18-55: Overrated or Just Me?

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Portion Control Junior Member • Posts: 46
18-55: Overrated or Just Me?

I've been through three XF 18-55's. None of them seemed to live up to the hype in my estimation. Even stopped down, I could never get them to express a sharp image across the frame at all focal lengths. I thought the first two were just bad copies, but third times a charm, right?

Let's take a look at where it's the worst on this one - 55mm. This is f/7.1, which seems to be the sharpest aperture setting for this FL on this lens.

Single-shot AF on the center of the fence. Let's zoom in:

Sharp in the center...

Left edge is fine...

Right edge, not so much.

I know, a picture of a fence. Not a real test. Believe me, its this soft on the right side in every shot of every subject.

This is essentially the same issue that caused me to return the last two copies of this lens. The area of smudgy detail might've appeared in other parts of the frame or been worse at different focal lengths, but it was always some kind of persistent soft spot like this.

I don't think I'm going to try and get another copy of this lens, so I've played around with this one a little more. Here's something I discovered:

Manual focus, zooming in and setting focus with peaking on the right side of the frame where it's usually soft...

Sharp in the middle. No surprise

Decent on the left. About like before.

...Sharp on the right!

So the lens is capable of acceptable performance across the frame, it just doesn't produce it when autofocus is used. I tried using the AF box set to the right side of the frame, but there was no improvement. Seems I have to do it manually.

Any idea what the problem is here? Could it have been my camera all along?

I have a 35/2 and 23/2 that seem to work well enough and are very sharp across the frame with any method of focus acquisition.

The results I get with the 18-55 are the same with OIS on or off.

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