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10-03-2011, 11:27 AM   #1
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Any Good Lenses

I have found that whatever lens I buy...I end up going back to the kit lens!! i have 2 different kit lenses, 1 is a standard 18-55mm DA lens.....the other is an 18-55mm DAL lens!! WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!! Is it in the picture....is it in the speed....Is it even worth talking about?? I cant figure it out!!

10-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moz Artistic Visionz Quote
I have found that whatever lens I buy...I end up going back to the kit lens!! i have 2 different kit lenses, 1 is a standard 18-55mm DA lens.....the other is an 18-55mm DAL lens!! WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!! Is it in the picture....is it in the speed....Is it even worth talking about?? I cant figure it out!!
Does one have distance markings on the focus knob and a metal mount while the other has no distance markings and a plastic mount? I thought the DA was a metal mount and DA-L was the plastic mount. Optics are identical from what I read, so no difference in picture quality.
10-03-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by claimed4all Quote
Does one have distance markings on the focus knob and a metal mount while the other has no distance markings and a plastic mount? I thought the DA was a metal mount and DA-L was the plastic mount. Optics are identical from what I read, so no difference in picture quality.
Right you are. Also, the DA-L doesn't come with a hood, though you can add one.
10-03-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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Pentax has a number of 18-55mm lenses: DA AL, DA AL II, DA AL WR, and the DA L AL

Check here for the forum lens database entry for them. The D L AL is the cheapest one with no hood, no quick shift and a plastic mount. Supposedly the optics on all but the original DA AL are the same but I have no idea if that is true or not.

The kit lens is very good and you need to spend a lot more money to get significantly better. That said I doubt anyone would argue that the DA 17-70, DA 16-45 and the DA*16-50 are not better than the 18-55s but depending on what you do and how good you are you might not need the better glass.

10-03-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moz Artistic Visionz Quote
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!! Is it in the picture....is it in the speed....Is it even worth talking about??
You got it! Optically, there's no difference, other than what we call copy variation. (*) The DA has a bit nicer build, and costs more. The DAL is the bargain model. Otherwise, ain't worth talking about.

And unless you spend rather more $$$ on much 'better' lenses, it's hard to beat the DA18-55 at its game. It's certainly not perfect but its shortcomings can be easily fixed in post-production (PP) editing. [I won't re-start the kit.lens wars now; just be aware that discussions of this can be heated and emotional.]

(*) Copy variation: Not everything that comes off an assembly line is identical. Sometimes variations in build quality are caught by the QC (quality control) wonks, sometimes not. Some brands (Sigma, cough cough) are renowned for lax QC. Some users report having to return several copies of a lens before getting a good one. At least QC problems of Japanese-brand lenses aren't on the same level as Soviet cameras. Depending on how drunk the worker was (We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us!) the camera might or might not function. Modern products are better than that. Usually. Good luck!

Last edited by RioRico; 10-03-2011 at 01:38 PM.
10-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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As you have noticed, there is not a ton of difference in the images many lenses produce at a given focal length.

Here is my take.

While a kit lens is relitively cheap, it does, in fact represent the best value for money of almost any lens out there.

Generally the quality is pretty good, and image wise, unless you absolutely need (read need carefully) more, the kit lens may be all that is required.

where you spend a ton more money is on faster lenses (if needed) which also probably outperform your kit lens at equivelent apertures, and usually more complex designs that reduce distortion, CA etc.

Simply put
- if you never print full frame bigger than 8x 10
- if you never shoot at night wide open and still lack shutter speed,
- if you never want to play with creative effects of very shallow DOF
- etc......
you don't need a better lens.

many people don't
10-03-2011, 01:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Optically, there's no difference, other than what we call copy variation.
the DA 18-55 AL is made of 12 elements 9 in groups, where the DAL 18-55 AL is made of 11 elements in 8 groups.

In fact it seems to not change anything in the result.

If you are happy with it, stick with it. I love primes, but in the end, i use the 18-55 most of the time. And i made my greatest shot with it ... almost
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