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12-07-2010, 06:56 AM   #16
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I too was lusting after a K5 and just picked up a used K7. The savings would pay for a much better lens (and the K7 came with the kit lens in any case) It really does boild down to what is your budget and what do you want to achieve with it. In my case the savings are likely going into a medium format rangefinder and/or a darkroom. I have a good number of MF primes though and don't mind focusing (I also have a good mid range zoom and a DA14 so if I need AF....) If I was just starting out with pentax I think the K7 used with a Limited or 2 would be a better kit than the K5 90% of the time. low light is the biggest exception but as stated there are ways around that (Given my other cameras are a K10 and a *ist ds the low light on the K7 will still be more than fine) the nature of the bodies is the devalue rapidly and new/better models always come out. a couple of years form now you'll get a K5 for the same price as the K7 today so in reality you can have both for the price of one over the course of time in any case.

12-07-2010, 07:09 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I think you should get the K-5 and wait it out on getting a good lens. There's no point in getting an older body, since it'll end up being replaced anyway.
I'm sorry, what? That is the exact opposite of the common adage to invest in the glass. I think the OP should buy a K-X. Perhaps, a used K-X. It's better than the K-7 for low light, and 1/3rd the price of the K5. If the OP does not know what focal lengths work for him, the 18-135, 16-45, or 17-70 would be a very good place to start. If the OP wants top quality, he could buy something like the DA* 16-50 + the KX for the same price as the K-5 plus kit lens!

If he likes primes, something like the K-X with the DA40, FA 43, FA 50, DA 35 macro, or FA 31 would be a rather powerful duo in low light. None of these combinations would be more than the K-5 + kit lens, and we are talking the difference between a bottom tier lens which is impossible to sell, with some very useful glass in the long term... and the K-X is great in low light .
12-07-2010, 07:26 AM   #18
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depends if your shooting high contrast situations, or over 800 iso.
12-07-2010, 11:03 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Vincent et al. re: kit lens
Let me poo-pooh it some more here
I guess we are at a stalemate -
I cannot argue with your experience -
and I am sure you are not doing it out of anything but your own personal experience.

However the majority of my shots on the K100D (over 18,000) and K-x (over 20,000) are on the 18-55 (Mk 1 at that) do not seem to be as bad as the comparison results in the 18-135 tests show. Granted since I haven't suffered from LBA - buying too much equipment/lenses - I don't have any other lens to directly compare - that I may not know any better.

There are plenty of examples of my shots with the 18-55 on this forum and they are not all optimum f/8 shots - in fact at one venue it is almost exclusively wide-open since the light level is very low I had to shoot ISO5000 @ as low as 1/4 sec.

Please see: Kx in Use

All the shots below were on the 18-55 (Mk 1)
all at their wide-open aperture for their respective focal lengths -

K100D

ISO400, f/3.5, 1/40sec; 18mm (hopefully EXIF still attached - PhotoBucket can mysteriously drop metadata)

Below are all on the K-x:

ISO800 f/3.5 1/50 18mm


ISO250, f/3.5, 1/6 18mm +Flash (@ -0.7 flash compensation)


ISO2000, f/5.6, 1/100, 55mm


ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/50sec, 35mm

I am still of the (humble) opinion that the 18-55 is a very GOOD lens -
and I do not think my sample is an exception -
as many reviews seem to attest -
this seems to counter the general trend -
as many here will say the majority of reviews tend not to do Pentax any favors.


Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-07-2010 at 11:54 AM.
12-07-2010, 12:15 PM   #20
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Compared to the cheap manual options abound, the kit lens is good (but not as good as the 16-45) at the wide end, but begins to suck more and more as you travel past 35mm.

IMHO
12-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #21
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I miss my kit lens sometimes




@ ~35mm I can't imagine a lens being much better. The above is tack sharp (and if any of you know me, im obsessed with sharpness). I REALLY want the WR version but alas they go for to much $ for me to purchase :ugh:
12-07-2010, 12:37 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Compared to the cheap manual options abound, the kit lens is good (but not as good as the 16-45) at the wide end, but begins to suck more and more as you travel past 35mm.
IMHO

Interesting - this has not been my experience at any focal length and wide-open for my 18-55 (Mk 1) kit zoom.

