need some KM user opinions

Started Feb 16, 2006 | Discussions thread
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Lance O Contributing Member • Posts: 936
need some KM user opinions

I am a Nikon shooter. But my shooting buddy is a KM guy. He has a sweet 7D.

He recently made the switch from film to digital with the 7D. His lens he used with his film KM are 28-70 (F2.6-F2.8 I think) and the 100-300. He primarily shoots portraits and events (like parties and some formal events). He has found himself wanting wider than his 28-70 offers. So he is considering the KM 11-18. He was asking my thoughts and below is what I was considering offering as my thoughts. But I wanted to get some KM friends to give their thoughts on this as well (including my opinion below). He can't get all the lenses at once so the order is somewhat important.

Thanks guys


The only concern I would have is you are missing the 18-27 range. For many photographers, including me, the classic 35mm 28-70 is the sweet spot lens covering the most common range. But, of course, with digital crop factor this means to get 35mm effective 28-70 we need start at about 18mm. Certainly your shooting style may vary. But if you always found your 28-70 comfortable as your main lens with film AND now you find yourself wanting wider (very common) then I fear you may miss the gap between the 11-18 and 28-70 lens. That is a large gap actually since it is on the wide end. On the tele end a gap that size is nothing. But on the wide end it is pretty big and, of course, you can’t always physically back yourself up to make up for it.

There is a cool little freebie app that analyzes folders of jpegs and gives useful statistics from your exif data. If it tells you a high percentage of your images taken with the 28-70 lens are at 28mm then you know you are bumping against a lower limit. Only you know what range that means you are bumping in search of. I would not be surprised if you get the 11-18 that you would often find yourself bumping against 18 upper limit (assuming of course you want to use the lens for things other than landscapes, etc).

The KM 11-18 is a different beast from the Nikon 12-24 and I don’t pretend to know anything about its characteristics (distortion, etc). But my 12-24 is fun for many uses so I am certain you would enjoy the KM 11-18. But I do not like it for people shots very much. It does distort quite a bit at the wider range. And in the 20-24 range it is nice, but it is not optimized for that range like my 17-55 is. So I tend to use my 17-55 for general photography/photojournalistic type shooting.

I guess what I am saying is for me, I would get rid of my 12-24 before I would give up my 17-xx range. YMMV. If I could start my lens purchases all over again from scratch I would first fill my primary range with the 17-55 (or 18-70, etc), F2.8. Next priority would be telezoom and for that I would get the 70-200 (sounds like you are more than covered with your 100-300 there). Next would be super wide and for that I would get the 12-24 (KM 11-18). Later I would probably get a prime or two at F1.4. This is essentially what I have, but I went about it in the wrong order and consequently spent more $$ than necessary and have some extra lenses around that I never use.

I don’t know what the 17 or 18-xx F2.8 lens of choice would be for KM. But I assume there is one. Of course, if you did get the 11-18 and found you bump into 18 a lot then you could still get the 18-xx later. It is not like you don’t need the 11-18 range. The superwide (11-18) is an area that you are going to fill now or later either way for sure.


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Lance O

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