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10-20-2009, 02:34 PM   #16
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the 18-55 has a pretty weak contrast and resolution is not good at the wide end. I'm still trying and looking for a great result along the 24-30mm end. until then, I can't give much credit to this lens except that it's good for a kit lens and better than other kit lenses.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 10-28-2009 at 12:40 PM.
10-20-2009, 04:11 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by caseygtc Quote
Thanks for the help. I am thinking of either the Pentax/Tamron 18/250 or the Pentax 55-300. Any thoughts?
If i were you, I would pick the Pentax DA 55-300mm and when you have that wonderful zoom and your kit's lens, you have 18 to 300mm covered with two valuable zooms. It is a good competent dual. Don't go overboard in buying too many or the other extremes in buying just 1 lens and do it all. The Tamron/Pentax 18-250mm is a wonderful lens to have when you want a single lens in traveling or you avoid lens change for situations not appropriate for lens change.

You have to ask yourself once you get the 18-250mm, are you going to use less on your 18-55mm kit's lens. With the 55-300mm, you have a competent dual that cover your range without overlap. Overlap is good but not for two lens.

I won my LBA title in PF in 2008, please treat my words with caution and spoonful of salt. To my defense, I am the Pentax sucker who wants to try out all M42, adaptall-2, sigma, tamron, tokina, carl Zeiss lens before I can settle for the best in quality and value. You can visit my joyful paths in LBA in Hin's Camera Gear.

I started off my Pentax journey with two lens with DA 18-55 first, followed by DA 50-200mm. The DA 55-300mm was not available at the time, and I settled for the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD 1:2 Macro instead. The former is a better lens and with SMC coating and good control on Purple Fringing/Chromatic Aberrations.

I highly recommend you with the DA 55-300mm as your next logical purchase.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 10-20-2009 at 05:51 PM.
10-20-2009, 04:51 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
I find the 18-55 to be at it's worst at the wide end (though I note you left out the 18-19mm, where I find the lens pretty ugly).
These things are relative. Sure, another lens might do slightly better if you pixel peep shots made under controlled conditions. But "ugly"? That implies something that everyone would immediately gauge as unacceptable. That's just not the case. That statement seems directly at odds with what you wrote just a paragraph later:

QuoteQuote:
The 18-55 is good for a kit lens, and a very useful range, but it's still just a kit lens.
OK, but the question is, just how many people would be unsatisfied with its image quality? I mean, sure, people who are unusually demanding might find something to quibble with in images like this:



but I'm betting the majority of potential K-x customers would find that perfectly acceptable.
10-20-2009, 05:17 PM   #19
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Thank you all for helping a novice. I think I will go with the consensus and purchase a DA 55-300. Any suggestions on where to find the best price? Is the limited version available anywhere?

Thanks again

Casey

10-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #20
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The 55-300 has no limited version, but you can get it from B&H at one of the most competitive prices available (depending on where you live for shipping).
10-20-2009, 05:50 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella:
But "ugly"? That implies something that everyone would immediately gauge as unacceptable. That's just not the case.
Here's a 100% crop of part of an image, near the edge, not really in the corner, f/8, 21mm, 1/350. Tree is 'in focus'.



I shoot RAW to combat fringing. Oh and do note that the K10D doesn't produce the best jpegs from what I've read. But still, at f/8, I think that's pretty ugly. Other people might not agree. Other kit lenses will probably be worse.

The problem with the lens is that I really find I need to stop it down in all situations I can, even if it's a compromise with high ISO. Wide open apertures on the 18-55 can be dangerous territory.

QuoteQuote:
That statement seems directly at odds with what you wrote just a paragraph later: "The 18-55 is good for a kit lens, and a very useful range, but it's still just a kit lens."
It's not really at odds. It's ugly at 18mm, and it's good for a kit lens. I don't know of a similar-range kit lens that is really sharp. This lens appears to be better than most kit lenses.

QuoteQuote:
I'm betting the majority of potential K-x customers would find that perfectly acceptable.
I agree
10-20-2009, 08:20 PM   #22
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You can have your zooms but Pentax has prime lenses that are just too good not to own!

Start with the Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 and you'll have a camera that can shoot in the dark with no flash You just have to zoom with your feet.

But without such a lens you wont be turning out true high quality shots (unless you were to get a DA* zoom.

This lens is cheap, too cheap not to own, and no one with a pentax camera should be without this lens.
PX5014AFAK Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Auto Focus Lens kit, with Tiffen 49mm UV Filter, Lens Cap Leash, Professional Lens Cleaning Kit


quick survey, who has the FA50 and loves it?
10-20-2009, 09:35 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
You can have your zooms but Pentax has prime lenses that are just too good not to own!

Start with the Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 and you'll have a camera that can shoot in the dark with no flash You just have to zoom with your feet.

But without such a lens you wont be turning out true high quality shots (unless you were to get a DA* zoom.

This lens is cheap, too cheap not to own, and no one with a pentax camera should be without this lens.
PX5014AFAK Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Auto Focus Lens kit, with Tiffen 49mm UV Filter, Lens Cap Leash, Professional Lens Cleaning Kit


quick survey, who has the FA50 and loves it?

