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Old Aug 28, 2009, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED or DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED

If there has already been a thread on this, I apologize for the redundancy and please direct me to it and I'll just read the posts there. Otherwise, I'd appreciate feedback on these two lenses, pros & cons.

I have budget for either and here are my other lenses:

-DA 18-55mm kit lens
-Tamron 28-75mm F2.8
-smc FA 50mm F1.4
-smc F 100-300mm F4.5-5.6
-smc DA* 200mm F2.8
-Sigma 28-90mm F3.5

I'm also going to trim down some of the lenses (probably give them to my son for photography class).
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 7:20 AM   #2
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The versatility of the 18-250 zoom range is tough to beat. I took mine on some recent travels and realized the tremendous benefit of carrying only one lens (size and weight), and not needing to stop to switch lenses, expose the sensor to dust, etc. And for the price, the iimage quality is IMHO is excellent. Since you already have a lens with a 300 mm reach, the 55-300 may be redundant. Also, FWIW, the 18-250 gives you a half to one stop advantage in maximum aperture.
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 9:39 AM   #3
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You really don't indicate what your intentions are with each lens. However, I have to agree with jelpee's viewpoint.

I have the 55-300, its a very good lens, I like it a lot, but you currently have better coverage at 300 with what you have and from 200 and below, you have great coverage. I did look at the 18-250 when Ritz was closing stores and it certainly looks like a nice lens. For an all around walk around lens, it looks like its a wonderful all in one package - and I think that is your intended use.

Today, I am just trying to stay cool as it is going to be 115++++, a real barn burning scorcher of a day. I say 115++++ because they moved the official thermometer at Sky Harbor International to a shady spot (rumor has it that they built something special for it) - something about not wanting to be hotter than Tuscon.....
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 10:00 AM   #4
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-You don't indicate why you're looking at the , but I can only assume it's because you want a convenient no-lens-change option for those times it's inconvenient to do so. You have some excellent lenses that give you coverage throughout the range, including some really high-quality lenses. I just can't see where the 55-300 would give you much that you don't have.

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Old Aug 30, 2009, 2:05 PM   #5
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I just got the 18-250 (Tamron version) and it hasn't been off my camera since. When we went out to the coast last weekend to check out the remains of Hurricane Bill it came in very handy. I definitely did not want to be opening my camera with all that moisture.

Since you've got all the lengths covered with your other lenses, I'd say get the 18-250 to give you the full range in one lens. Then, you can use the others for specific purposes if you need.

Good luck. Patty
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 2:45 PM   #6
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My intent is to get a good all-around lens for when it's not convenient to be changing lenses or to lug several lenses around. My only concern about the 18-250 was I had read that there was some problems about significant barrel distortion. It doesn't sound like that's been a problem for those of you who use the lens. I've also just found a review with an excellent tool that demonstrates barrel distortion in the 18-250 lens. Your comments and this link have convinced me that this is a good choice for my needs. Here is the link: http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Pent...f35-63?start=1
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 7:04 PM   #7
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For general, walking around purposes I would have to agree that the 18-250 sounds like a good choice. However, I should say that I don't have that lens, so to some extent I'm guessing. I went on a puffin-watching trip a while ago, and had my Sigma 70-300 lens on my camera. As we were returning to the harbor I noticed a really pretty light house with a stone cottage next to it. Problem was, zoomed out to its widest setting (70mm), I couldn't fit both the lighthouse and the cottage in the frame. The boat was moving fast enough that the scene was changing all the time, and there was no way I could swap lenses in time to still get the shot. At that moment I understood how handy it would be to have a wide-to-telephoto all in one lens.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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You have an 18-55 and also a lens that goes out to 300mm.

Do you need either the 18-250 or the 55-300 ? You seem to have the range covered. The only advantage of the 18-250 is that you would have that one lens to cover wide angle to moderate telephoto. That's an OK idea to have, if not quite it 'all' on one lens, at least most of it.

The 55-300 lens, which I have is an excellent lens and on my K10D/ KM is the 35 mm equivalent to a 460 mm at 300mm settings.

I love it...for wildlife photography...fast...the clarity has knocked me out and it is light and compact.

I have an 18-55 and although it's a good lens...I much prefer to use my 16-45 if I'm going to use a wide angle...more 'wide' angle, more quality.

What I do for a walk around is attach either my 16-45 or 55-300 into my little LowePro lens case, clip it on my belt and switch lenses as per the subject requirements.

Bit more inconvenient than having the 18-250...but then I have a bit better extreme range on both the wide angle and telephoto range with these two lenses, over the 18-250.

I don't really notice the extra weight..it's negligible to me.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 2:48 PM   #9
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Hi jnpf,

I can understand why this is a difficult decision. If you just want the convenience of a super zoom walkaround for vacations and general use, then it's hard to fault the 18-250.

There are a lot of considerations though. If giving your son a very good range of lenses is a high priority, then the 18-55, 28-90, and the 100-300 would be a very nice combo, with the only gap being 90-100. This would cull your herd to what I would say are your best lenses, the 28-75/2.8, 50/1.4, and 200/2.8 -- all premium, fast lenses by just about anyone's standards. The 18-250 would add a bit to your range at both ends, add considerable convenience, and cover all the gaps.

I think that it's a reasonable strategy to have a wide range zoom for convenience and to have fast, more specialized lenses for situations where quality trumps convenience. Add a high quality ultra wide zoom (DA 12-24/4), and you'd have everything but the long "portrait" range covered with very high quality glass.

Another alternative would be to give your son the same 3 lenses, upgrade the kit lens to the newer DA18-55 II or WR, and get the 55-300. This would give you 18-300 in two compact lenses. It shouldn't be too inconvenient to carry a belt pouch that the 55-300 would fit into, and covering this range with just two lenses would be pretty awesome. Plus you'd have a WR lens to stick on the cam if it starts to rain. . .LBA is very insidious. . .

Personally, I see primarily with a tele perspective. When I look at a scene, I tend to lock in on details within the scene, and want to get closer. I could use the 55-300 as a walkaround lens and not miss the wide end at all. I find myself choosing my 50-135 as a walkaround lens all the time.

Have you considered analyzing your shooting preferences in FL? There's a nice freeware program called Exposure Plot that you can use to graph your FL choices. You could do this analysis which might help make your decision. It reads the exif, extracts things like FL and aperture, and gives you a graph to show your preferences for these. Most find it enlightening.


Good luck in choosing your next acquisition. . . it won't be your last. . .


PS, one more alternative would be to get the new DA18-55 WR and the DA50-200 WR to cover 18-200 with 2 weather resistant lenses -- something to consider, I'd think.

Last edited by snostorm; Sep 6, 2009 at 3:04 PM.
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