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08-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by thornburg Quote
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.
I'd love a smaller, lighter version. An f/4 version of that 14mm would be awesome.
And totally agree, somebody needs to clone these Biotars/Helioses.

08-20-2013, 02:03 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
The kit lens is just fine, used within its limits.
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I find my 18-55 DA II works well shooting closeups of my Model train layout indoors. Outside pics are just mehh.....

QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
There is nothing wrong with it that a bit of pp can't fix
I could have quoted a few other people, so sorry for the ones I missed. I probably don't use this lens as much as a I should, but I often find the colors it produces are mehh, as has been noted. However, it is the only lens I have wider than 28mm so there are times where I take it along just it case I need to go wider (at the expense of getting quite a bit slower). Here are my questions:
1) What are the ideal conditions for this lens?
2) When do you find that it most disappoints? (I know that the distortion and vignetting can be noticeable at the 18mm end)
3) Is there any sort of standard PP you find you need to do with images from this lens?
08-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #33
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I Just put together a few images for an album, we've hardly used this lens since we got the 18-135, but we've sold some prints made with this lens.

One of my favourites...



And a few more here

DA-18-55 Photos by Norm_Head | Photobucket
08-20-2013, 02:49 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
1) What are the ideal conditions for this lens?
2) When do you find that it most disappoints? (I know that the distortion and vignetting can be noticeable at the 18mm end)
3) Is there any sort of standard PP you find you need to do with images from this lens?
1) Any.
2) Could be faster.
3) Geometry and CA corrections at the wide and long ends, it is pretty good and does not need any in the mid range (~30mm). If shooting only JPEG I'd recommend turning on the in-camera corrections, if you can live with the longer file saving times.

My recent shots with the DA 18-55mm WR

08-20-2013, 06:23 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
Here are my questions:
1) What are the ideal conditions for this lens?


With bright oblique lighting that produces good modeling,
or just a few light sources against a dark background,
at focal lengths shorter than around 40mm.

Also close up.

QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
2) When do you find that it most disappoints?
Under flat lighting conditions of any intensity,
or when you have to jack up the ISO
to get usable results at low light levels.

QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
(I know that the distortion and vignetting can be noticeable at the 18mm end)
That is true of many lenses at a wide angle,
but is easy to fix when the distortion is not wavy or mustache-shaped.

QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
3) Is there any sort of standard PP you find you need to do with images from this lens?
Along with the distortion and vignetting correction,
the images often need a boost in color and clarity,
but that can quickly lead to an artificial, overdone effect.

Last edited by lytrytyr; 08-20-2013 at 06:32 PM.
08-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #36
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I have the DA 18-55mm AL ll and I did a whole month with it in a Single in November 2012. I found it very versatile and loved the colors it produced. I'm now looking for a WR version to go with my new K30.

I took this with that lens:



And this has been accepted into PPG

Last edited by photolady95; 08-20-2013 at 06:43 PM.
08-20-2013, 08:05 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
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.
That sums it up well. A good photographer will make this lens sing a fine tune.
08-20-2013, 09:16 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
That sums it up well. A good photographer will make this lens sing a fine tune.
This may be true, but it misses the point of my question. A good musician might be able to make beautiful music from either a piano or a violin. But a musician who is starting out will have a much easier time playing pleasant notes from the piano, and may only be able to make the violin sound like a screeching cat. Someone completely new to learning music may not know this, and may not realize why some instruments are better for initially learning on than others.

I'm not trying to blame the lens or say that it is a bad lens. But if I am going to use it, I'd like to bias it to situations where it shows off its strengths or be prepared for when I may need to compensate for its weaknesses.

08-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
This may be true, but it misses the point of my question. A good musician might be able to make beautiful music from either a piano or a violin. But a musician who is starting out will have a much easier time playing pleasant notes from the piano, and may only be able to make the violin sound like a screeching cat. Someone completely new to learning music may not know this, and may not realize why some instruments are better for initially learning on than others.

