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10-30-2007, 06:34 PM   #1
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how good is the 18-50 mm lens?

Well, supposedly my new Pentax K100D super came with the kit lens---18-55mm. I confirmed that several times with Dell before I placed my order. Long story short, it does not come with it and I only got the camera body. I also ordered the 70-300mm lens, which is arriving tomorrow. I am assuming, since I am very new to DSLR, that the 70-300mm lens is a lens I will not be using and carrying around all the time. To compensate for "miscommunications", Dell is giving me a $50 certificate to use. I found a Sigma 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 DC lens for $98 on their site. Right now, this is in my price range. Is this a good lens for everyday use? I am going to get the Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 lens for Christmas. Is there a better, or similiar lens I can get for around the same price, or is this lens just fine? I am not a serious photographer, just a mom who likes to take photos of my kids, dogs, vacation photos (we have trip to Disney World in the next several months), football photos and dance photos. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice.

10-30-2007, 07:32 PM   #2
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TI got the Sigma 18-50 DC as a kit lens with my *istDS when I got it 2 years ago.
Suprisingly I still use it for when I want to take some wide shots.

It does the job for what you are describing.

Here are some samples (taken over the last 2 years) I've taken using it (no processing done on these).
water fountain on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
hatch building - perth on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
abigail portrait 2 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
annabel macro portrait on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
abigail with a big smile on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
annabel cools off on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (taken only 2 weeks ago!)
bee close up on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Cheers
Troy

Edit: Check out the rest of my flickr set for what you can expect from the 50mm f/1.4 . That sits on my camera most of the time these days.
10-30-2007, 07:38 PM   #3
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The Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 is a fantastic lens, don't pass it up if you can get it. I'm not familiar with that particular Sigma lens but somebody who does will stop by:-). But it may be worth it to shop around for the Pentax one, you should be able to find it close to that dollar figure. I have it and it's a great lens for the price, I've seen some awesome pictures taken with it. It's kinda slow, has some vignetting at the wide end and it's build quality isn't up to par with much more expensive lenses but it takes very nice pictures.
10-30-2007, 07:39 PM   #4
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Photozone tested this lens for nikon, it seems to have been a positive surprise.
If I had the choice I think Id go for the pentax kit though. Or a better 3rd party lens such as sigma 17-70, sigma 18-50 f2.8, tamron 28-75 f2.8 etc.

I am sure the Pentax kit lens can be had very cheap since a lot of people get them with their camera and want to sell them used but the market is not good since most other people also have that lens or a better one if they own the camera.

10-30-2007, 08:04 PM   #5
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The kit lens is pretty decent if you work around its limits. Outdoors it does surprisingly well. The 18-30mm range is where mine sees most use. Mine works pretty well indoors when paired with flash. I would consider a type of diffusion or an external flash with a bounce setup. External flashes may not seem convenient for family photos, but in low light I think an average lens with an inexpensive flash often will out-perform a much more expensive lens.
However, if you are in places where you can't use a flash OR need long throw in low light - thats where you've just got to have a more expensive lens for professional results.

Frankly, if you are new to DSLR, you can get a long ways with the kit lens before its your biggest limitation.
Plus, you are much more likely to take your camera to family functions with a $99 lens vs. a $500 lens.

I've got 8 lens in my kit, and more than half of my favs on flickr have been taken with this lens.
Some aren't the sharpest, but being ready at the right moment can mean much more than a "special" lens.
Flickr: Photos from jasons56
10-31-2007, 02:18 AM   #6
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I am in Australia and Pentax cameras seem to come with Sigma lenses most of the time. I got my DS with Sigma kit lens and I sold it very soon after that! I have now got Pentax 18-55 kit lens and it is a very good kit lens. If you want something better and don't have money to dump on DA*, have a look at the Sigma 18-50/2.8 EX DC lens.

cheers
Kenny
10-31-2007, 02:27 AM   #7
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There are better lenses out there, but for the $48.00 it will cost you, you can't beat it.

It is a a good lens to start with until you learn what focal lengths you use most.
11-01-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
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The Sigma 18-50mm macro version is excellent.

11-01-2007, 06:14 PM   #9
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Tell them that you want cash and get the SIgma 17-70mm to fill in that gap nicely.
11-01-2007, 06:53 PM   #10
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You can get the Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX from Cameta (off Eb*Y) for $289.00. A bargain really if you think about it. It is a constant F2.8 through the focal range. I got it for my K10d and I think in the long run the F2.8 will certainly help.
11-01-2007, 08:36 PM   #11
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Hard to believe there was a miscommunication with Dell as the description is normally "body only" or "with kit 18-55 lens"...

Can't answer what lens will be on your camera the most. If you like landscapes, then the 70-300 probably will not be it. If you shoot animals or sports, the kit lens probably won't be it.

Since you did not get the kit lens for whatever reason, I'd go for something else. 17-70 is a good range for general shooting. Wide enough for city/landscapes, but enough telephoto to get some details or portraits.
11-02-2007, 05:02 PM   #12
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The miscommunication was strange-------on the computer it didn't say with kit lens or body only. So I called---at least 3 times and spoke to 3 different people and they all assured me it came with the lens. To make a long story short, I got the camera body 3 weeks before the lens. I called this week to make sure I was getting both lenses delivered this week. They guy told me that it was body only and had me go into their website and put a parts # in the site. Well, here pops up my camera and it says "body only", which it did not say when I ordered it and it does not say that on the paper I printed out with a confirmation of my order. He then told me too bad and I should remember that "Spanish Saying" Que sera sera (whatever will be, will be). Needless to say, I was not happy at all. To appease me he got a $50 credit authorized to me, which I have yet to have sent to me in an email which he promised me. Why would I have called them and talked to them on 3 different occasions to ask about the "kit" lens if they website had said "body only"? I could have bought it from Amazon, Circuit City or anyone else for around the same price with a lens. Now I have to buy another lens. I am looking into a good "walk around" camera, as I have heard people quote them as. The zoom lens worked great at the football game last night and I finally got some wonderful pics of my son kicking, but the lens was heavy and I know I don't need it for every day use.
11-02-2007, 06:50 PM   #13
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The squeaky wheel gets the grease !! I would keep calling, and calling ,and calling, and insist they send you the kit lens. They told you several times it came with the kit lens, so you should have it. Don't let em' screw ya !!
11-16-2007, 01:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takman Quote
You can get the Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX from Cameta (off Eb*Y) for $289.00. A bargain really if you think about it. It is a constant F2.8 through the focal range. I got it for my K10d and I think in the long run the F2.8 will certainly help.
Be careful -- that is the old version. The new version with Macro goes for $370 - $420. The first version is a bit flawed according to some reviews. The new one - (look for "Macro" in the title), seems like it is worth the extra $100. I'm deciding between the Sigma 18-50 F2.8 Macro and the Sigma 17-70, but I'll save that is for a new thread
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