best kit lens replacement


Link Posted 26/09/2010 - 23:16
I was a bit disappointed after comparing the results of my k-x with a friend of mine (sony A900 with excellent lenses), Mostly about contrast and sharpness.
So i decided to improve my lens (i need to use 15 up to 50mm), and i'd like your suggestions.

Sigma 10-20 mm f/4-5,6 DC EX
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC

SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4
look for a cheap old wide angle 14 or 15

keep the kit
look for good old primes for the most used focal:
- SMC Pentax A 20mm F2.8
- SMC Pentax (28 o 35mm) F2.8
- SMC Pentax A 15mm f3.5

keep the kit
look for used new primes and forget the deep wide angle
- SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited or SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
- SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited


I'd like to mark the fact that i'm only interested in result quality and a bit on the lens weight (i don't care if is crappy plastic or old and manual)


Link Posted 26/09/2010 - 23:47
I just tested the new DAL 35/2.4 lens in Photokina fair. Very nice lens for the price. I took couple test photos with it and all are sharp and contrasty. Nice out of focus area and colors too. If you can wait for couple of weeks it is a nice option.

Sample photos:
K-5, ME Super
DA 17-70/4, F 70-210/4-5.6, FA 35/2, F 50/1.4, DA 70/2.4 Ltd, FA* 300/4.5
Last Edited by Jyrkira on 26/09/2010 - 23:49


Link Posted 27/09/2010 - 01:37
Before investing in new lenses, just keep in mind that the A900 is in a different league.

As for contrast and sharpness, the lens could make a difference, but I would give a serious look at your post processing skills first. I am not trying to imply that you can't do a decent PP job, but when sharpness and contrast come around, quite often, PP is deficient. When you use the kit lens at around f:8 or f:11, your results should be very close to an upper scale lens.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)


Link Posted 27/09/2010 - 09:29
If you're looking at the older MF lenses then don't bother with the Pentax-M 28mm f2.8. The f3.5 version is in a different class, whether you buy the M series version or its ancestor, the legendary SMC Pentax 28mm f3.5 (Commonly known as part of the K series, although Pentax never used that designation).

I'm likely to be getting a DA 35mm f2.4 as a birthday present in late November, so will be using that as my walkabout lens from then on.

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.


Link Posted 27/09/2010 - 11:53
Looking at the range you mention the 16-45 seems near perfect, other than this as zooms go the Pentax DA 17-70 is excellent, the Sigma equivalant is as sharp but lacks the colour/contrast of the Pentax

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Link Posted 27/09/2010 - 12:49
If you find a cheap old 14 or 15mm prime, please let me know where you got it! The nearest thing would be a Tokina 17mm, and I sold mine for 120


Link Posted 27/09/2010 - 12:53
dueddi wrote:

So i decided to improve my lens (i need to use 15 up to 50mm), and i'd like your suggestions.

Can't help but feel you're not looking at this the right way.

What are your photographic interests? Landscapes? 12-24. Macro? 100.

The 'usual' upgrade to the kit lens seems to be either the 16-45 or 16-50.

I suspect with a bit more information regarding your photographic interests you'll see a flurry of suggestions.
Last Edited by JohnX on 27/09/2010 - 12:57


Link Posted 27/09/2010 - 14:38
As Yves says, check how you're post processing the images.

Try adjusting the contrast and colour depth in the camera settings before ditching the standard lens.

As they go the 18-55 Pentax lens is regarded as the best kit lens on the market, I have two and do use them from time to time, with good results, samples here and here.

If you must change then the 16-45 is a highly regarded lens and worth the money.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

I've some gallerieshere CLICKY LINK! and my PPG entries.
Last Edited by Hardgravity on 27/09/2010 - 14:38


Link Posted 27/09/2010 - 17:05
If you have a sharpness problem first make sure the AF is calibrated on your camera.

I bought a K10D with Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 attached. It was soft as sh1t until I calibrated the AF. I was on the point of selling the lens too.

Sharp as a sharp thing now.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283


Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 22:32

How do you do this?
I have a K10D and Sigma 17-70, and I'am not convinced that the focusing is all it should be.
ME Super


Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 22:48
WendyBoatcomesin wrote:

How do you do this?
I have a K10D and Sigma 17-70, and I'am not convinced that the focusing is all it should be.

There is a little hack to get you into the debug menu.
Here is the information about the hack.

The hack itself is pretty safe but what you can do with it not because you can change vital things in your camera.

Don't forget the the AF adjustment in the K10D is for all the lenses, so if only the sigma is out you should consider what to do.
Maybe you can send to camera to Sigma let them calibrate the lens for you instead of the camera?

K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
Last Edited by Anvh on 02/10/2010 - 22:50


Link Posted 03/10/2010 - 16:39
I changed my kit lens for the 16-45 and have never been dissapointed I would highly recommend it.

K5 + Penta DA 18-135, Pentax 55-300, Pentax A-50mm F1.7, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 17-50, Tamron SP90 DI Macro
Manfrotto 190XPROB-804RC2 Head,
Samsung Flash Unit.

link Flickr
link PPG


Link Posted 03/10/2010 - 16:55
Another vote for the 16-45, which is great value IMHO. Cheap old 14 or 15mm primes though ??????????????????
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined


Link Posted 03/10/2010 - 17:09
I would go for the 16/45 as well!'s a good workhorse and good contrast.....Regards Ken DS ,DA18/55,DA16/45.DA* 50/135,"A"1.7 50MM..."A" 70/210..M 50mm f2...Tamron 90mm macro,28/300 Tamron,200/500 Tamron 6.9....A Pentax DA*300... Sigma10/20,FA31mm 1.8 Ltd*********,FA 77mm Ltd!


Link Posted 03/10/2010 - 17:47
Another vote for the 16-45mm. Very sharp.

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