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

Started Mar 7, 2013 | Discussions
sgoldswo
sgoldswo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,725
Very happy with the 18-55 O.I.S.

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.

Not sure what was wrong with your two copies, but mine (bought separately) is bitingly sharp for a kit zoom. The comment about kit zooms always being sharp above is just plain misrepresentative - many are sharp at a point in their range or stopped down. Not so many are bitingly sharp wide open and continue to be sharp until diffraction takes hold. Here is one from mine this week, handheld (and full size - feel free to pixel peep):

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Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 7,725
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

Erational wrote:

Deed, it's obvious my Fuji 18-55 shots of the eagle are not nearly as sharp as your shots of the classic car. One of the eagle shots even uses a tripod, if I recall correctly. I had forgotten that Photozone had gotten a bad copy of the Fuji 18-55mm, glad you brought that up. It's just odd I would get two lemons in a row, perhaps it was a bad batch sent to the store. Personally, I find it alarming the swaths of PF/CA/blue hue represented in my eagle photos and I am surprised no-one has commented on that.

It is odd that you got a bad copy twice but it happens, could have that box of lenses got banged badly somewhere along the line. Anyway, for most of us the lens is excellent. I have owned the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 and the Nikon 16-85 VR, both were excellent but my fuji zoom is noticably sharper, even wide open.

Anyway, if you are happy with your 35mm prime that's great. It excels at a different use, sharp, shallow DOF photogaphy.  Different lenses ha compliment each other nicely. For myself, i like a zoo since landscape, mostly stopped down and properly famed with zoom, fits my need

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baobob
baobob Forum Pro • Posts: 13,401
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

For myself, i like a zoo since landscape, mostly stopped down and properly famed with zoom, fits my need

yes I agree

The 18mm stopped down produces a more homogenous shot than the 18mm prime

The absence of lateral CA and a quite good sharpness in corners and borders makes it quite usable for landscape

I would suggest that bad copies should be sent back for exchange. It's easy to have the lens chart tested to get evidence wether it is correct or not

Cheers

bob

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Jman13 Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

So far, I've found the 18-55 to be a little schizophrenic, and I'm still trying to figure out exactly why.  I've had great image quality at the wide end, and pretty darn good IQ at the long end for portraits, and a few really high quality shots out and about at the long end, but there are times when, close to 55mm, I'll get pure garbage, even though shutter speeds are fine and I supposedly got a good AF lock...it'll go oddly soft for some reason.

For the most part, I've been quite pleased, but it's not as good as the 35mm f/1.4, that's for sure.

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baobob
baobob Forum Pro • Posts: 13,401
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

This blue cast is strange

Did you check the correct WB ?

I looked very careful looked to the second one the wing but it's definitly not at all CA

In the background if you look the border of trees at the limit of sky this is usually where you could get a lot of CA and there is virtually none.

Did you make sure that accidentally no parameter could be set to something anormal ?

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Drew5100 Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: A vote "for"

I had to return a defective camera/18-55 combination - lens would not focus at all in any mode, after firmware update.  But I REALLY liked this lens, especailly the OIS for night shooting, so I immediately bought a replacement.  Happy to report that the second kit is fine, and I'm more than happy with the lens.  I will be adding a 35mm, no question, but the resolution of the 18-55 is pretty terrific for a zoom.  (attached captures were shot handheld with the 18-55).  

lowlight at the bar...



heading downtown, nightfall

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OP Erational Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: Very happy with the 18-55 O.I.S.

sgoldswo 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.

Not sure what was wrong with your two copies, but mine (bought separately) is bitingly sharp for a kit zoom. The comment about kit zooms always being sharp above is just plain misrepresentative - many are sharp at a point in their range or stopped down. Not so many are bitingly sharp wide open and continue to be sharp until diffraction takes hold. Here is one from mine this week, handheld (and full size - feel free to pixel peep):

sgoldswo: You know these colors you got with your Fuji just make me want to gobble-up the picture- they are so tasty. I don't want to be a bummer, but this shot you uploaded just is not sharp. Look at page 1 of this thread with the classic car- that is at least getting close to sharp. The foal is gorgeous, but it's hair looks clumped into a fuzzy mass. Really sharp would mean you can discern some of the individual blades of grass near the horses nose. Are you sure you had the OIS on?

fluxism Contributing Member • Posts: 584
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

I have both, both seem incredibly sharp

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deednets Veteran Member • Posts: 9,639
Re: Very happy with the 18-55 O.I.S.

