DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Started Mar 14, 2008 | Discussions
frank1 Regular Member • Posts: 193
DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

As I guess that despite all the K20D buzz going on there are still some DS users around (like me), I thought they might be interested to see how the new kit lens performs in comparison to the new one on a DS. I tested both lenses at 18mm, 35mm and 55mm, only wide open. No tripod used, but at 1/1600 at 18mm and 1/320 at 55mm (and a sharp center) I think we can rule out the impact of camera shake.

Frank

DA 18-55 (I) 18mm f/3.5 center

DA 18-55 (I) 18mm f/3.5 left border

DA 18-55 (I) 18mm f/3.5 right border

DA 18-55 (II) 18mm f/3.5 center

DA 18-55 (II) 18mm f/3.5 left border

DA 18-55 (II) 18mm f/3.5 right border

DA 18-55 (I) 55mm f/5.6 left border

DA 18-55 (II) 55mm f/5.6 left border

SturmMD Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS

quickly glancing at the images it seems like the version II photos are definitely sharper especially along the borders. These results do plant the seed that maybe upgrading my kit lens to a version II would be more cost effective than going for a f2.8 zoom to get some mid aperture (3.5-5.6) sharpness.
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OP frank1 Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS

I forgot to mention, I did not post any comparison shots at 35mm because these were virtually identical - even at the border. This seems to be in line with the photozone review which stated that the old kit lens had a sweet spot at 35mm.

Concerning the performance at 55mm, photozone said that the border resolution of the old kit lens was "very good" already wide open. At least in my sample I cannot see that. The border softness of my old kit lens copy is more in line with the findings of dpreview.

But the considerably better performance at 18mm at the extreme borders (these are all the very extreme borders) is most important to me, especially since photozone said that even stopping down did not help.

The new kit lens seems to be a considerable improvement. This should keep me happy for a while.

By the way, the other day I compared both lenses shooting a blue sky and found that the vignetting is not improved in the new kit lens. Would have been nice, but I am happy as things are... The new kit lens should be among the best of the current kit lenses resolution wise.

Frank

Douglas Film Veteran Member • Posts: 5,687
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

It looks like Pentax has made a good lens better. There is nothing wrong with the Ds.
Douglas Film

KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Frank,

Thanks very much for this. I gave my old kit lens to my sister, but was always very happy with it, and now I miss it. It was nice in certain situations to not have to lug around the DA 16-45 or Sigma 10-20 if I wanted a lightweight but flexible (wide angle) kit. If I can get one for the right price, I'm going to snag a Mark II kit lens sometime because of your review!

-Matt

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86 Contributing Member • Posts: 640
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Thanks. Agreed, looks like the new kit is better than the already good kit.

ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 28,268
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Thanks Frank they have tidied it up nicely by the looks of things.
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Chyn Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Wonderful! Thank you so much for posting this comparison. It looks like the second version is dramatically better. I hope this isn't due to sample variation!

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OP frank1 Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Chyn wrote:

Wonderful! Thank you so much for posting this comparison. It looks
like the second version is dramatically better. I hope this isn't
due to sample variation!

Sample variation is of course always a possibility. However, I saw comparison pics of this kind between both kit versions on a K20D - the differences were even a lot more extreme. People said that the old kit lens used in that test could have been a lemon. Well, my kit lens has always struck me as being pretty good so far, and the fact that once again the new kit lens fared better leads me to believe that this is not sample variation. The fact that the differences on the K20D were even more dramatic could be explained with the higher resolution of the K20D sensor, or maybe that other Kit I lens was inferior to my version.

Frank

martweb Contributing Member • Posts: 823
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Thanks for comparing. One week point of the old 18-55 is also using it as macro lense. So I would like to see a comparison shoot at a focal lenght of 55 mm at it's possible shortest distance.

Pattisboy Senior Member • Posts: 1,990
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Just as I suspected that for making 6 X 4 prints and viewing on my 17" monitor, there is no discernable difference between the two lenses.

My DS 18-55 (I) will do me very nicely thank you very much and I am very much heartened that I got my K110D + 18-55 and 50-200 for a little over 300 British quid. You Yanks who seem to get photographic goods virtually thrown at you would, I think, find that price hard to beat!

Frank, my gratitude for the test.

Regards, Bertie.

gazonk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,070
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Thanks a lot for the comparision. Seems like the new lens is both significantly sharper at 55mm, quite a bit sharper at 18mm, slightly more contrastly, and maybe even has slightly less CA at 18mm. An already good lens (just compare to the recent Sony review here...) has gotten significantly better, good work Pentax!

