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08-30-2011, 08:37 AM   #1
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Replacing the kit lens

I have been looking for a replacement for my kit lens, preferably a faster one.
Bought the german ColorFoto magazine (Sept 2011 issue) to read on the train coming back from a businesstrip and was surprised.
They tested Canon 7D, Nikon 7000, Pentax K-5 and Sony A55 with several alternatives to their kit lenses

They had a comparison of the following pentax lenses and their points (will not go into details, buy the mag)
DA16-45 47p
DA*16-50 39p
Sigma EX 17-50 OS 41p
Tamron SP17-50 46p
Sigma 18-50 OS 47p
DA 18-55 AL II 48p

They measured fully open and stopped down +2; wide, midrange and tele.

I guess they had a good copy of the kit lens. Actually I liked the way they made the test.
One should never believe everything one reads. But this indicates that the kit lens is better than the competiton (Canikon) has to offer.

Flame away.

Seb.


Last edited by bassek; 08-30-2011 at 08:43 AM.
08-30-2011, 09:20 AM   #2
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Maybe price factored into the score? That's the only explanation I can think of.
08-30-2011, 09:23 AM   #3
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I guess it depends on the copy. I've had about 6 copies of the kit lens, and not all of them were equal. I wasn't impressed with the two WR copies I had; the DA L version is decent, but visibly softer at 40-55mm. In my experience, the DA II is the best version. (I know the optical design is the same; differences might have to do with the actual construction.) Anyway, my current copy is excellent. I use it with DxO, and the images come out almost prime-like (except perhaps a bit flatter than prime images). I had the DA 16-45mm, which was a bit sharper, but the contrast was rougher. And the DA 16-45 is significantly weightier. But the Tamron I tried was definitely sharper than all my copies of kit lens.

Last edited by causey; 08-30-2011 at 11:53 AM.
08-30-2011, 09:57 AM   #4
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the results make no nense to me. only if lower value indicates better lens, than maybe...

08-30-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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I'd go with one of the 17-50/2.8's. My Tamron is quite a bit better than my DA18-55WR, though it is not a bad lens.
08-30-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
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Price must have been a considering point - the 16-50 is definitely a better performer than the 16-45, but at 4x the cost, maybe not the most practical.
08-30-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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Except for the kit lens, tests of the zooms and several other lenses on K-5 can be found here: Tests - Foto - magnus - Magnus.de . Anyone fluent in German?
08-30-2011, 10:33 AM   #8
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The point may be right. From PZ test, the DA* is soft at corner when it is wide open. It is only sharp when stop down to F5.6 - 8. The 18-55 AL II is also sharp at F5.6 - 8 at a much cheaper price. I don't see any point to buy a DA* 16-50.

08-30-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vodanh1982 Quote
The point may be right. From PZ test, the DA* is soft at corner when it is wide open. It is only sharp when stop down to F5.6 - 8. The 18-55 AL II is also sharp at F5.6 - 8 at a much cheaper price. I don't see any point to buy a DA* 16-50.
I tried two of them and both were very good up to the frame corner... Klaus was probably unlucky with particulary bad piece from early production
08-30-2011, 11:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Except for the kit lens, tests of the zooms and several other lenses on K-5 can be found here: Tests - Foto - magnus - Magnus.de . Anyone fluent in German?
This seems to be part of the same test in the COLORFOTO magazine.
My German is by no means perfect, but I did not see any indications on price reflecting the score in the paper version.
They had some kind of sharpness numbers, the 18-55 was sharper than the star 16-50.
Also 3 close ups of some texture showed again the surprising sharpness of the kit lens.
Please note that wide open is 2.8 vs. 3.5 and in the wide end 2.8 vs. 4.5. Respectively two stops down for all lenses.
No reason to compare both (all) at 3.5, that's why one is supposed to pay more for the faster lens.

I guess I should get a hood and use the DAL (that I have got) some more time on my dslr. And save up.

Seb.
08-30-2011, 11:35 AM   #11
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I'd be terrifyingly surprised if my 18-55 is sharper than the 16-50 - but perhaps the best of the 18-55 and the worst of the 16-50..

Many reviews put the 16-50 higher than the 16-45 in terms of IQ, although the 17-50s from Sigma and Tamron do trump both. However, the 16-45 is the natural progression from the 18-55...
08-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #12
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I started off with the 18-55 that came with my K100D. I recently upgraded to a 16-45. It's a great lens especially for the relatively low price.

However, in about a month I will be getting the Tamron 17-50 instead. I think it's a natural progession. Sharper and faster.

For me, the 16-50 is not worth the high price when considering the border softness and (gulp) SDM issues. I do like the weather sealing though.
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