Erational wrote:

sgoldswo: You know these colors you got with your Fuji just make me want to gobble-up the picture- they are so tasty. I don't want to be a bummer, but this shot you uploaded just is not sharp. Look at page 1 of this thread with the classic car- that is at least getting close to sharp. The foal is gorgeous, but it's hair looks clumped into a fuzzy mass. Really sharp would mean you can discern some of the individual blades of grass near the horses nose. Are you sure you had the OIS on?

This (crop) one taken at 2500 ASA:

Like this or still not nearly as clear as you would like?

Cheers

Deed

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Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,081
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

I did some test shots of both. 35mm is quite a lot sharper.

Greg.

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OP Erational Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

Obviously, I agree with you Astrophotographer 10. But, I think should post a shot of my own that I think is sharp with the Fuji X 35mm lens.  Judicious post sharpening was employed. Sorry about the horizon skew.

This Fuji 35mm f/1.4 shot was taken with timer on and a tripod used. Velvia film replication setting.

baobob
baobob Forum Pro • Posts: 13,401
Another photographic vision of sharpness

OOC JPEG with in camera default settings

Cheers Bob

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sgoldswo
sgoldswo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,725
Re: Very happy with the 18-55 O.I.S.

Erational wrote:

sgoldswo wrote:

Not sure what was wrong with your two copies, but mine (bought separately) is bitingly sharp for a kit zoom. The comment about kit zooms always being sharp above is just plain misrepresentative - many are sharp at a point in their range or stopped down. Not so many are bitingly sharp wide open and continue to be sharp until diffraction takes hold. Here is one from mine this week, handheld (and full size - feel free to pixel peep):

sgoldswo: You know these colors you got with your Fuji just make me want to gobble-up the picture- they are so tasty. I don't want to be a bummer, but this shot you uploaded just is not sharp. Look at page 1 of this thread with the classic car- that is at least getting close to sharp. The foal is gorgeous, but it's hair looks clumped into a fuzzy mass. Really sharp would mean you can discern some of the individual blades of grass near the horses nose. Are you sure you had the OIS on?

You have some high standards! Just a quick point to note but why would anyone need to use OIS with a shutter speed of 1/1700?

All I can say is yes it is - in any event I think you've just mistaken DOF for sharpness (a very common mistake). Take a look at the mane of the horse on its neck at 100% (which is where the point of focus was). If being able to discern the hairs of the mane isn't sharp I'm not sure what is...

If you won't take that then look at this (on the beak, head and neck):

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briny Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: Very happy with the 18-55 O.I.S.

Both your shots look very sharp to me (in the focus area).

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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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Cigarguy Regular Member • Posts: 448
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

My 18-55 is fantastic.  Very happy with it.  No matter the lens/product, there will always be someone unhappy with it.

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nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

Cigarguy wrote:

My 18-55 is fantastic. Very happy with it. No matter the lens/product, there will always be someone unhappy with it.

Mine is fine too. Initially, there seemed to be quite a bit of variability, and on and off, one can still see some people complain about their copy. Overall, though, if one gets a good copy, it's a very good lens, and the praise that is heaped on it is fully justified, IMO.

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Allan Senior Member • Posts: 1,041
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

The 18-55 is very sharp if you set OIS to mode 2 in the camera. Mode 1 causes blurriness when shutter speed is in the 1/100 second range.

Robert Boyer wrote:

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

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Skipper494 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,264
Re: Down on the 18-55 O.I.S.

My X-A1 came with the 16-50, which seems fine.

The Danish Place.

Sunset Villa woods

They are, of course, sharper in the tiff, from RAW.

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