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08-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #16
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It's not the best kit lens. The best kit lens I used so far is the Olympus 14-42 II. It is one step above the 18-55.

08-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
It's not the best kit lens. The best kit lens I used so far is the Olympus 14-42 II. It is one step above the 18-55.
I agree with that. I have used the Oly 14-42 and it is a very nice little lens. Like the 18-55, it is very unusual for a kit lens.
08-08-2012, 03:36 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Perhaps this is an overly broad generalization, but I'd say that the DA 18-55 seems to be better than many of Pentax' older kit zooms as well. Better IQ, better close focusing, and it comes with a hood, compared to the couple of old kit zooms I've accumulated.
It's true - Pentax made some pretty bad kit lenses for a little while around the 90's. My first SLR was a Pentax I purchased around 1998 or '99. It came with two kit lenses - I believe it was these two:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-F-35-80mm-F4-5.6-Zoom-Lens.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-F-80-200mm-F4.7-5.6-Zoom-Lens.html

While I liked the camera and the range I could get with the zooms (and it had AF - wow!) I recognized right away that the IQ did not seem to be as good as I expected for my $600 investment in the 2 lens kit (we'd just had a baby and that seemed like a lot). That almost kept me from going back to Pentax, but I now know that was simply a dark spot in Pentax lens history.
08-08-2012, 04:01 PM   #19
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Some of the kit lens flaws can be automatically corrected by software. It can be done in camera by some models, by the later versions of the Pentax DCU software, or third-party software like Lightroom or Photoshop. I like to do it on my computer because I get to see the correction happen and whether I agree with it.

08-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #20
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I've got the DAL, WR and AL II version of the 18-55 kit, and find it decent enough if you don't shoot wide open. If you want it at it's sharpest, shoot between f5.6 and f11 and between 18-35mm. I also use a hood all the time and don't use any UV filter etc.

Interestingly I find the DAL version I have the sharpest and best rendering of the bunch, followed by the AL II. My WR version seems a touch softer across the board. That's sample variation at work. But I've never needed to do any AF adjustment for any of them.

Another strength of the Pentax kit [ as noted by Just1MoreDave] is that many RAW processors (eg DxO Optics Pro and Lightroom) fully support the kit lens, which can help improve its optical performance by fixing issues like chromatic aberration and distortion, and in the case of DxO, addressing some of it's weak spots by doing stuff like deconvolution sharpening of the frame edges.
08-08-2012, 05:23 PM   #21
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I have nothing but praise for my 18-55. I bought mine for $30 used off a forum member a while back so that my K-x would have it's kit lens and so I could get to 18mm if I ever needed to. My other wide angles are around 28mm. I wasn't expecting much from it but I've actually gotten nice shots with it in low light that none of my other AF lenses have managed. I do have a couple of manual 50's and a Viv that outclass it but not by much. It's a much better lens than it's often given credit for being and I'm actually pretty glad I have it. It was a well spent $30.
08-08-2012, 08:22 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
It's a much better lens than it's often given credit for being and I'm actually pretty glad I have it. It was a well spent $30.
I feel the same for the old FA28-90 I picked up for a song. The lens is pure plastic and feels cheap as hell, but it actually replaced my 18-55 except for when I need that extra 10mm on the wide end.

Just mentioning this because I'm pretty sure it was a kit lens at one point and seems to get the same unjust trashing the kit seems to get.
08-08-2012, 08:58 PM   #23
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18-55 WR examples

Hi.

Look here Fotosidan - Visa album - Beijing Auto Show - Fotosidan
for some examples of what 18-55 WR can do on a K-5. Only resized jpg straight from the camera.

I love my 18-55

08-08-2012, 11:11 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChuckB28 Quote
Ok dumb question here... The 18-55 kit lens that comes with the Pentax K5 isn't the greatest lens, is it???
among Pentax lenses, yes it is not so great. Don't compare it anywhere to the Limiteds or the A*/F*/FA*/DA* ones...

but among the C/N/S kit lenses, Pentax's ranks high. The focus throw is longer than Canikon's, and the build quality is more substantial. Plastic mount, yeah, but you don't drop lenses or knock 'em with the rear element right?

Stop it down to f7.1 or f8, use flash for indoors, and expect great results! Unless the lens got problems...
08-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
Plastic mount, yeah, but you don't drop lenses or knock 'em with the rear element right?
.
Its metal mount
08-08-2012, 11:30 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Patajac Quote
Its metal mount
the DA L one (which is the usual kit lens attached to K-x/K-r/some K-30's), nope
08-09-2012, 12:20 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChuckB28 Quote
Ok dumb question here...

The 18-55 kit lens that comes with the Pentax K5 isn't the greatest lens, is it???
QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
the DA L one (which is the usual kit lens attached to K-x/K-r/some K-30's), nope
I thought its about the k5 kit lens
08-09-2012, 12:36 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Patajac Quote
I thought its about the k5 kit lens
Ah, the WR version is way better in terms of build! It's surprising and praiseworthy of Pentax to actually have something Canikon can't offer at that price range. It's the only cheap WR option in any system, as far as I know. There might be others and I'd like to be corrected if there are, but yeah, as of now the 18-55 WR is the cheapest WR lens I see anywhere.
08-09-2012, 06:01 AM   #29
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Thank you guys for all the great comments!! I really appreciate the help.
08-09-2012, 06:09 AM   #30
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Here is what I got yesterday on my first time out...

ChuckB28's Album: Locust Lake 8/8/12 - PentaxForums.com
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