Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

Started Mar 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Robert Boyer Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

I know this is an old post but just took a look at it since I opted to grab an 18-55 since it was SO SO cheap in the kit with a new X-body.

I get performance results with my copy of the 18-55 similar to these when examined critically with while your images are "fine" I kind of agree with the original post. In my book this is NOT stellar performance in any sense. The consensus of every review/opinion/etc that I have read (with a few exceptions but hard to find) is that the 18-55 is SO SO SO good. While I realize that those kind of descriptions are qualitative they are so far off the mark it's hard to reconcile. Examining your full crops here reveal performance that I would consider average for kit lenses. IE.. the lowly 18-55 VRII Nikon has at least this performance (yes I know it's a little slower) but the 18-55 really doesn't seem to get a whole lot better when stopped down a stop-ish. While the lens handles nicely, seems to be built well (only time will really tell)

The results do not compare in the least to say the 23/1.4, 35/1.4, or 56 or 60. Night and day between the 18-65 that I have, the one you have (as shown here as good examples)  and the primes I have for Fuji.

I'm genuinely curious about your "read" on these results. Why do you hold them in high regard relatively speaking. As far as I can see theres pretty much nothing that's critically sharp here looking at full resolution. Do you shoot any of the Fuji primes? If so are you getting the same/similar results? I certainly am not, I get what I would expect from good modern glass and a camera with no AA filter.

I don't know if it's the optics of the 18-55 or the OIS somehow but the best way I can describe it is that the 18-55 sort of looks like average results under close examination that you'd get with an average lens on a typical camera WITH AA filter, edges lack clarity and fine detail is a bit soft. With ANY of the Fuji primes I own you get spectacular results -- what one would expect from top level glass and no AA filter.

After reading this post I'm starting to question the whole "bad copy" theory (not that I'm a big believer in the rate at which ppl think they somehow have a bad copy of anything in this age) I think it comes down to qualitative discussion along with interpretation of results and possibly assumptions about lenses that may not have been used by the evaluator... as in "The fuji 18-55 is fantastic for a kit lens" where that maybe an evaluation without having used the MANY really good although plastic-y kit lenses that are standard and cost $100. Or maybe it's fuji rose-colored glasses or something?

Honestly if the examples here are about as good as it gets with the 18-55 then I would suggest the entire fuji community recalibrate the qualitative words they use when describing it's performance. How about Meh, about as good sometimes as other $100 18-55 APS-C lenses but a whole lot less crappy feeling.

RB

deednets wrote:

Erational wrote:

Pouring over MTF charts saying the Fuji 18-55 was the equal of the Fuji X 35mm F/1.4 at 35mm, I reluctantly bought a zoom over a prime. Many internet comments had said the zoom was the equal to the prime only loosing-out to the 35mm in low-light abilities. In those first 2 days I wondered why people were heaping praise for the X E-1 at all, the resolution I saw was nothing to write home about. I had seen far better qualities from Sony's NEX kit lens. My new Fuji zoom locked-up after 3 days on the camera and it was returned as defective. With a second Fuji 18-55, I shot with the camera on a tripod, OIS off, timer on. Again, resolution was sub-par to other APS-C cameras, although color was great and metering was superior. My thoughts started to turn to what camera make would replace my new Fuji X E-1.

Bringing the 2nd 18-55 was returned to a *very* patient retailer. This time I got the Fuji X 35mm F/1.4 . Wow. This is what people were talking/writing about ! Super resolution with great correction. Sorry I do not have comparison shots here of the same scene shot with the two different lenses. This is just my opinion.

So, for any tripod shooter out there just relying on the charts or who reads the laudatory reviews about the Fuji 18-55, keep in mind that the conventional wisdom still applies- a prime beats a zoom nearly every time.

Have shown this in another thread but you might (or not??) find this interesting. Shots hand held on my first week end with the X-E1 & 18-55. The second shot is a crop ...

X-E1 18-55 @ F5 200ASA

Crop of the above image

... honestly it beats me how you can come to those conclusions??

Here is another one, crop only ...

X-E1 & 18-55 @55mm F4 1/280 ...

Images reduced to 1800px

Good luck with your NEX or 35/1.4!

Cheers

Deed

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