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09-14-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
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Is the AL II version of the kit's 18-55 a noticeable step from the original?

Hello,

I have a K100DS: the little camera that could. I love that little camera and honestly while more megapixels, better ISO performance, faster AF and some other upgrades and features are cool, the truth is at this moment I just can't justify a K7, or even a K20 for that matter.
I have excellent MF lenses (A50 f1.7, A28 f2.8, A70-210 f4) but my only AF is the kit's 18-55 AL. For a kit lens, it has performed really good and I have been fairly happy with it. I really like the convenience of that zoom range, going back to my days of the K1000 and 28-80.
The DA*16-50 would be the ultimate lens in that range, but in the meantime while I can afford it, would the 18-55 AL II be a noticeable step over the original version? If so, what are the advantages?
I have been reading the lens reviews and it seems like a good choice.
Any comments or suggestions?

Thanks,


Last edited by ismaelg; 09-15-2009 at 04:29 AM.
09-14-2009, 01:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Hello,

The DA*16-50 would be the ultimate lens in that range, but in the meantime while I can afford it, would the 18-55 AL II be a noticeable step over the original version? If so, what are the advantages?
I have been reading the lens reviews and it seems like a good choice.
Any comments or suggestions?

Thanks,
I suggest a DA 16-45mm, it's comparable in resolution to the 16-50 and a better lens than either 18-55mm.
09-14-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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I seriously doubt if anyone can tell the difference between photos taken with the 18-55 AL from those taken with the 18-55 AL II.
09-14-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I suggest a DA 16-45mm, it's comparable in resolution to the 16-50 and a better lens than either 18-55mm.
16-45 is a great walk-around lens. you won't be disappointed.

09-14-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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Is there a perceptible difference between version one and two of the 18-55mm kit lens?

In a word: no.
09-14-2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Big G Quote
Is there a perceptible difference between version one and two of the 18-55mm kit lens?

In a word: no.
Have you had both and compared them critically?
09-14-2009, 01:53 PM   #7
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Yes, I have tried both versions and tried them back to back against a 16-45. I also used one extensively before I plumped for the 17-70mm.

For info, both the 16-45mm and 17-70mm are a significant improvement over the kit lens when you're wanting large scales prints.
09-14-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Big G Quote
Yes, I have tried both versions and tried them back to back against a 16-45. I also used one extensively before I plumped for the 17-70mm.

For info, both the 16-45mm and 17-70mm are a significant improvement over the kit lens when you're wanting large scales prints.
Fair enough. We expect the 16-45 and 17-70mm to be an upgrade because it is. I found the II to be better than the original although I sold it. I have considered the new WR version to have a "cheap" bad weather option.

Edit: I sold it because it got to the point of taking up space. However, I found it to be a good lens. It was certainly hard to beat at the price point.

09-14-2009, 07:37 PM   #9
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I have both. It's not hard to see the difference if you pixel peep at 100%, and the new version is indeed the better lens overall, especially in its "sweet spot" of f/8 or so, 20-50mm. But no way would I recommend spending money to replace the old with the new - they are still largely the same (very good for the money, but still a slow consumer zoom) lens. Almost anything else you did with that $100 would make a bigger difference. I wouldn't even recommend folks who have sealed camera but unsealed lenses spending the money on the WR lens - might as well just use the old lens in the rain until it fails. *Then* mabe replace it with the WR version, if you decide to replace it with another 18-55.
09-14-2009, 07:56 PM   #10
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While I agree with Marc (I've owned the VI, VII DA16-45mm and DA*16-50mm) I wouldn't suggest using any lens in the rain or snow with a WS body. Mainly because theWR/WS lenses have a gasket on the lens mount that will keep water out of the body. You might be comfortable tossing the lens when it fails but I don't expect anyone wants water getting in through the lens mount and possibly killing the camera.

