Has "kit" become synonym with cr@p?

Started May 6, 2012 | Discussions
Erik Johansen
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Has "kit" become synonym with cr@p?
May 6, 2012

I see a lot of people here showing sceptisism over a lens delivered in bundle with a camera................the "kit lens"....huuuuu!

Take f.ex. the 12-50. In a kit with the E-PL3, the value of the lens is more than the value of the body.

Is E-PL3 then a "kit body"?
And does this make it a bad investment?

I an very happy for the 12-50 I got to a very good price in "kit" with my OM-D......my "kit camera)
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msusic
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Re: Has "kit" become synonym with cr@p?
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 6, 2012

Personally, 12-50mm is one of the better kit lenses because it offers 12mm and macro options, not to mention WS and EZ.

Problem with regular kit lenses is that those don't give anything over a much smaller and cheaper premium compact. No creamy bokeh, low light, macro, wide angle or long tele capability.

That's because shots don't have interesting perspective or capability to offer anything over a normal fixed lens camera.
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Vlad S
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There are kits, and there are kits.
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 6, 2012

Erik Johansen wrote:

I see a lot of people here showing sceptisism over a lens delivered in bundle with a camera................the "kit lens"....huuuuu!

I think your assessment is wrong. The Panasonic 14-45, 14-140, 20, and the later Olympus 14-42 were all excellent kit lenses, and the users here fully recognize that. But there were also some underwhelming kit lenses as well. Moreover, in terms of DOF control the kit lenses may offer less of it than some advanced P&S. So the "kit" lens has a different connotation for every different kit, and this is something that needs to be remembered before making generalizations.

Vlad

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GregGory
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Re: There are kits, and there are kits.
In reply to Vlad S, May 6, 2012

Vlad S wrote:

I think your assessment is wrong. The Panasonic 14-45, 14-140, 20, and the later Olympus 14-42 were all excellent kit lenses, and the users here fully recognize that.

Not forgetting the mother of kit lenses, the Panasonic L1 14-50/f2.8-3.5

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Henry Richardson
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Panasonic 14-42mm seems pretty good
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 6, 2012

I have been using the Panasonic 14-42mm I got with the G3 a few weeks ago. Seems pretty good. Here's a review that says the same:

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/615-pana1442

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Erik Johansen
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Shure, but...
In reply to Vlad S, May 6, 2012

....it is the generalization I am warning about.

I have 50/1.4 EF 17 yrs old as a "kit lens" with my EOS 1....still performing with top digital at a resonable price.
O yes there are better ones....at a quadrople price.......

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Skipper494
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Re: Has "kit" become synonym with cr@p?
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 6, 2012

I find the Pan 14-42 and 45-200 more than adequate. Too bad the G2 sensor isn't better. The Pan Leica 25mm f/1.4 surpasses the sensor's capabilities.

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Vlad S
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You said it
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 7, 2012

Erik Johansen wrote:

....it is the generalization I am warning about.

Aside from yourself, I do not see much generalization in this particular community. In the Canikon world - may be, I don't really know, but in this forum I definitely do not see "kit" being equated with poor quality. May be they are equated with being slow - which they are, aside from the 20mm. But in other aspects every kit lens is judged independently from others, at least in this forum.

Vlad

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Hen3ry
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You’re right, Erik, lots of people here bag kit lenses...
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 7, 2012

When I first came on to the forum they were bagging the Panny 14-45. I couldn’t believe it! I was using the lens daily and found it was a jewel. My only complaint was it could have been f4 @ 45 (and f2.8 at 14 would have been nice too! :)). But aside from being a half to one stop slower than I would have liked, it was and is a jewel of a lens.

Likewise the 14-42 Zuiko on my E-PL3.

Then there are some who carry on about the 45-200 and the Oly 40-150 zoom. Both of those, too, I found to be jewels and I have no complaints about the aperture there -- f4-f5.6 in what is a lens with a maximum reach of 400mm (equiv) in the case of the 45-200, and 300 equiv in the case of the 40-150. The starting and finishibng apertures are very respectable. Back in the day (the OM-1 day, when I was selling pictures to newspapers and magazines all over the world through an agent in London), my top of the line Zuiko 200mm prime for the OM-1 was f4 and considered very respectable at that. Any 200m lens brighter than f4 in those days cost about the same as maintaining a family for half a year.

I was shooting Tri-X at 400 or 800 ASA and Ektachrome at 64 ASA.

I look at some of the people here bitterly complaining about not having f1 lenses at every focal length and when they are offered, complaining about the price, and I can only laugh derisively. Boys -- these lenses are super cheap compared with back in the day and they are pretty darned good too.

AND these malcontents get lots of speed out of the sensor too -- and complain it is not enough. What are they shooting? Black cats in coal cellars?

They mutter and mumble about creamy bokeh and whatnot. Fine, guys, go and shoot with a brace of Mamiya C330s like I used to. You'll get all the creamy bokeh you want -- and a bad back along with it from lugging and juggling the weight.

The 14-42/45 bokeh is fine most of the time -- and if you are careful, you can arrange your background to help make it better. There are special situations when I use a specialist lens -- but that's just the point, is it not, specialist lens for special situations?

I love the Oly f1.8 45mm for portraits, but it's as useful as garbage if I want to take a wide angle pic. The kit zoom (14-42 in my case) does a very nice portrait at full stretch AND is a very useful wide-angle optic too.

