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12-31-2010, 11:02 AM   #31
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You don't have to invest much money in a replacement lens (3rd party) to get huge improvement over the 18-55 kit lens. For me, it was $300 for a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX. I actually got a significant improvement (although not the same focal range) from $125 Sigma 28-105mm f/3.8-5.6 UC III IF. And, for me, it's not a matter of DSLR inexperience or lack of skill. I'm getting great shots with the two Sigma lenses as well as the 55-300mm "kit" lens.

I think we all just need to face the idea that there is likely significant sample variance with the 18-55mm kit lens, which really shouldn't be all that shocking and shouldn't be taken as a general criticism of Pentax lenses in general. The surprise with kit lenses should be if you get a good one -- not if you got a bad or mediocre one.

Again, this shouldn't be interpreted as a knock against Pentax. Kit lenses just are what they are. All this being said, you won't see my 18-55mm in the Marketplace or eBay -- I'm keeping it and still use it (especially for vacation happy-snaps) from time to time.

12-31-2010, 11:09 AM   #32
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More nonsense...

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 !

QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
@Roger Brown, welcome to the forum.
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.
I've made 13x19 prints that are simply stunning with BOTH my little kits lenses (18-55 and the 50-200). They are both amazing lenses, especially when you consider the cost. Can you do better...yes...will it cost you a LOT more money...YES! Now let's compare new with new, or used with used...

This is the never ending battle, but all I can say is that you have people who produce stuff like this...






slagging the lens like they're some sort of expert, and is ruining they're perfect images, and people who produce this...











backing it up.

The defence rests.

I'd like to see some BAD images caused by the lens now, not the photographer.



Develop your technique or use a frikin' tripod...

Unbelievable.

Cameron
12-31-2010, 11:25 AM   #33
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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.
First off, I respect your opinion, and points made.

However the OP still hasn't shown any samples, indicated whether shooting jpg, and to your point about distortion, whether correction is switched on on the camera. We are all discussing something that has may be shown as an individual lens issue.

Personally I don't like the colours (I find getting good greens to be particularly challenging), and at the end of the day it is a zoom - primes will pretty much always be better.

I don't know whether I buy the contrast call though - I found sharpness to be the issue. If I am shooting the bright preset and back the saturation off on the preset there (K-7), I found it to be fine. That being said, I had the 16-45mm and tested the WR 18-55, and found the two to be indistiguishable with respect to sharpness at F8-11.

I've had some OK results out of my two lenses (first version DA, and the WR version). My first version copy is off on permanent loan to my sister (and I've had some nice shots back), and hardly used my WR version (sold to help fund 18-135mm).

Last edited by Clarkey; 12-31-2010 at 11:29 AM. Reason: 16-45 comment.
12-31-2010, 11:28 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
old primes have SO much CA it will drive you nuts.
I'm a real stickler for CA, which is why I sold my FA 50 1.4.

However, I have had no problems with CA with the A 28 2.8, 50 1.7, or K 55 1.8, stopped down just 1/2 stop.

In general though, I would suspect that the kit would be better with CAs when you aren't at the extreme wide end. However, these older primes are going to smoke the kit when it comes to sharpness and bokeh IMHO.

The kit is indisputably the cheapest and best way to take part in wide angles of any sort (below 28mm) though.

12-31-2010, 11:28 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
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...




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'... :>(



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
how can it be absolute nonsense when it is evident that other lenses can do better than the posted images here. the 18-55 is a zoom lens, so does the 16-45, 16-50, 16-45 and etc... but it is not up with the level with the mentioned zoom lenses.

the images posted here are not even close to what the 16-45 can do. and you might want to look at the thread concerning 16-45. and yes, you can buy one used for the same amount or less amount you buy a new WR 18-55 lens, and get much better results.
12-31-2010, 11:31 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
backing it up.

The defence rests.

I'd like to see some BAD images caused by the lens now, not the photographer.
Great shots there.

I would suspect you shot these at f8 or above, where the kit is very good (like most lenses).

