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12-30-2010, 07:26 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
The title of this thread is "18-55. Nothing Exciting."

So doesn't that mean that the OP was slagging it off from the very beginning?

And can you explain what "slagging off" means to those of us who don't speak the Queen's English?

Finally, 100% crops of pine needles never matter to me, especially since you pulled it from a teensy weensy portion of the image.
You know - slagging off!
Never welded? That bit that comes off the top of the weld when you hit it with a hammer after the weld has cooled a bit = slag.

I agree, some samples would be good.

12-31-2010, 01:19 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Finally, 100% crops of pine needles never matter to me, especially since you pulled it from a teensy weensy portion of the image.
That was the whole point -
showing 100% crops of objects at infinity
is likely to exceed even the best current dSLR and almost any lens,
hence lack of "fine detail" -
and because it is such a tiny crop from the overall picture
it's kind of insignificant to the overall shot -
but it's quite likely the sort of thing we'd examine when pixel peeping. -
hence the comment about expectations.....
12-31-2010, 02:00 AM   #18
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compared against other brand kit lenses, it's good.

compared against better lenses, don't even bother.

so, is the 18-55 kit lens a great lens? definitely not.

even the images posted on the kitlens club shows it's obvious shortcomings, and it's not even a matter of taste nor opinion. it's just a fact. NOT IMPRESSIVE !
12-31-2010, 02:11 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
compared against other brand kit lenses, it's good.

compared against better lenses, don't even bother.

so, is the 18-55 kit lens a great lens? definitely not.

even the images posted on the kitlens club shows it's obvious shortcomings, and it's not even a matter of taste nor opinion. it's just a fact. NOT IMPRESSIVE !
Agree.... but I also agree with Ira. It's just how you put it. Is the kit lens a great lens? No, I agree. But it is definitely a very decent one, and in the right hands it can produce great images. And there are some of those in the kitlens club! That's not even a matter of taste nor opinion, it's just a fact.

12-31-2010, 02:40 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteQuote:
18-55mm kit lens. Nothing exciting.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tony3d:
Is it just me, or is the kit lens really as bad as I think it is? I'm really not getting a lot of detail. It's sharp, but not a lot of fine detail. I notice this primarily on shot at infinity. Trees seem to blur together. I sent the lens and k7 body on to Pentax, both has been calibrated. I have a mint super Takumar 1.4 lens. Do you think it would be worth buying the adapter for it? Would I see more detail with the new 18-135 lens?
It is not just you!. I researched a long time before buying into Pentax & opted for the K20d, body only, almost 3 years ago. In the meantime, I've been reading the ongoing debate about the actual status this lens enjoys in the Pentax lineup. I'd read so many varying opinions on the lens' quality, or lack thereof, that, finally, I bought one, just to see for myself.

I was somewhat shocked, after just a few pics with the lens: the lens is, indeed, mediocre! I'd been reading so much about how, in good light, @ f8, it can rival the best competitors--HOGWASH!

However, the lens' role in the Pentax lineup must be kept in perspective. The lens is merely an introductory tool, with which new shooters can learn photography, along with all their own personal preferences. It allows the new shooter to see what, precisely, they do want in a hunk of glass, BEFORE making an expensive investment. This is the beauty of the lens. It is just a means to an end, not an end in itself. When evaluated as an end, it falls short, when evaluate as a means, it shines.
12-31-2010, 04:02 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I have a mint super Takumar 1.4 lens. Do you think it would be worth buying the adapter for it?
Yes!!! get it now! what are you waiting for???
12-31-2010, 05:34 AM   #22
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"18-55mm kit lens. Nothing exciting."

Well, duh!
12-31-2010, 05:51 AM - 1 Like   #23
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18-55mm kit lens. Nothing exciting

Hi, I am new to the forum so here is a quick post ,

I bought a "discontinued" K10d body about 12 months ago with no lenses and hunted around for a couple of cheap Pentax AF lenses to get up and running. I chose the SMC DA II metal bodied version as it was on special offer for 39. What did I have to lose? Having bought many SLR lenses s/h over the years this was even cheaper than many of my old 35mm purchases. The SMC DA 50-200mm was about 99 so we are not talking about a lot of money here for some quite respectable brand new AF lenses.

I also use a Fuji S5500 that has made me very lazy in terms of having a great Auto mode that I only override for "special shots" so had bought the K10d to get back to a more manual experience with greater control and of course the increased pixel rating as well as interchangeable lens options.

Generally I have found the limiting factor of image quality with these lenses has been my own lack of adequate control over f-stop/depth of field and ISO sensitivity settings coupled with a rather "soft" jpg algorithm that seems to slightly blur otherwise sharp edges. Edge to edge sharpness does vary across the field with edges being a little softer than the centre but often worsened by my own manual settings failures - depending on image composition.

