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01-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I appreciate the attempt at the analogy, but it doesn't hold water:

Billions of people prefer a McDonald's burger to a ribeye steak, and actually, that burger is a lot HEATHIER than the steak, because it contains breading and less fat.

Saying that the steak is "better' because you perceive it that way doesn't make it better by any measurable/quantifiable factors.

I had to go to school for years with a-holes who preferred Frankenberry to Count Chocula, so I'm particularly sensitive to this issue.

HAH!!!
Not only that, but everyone who uses a particular lens may have vastly different ideas of what it should do, or what it needs to do to work for them. A meal at Burger King is vastly superior to one at a steakhouse if you want something fast and inexpensive. It may even be more flavorful.

The Kit Lens has two camps of people behind it: Those who appreciate it for the results it can provide if you work within its limitations, and those who want perfect image quality over all else. Even how and where you use your camera can have an effect on your perception of the lens. For example: The versatility of zoom would make this lens much more appealing to some people than even the sharpest, best-rendering prime.

Personally, I think it does a tremedous job, if you don't need something really fast, and you're not trying to capture Medium-Format levels of detail at infinity, especially at its price point. As with any piece of equipment, if you aren't happy with what it does, get something else!

01-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Personal preferences and experiences will always taint our judgement on particular lenses, and the 18-55 has clearly done that in your case. You of course don't need convincing that the kit lens is of decent quality, but sharpness is certainly not subjective. MTF data is a reliable objective measure of resolution, and a couple of reputable tests have shown the kit lens producing very good IQ at 100%, verified by other reviews on the lens:

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II review - Image resolution - Lenstip.com
Pentax SMC-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL - Review / Test Report - Analysis (the Mk I, which supposed to be considerably less impressive than the Mk II or WR versions)
Pentax DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL Lens Review: 3. Test results: Digital Photography Review

Look at the figures for f/8:

Sorry but lens test are only carried out on a single lens and do not tell the whole story. The 16-45mm doesn't look especially good in lens tests I've seen but it's far superior to this lens (my copies anyway).

Objectively this kit lens performs quite well *at f/5.6-8*. Pushing its capabilities (like shooting wide open at 18mm or 55mm) will quickly reveal its weakness and lead one to believe it's not worth shooting with at all in any circumstances. This is what I'm getting at - use it at f/8 and appreciate that this is its sweet spot and there will be less disappointment with it. Cheap or not, it performs well even compared to considerably more expensive lenses at f/8. The same could not be said for other kit lenses.
I have shot this lens at F8 and it is still not very good. If you insist on using lens tests then here is Photozone's review of another kit lens, this kit lens is very good IME.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
01-06-2011, 01:37 PM   #108
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papillon, you clearly have an opinion and don't hesitate to share it.
I reserve commenting on your Flickr collection, however I would vouch that for the majority of the wide-normal angle reportage-style images you showcase on the site, the 18-55 would do a comparable job of capturing the same scenes. I believe you are neglecting the strengths of the kit lens and vehemently proclaiming its weaknesses as a testament of its uselessness. Avoid emotive expressions, particularly where there is evidence to the contrary, and there will be less questioning of your credibility.

And yes, many of us here are aware that the Zuiko 14-42 is a very decent kit lens also.
But if you fail to appreciate there are sharp and well rendered images produced by the Pentax kit lens, and solely base the lens's performance on your own experience of 2 copies of the lens (how this is more reliable than 3 independent lens testers using 3 different copies of the lens I'll never know), then I'm afraid there's little else to discuss on the issue.

Last edited by Ash; 01-06-2011 at 01:43 PM.
01-06-2011, 01:47 PM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by papillon_65 Quote
I have shot this lens at F8 and it is still not very good. If you insist on using lens tests then here is Photozone's review of another kit lens, this kit lens is very good IME.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
photozones conclusion on the first version of the kit lens was

"The Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL is a surprisingly good kit zoom although it has its weaknesses specifically at 18mm. The center and border performance is fine here but the extreme corners are somewhat soft. Pronounced vignetting and reduced contrast are also present at f/3.5. At 35mm and 55mm the situation is much better. CAs are very well controlled. The build quality is good for a kit zoom and a level up from the rest of the gang such as the Canon EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 or Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED. All-in-all a good offer from a price/value perspective but naturally there're better lenses out there ... with a much higher price tag"

Pretty much what everyone is saying here. It's a good lens for a kit lens and better than the 2 big brands
not a stellar lens but used properly pretty good bang for the buck
I really don't use mine much anymore having better lenses in my arsenal but I still have it (2 actually the first gen one and a WR. I would still use the WR (particularly in bad weather) but the other will likely go when i sell of a camera.
the Olympus I have the 14-45. It is also pretty damn good for a kit lens, but Really Oly shone on the other kit lens the 40-150 which was very good for a kit
none of them are the equivalent of my cheapest primes though

01-06-2011, 01:53 PM - 1 Like   #110
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Mods!!!