The inflexible aperture and poor performance wide open, though, makes it a less than ideal portrait lens, or low light anything.
12-31-2010, 11:44 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
I've made 13x19 prints that are simply stunning with BOTH my little kits lenses (18-55 and the 50-200). They are both amazing lenses, especially when you consider the cost. Can you do better...yes...will it cost you a LOT more money...YES! Now let's compare new with new, or used with used...

This is the never ending battle, but all I can say is that you have people who produce stuff like this...






slagging the lens like they're some sort of expert, and is ruining they're perfect images, and people who produce this...











backing it up.

The defence rests.

I'd like to see some BAD images caused by the lens now, not the photographer.



Develop your technique or use a frikin' tripod...

Unbelievable.

Cameron
more nonsense?

Hey Cameron, Hello?

the first sample photo that you had shown here was taken by the so-called nonsense individual who needs to develop his technique and use a frickin tripod.
that image was taken with a consumer grade 55-300 zoom lens, not the 18-55 kit lens. not to mention that this was taken hand-held. if you want, I'll show you the exact spot where the photographer has taken it and what he had for lunch.

nice try on winning an argument.
12-31-2010, 11:50 AM   #38
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btw, as far as comparing my images taken with both 18-55 and 55-300, I like the 55-300 much better. the colours and the whatever I noticed/see the 18-55 lacks is solved by the 55-300.

there are only two affordable Pentax lenses that I liked the results, and those are the consumer grade 16-45 and 55-300. not the kit lenses.

12-31-2010, 11:55 AM   #39
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Unbelievable...

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
how can it be absolute nonsense when it is evident that other lenses can do better than the posted images here. the 18-55 is a zoom lens, so does the 16-45, 16-50, 16-45 and etc... but it is not up with the level with the mentioned zoom lenses.

the images posted here are not even close to what the 16-45 can do. and you might want to look at the thread concerning 16-45. and yes, you can buy one used for the same amount or less amount you buy a new WR 18-55 lens, and get much better results.
the 16-45 at our local store when new was close to $700.00 (Canadian). You could buy 5 kit lenses for that.

The 16-50 was around $1200.00 new...you could buy almost 9 (nine - IX) of the kit zooms for that.

And if your talking the new 18-55 WR vs a used 16-45, which isn't a fair fight, try taking your 16-45 out in a nice Vancouver rain storm a few times and see how she does...

And until we see some really great images from you, I submit you don't know what you're talking about, and have little or no credibility on this topic. The lens is fine...

Bernie’s Better Beginner’s Guide to Photography for Computer Geeks Who Want to be Digital Artists | Bernie Sumption :: Photography

My last post.

Cameron
12-31-2010, 12:20 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
the 16-45 at our local store when new was close to $700.00 (Canadian). You could buy 5 kit lenses for that.

The 16-50 was around $1200.00 new...you could buy almost 9 (nine - IX) of the kit zooms for that.

And if your talking the new 18-55 WR vs a used 16-45, which isn't a fair fight, try taking your 16-45 out in a nice Vancouver rain storm a few times and see how she does...


Bernie’s Better Beginner’s Guide to Photography for Computer Geeks Who Want to be Digital Artists | Bernie Sumption :: Photography

My last post.

Cameron
16-45 for $700? that's highway robbery. which knock-off store sell it that much? basically, an idiot would buy such overpriced lens. obviously, you haven't been really around checking lenses. go to londondrugs, kerrisdale cameras, gastown photo, Leo's, Broadway Cameras and Dunne and Rundle and you will see how affordable a new 16-45 lens is. it seems you haven't been out that much. are you living under a boulder or something?

and why it wouldn't be fair if you get a used one for cheaper price? using your wits is not a crime, DUH !


QuoteQuote:
And until we see some really great images from you, I submit you don't know what you're talking about, and have little or no credibility on this topic. The lens is fine...
I think you just did my a favor by using my photo as a sample which is not even from a kitlens. but anyway, I must have liitle or no credibility now, right?


wait, dont go just yet, I want to provide the link where you get that great image from the so-called kitlens taken by someone...ehem....


here it is >>>>>>> https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/72254-vancouver-main-area.html

take note this is only to be used for kit lens reference and purpose only.