The much maligned kit lenses are general purpose lens and darned good at that.

Cheers, geoff
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eilivk
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Re: Panasonic 14-42mm seems pretty good
In reply to Henry Richardson, May 7, 2012

Henry Richardson wrote:

I have been using the Panasonic 14-42mm I got with the G3 a few weeks ago. Seems pretty good. Here's a review that says the same:

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/615-pana1442

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So was mine too, sometimes, (before it was sent back, very blurry, FIVE WEEKS ago, found faulty, maybe get it back before summer??). Nice colours, glad I bought G3, not G2.

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JeanPierre Martel
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Any m4/3 kit lens is good
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 8, 2012

Johansen wrote:

I see a lot of people here showing sceptisism over a lens delivered in bundle with a camera................the "kit lens"....huuuuu!

I am very happy for the 12-50 I got to a very good price in "kit" with my OM-D......my "kit camera)

The art of making lenses is better now than any time in the past. And since all micro 4/3 lenses are lenses designed and built during the past few years, they are quite good.

Some of m4/3 lenses (about all prime lenses and a few zoom ones) are among the sharpest lenses ever made. Some of them are so sharp that existing m4/3 sensors can't fully take advantage of them. The other ones are simply good lenses (not outstanding but still good ones).

Yesterday morning, I've used for the first time a M.Zuiko 40-150mm lens (since, finally, I have a in-body IS camera -- namely the OM-D -- since only a few days). Some of the hand-held pictures taken at 150mm are unbelievably sharp.

To convince yourself, give a look at SLRGear ( http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showcat.php/cat/2 ) and compare the sharpness of m4/3 lenses with lenses made for Canon or Nikon cameras: you'll see our lenses compare well with the latest ones by these two companies and are better than the lenses that these two companies did five or ten years ago. Or look how bad the old OM 50mm F/1,8 looks like (even if it is known as a very good lens). Why? Because the art of making lenses is better now than...

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drtmw
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Re: You’re right, Erik, lots of people here bag kit lenses...
In reply to Hen3ry, May 8, 2012

Amen!

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Paul De Bra
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Yes and that is totally not deserved.
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 8, 2012

Canon brought out the 5DII with the 24-105L IS lens as a kit, and people started assuming that the 24-105L must be a mediocre lens (despite being "L") just because it was a kit lens.

The E-M5 comes with a rather expensive 12-50 kit lens which is definitely not your average kit lens. It is a pretty good lens, especially given that it is 12mm at the wide end which is pretty wide for a kit zoom lens.

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digifan
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Re: There are kits, and there are kits...12-60mm
In reply to GregGory, May 8, 2012

The utmost best kit lens is not the 14-50mm Pana but the 12-60mm Oly.
The, imo, best kitlens ever.
The 14-54mm I and II were not to shabby either!

GregGory wrote:

Vlad S wrote:

I think your assessment is wrong. The Panasonic 14-45, 14-140, 20, and the later Olympus 14-42 were all excellent kit lenses, and the users here fully recognize that.

Not forgetting the mother of kit lenses, the Panasonic L1 14-50/f2.8-3.5

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Fredrik Glckner
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Re: Panasonic 14-42mm seems pretty good
In reply to Henry Richardson, May 8, 2012

Henry Richardson wrote:

I have been using the Panasonic 14-42mm I got with the G3 a few weeks ago. Seems pretty good.

I agree with you. I think the Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm basic kit lens is a fine lens, especially considering the price and weight.

Here is my comparison at 14mm of this lens and some others:

http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2010/12/comparison-14mm.html

It shows that the kit lens does well at 14mm.

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D200_4me
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Re: Has "kit" become synonym with cr@p?
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 8, 2012

I haven't had enough time with the kit lenses offered with the E-M5, but I do know the kit lenses included with the Nikon V1 are excellent. Some of the best kit lenses I've ever used. They literally don't leave me wanting for more (unless I'm just interested in a faster lens (aperture).

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GregGory
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Re: There are kits, and there are kits...12-60mm
In reply to digifan, May 8, 2012

digifan wrote:

The utmost best kit lens is not the 14-50mm Pana but the 12-60mm Oly.
The, imo, best kitlens ever.
The 14-54mm I and II were not to shabby either!

I wouldn't call the 12-60mm a kit lens, but rather a lens that was also bundled in some kits. It still baffles me why neither Oly nor Panasonic has made a m43 equivalent. The 12-60 was/is the best lens in the 4/3" range IMO, a fast and sharp walk-around-lens would take m43 to another level for zoom shooter.

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Marvin Doering
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Re: There are kits, and there are kits...12-60mm
In reply to GregGory, May 8, 2012

Second the motion on the 12-60. After I got it I rarely used the 7-14.
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al_in_philly
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Re: Has "kit" become synonym with cr@p?
In reply to Erik Johansen, May 8, 2012

One of my favorite photographers is Henri Cartier-Bresson. Last fall I had an opportunity to view quite a few of his own photographic prints. One of the things I noticed, as I poured over each square millimeter of his images was how technically imperfect they were, yet they were true photographic masterpieces. My guess is that even the "cr@piest" kit lens available today is optically superior to what he was using, just as we moan about clean ISOs being limited to 1600 on some cameras, when that is several times higher than what film was capable of "back in the day."

Stop worrying about the quality of the camera in your hands: focus on the quality of the photographer who is holding that camera. Then you might be on your way to becoming a true photographic artist.
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