I don't have the FA50 1.4, but I have tried it and love it. the reason for not having it is because I have the FA50 1.7 and the A 50/1.2. I would had gone for the FA50/1.4, but rather seized the opportunity of buying a very rare FA50/1.7 up for sale when I was about to get one. I just can't pass on that rare opportunity. besides, the shallowness of the FA50/1.4 is not meant for autofocused nor manually focused lowlight candid photography use under the hands of random colleagues taking your personal photos. the FA50/1.7 on the otherhand is more forgiving for autofocus under those circumstances. the only way I would get an FA50/1.4 is if I sell the 1.7, which is very unlikely to happen.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 10-20-2009 at 10:26 PM.
10-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Here's a 100% crop of part of an image, near the edge, not really in the corner, f/8, 21mm, 1/350. Tree is 'in focus'.
Of course, we have to take your word for it that this really is in focus. Also, hopefully not a windy day.

Since you mention the K10D, I'm actually guessing you are talking about the *old* 18-55 design, though, not the current design. I also say that because the current design improves on on the borders quite a bit. The cactus images I posted shows quite a bit more detail even in the extreme top right (the corner that closest to being in focus), although i don't have a 100% crop handy to prove this. So really, this discussion is probably a bit moot - we're taking about different lenses.

But even if so, it would still be useful to put this into context. As you said, that is a 100% crop, and you're looking at an edge. If someone looks at this image without fully comprehending what that means, they might get the idea that everything they shoot will look that bad. But of course that's not the case. That's just the worst small piece of the image along the edge, blown up far bigger than anyone would normally ever be viewing or printing images.

Not saying that other lenses aren't better - of course they are. But why not post the full image that crop came from, so people can get a better of what we're really talking about here? We're not talking a whole image looking like that - we're talking about the extreme edges looking like that if you hold a magnifying glass up to the print, or print a poster and examine it as closely as you would a snapshot.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 10-20-2009 at 09:56 PM.
10-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote

quick survey, who has the FA50 and loves it?
It's been my first suggestion for anyone looking to 'upgrade' from a kit lens setup.
Soon after getting my first dSLR I bought this lens and would never regret it. I'd be surprised to hear of someone who doesn't like the FA 50/1.4...
10-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
I disagree with you on these two lenses. I find the 18-55 to be at it's worst at the wide end (though I note you left out the 18-19mm, where I find the lens pretty ugly).
Hey, I didn't say it wasn't ugly, I said it was sharp

Of course, sharpness is only a small part of the advantage of lenses like the 16-45/F4 and 17-70/F4.

My comment that 20-24mm is sharp on the 18-55 lens is based on my casual observation, plus the only public review I have found which shows test results in the 20-28mm range, which is at DPreview. I would also say that the distortion is reasonable in that range. Most reviewers only show 18mm, 35mm and 55mm. Of course this is a kit lens and poor at the extremes, but I personally would not judge it based on those focal lengths - even 35mm is not the best. Same goes for the 50-200.

I would give a zoom lens high marks even if only part of its range is excellent, of course while stating openly the pros and cons. It's funny the things people miss when comparing lenses - for example the 18-55 is criticized as "slow", but how many people could tell me off the top of their head what the focal length range capable of F4 is on that lens? Same goes for the 50-200 and F4.5.

In summary, look on the bright side!

Last edited by Michael Barker; 10-28-2009 at 10:52 AM.
10-28-2009, 03:15 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Of course, we have to take your word for it that this really is in focus. Also, hopefully not a windy day.
Yes it is in focus, not windy.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote

Since you mention the K10D, I'm actually guessing you are talking about the *old* 18-55 design, though, not the current design. I also say that because the current design improves on on the borders quite a bit.
Yes this is true, I heard that the mark II version is improved somewhat.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That's just the worst small piece of the image along the edge, blown up far bigger than anyone would normally ever be viewing or printing images...we're talking about the extreme edges
I pointed out this was not the extreme edge. But yes, in many situations it would not be a huge issue. However, I have a 10 megapixel camera because I want to be a ble to use 10 megapixels. My point would be that if you want to print to a decent size, don't use the kit lens if you can avoid it.
10-28-2009, 03:59 PM   #28
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Thanks for the input. I did purchaSE THE 55-300 AND LOVE IT. I would like a "fast 50mm prime, but I don't have a lot to spend right now any sggestions?
10-28-2009, 04:01 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by caseygtc Quote
Thanks for the input. I did purchaSE THE 55-300 AND LOVE IT. I would like a "fast 50mm prime, but I don't have a lot to spend right now any sggestions?
Well, there's a F50/1.7 available in the forum marketplace right now @ $180 shipped. If you don't mind manually focusing, you can get a M50/1.7 for <$50 on eBay or the marketplace here. An A50/1.7 will be slightly more expensive but will give you automatic aperture and the ability to use Av mode rather than just full Manual. And then there are all the f/1.4 and f/2 options from Takumars through the K-, M-, and A- series. My personal favorite fast fifty is the Helios-44, but it's a bit of a tricky beast and you might want to get a bit more comfortable with your photography before you start experimenting with Russian lenses.
10-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #30
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If you can find a FA50 f/1.4 for cheap get it, but if not (and if you're willing to go old school ) get a manual 50 like has been suggested. once you get used to it, the manual focus doesn't get in the way.
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