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06-04-2010, 02:40 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
As people have pointed out to me, the 18-55 is actually not a bad lense. While its not my favourite lense, other than being a bit slow it is capable of producing nice images. For me, it turned out that it was the focal range not clicking with me that was the problem. I'm now mostly using a F 35-70mm 3.5 - 4.5 which is of similar optical quality to 18-55 and I'm happy with it. Unfortunately the 17-70 is outside of my budget at the moment but is on my dream list.

I'm sure owners of the 17-70 and 16-45 will comment.
My copy of the 18-55mm seems overly soft (at anything less than f8), poor color and contrast, and just overall bad image quality. The only thing I have to compare it to is the 55-300mm, and the difference is night and day. I also have a Sigma 28-105mm f/3.8-5.6 UC-III IF that I bought second hand for very cheap and even it does better than my 18-55mm. It's not consistent bad quality, which is another issue. I have captured some nice images with it, but it's so inconsistent that I can't really rely on it.

Again, very happy with the 55-300mm DA-L and wish the 18-55mm DA-L was offering similar performance.

-- Chris

06-04-2010, 02:48 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
Do you have the 18-55 AL I? or the 18-55 AL II? If its the first version, you might consider just upgrading to the second version and its cheap!
I'm not sure how to answer your question -- I have the 18-55mm DA-L that comes with the KX kit. I guess that's the 18-55 AL II version (just with a plastic mount and no hood), no?

QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
I have both the 16-45 and the 18-55 WR (based on the second version of the 18-55 AL).

The 16-45 for 300 or under blows the 18-55 out of the water overall. I love that lens. If you are not content with getting another kit lens get the 16-45 for sure... it wont break the bank either.

HOWEVER the 18-55 WR is quite impressive for the money. I just took this today.
Hmm...the 16-45mm seems to be in the $389 range (new), which is awfully close in price to the faster Sigma 18-50mm EX f2.8 at around $400. Tempting if I could find it used, though.

The more I read these forums lately, the more I'm thinking about staying away from SDM/HSM for the time being.

-- Chris
06-04-2010, 02:55 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Tamron 17-50/2.8 for much better bokeh and low light, fast aperture setting all the way through the zoom range. It's my "indoor" lens, but it's a very solid performer anywhere if you want that constant 2.8 aperture.
That can be had from a couple of places for $389 new so that's now in the running with the Sigma 18-50mm EX f2.8. I'm not sure why I missed these two lenses in my research, but I did. I'm really surprised that I missed the Tamron 17-50mm, as I've been predominately looking for some version of the 17-70mm and most of my searches include "Pentax 17-". Oh, well! Thanks for pointing it out to me!

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I really think Pentax needs to upgrade the 17-70 to make it a 17-90/4.0 WR for a true outdoor walkaround lens. As for SDM, not sold on that yet.
I don't really need WR yet, as I have the KX. But I'm sure I'll be tempted by a future KX-ish body with WR, so....

-- Chris
06-04-2010, 03:29 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
You should first make up your mind what are you really looking for in the upgrade.

Is your lens too short?

Is your lens not wide enough?

Are you looking for a faster lens?

Are you looking for a sharper one?
I probably wasn't specific enough, but the fact is that I just want an overall better lens of about the same range.

The range is fine -- I wouldn't mind wider, but definitely don't need longer. I'm perfectly happy using the 55-300mm for longer, especially with the image quality I'm getting out of it.

I'm not necessarily looking for a faster lens, but wouldn't mind it. The KX's high ISO performance is very nice, so a slower/darker lens doesn't bother me so much.

Definitely looking for sharper and just better overall image quality (color, contrast, etc.).

QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
You should review the images you've taken with your kit and see whether:

you're shooting mostly wide open (ie you need a fast lens).

you're either using the 18mm or 55mm more often (thus decide you you need a longer reaching or a wider lens)

you're not happy with the quality, like sharpness and contrast, of your kit lens.

money is burning a hole in your pocked :P

Myself i've found needing something wider than the 28mm the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 is offering me so I'm looking for a trade

I suggest you take a little bit longer time to evaluate your needs.

$400 buys you a nice used lens.
Since I do have the KX, I typically don't need to settle for shooting wide open since I usually don't need to, and bumping up the ISO and stopping down the 18-55mm seems to help the image quality more often than not. But the image quality (specifically sharpness and contrast) is nowhere near as good as the 55-300mm.

