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01-18-2009, 08:51 AM   #31
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Like audiobomber said. The DA16-45 takes better shots at 16mm than the kit does at 18mm. This is not noticeable in the centre of the frame but definitely at the edges.

01-18-2009, 09:21 AM   #32
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I think the best wide lens it the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 hands down and then get the Pentax 55-300 for your long zoom. You can have them both for 700 bucks USD
01-19-2009, 07:02 PM   #33
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different source & different MTF

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I don't know where you got those MTF tests, but if you read the Photozone tests you'll see that you have it backwards. The 16-45 is significantly sharper all around except at F11.

I have both lenses and subjectively there's a big difference. My 18-55 photos look quite dull compared to the 16-45's punchier colours and contrast.
Different sources, different scores.

Take a look at Lens Reviews: Digital Photography Review and you'll see better MTF scores across the board for the 18-55 contrasted with the 16-45.

So who do you believe; and that's why I asked folks with experience to explain how/why the 16-45 is qualitatively better, since the quantitative scores disagree,
Brian
01-19-2009, 07:34 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
I keep reading this, but that's not what the MTF numbers say; the kit 18-55 outperforms the 16-45 at virtually every comparable length and speed. Not by much, but testing is testing and it's what we have short of hands-on comparison (particularly if the lenses aren't available locally and you have to order both online to compare and then pay the shipping to send back one of the two).

When you factor in the price difference, the 18-55 seems a better choice. But I'd like to be educated, so aside from the extra 2mm at the bottom end, can somebody nail down the 16-45 subjective superiority that makes it the better choice?
Brian
QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Different sources, different scores.

Take a look at Lens Reviews: Digital Photography Review and you'll see better MTF scores across the board for the 18-55 contrasted with the 16-45.

So who do you believe; and that's why I asked folks with experience to explain how/why the 16-45 is qualitatively better, since the quantitative scores disagree,
Brian
I'll have to quantitatively ask...does anyone here actually buy their lenses according to MTF charts?

01-19-2009, 11:52 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
I'll have to quantitatively ask...does anyone here actually buy their lenses according to MTF charts?
I would be very much surprised if more than a few people bought that way. MTF charts won't tell me whether the lens is right for me, shooting with it does that.
01-20-2009, 12:14 AM   #36
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who you goin' to believe?

QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
I'll have to quantitatively ask...does anyone here actually buy their lenses according to MTF charts?
How do you buy if you can't go into a local store and try them out?

Maybe listen to the myopic guy around the corner who says his lens is the best ever? Unfortuantely he's the same guy who claims his '63 Pinto gets 46 miles per gallon because of a special additive he brews up in his basement.

Or maybe you turn to the recognized experts, the people who have the experience and savvy to really evaluate a lens? Say, somebody like Mike Johnson who calls the DA 35 an "optical paragon" and one of the best lenses he's ever used? Or maybe you turn to photozone (Klaus?) who says the same lens is "high quality but does not excel." Both highly respected, so, who you going to believe?

The solution is, obvioulsy, you pays your money and takes your chances, but when it comes to cost in time and money ordering sight-unseen only to have to return something online, I'd like to hedge my bets as much as possible. MTF data is not ideal, but it's something.
Brian
01-20-2009, 01:03 AM   #37
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I look at real-world examples, read opinions, and search for well-thought-out tests. The numbers don't matter to me...the results do.

Buying sight-unseen is a risk I take. Don't know about your area of AZ, but in my city (the capital of Wisconsin no less) there are no places to try used equipment and very few Pentax lenses.

Bottom line: I see images I like. I locate equipment. I hook the lens up to a camera and see the results. If I get a "WTF?" result from a lens I know, I know how to correct it. The stuff I have is stuff I use. They may be cheap, used, moldy, dusty, stiff, slow, or ugly, but they are the lenses I've chosen through seeing images both on the screen and on print.

Would I rather have an $800 Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 than my Sears 55/1.4? Yeah, I would. Auto aperture is a nice feature and I bet the focus feels just beautiful. Multi-coating instead of the single-coating the Sears has would be nice too. Maybe when my budget allows I'll get one. For now, my less than $30 lens fulfills my needs.
01-20-2009, 07:14 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Different sources, different scores.
Take a look at Lens Reviews: Digital Photography Review and you'll see better MTF scores across the board for the 18-55 contrasted with the 16-45.

