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Mk II Kit Lens

Posted 08/02/2009 - 11:12 Link
Here's a picture taken with the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm II lens, which hopefully will reassure some of us that this lens is actually pretty good:
Comment Image

I find this lens very useful for pictures of items for eBay because of its close focusing and also the quick shift. I use AF for these images, but tweak the point of focus manually.
Best regards, John
Edited by johnriley: 08/02/2009 - 11:13
Posted 08/02/2009 - 11:26 Link
Nice sharp shot John, I find this lens handy at times as well.
Posted 08/02/2009 - 16:47 Link
I know it can't really be compared with the MkI version that I had, but I grew to really dislike my kits lens. It just didn't feel nice to use. I ended up selling it with the K100D body. It was sharp and contrasty and performed flawlessly, but it just lacked something, which I can't really put my finger on beyond saying "we didn't get on very well"

Bizarrely, I get on great with the old 28-80 manual focus lens. Wide open it can't touch the old 18-55 and only gets good at f8 and beyond.

Maybe it's a 'character' thing rather than a technical thing
Posted 08/02/2009 - 17:06 Link
18-55 II is sharp and feels nice to use to me. It's handy that it doesn't obscure the pop-up flash as well. My only complaint is that it's rather slow at the long end.
Posted 08/02/2009 - 17:13 Link
No complaints about my Mk II either, it's been out and about in the snow and produced some sharp clear shots. This was taken with it.

As a 'standard' it has to be the best supplied on ANY camera.
Cheers, HG

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

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

PPG entries.
Posted 08/02/2009 - 19:19 Link
I've been quite happy with my Mark I lens (the foggy trees photos were taken with it for example). So much so that when faced with the choice of replacing it with a DA 16-45mm or DA* 16-50mm, or buying something utterly different and keep using the kit lens, I went for the utterly different. The first time I got the 50-135mm and the second time the 12-24mm. I have a horrible feeling that next time I walk into SRS thinking of getting one or other of those replacement zooms, I might just walk out with the 43mm Ltd instead The only thing that bugs me sometimes is the f/5.6 at the long end.

John, your nice new shiny K20D seems to have some dust on the sensor already!

Best wishes, Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website
Posted 08/02/2009 - 19:32 Link
Nice shot, John.

What lighting did you use :

Bodies: K20D (2), K10D, Super A, ME Super, Auto 110 SLR, X70, Optio P70
Pentax Glass: DA* 300, DA* 60-250, DA* 50-135, DA* 16-50, DA 70 Ltd, FA 31 Ltd, DA 35 Ltd, DA 18-55 (2), DA 12-24, DA 10-17, M 200, A 35-70, M 40, M 28, Converter-A 2X-S, 1.4X-S, AF 1.7, Pentax-110 50, Pentax-110 24
Other Glass: Sigma 105 macro, Sigma-A APO 75-300
Flash: Metz 58 AF-1 P, Pentax AF160FC ringflash, Pentax AF280T
Posted 08/02/2009 - 21:10 Link
A large window gives nice even illumination. Sometimes I switch on the room lights to given some tungsten coloured highlights, but not if it's for eBay.
Best regards, John
Posted 08/02/2009 - 21:25 Link
Whats the markII kit lens like compared to the 16-45?
Posted 08/02/2009 - 21:45 Link
Marky wrote:
Whats the markII kit lens like compared to the 16-45?

Equally as sharp, almost as fast at 42mm (f4.5), but distortion and vignetting is greater at the wide end.
Posted 09/02/2009 - 11:13 Link
I'm getting more and more impressed with my kit lens, especially since reading so much doom and gloom about it on here and other forums...

Sure, it's not really fast enough to be much use in poorly lit rooms, but i've had some good success with shots like these

Comment Image

Comment Image
Pentax K20D, Pentax 18-55mm II, Pentax M 50mm 1: 1.7, Super Paragon 1: 2.8 24mm Macro, Pentax smc DA 50-200 mm F4-5.6 ED
my flickr
buy images
Posted 09/02/2009 - 11:48 Link
My verdict, based on limited use, is that it is very sharp in the centre, but not such a great lens at the corners. It is considerably less sharp, and the corners are quite big, if you see what I mean. I would only upgrade if I was certain that any new lens was going to be a lot sharper in the corners.

Vaguely interestingly, I went out at the weekend with the kit lens on my K20D and a mate took his new Canon G10. We did a couple of test shots of the same scene (mine at F8 and ISO200). The kit lens on the K20D was clearly sharper in the centre of the picture than the G10, but there was little to choose between the two images at the corners. There was also some CA at the corners, but only really a problem at 100%.


K20D | DA 18-55 II | FA-J 75-300
Posted 09/02/2009 - 12:41 Link
I compared 18-55 II, 18-55 I and 16-45 on a K10D. 18-55 II and 16-45 seemed equally sharp at the centre and corners to me; 18-55 I was softer at the corners and borders.

Sorry I didn't keep the test shots.
Posted 09/02/2009 - 21:39 Link
Did quick one shot test between the II and my SMC A 50mm f2 that I just got this morning.

Two crops here :


Far right

Both 18-55's had excellent centres, the weak spot being the edges which the II does a whole load better.

The II is a really great little kit lens

Pentax K20D | 18-55mm II | 50-200mm | SMC A 50mm f2 |
DeviantArt | My Flickr |

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