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01-19-2011, 06:30 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
Changing the shutter speed and aperture were all you could do with film to change the exposure, but now you can change ISO on a per shot basis too. A good picture isn't just about the shutter speed and aperture though - you might need to change and or all of the lighting, the composition, the subject and so on.
That's true, but changing the ISO affects image quality in a specific and unique way - it's not something someone would attribute to the lens even if they'd accidentally set auto-ISO to range from 100-1600 or something. If the 50 and the 50-200 are performing well it's unlikely to be a photographer-based problem.

QuoteQuote:
A more expensive lens isn't going to make a wholesale change.
It's not going to improve the essential elements of the image, no - but a bad lens can certainly turn a good shot into a disappointing one. I'd always use my Sigma 10-20 at 20mm rather than the 18-55 at the same focal length, for example - much sharper, much better contrast.

QuoteQuote:
giving your lens a proper clean would give more image quality improvement than an upgrade
Mine are all spotless, I just checked. I treat them a lot better than anything else in my house!


(Edit: I did just find one shot I like with the kit lens at f4.5.)


Last edited by timh; 01-19-2011 at 10:37 AM.
01-19-2011, 06:34 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Metalwizards Quote

With the 50mm and the zoom I am regularly able to get pretty nice pictures, but with the 18-55mm I have rarely been able to get decent pictures. Now I am pretty sure that in the right hands the kit lens will develop some solid photos, but I am a DSLR noob.

I am curious where the sweet spot of this camera is? Is there a f-stop or focal length that will allow me to get the most of this camera?
I suggest you make sure there is not a focusing problem. Shoot a photo of something with detail at an angle then look closely to see if anything is in focus. If nothing is in focus you have a bad lens.

Be sure that what you interpreting as "lack of pop" is not due to flare - use your hood or make certain you are shooting away from the light source. Flare can also be due to dust or dirt somewhere on or in the lens.

Also be sure you are comparing lens performance with the same camera settings like dynamic range, contrast, etc. Shoot a test photo with the kit then change nothing but the lens to see how different they actually are.

I was initially disappointed with my K-x's lack of contrast - then I realized that my settings were the reason. In my case, increased dynamic range flattened contrast.

Photozone.de's tests show the DA 18-55 to be surprisingly good at a variety of focal lengths and f-stops; that doesn't mean your copy is good, just that it might be. If not, send it back.

http://www.photozone.de/pentax/135-pentax-smc-da-18-55mm-f35-56-al-review--test-report?start=1

Dave

Last edited by newarts; 01-19-2011 at 07:30 AM.
01-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #18
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I haven't had a single problem taking shots with my stock lens at all different settings. Of course I don't crop 100% to see any distortion or noise, I'm not that picky yet.

I focus more on interesting angles and subject matter over superior lighting, contrast and sharpness; all of that can be adjusted later in post.

My opinion might change once I buy a better lens though.
01-19-2011, 04:32 PM   #19
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The one I've got works fine for me

Flickr: Search kh1234567890's photostream

01-19-2011, 11:48 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
The one I've got works fine for me

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Those are some very nice photos. I'll take mine out tomorrow morning and see what I can capture with it. Maybe I've just taken some really bad photos haha.
01-20-2011, 03:29 AM   #21
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all zoom lenses are a compromise between usability and quality. That is why prime lenses are expensive and have the justified IQ rating.
With out exception the IQ droppes off at one end or the other or both on a zoom and normally is at its best at the mid point and with out exception all lenses have a sweet spot normally about 2 stops away from fully open

That said I use my 18-55; 50-200 and 55-300 and unless I am very picky and look at 100% there is no real problem compared to the older manual primes i have.

I sell loads of PRINTED images taken with these zoom lenses and would not be able to if they were only usable in a certain spot like f8.

if the op has a problem post the images lets have a look , has the OP looked for something as simple as a fingerprint on the inside glass? that will give you lovely soft portrait images!!
01-20-2011, 05:44 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I suggest you make sure there is not a focusing problem. Shoot a photo of something with detail at an angle then look closely to see if anything is in focus. If nothing is in focus you have a bad lens.

Be sure that what you interpreting as "lack of pop" is not due to flare - use your hood or make certain you are shooting away from the light source. Flare can also be due to dust or dirt somewhere on or in the lens.

Also be sure you are comparing lens performance with the same camera settings like dynamic range, contrast, etc. Shoot a test photo with the kit then change nothing but the lens to see how different they actually are.

I was initially disappointed with my K-x's lack of contrast - then I realized that my settings were the reason. In my case, increased dynamic range flattened contrast.

Photozone.de's tests show the DA 18-55 to be surprisingly good at a variety of focal lengths and f-stops; that doesn't mean your copy is good, just that it might be. If not, send it back.

Pentax SMC-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Dave
+1 on everything Dave wrote above. I've had two versions of the kit lens, one great and one not so much. Dave's point of checking to see if it is the camera settings or the lens is a very good one.

NaCl(eliminating the possiblity of a bad lens is a very good idea)H2O

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