However not surprisingly there have been numerous discussions of the kit zoom on this forum -
there are many who think the kit lens is fine
- just as there are many who do not -
take this thread for example:

Alternative to kit lens

Please take a look specifically at Post #29 (link) for a comparison of the 16-45 and 18-55 under test by dpReview -
I'll paste it here:

Both lenses wide open at their widest setting -

dpReview of Pentax 16-45


dpReview of Pentax 18-55

Those are at the widest ends -

since the 16-45 is considerable wider at 16mm - the next focal length that dpReview checked was 20mm - again not the same focal length - but narrower than the 18mm of the kit lens at its widest end -

dpReview of Pentax 16-45

even at 20mm the the 16-45mm is only comparable to the 18-55 at its widest end wide-open.

I know again it's not the same focal length - but taking the next step in zoom checked by dp-review of the 18-55 this is the result -
dpReview of Pentax 18-55



comparing past 35mm - both at 45mm -

16-45 @45mm


18-55 @45mm


this seems to go quite counter to what most people would think -
a NON-kit zoom ought to be better?

Kit 18-55 @ 45mm wide-open

ISO2000, f/4.5, 1/100; 45mm

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-07-2010 at 02:34 PM.
12-07-2010, 01:24 PM   #23
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Great example Tanner, and Vincent you also give interesting evidence of the kit's good performance.
I don't doubt your own experience either. Your images presented here are rendered beautifully.

Resizing for web takes masks a lot of what detail I look for in a high fidelity result. That may be my weakness - I do like to see detail, contrast, sharpness and texture at 100%. And I don't even consider myself a pixel peeper or measurebator. I just appreciate excellent IQ, and perhaps expect too much from the kit lens.

No doubt, I'm confident we can get decent results with them shrunk down to screen size (some of my own examples posted below) but I'm just spoilt by the crisp details I get with the alternatives I've used (and cost triple to septuple of that of the kit lens).





Vincent, we also know that the 16-45's Achilles' heel is at 16mm wide open - the rest of the MTF data is actually considerably more impressive than that of the kit lens. In fact, the 16-45 *outdoes* the DA* 16-50 in almost all parameters of the MTF data. But I'd take the 16-50 ahead of the 16-45 *anyday*. That's why I take MTF data in isolation with a grain of salt. But thanks for sharing this info Vincent.


Last edited by Ash; 12-07-2010 at 01:32 PM.
12-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Vincent you also give interesting evidence of the kit's good performance.
I don't doubt your own experience either. Your images presented here are rendered beautifully.
Resizing for web takes masks a lot of what detail I look for in a high fidelity result.
Vincent, we also know that the 16-45's Achilles' heel is at 16mm wide open - the rest of the MTF data is actually considerably more impressive than that of the kit lens.
Thank you Ash for being understanding and conciliatory.

Sorry, I updated my post #22 above and added a comparison of the 16-45 and 18-55 (mk1)
both at 45mm
. ie: past 35mm.
The kit 18-55 does well in comparison.

The point here is ultimately there are differences in quality -
there is absolutely no denying that -
however tests and reviews are there to specifically show/highlight the differences - that's their job -
but practically in real-life shooting - the differences are not that great for most quality lenses -
and I do group the Pentax kit zooms (18-55 and 50-200) among them.

If any lenses were that bad - the bad reputation would be out there
and there would be loss of sales -
and please remember Pentax in a way are staking their reputation on the kit 18-55mm zoom
since it is supplied with almost all of their dSLRs as standard -
including the latest K-5 - hence this thread.
Pretty stupid move if the 18-55 were as mediocre as some seem to think.

Of course everyone's MMV -
but there is absolutely no need to deride the kit lens or any other lens to advocate another lens.
There are plenty of good lenses out there -
and lucky for us Pentax users the 18-55 kit lens is one of them.
12-07-2010, 02:16 PM   #25
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While I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, lenses should be compared at equal focal lengths and apertures... neither of which was done with your evidence above.

Note that 16mm is significantly wider than 18mm. Furthermore, the 16-45 is at the end of it's range, but the kit is not. The kit is very soft at the end of it's range (I would guess worse than the 45).
12-07-2010, 02:45 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
While I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, lenses should be compared at equal focal lengths and apertures... neither of which was done with your evidence above.

Note that 16mm is significantly wider than 18mm. Furthermore, the 16-45 is at the end of it's range, but the kit is not. The kit is very soft at the end of it's range (I would guess worse than the 45).
I take your comments - but unfortunately - that's what dpReview produced since the focal length ranges are not the same.
I have linked to the reviews so anyone can do the comparison themselves
(I use a separate tab on my browser for each lens review - please take a look - I may have missed something....).

However I have updated/added to my post #22 above, to include the 20mm results for the 16-45mm
which ought to be better, since it is not at its widest end -
however even with that shows the 18-55 at its widest 18mm is holding its own with 16-45 even @ 20mm -

I know it's not apple-to apples, but if we also take the next zoom step on the 18-55mm to the 24mm setting
then one can see that the 18-55mm past its widest setting does improve markedly......

