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09-25-2007, 06:03 PM   #1
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In Praise Of The 18-55 Kit Lens

Here are some images from my niece's wedding.

All shots were taken with a Metz 36C-2 flash unit firing into a Sto-Fen Omni Bounce diffuser at a 90 degree angle. F5.6 for all.


[IMG]http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd286/Mick-a-doodle/_IGP0902.jpg
[/IMG]




Daddy's little girl.





And it's not bad for low-light exposures either.





I am planning on getting either a 16-50 f2.8 or 16-45 f4.0., mainly for the Bokeh of the wider apertures, but I really can't complain about any of these shots, and I'm my own worst critic.

Anybody feel the same about this lens, or have any images to post?

Mike


Last edited by Mike Bokeh; 09-29-2007 at 02:58 PM.
09-25-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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Here's one more image first unfiltered, then with the K100D's digital filter set at #2. Usually, I would have shot this image between f2.0 - f4.0, not f5.6 as I had to @ 55mm.





Enjoy.

Sorry I didn't rotate it.

Mike
09-25-2007, 08:03 PM   #3
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I haven't used my kit lens in over a month, but would never consider going anywhere without it.

It's got to be the best value, most versatile lens in my collection. Just doesn't compair to the quality of my primes, and doesn''t have the length for my action shots.
09-25-2007, 08:18 PM   #4
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I'm pretty happy with mine too:





Last edited by JasonS; 09-25-2007 at 08:23 PM.
09-25-2007, 10:08 PM   #5
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Nice shots! I think the 18-55mm kit is grossly underrated and I see a lot of shots here and on Pentax's photo site to prove it.
09-25-2007, 11:48 PM   #6
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Dang ! My neck hurts . That lens is doing well in your hand .

The kit lens is fine, IMHO . I saw some 18-55 images in Pentax site . So good that makes me think about my LBA
09-26-2007, 10:42 AM   #7
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Great shots, about the Metz 36C-2

Can you tell us a bit more about the Metz 36c-2 flash, is that pttl and compatible to K10/K100D? How much is the flash and how does it compare to 360/540 and why you have metz instead of pentax? Too many questions as I saw your great indoor shots. Your flash really make your kit's lens shine.

Here are my thoughts on the DA 18-55, it is great but not-so-good for indoor under dim lighting.

Thoughts on Pentax DA 18-55 - Hin's Tech Corner

Thank you,
Hin
09-26-2007, 10:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JasonS Quote
I'm pretty happy with mine too:
*pulls cord...

..
REEAACCH FOOR DA SKKKYYY!!!

LoL. Great photos! My SA 18-55 seems to do better with closer focal ranges. At inifinity its pretty decent. My friend complains about softness on his DA18-55 like almost everytime discussion drifts into photography. LoL.

09-26-2007, 12:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Here are my thoughts on the DA 18-55, it is great but not-so-good for indoor under dim lighting.
Thank you,
Hin
If you are shooting available light only - Yep, its not great in dark rooms. I started rethinking this after spending lots of time attempting good "kids at play" shots indoors with various 50mm/1.4 lenses. Focus was VERY hit or miss with the narrow DOF and framing tough with the speed at which many kids move around.
Now, I use the built in camera flash with the kit lens AND a Vivitar 285hv with a large diffusion gel "looped" over fired by a Wein digital peanut slave. Usually run the Vivitar at 1/16 power.
Lens wise I usually shoot at 18mm at waist level or lower. I pull 1/2 to 1 stop out to balance the Vivitar. I hold the Vivitar high in my left hand and hold and trigger the cam with my right. I don't bother looking in the viewfinder either. I've got pretty good at knowing how the frame will fall. Works GREAT for young kids at play.
Now, if doing posed portraits the 50mm is definitely coming out - BUT how often can you pose young kids anyway?

Now that I'm using flash, I love the kit lens indoors as well.
That being said, I'm still lusting for a 16-50 ish F2.8 of some kind. But for MY budget, I'm really thrilled with the kit lens.
09-26-2007, 05:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Can you tell us a bit more about the Metz 36c-2 flash, is that pttl and compatible to K10/K100D? How much is the flash and how does it compare to 360/540 and why you have metz instead of pentax? Too many questions as I saw your great indoor shots. Your flash really make your kit's lens shine.

Here are my thoughts on the DA 18-55, it is great but not-so-good for indoor under dim lighting.

Thoughts on Pentax DA 18-55 - Hin's Tech Corner

Thank you,
Hin
Hin, thanks for your kind words about my shots; I appreciate them.

The Metz 36C-2 is a non-dedicated flash that should work with most cameras.

I bought the Metz 36C-2 flash for two reasons:

1.) It's small, and
2.) It's powerful enough for the type of wedding/party shots I usually take.

There are no particular reasons I'm using the Metz over a Pentax flash, other than I needed a good, inexpensive flash quickly; it's only $100 Non Dedicated Shoe Mount | B&H Photo Video and its small size. I do plan on getting a Pentax 540 flash soon. If the little Metz can take these shots, the Pentax 540 should be even better.

For years I used a Canon F-1 with manual focus lenses and non-decicated flashes (Metz 45 CT-1 and Sunpak 383 Super) with similar results.

And let's not forget one of the most important elements: The Sto-Fen Omni Bounce. STO-FEN Information This thing is indespensible for softening the light. There may be better diffusers on the market, but for about $20 for most flash units, you can't beat it.

So for most of the shots you've seen, and these four more, I set the 18-55 at about 30mm, (the close-up of the bride was 55mm) set the flash and lens at 5.6 and used the Omni Bounce. The Metz flash is very efficient on batteries, but when using the Omni Bounce it will use a lot more power, as the light is now much more diffused, but worth it in my opinion. Also, I don't use the Omni Bounce if the subject is more than about 10 feet away, as the diffusion seems to work best at close distances.

