30 June 2011

testing a mess of kit-like zooms (executive summary)

I've caught a few amazing deals recently online and at auction, which allowed me to try out several wide to mid-tele zooms on my k-x. I had not intended to do this, but fell victim to the proverbial offers that I could not refuse! Let me retrace my steps:
  • Had a very nice 18-55wr with my K-7 but let both go.
  • Found a used k-x at one site, a used 17-70 Sigma (1st generation) on another.
  • I then found a great deal on another 18-55wr, which is substantially lighter than the 17-70! Weight is important and the price around $100.
  • I placed a bid of just over $200 on an 18-200 Sigma, and to my surprise it won. I had this in my Alpha days (the 17-70 too!), and find it's still a good match with the 12-Mpixel sensor.
  • A sub-$250, gently-used DA16-45 called out to me.. and I answered. I let the 17-70 go to pay the bill. I tried the 16-45 on my K-7 but didn't love it as much as I expected.
    It's a bad sign when you own the same lens twice; a straightjacket that keeps me away from online sites is starting to sound like a good investment :^)
  • Last but not least I hit a Fathers Day deal on the new 18-50 Sigma with HSM (whisper-quiet focus) and OS inside (in-lens SR). It also doesn't change size during focus or zoom - cool. At that point the 18-55wr left again.

So that's it. 18-55, 17-70, 18-200, 16-45, and 18-50 - all in the space of about three months! I will gather my thoughts soon and provide more detail, and talk through which one or two will stay. Each has merits, few have demerits (other than redundancy), and all have image quality that earns my coveted "more than good enough" award. We'll see.