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02-13-2014, 12:47 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
so we concur the 18-55 does and performs like a kit lens and the OP is basically correct in his conclusion...lol however, he is using the wrong example photos to illustrate his point. poor images that is a result of AF errors rather than lens IQ does not valid the hypothesis. 2 identical subject images at identical focal lengths an apertures that are technically sound and in perfect focus would validate his conclusions. He is using faulty data.
we do seem to be converging to something along these lines. I know a lot of people commented on the bird image, but it was the second picture that kind of propelled me into the debate, and which I think does provide some valid data to the arguments.

02-13-2014, 02:19 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
so we concur the 18-55 does and performs like a kit lens and the OP is basically correct in his conclusion...lol

however, he is using the wrong example photos to illustrate his point. poor images that is a result of AF errors rather than lens IQ does not valid the hypothesis. 2 identical subject images at identical focal lengths an apertures that are technically sound and in perfect focus would validate his conclusions. He is using faulty data.
You could be right, but it seems like the snow under the bird is in focus.... so I didn't really think it was a focus problem. I did get focus confirmation in the center, right on the bird... usually if the K20D picks a different focus point it tells me on the viewer...

Right now I"m thinking condensation might have played a part, along with underexposure and lack of dynamic range.

QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
we do seem to be converging to something along these lines. I know a lot of people commented on the bird image, but it was the second picture that kind of propelled me into the debate, and which I think does provide some valid data to the arguments.
Which second image? The one with the house?

Or are you talking about the "macro" one with the snow on the rose leaf?
02-13-2014, 02:35 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Which second image? The one with the house?
Yes, that was what I meant. Sorry for the confusion.
02-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
Yes, that was what I meant. Sorry for the confusion.
Ah ok. Yes, another reason why I got it out was for that 2nd pic, taken at 18mm. Until my 19-35 gets here, I don't have anything wider than 28mm either, just like you pointed out in your other post:

QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
Open mouth ... stay quiet ... open mouth... stay quiet ... open...

I'll just say +1 to the OP sentiments. I have 3 AF lenses of which the WR 18-55 and the F35-70 is a second. the 18-55 is my only WR lens, and the only lens I have below 28mm (and that is a MF lens). So I find I have to pull it out now and then. It can produce some good images, but never do I come back and look at all the pictures and think it is has done a great job or that the colors have a lot of pop. It works, it has a purpose, but it will always produce some level of disappointment.
This exact same problem made me create a thread recently on getting a budget wide angle lens:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/248727-budg...ps-c-film.html

Lots of good information in that thread! Thanks to it, I bought a 19-35mm Tokina (I also want it to work on my film camera, but maybe your needs are different).

And my next purchase will be a 24mm prime - the Sigma Superwide II seems to be the best value around, with excellent image quality. If I could swing the 17mm 3.5 Tokina prime, that would be even better! But that lens is pretty rare.

02-13-2014, 02:55 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Lots of good information in that thread! Thanks to it, I bought a 19-35mm Tokina (I also want it to work on my film camera, but maybe your needs are different). And my next purchase will be a 24mm prime - the Sigma Superwide II seems to be the best value around, with excellent image quality. If I could swing the 17mm 3.5 Tokina prime, that would be even better! But that lens is pretty rare.
Aha! I saw that post some time ago but did not connect it to you. The superwide 24 does have a good reputation at least when I researched it some time ago. They don't come up that often, nor do the Pentax 24mm lenses. For other reasons I'm keeping an eye on zooms in the 17-70 range or the Tamron 28-75. If I end up pursuing the former, it will only because the particular lens is decent at the wide and long ends, or at the very least at the wide end.
02-13-2014, 03:35 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
The way I read the OP post was that the kit lens did not work for him as a slap it on, pick some reasonable settings and get a decent image out under a wide range of conditions lens.
That was my take as well, though my experience has been that the kit delivers essentially as you describe. I may be special, who knows, but I don't have too much trouble getting good results with my copy of the 18-55 kit. Of course, I may just be easy to please. I do know that I don't get grossly poor images if I make even a small effort towards good technique*.

Now to qualify:
  • Do I have better glass for specific tasks? Absolutely!
  • Do I ever consider replacing the kit with something else? Yep, though I don't know that I will find a full replacement, that meaning better performance for the focal length range with similar bulk/weight.
  • Do I think the kit is good for everyone's bag? Hard question...I just helped a friend with her first dSLR purchase. She settled on a K-50 with two lens kit (DA L 18-55 WR and DA L 50-200 WR). I think she will do well for quite some time. For myself or someone else with a fair amount of experience, I might suggest something different.


