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12-28-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
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Do kit lenses suck?

About two months ago, I purchased a Pentax Kx with the two kit lenses. I joined the Pentax Cult against the advise of my photoclub members who are Nikon worshipers. Immediately, and without giving the kit lenses a chance, I started buying cheap Pentax-M lenses guided by the advise of forum members and by every single forum I googled.

After two months, I have invested enough money in buying lenses that I could have purchased the Pentax K5 body with two nice expensive lenses, or a Nikon D90 with other two lenses. First, it was tough to learn to shoot manually with those little lenses, especially if you have 20 of them around and you are trying to figure out which one does what.

Finally, Christmas came and parties came, and I was not ready for the M-lenses, or any lens at all. That is when I took my kit lenses to the parties and shot everything in automatic. The result? Wonderful, all my pictures came great, and my family and friends thought I had won the Lotto because of the expensive look of the kit lenses with the hoods that I also purchased. Honestly, the photographs came really nice. My advise, do not neglect your kit lenses, they are WONDERFUL.

Now, the second part of the story: I decided to read all the stop down, green button, AE/L +/-, relationship between aperture, sensor, and shutter, etc. and have become literate in those things. Literate is not enough, so I decided to take every day ONE lens with me for a walk and take up to 50 photos in all possible combinations. EUREKA!!! I finally discovered why the Pentax Cult adores the Pentax-M lenses, the primes. They are wonderful, the image is much better than the already great image the kit lenses provide. The colors are wonderful in some of the lenses. Some of the lenses are soft yet neat, such as the M-50mm f1.7, making it ideal for portraits. My wife loves the pics I took of her, it minimizes the wrinkles. Isn't it great? In general, I have learned to use the M-lenses very well, all I need now is practice.

I will never shoot automatic if I can avoid it. I will reserve the kit lenses for the parties where posing is not an option. If there is time for a pose, then I will go manual. I also purchased some A, F and FA lenses. They add one easy step in the easiness to shoot, but it is not worth the extra money. It could be me, by I prefer the construction and the image of the M-lenses. The image from the M lenses are wonderful. Thanks Pentax for creating those. I am now an official member of the cult, ready to demonstrate they are the best lenses, and members the best community.


Last edited by Pepe Guitarra; 12-28-2010 at 10:49 PM.
12-28-2010, 10:49 PM   #2
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I wasn't too fond of my old 18-55mm (version 1) kit lens that came with a *ist DS I bought back many years ago. However, I recently bought a 50-200mm WR lens and have been really impressed with the resulting images and build quality so far. Sure it's not a fast lens, but outside with good light it's been great. This is coming from a person who's lenses are 95% prime.
12-28-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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I've had two versions of the 18-55. The one that came with the K10d (the same one as the DS, if I'm not mistaken), and the one that came with the K7. Both are ok lenses for what they are but in no way will ever outshine the M/A lenses.

12-29-2010, 02:20 AM   #4
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Pentax kit lenses are very good imo! I dislike their plastic feeling, but apart from that, I think no brand has better kit lenses. Having said that, the optical quality of the primes is much, much better than that of the kit lenses......
I think you did right, trying both of them. And buying an M 50/1.7....... it was a kit lens once.....

12-29-2010, 02:44 AM   #5
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No, they don't suck in my opinion. There are better lenses (as you found out) but that is something else.
12-29-2010, 07:07 AM   #6
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I use Pentax kit lenses quite frequently....they just happen to be kit lenses from the late 1950s through early 1970s.
12-29-2010, 09:05 AM   #7
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Nice original post. Thank you for sharing. Every Pentaxian has a different experience and it is nice to hear some positive/success story like yours.

Well done...
12-29-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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No the Kit lenses are quite good in my opinion. I find it very handy for a lot of shots since it's autofocus and all. Pictures are quite sharp and very good in colour. However, I own the Pentax-M 50mm F1.4 and by far it is my favorite lens to use. Even without the AF ability. Now if I could only find some more primes and I'd be very happy. I'm glad that you are enjoying your Pentax. Now spread the word.

