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Old Nov 11, 2008, 12:29 PM   #1
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Can someone suggest an all in one lens for this camera. I order the camera with an 18 -70mm kit lens but need something in the 18-200mm or the 28-210mm range. Under $200 would be a plus. I shoot a lot of situations that involve fire and smoke and such and need a lens I can put on it and not have change while I am out in the field and be able to do my work.

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Old Nov 11, 2008, 2:49 PM   #2
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Tamron or Sony 18-250mm (same angle of view you'd have using a 28-375mm lens on a 35mm camera).

The Tamron version runs around $459 at vendors like buydig.com. The Sony is a bit higher.

You can pickup a used 18-200mm in Excellent condition with hood and caps for around $200 now. But, the quality isn't quite as good as the newer 18-250mm. See the listings here for examples (they have both Sigma and Tamron 18-200mm lenses for around $200).

Minolta third party zooms for digital at keh.com

You'll see pages of choices in their non-digital Minolta Autofocus lenses (lenses that work with both 35mm and dSLR models), in both Minolta and third party lenses (shown as non-mfg categories):

Minolta Autofocus Product Categories

I'd probably compromise on focal range for a bit better quality myself and go with something like this one for an "all in one" lens, if I really needed one. This one would give you the roughly the same angle of view you'd have using a 36-200mm lens on a 35mm camera. This is a Tamron SP (Super Performance) series lens, and Tamron's SP lenses have better optical and build quality compared to their consumer grade lenses.

Tamron SP 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical IF Macro w/hood, caps for $254 in like new condition

Personally, I use a Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 AF lens for walk around purposes, giving me roughly the same angle of view I'd have using a 36-128mm lens on a 35mm camera.

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Old Nov 11, 2008, 8:15 PM   #3
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The Tamron/Sony 18-200 isn't very good, and the Sigma is even less so. The Tamron/Sony 18-250 is better.

I used to own the 18-200, and found it wasn't very sharp, had significant optical distortion at the wide end and significant chromatic abberation at the long end. SLRGear.com tests of the Tamron 18-200 confirm this. Tests of the 18-250 show it to be slightly better, but still not great. Either one will give you the range you have with your Fuji S9100. The 18-250 is better, but it's much more expensive.

For what you want to do, the flaws in either lens might not be very apparent.

I would definately give the Sigma a pass though.
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Old Nov 15, 2008, 11:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I ran my question of what lense to get through our state police fire and arson investigators that work in our area. They use both film and D-SLRs to capture images (almost all the gear is Cannon with a few Nikon pieces here and there). The answer I got was Tamorn makes great 55 - 200 that they use for zoom shots and combo of Sony/Sigma and Tamorn 18 - 70mm. They also carry 28mm f/2 macro lenses for detail work. The 18-200 is a good lens but not for detail work and the 28 - 210 and 28 - 250 are maginal -- Just like TCAV told us.

So it looks like the lens I want is a 55-200. Looks like that would be the one mounted on my camera when I get into the heat of things and have the other lens for those times when I need to go very wide.

testing out my camera on fire Friday I relaized that the 18 - 70mm in the kit is too short of a focal length on the long end. I ended up going back to my car and grabbing the Fuji S9100.

Thanks for all the help so far

dave
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Old Nov 16, 2008, 6:31 AM   #5
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On the other side of the equation, I'd take into consideration the need to swap lenses in hostile environments if you really need more range.

The 18-250mm is actually pretty well liked by most users of it.

If you look for problems in the images, sure, you'll find some. But, for most practical purposes, you probably wouldn't care much about things like a bit of corner softness at wider apertures for documentary type work, or a bit more barrel distortion at the 18mm end, etc. Most users say it's a much better lens compared to the kit lens, and distortion really isn't that noticeable from around 24mm on.

So, I wouldn't rule out going with an all-in-one for your type of work.

Here's a 4 page review with another perspective on using that type of lens here:

http://www.alphamountworld.com/revie...-f35-63-review

Here are some user reviews from Sony and KM dSLR owners:

http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/...asp?IDLens=415
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Old Nov 16, 2008, 4:32 PM   #6
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thanks

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