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02-21-2011, 01:58 AM   #211
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I don't think so

QuoteQuote:


This is now at the point of being crazy...for $139.00 brand new ($60-80 used) the kit lens is phenomenal.

Yes, my $1,800.00 FA* 28-70 is better...



Cheers,
Cameron
I never compared the kit lens to anything except other kit lenses that I've used. At any price the kit lens is anything but phenomenal in my experience, YMMV.

02-21-2011, 09:37 AM   #212
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QuoteOriginally posted by papillon_65 Quote
I never compared the kit lens to anything except other kit lenses that I've used. At any price the kit lens is anything but phenomenal in my experience, YMMV.
I agree that the 18-55mm is not phenomenal in any way. But it is pretty good optically, is weather-resistant, has quick-shift, and is a great bargain for around $120 new.

High resolution



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02-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #213
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QuoteOriginally posted by papillon_65 Quote
I never compared the kit lens to anything except other kit lenses that I've used. At any price the kit lens is anything but phenomenal in my experience, YMMV.
So at $139, what K-mount lens would you rate as phenomenal?

Better yet, what K-mount lens at ANY price would you rate as phenomenal?



When you have your answers, be prepared to support assertions...you might also want to supply your definition of phenomenal. The word might mean something different in the mother tongue as opposed to the patois we speak here in the states.


Steve


(phenomenal - Wiktionary)
02-22-2011, 02:23 AM - 1 Like   #214
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One last stab at clarification!

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
So at $139, what K-mount lens would you rate as phenomenal?

Better yet, what K-mount lens at ANY price would you rate as phenomenal?



When you have your answers, be prepared to support assertions...you might also want to supply your definition of phenomenal. The word might mean something different in the mother tongue as opposed to the patois we speak here in the states.


Steve


(phenomenal - Wiktionary)
No problem, I'll address your points one at a time but firstly lets put some context around this. Firstly, we have to accept that all user opinions are subjective, based on their preferences and previous experience. Secondly, we also need to recognise that we all live in variety of locations with different climates, and in particular, quality of light.
Thirdly, I take lens tests and reviews with a pinch of salt. They are usually based on experience of one particular copy of any given lens, and may be tainted by commercial interests. Lastly, copy variation is a fact of life and no two versions of the same thing are likely to be exactly the same, although differences may be tiny.
For clarification, I am not new to DSLR's or photography and have used a substantial variety of lenses from different brands, I have no brand bias although I have used mainly Olympus stuff because it suited my requirements. So on to your points.

I have never seen or used a K mount lens that I would consider phenomenal. Phenomenal is not a word that describes many lenses. I have never owned an Olympus lens I would consider phenomenal. I have lenses I consider to be excellent. Some lenses I would consider to be phenomenal from what I have seen would be the Zuiko 35-100mm F2 zoom or the Zuiko 300mm F2.8. Also some of the Canon L series primes have impressed me. These are all big expensive lenses comparatively speaking, you get what you pay for. You cannot buy a $139 lens that is phenomenal, in any mount, IMHO.
A K mount lens that I do own and consider to be excellent is the 16-45mm F4. It is well built, not too large, has excellent optical correction, decent colour and contrast and can be shot wide open no problem. Best of all, it is cheap for what it is. The price against performance ratio puts it into the excellent category for me. Other lenses I consider to be excellent and I own are the Panasonic 20mm 1.7, the Zuiko 12-60mm 2.8-4 and the Zuiko 50-200mm 2.8-3.5. Let me make it abundantly clear that I am not comparing these lenses to the 18-55mm.

So onto the 18-55mm and why it doesn't work for me. I live in the UK, the light is frequently poor, especially in the winter. As I look out of my window today there is a light mist which will probably hang around all day. My preference is to shoot at the lowest ISO possible for the best IQ I can get. This means that for a lens to be usable for me, I need acceptable sharpness wide open, not razor sharp, but acceptably sharp.
I also expect a zoom with a range of 18-55mm to be usable for that range, otherwise it's not an 18-55mm zoom as far as I am concerned. Before you throw "it's a kit lens" at me there are kit lenses out there that fit this criteria comfortably but I'll come onto that. I'll deal with the examples frequently posted to promote this lens first. the large majority of image samples posted from this lens are shot at F8-F11, at selected focal lengths in bright light, and are not very large. This tells me nothing. The two samples a couple of posts back could just as well have been taken with a P&S for all they tell me about the lens. The long "kit lens is great" threads that exist are littered with soft examples and are mainly small images. Don't get me wrong, there is some nice work in there but much of it says nothing in relation to the lenses capability, mainly due to the size of the images posted.
My experience of two copies of the kit lens is this:

It is unusable wide open at 18mm
It is very poor at 55mm
It is not sharp across the frame at most focal lengths unless you are at F8 or above
It does not render detail well at all i.e landscapes at decent print sizes
I only found it acceptably sharp at 35mm F8+
The WR version has nice build quality
It has reasonable colour and contrast

Shooting at F8+ at certain focal lengths to get anything usable does not constitute a good lens, not even a kit lens, it makes the lens unusable for me. "But it's only a kit lens!" I hear you cry. So what constitutes an excellent kit lens? I have at least three kit lenses that fit the following criteria:

They are, at a minimum, acceptably sharp at all FL's and apertures up to diffraction limits.
They are in fact, better than acceptably sharp, they are very sharp all the way through.
They are extremely well corrected, either optically or via software (One of them uses SW correction)
They are lightweight but well built for their price point.
They have decent colour and contrast.
Most importantly, they can be shot wide open at any focal length.

So there you have it, your experience and subjective opinion may be different. As I have said before, a lens that can be only be used at very specific focal lengths and apertures is not a good lens, at any price. This is my experience of two copies of this lens. I wish it were different, I would happily shoot with it all day long if it was. I do not enjoy buying lenses that don't work for me, it's waste of my time and money but that's life. Telling me you are delighted with the 18-55mm and it's the best lens since sliced bread is good for you, but it doesn't change my opinion one iota. I wasn't the OP but I do agree, so I'm not a single lone voice on this. I do not go around trashing the lens, it just doesn't cut it for me and I am just being honest, as I would with any lens I've owned and used. If you criticise me for my opinion on the 18-55mm then you'll also have to discard my positive view of the 16-45mm, I can't put it any clearer than that.

02-22-2011, 03:17 AM   #215
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Thanks Papillon. The fanboy-fueled "love my kit lens" threads were the source of much frustration. I was mad that my skills were so poor ("why can't I get good shots with this lens?") or that my copy was defective. After reading all the kit lens love, I "knew" the lens was great and any problems were automatically my own fault.

Now I've taken the red pill. I can hate my kit lens and sleep peacefully. Every time I use it, a kitten dies.
02-22-2011, 12:07 PM   #216
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It's still apples vs oranges. I like both. Cheers.
02-22-2011, 01:25 PM   #217
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardm Quote
Thanks Papillon. The fanboy-fueled "love my kit lens" threads were the source of much frustration. I was mad that my skills were so poor ("why can't I get good shots with this lens?") or that my copy was defective. After reading all the kit lens love, I "knew" the lens was great and any problems were automatically my own fault.

Now I've taken the red pill. I can hate my kit lens and sleep peacefully. Every time I use it, a kitten dies.
Stop using the Kit lens, I dont want dead kittens on my conscience .
02-22-2011, 01:26 PM   #218
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
It's still apples vs oranges. I like both. Cheers.
That works for me, I like apples and oranges.

02-22-2011, 01:40 PM   #219
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardm Quote

Now I've taken the red pill. I can hate my kit lens and sleep peacefully. Every time I use it, a kitten dies.

lmao thanks for that link made my afternoon
02-22-2011, 04:39 PM   #220
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QuoteOriginally posted by papillon_65 Quote
It is unusable wide open at 18mm
It is very poor at 55mm
It is not sharp across the frame at most focal lengths unless you are at F8 or above

Shooting at F8+ at certain focal lengths to get anything usable does not constitute a good lens, not even a kit lens, it makes the lens unusable for me. If you criticise me for my opinion on the 18-55mm then you'll also have to discard my positive view of the 16-45mm, I can't put it any clearer than that.
Your opinion is fine.
So are others' that may disagree with yours.
If a lens is not for you, fine as well.
But you'll find some assertions either exaggerations or inaccurate with respect to its IQ. Nevertheless, there's no doubting its performance is in the poor to OK range wide open, which is where most kit lenses sit, and at f/8 sharpness and contrast improve remarkably well.

Some images from the kit lens at or near wide open:




One at 55mm wide open, and at ISO 1600 on the K20D (poor ambient lighting):


They all look quite useable to me at 100%.
02-22-2011, 07:17 PM   #221
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This is on the humble 18-55 (Mk 1) at wide-open aperture - 6Mp K100D

ISO400, f/3.5, 1/40sec; 18mm, 6Mp K100D (hopefully EXIF still attached - PhotoBucket can mysteriously drop metadata)

yes, this is a repeat -
perhaps one could argue that this only one shot
and I may have tons of shots that are just pure rubbish -

BUT this is a very crucial logical point
even one single solitary good shot is enough
to show that a lens is adequate -
and I am NOT claiming this is the "best" lens in the world -
but it is more than adequate and usable -
I mean how can a poor lens possibly produce a good shot, even by accident?
- and absolute PROOF POSITIVE that any other poor shots
has to be down to the person - me - behind that lens......
this effectively removes all my excuses.