Given the decent quality of the new lens, the price difference between K20D bodies and kits is really miniscule, at least here in Norway (only 300 NOK ~ 60 USD).
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Marshy27 Senior Member • Posts: 1,181
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Thanks for the heads up on the new lens.

im currently selling my k100d + kit on fleabay and hopefully get enough funds for the mk2 Kit @ £59 and a AF360 ghz @ £137.

Thanks again.

paul

Brett St Pierre
Brett St Pierre Veteran Member • Posts: 7,033
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Thanks Frank, I was just having lunch with LanceB, GuyM and LuzArt yesterday and was saying that we need some comparisons on the original and II version. Since I upgraded from DA16-45 to DA*16-50 I don't have any light walkabout zoom and was wondering if the new II version could do the trick for me until the DA17-70 SDM arrives on the scene. Looks like it may well do. Thanks again

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AdamT
AdamT Forum Pro • Posts: 62,113
Two copies of the same lens --->

Two copies of the same lens can give exactly the same results - it's called sample variation and yes, the Pentax can suffer that too .. My feeling is that the MK2 is basically the Mk1 but they've tightened up on QC - Both your samples of MK1 and 2 and Ma's Mk1 beat the hell out of the 16-45 I bought her, Pentax are looking into it as I type.. Basically, from my testing of the Mk1, A good one will give the same examples as your Mk2 Crops - yet to see a 16-45 which does though ..........

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simonkit Senior Member • Posts: 2,863
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Thanks for the comparison - I'm hoping the new DA 50-300 will be an improvement on the original 50-200 too !!

simon

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gaddigad Senior Member • Posts: 1,906
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

Great post Frank, thanks a lot!

Could you please upload the uncropped shots of both lenses just so we could see how significant are the differences when viewed at 'normal' size?

OP frank1 Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

gaddigad wrote:

Great post Frank, thanks a lot!
Could you please upload the uncropped shots of both lenses just so we
could see how significant are the differences when viewed at 'normal'
size?

The thing is, I just have a flickr free account, which can only store photos for up to 1024 pixels in one dimension. That's why I could only post 100% crops.

I could either post the uncropped shots, but at 1024 pixels, this would give you at least an idea where exactly I have taken the crops from.

Or alternatively, I would send the photos to someone who has got a pbase or flickr pro account and would send me the link to embed here. This would be great. I have already saved these as jpegs, they are about 1 MB at 70% quality.

By the way - I took the shots in RAW and converted them then to jpegs without any sharpening or contrast changes.

So - if anyone volunteers to store the two files he should send me an email.

Frank

OP frank1 Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: DA 18-55 (I) vs. DA 18-55 (II) on DS - comparison shots

I have just compared both lenses taking shots of the num pad of my keyboard. Cropping wouldn't make much sense in this case, I guess, and I cannot upload big files. If you (or anyone else) would like to see with your own eyes, I could send them via email as jpegs, alternatively, someone could upload them and send me the link for me to embed.

But I can simply tell you the outcome (tripod used, shortest possible distance, two shots with each lens at 55mm, one time at f/5.6, one time at f/8): The results were virtually identical. At f/8 the resuts were a lot better. Having said that, I did the shots at an angle, so that the narrow DOF plays a big part as well. Maybe I I shouldn't have done the shots at an angle... Maybe a shot of a printed page would be better... I am thinking about it...

Frank

martweb wrote:

Thanks for comparing. One week point of the old 18-55 is also using
it as macro lense. So I would like to see a comparison shoot at a
focal lenght of 55 mm at it's possible shortest distance.

dakotapix Senior Member • Posts: 1,013
Re: Two copies of the same lens --->

Adam-T wrote:

Two copies of the same lens can give exactly the same results - it's
called sample variation and yes, the Pentax can suffer that too .. My
feeling is that the MK2 is basically the Mk1 but they've tightened up
on QC -

No - different optical formulation.

Both your samples of MK1 and 2 and Ma's Mk1 beat the hell out
of the 16-45 I bought her, Pentax are looking into it as I type..
Basically, from my testing of the Mk1, A good one will give the same
examples as your Mk2 Crops - yet to see a 16-45 which does though

Sorry you have a bad sample of the 16-45. That's not typical. Here's a post that shows a comparison in which the 16-45 beats the pants off the original 18-55. Some said I had a bad 18-55, but as I said in the post, it performs much better at closer focusing distances.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=25575542

Tim

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