The 16-45mm ought to be better than the 18-55mm - just by price alone -
but dpReview's test does not show a wide quality gulf between 16-45mm over the 18-55 -
if anything most of the equivalent settings the 18-55 does well.

I accept that the 16-45mm is a good lens I have not said anything negative about it
- is there any need to be negative about the kit lens when advocating another lens?

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-07-2010 at 03:01 PM.
12-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
is there any need to be negative about the kit lens
Simply because I feel negatively about the kit lens. It has nothing to do with my feelings for the 16-45, which are pretty much neutral. I have no plans to buy one.

However my experience mirrors lots of others here - the kit is an ok place to start, but it will not grow with you.

I'm bored so here we go.

16-45:

"But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the 16-45mm reveals itself as a fine all-round performer with few faults, both in studio testing and real-life use. It shows pretty consistent image quality across the range, and while the MTF results may not look impressive, its real strengths are elsewhere. In particular it has excellent distortion and falloff characteristics for a wide angle zoom, coupled with reasonable control of chromatic aberration, and impressive macro performance. The only real disappointment is the performance at 16mm, where you'll need to stop down to F11 for best results."

vs. 18-55:

"Of course this is still a kit lens, and corners have had to be cut to keep cost down. It shows significant falloff at wideangle, and the performance at 55mm also lags behind the rest of the range. But overall it's a pretty good offering for its class, providing new dSLR owners with some very reasonable optics from the word go. It therefore gains our recommendation."

So they both have their faults and strengths, but notice how the 16-45 is more consistant, wider, and faster at the long end? It *is* an upgrade from the kit, which is pretty bad at 55mm anyways.

There are much better lenses than either of these. However, I will state again that the kit lens is good, but you will outgrow it. The 16-45 has more longevity as a tool, but you can do even better than it, as well. The 17-70 comes to mind.

And it goes on and on .

Keep in mind here, that if the OP goes with my actual suggestion, he would be able to buy 1000 dollars worth of lenses. This is huge.

The KX with a DA 17-70 would be wonderful, and he could add a fast 50 in there. Or he could buy 2 DA limiteds. Any of these choices would be heads and shoulders above the kit lens experience... and who cares about the body, anyways? He could buy the 18-135 and be covered in every way. It's the lenses that matter... and the kit lens loses it's appeal pretty quickly after you start buying the nice ones... IMHO of course.

Last edited by paperbag846; 12-07-2010 at 03:20 PM.
12-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #28
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That new K-5 will soon enough look old, and some new base will be the one to drool over. But if you get some lenses that make you shake with excitement when you go to pick it up, then you've made the right choice.

Last edited by MSD; 12-12-2010 at 02:54 PM.
12-07-2010, 03:45 PM   #29
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as for the op, I suggest buying the K-7/K20d/K-x with their respective kit lens and a fast 50mm (FA 50mm F/1.4, F 50mm F/1.7, etc. etc.). Shoot for a couple weeks and see what you are missing

Need a wider lens? Buy a wideangle
Want more than 1:3 for macro? Buy a macro

etc.

You can do this with the money you save from getting any of the three above bodies instead of the K-5
12-07-2010, 03:47 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
However, I will state again that the kit lens is good, but you will outgrow it.
I have done photography longer than I care to mention -
among my past equipment were the 35mm film Canon F-1 with a battery of Canon prime lenses
(as zooms were very rare in those days),
Olympus OM-2n than OM-4 same re: lenses,
and even the Minolta Maxxum 7xi -
all those were the top of their respective ranges.

The 18-55mm (Mk1) kit zoom came with my first dSLR the K100D in March/2007
and has been the mainstay lens on my dSLRs since,
even when I bought the K-x over a year ago.

I have not outgrown it -
if anything I come to appreciate it more and more
and it seems to do as well as the positive reviews I have cited.

There was a Mk II of the 18-55 kit lens included with the K-x -
and on my own testing it seems just a fraction sharper than the old Mk1 -
but I continue to use the Mk1 as I much prefer the stainless steel mount
and recognize that the difference in quality is not enough for my work for me to change -
like I said I do shoot a lot - over 18,000 on the K100D and over 20,000 on the K-x - the majority are on the venerable 18-55
and if it were that inadequate I think I would have noticed by now
(my standards are not that low -
there are plenty of my shots on musicians' web sites and in CD liner notes)

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-07-2010 at 03:59 PM.
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