I'm not trying to blame the lens or say that it is a bad lens. But if I am going to use it, I'd like to bias it to situations where it shows off its strengths or be prepared for when I may need to compensate for its weaknesses.
Just about every lens has strengths and weaknesses. One of the biggest "problems" I see in so many posts around the forum is that most users don't spend enough time learning the strengths and weaknesses of their lenses. They get some bad results and write the lens off as junk. The 18-55 is a good walk around performer. It holds it's own against other similar zooms very well. I can pretty much count on some flare shooting into the sun with any lens but I know the 18-55 will show it far more than a Limited. That isn't really a fair comparison either when you look at the price you pay. I'm not sure of the current price but the 18-55 was readily available for under $150 while alternatives will cost around $500.
08-20-2013, 11:34 PM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
1) What are the ideal conditions for this lens?
Ideal conditions for this lens are when you don't have lots of money for better lens
QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
2) When do you find that it most disappoints?
The long end. F/5.6 at 55mm is slow. Very slow.
QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
3) Is there any sort of standard PP you find you need to do with images from this lens?
I often boost the "Clarity" setting in Lightroom.
08-21-2013, 05:34 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
A good musician might be able to make beautiful music from either a piano or a violin.
I think the music analogy to the kit lens would be a badly tuned piano.
A good musician will quickly recognize the problems and work around them,
but a well-tuned piano will help any musician, good or bad,
realize and develop their potential.
08-21-2013, 05:38 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I think the music analogy to the kit lens would be a badly tuned piano. A good musician will quickly recognize the problems and work around them, but a well-tuned piano will help any musician, good or bad, realize and develop their potential.
Sure, that works as well. My analogy wasn't perfect but I wanted to refocus the thread back to getting answers to my questions.
QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Just about every lens has strengths and weaknesses. One of the biggest "problems" I see in so many posts around the forum is that most users don't spend enough time learning the strengths and weaknesses of their lenses.
Agree completely. Since the amount of time I have for shooting is limited, I figured that if I can't learn first hand, why not throw up my concerns on this thread and at least learn from other people's experiences. So far I haven't been disappointed as the feedback and example images throughout this thread have been very helpful.
08-21-2013, 06:37 AM   #43
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I guess the problem for most of us is, we, don't think a lot about the strengths and weaknesses, but we remember "The last time I was in this situation, lens A gave me the best image." WHen the situation comes up again we reach for that lens. it's not a thought process, it's an ingrained reaction. As we used to say in basketball clinics, it has to be muscle memory, if you have to think about it, you're too slow. There's no shortcut for practice using different lenses for the same location.We might not even know we've done it. The only time I'm even aware I do it would be when I don't have the lens I want. If you have a DA*16-50, a Tamron 17-50, DA 18-135, A Sigma 16-50...any of those lenses, you probably won't reach for the 18-55, ever. That being said. However, if you're out and you expect to be shooting the DA*60-250, and you just want something to throw in your bag "just in case" the DA 18-55 will do. It might be the weakest of the group listed above, but it's light and easy to carry, and it'll get you a saleable print if the an un-expected opportunity pops up. The picture I've posted above, I've been there 3 or 4 times since with a "better" lens and it was never the right moment... having the right light, the right mood and an opportunity to set up and shoot with an 18-55, is worth tons more than an opportunity missed, because you brought nothing... and in the case of that shot, using a "better" lens at a different time hasn't even got me close to the appeal of this image. The day I took that image I was carrying 70 pounds for a mile, and I just wanted the lightest zoom possible on the camera. As those of us who have pancakes well know, intellectually you go for image quality, but on these long hikes under load, your body just wants to lose every once. You take what you can carry. As much as I like my SIgma 8-16, SIgma 70 and Tamron 17-50, I don't like carrying them. And that can be the biggest factor in what you actually take. Life is full of compromises and a 200 MTF isn't worth sweating about.