It takes a while to get back the "feel" I used to have for my old 35mm Minolta X700 and suite of lenses - including a Tamron 28-200, now fitted with a Pentax K adapter for use with the K10d, so expect better results to come from practise.

Prior to buying the k10d I did try out a Kx at Jacobs in New Oxford St with the plastic kit lens and the lens elements seemed to wobble around quite a lot and images were pretty awful just using it around the shop and in the street outside. Not a scientific test, but it put me off ever having a plastic kit lens. I also tried out several mid-range DSLR Nikons and Canons and their kit lenses seemed as bad or worse, with pretty awful test results.

Conclusions:

Plastic kit lenses often seem to be a waste of money - either in the kit or especially as an after market purchase.

If buying a DSLR, hunt around for a bargain body only - often bodies-only are available new for substantial discounts. Then buy better-than-kit lenses as and when they turn-up at decent prices. Total price can be less than the kit.

Compared to expensive primary lenses etc SMC DA quality is not going to be the same. What do you expect for so little money? Are these lenses VFM and will they allow you to explore DSLR photography with reasonable results ? Definitely.

Will submit some pics later for comments.

12-31-2010, 07:35 AM   #24
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@Roger Brown, welcome to the forum.
Some good points, and it wasn't clear from the OP if he was shooting JPGs. This will also have a major impact. If you are shooting Nikon bodies on default jpg, I'ver observed the results to be *really* soft.

At the end of the day, most people will be using even a D-SLR to print 4x6-8x10 prints. At this size, the results from kit lenses will be fine (as Vincent previioulsy indicated).

The issue is all of us looking at a computer screen at 100%, and expecting miracles at infinity.

And having wonderfull upper end lenses to play with. Buy some if you want top results.

Last edited by Clarkey; 12-31-2010 at 07:36 AM. Reason: comment regarding earlier post.
12-31-2010, 08:20 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
The issue is all of us looking at a computer screen at 100%, and expecting miracles at infinity.
not at all about people looking at 100% crop and at infinity. the 18-55 kit lens just really is not impressive at regular/compressed size whether on prints or screen.

the shortcomings that the lens worth mentioning are:

1.> bad distortion at 18mm. so panoramic shots become more of a challenge.
2.> contrast and detail. the outlines and figures on the architectures are not elaborate and may deem to be less sharp.
3.> images look flat and does not give any pop.
4.> although it can do decent flower photography, it's far fetched from a macro lens.
5.> you'll find much better result with other cheap 50mm primes.
6.> colors look blah.

and the good points about it.

1.> great CA control
2.> 35mm is very strong but what is it's use as a zoom if it's only strong at one focal length.

there is a reason why the 18-55 is a kitlens and why it is designated as such. it is not just a mere stigma but an actual capability of the lens.
12-31-2010, 10:25 AM   #26
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If you're having trouble with this little gem....

QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
Is it just me, or is the kit lens really as bad as I think it is? I'm really not getting a lot of detail. It's sharp, but not a lot of fine detail. I notice this primarily on shot at infinity. Trees seem to blur together. I sent the lens and k7 body on to Pentax, both has been calibrated. I have a mint super Takumar 1.4 lens. Do you think it would be worth buying the adapter for it? Would I see more detail with the new 18-135 lens?
either you have a really bad copy, or perhaps your technique is worse than the lens...I am continually amazed at this little thing, a good 95% as good as my FA* 28-70 f=2.8...


QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
not at all about people looking at 100% crop and at infinity. the 18-55 kit lens just really is not impressive at regular/compressed size whether on prints or screen.

the shortcomings that the lens worth mentioning are:

1.> bad distortion at 18mm. so panoramic shots become more of a challenge.
2.> contrast and detail. the outlines and figures on the architectures are not elaborate and may deem to be less sharp.
3.> images look flat and does not give any pop.
4.> although it can do decent flower photography, it's far fetched from a macro lens.
5.> you'll find much better result with other cheap 50mm primes.
6.> colors look blah.

and the good points about it.

1.> great CA control
2.> 35mm is very strong but what is it's use as a zoom if it's only strong at one focal length.

there is a reason why the 18-55 is a kitlens and why it is designated as such. it is not just a mere stigma but an actual capability of the lens.
Absolute and total nonsense. It's a ZOOM NOT A PRIME. It goes from 28 to about 80, at mid apertures, and is light as a feather and the new ones are even weather sealed. It is the most amazing $139.00 lens ever produced, in my estimation. Try using a tripod.

$139.00 and they are disappointed it doesn't have any 'pop'... :>(

QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Amazing the chorus.....

The 18-55 kit zoom may not be a great lens -
but it is a good lens -
and does not deserve the almost automatic derision from some as soon as "kit zoom" is mentioned.

The 18-55 kit zoom was a good lens from Mk 1, and it has improved somewhat in the current Mk II form.

