Budget High-Performance Pentax Lenses

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
mlkind
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Re: In your opinion...
In reply to cgarrard, 9 months ago

that is his point, monetarily, it's cheaper to spend less on a body and get a nice piece of glass IF you care about image quality. Your post should be, don't care about image quality?, and just want some range? look at these lenses.

Both views have their place when looking at making a kit that is not expensive.  Want quality, look at this kit, want range, look at this.   I don't think he was saying you had a bad idea, i just think he was offering a different opinion on how to build a kit if you want to save some money and care about image quality over focal range.

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geo444
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... 18-55 DA AL is a decent lens for the price, no more...
In reply to cgarrard, 9 months ago

cgarrard wrote:

Pentax 18-55mm DA AL- weather sealed, non rotating front element, metal mount, smc coating (easy to clean folks), good max magnification for macro work, much better than competitors kit lenses by far. (About $80-140.00 USD currently)

Good luck!

Carl

.

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes

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JNR
JNR
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Re: ... 18-55 DA AL is a decent lens for the price, no more...
In reply to geo444, 9 months ago

geo444 wrote:

cgarrard wrote:

Pentax 18-55mm DA AL- weather sealed, non rotating front element, metal mount, smc coating (easy to clean folks), good max magnification for macro work, much better than competitors kit lenses by far. (About $80-140.00 USD currently)

Good luck!

Carl

.

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes

The 18-55 images posted at the link above are very poor, and are not at all consistent with what the newer version of the lens will produce - especially at f/8. I don't know if it was a damaged lens, wind, or mirror slap issues - but the lens is capable of performing far better than that if the copy is good. Here's an example:

http://jamesrobins.phanfare.com/6289748#imageID=200928066

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geo444
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... that's why Pentax sells them 50$ / 40€ ?...
In reply to JNR, 9 months ago

JNR wrote:

geo444 wrote:

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes

... the Newer Version of the lens - especially at f/8...

.

what Newer Version than the 18-55 DA AL WR Kit Lens sold with the Pentax K-5 ?

.

... the lens is capable of performing far better...

http://jamesrobins.phanfare.com/6289748#imageID=200928066

.

especially when cropped ?

and that's why Pentax sells them 50$ / 40€ ?

if I re-do the Test using an EFs Kit Zoom 18-55 II vs Canon EF Full-Frame Primes...
... I will get the same difference in APSc Borders/Corners...
if not worse ?

comparing APSc Kit Zoom vs Full-Frame Primes in APSc Borders/Corners regions...
... is just terrible for most of the APSc Kit Zoom Lenses !
the FF Prime Lenses are sold 10x the price

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cgarrard
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Re: In your opinion...
In reply to mlkind, 9 months ago

mlkind wrote:

that is his point, monetarily, it's cheaper to spend less on a body and get a nice piece of glass IF you care about image quality. Your post should be, don't care about image quality?, and just want some range? look at these lenses.

Both views have their place when looking at making a kit that is not expensive. Want quality, look at this kit, want range, look at this. I don't think he was saying you had a bad idea, i just think he was offering a different opinion on how to build a kit if you want to save some money and care about image quality over focal range.

And that's my point... all three lenses indeed perform very well! I understand his point completely. But I'm pointing out that for a lot of shooters there is a clearly defined point of diminishing returns with lenses. Especially when you can get such good performance from the ones I've mentioned.

Carl

http://www.photographic-central.blogspot.com (Gear reviews)
http://www.carlgarrard.blogspot.com/ (Best work compilation)
Also formerly AlphaMountWorld.com (Now off the web)

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cgarrard
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Comparing zooms to primes?
In reply to geo444, 9 months ago

geo444 wrote:

cgarrard wrote:

Pentax 18-55mm DA AL- weather sealed, non rotating front element, metal mount, smc coating (easy to clean folks), good max magnification for macro work, much better than competitors kit lenses by far. (About $80-140.00 USD currently)

Good luck!

Carl

.

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes

First you're using an older version of the kit lens, the new one is MUCH improved, and, comparing it to a prime lens. Don't know what else to say there.

C

http://www.photographic-central.blogspot.com (Gear reviews)
http://www.carlgarrard.blogspot.com/ (Best work compilation)
Also formerly AlphaMountWorld.com (Now off the web)

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geo444
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... Comparing zoom to primes... the only way to Know !
In reply to cgarrard, 9 months ago

cgarrard wrote:

geo444 wrote:

cgarrard wrote:

Pentax 18-55mm DA AL- weather sealed, non rotating front element, metal mount, smc coating (easy to clean folks), good max magnification for macro work, much better than competitors kit lenses by far. (About $80-140.00 USD currently)

Good luck!

