Time to rethink the KIT LENS idea?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Leandros S
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Re: Time to rethink the KIT LENS idea?
In reply to Rod McD, 7 months ago

Rod McD wrote:

Hi,

I think it's difficult to be too prescriptive...... Pentax has :

the 16-45/4, 16-50/2.8, 18-55/3.5-5.6, 18-55WR/3.5-5.6, 17-70/4, 18-135/3.5-5.6, and the 18-250/3.5-6.3. And the 20-40/2.8-4 Ltd. (I'm not sure if every one of these is still current.)

The 16-45 has been marked as discontinued for some time, and the 18-250 is now an 18-270.

Somebody mentioned the Fuji kit zoom in an earlier post in this thread. That's an 18-55/2.8-4 and because it's for a mirror-less system it's smaller and lighter than similar DSLR lenses. It's an excellent lens, probably the best 18-55 in the business, but it's in a much higher price bracket than the Pentax 18-55's. It's around $700, but sells for $400 if you buy it with a new Fuji body. It's been their only kit lens for two years, but they've recently chosen to offer a 16-55/2.8WR and an 18-135/3.5-5.6WR as well. Soon to be available. So it looks like they're diversifying their 'kit' lens products too.

Why focus on and worry about whether a Zoom is constant aperture or not? It used to matter back in the pre-TTL flash days, because you had to recalculate your aperture for flash photography if you zoomed a variable aperture zoom. So, the "pro" lenses all became constant aperture lenses. In these days of flash automation, I can't really see why it matters.

It's just annoying that inconstant aperture causes a communication problem between you and the camera. You set your camera for a particular scene, setting, let's say, f/4. Let's say that that's your available widest aperture at that FL. You then zoom in and get stopped down to f/5.6. It annoys you that you now have excess DOF. You then zoom all the way back out, but you're still at f/5.6 because your camera doesn't know that you want to shoot the wide angle shot at ISO 100 rather than ISO 400, and want the addtional light of f/3.5 rather than having any requirement for DOF at that point. Even if your camera thinks to put you back at f/4 or tracks the edge down to f/3.5, this may still not be what you're intuitively expecting the camera to do, and it's just one more thing to occupy your mind while you're trying to fix a gazillion other things. Yes, arguably it is a flaw in the way we think about aperture, and maybe we should just take a chill pill, but it looks like it's here to stay.

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