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05-10-2009, 08:37 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
...Was the 50/1.4 ever really a "kit" lens?...
Well, I got my SP500 with the Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 but that was quite some time ago and in Europe.
For years, I used only this lens. Later, I added an Ifoco 28mm f2.8 and a Vivitar telezoom 70-260mm. I still used my kitlens for more than 90% of the time.
So, you could say I was very pleased with it.
On the APS-C sensor however, I see little point in offering it with a 50mm.
A 28 - 35mm on the other hand, would be a nice sign. Would it sell? I doubt it.
I think people that would be interested in going that route, could just as well buy the body and the lens they want separately.
I do believe Nikon had a good idea with the 35mm DX at a low price.
Now that the FA35mm f2 is fading out, Pentax should replace it with something simular.


Last edited by Bart; 05-10-2009 at 08:49 AM.
05-10-2009, 08:58 AM   #47
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Diego: I believe I do understand your original intent - is this partial summary accurate: "don't throw money into your gear, it may not be the problem - work on your skills..."?

Guess I'm not in the "a LOT of people" category... Unfortunately the 18-55 is not wide enough for my needs so I bought the DA 12-24. Another minor issue is that below 22mm, the 18-55 wasn't handling barrel distortion very well, so that sealed the deal for landscape work. I regularly use the DA 50-200. I think most folks consider the DA 50-200 the "other kit lens" because it's relatively cheap too.

BTW, at the classes I've taught in the past I've given the students the wide gamut of lenses available, pros and cons of them too. That means from the faster short focal primes which are relatively cheap (most were Canon shooters, so that 50/1.8 is a great choice and very cheap). I also covered longer focal length options (zooms, etc.) if they were interested in photographing wildlife, birds, etc. as well as techniques to get closer without spending a lot of money on lenses. Otherwise I encourage them to learn the limitations of their lenses before spending more money.

One of my few DA 18-55 images with the K100D, M mode:

Brought the wrong bag that day - no K10D or 12-24... oops....


DA 50-200 (IMHO a highly underrated lens or I simply have a great copy):




Regards,
Marc
05-10-2009, 09:03 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
...To me the true test of a good photographer is if he or she can produce stunning images with only a kit lens. This is perhaps the ultimate photographic challenge because just about everyone can get hold of one and since everyone is using the same lens, the only variable is the photographer...
Dennis,
Your comments remind me of another recent post regarding an P&S film camera. (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/59738-new-pentax-first-pictures.html for anyone who is interested.)

The gist of the matter is that any camera with a quality lens is a serious tool. Serious tools used is a serious manner are capable of producing wonderful results. Whatever its faults, the kit lens is still a serious tool. Such a serious tool that I am tempted to ask Adam to have a monthly contest on a kit lens theme.

I also would like to emphasize a fact noted in other comments...the kit is simply one of the ONLY reasonably-priced AF wide angle options for APS-C in the K-mount. If a newbie wants to explore landscape or creative wide-angle work, the kit is the place to start. It is still my go-to lens for wide-angle unless I need the extra wideness of the Zenitar 16/2.8.

Steve

(Thinking about it a little more...even silly tools used in a serious manner can satisfy the artists vision...Lomography?)

BTW...Other cheap AF wide-angle alternatives to the kit exist. The first that comes to mind is the Vivitar 19-35. The other (though hard to find new), is the Tokina 19-35. The Tokina is justifiably referred to as the "plastic fantastic". I don't know much about the Viv...

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-10-2009 at 11:26 AM.
05-10-2009, 09:47 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
I believe that being limited in anything helps you think out of the box, making you a better photographer, aperture included
Use a pinhole camera much? That way you'd be limited and get to think with a box... camera that is.

05-10-2009, 11:04 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
Diego: I believe I do understand your original intent - is this partial summary accurate: "don't throw money into your gear, it may not be the problem - work on your skills..."?
That goes along with what I'm saying

Fantastic photos Marc!
05-10-2009, 11:04 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Use a pinhole camera much? That way you'd be limited and get to think with a box... camera that is.
Hahaha someday I will play around with one
05-10-2009, 11:37 AM   #52
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BTW, supposedly, 43 is the "perfect" focal length for a normal 35mm lens. Then 43/1.5 = 28.6... is the perfect focal length for a normal APS-C lens, in terms of F.O.V. I'd say A (or F) 28 f/2.8 is a good relatively inexpensive "starter" lens--the automatic aperture is beginner-friendly. If all you want to do is wildlife photography for fun, then an old telephoto prime would be a good inexpensive starter (and perhaps "ender") lens.
05-10-2009, 11:50 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
Another minor issue is that below 22mm, the 18-55 wasn't handling barrel distortion very well,
On the other hand, for some folks, post-processing works sufficiently OK. Programs like PTLens come with distortion correction presets for various lenses--making the correction a one-click process.

QuoteQuote:
so that sealed the deal for landscape work.
So it wasn't a "minor issue."

05-10-2009, 12:22 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
On the other hand, for some folks, post-processing works sufficiently OK. Programs like PTLens come with distortion correction presets for various lenses--making the correction a one-click process.

So it wasn't a "minor issue."
If cost is a consideration, then your suggestion of using PTLens is by far the better option - no question. I have no problem correcting distortion, but I'd rather spend it doing other things. If the tool doesn't work for my needs, time to look at options to streamline my work.

I also found the 18-55 lens a tad soft in the corners for my liking at wider focal lengths. The 12-24 doesn't seem to have that issue. The bottom line was the wider FOV of the 12-24: that was the major selling point. There, now it's "major"...