Carl

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes

First you're using an older version of the kit lens, the New one is MUCH improved,

.
this is my Zoom : SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR = optically rated ~7/10 :
http://www.pntxfrms.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6-WR-Weather-Resistant-Version-Zoom-Lens.html
(please to correct the link) " optically identical to the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm AL II "

please show us your " MUCH improved New Version " ?...

and, comparing Zoom to a Prime Lens. Don't know what else to say there.

.
it's the Only Way to know exactly what IQ you can get from each !

your post is the proof, isn't it ?

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justin23
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Re: ... Comparing zoom to primes... the only way to Know !
In reply to geo444, 9 months ago

I agree that the DA18-55WR lenses is suberb value for money, but I still think the DA16-45 is excellent value and reasonably cheap.  If you look at say the pentax forum website, you'll see the DA 16-45 has a pretty good score compared to other lenses in that kind of kit zoom range.

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cgarrard
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Re: ... Comparing zoom to primes... the only way to Know !
In reply to geo444, 9 months ago

geo444 wrote:

cgarrard wrote:

geo444 wrote:

cgarrard wrote:

Pentax 18-55mm DA AL- weather sealed, non rotating front element, metal mount, smc coating (easy to clean folks), good max magnification for macro work, much better than competitors kit lenses by far. (About $80-140.00 USD currently)

Good luck!

Carl

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes

First you're using an older version of the kit lens, the New one is MUCH improved,

.
this is my Zoom : SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR = optically rated ~7/10 :
http://www.pntxfrms.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6-WR-Weather-Resistant-Version-Zoom-Lens.html
(please to correct the link) " optically identical to the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm AL II "

please show us your " MUCH improved New Version " ?...

Just because you have a dud, doesn't mean we all here have a dud, or that the majority are a dud. I've used 3 different copies of the latest WR kit lens and all 3 performed almost nearly identical. If that is unreasonable to you, then our conversation should be ended there. Nothing more others or myself can say to you.

Carl

http://www.photographic-central.blogspot.com (Gear reviews)
http://www.carlgarrard.blogspot.com/ (Best work compilation)
Also formerly AlphaMountWorld.com (Now off the web)

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JNR
JNR
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Re: ... that's why Pentax sells them 50$ / 40€ ?...
In reply to geo444, 9 months ago

geo444 wrote:

JNR wrote:

geo444 wrote:

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes

... the Newer Version of the lens - especially at f/8...

.

what Newer Version than the 18-55 DA AL WR Kit Lens sold with the Pentax K-5 ?

.

... the lens is capable of performing far better...

http://jamesrobins.phanfare.com/6289748#imageID=200928066

.

especially when cropped ?

and that's why Pentax sells them 50$ / 40€ ?

if I re-do the Test using an EFs Kit Zoom 18-55 II vs Canon EF Full-Frame Primes...
... I will get the same difference in APSc Borders/Corners...
if not worse ?

comparing APSc Kit Zoom vs Full-Frame Primes in APSc Borders/Corners regions...
... is just terrible for most of the APSc Kit Zoom Lenses !
the FF Prime Lenses are sold 10x the price

The cryptic quotes make it very difficult to follow, so I will answer in context.

An original reference in this thread mistakenly applied to the original version of 18-55 lens; both WR lenses are the newer optical design - and so your test presumably applies to the newer design. Economies of scale and marketing decisions set the kit price of a lens - and does not apply directly to the quality of the optics. You can make your lens purchase decisions based entirely on price, but you won't find the best values that way.

No one is arguing that the old Canon primes are not better than the modern Pentax kit zooms in terms of sharpness (although resistance to flare and work against the light could come close to evening up the IQ in some shooting situations). Your test gave an impression that these lenses are poorer than they really are. As you can see by the image I referenced, the kit lens can by adequately sharp all the way to the corners if stopped down modestly (especially so from about 24mm onwards).

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geo444
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Re: ... Comparing zoom to primes... the only way to Know !
In reply to cgarrard, 9 months ago

cgarrard wrote:

geo444 wrote:

cgarrard wrote:

geo444 wrote:

cgarrard wrote:

Pentax 18-55mm DA AL- weather sealed, non rotating front element, metal mount, smc coating (easy to clean folks), good max magnification for macro work, much better than competitors kit lenses by far. (About $80-140.00 USD currently)

Good luck!

Carl

if you can buy this Kit-Lens for less than $50 like me, it's a bargain !

but it's Not - in any case - a Pentax High-Performance Lens

I tested it versus 30 years old Primes on a K5 :
= smc M 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.7 :
http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,182747.0.html

at F/8, the border/corner sharpness of the kit-zoom was never on par with old primes
http://en.astronomike.net/m/6809.html
http://en.astronomike.net/m/134251.html

First you're using an older version of the kit lens, the New one is MUCH improved,

.
this is my Zoom : SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR = optically rated ~7/10 :
http://www.pntxfrms.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6-WR-Weather-Resistant-Version-Zoom-Lens.html
(please to correct the link) " optically identical to the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm AL II "

please show us your " MUCH improved New Version " ?...

