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smc-DA 18-250mm/3.5~6.3 ED AL [IF] ??

BODYHEAT
Posted 08/07/2009 - 15:05 Link
Anyone know anything about this lens? SRS don't stock it but it is on Pentax UK's website and is featured in PU magazine's sampler issue on this site last yeat.

Has it already been discontinued? Why?

It strikes me as a perfect range to carry around for general purpose if you are unable or don't wish to carry more than one as it goes from wide to tele and spans both 16-50mm and 60-250mm lengths

I see Nikkor have an 18-200mm which almost got me buying a D300 with this as its kit lens. I tried it and it was very sharp at both ends but I was told by others that it was not (the jury is still out on this for me as as both the K7 and D300 have their merits, although the K7 is so much handier, but I am not sure where I can get a truly impartial opinion on this subject )
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
Gwyn
Posted 08/07/2009 - 15:13 Link
It is the same as the Tamron version. Pentax have indeed discontinued their version of it. Sigma also now have one with the same range, with a choice of SR on the lens or on the camera for Pentax fit.


http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/lens/digital/18_250_35_63.htm
http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/18250_diII.asp

edit: links added
Edited by Gwyn: 08/07/2009 - 15:15
BODYHEAT
Posted 08/07/2009 - 15:42 Link
Any idea why it was discontinued? It sounds very useable
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
JonSchick
Posted 08/07/2009 - 15:46 Link
I have the Tamron version and have previously used a Pentax version of the lens. For info, I think there is no difference in IQ between them (there is some disagreement about whether the Pentax version has difference coatings but I doubt it) and actually the Tamron branded version feels marginally better built (partly because of the different plastics). I would expect the new Sigma to possibly have higher build quality but not sure I'd spend the best part of 500 on such a lens.

The 18-250 covers, as you say, a very impressive range and is a great one size fits most solution or travel lens. At the wider end it largely performs at least as well if not better than the Pentax kit 18-55. At the longer end things fall apart a bit (as you would expect) but the centre always remains acceptably sharp.

Such a lens always involves compromises and with my copy these seem to be:

(1) zoom creep when carrying the camera - you need to use the lock to keep it closed when walking around but you get used to it.

(2) significant barrel distortion at wide angle - but easy to correct in PP.

(3) significant vignetting at wide angle until stopped down to at least f6.3 - again correctable in PP and not such an issue at wide angle given that for most general/landscape use you'd probably stop down to get max sharpness anyway.

(4) problem (3) above gets worse if you stick filters on the front - you have to use expensive thin filters with this lens, not the cheap fat ones.

(5) edge sharpness not good at longer lengths - but may not be such an issue for tele shots if the subject you want to concentrate on is closer to the centre of the frame.

(6) the lens is slow at longer lengths (f6.3) so you need lots of light or high ISOs (in my view this is the single biggest issue).

In conclusion, I think people could do a lot worse than buy this lens to stick on the camera when they want to grab it quickly or travel without a pile of kit. It can then be usefully supplemented with a few choice primes or higher quality zooms once you've decided which aspects of the 18-250 don't quite deliver what you need on occasion. I wouldn't use it for special events, but it's great for general use.

Hope this helps.
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link
JonSchick
Posted 08/07/2009 - 15:49 Link
BODYHEAT wrote:
Any idea why it was discontinued? It sounds very useable

As it was a Tamron lens, which they have replaced with 18-270, it's no longer being manufactured. The consensus appears to be that the 18-250 provides better IQ, and the 18-270 is not available in Pentax mount in any case.

Now what I think Pentax should do is to resurrect a WR version of this lens to sell with the K-7!
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link
BODYHEAT
Posted 08/07/2009 - 15:54 Link
JonSchick wrote:
BODYHEAT wrote:
Any idea why it was discontinued? It sounds very useable

As it was a Tamron lens, which they have replaced with 18-270, it's no longer being manufactured. The consensus appears to be that the 18-250 provides better IQ, and the 18-270 is not available in Pentax mount in any case.

Now what I think Pentax should do is to resurrect a WR version of this lens to sell with the K-7!

Sounds like a good idea
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
jackitec
Posted 08/07/2009 - 16:07 Link
Well I have the Pentax lens and I have no complaints and I will never part with it, I just love it!!
johnriley
Posted 08/07/2009 - 17:36 Link
The pentax version is SMC coated, which ensures low flare and a cos=nsistent image colour with the other Pentax lenses.

It's a good lens that delivers the quality, the downside being bulk, weight and limited aperture.

Not for architecture, but for general pictorial work the barrel distortion is always acceptable and often not really noticeable.
Best regards, John
jackitec
Posted 08/07/2009 - 17:57 Link
I'm going back to Scotland on Sunday for three days and will be taking the 18-250 and my Sigma 10-20, oh! and a k20.
Anvh
Posted 08/07/2009 - 22:55 Link
BODYHEAT wrote:
Any idea why it was discontinued? It sounds very useable

I believe that the DA18-250 was the last lens made in Japan and they have closed that part of Pentax so far as I know so with that also the lenses they made.
Don't know why they didn't move the manufacturing to vietnam(?) but I ain't Pentax so don't know and they might have there reasons.

Just speculating now but maybe Tokina and Pentax/Hoya are busy designing there own since it seems a populair range or there is in the contract the lens (da18-250) must be made in Japan.
Stefan
Comment Image

K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
BODYHEAT
Posted 08/07/2009 - 23:01 Link
Anvh wrote:
BODYHEAT wrote:
Any idea why it was discontinued? It sounds very useable

I believe that the DA18-250 was the last lens made in Japan and they have closed that part of Pentax so far as I know so with that also the lenses they made.
Don't know why they didn't move the manufacturing to vietnam(?) but I ain't Pentax so don't know and they might have there reasons.

Just speculating now but maybe Tokina and Pentax/Hoya are busy designing there own since it seems a populair range or there is in the contract the lens (da18-250) must be made in Japan.

Then if it is Japanese made it might well be worth getting one while you can still find them. Would you concur?
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
GlynM
Posted 08/07/2009 - 23:14 Link
Just to add another point to JonShick's pretty definitive list above - As a cosmetic re-work of a Tamron this lens does not have quick-shift focus which I find really useful on other Pentax DA lenses.

Glyn
Edited by GlynM: 08/07/2009 - 23:15
andyvarney
Posted 09/07/2009 - 08:31 Link
I bought this lens with my K20 just before christmas and find it's great for my needs which are taking a variety of subjects. The sheer convenience outweighs the disadvantages,although having said that I wouldn't really know a decent image if I had taken one!

The main disadvantage of this lens seems to be the need to use thin (expensive) filters but the convenience of being able to go out for the day and not have to swap lenses makes up for it.

Andy
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog!

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