The Bride again


The Bride & Groom


Two couples I'd never seen before the wedding. The younger are from California, the older are from Florida.



Thank you all for replying. This forum is a great place to learn and exchange ideas and opinions on gear.

I'll see what other good shots I have to post.

Mike
09-26-2007, 06:44 PM   #11
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Here's Heidi again, with the one I posted yesterday rotated 90 degrees.

In camera digital soft filter set at #2 for both.

Enjoy.





Mike
09-27-2007, 05:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Bokeh Quote
Hin, thanks for your kind words about my shots; I appreciate them.

The Metz 36C-2 is a non-dedicated flash that should work with most cameras.

I bought the Metz 36C-2 flash for two reasons:

1.) It's small, and
2.) It's powerful enough for the type of wedding/party shots I usually take.

There are no particular reasons I'm using the Metz over a Pentax flash, other than I needed a good, inexpensive flash quickly; it's only $100 Non Dedicated Shoe Mount | B&H Photo Video and its small size. I do plan on getting a Pentax 540 flash soon. If the little Metz can take these shots, the Pentax 540 should be even better.

For years I used a Canon F-1 with manual focus lenses and non-decicated flashes (Metz 45 CT-1 and Sunpak 383 Super) with similar results.

And let's not forget one of the most important elements: The Sto-Fen Omni Bounce. STO-FEN Information This thing is indespensible for softening the light. There may be better diffusers on the market, but for about $20 for most flash units, you can't beat it.

So for most of the shots you've seen, and these four more, I set the 18-55 at about 30mm, (the close-up of the bride was 55mm) set the flash and lens at 5.6 and used the Omni Bounce. The Metz flash is very efficient on batteries, but when using the Omni Bounce it will use a lot more power, as the light is now much more diffused, but worth it in my opinion. Also, I don't use the Omni Bounce if the subject is more than about 10 feet away, as the diffusion seems to work best at close distances.

Two couples I'd never seen before the wedding. The younger are from California, the older are from Florida.

Thank you all for replying. This forum is a great place to learn and exchange ideas and opinions on gear.

I'll see what other good shots I have to post.

Mike

Mike,

Your flash photos with DA 18-55 are amazing and thank you so much for your detailed information about the inexpensive Metz and the Sto-Fen Omni Bounce.

Between the Metz 36C-2 and Sunpack 383, which would you recommend for K100D as I see that the Sunpack has a swivel and it is about or even less than the Metz but I am thinking that Metz flash appears to be better built and smaller size. If you have to choose among the three in Metz 36C-2, Sunpack 383 and Vivitar 285HV as an initial flash and latter upgrade to 540 and still keep the 1st inexpensive flash as a slave, which one would you pick? Would you still pick the Metz and do you find that the missing swivel a lacking feature in your use? I think I ask too many questions that my take your time.

But I appreciate your inputs as your pictures have convinced me to go after you for questions -- you are the man for the flash questions

Thank you,
Hin
09-27-2007, 06:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Mike,

Your flash photos with DA 18-55 are amazing and thank you so much for your detailed information about the inexpensive Metz and the Sto-Fen Omni Bounce.

Between the Metz 36C-2 and Sunpack 383, which would you recommend for K100D as I see that the Sunpack has a swivel and it is about or even less than the Metz but I am thinking that Metz flash appears to be better built and smaller size. If you have to choose among the three in Metz 36C-2, Sunpack 383 and Vivitar 285HV as an initial flash and latter upgrade to 540 and still keep the 1st inexpensive flash as a slave, which one would you pick? Would you still pick the Metz and do you find that the missing swivel a lacking feature in your use? I think I ask too many questions that my take your time.

But I appreciate your inputs as your pictures have convinced me to go after you for questions -- you are the man for the flash questions

Thank you,
Hin
Hi, Hin.

Between the Metz 36C-2 and the Sunpak, I would recommend the Metz, because it is slightly smaller, and it is more efficient with batteries.

The fact that the Sunpak has the swivel feature might matter to some, but I never used this feature. Both units are well made, and I can say after owning 2 Sunpak 383s over the last ten years that it is a very reliable unit. Neither one of them ever failed me. I bought the Metz, because I wanted something new, and a little smaller. I've only had the 36C-2 for 6 weeks, but I've had 2 Metz 45CT-1 handle mount units which are 20 years old, and neither of them has failed me either.

I've never used a Vivitar 285HV, so I can't comment on it, but between the other two, I would choose the Metz for being slightly smaller, lighter and more efficient with batteries.

Thank you again for the compliments, but I'm no master of photography by any means.

I'm just a guy who has been fooling around with it for 30 years, and learned a thing or two by reading as many photography books as I could get my hands on, and much trial and error.

Mike
10-02-2007, 06:44 AM   #14
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Mike, really nice! Thanks especially for all the information, which is extremely helpful to me in my quest for getting better indoor shots with the K10D. I hadn't considered getting a flash, but now the Metz and a diffuser look like a very good investment.
10-02-2007, 05:13 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rboy Quote
Mike, really nice! Thanks especially for all the information, which is extremely helpful to me in my quest for getting better indoor shots with the K10D. I hadn't considered getting a flash, but now the Metz and a diffuser look like a very good investment.
You're very welcome, rboy.

I'm just glad I could contribute a couple of useful tips to this site, as I'm getting a lot of good info out of it.

Lately, I'm reading up on the DA 16-45 versus the DA * 16-50.

Mike
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