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06-05-2010, 06:33 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Internetpilot Quote
I want to emphasize that so far I like everything about the 55-300mm, and I would like to use that as the caliber/quality of lens that I'm looking for in a replacement for the 18-55mm.

I'm mainly looking for a direct range replacement, but I have to give something up at either end I would rather it be at the "long" end (like a 18-50mm or a 16-45mm).
I have an 18-55 DA L, 16-45 and 55-300mm. It sounds like the 16-45 would be a great fit. It has slightly higher resolution than the 55-300, but a very similar look, i.e. deeply saturated Pentax colour rendition, with better contrast than most consumer zooms.

Don't underestimate what a 16mm fov gives you. I'm used to seeing 16mm, and I'm often disappointed when I use my 18-250 at 18mm. It doesn't take in as much of the scene as I wanted and lacks some of the grandeur that a wider fov brings. In real world use, you wouldn't be giving anything up at the long end. A 16-45mm photo taken at f/4 and cropped to a 55mm field of view is still sharper than an 18-55mm photo at 55mm and f/5.6. Barrel distortion on the 16-45 is the lowest of any of the standard zoom choices. Also note that the K-x lens correction only works on Pentax lenses.

I'm not affected by flash shading at wide angles because I carry an outboard flash. I don't see how a bounced flash could cause shading, that's got to be misinformation. I've certainly never seen this, nor heard of it in all the reading I've done on Pentax boards. No lens is perfect, certainly none of the lenses being discussed in this thread. They all involve compromise, the best choice is the one that best meets your needs.


Last edited by audiobomber; 06-05-2010 at 06:43 AM.
06-05-2010, 06:39 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
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.
That's not correct. The DA L has a plastic mount and lacks quick shift, but is the same optical formula as the DA 18-55 II and DA 18-55 WR. The original DA 18-55 was not as strong optically, but has a metal mount and quick shift.
06-05-2010, 08:03 AM   #33
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I'm very disappointed in the reverse zoom of the 16-45mm -- otherwise, I probably would've already ordered it. Since I have a KX, I have no fear of bumping up the ISO to compensate for the mediocre (for such a short zoom) constant f4.0, but I do like the idea of the constant f2.8 from the other lenses as well. I also like that the 16-45mm is OEM Pentax.

Like I mentioned earlier, I discovered that I am more of a wide angle type of person, but the cameras I've owned in the past have all been tailored more for the long end -- P&S superzooms starting at 35mm and a FourThirds DSLR with a 2x crop factor. So even the 27mm wide end of the 18-55mm has been very nice for me. Not that I wouldn't mind wider, but why...oh, why....did it have to have the reverse zoom design???

The bounce flash shadow claim on the 16-45mm might actually be credible under specific circumstances. One report I read said that they ended up with a lens shadow when bouncing off the ceiling straight up, which would make sense. Now, I don't typically bounce a flash like that (I more a bounce card/diffuser type), but I will use the onboard flash in a pinch, which definitely results in lens shadow. I wish they hadn't designed the lens that way -- it really doesn't make sense. One of the reviews said that this was an unusual design, but only because usually higher end lenses have this reverse zoom design. I'd be really ticked to pay even more money for a higher end zoom only to sometimes end up with lens shadow. I don't see the advantage of this design.
06-05-2010, 08:09 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
That's not correct. The DA L has a plastic mount and lacks quick shift, but is the same optical formula as the DA 18-55 II and DA 18-55 WR. The original DA 18-55 was not as strong optically, but has a metal mount and quick shift.
This is what I had determined as well. I suspect I'm just a victim of quality variance, like others have reported here. I could very easily just buy a DA 18-55 II or DA 18-55 WR and end up with a better lens than my DA 18-55 L, but it would be a roll of the dice.

06-05-2010, 08:29 AM   #35
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Alright...I found a used Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX from Adorama for $304 supposedly in excellent condition. We'll see. I'm mostly worried about the accuracy of the rating from Adorama.

If that doesn't work out, I'll probably just go for a new Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 SP. I would buy a new Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX, but they don't seem to be available anywhere. Same with the non-SDM/HSM 17-70mm lenses. I did try to shop "at home" here at the marketplace first, but the only Sigma 18-50 f2.8 available is missing the hood and I'm a hood man.

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback and advice.
06-05-2010, 08:49 AM   #36
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My vote would be for the Tamron 17-50, I own the lens and am very pleased with it. I do have several Sigma lenses and I'm pleased with them also, but I don't own the Sigma 18-50 so I can't compare the two lenses. I also own the Tamron 28-75 and am pleased with that one as well.
As to Adorama's ratings, I've found them to be on par with KEH, IE, all the used lenses (4) I've bought from them have been rated conservatively. Also as far as I know, (I've never used it) Adorama's return policy on used lenses is as good as KEH's which should give you some peace of mind.