12-29-2010, 11:01 PM   #9
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What a joyful post. Thanks for this.When I read of complaints about kit lenses, I shake my head, I don't understand. What is it that people want from a kit lens? Starting a photographic hobby or career with what is available today!! It's stunning.From your very first shot it's all good. The technology available to a beginner is beyond words.
12-30-2010, 12:14 AM   #10
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One word for you to look up:

Takumar

Cheers!
12-30-2010, 08:55 AM   #11
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OMG! I found a gem.....!

I got this lens and did not test it until yesterday: Pentax-A 35-105mm, What a great surprise, and it is so heavy, I can do my weight workout during a photo shoot:
Attached Images
   
12-30-2010, 09:16 AM   #12
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Looks like you bought too much lenses too early, no biggie, just spend some time to get to know them and I'm sure you'll like them all for the reason you bought them.

btw my favorite kit lens is the SMC 1:1.8/55
12-30-2010, 09:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
I got this lens and did not test it until yesterday: Pentax-A 35-105mm, What a great surprise, and it is so heavy, I can do my weight workout during a photo shoot:
Try to work with that lens a lot. I don't know the reviews on it, but that's a very good range.
12-30-2010, 10:40 PM   #14
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Here are some shots with the DAL 55-200mm kit lens

Here:
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01-01-2011, 12:24 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pepe Guitarra Quote
About two months ago, I purchased a Pentax Kx with the two kit lenses. I joined the Pentax Cult against the advise of my photoclub members who are Nikon worshipers. Immediately, and without giving the kit lenses a chance, I started buying cheap Pentax-M lenses guided by the advise of forum members and by every single forum I googled.

After two months, I have invested enough money in buying lenses that I could have purchased the Pentax K5 body with two nice expensive lenses, or a Nikon D90 with other two lenses. First, it was tough to learn to shoot manually with those little lenses, especially if you have 20 of them around and you are trying to figure out which one does what.

Finally, Christmas came and parties came, and I was not ready for the M-lenses, or any lens at all. That is when I took my kit lenses to the parties and shot everything in automatic. The result? Wonderful, all my pictures came great, and my family and friends thought I had won the Lotto because of the expensive look of the kit lenses with the hoods that I also purchased. Honestly, the photographs came really nice. My advise, do not neglect your kit lenses, they are WONDERFUL.

Now, the second part of the story: I decided to read all the stop down, green button, AE/L +/-, relationship between aperture, sensor, and shutter, etc. and have become literate in those things. Literate is not enough, so I decided to take every day ONE lens with me for a walk and take up to 50 photos in all possible combinations. EUREKA!!! I finally discovered why the Pentax Cult adores the Pentax-M lenses, the primes. They are wonderful, the image is much better than the already great image the kit lenses provide. The colors are wonderful in some of the lenses. Some of the lenses are soft yet neat, such as the M-50mm f1.7, making it ideal for portraits. My wife loves the pics I took of her, it minimizes the wrinkles. Isn't it great? In general, I have learned to use the M-lenses very well, all I need now is practice.

I will never shoot automatic if I can avoid it. I will reserve the kit lenses for the parties where posing is not an option. If there is time for a pose, then I will go manual. I also purchased some A, F and FA lenses. They add one easy step in the easiness to shoot, but it is not worth the extra money. It could be me, by I prefer the construction and the image of the M-lenses. The image from the M lenses are wonderful. Thanks Pentax for creating those. I am now an official member of the cult, ready to demonstrate they are the best lenses, and members the best community.
funny thing, i always shoot with AF and aperture/shutter priority... I know how to shoot manual but why bother, lol, the AF is way faster when there's enough light. Only do MF when it's dark and camera can't focus right.

FYI i think some of the manual lens optical formular never changed when they did the auto version (i'm not sure but my guess is that they wouldn't waste more time developing formular when the old one worked well). maybe it's just your imagination that the manual lens takes better pictures.
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