The VII is a very nice lens and an upgrade from the VI version. I currently have the VII as a backup to my DA*16-50mm. I also agree if you are going to spend the money, get a DA16-45mm. It's a great lens if WR/WS is not a consideration. IQ is pretty much on par with the DA*16-50mm and it's much smaller and lighter.
09-15-2009, 04:28 AM   #11
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Thank you all for the responses. Keep 'em coming!
My only concern with the 16-45 is that now, even at 55 I usually find myself wishing for just a hint more range in the long end. Most of my shots are at the 50 -55 range. Since I'm running the good old 6Mp sensor, cropping ability is not my strongest point.
I was not aware of the 17-70. That would be my ideal range. I think that may become my new goal. I did a quick search and it seems the 17-70 is a bit harder to find.

Keep the responses coming!

Thanks,
09-15-2009, 04:39 AM   #12
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From all reports the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 is also a good alternative. There's a few on the marketplace like this one: Sigma 17-70mm

Owners say it's a sharp lens that compares well against most wide to mid tele lenses. It's only disadvantage for some is the variable aperture (fast at the wide end and slower at the long end).

You could have a look at the lens data base here for some user reviews of this and the Pentax f4 version.
09-15-2009, 08:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
While I agree with Marc (I've owned the VI, VII DA16-45mm and DA*16-50mm) I wouldn't suggest using any lens in the rain or snow with a WS body. Mainly because theWR/WS lenses have a gasket on the lens mount that will keep water out of the body. You might be comfortable tossing the lens when it fails but I don't expect anyone wants water getting in through the lens mount and possibly killing the camera.
True, but I think with reasonable care, this needn't be much of a concern. I'm not talking about leaving the camera unattended in a downpour; I'm talking about using it prudently. I've done enough experimentation with this to convince me the likelihood of ruining the camera is low enough for my comfort.

BTW, nothing hard to find about the 17-70. All the major retailers (B&H, Adorama, Amazon, etc) carry it.
09-15-2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
My only concern with the 16-45 is that now, even at 55 I usually find myself wishing for just a hint more range in the long end. Most of my shots are at the 50 -55 range. Since I'm running the good old 6Mp sensor, cropping ability is not my strongest point.
If you're having a hard time justifying the cost of the replacement body (even to a 10MP camera), it sounds to me that budget is a concern. So, if most of your shots are in the 50-55mm range and you're interested in improving IQ over the v.I kit while keeping AF as an option (recognizing that you already have good manual focus options), I believe that your biggest bang for your buck is to buy a F or FA 50 and keep the v.I kit lens you already have. That would give you an AF in the 50-55mm range with IQ that is very difficult to beat and 3 stops faster than the DA 16-45 or Sigma 17-70. While I've never used the DA*16-50, my impressions from the forum is that at the most it could match the FA 50 in some situations, but couldn't beat it, while neither the 16-45 or 17-70 do that. And at f/1.4, the fastest 50 is 2 stops faster than the 16-50, and 3 stops faster than the other zooms at 50mm. So you'll get significant IQ and speed increases, along with AF, with a F/FA 50.

Even if you sell the v.I, all you'll be able to get is about $50, which doesn't give you much spending power for the 16-45 or 17-70. On the other hand, you can find an F 50 for no more than $150 and an FA 50 for $200 or just over that (used, of course). The F 50 1.7 is a particularly good bargain. So I'd keep the v.I you have (or pick up a used v.II and sell the v.I if you think it's worth the extra $30-$40) and add a AF 50. You could even sell your A 50 1.7 for at least $75, if you were inclined, to help offset the cost while using the AF in manual mode when the occasion arises.

Just my two cents. Happy shopping!
09-15-2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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Thank you Marc for your experience. I used the V1 kit lens very happily until I got the K20, then I discovered that the camera can out-resolve the lens. I've been thinking about a replacement but I definitely want something weather sealed so I've been debating the WR kit vs. the 16-50. I took some sample shots with both to try to see if I could live with the quality from the VII WR but didn't reach a conclusion. From what you are saying, if I'm unhappy with the V1 lens, I'd probably not be much happier with the VII WR, and I should wait until I can afford the 16-50.
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