Cheers,
Marc
05-10-2009, 01:01 PM   #55
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Ok, here's my response as a person who had only a 50 when I was into film in the late 70's. I then took 30 years off until getting a DSLR a couple of months ago and then going in whole hog in two months. I now have a 2nd body on the way so I'm a little of a gadget freak.

I started with the kit 18-55 and I'm glad I did. If I had started with a 50 like I was used to from film I would have never learned the advantage of having a wide angle lens. Coming from P&S and 50mm film I never new how much could be done with wide angles. It seems to do very well for me as a good learning lens. Same for the 50-200 that I bough a bit later. It gives me flexibilty to learn without putting in a lot of money.

That being said I bough myself a cheap 25 dollar 50 F2 A lens which I absolutely love. Old habits came back quickly and I fell back into the habit of focusing. And with the shallow DOF I've learned how to get better pictures as well as step up and back to get the shot. I prefer to shoot manual or Av most of the time so it slows me down to think about the shot. When I put on the AF lenses I tend to hurry a bit more.

Conclusion: I think that the kit lens is a great way to start and they produce very good pictures for the price. If a person gets serious enough to know about primes they will buy one and use it.
05-10-2009, 01:13 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
BTW, supposedly, 43 is the "perfect" focal length for a normal 35mm lens.
Supposedly, shmupposedly. There is no "perfect" focal length. Just different focal lengths for different purposes. 43mm happens to be the diagonal measurement of a piece of 35mm film, but how that particular bit of trivia got associated with perfection in focal lengths is one of the great mysteries of life. See any of the long rambling threads on what constitutes "normal" to get an idea of just how arbitrary such definitions tend to be - and how religiously attached people can become to those different arbitrary notions.
05-10-2009, 01:59 PM   #57
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Diego, I definitely appreciate the spirit of your original post--why spend more money than you need to? If you're happy with the kit lens(es), then more power to you.

With that being said, I really think that the answer to the question of which lenses to start off with isn't a one-size-fits-all one. When advising someone, you need to find out what their previous experience with cameras (film and/or digital) and photography is, where they want to go with their photography, and with their budget for gear. Gear needs for a true noob, with very little photography experience, are different than for an enthusiast who's simply making the switch from a film SLR to a digital SLR, for example.

As for myself, many of you will remember my LBA experiences over the course of the last year or so and I can pretty safely say that I finally have a kit that serves me well. That doesn't mean that there aren't other lenses that I might be interested in picking up down the road, but unless I find my needs stretching beyond a lens' capability, I probably won't be making any more major lens purchases anytime soon (other than perhaps a cheap manual lens here or there ). My kit is a good combination of IQ, lens weight, and price for me.

As for the bodies, we'll see once the K7 specs are actually released...

Heather
05-10-2009, 02:24 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Supposedly, shmupposedly. There is no "perfect" focal length. Just different focal lengths for different purposes. 43mm happens to be the diagonal measurement of a piece of 35mm film, but how that particular bit of trivia got associated with perfection in focal lengths is one of the great mysteries of life.
Actually, the mystery is somewhere different.

Look through the viewfinder with the FA43 on the camera and then look out at the world. Your eye does not need to adjust at all. The size of shapes and the angles you see match up perfectly. That's what makes it the most natural focal length. You can frame shots with your eyes and then pull the camera up and shoot. Like you can on a rangefinder.

The mystery is that this is the same on film or the cropped sensor. The FA43 is a perfect fit for the eyes on both, even though it is not normal on APS-C. I mentioned this on another thread but no-one has been able to explain why it is so.
05-10-2009, 04:16 PM   #59
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I guess there are a few more things to consider in this discussion.

1. It is very hard to know what you know and then apply that thinking to a newbie. There are so many lesson, theories, experiences that you have that the newb doesn't that make it extremely hard to think like a newb.

2. These forums make the kit lens seem crap for two reason. A) the peer group pressure. B) The amazing pics people post on here.

3. As already mentioned, the newbs previous experience. Eg, I shot filem for a while but not that much due to the expense of film and also owned P&S digi cams. I did also have the sigma kit lens. When i looked at my shots I was impressed with them but not blown away..... coz film was good and the P&S cameras are pretty darn good these days too.

4. PP. Even a pretty average shot in terms of IQ but with good composition can be made to look excellent with PP (and the right skills). Newbs don't have the skill and sometimes may not even know that PP has taken place.

So (for me anyway) i was always frustrated with the sigma kit lens from the start. It did make me feel a little like the DSLR was letting me down. THe thing i have realised though is that great lenses reduce the amount of PP needed to get fantastic results. EG, when i got the 50 A 1.7 and nailed the focus i just went WOW! when i got my first LTD I just went WOW. That WOW feeling is inspirational and makes the DSLR worth every penny. It makes you want to shoot more.

mike
05-10-2009, 05:40 PM   #60
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I'm a newb that came from digital p&s cameras with 36-120 sort of equivalent focal lengths, then a superzoom with a 36-430. I was comfortable moving to a DSLR after I figured out manual modes on the superzoom and realized most of my shots were landscapes on the shorter end of the focal length.

I used the kit lens for a while and then picked up the FA 50 1.4. I've since purchased some pentax film cameras as well, all with primes, and find that shooting with a prime lens makes me a more thoughtful shooter.

So I'd love to see DSLR's ship with a cheap, fast standard prime - that said, other than the new Nikon 35mm, there aren't many that would work on a crop DSLR.

I'm now annoyed enough with the underexposure of the kit lens that I'll probably have a 16-45 shortly. Really miss shooting the odd macro though, so a Tamron 90 is likely as well. Maybe a 55-300 too.....

Photography is fun, and expensive. Hopefully the kit lens has sufficient quality and enough zoom range for n00bs to learn how they like to shoot, and pursue it. In my experience, the 18-55 II was fine for that.
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