I always thought I was a superzoom type of guy (I've always owned Panasonic P&S superzoom cameras prior to my venture into DSLRs), but right after buying the KX I ran a utility against my entire photo archive, and was very surprised to see that the vast majority of my shots were in the 35-50mm range (35mm was the widest most of my previous cameras could go). I was shocked, but it was a good thing to know, as I will now focus most of my $ on the wide end, which is a doubly good thing since I'm very happy with how the 55-300mm handles the long end of things.

I don't think I need to evaluate my needs more -- I basically just a superior replacement for the 18-55mm range.

-- Chris

06-04-2010, 03:55 PM   #20
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I don't really have an opinion on HSM/SDM yet. I will say that it isn't a deciding factor in my purchasing decisions. If I can get the same lens, often hundreds cheaper, without it then that is what I go for. I don't really see the need for the marginal increase in speed and noise for my usage. I do have to say it again though, the Sigma EX line are built like tanks.






I really am starting to sound like a Sigma pitch man.
06-04-2010, 04:59 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by internetpilot Quote
i'm not sure how to answer your question -- i have the 18-55mm da-l that comes with the kx kit. I guess that's the 18-55 al ii version (just with a plastic mount and no hood), no?
I think that you might have the first version if its a plastic mount, in which case thats known to be soft. Which is why the revamped the glass in version 2 to resolve higher resolution, and also put a proper metal mount on it.

QuoteOriginally posted by internetpilot Quote
hmm...the 16-45mm seems to be in the $389 range (new), which is awfully close in price to the faster sigma 18-50mm ex f2.8 at around $400. Tempting if i could find it used, though.
Yeah, new its around that range. However you can usually get them used for 250-300... I am actually selling mine as it is. Not because its not great, but because I am looking to get into the primes, I have found that the 18-55 WR resolves enough for me that I am not worried about taking it out and getting a shot I need, plus its weather resistant.
06-04-2010, 06:12 PM   #22
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For those of you with the 16-45mm have you found the reverse zoom extension thing to be much of an issue? I read in a review where the lens actually extends the furthest out when at the 16mm wide angle, which can result in some lens shadow when using a flash (I read reports of even when using an external flash in bounce mode). Have any of you found that to be a problem?

I know these reviews (especially the professional ones) actually go looking for problems or issues with the lens (and usually find a random one or two if they don't find anything real world/legitimate/significant). But this one might actually be a problem for me when shooting large group shots. There are times when I'm asked to do an impromptu large group shot and all I have is the onboard flash. I almost always bounce and/or diffuse my external flash as well.

-- Chris

Last edited by Internetpilot; 06-04-2010 at 06:18 PM.
06-04-2010, 06:16 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmgabe Quote
I don't really have an opinion on HSM/SDM yet. I will say that it isn't a deciding factor in my purchasing decisions. If I can get the same lens, often hundreds cheaper, without it then that is what I go for. I don't really see the need for the marginal increase in speed and noise for my usage. I do have to say it again though, the Sigma EX line are built like tanks.
Well, as soon as I figured out what it was (which admittedly took me a while since not all manufactures call it the same thing), I of course wanted it. But after reading about quite a few problems with it, I've decided to steer clear of it at the moment.

QuoteOriginally posted by dmgabe Quote
I really am starting to sound like a Sigma pitch man.
I don't think so -- you're just recommending what you found works well for you, and that happens to be Sigma. Plus, your opinion was solicited.

-- Chris

06-04-2010, 06:41 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Internetpilot Quote
For those of you with the 16-45mm have you found the reverse zoom extension thing to be much of an issue? I read in a review where the lens actually extends the furthest out when at the 16mm wide angle, which can result in some lens shadow when using a flash (I read reports of even when using an external flash in bounce mode). Have any of you found that to be a problem?

I know these reviews (especially the professional ones) actually go looking for problems or issues with the lens (and usually find a random one or two if they don't find anything real world/legitimate/significant). But this one might actually be a problem for me when shooting large group shots. There are times when I'm asked to do an impromptu large group shot and all I have is the on-board flash. I almost always bounce and/or diffuse my external flash as well.

