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11-10-2010, 05:22 AM   #31
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Maybe we should start a "worst kit lens" club, if it does not exist yet" LOL
I e-mailed The Pentax distributors in South Africa, to find out if they would replace it, have not heard anything yet, maybe I'll get lucky, but I haven't got much hope. Lucky for me the old 50-M f2 is always near, while I start saving for a decent lens to replace the 18-55mm with

11-10-2010, 07:28 AM   #32
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Sorry, but this is just what you get with a cheap kit lens. The funny thing is, the Pentax kit lens really does outperform the average kit lens, but in the end, it just isn't that exciting.

Luckily there are some reasonable upgrade standard-zooms, but you will have to pay for it. The kit lenses are about 100, but the good upgrades are between 300-500. But, for the reasons listed above... I think it's worth it!
11-10-2010, 07:45 AM   #33
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I have a friend with the Sigma 18-200. This model is rumored to be worse. Hers isn't. Lots of distortion, but the sharpness is actually better and the rest of the IQ is no worse than my kit zooms.
11-10-2010, 08:17 AM   #34
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richardm, I am very happy with the 50-200mm, (which was part of the twin lens kit), from 50-200, none of the problems you have with yours.
Can any of you suggest a good replacement for my 18-55?

11-10-2010, 08:41 AM   #35
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The one I have my eye on is the Tamron 16-50 2.8, which looks plenty sharp and is a stop or two faster, to boot. It's more expensive (close to 500), but it seems like a great deal. I personally like primes better, so that one will be a little ways away.

Another option is the 17-70 f4 which is a very flexible lens, or the 16-45 which is only 300 bucks.

OR if you don't pixel peep so much, you might be happy with the kit .

Last edited by paperbag846; 11-10-2010 at 10:44 AM.
11-10-2010, 10:00 AM   #36
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Who did you buy the 2 lens kit from? In SA..? I seem to recall that you have not had it for very long. You should still be able to claim on guarantee as it seems you have more than just a slightly worse copy than normal. If there is a genuine problem, the distributors would also be obliged to assist. (Although not yet law, the new consumer bill would put that boot firmly on your foot......the kicking one..)

Edit: Hold the comment on "...as it seems you have more than just a slightly worse copy...." See below.

Last edited by KevinR; 11-10-2010 at 10:11 AM.
11-10-2010, 10:20 AM   #37
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Just had a look on your Flickr photostream, and it looks like the 18-55mm shots are cropped beyond what is reasonable, while the 50-200mm shots have very little crop. This is a bit like the optical vs digital zoom non-debate. Optical zoom is everything.

Agree the 50-55mm range can be compared across lens for the same distance and similar crops, but then expecting the overall system to resolve as good at 18mm with what looks like an addition 2-3x scale crop might be unrealistic.

Perhaps i'm a bit off the mark, but me thinks your test method is not realistic...
11-10-2010, 09:44 PM   #38
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Kevin, the flickr photo's is not cropped at all, no PP, only resized to 800p and converted to JPEG (I always shoot in RAW). I'll post 3 more of the 18-55 and 1 of my 50-M f2, all with my best try at manual focus. Got the kit through Kalahari.net. Will contact them and find out if they can replace only the 18-55
I took the shots from one place, starting @ 18, then zooming in to 35 and 55, same with the 50-200 shoe shots


Last edited by altopiet; 11-11-2010 at 12:44 AM.
11-10-2010, 10:24 PM   #39
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To make it easier I removed the original photo's. The tree photo's was AF. The "Lite" photo's was MF. All ISO 100, f16, WB "sunny", 1/125, hand held, SR on. All taken in RAW, no PP just resized to 800p and converted to JPEG
1. 18-55 @ 18

2. 18-55 @ 35

3. 18-55 @ 55

4. 18-55 @18

5. 18-55 @ 35

6. 18-55@ 55

7. 50-M
11-10-2010, 10:27 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by altopiet Quote
To make it easier I removed the original photo's. The tree photo's was AF. The "Lite" photo's was MF. All ISO 100, f16, WB "sunny", 1/125, hand held, SR on. All taken in RAW, no PP just resized to 800p and converted to JPEG
1. 18-55 @ 18