Ok, I'll stop posting in this thread since I already lost my credibility. kit lens (55-300) rock my world.

lesson to be learned from this, always check where you get your examples from.
seems like someone else is clueless with a lot of things. how sad.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 12-31-2010 at 12:30 PM.
12-31-2010, 02:27 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
the 16-45 at our local store when new was close to $700.00 (Canadian). You could buy 5 kit lenses for that.
Yes I could see you really questioning the value of that lens at 700 dollars. The addage "you get what you pay for" is true of all lenses, but is most apparent with the least expensive gear, IMHO. The it is incredibly useful, but limiting compared to the much more expensive glass out there. The biggest problem is that the kit needs to be really stopped down to be nice and sharp, which completely eliminates the possibility of low DOF shots, or low light photography without a flash. It's worth owning one, even if it's just considered as disposable. I'd rather lose the kit lens to the elements or a drunk partygoer over any other lens... even the vintage stuff (which can be harder to track down in good condition).

Unfortunately in Canada you really need to hunt for good Pentax prices. I spent a long time thinking I could not afford any Pentax stuff new, because of the prices at the local stores (Vistek and Henry's).

After I was pointed in the right direction, though, I found that there were, in fact, sane sales people in this country. If it wasn't for the internet, we'd be screwed .

Happy new year . Two kit lens shots:
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12-31-2010, 02:48 PM   #42
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Let's see if I can sum-up some of the points here, and maybe add some.

* The DA18-55 ain't as nice optically as lenses costing much more. (I got mine used for US$50).
* Those optical shortcomings can be fixed in PP by those who want and know how to do PP.
* The DA18-55 is much used by people buying their first dSLR who don't know how to use it.
* The DA18-55 is rated high by PopPhoto and is considered better than CaNikon equivalents.
* Pentax has made some crap kit lenses (think A35-80) but the DA18-55 ain't in that league.
* The DA18-55 is used by some professionals to earn a living, and by amateurs who don't.
* The kit.lens gallery here is full of brilliant pictures that kit.lens detractors ignore.
* Large numbers of Pentax dSLR buyers will never use anything BUT a kit.lens.
* Newbie dissatisfaction with the kit.lens helps drive sales of expensive 'upgrades'.

I'll admit that I don't use my DA18-55 as a primary work lens -- to me, the DA18-250 is basic, and all others are specialty lenses. The DA18-55's specialty is as something upon which to hang various filters, optical strap-ons (wide-tele-macro-etc), and other odd stuff -- so it's a convenient test-bed for me.

Let's flog that horse's corpse a bit more, eh?
12-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #43
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Yep Rio, you got it.
Seems unreasonable consumer expectation is driving kit lens opinion down.
I've spoken before about how the kit lens I've come back to has little 'soul' - flat contrast and poor texture. But what to expect, surely?
I came back to the kit lens after going through a 16-45, a 16-50 and a Tammy 28-75. Each of these are clearly leagues ahead of the kit lens in colours rendition, microcontrast and 3D effect. But it's a knock around WR lens for me when I don't want to risk ruining my fine primes in adverse conditions. Even for producing videos on my K-x, it is quite ordinary - but for its purpose, it's fine. Any other application, it will show its limitations and warrant upgrading if any better results are desired.
12-31-2010, 03:48 PM   #44
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I've been happy to have the light, compact and inexpensive kit lens as part of my travel kit. At this point, I'd probably consider replacing it with the 18-135 for its range and WR, but I can't honestly say there have been many outdoor shots where I said, "darn, if I'd only had the IQ of that [fill in prime], I'd have captured heaven."
12-31-2010, 03:53 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
...
and you might want to look at the thread concerning 16-45. and yes, you can buy one used for the same amount or less amount you buy a new WR 18-55 lens, and get much better results.
PLEASE, show me where you can buy a 16-45 for under $150 US.
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