-- Chris
I have the 16-45 and yes its a reverse zoom in that at 16mm it is zoomed all the way out. Also, it is true that when zoomed out it leaves a nose shadow at the bottom of the image. From what I understand if you use an external flash, it will be higher and thus will not leave a nose shadow.
06-04-2010, 07:35 PM   #25
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Putting in my 2c and letting you know I am buying a new Pentax soon and will be going for a Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 , it is available super cheap as it has just recently been replaced with a HSM OS version (of course OS not rqd on pentax mount )
It is usually priced below the Pentax 16-45 so should be in your price range. There are plenty of threads on it if you give it a search.
06-04-2010, 08:38 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonto Quote
Putting in my 2c and letting you know I am buying a new Pentax soon and will be going for a Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 , it is available super cheap as it has just recently been replaced with a HSM OS version (of course OS not rqd on pentax mount )
It is usually priced below the Pentax 16-45 so should be in your price range. There are plenty of threads on it if you give it a search.
The non HSM OS version of the 17-70mm seems to be out of stock everywhere, which has pretty much resulted in my disregarding the Sigma 17-70mm as an option since I don't think I want HSM or SDM at this point, and that's the only version that seems to be available.
06-04-2010, 10:13 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmgabe Quote
The Tamron 17-50 and the Sigma 18-50 are pretty much even money. While everyone has their personal preference, in my experience, the Sigmas have demonstrated better build quality. Especially considering the Sigma 18-50 is an EX (Sigmas designation for pro level gear).
And the Tamron is an SP lens, which is their equivalent for Sigma's EX. SP = Super Performance.

The reviews on photozone.de rate the Tamron higher and indicate it's sharper wide open (check the Nikon section where both are reviewed on the same camera). The Sigma has closer focusing at 20cm vs Tamron's 27, but the Tamron goes to 17mm and takes 62mm filters vs Sigma's 72mm. Also, the Sigma has more distortions at 18mm than the Tamron at 17mm.

The Tamron is a very solid buy - you cannot go wrong with it. And I think it's a better value than the Sigma just by considering the 17mm focal length and the 62mm filter size. Add the sharpness and there's no contest.

Both Tamron and Sigma are great companies and I own lenses from both, but in this case, Tamron has a better offering.
06-04-2010, 10:16 PM   #28
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Oh, and I heard great things about the Tamron 28-70/2.8 as well. I don't own one but if you prefer that zoom range to 17-50, it's something worth looking into.
06-05-2010, 01:45 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
And the Tamron is an SP lens, which is their equivalent for Sigma's EX. SP = Super Performance.

The reviews on photozone.de rate the Tamron higher and indicate it's sharper wide open (check the Nikon section where both are reviewed on the same camera). The Sigma has closer focusing at 20cm vs Tamron's 27, but the Tamron goes to 17mm and takes 62mm filters vs Sigma's 72mm. Also, the Sigma has more distortions at 18mm than the Tamron at 17mm.

The Tamron is a very solid buy - you cannot go wrong with it. And I think it's a better value than the Sigma just by considering the 17mm focal length and the 62mm filter size. Add the sharpness and there's no contest.

Both Tamron and Sigma are great companies and I own lenses from both, but in this case, Tamron has a better offering.
That may very well be. I am only basing my opinions on the limited experience I have had trying Tamron glass, maybe 2 or 3 different lenses. In each of these cases I have either decided I preferred the Sigma offering, or simply chose not to buy anything. Also, I did not see the SP listed in the B&H description, but see it in the photo, so I am sure that the build quality is at least on par with the Sigma EX.

I can't argue with the filter size difference either. I know all to well how frustrating those large filter sizes are, and how painful they can be in the pocketbook. My Sigma 24-70 takes 82mm filters, my one and only complaint about that wonderful lens.

To be honest, I don't think you can go wrong with either lens. They both will offer a significant improvement the kit lens, especially if you have the AL instead of the AL II.
06-05-2010, 04:49 AM   #30
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I personally would go for either the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 or the DA 16-45 f4. Both are quite excellent lenses that are very reasonable in price. As others have mentioned, the extra mm on the wide end of the DA 16-45 is worth quite a bit. You can crop photos to simulate a longer focal length (there really isn't that much difference between even 50mm and 70mm), but you can't step back farther when there isn't room to step back. Just something to consider. Unless you are planning to get an ultrawide lens in the future, the 16mm comes in awfully useful at times.
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