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11-20-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
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K-r Kit Lens. Good or bad?

Hello there. I'm new to this DSLR game but recently got a bargain, brand new K-r. Reviews of the camera, seem great, even though it's a couple of years old now. However, it comes with the standard DAL 18-55 and 50-200 and although I'm probably not doing the camera any justice as yet, due to inexperience, I'm also wondering about the quality of the lens. Maybe I should just get used to the camera, rather than get ahead of myself here...Any thoughts?

11-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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The lens is about what you can expect from a 18-55mm kit. It takes fine photos, but just about any other lens that you pick up from Pentax will be better. The same applies to both lenses.

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11-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam. I sort of guessed that. Still, all part of the fun and I'll go out there and snap..cheers
11-21-2013, 01:48 AM   #4
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As someone in the same boat a few years back I suggest you just get out there and play to figure out what kind of pictures you like taking, what focal lengths you use most etc. This will help make sure you make the right decisions when buying new lenses in the future.

11-21-2013, 01:54 AM   #5
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As Adam says, "just about any other lens that you pick up from Pentax will be better". But that does not mean they are bad lenses. There are plenty of people taking great images with them. thechumpen is right: Learn to use them and then you will know what you want and appreciate the upgrade more.
11-21-2013, 07:03 AM   #6
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Thanks again people. I'm sure after some practice and study, the quality will improve. The lens never came with hoods, so I'll invest in a pair
11-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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Adam said just about any lens you pick up from Pentax is better..well add Sigma and Tamron to the list too! (not sure why he forgot that)
I'd skip the kit lens to be honest I even had trouble offloading my ones even at silly low prices, people don't really want them (and I can't blame them either)
11-22-2013, 04:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by thegadge Quote
Maybe I should just get used to the camera, rather than get ahead of myself here...
Definitely this! As others have said there are definitely better lenses, but especially the 18-55 can take excellent photos, esp given the k-r is "only" 12MP. It's also nice and light, which I'm reminded of every time I use my Sigma 17-70. If you go to the forum photo search page and enter the 18-55 DAL and k-r/k-x (they have basically the same sensor) you can see lots of nice sample photos. Pentax Camera & Lens Sample Photo Search Engine -

11-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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I'm going to try and navigate my way round the camera, do some research and more importantly, take some bloody photographs! Sure, the lenses can be better. Much better. However, I think the point is not to jump the gun here and calm the jets...

I've taken a few photographs that I like, and getting used to working with a dslr. Rome wasnae built in a day. As they say in Glasgow
11-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #10
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I have done a quick photo comparison between the 18-55 and 2 prime lenses (M 50/2 and Zeiss 50/2). You can judge their IQ for yourself.

DMZ A - MJL's Album: Lenses comparison -
11-22-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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Optimizing the Lens?

Hello thegadge, Welcome to the Forum!
I believe you're on the right track; Practice with the camera, try shooting in a variety of lighting conditions and angles, zoom settings, etc. Find out what works and what doesn't. In other words, practice, practice!
You might want to download a free processing program like Picasa, Fastone or Gimp, if you don't already have one. I happen to prefer Lightroom best, but it's not close to free! Seeing your work on a good monitor will improve the learning curve greatly.
One thing that may help, is to understand ALL lenses have what's called a 'sweet spot'. A range in the f/stops where they deliver the highest resolution, best sharpness and least abberations. It varies from lens to lens, but generally is one, 1-1/2 to 2 stops down from maximum aperture.
What that translates to on your 18-55mm zoom is, at 18-24mm (roughly) your best f/stop settings would be f/5.0 to f/6.3
In the 30-40mm length, try f/6.3 to f/8.0. Above 45mm, use f/8.0 to f/9.5. These are about one to 1-1/2 stops down.
Also, try not to go above f/11. There is a different aberration that happens at higher (minimum) apertures, called diffraction, at extremely high f-stops.
What you're doing is using the lens at its strongest points and avoiding the weak areas. This is true, to a greater or lesser degree, of all lenses.
Same thing with shutter speeds. Don't go below 1/100s under any conditions, hand-held. Camera shake and/or subject motion has ruined more shots than practically any other factor and is especially true when you're starting out.
Sometimes you will have to sacrifice ISO (use a higher setting) to achieve these f/stop and shutter speeds. A trade-off, but a necessary one.
All equipment has pros and cons. Knowing what they are and using them to your advantage is simply good management!
11-22-2013, 11:09 PM   #12
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Thanks Ron for that very detailed response.

A few very good points for me to consider, there.. I did download Raw therapee but had some problems working with it. I'll have a go with Picassa or one of the others. There's the software that came with the camera, but I don't know how good that is in the general scheme of things.
I could do with a new monitor. In fact I could do with a whole new computer, but that's another story..
Anyway, thanks for the info on apertures etc..I will get out there and do it.
11-22-2013, 11:11 PM   #13
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...And thanks for all the other info and links, folks..appreciate the input.

cheers from New Zealand
11-23-2013, 03:14 PM   #14
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The Pentax kit lens is rated quite good from the following site, check it out and it seems the lens likes f8 for sharpness

Pentax SMC-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL - Review / Test Report
11-26-2013, 02:21 AM   #15
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Kit zoom lenses are rubbish. Get yourself an old manual 50mm prime. You will amaze yourself at what $20 can buy.

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