NaCl(hope that helps you in your decision)H2O
06-05-2010, 09:53 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Internetpilot Quote
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.
Can you post sample images that demonstrate this? I've never seen anything remotely like that sort of difference in any of the images I've seen. I assume, BTW, you aren't crippling the 18-55 with a filter.
06-05-2010, 11:21 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Can you post sample images that demonstrate this? I've never seen anything remotely like that sort of difference in any of the images I've seen. I assume, BTW, you aren't crippling the 18-55 with a filter.
No, I don't subscribe to the protective filter idea -- I'm more a hood man. I'll rarely use a CP, but that's very, very rare. The only thing I habitually put on the front my lenses is a cap when I'm not using it, and (embarrassingly) sometimes when I am using the camera...haha.

I can try to get something in the form of a sample. Weird...up until now, I've been trying to figure out how to avoid soft...haha. It is inconsistent, but I only have problems shooting wider than F8. Inconsistency would seem to point to some other issue (focus, camera setting, stability, user error, etc.), but for most of that you would think that it would affect my shots across all my lenses.

I don't know...we'll see. Remember, I'm not picky, I'm not a pixel-peeper, and I'm far from being a professional. I'm moderately happy with the results of my economy Sigma 28-105mm for most shots and I (in my mind) feel like I have a $2,000 lens in the 55-300mm, so for me to notice something wrong with my 18-55mm it has to be pretty obvious.

I'll see what I can come up with for examples.

-- Chris

06-05-2010, 09:50 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmgabe Quote
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.
There was a poll made by Bob Atkins for Canon users, and the interesting thing was that the Tamron was one of the very few third party lenses that made it to the top. Here's a link to the poll results discussion.
06-05-2010, 09:54 PM   #40
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This may be one of the top 5 "most asked" questions in this forum over the last several years. Use the search function, make some popcorn and give yourself a few hours to read the the results. Of course, what you will find will be 100% opinion about a myriad of other lens choices...good luck and happy reading.

Jason
06-05-2010, 09:55 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
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.
But not as much as constant f/2.8 throughout zoom range
06-05-2010, 10:03 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Internetpilot Quote
I'm mostly worried about the accuracy of the rating from Adorama.
My experience was always positive. And if there are issues, you can work them out with them through email, which is something I really appreciate.
06-06-2010, 12:29 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
There was a poll made by Bob Atkins for Canon users, and the interesting thing was that the Tamron was one of the very few third party lenses that made it to the top. Here's a link to the poll results discussion.
Interesting to see, but I can't help but notice that the Sigma in question 18-50mm f2.8 EX isn't even listed on their site, so hard to really put it into perspective. Over on Fredmiranda, users only separate the two by a few tenths of a point, placing the Tamron slightly higher.

Like I said earlier, I haven't used either, just basing my opinion on experiences with other lenes. The Tamron does appear to be a great lens, but so does the Sigma. I am sure Chris will be more than pleased with the Sigma when it arrives.

Last edited by dmgabe; 06-06-2010 at 12:46 AM.
06-06-2010, 07:22 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
This may be one of the top 5 "most asked" questions in this forum over the last several years. Use the search function, make some popcorn and give yourself a few hours to read the the results. Of course, what you will find will be 100% opinion about a myriad of other lens choices...good luck and happy reading.

Jason
I'm very familiar with forums (ran dozens in the past and currently running a few myself), but my numerous searches turned up nothing on this subject, when searching the SLR Lens forum, as well as searching the entire site. It doesn't seem to be possible to do minimalistic searches (like "18-55" or "replace kit lens"), because no results are found. For example, even knowing this thread exists, I can go into Advanced Search, type in "18-50", select to Search Entire Post, make sure that SLR Lens Discussion forum is selected, and then click on Search Now. It yields no results.

I suppose I could search using Google (if this forum software handles external Google searches properly), but most non-techie users will not know how to do that or even know they can do that.

Am I just missing an option in the search function? I know that rehashing old thread subjects over and over can be annoying, especially to long-time forum members, but if the search function doesn't work properly then there's little that can be done to avoid the problem.
06-06-2010, 07:27 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
My experience was always positive. And if there are issues, you can work them out with them through email, which is something I really appreciate.
This is good to hear. I heard to Google search for the Adorama used product return policy, and found a discussion about it in 3rd party forum where an Adorama employee responded to a similar question. I can't find the policy (for used items) anywhere on their site! And that's a shame, because they seem to have a very good return policy for used products, and I'm sure would sell more if people knew that. I love buying online, love buying used (in other words, cheaper) even more, but not being able to find an obviously stated return policy can be a bit disconcerting.

-- Chris
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