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Out and About with a Superzoom Lens


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Out and About with a Superzoom Lens

19 Mar 2021 2:10PM   Views : 901 Unique : 652

I have explored quite a few hybrid and other compact cameras with amazing zoom lenses, so now it's the turn of the DSLR. The one lens solution is a very compelling one, especially when travelling. No lens changing and being at the ready from near-macro to sports and wildlife all in one lens? What's not to like? So I brought out the Pentax K-3 II 24MP body, a high end APS-C design, plus the SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]. The 1.5x crop factor gives us a "35mm equivalent" of 27-375mm. The lens focuses down to 1.48 feet or 0.45m, so not at all shabby when it comes to close focusing. This design has of course been superceded by the 18-270mm, which is also a better lens, but only by a slim margin.

Advantages are of course a fairly compact and light lens, fast focusing, excellent flare resistance and very good overall sharpness. The disadvantages are no weather resistance, no QuickShift manual focusing in AF mode, and a lens that will extend under its own weight. There is a lock for carrying purposes, but in use on a tripod and even slightly pointing downwards the lens will happily glide to full zoom all on its own, under the weight of all that glass. The AF though is very good and so is the selectivity of the camera body. Branches in trees do not faze the AF system and we can focus wherever we want with very high precision.

I shot these pictures yesterday, so let's see how I did.

A familiar sight, the old chapel in Tyldesley Cemetery

Spring has sprung!

Green on green, with a dash of red

Texture in old brick

Woodland cemetery

Excellent flare resistance


An isolated remnant of the original bounday wall

Incongruous colour

A new fence, an old lamp, a new bulb, an old gravedigger's house and a blue sky

I think the quality will be just fine for many users, especially if used for web and even for exhibition prints perhaps at A3. We don't expect Zeiss quality at the price level, but an excellent one lens solution, with the current 18-270mm being even better.

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