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12-29-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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Sell or keep my kit lens?

I am leaning toward keeping it. If you think I should sell, what should I get?

The 18-55mm kit lens is still brand new, never opened. I know once I open it the resale value goes down, so I'm wondering if I want to keep this lens for a while or replace it?

Money is an issue. I could spend maybe $30-$50 more than what I sell the kit lens for. Maybe a little more if I was convinced it would really improve the photos I take. (I need to buy a UV filter and maybe another filter, and remote which I might hold off on if I buy a lens.)

Because of the low budget, there may not be anything good I could get? If I used the kit lens and upgrade in 8-12 months, then I could afford more. But then my kit lens would resell for less.

I don't know if I can justify spending more, since I'm more of a point and shoot type person. (I did spend the money to get a good DSLR because I care about the low light capabilities and overall quality.) I do hate the idea of distortion, muddy colors, etc and am accustomed to a Nikon 18-55mm kit lens which I bought years back.

I am so accustomed to having a range (18-55mm) that I would feel limited with a fixed (50mm) lens

I would also like to have a telephoto, but plan to wait at least a year for that. Unless my friend's old telephoto works without much distortion, etc. (I believe it's 55-200mm only. About 16 years old. For a Pentax film camera.)

Thanks!

12-29-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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Keep it, use it. I think you will struggle to get anything significantly better. But keep the box etc. as when (if) you sell the body the lens will make it easier to sell - unless of course you need it for your next camera.
12-29-2010, 12:36 PM   #3
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What camera are you using? What lens are you using if the kit is boxed and sealed?

With these answers pending, here's an interim response...

If you feel a prime lens would limit you then I'd open the box and use the kit lens... You say you're accustomed to the Nikon 18-55mm kit... By all accounts the pentax version is superior in IQ, so you should get along fine with it... If low light is an issue you may have to bump up the ISO until you have saved for a faster lens...
I have a couple of primes and 3 zoom lenses... The kit-18-55mm is still my most used lens until my student loan comes through and I buy the tamron 17-50mm f2... This takes into account that I'm in the UK in a Northern Industrial City... Low-light is forced by enviroment here as there is often no other kind of light to be found...

All the best... Hope you just enjoy your camera :-)
12-29-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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What model camera do you have? It seems you have been oversold. There are plenty of small, zoom lens, mode switching type cameras, without changeable lenses, which are terrific for what you want to do.

12-29-2010, 12:43 PM   #5
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Brand new K-r... I am not going to use the body until I decide to keep this kit lens (or buy its replacement).

Hm, with the Nikon I was bothered by pics coming out too dark, low contrast, etc. Always had to correct photos on the computer unless taken outdoors with very good light. I don't know how much was the lens. My friend had the same Nikon with an expensive lens and said it wasn't just me. The camera was not great with low light. (D70. Was not shooting RAW, still should not have been so bad!)

Thanks for the well wishes.
12-29-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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I researched cameras for quite a while before picking the K-r. (Almost got a K-x.) I wanted a DSLR and it seems to be the only good one in the price range. Seems to beat some of the more expensive ones too. Well, that would be subjective in some cases but certain things I could not deal with -- cameras that were not good with low light being one factor
12-29-2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kitty Quote
Brand new K-r... I am not going to use the body until I decide to keep this kit lens (or buy its replacement). Hm, with the Nikon I was bothered by pics coming out too dark, low contrast, etc. Always had to correct photos on the computer unless taken outdoors with very good light. I don't know how much was the lens. My friend had the same Nikon with an expensive lens and said it wasn't just me. The camera was not great with low light. (D70. Was not shooting RAW, still should not have been so bad!)
QuoteOriginally posted by Kitty Quote
I researched cameras for quite a while before picking the K-r. (Almost got a K-x.) I wanted a DSLR and it seems to be the only good one in the price range. Seems to beat some of the more expensive ones too. Well, that would be subjective in some cases but certain things I could not deal with -- cameras that were not good with low light being one factor
I now definitely think you should use your kit lens... You have a cracking camera... the pentax kit is often said to be the best kit available... and you're not taking any pictures!?!?!

Unpack the lens... Mount the lens to your camera... Take some pictures... Do this now...

LOL!
12-29-2010, 01:00 PM   #8
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A new copy, version 2 with a metal mount, quick-shift and hood, is $120 in the US from a reputable supplier. That's the maximum you should expect. The DA-L version would be less, though it's not sold separately so has no official retail price. The WR version is $150.

Maybe you could get some useful accessories for that. You probably can't get any lens for that which covers the wide angle range, 18-27mm. You can get a lot of used lenses that start at 28mm, but a lot of the ones within that price range aren't that great, and started out as kit lenses themselves.

If you use it, the value will drop, that's true. Say you have the better version and could sell today for $100 (optimistic). Next year, you might have to settle for $50 (pessimistic). That's only $50. I think I could get $50 of use out of it, just at wide angle.

12-29-2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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The Pentax 18-55 kit lens (DAL) is pretty decent (see: Pentax SMC-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL - Review / Test Report, I understand that DAL has same optics). The newer bodies (from the k-x on at least) can even correct the distortion at the short end Besides, even new in box, its resale value is quite low because it comes so cheap with a camera and there are plenty around. So, if I were you I'd enjoy the lens: it shouldn't cost you more than $20 or so as lost resale value. For a demonstration what the lens can do in capable hands check out: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/45425-kit-lens-club.html.
12-29-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Ok good to know.

