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11-25-2012, 12:23 PM   #1
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Need advice about lens feel

I don't know if my title makes sense or not but after reading numerous posts here regarding the plastic feel of canikon lenses and all, this weekend I went and tested the theories presented. I found the Nikon lenses to feel solid and the Canon loose and kinda cheap feeling. The Sony fell somewhere in between but leading more towards the Nikon. As for Pentax, of course I was not able to find any anywhere so that's why I am asking you in the know. How does the feel of the Pentax glass feel when you turn the focal ring(?) (the one that adjusts the 18 - 55MM adjustments)?

While I'm at it, how does the body feel compare? I really didn't have too much to complain about the feel of the above, but without being able to compare to a K30, I'm kinda out in no-man's land.

Any input in this would be appreciated as I'm getting closer to making a decision soon and leaning towards the K-30 w/ the WR 18-55 lens to start with.

11-25-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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If I remember correctly, the DAL 18-55 was very cheap feeling, but the DA 18-55 felt much better, as it had quickshift.
11-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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I am sure the 'feel' of anything is highly subjective. However, what I have read seems to mirror what you state: the Nikon felt fine and the Canon was very cheap. However, I am assuming you are only testing the 'kit' 18-55 lens? This lens is sold with the camera and is usually of not very good quality no matter what the brand. So not IMHO a good test to decide anything about the brand.

That said, the Pentax kit lens is widely regarded to be of better quality than either the Nikon or Canon. But how it feels? As JinDesu states the DAL version is as cheaply made as possible and still feels just fine to me. The DA version is even better and includes the hood, metal mount and quick shift. Optically the same but I think the DA version is more indicative of Pentax quality in general.

The k-30 by all reports is very well made, very ergonomic and solid feeling. You should keep in mind that Pentax does not really make a low end or 'entry-level' camera. The k-30 is mid-level at least and has the feel and features of more expensive models from other brands.
11-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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Mind you, if you get the 18-55 WR, it's just a bit better in terms of feel and handling than the 18-55 normal. So it's bound to be much better than the DAL.

11-25-2012, 01:14 PM   #5
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The da 18-55 WR is a fantastic feeling lens, much better than what I've tried from similar canon, Nikon or Sony models. I reckon its quite a looker to!
11-25-2012, 01:19 PM   #6
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The Nikon 18-55 VR II has the most solid feel, the Pentax DA L comes in second, and the canon 18-55 in a distant last. If you step it up to the WR, though, you'll get even better build quality plus weather sealing!

Nikon G lenses in general are very well-built, whereas Canon non-L lenses feel way too plasticky.

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11-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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I find my 18-55 WR has a loose focus ring (no Dampening) and also a little too much side to side movement at the front of the lens. It rattles a bit when shook too.

But it does its job just fine. I would not rate the build quality too high tho.
11-26-2012, 07:22 AM   #8
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To all who replied, thanks for your input. It mirrored a lot of my suspicions. That's why we are on this forum to help anyone who has a question and we can expect honest replies.

11-26-2012, 07:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by macdaddy50 Quote
I don't know if my title makes sense or not but after reading numerous posts here regarding the plastic feel of canikon lenses and all, this weekend I went and tested the theories presented. I found the Nikon lenses to feel solid and the Canon loose and kinda cheap feeling. The Sony fell somewhere in between but leading more towards the Nikon.
Very subjective and based on which lenses actually? I have seen lenses built like a tank as well as plastic flimsy from every single brand on the market, including Pentax. What exactly do you mean by "the Nikon lenses" ?


QuoteQuote:
As for Pentax, of course I was not able to find any anywhere so that's why I am asking you in the know. How does the feel of the Pentax glass feel when you turn the focal ring(?) (the one that adjusts the 18 - 55MM adjustments)?
You mean the zooming control?

QuoteQuote:
While I'm at it, how does the body feel compare? I really didn't have too much to complain about the feel of the above, but without being able to compare to a K30, I'm kinda out in no-man's land.
You definitely ARE in no-man's land...get a grip first and stop selecting camera systems based on feel alone.
11-26-2012, 04:56 PM   #10
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Never having fondled anything but a Pentax lens I have no way way to compare it to anything else. Smooth and silky is how I would define my experiences.
11-27-2012, 09:30 PM   #11
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Canon's cheap zooms feel pretty sketchy. I even think the build of the 28-135 falls into that category. They perform about as good as most brands. Nikon is a bit better on the cheap zoom front than Canon generally.

Having owned the beautiful FA-31, that is my gold standard on build. It's the nicest built lens and one of the nicest producing I've ever owned.

Camera wise, to me the low end Nikon bodies and especially Pentax feel better than the Rebel lineup.
11-28-2012, 02:29 PM   #12
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I have only two Pentax lenses - the 18-55 DAL that came as kit lens with my K-r as well as an 18-135 WR that came with the K-30. The rest of my lenses are Sigma and Tamron, mostly because higher end Pentax lenses are too expensive for me and the low cost ones (DAL) are not good enough.

The DAL range is designed to be as cheap as possible and it does show. They even have a flange which is made of plastic. Short of replacing the glass with plastic it is just as plasticky as can be. The autofocus is also very noisy and the noise is not just loud but sounds like a toy. However, although I haven't used it much, it seems that they kept the quality of the glass reasonably good. If the 'feel' of a lens is important to you then avoid the DAL.

The 18-135 WR is something completely different. It has a very good feel both in zooming as well as turning the focus ring. The WR seals make it a bit harder to turn and some people seem not to like that, however I actually like it that way. The resistance it offers is very uniform and smooth. I would describe it as somewhat similar to the motion of the fluid head of a tripod. There is no free play at all in the zoom barrel and the autofocus motor doesn't sound cheap and is only a whisper (compared to the DAL), though not as quiet as the Sigma zoom that I have.

Short of giving it an all metal construction or plating it in gold I don't think there is much scope for making it look or feel better.

When a WR zoom is mounted on a WR camera there is more resistance when zooming because it has to push and pull air through the seals of the camera, but again this is by no means a bad thing.
11-29-2012, 02:26 AM   #13
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If we are only talking about kit lens, ie18-55, Pentax = Sony >>>>>>Canon=Nikon.
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