PopPhoto has done reviews of both the Mk.1 (as the Samsung clone) and the Mk II
(that's their "excellent" rating at all focal lengths)-


(I have a Mk2 which came with the K-x and it is just a bit sharper in my own tests than my original Mk 1 that came with the K100D -
but I continue to use the Mk 1 - because the difference was not that great, and I much prefer the stainless steel mount)

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)

K-x:

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/50sec, 35mm (low light about EV=4 @ ISO100)
the humble 18-55mm (Mk 1) kit zoom on K-x
note that it is ISO5000 - and wide-open for the focal length -
not exactly optimum conditions......
Exactly...very nice shots, btw, and exactly how I feel about the little kit zooms. Here's some of my shots (albeit the II model);









Just awful, isn't it? I want my money back... ;>)

Best $139.00 I ever spent.

And tripods rule! Shake reduction doesn't solve ALL your problems. Try reading some books on photography, post production, and if you want to see bad distortion, get a Canon IS 28-105...my friend has shots of the Taj Mahal that looks like it was designed by Picasso...and that lens is twice the price.

Cheers,
Cameron

Last edited by Cambo; 12-31-2010 at 10:35 AM.
12-31-2010, 10:38 AM   #27
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The kit lens always causes controversy -
there are many detractors,
just as there are many who will think it's fine.

That is a subject that comes up pretty frequently:

Alternative to kit lens

K7 + good lens or K5 w/kit lens

What I don't quite understand is the animosity of some -
it just doesn't assist the case -
it merely gets people's backs up
- besides there are just too many good photos taken with the kit lens to refute.
(yes, of course there are some that may not be up to somebody else's standards - BUT
is there an acknowledged "great" lens
that always takes great photographs? )

I do not disagree that ultimately when examining at 100% there maybe some disappointment -
but this is likely to be the case for even shots taken under controlled/optimum conditions with "better" lenses
and top of the heap dSLRs - as demonstrated in post #14

The kit lens is good for most general photography -
it gives satisfactory results and sometimes very good results
- in the right hands.

There will always be failings just like any other tool .....
- but sometimes it's simply wiser
- not to blame the tool.....

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-31-2010 at 10:45 AM.
12-31-2010, 10:42 AM   #28
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I think the whole kit-hating chorus has simply been spoiled.

I'm not very happy with the kit lens, BUT, it's the only pentax zoom I have ever used! It compares favorably with the canon 17-85 IS, but not to my cheap 28, 50, or 55 (which are great lenses)... Or the 2 Tamron (17-50 / 28-75s).

The only less expensive solution is to go manual used primes.... but in the long run, if you are willing to spend a little more, you won't find the kit gets a whole lot of use.

I find it has mostly to do with OOF rendering, colour, and detail. It is GOOD at these things, but not great. Since I have the zoom range pretty covered, the thing just does not get any use or praise from me, other than being a good deal. It is a wonderful place to start, though.

My current use for the kit lens is on a film camera for a "toy" look, or for when I am venturing into a dangerous environment and I wouldn't want to risk one of my better lenses / spend time swapping lenses.
12-31-2010, 10:47 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roger Brown Quote
Prior to buying the k10d I did try out a Kx at Jacobs in New Oxford St with the plastic kit lens and the lens elements seemed to wobble around quite a lot and images were pretty awful just using it around the shop and in the street outside. Not a scientific test, but it put me off ever having a plastic kit lens. I also tried out several mid-range DSLR Nikons and Canons and their kit lenses seemed as bad or worse, with pretty awful test results.
Was the lens or camera mount broken? No lens should have wobbly elements. The construction of the "L" plastic kit doesn't seem any different to me than the metal verion I or II except for the obvious features they feel the same.
12-31-2010, 10:55 AM   #30
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CA...

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think the whole kit-hating chorus has simply been spoiled.

I'm not very happy with the kit lens, BUT, it's the only pentax zoom I have ever used! It compares favorably with the canon 17-85 IS, but not to my cheap 28, 50, or 55 (which are great lenses)... Or the 2 Tamron (17-50 / 28-75s).

The only less expensive solution is to go manual used primes.... but in the long run, if you are willing to spend a little more, you won't find the kit gets a whole lot of use.

I find it has mostly to do with OOF rendering, colour, and detail. It is GOOD at these things, but not great. Since I have the zoom range pretty covered, the thing just does not get any use or praise from me, other than being a good deal. It is a wonderful place to start, though.

My current use for the kit lens is on a film camera for a "toy" look, or for when I am venturing into a dangerous environment and I wouldn't want to risk one of my better lenses / spend time swapping lenses.
old primes have SO much CA it will drive you nuts. I know there are correction algorhythms, but I'd rather have a good source...

Like the little kit zooms Pentax is producing these days. $60-80 bucks used...come on.

Best deal in the history of photography.

Cheers,
Cameron
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