So who do you believe; and that's why I asked folks with experience to explain how/why the 16-45 is qualitatively better, since the quantitative scores disagree,
Brian
I can't seem to change the focal length on DPR's MTF chart. It's stuck on 16mm for the 16-45 and 18mm for the 18-55. The only thing it will let me change is the F-stop.

Anyway, if their numbers say the 18-55 is sharper, then from personal experience as an owner of both lenses I say DPR is wrong and Photozone is correct. My 16-45 is sharper than my 18-250 and my 18-250 is sharper than my 18-55. Aside from sharpness, I love the 16-45's low distortion and great colour rendition.

01-20-2009, 08:05 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Maybe listen to the myopic guy around the corner who says his lens is the best ever? Unfortuantely he's the same guy who claims his '63 Pinto gets 46 miles per gallon because of a special additive he brews up in his basement.
If you're equating our opinions with that myopic guy and prefer cold hard scientific tests (which can never be wrong, of course) then I have to wonder why you are asking us at all?

Many people in this thread and dozens of others have said the DA16-45 is better but not one has said the opposite. That's a lot of experience talking.

I bought one sight unseen -- in fact all my lenses and both my bodies were bought this way! No choice, man!

It worked out OK for me. Maybe it will for you? If not, you sell it on and try again to find something you do like.
01-20-2009, 10:12 PM   #40
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and how about the emporer's clothes...

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
If you're equating our opinions with that myopic guy and prefer cold hard scientific tests (which can never be wrong, of course) then I have to wonder why you are asking us at all?

Many people in this thread and dozens of others have said the DA16-45 is better but not one has said the opposite. That's a lot of experience talking.
Can't see how you personalized my comments, but in case anybody out there did take it the wrong way, I certainly was not drawing a prallel between the "guy around the corner" and Forum folk.

I value the Forum comments and/or experience hightly, otherwise I wouldn't raise the issues and ask the questions. However, I'm not of a mind to accept delivered wisdom regardless of the source, so when I see statements suggesting everybody agrees, I start looking for the rest of the emporer's clothes,
Brian
01-20-2009, 10:18 PM   #41
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there's more than MTF that meets the eye

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I can't seem to change the focal length on DPR's MTF chart. It's stuck on 16mm for the 16-45 and 18mm for the 18-55. The only thing it will let me change is the F-stop.

Anyway, if their numbers say the 18-55 is sharper, then from personal experience as an owner of both lenses I say DPR is wrong and Photozone is correct. My 16-45 is sharper than my 18-250 and my 18-250 is sharper than my 18-55. Aside from sharpness, I love the 16-45's low distortion and great colour rendition.
The dp chart can get a bit balky at times, but take my word for it both the aprature and speed wheels at the bottom of the comparison charts turn. I will have to go back and take a look at the sites about distortion (pincushion and barrel, anything else?). As for the color rendition, I'm not sure what that means: realistic colors, saturated colors, accurate hue, etc ?
Brian
01-20-2009, 10:21 PM   #42
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two different issues here

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
I would be very much surprised if more than a few people bought that way. MTF charts won't tell me whether the lens is right for me, shooting with it does that.
The issue is not testing a lens yourself, which everybody must agree is the way to know what makes a good fit, the issue is how to make informed decisions about what lenses to order/buy so you can do that personal testing,
Brian
01-22-2009, 09:35 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
The dp chart can get a bit balky at times, but take my word for it both the aprature and speed wheels at the bottom of the comparison charts turn. I will have to go back and take a look at the sites about distortion (pincushion and barrel, anything else?). As for the color rendition, I'm not sure what that means: realistic colors, saturated colors, accurate hue, etc ?
Brian
Sorry this response took so long, I had trouble finding this post. The 16-45's colours are deeper (I believe a combination of contrast and saturation) and the image looks sharper. I don't care about pincushion distortion, but barrel distortion bugs the hell out of me. The 16mm has exemplary wide angle for a zoom. It has lower distortion at 16mm than others even at 17 and 18.

I don't know what DPR did in that test. I don't think that saying the 16-45 is sharper than the kit lens is controversial at all. It's more like a known fact.
01-22-2009, 09:58 AM   #44
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Well, even DP Review must think there's more to it than MTF charts, as their final IQ ratings show a 7.5 for the 18-55 and an 8 for the 16-45
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