Kit killers

Started Aug 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
SteveY80 Contributing Member • Posts: 960
Re: I want to point out...

123Mike wrote:

Do an honest test. Try something at 18, 24, 35, and 50mm, at wide open and 2 stops down on both lenses, the same shot, and ensuring that the focus in both cases is absolutely spot on. Someone here already showed comparison, and the 18-55 version was clearly back focused. That is not fair.

OK, I had a go at redoing the test today, while there was a bit more light to focus by.

I lined up the spines of the books, and as autofocus wasn't nailing it, I manually focused as carefully as I could with both lenses (focussing on the "F" in Second Foundation).

Unfortunately, accurate manual focusing is almost impossible with the 18-55's terrible focus ring. I tried to take shots at 24mm, 35mm and 50mm, but even after several attempts with the 18-55 (I nailed the focus first time every time with the 18-135) I don't think I managed to get focus quite right in any of them.

This shot at 50mm was the best of them, but I think it's still slightly back focused, and you're right that this stops it being a fair comparison:

18-55 50mm F5.6

18-135 50mm F5.6

I bothered to post this anyway because I think that focusing ability is relevant when evaluating whether one lens "kills" another. The focus ring on the 18-55 is one of the worst I've used on any lens; even carefully turning the 18-55's ring the smallest amount I could was enough to throw it past the correct focus. With vastly superior manual focusing, faster and quieter autofocus, and full time DMF, the 18-135's focusing performance is one area where there's absolutely no question that it kills the kit lens.

The fact that I took over a dozen shots with the 18-55 without being able to manually focus accurately enough is a serious disadvantage with it. Sometimes mechanical issues like that can make a bigger difference than the optical quality of the lens.

If anyone else has more patience than me I'd be interested in seeing their fair comparison of the two lenses myself, but personally I've given up on it.

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