll postpone the 50mm 1.4 until I figure out how much I like playing with shallow DOF.]

Both the Popular Photography article & a quick mention at the link above suggest that at it's new 75mm effective focal length, that this has become a portrait lens. But from my playing with my 50mm lens, I'd say that if that is true, it's only for full body or larger portraits. The face shots & head & shoulder shots I took were not too flattering in the perspective department. <grin>

Having played with my 50mm 1.7, the next test I'm doing with it is putting a 2x converter on it [Then I have a 150mm effective lens?] and trying to use it at my daughter's next school function. Even if I lose one stop f1.7 -> f3.4?, it'll still be faster than my 18-200. I'll crank up the ISO and see if I can get some non-flash shots in the dimly lit gym.

A cheap experiment since I have this stuff left-over from my film camera stuff my dad gave me.

Take care,
Glen



tacticdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:00 PM.