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06-30-2011, 08:11 PM   #1
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confessions of a kit-zoom swapper

I've recently had several lucky (?) breaks in the online world, which brought me several kit-zoom-like lenses in rapid succession.
The link below leads to my thoughts on these lenses: DA18-55wr, DA16-45, Sigmas 17-70 (older f/2.8-4.5), 18-200 and newer 18-50/2.8-4.5 OS/HSM.

Entering the Mind Drive: June 2011

Do not go there seeking deep examination of minutae, rigorous testing or zoom/crop images - it's just what I liked and what didn't catch my fancy. It's strictly how I felt using them with my k-x, with a few recollections of them on a K-7 as well. Enjoy, and perhaps learn something (like I apparently didn't )!

I'm still mulling over which one (or maybe two?) will ultimately stay - but the DA16-45 sure is fun, and fun is as important as corner sharpness or a pinch of vignetting in my evaluation!

07-01-2011, 06:58 AM   #2
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Jim-- I enjoyed browsing through your blog entries and reading your comparisons of these lenses. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You sure do enjoy buying/selling your camera equipment!
07-01-2011, 08:29 AM   #3
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I have swapped zooms around a lot the last 3 years. I got a 18-55mm II that came with a K200d. It was good but I sold it. I ended up with a very good full frame af Sigma 20-40/2.8 EX DG lens. I traded it for its sibling the 15-30mm when I got the DA 21mm ltd. It was also a nice lens but ended up selling it when I got the DA 17-70/4. I later sold it. Then I picked up the 18-55mm WR which is currently my only zoom. I regret selling my old venerable F 35-70mm sometimes because it was good optically and compact. I will probably stay with the 18-55 WR due to its size, WR and IQ unless I screw around and end up with a DA* 16-50.
07-01-2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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Jim-good investment strategy!

07-01-2011, 08:58 AM   #5
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Well, Jim, buying that Sigma 17-70 off of you has cured me of looking for the right kit replacement lens, at least for the foreseeable future. It's fast enough, sharp enough & cheap enough to fit the bill perfectly for me (although I may change my mind at some point in the future).

07-01-2011, 09:39 AM   #6
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I completely agree that the "fun" of using a lens is at least as important as any of the technical stuff.
07-01-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I completely agree that the "fun" of using a lens is at least as important as any of the technical stuff.
I find that with musical instruments too. Something that feels right in your hand will encourage you to play, and to improve. Any technical weakness in the thing that feels best to you will be offset by it motivating you to improve.

I used to relentlessly pursue "tone". Now I realize that the guitar that fits my hand best will bring out the best sound in me.... not the best sounding guitar in "tests". The same applies to cameras, in my experience.

That's why I plan on replacing my K20d with a KR when it croaks (which I suspect won't be for some time). That's also why, after exploring the world of autofocus lenses, some of the old classics (with their bulky, metal, smooth focusing rings) seem to actually be preferable alternatives to the technically-amazing autofocus zooms available to me.

I still can't decide whether I like the FA 50 or the K 55 better. I know which one performs better on tests. But I also know how little that matters to me .

07-02-2011, 07:41 AM   #8
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Due to family health problems, I've been in 'monitoring' mode around here - too often that means in front of a computer. Winning this many lenses may be the LBA 'cure' I seek though! It has shown me that the pros and cons of each kit-like lens can to some degree be foreseen without buying - but indeed, in-hand and on-body feel is important. What fit the K-7 well is more nose-heavy on the k-x, and that's an influence on comfort, so it's used more and learned to be used better etc etc.

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