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Old Mar 19, 2009, 6:36 AM   #1
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Going on vacation in two months and was thinking having just one lens (or maybe in addition to 50mm since it's small) would be great. Just going to visit family and would probably be taking candid shots. Not much scenery in Bakersfield, CA. :-)

Anyway, I thought maybe the 18-250 range would be good. I see that Pentax and Tamron both make one.

Does anyone have either or have any comments on either? Anyone know if it's possible to rent a lens for a week? Do places do that sort of thing? I'm not sure I could talk my hubby into such a large purchase after just getting the K20.

Thanks for any input.

Patty




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Old Mar 19, 2009, 7:39 AM   #2
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Patty,

I'm looking at the 18-250 myself just for its versatile range. Rumor has it that the Pentax is actually made by Tamron!
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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Did a little (and I mean very little) looking around again tonight on it. Found comments that they are the same lens. Also, that the Pentax had 2 year warranty and the Tamron had 6 year.

Patty
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Old Mar 20, 2009, 4:38 AM   #4
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Hi Patty,

As far as I know, the lens was designed by Tamron, and is rebranded by Pentax. In making it a DA, Pentax added SMC coatings and added Quick Shift focusing. From most accounts, this is a very nice lens despite the barrel distortion at the wide end (should be easily corrected in PP).

I know that the 18-250 is much better than the older 18-200, so I'd only consider the newer model.

Scott
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 7:49 AM   #5
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So, no one here actually has this lens? Would it be worth the ~$400? Or, is there something else out there in the ~$200 range that would suffice? I really like having the 18mm on the chance of finding a nice landscape and the somewhat longer zoom. It's one of the reasons I haven't been able to find a good pocket camera I want (viewfiender, longer than 3x zoom, video with zoom. I'm picky.)

Patty
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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Patty, having just been through this myself, I can direct you to a few threads discussing these nearly twin lenses - the Pentax has a couple of added tweaks, but the Tamron is less expensive.

First, here is Popular Photography's Best Buy selection summary for 2007:
Quote:
Who? Light-packers who hate switching lenses. What? Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II AF LD Aspherical. Why? Why not? If you can get an equivalent of 29-375mm from a single lens, what's not to like? Particularly since in Pop Photo Lab tests it posted Excellent SQF numbers at all four tested focal lengths -- remarkable for a zoom of this range (almost 14X). While it shows Visible barrel distortion at widest angle (not uncommon), distortion is very well controlled at other focal lengths. No clunker, this lens is less than 4 inches long at its most compact and weighs slightly under a pound
and here is a link to their review of the Tamron:
http://www.popphoto.com/Reviews/Lens....3-Di-II-Macro

See this thread for a (semi?) professionals assessment of the Tamron:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...ghlight=18-250
(I took advantage of that $100 rebate and bought one (that darn LBA again - can't resist a significant markdown), but haven't had an opportunity to really try it out yet, but it looks like it should be OK. Too bad you missed the rebate which expired 2 weeks ago (I just got in under the wire).

Ed (snooked) has the Tamron and likes it. See his comment and sample picture in this thread:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...96&forum_id=94

and here are a couple of other discussions centering on the Pentax:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...00&forum_id=94

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...17&forum_id=94

As for the superzooms, Pentax (later this month) and Kodak (here now) are coming out with nearly identical new ones that look to be excellent, and Sony is coming out later this month with one that will blow your socks off, but it is $100 more (see their websites for details) - lots of buzz on these lately. The Kodak may be a Pentax by another name with a few added features). For a less expensive alternative, see Steve's review of the Panasonic FZ28 (top of his current best camera list for this category) - it and the older top rated FZ18 are as light as a feather and have superior Leica lenses. You can find sample pictures in the Panasonic P&S forum. Some of my FZ18 images are linked in the last thread above. The FZ28 is improved over the FZ18, but the lenses are similar in quality, and shifted a bit to the wider end in the newer model.

This should keep you busy for a while.:whack:
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 7:19 PM   #7
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The Tamron and Pentax must have really similar (read, the same) characteristics as far as DXO is concerned - they have modules where they take specific cameras and lenses, do extensive tests to them and then have modules that correct characteristics that the combination has. They list the Tamron, Pentax and Samsung 18-250 together for one module.

I wouldn't say that Bakersfield doesn't have scenery. Recently the fields (especially the ones that are against the mountains) were full of wildflowers. And you can always head for the Poppy Reserve in the Antelope Valley - the flowers are excellent along Hwy 138 (large fields of bright orange!). All kinds of yellow flowers in the Mojave desert, too. Gorman Hills are nice with those yellow flowers I posted last week, along with lupine. It's a wonderful time to be visiting.
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Old Mar 23, 2009, 6:42 AM   #8
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Thanks, Penolta and mtngal.

Looks like I've got some reading to do. Quickly looking at those posts, Penolta, they seem to be the period when I wasn't around much dealing with my mom. Thanks for pointing them out to me.

I'll have to keep my eyes open for those p&s's coming out. My biggest thing is I really want the viewfinder and when I find one with it, it only has a small zoom.

That's true, Harriet. I forgot about the fields out of town. We will be limited on our transportation, though. My time is usually very limited when I'm there to seeing family. All of which want me for their own. And, we aren't staying a full week+ this time. Maybe I can sneak off some time.

Patty
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