08-21-2013, 08:57 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I guess the problem for most of us is, we, don't think a lot about the strengths and weaknesses, but we remember "The last time I was in this situation, lens A gave me the best image." WHen the situation comes up again we reach for that lens. it's not a thought process, it's an ingrained reaction. As we used to say in basketball clinics, it has to be muscle memory, if you have to think about it, you're too slow. There's no shortcut for practice using different lenses for the same location.We might not even know we've done it. The only time I'm even aware I do it would be when I don't have the lens I want. If you have a DA*16-50, a Tamron 17-50, DA 18-135, A Sigma 16-50...any of those lenses, you probably won't reach for the 18-55, ever. That being said. However, if you're out and you expect to be shooting the DA*60-250, and you just want something to throw in your bag "just in case" the DA 18-55 will do. It might be the weakest of the group listed above, but it's light and easy to carry, and it'll get you a saleable print if the an un-expected opportunity pops up. The picture I've posted above, I've been there 3 or 4 times since with a "better" lens and it was never the right moment... having the right light, the right mood and an opportunity to set up and shoot with an 18-55, is worth tons more than an opportunity missed, because you brought nothing... and in the case of that shot, using a "better" lens at a different time hasn't even got me close to the appeal of this image. The day I took that image I was carrying 70 pounds for a mile, and I just wanted the lightest zoom possible on the camera. As those of us who have pancakes well know, intellectually you go for image quality, but on these long hikes under load, your body just wants to lose every once. You take what you can carry. As much as I like my SIgma 8-16, SIgma 70 and Tamron 17-50, I don't like carrying them. And that can be the biggest factor in what you actually take. Life is full of compromises and a 200 MTF isn't worth sweating about.
My first DSLR was a K10D and the 18-55 and right from the first day, I loved the results I got. I was a total noob to digital and didn't even know the first thing about image editing. What I shot was what I got. One thing I did notice was my setup was noticably smaller than what I saw other guys carrying around. I'm also an outdoors guy. I hike, XC ski and will travel to my destinations on a motorcycle weather permitting. I also have spinal stenosis and the weight I carry around will cause big problems for me in a few hours. For that reason alone, I still carry the kit. I also have a pair of Limiteds, the DA 15 and 40. Again, they are easy to carry. For a while, I substituted the F 35-70 Macro for the 18-55. Unfortunately, the zoom mechanism of the old film kit broke and now it's just a 70mm macro. It's also a very small and light lens. I have seriously considered a small P&S camera like the Fuji X10 and have also considered one of Panasonic's super zooms but haven't jumped on one of them yet.
08-21-2013, 10:56 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I guess the problem for most of us is, we, don't think a lot about the strengths and weaknesses, but we remember "The last time I was in this situation, lens A gave me the best image." WHen the situation comes up again we reach for that lens. it's not a thought process, it's an ingrained reaction. As we used to say in basketball clinics, it has to be muscle memory, if you have to think about it, you're too slow. There's no shortcut for practice using different lenses for the same location.We might not even know we've done it. The only time I'm even aware I do it would be when I don't have the lens I want. If you have a DA*16-50, a Tamron 17-50, DA 18-135, A Sigma 16-50...any of those lenses, you probably won't reach for the 18-55, ever. That being said. However, if you're out and you expect to be shooting the DA*60-250, and you just want something to throw in your bag "just in case" the DA 18-55 will do. It might be the weakest of the group listed above, but it's light and easy to carry, and it'll get you a saleable print if the an un-expected opportunity pops up. The picture I've posted above, I've been there 3 or 4 times since with a "better" lens and it was never the right moment... having the right light, the right mood and an opportunity to set up and shoot with an 18-55, is worth tons more than an opportunity missed, because you brought nothing... and in the case of that shot, using a "better" lens at a different time hasn't even got me close to the appeal of this image. The day I took that image I was carrying 70 pounds for a mile, and I just wanted the lightest zoom possible on the camera. As those of us who have pancakes well know, intellectually you go for image quality, but on these long hikes under load, your body just wants to lose every once. You take what you can carry. As much as I like my SIgma 8-16, SIgma 70 and Tamron 17-50, I don't like carrying them. And that can be the biggest factor in what you actually take. Life is full of compromises and a 200 MTF isn't worth sweating about.
Norm - fair enough. I just don't have the same problem as the only area I have overlap is around 50-55 mm where I have lots of lenses. As mentioned before, my problem isn't weight or finding the best lens, but finding time to take pictures. Sometimes I can manage a short walk around the neighborhood, and more often than not I'll grab my A35-105. It is a huge beast that is too heavy to carry for long periods of time, but it is my most FUN lens to play with. I love the focal range and the close focus abilities. What I'm looking for are the conditions that will favour the 18-55 so that I will want to take it for a walkabout with the greatest chance of success. I can see why other photographers don't think the same way and so my question may seem odd or moot, but I hope you (and others) can see why I'm looking to see how others have viewed this lens, and on the few times I've used it, I haven't been thrilled with the results and I suspect it was simply because it was the wrong tool for the moment.
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