SRS have given a rough guide of £500 for all the lenses, flash and pentax body, £110 for the body alone. A bit dissappointed with that as it includes most of the boxes etc. Looks like Nikon might be off the cards, or eBay may be a better option.

sigma 18-200

I have just bought a new ‘super zoom’, the Sigma 18-200 f3.5 – 6.3. This is not really a ‘new’ lens either, the new version is optically stabilised and for Sigma, Canon & Nikon only, but the in-body stabilising of the Pentax mean the old version is more than adequate. I am not a great telephoto fan, and it was not well covered by my lenses. Up till now I only had a 1980’s Tamron Adpaptall 70-210 to fall back on. The Tamron was fine, but for £165 + £5 postage from Germany, I thought it was time to get something with a bit of versatility and reach.

This is not a review, just some thoughts and observations about what it is like to use.

* Overall I am very happy, it is fine for non-demanding work and takes photos of nice things when pointed in the right direction * It is only about 40% bigger than the kit lens for the Pentax, but it weighs twice as much at about 420g * It feels solid and the zoom and focus rings feel right. The zoom is still tight enough that zoom creep is not an issue (yet?) * It zooms the opposite way to Pentax (and Nikon?), not that great an issue * It bills itself as macro, but at 1:4.4, it is not as macro as the Pentax kit lens, which focusses down to 25cm * No real problems with image quality so far. At the zoom end the contrast seems reduced, but a bit of level tweaking sorts it out

So far, no real problems. Apart from the fact I now resent spending anything towards a Pentax when I am heading for a complete move to Nikon in 2010 (again).


DFS annoys me. Not the sofa makers, Dark Frame Subtraction. I have been reading wonderful things about the new Pentax Kx and how good it is at low light and higher ISO. But it has a couple of real annoying ommisions. No facility for a wired remote shutter release, it is either physical or infrared. Also, I have just discovered it does not have a power socket, just a battery shaped adapter that fits in the battery socket. So maybe I should keep saving and buy the K7? Well maybe not. SRS slipped up with an £880 on-line price the other day (they were either calling someone’s bluff or pre-empting a future reduction), so it is getting more realistic financially. But it also does not allow you to turn off DFS in exposures more than 30 seconds or for any bulb exposure. Admittedly, that is most annoying for star trails, something I do not shoot a lot of. But I would like to, and I do not want to shell out £500 or £900 on a camera that is severely limited in this regard. Up till yesterday, the only thing seriously tying me to Pentax was the 10-17 fisheye, but I guess I could make a bit on that if I sold it on. Today I got received a Sigma 18-200 from Germany. The only reason I bought it was that I thought it would be handy for travel and I was thinking of getting the Kx between Christmas and New Year (before the VAT increase). Now I am back to thinking about Nikon (or Canon), whichever it the better option for a fisheye that takes rear mounted filters (or bits of cut glass).