On the K-x @ 55mm and wide-open f/5.6

ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/6, 55mm (18-55 zoom)

@ 40mm - Wide-Open f/4.5

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/25, 40mm

Before anyone complains these last 2 are noisy -
please remember these were both at ISO5000
in dark enough conditions that they were close to the metering and focusing limits of the K-x.

I don't think I have the only good copy of this lens -
my Mk2 (that came with the K-x) is actually better.

Final bit of logic -
if there is even a single good copy of this lens out there -
then it shows that the design of the lens is adequate -
again how can a poor design possibly produce
even a single copy that gives good results, even by accident?

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-22-2011 at 08:32 PM.
02-22-2011, 09:12 PM   #222
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QuoteOriginally posted by papillon_65 Quote
I have never seen or used a K mount lens that I would consider phenomenal. Phenomenal is not a word that describes many lenses.
Well, I guess that qualifies your previous statements.


The word phenomenal is contextual and high subjective. It appears that you are not easily impressed by above average performance for a given price point. In regards to the 16-45/4, your opinion of that lens is shared by everyone who has owned the lens. It is a great performer, but at 3x the price of the 18-55, it should be. For me f/4 is a little slow at that price point.


Steve
02-22-2011, 11:02 PM   #223
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardm Quote
I can hate my kit lens and sleep peacefully. Every time I use it, a kitten dies.
Great sh!t there. Sh!t PJ's Love. Right on, right on. Brings to mind a basic lesson: If you want a career in photography, especially photojournalism, don't spend US$50k on art school. Don't spend US$100k for a PJ degree. Take some photo classes in JC (maybe), then join the military. As a photographer. Not just free training -- you get PAID for it! You will learn precisely everything necessary for competence. You will never subscribe to photo magazines. You will likely never bother with amateur photo forums like this, not until you're old and senile like me. You will have a solid background for civilian work, if you survive. And you probably won't kill any kittens, at least not on purpose.

[/me grieves for that poor little kitty I accidentally squashed]
02-22-2011, 11:02 PM   #224
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
In regards to the 16-45/4, your opinion of that lens is shared by everyone who has owned the lens. It is a great performer, but at 3x the price of the 18-55, it should be.
First let me state clearly that I do not doubt 16-45 is a good lens -
I do believe everyone who says it's a fine lens.

In which case if any other lens tests out close to the 16-45 -
then it ought to be at least a good lens?

lenses wide open at their widest setting -

dpReview of Pentax 16-45


dpReview of Pentax 18-55 Mk1

Perhaps that may not be "fair" since the 16-45 is tested at 16mm and the 18-55 only goes to 18mm -
the next focal length actually tested by dpReview for the 16-45mm was 20mm which ought to give it an advantage:
dpReview of Pentax 16-45


Just so one can see the 18-55 tested at its next focal length of 24mm -
dpReview of Pentax 18-55 Mk1


How about another opinion?
PhotoZone.de on the Pentax 16-45 -

PhotoZone.de on the Pentax 18-55 Mk1


Yes, I would agree that the 16-45 is better in their tests - but how much better is it, really?

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-22-2011 at 11:08 PM.
02-23-2011, 01:31 AM   #225
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Your opinion is fine.
So are others' that may disagree with yours.
If a lens is not for you, fine as well.
But you'll find some assertions either exaggerations or inaccurate with respect to its IQ. Nevertheless, there's no doubting its performance is in the poor to OK range wide open, which is where most kit lenses sit, and at f/8 sharpness and contrast improve remarkably well.

Some images from the kit lens at or near wide open:




One at 55mm wide open, and at ISO 1600 on the K20D (poor ambient lighting):


They all look quite useable to me at 100%.
Sorry but those images are too small to prove anything, unless that is the size in which you print them or use them. If you like and use the 18-55mm then good for you, maybe you have a decent copy, unfortunately I have two versions that are poor. Re-posting the same old images that I have already seen do not prove anything to me as I have previously stated. I guess it is what you are used to, I am used to much better performance than my two versions of this lens are capable of, and as I said, I have 3 other kit lenses that trounce it, and I mean trounce it.
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