... doesn't mean we all here have a dud... or that the majority are a dud...

.
it's Not a dud !... nor a Pentax High-Performance Zoom !
... it's just a decent zoom lens for $50 / 40€
67 users rated it optically ~7/10 :
http://www.pntxfrms.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-18-55mm-F3.5-5.6-WR-Weather-Resistant-Version-Zoom-Lens.html

photozone rated it 3/5 :
http://www.photozone.de/pentax/641-pentax1855f3556wr?start=1
" it is capable of delivering decent results although it's nothing to rave about either. The corner quality is a certain Weakness at 18mm specifically at max. aperture and this is also amplified by a fairly Strong Field Curvature here. Stopping down to f/8 is therefore advisable... "

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geo444
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Re: ... Comparing zoom to primes... the only way to Know !
In reply to justin23, 9 months ago

justin23 wrote:

I agree that the DA18-55WR lenses is suberb value for money, but I still think the DA16-45 is excellent value and reasonably cheap. If you look at say the pentax forum website, you'll see the DA 16-45 has a pretty good score compared to other lenses in that kind of kit zoom range.

.

yes, the Pentax DA 16-45, or maybe the Tamron AF 17-50 f/2.8 XR Di II :
http://www.pntxfrms.com/userreviews/tamron-af-17-50mm-f2-8-xr-ld-aspherical-if-sp.html

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Gary Martin
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Re: ... Comparing zoom to primes... the only way to Know !
In reply to geo444, 9 months ago

photozone rated it 3/5 :

http://www.photozone.de/pentax/641-pentax1855f3556wr?start=1
" it is capable of delivering decent results although it's nothing to rave about either. The corner quality is a certain Weakness at 18mm specifically at max. aperture and this is also amplified by a fairly Strong Field Curvature here. Stopping down to f/8 is therefore advisable... "

Here are other Photozone ratings (optical performance) for Pentax zooms:
DA*16-50 = 3/5
DA16-45 = 3.5/5
DA18-135 = 1.5/5

So if the kit lens gets 3/5, that pretty much supports the OP's point that it is a good value, especially when compared to much more expensive lenses. FWIW, I've owned 3 versions of the kit lens: the original 18-55 which came with my *istDS in 2005, version II which came with my K200D in 2007, and currently the WR version which I bought separately in 2009, and all 3 have been solid performers. And I own much more expensive glass to compare it with. Let the lens snobs sneer, but I've been able to produce some good work with that lens.

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JNR
JNR
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Re: ... Comparing zoom to primes... the only way to Know !
In reply to Gary Martin, 9 months ago

Gary Martin wrote:

photozone rated it 3/5 :

http://www.photozone.de/pentax/641-pentax1855f3556wr?start=1
" it is capable of delivering decent results although it's nothing to rave about either. The corner quality is a certain Weakness at 18mm specifically at max. aperture and this is also amplified by a fairly Strong Field Curvature here. Stopping down to f/8 is therefore advisable... "

Here are other Photozone ratings (optical performance) for Pentax zooms:
DA*16-50 = 3/5
DA16-45 = 3.5/5
DA18-135 = 1.5/5

So if the kit lens gets 3/5, that pretty much supports the OP's point that it is a good value, especially when compared to much more expensive lenses. FWIW, I've owned 3 versions of the kit lens: the original 18-55 which came with my *istDS in 2005, version II which came with my K200D in 2007, and currently the WR version which I bought separately in 2009, and all 3 have been solid performers. And I own much more expensive glass to compare it with. Let the lens snobs sneer, but I've been able to produce some good work with that lens.

Adam over at PF wasn't terribly impressed with the 16-50 either when comparing it to the Sigma and Tamron. The build is great, though, and that isn't taken into consideration on optical tests. Bottom line is this - budget lenses often perform as well as, or better than higher priced lenses if you take care to avoid their weakest settings.

The OP got raked a bit for bringing up this topic, but a lot of folks don't want to spend the big bucks for the very best optics. Pentax offers so many possibilities to do quality work at a reasonable price point if you are willing to look into the older optics, especially if MF is an option.

It would be interesting if there was a modern comparison of the kit lenses available - perhaps with some step-up zooms included for comparison. A hint at how Pentax would do in this competition is offered by Lenstip (http://www.lenstip.com/202.11-Lens_review-Pentax_smc_DA_18-55_mm_f_3.5-5.6_AL_II_Summary.html) in their assessment of the newer optical design:

The old Pentax “kit lens” was acknowledged to be one of the best cheap kits on the market. Could it be improved without the significant price increase? Pentax proved that yes, it could. The new model doesn’t give way to the old one in any aspect and its results are definitely better when it comes to the image resolution, chromatic aberration correction and astigmatism.

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JNR
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Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Pentax K-01 Pentax K-30 Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +1 more
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