I was going by the cons on dpreview.com
"Falloff and distortion at 18mm wideangle"
"'Soft focus' effect at 55mm F5.6 coupled with closer focus distances"
but I did read how it's not bad especially for the price.

I guess it would matter a lot to a pro, but I should keep the money for other things. And try not to use the extremes of 18mm or 55mm in most situations.
12-29-2010, 01:34 PM   #11
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The two kit lenses I've had performed best at mid range.. About 25-35 mm f8. The DPR report at 55mm is testing a wide open lens, never an optimal setting on such a piece of glass. My advice to you is to put the lens on your camera and take it out and see what You can do with it. To someone actually seeking the lens, whether or not it's been out of the box rarely matters. Most would rather have confirmation that it actually works. There are two situations where a sealed box really matters. One is a warranty concern which you cannot offer anyway. The other is to a collector on some time capsule piece (like a New in box K1000 for instance). Even then, the proper buyer has to be found.

Also, Save your money and don't waste it on UV filters. If you want to get a Good Polarizing filter (emphasis on Good) that's a different story and by all means do so. Unless someone is throwing rocks at the front of the lens, I've seen (expensive) UV filters cause more problems than they cure (which is None).

12-29-2010, 01:55 PM   #12
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Keep it, definitely. Pentax kit lenses are very good, and if you don't have too much money to spend, you won't get much better. Among the few things you could do is (what Jeff said in the previous post) buy a polarizing filter (circular!!!!), or buy a manual fast 50mm, such as the M 50/1.7.
12-29-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
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+1 for keeping it. The 18-55 Pentax lens is IMHO a GREAT deal better than any of it's peers. Coupled with the new k-r, you've got a formidable package. Don't trust us though...open the box, mount the lens and get shooting! Check out the Kit Lens Club thread. I think you'll be very impressed with the results. If nothing else, it makes for a pretty nice 18mm f/3.5 wide angle lens!!

Best of luck and happy shooting.

Treetop
12-29-2010, 06:18 PM   #14
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Professional work is done with the DA18-55, by those who know how to use it. But a viral meme spreads: THE KIT LENS IS CRAP! UPGRADE, UPGRADE! So new users sell their unused DA18-55 for a pittance and spend hundreds on something that may be a bit better, which they still don't know how to use. Pshaw. Look at the galleries here of great shots taken with the DA18-55. And consider that 'upgrading' makes the managers and stockholders of camera companies very happy. Yes, they love your money.

A dSLR with ANY lens will NOT perform like a P&S. Compact cameras have small sensors and short lenses with thick depth-of-field and robotic in-camera image sharpening. Great work can be done with almost any P&S, within its limitations. Great work can be done with the Kr and the DA18-55. Yes, it is a little soft with its aperture wide-open, and a little distorting at the widest focal length. Those are easily fixed in PP (post-processing). I think most purists who disdain PP have never had to meet a deadline, never had to make a living at photography -- PP is part of making pictures, always has been. But I digress...

The DA18-55 is a great tool to learn to use the camera. It's not a perfect tool (nothing is); it's not the only tool for many tasks (nothing is); it IS the best bang-for-the-buck tool around for Pentax dSLRs. If you then wish to move on to other, 'better' optics, I would suggest cheap used manual prime lenses (I have ~150 of'em). Primes of 28, 35, 50-55, and 135mm branded as Vivitar, Sears, Focal, Ricoh, Cosina, or Sigma in Pentax K-mount (PK) are good and plentiful and cheap on eBay. PK-mount lenses can be used on your Kr with no need for adapters. My opinion: kit zooms teach how to use the camera, and make shooting easy; manual primes teach how to see, and make shooting an art.

But start with the DA18-55. It will serve you well.
12-29-2010, 07:30 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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Start taking pictures. It's a solid versatile lens that can take good pictures. The only reason that I can see selling it is if you are directly replacing it (or buying body only) with an upgraded zoom right away (the Sigma/Tamron/Pentax in the 16-50 zoom range or the Pentax 18-135). Even if you add a nice set of legacy primes that cover that the kit range it is always nice to have an AF auto aperture zoom for situations where your focal length and focus are constantly changing. and it's really difficult to find any wide angle for under $400 (obligatory Zenitar mention - $200).

The first thing you need to do is take pictures and a lot of them. that's what the camera is for. The second thing you need to do is set up a lens roadmap (plan) for the next couple of years. You didn't really say what you like to take pictures of or what your level of manual control preference is but there are a lot of options. If you want AF then things are going to be fairly expensive but the new DA 35/2.4 is a really nice option. Or the Sigma/tamron/Pentax 16ish-50ish zooms in the $300-$400 range.

But if you are comfortable with MF or manual aperture control then things get a lot cheaper. It can get even cheaper if you go to an off brand like Sears, focal or these types.

The cheapest high quality lenses (due to high supply) that make a nice kit would be something like:
M28/2.8 - $50
M50/2 - $25 ($50 for 50/1.7)
M135/3.5 - $50

I put the approx prices for Pentax M level (K level or Takumar should have similar prices but different optics) lenses. If you want A level (MF and auto aperture) you'll have to double the price and if you go off brand you can 1/2 the price. Pricing is very general. You can also go hunting thru pawn shops for some great deals.
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