Can we please have the 18-55 as our next monthly photo contest, to have everyone put this thing through its paces!?

And can the EXIF list the actual lens, or only the FL the image was shot at it?
01-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Billions of people prefer a McDonald's burger to a ribeye steak, and actually, that burger is a lot HEATHIER than the steak, because it contains breading and less fat...
Too tempting to pass this up and as far as I can tell, this thread is just for the fun of it...

"Billions of people prefer a MacDonalds's burger to a ribeye steak..." because of one thing one thing only, affordablity, not everybody has the coin for a good steak...

and actually, that burger is a lot HEALTHIER than the steak, because it contains breading and less fat..." it actually contains more bad fat per ounce...

Other than that, I think the Kit Lens is better than OK and furthermore, I've learned that USER ERROR is usually the cause...
01-06-2011, 01:59 PM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
papillon, you clearly have an opinion and don't hesitate to share it.

This is the Lens discussion part of the forum, I thought that's what it is for, have I got it wrong?
I reserve commenting on your Flickr collection, however I would vouch that for the majority of the wide-normal angle reportage-style images you showcase on the site, the 18-55 would do a comparable job of capturing the same scenes. I believe you are neglecting the strengths of the kit lens and vehemently proclaiming its weaknesses as a testament of its uselessness. Avoid emotive expressions, particularly where there is evidence to the contrary, and there will be less questioning of your credibility.


Please feel free to comment on my Photostream, I have nothing to hide. I think you are missing the point. I have two copies of this lens, both are poor, I don't know what's so hard for you to understand. I have plenty of decent gear and experience, I know what a good lens looks like and I know what a poor one is. I own probably the best midrange digital zoom out there but I am not comparing the 18-55mm to that lens. I'm comparing it to a significant number of kit lenses I've owned or currently own. It is not even close to any of them. I am not commenting on anyone else's experience of the 18-55mm, just my own. Is it so hard to understand ?

And yes, many of us here are aware that the Zuiko 14-42 is a very decent kit lens also.
But if you fail to appreciate there are sharp and well rendered images produced by the Pentax kit lens, and solely base the lens's performance on your own experience of 2 copies of the lens (how this is more reliable than 3 independent lens testers using 3 different copies of the lens I'll never know), then I'm afraid there's little else to discuss on the issue.
How else can I have on opinion on this lens other than based on my own experience? Are you saying I should recommend this lens based on my own experiences with it?
Do you recommend lenses that have not performed well for you?
01-06-2011, 02:02 PM - 1 Like   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Mods!!!

Can we please have the 18-55 as our next monthly photo contest, to have everyone put this thing through its paces!?

And can the EXIF list the actual lens, or only the FL the image was shot at it?
Even more practical would be a Mini-Challenge with any version of the kit lens, posted with intact EXIF for all to see. Could even be a thematic challenge: "Kit lens wonder".

Seriously a good idea though.

01-06-2011, 02:02 PM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
photozones conclusion on the first version of the kit lens was

"The Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL is a surprisingly good kit zoom although it has its weaknesses specifically at 18mm. The center and border performance is fine here but the extreme corners are somewhat soft. Pronounced vignetting and reduced contrast are also present at f/3.5. At 35mm and 55mm the situation is much better. CAs are very well controlled. The build quality is good for a kit zoom and a level up from the rest of the gang such as the Canon EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 or Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED. All-in-all a good offer from a price/value perspective but naturally there're better lenses out there ... with a much higher price tag"

Pretty much what everyone is saying here. It's a good lens for a kit lens and better than the 2 big brands
not a stellar lens but used properly pretty good bang for the buck
I really don't use mine much anymore having better lenses in my arsenal but I still have it (2 actually the first gen one and a WR. I would still use the WR (particularly in bad weather) but the other will likely go when i sell of a camera.
the Olympus I have the 14-45. It is also pretty damn good for a kit lens, but Really Oly shone on the other kit lens the 40-150 which was very good for a kit
none of them are the equivalent of my cheapest primes though
I would say that the Zuiko 40-150mm (both versions) are exceptional for kit lenses, as is the Panasonic M4/3's 14-45mm. I found the Zuiko 14-45mm ok, certainly usable at all focal lengths.
01-06-2011, 02:07 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Mods!!!