Steve

* I sometimes get poor results, but bad light and/or bad technique or non-compelling subjects can create sort of a harmonic convergence of badness.
02-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Do I think the kit is good for everyone's bag? Hard question...I just helped a friend with her first dSLR purchase. She settled on a K-50 with two lens kit (DA L 18-55 WR and DA L 50-200 WR). I think she will do well for quite some time. For myself or someone else with a fair amount of experience, I might suggest something different.
That is an interesting question and one I was thinking about earlier from a different perspective. When I bought my K5, I'm pretty sure neither the 35/2.4 nor 50/1.8 were available. I'm picking those because of their typical selling price and I'll note that I ended up with the WR version of the 18-55 because I really did not like the kit version. Certainly knowing what I do now, and possibly even then, if I had been offered a choice of the three WR, 50 or 35, I don't think I would have picked the 18-55. With my first SLR I started with the standard 50/1.7 and only bought one other lens a 70-200. I agree that for a lot of folks it is a good place to start off.
02-13-2014, 03:52 PM   #53
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It's entirely possible that bad technique is more responsible for my frustrations with it, than the lens itself
Less than a year ago, I was a P&S photographer. But when I got my K20D back in July, it came with 3 manual lenses, and I started using them right away, so I like to think I have learned something... getting a couple film cameras, I think is also helping... though I'm sure there's still tons and tons to learn.

02-13-2014, 06:32 PM   #54
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This seems like a case where the OP needs to test his copy of the 18-55 under very controlled conditions, although since he has a new(used) lens on order, it might pay to wait and test both lenses simultaneously for as accurate a comparison as possible.
02-13-2014, 07:20 PM   #56
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Another Question?

Hello ChristianRock,
I have a question, what was the shutter speed and ISO on the first (bird) photo?
Reason is, it may have been marginally fast enough, say 1/60s- 1/125s for hand-holding, but, the bird moved. Not much, but then again, it's a tiny bird.
You saw the lens at its worst; Full tele, terrible metering and A/F conditions and wide-open. If it couldn't do any better, sure, trade it for a paperweight.
But it can. Much better. Mainly when it's held steady, f/8.0-f/11, ISO to provide good shutter speed (TAv) plus perfect focus lock and metering.
Then, it becomes one of the better kit lenses available.
Ditch it if you're sure the lens is a dud. But it's a handy WR zoom, I've enjoyed that feature myself, and can coax reasonably sharp photos out of mine when the human element works properly.
Good luck!
Ron
02-13-2014, 07:34 PM   #57
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I used the 18-55 the first few years I had my D*ist, with my Sigma 70-300. At the time most of my images were used for web pages and for internet slide shows. Before I moved into prints, those two were all i wanted, most of the time. I eventually got the 10-17 for UWA and the 50 1.7 for low light... but, if I hadn't decided to do the Art show circuit and try and sell prints, I might be still using those four lenses. At 760x400, everything looks good. These days, the kits are body caps for our older digital cameras, like our K-x. I won't say it's really bad, but given a choice, you won't use it much. I really like taking the white K-x out with the white kit lens though... it's fun, and different.
02-14-2014, 03:15 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello ChristianRock,
I have a question, what was the shutter speed and ISO on the first (bird) photo?
Reason is, it may have been marginally fast enough, say 1/60s- 1/125s for hand-holding, but, the bird moved. Not much, but then again, it's a tiny bird.
You saw the lens at its worst; Full tele, terrible metering and A/F conditions and wide-open. If it couldn't do any better, sure, trade it for a paperweight.
But it can. Much better. Mainly when it's held steady, f/8.0-f/11, ISO to provide good shutter speed (TAv) plus perfect focus lock and metering.
Then, it becomes one of the better kit lenses available.
Ditch it if you're sure the lens is a dud. But it's a handy WR zoom, I've enjoyed that feature myself, and can coax reasonably sharp photos out of mine when the human element works properly.
Good luck!
Ron
Mine's not even WR It's the AL II version as pointed in the original post…

It was taken at 1/60, f/5.6 (wide open) and I don't remember the ISO off the top of my head, but I think I have it set on the K20D to not go beyond 640 at the moment, it gets too noisy after that, even in raw… It was dawn and the light was still not that great…

Ok so these were extreme conditions, so I agree that it is not a representation of what the camera is capable of. Obviously. It can be (and has been) useful in some situations, as long as it's got plenty of light and IQ is not first priority, it can do fine...
02-15-2014, 10:30 AM - 2 Likes   #59
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Personally, I think the grab and go walkaround lens is exactly what the kit lens does well. I've had three different versions (I, DAL and WR), and they were all good performers for a walkaround. They are not the lens for a detailed landscape in low light which needs to be blown up to billboard size. Indoors, or in the evening, my walkaround is the FA35/2, as someone else stated, but I find the kit lens great for a lightweight, low equipment walk through a city street or a number of other grab and go situations.

I went through a phase myself shortly after I bought my first DSLR where I was on the quest for the kit replacement, only to find the problem was on the back side of the viewfinder. Honestly, those are just not good photos which started the thread, and I've taken more than my share of those kinds of photos over the last 35 years with any of 40 different lenses and a couple dozen different bodies. I could pick any of thousands which are not good for so many reasons that attributing the problem to the lens just isn't possible, and I think that is the case here. Challenging focusing, cold, poor exposure, possible condensation, on and on. It really isn't all that productive to talk about the lens in this situation.
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