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08-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #16
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The kit lens can give you good photos in favorable light.
But a great lens gives you good photos when the light isn't so favorable.

08-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #17
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I find my 18-55 DA II works well shooting closeups of my Model train layout indoors. Outside pics are just mehh.....
08-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #18
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I have been pretty happy with the 18-55 that came with my K10D. It is always in the bag and often on the camera. What more can one say?

Fotostevia on Flickr: Pentax 18-55
...and even a couple taken in less-than-optimal light.


Steve
08-16-2013, 11:12 PM   #19
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Kit lens, Tamron 17-50, and Penax FA 24-90

I am often surprised at the quality of results from the Pentax 18-55. Actually, I had two of these and sold them to buy the WR version, which stays semi-permanently affixed to my K-10. This makes it easy to grab the right camera-lens combination for rainy occasions, of which we have had plenty this summer in northern Ohio.

For other times/occasions, particularly indoors or other low-light situations, I often select the Tamron 17-50 f 2.8, which does not disappoint except for some problematic focussing issues in low-light situations which results in lost shots. The focussing issues are a relevant concern, since low-light situations are the main reason for my use of the lens. I wonder if I am doing something wrong. Because of these focussing problems, I sometimes select the Sigma 30 mm f 1.4 for low light occasions instead of the Tammy, and this Sigma prime provides amazing results in near darkness.

Another great lens is the FA 24-90, f 3.5-4.5, which for me is actually is the best of these three lens for most anything except low-light situations. You lose a little on the wide-angle end, but gain a lot on the high end. In my experience the 24-90 is one of the most under-rated Pentax lenses. In my experience, this lens is a little like carrying around a bag of primes (except in the 31, 43, and 77 mm focal lengths, where there are better choices :>). It would be a great kit lens and excels in many ways, not necessarily including build quality.

I will be very interested in hearing the experiences of others who have had occasion to use and compare these three excellent lenses.

08-16-2013, 11:54 PM   #20
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@stevebrot -- great pictures! That's a VERY old, VERY valuable Ferrari, isn't it? And i love the yellow Allard picture... and the Cape Horn rainbow... and... and...

Recommend to all that you take a close look at Steve's photos. Flickr Search: Pentax 18-55

This is exactly what I'm trying to get across in this thread -- that if you give a decent kit lens to a good photographer, you get good photos. What's the Latin... 'res ipsa loquitur' ... It speaks for itself.

Case closed. The 18-55's a keeper. And take that good advice from Ivan Vernon, and get the WR version!
08-17-2013, 07:14 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Recommend to all that you take a close look at Steve's photos.
I am flattered. Thanks.


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08-17-2013, 08:26 AM   #22
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I use the WR version all the time. There is nothing wrong with it that a bit of pp can't fix
08-17-2013, 08:50 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote

Another great lens is the FA 24-90, f 3.5-4.5, which for me is actually is the best of these three lens for most anything except low-light situations. You lose a little on the wide-angle end, but gain a lot on the high end. In my experience the 24-90 is one of the most under-rated Pentax lenses. In my experience, this lens is a little like carrying around a bag of primes (except in the 31, 43, and 77 mm focal lengths, where there are better choices :>). It would be a great kit lens and excels in many ways, not necessarily including build quality.
Spot-on. The FA24-90 is a very good lens indeed (well, my copy is anyway), and the range is ideal for general walkaround purposes with an APS-C sensor. Stopped down a bit, it is close to 'prime' quality. Reviewers have correctly referred to its slightly 'loose'-seeming build, but that doesn't seem to affect its optical performance. It is better than the 18-55, which is not stellar, in my experience, but even the 18-55 is not bad, and can be very useful when lightness and compactness matter.

After buying the FA24-90 secondhand, I bought new the original version of the Sigma 17-70. The third copy (the first two were duds, as the distributor admitted) of the Sigma was/is very good, but I find it unpleasantly heavy. I have reverted to using the 24-90, which remains as rewarding as ever, and teams well with the DA15.

08-17-2013, 02:46 PM   #24
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I agree that the 18-55mm kit lens is pretty good. The pictures I take with it come out crisp and very sharp. It's not perfect but what is? You have to learn it like a musical instrument and then play to its strengths.

I am wondering now how the Pentax 18-55 compares to other branded 18-55 lenses. Is the Pentax branded one a unique design?
08-20-2013, 09:07 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
Within it's design range, I would be interested to see any pictures which show it's limitations due to being a kit lens. If the picture itself is good, this lens is going to do it justice.
This is an example of my main gripe, the flare. I also realize that I am pushing the lens to the extreme with this kind of shot. I shot this as I walked to our boat with friends for a recent fishing trip in Cape Cod. This is Sesuit Harbor in E. Dennis. Once we got on board, I switched to the DA 15. Still, I didn't delete this shot.

08-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
This is an example of my main gripe, the flare. I also realize that I am pushing the lens to the extreme with this kind of shot. I shot this as I walked to our boat with friends for a recent fishing trip in Cape Cod. This is Sesuit Harbor in E. Dennis. Once we got on board, I switched to the DA 15. Still, I didn't delete this shot.
Nice one, and the flare doesn't really bother me (in my amateur opinion).
08-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #27
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I don't have any showing it's deficiencies, but, this is one of the 18-55 pictures we've printed and offered for sale. There's nothing wrong with it worth griping about.... we haven't used the lens for a couple of years... but I never felt I couldn't get a decent picture with it. Just other lenses offer me more range, or speed, or something.

08-20-2013, 11:42 AM   #28
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Taken with the 18-55WR

08-20-2013, 11:58 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Taken with the 18-55WR
Wow it does hold up well under pixel peeping. Now can we have a cheap wide prime please Ricoh! Or, please Samyang, I'll take 18mm f/4 manual focus for $200
08-20-2013, 12:14 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by prime.partisan Quote
Wow it does hold up well under pixel peeping. Now can we have a cheap wide prime please Ricoh! Or, please Samyang, I'll take 18mm f/4 manual focus for $200
The 14mm f/2.8 is, by most reports, excllent, and it's only 50% more than you're asking. It's also a full stop faster, and about 20% wider.

While we're asking Samyang to make new even cheaper lenses, can we have a modern Biotar copy from them? 58mm f/2 with auto aperture for about $150? Sure, there are enough Helioses to go around, but finding a good copy can be tough.
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