2. 18-55 @ 35

3. 18-55 @ 55

4. 18-55 @18

5. 18-55 @ 35

6. 18-55@ 55

7. 50-M
Did you use a hood with the 50 1.7? It really helps with the contrast.
11-10-2010, 10:54 PM   #41
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Paperbag, I haven't got a hood for the 50-m yet, only the DA L kit lenses. The photo was just included to compare the sharpness of all the lenses. BUT you got me thinking now! One thing that I forgot about is the UV filters I have on all my lenses. Maybe the problem is a bad filter on the 18-55?
I'll do another test today, without the filter, and see what happens
11-10-2010, 11:47 PM   #42
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Sorry, had to remove 2 photo's for space.
Ok, the next 3 I took without the UV filter, ISO 100, but at f8 and 1/1000. I do not see any difference from C/Lite shots?
1 @18

2 @35

3 @55
11-11-2010, 12:21 AM   #43
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Altopiet, I'm not sure you have a particularly bad 18-55 here (but your 50-200 seems to be one of the good ones - hang onto it!), the kit lens isn't meant to be all that good at the wide end, for instance. Take a look here for some measurements made on the 18-55 (and 16-45):

To Kit or not to Kit ? Three Pentax Kit Lenses ERPhotoReview

(This is the umpteenth time I've posted this link, so apologies if you've already been there - on the other hand, if you haven't seen it, I think it's quite revealing and informative.)

You'll note that the DA 16-45 gets a favourable review here, and that lens would be on my shopping list as a replacement for my kit lens (if I could justify the expense, which I can't, at the moment). On the negative side, it is a bit bulky, of course.

Richardm - my heart goes out to you, you seem to have ended up with one of the worst DA 50-200s out there. My impression of this lens is that ALL copies are different (mine's good at the long end, it didn't cost much, and it's nice and compact, so I don't mind the fact that I don't use it at the wide end). I hope you can get a replacement under warranty - good luck!
11-11-2010, 12:23 AM   #44
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I don't know if i am wasting all of our time with this, maybe i need new glasses myself, but if I zoom in 100%, the softness of the lens is very clear. With sharpening it does not seem to bad, as I've done with the next photo. If I can get some clarity if this is normal for the DA L 18-55mm, I can live with it and move on, but if it is a bad copy, I would like to get it replaced.
This was taken with the 18-55 @ about 30mm, ISO 200, f4, 1/60, and quite heavily sharpened in Picasa 3
11-11-2010, 12:40 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by m42man Quote
Altopiet, I'm not sure you have a particularly bad 18-55 here (but your 50-200 seems to be one of the good ones - hang onto it!), the kit lens isn't meant to be all that good at the wide end, for instance. Take a look here for some measurements made on the 18-55 (and 16-45):

To Kit or not to Kit ? Three Pentax Kit Lenses ERPhotoReview

(This is the umpteenth time I've posted this link, so apologies if you've already been there - on the other hand, if you haven't seen it, I think it's quite revealing and informative.)

You'll note that the DA 16-45 gets a favourable review here, and that lens would be on my shopping list as a replacement for my kit lens (if I could justify the expense, which I can't, at the moment). On the negative side, it is a bit bulky, of course.

Richardm - my heart goes out to you, you seem to have ended up with one of the worst DA 50-200s out there. My impression of this lens is that ALL copies are different (mine's good at the long end, it didn't cost much, and it's nice and compact, so I don't mind the fact that I don't use it at the wide end). I hope you can get a replacement under warranty - good luck!
m42man, looking at all the photo's again, I think you are correct, shooting RAW and with PP sharpening, the end result is not to bad. Compared to Richardm, I am actually very lucky, I think.
Thanks again to everybody for your time, much appreciated.
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