Can we please have the 18-55 as our next monthly photo contest, to have everyone put this thing through its paces!?

And can the EXIF list the actual lens, or only the FL the image was shot at it?
If you think this will improve the performance of the two 18-55mm lenses I own then go for it, that really would be a neat trick lol.
01-06-2011, 02:15 PM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by papillon_65 Quote
How else can I have on opinion on this lens other than based on my own experience? Are you saying I should recommend this lens based on my own experiences with it?
Do you recommend lenses that have not performed well for you?
What makes you believe I don't understand your own woes with the kit lenses you own? I have asserted that you're wrong about your lenses - but your experience is not representative of the kit lens in general, clearly shown in the plethora of images around shot with the kit lens and the number of users both satisfied with its results and happy to recommend it to others.

No, I certainly wouldn't recommend lenses that don't perform to my expectations of them. You will find that I (and most others) have reviewed the kit lens (in my case more than one copy of it) and posted our opinions and positive recommendations for them on the respective lens review database threads. I personally do not hesitate to harshly critique a lens that doesn't make the cut (as I have even done with the kit lens in another thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/125094-k7-good-len...-kit-lens.html) but it performs *as expected*. Very well at f/8 and quite ordinarily outside of that. So based on that, I still recommend the lens - it is sharp and produces well refined images at its sweet spot, which is not your experience; so be it, therefore you won't recommend it - that too is fine. The vast majority of users though do.
01-06-2011, 02:21 PM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by papillon_65 Quote
If you think this will improve the performance of the two 18-55mm lenses I own then go for it, that really would be a neat trick lol.
That comment is not necessary. No-one's trying to convince you your copies are good, but since this is a forum with a lot of anonymity there is no way to attest to members' credentials in the vocation. Hence the first thing that is mentioned when a user comments negatively towards a lens that is known to perform better than what is being described is "check the other possibilities: user, choice of settings for the scene, light, steadiness - all before lens..."
01-06-2011, 02:26 PM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
What makes you believe I don't understand your own woes with the kit lenses you own? I have asserted that you're wrong about your lenses - but your experience is not representative of the kit lens in general, clearly shown in the plethora of images around shot with the kit lens and the number of users both satisfied with its results and happy to recommend it to others.

No, I certainly wouldn't recommend lenses that don't perform to my expectations of them. You will find that I (and most others) have reviewed the kit lens (in my case more than one copy of it) and posted our opinions and positive recommendations for them on the respective lens review database threads. I personally do not hesitate to harshly critique a lens that doesn't make the cut (as I have even done with the kit lens in another thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/125094-k7-good-len...-kit-lens.html) but it performs *as expected*. Very well at f/8 and quite ordinarily outside of that. So based on that, I still recommend the lens - it is sharp and produces well refined images at its sweet spot, which is not your experience; so be it, therefore you won't recommend it - that too is fine. The vast majority of users though do.
At last! we have consensus, that is all that I have said. Personally I couldn't recommend the lens, others of course, will or will not, based on their own experience.
Just to put some balance to my experiences, I'm pleased to say that the other Pentax lenses I have purchased, such as the 35mm 2.4, 50-200mm and 16-45mm have all met my expectations. The 16-45mm is one of the best bargains out there IMHO, certainly in the UK anyway. Overall, my experience of Pentax has been a positive one so far.
01-06-2011, 02:34 PM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
That comment is not necessary. No-one's trying to convince you your copies are good, but since this is a forum with a lot of anonymity there is no way to attest to members' credentials in the vocation. Hence the first thing that is mentioned when a user comments negatively towards a lens that is known to perform better than what is being described is "check the other possibilities: user, choice of settings for the scene, light, steadiness - all before lens..."
That my friend, is known as humour lol. Your assertion is that I have not checked this lens exhaustively. Well if shooting static scenes from a tripod at varying focal lengths and apertures is not a good test of a lens then I'm not sure what is? Yes I did switch SR off as well. I test all new lenses and check them for faults so I know for sure that these lenses are not acceptable for me.
I fail to see what purpose a whole new thread of 18-55mm images is going to do in terms of my opinion, but if it floats your boat crack on.
01-06-2011, 02:57 PM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Mods!!!

Can we please have the 18-55 as our next monthly photo contest, to have everyone put this thing through its paces!?
for what purpose? compositional skills doesn't make the lens better optically.
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