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Old May 7, 2009, 1:22 PM   #1
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Default Ready to Trade Up

As much as I hated to part with it, I sold my trusty DL and the 2 kit lenses (18-55 & 50-200) today (Hooray for Craig's List). I'm planning to upgrade to the K200 as a second/ back-up body for me as well as one for my daughter to use when we go on our father daughter photo treks.

I'm also looking to get the 18-250 as a walk-around lens. The $64,000 question however is should I get the Pentax or the Tamron 18-250? The Tamron comes with macro capability and a 6 year warranty, but the Pentax is a tad less expensive. From what I can tell, IQ characteristics are comparable. And can anyone confirm if the Pentax is indeed a re-badged Tamron?

Decisions...decisions...
I sure would like the benefit of the collective knowledge of the forum!
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Old May 7, 2009, 3:22 PM   #2
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jelpee,
I have the Tamron and love it. If you are using this as a one lens travel lens it is very versatile. The macro function has taken some nice photos for me (not a 1:1macro). At the 18mm end there is some minor distortion that can be easily corrected in PS. At the 250mm end the pictures are on a par with the quality I used to get with my DA 50-200mm.
I traveled to China last year and used it 95 % of the time. Not having to carry many lenses and having the versatility for almost every shot with one lens was wonderful. I use a K100D and have a Camdapter hand strap. The camera and 18-250 was on my hand from morning till night with no fatigue due to the light weight of both the camera and the lens.

Everything I have read seems to indicate that the Pentax and Tamron are the same lens other than the Pentax not having the Macro function. I don’t think you would go wrong with either lens. I hope this helps with your decision making.


Examples:

Macros taken with 18-250mm Tamron
White Sulfur Butterfly F8, 1/350" 250mm ISO800



Prickly Pear Cactus F11, 1/320", 250mm ISO400



Last edited by Keltech; May 7, 2009 at 6:51 PM. Reason: adding pictures
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Old May 7, 2009, 7:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for your feedback Lou...just the kind of user experience I'd like to hear about. Carrying the K20D with the DA* series lenses is a bit cumbersomb especially when flying and I'm therefore looking for the K200 + the 18-250 as a good travel package. Glad to hear that your experience with the K100 + the 18-250 was a good one in China. I have yet to read anything negative about the Tamron and with teh 6 year warranty, it sure looks attractive. Thanks again for your help!
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Old May 7, 2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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Jay

While you Did not Ask. The K200D is a great Camera. You Will Love it. It just plain Blows away My K100D.

Phil
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Old May 7, 2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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An interesting thing is that DXO does detailed testing for some camera/lens combinations, and you can download the particular module that meets your combination (i.e., K20 and the DA*50-13, another one for the K20 and DA 12-24, etc.). They have only one module that covers both the Pentax and Tamron 18-250 lenses, all other lenses are separate modules (including separate modules for the different versions of the kit lens!). That leads me to believe that the Pentax is the same lens.
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Old May 8, 2009, 1:59 AM   #6
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Congrats, Jelpee. I should have paid more attention when I met with Keltech and I had the Pentax and he had his Tamron. I had decided I'm only looking for the Tamron. After my experience with the Pentax that he'd only had a little over a year, that 6 year warranty is sounding good.

Need to start looking again. The fun vacation will be here before I know it.

Patty
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Old May 8, 2009, 2:01 AM   #7
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Sure you'll enjoy your trade up, don't really know how to go with the tamron or pentax, I got the (older) 18-200 version of tamron and still believe it's a great superzoom.
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Old May 8, 2009, 6:06 AM   #8
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My Tamron 18-250 stays on my K-m most of the time, and it seems to do quite well for nearly all the (diverse but mostly nature) photos I want to take. Mine was purchased from KEH, listed as good condition but arrived in new-looking condition.
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Old May 8, 2009, 7:43 AM   #9
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Thanks all for all the feedback.
Phil: The decision to go with the K200 was a done deal...thanks for the confirmation though!
Patty: My Summer travels start in the middle of June so I have about a month to scan for best available pricing. A rebate on the K200 about now would be good timing!! By the way, hope your Dad is recovering well!
Mole (& Lou): About the only thing complaint I have read about the Tamron (& the Pentax for that matter) is zoom creep when the lens lock is not engaged. How much of an annoyance have each of you found it to be?
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Old May 8, 2009, 4:06 PM   #10
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Jelpee,

Yes the lens creeps. You must get use to using the lens lock. Because I use a hand strap each time I lowered my hand the lens would extend out, so I learned quickly to lock the lens after each use. The lock only works when the lens is fully retracted. It will not lock in any other position.

If you cannot get used to locking the lens there is a workaround. A wide elastic band can be slipped onto the knurled rubber zoom ring and adjusted so a small amount of the band is on the part of the lens that creeps. By making small incremental adjustments to the rubber bands position you can stop any zoom creep and still have a reasonably smooth zoom control. Once you get the sweet spot for the rubber band the trick is to not inadvertently move it.

As nhmom pointed out the 6 year warranty and the macro capability were the two compelling reasons for me to choose the Tamron over the Pentax.

Lou
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