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12-14-2009, 02:09 PM   #1
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Suggestion to replace 18-55 kit lens?

I have a K2000 (Km) that came with the 18-55 kit lens. The lens is fine, but not up to the quality of my DA 55-300 and DA 40mm Limited. I would ideally like to replace my 18-55 with a lens that has at least a little more of a wide angle and (ideally) have macro capabilities.

Any suggestions? I'd appreciate your thoughts. I'd prefer a lens that can autofocus with my camera body.

12-14-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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DA 16-45/4

it has an estimated 1:4 magnification ratio. put a diopter lens inorder to increase magnification further.
12-14-2009, 04:57 PM   #3
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Can't beat the Sigma 17-70 if you want macro - it is possible to get the dirt on the filter in almost acceptable focus (or visible, at least) A filter is a must to keep the front element in good shape when shooting macro - sometimes you can go so near that you forget that your subject may be dangerous for lenses.
Maximum magnification is 1:2,3.

Also it is fast on the wide end (1:2.8), wider than the kit, longer than the kit, and overall very sharp. The swiss army knife lens. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
12-14-2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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The Sigma 17-70 is by all accounts a very nice lens, but it's only *barely* wider than the 18-55, and not really that much *barely* more magnification (1:2.3 versus 1:3.4). If one is looking to upgrade specifically for those reasons, this doesn't really get you very far. But realistically, there probably isn't any single lens that would do any better. In particular, the 16-45 is more significantly wider, but has *less* magnificatin than the 18-55.

Really, if you want wide, get wide, and if you want macro, get macro (or at least a Raynox or similar good quality closeup lens for one of your other lenses). But trying to get both in the same lens means compromising on both.

12-15-2009, 10:54 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The Sigma 17-70 is by all accounts a very nice lens, but it's only *barely* wider than the 18-55, and not really that much *barely* more magnification (1:2.3 versus 1:3.4). If one is looking to upgrade specifically for those reasons, this doesn't really get you very far. But realistically, there probably isn't any single lens that would do any better. In particular, the 16-45 is more significantly wider, but has *less* magnificatin than the 18-55.

Really, if you want wide, get wide, and if you want macro, get macro (or at least a Raynox or similar good quality closeup lens for one of your other lenses). But trying to get both in the same lens means compromising on both.
Thanks for the tips. I would foremost like a better quality lens than the DA L 18-55 and am trying to not own too many lenses. Do you think the Sigma 17-70 is a better lens overall than the DA L 18-55?

I have a Raynox that I use with my DA 55-300 (and I don't do a lot of macro shooting). So maybe I should just focus on getting a better wide angle - but I would want it to go up to 50 or so to fill in what my 55-300 doesn't cover.

With that in mind, the 16-45 might be a better bet? I don't know if there is much difference between 16 and 18? I wish I could just see all the lenses in one place and try them on my camera. :-) But short of that, I'd appreciate any further advice. I can't pay a heck of a lot, but am willing to save up for the right lens.
12-15-2009, 11:53 AM   #6
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Most people do indeed find the 17-70 better in IQ overall. Still, we're not talking earth-shattering differences. I suspect you're being a bit hard on your 18-55. Do you hav sample images that demonstrate what you are dissatisfied with?
12-15-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Most people do indeed find the 17-70 better in IQ overall. Still, we're not talking earth-shattering differences. I suspect you're being a bit hard on your 18-55. Do you hav sample images that demonstrate what you are dissatisfied with?
You might be right. I don't have side-by-side examples, although that is a very good idea. I just know that when I look at photos taken with my 40mm, for example, the photos just look better. There's a depth to the colors/clarity that just doesn't seem to be there with my DA L 18-55. Although my DA L 18-55 has taken some nice shots like this one (at 18mm):



Thanks for thinking this through with me. Maybe what I'd really be happy with is a more intense wide angle and just keep my 18-55. It's not like I'm a professional photographer or that I ever blow up the images to poster size.
12-15-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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Indeed not much to be unhappy about with this image. Apart from some purple fringing at the edges, this is a great result (at this resolution).

12-15-2009, 02:54 PM   #9
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I was very happy with the upgrade from 18-55 to 16-45. The 16-45 is sharper, especially wide open, one stop faster at the long end and has better colour and contrast than the 18-55 AL. It also has an unusually flat focal plane and is very good at the edges. When I use my 18-250, I'm constantly disapointed by the 18mm frame compared to 16mm.

My research said the 16-45 is sharper and has better colour rendition than the Sigma 17-70. The 16-45 also has lower distortion at 16mm than the Sigma at 17mm. I'd like to have the extra reach, but not if it means giving up the 16-45's excellent wide end.
12-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
I have a K2000 (Km) that came with the 18-55 kit lens. The lens is fine, but not up to the quality of my DA 55-300 and DA 40mm Limited. I would ideally like to replace my 18-55 with a lens that has at least a little more of a wide angle and (ideally) have macro capabilities.

Any suggestions? I'd appreciate your thoughts. I'd prefer a lens that can autofocus with my camera body.
I have to agree with Marc's comments above about looking for either wide or macro but not both.
I own the Sigma 17-70. I got it as primarily a 'travel lens' and because it was a bit faster and longer than the 18-55 kit lens. It's a nice lens and does the job I got it for, but I think the DA 16-45 is a better lens. It has better contrast, better color rendition and is a tad sharper along the edges. In addition it's got that nifty DA focus shift feature that lets you manually fine tune the focus, you will not be able to do that with the Sigma.
As far as focal lengths are concerned there is less difference between the 45-55mm gap then there is between 18 and 16mm. You will definitely notice the difference at the wide end, not so much between the 45 and 55 gap.

NaCl(on the other hand the sigma is a bit cheaper second hand)H2O
12-15-2009, 05:12 PM   #11
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I've been very happy with my DA 16-45 f4. It is noticeably sharper than my first generation kit lens (which was not too bad, I must add). I like the colors in the 16-45 as well. Throw in a DA 70 ltd (which weighs very little in your bag or pocket) and you've got a substantial range covered. By the way, your photo of the palms is very good.
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