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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Are Kit Lenses any good??...I have a Canon 350D Camera and when I purchased it I bought it in a kit which also had ...
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:23   #1 (permalink)
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Are Kit Lenses any good??

I have a Canon 350D Camera and when I purchased it I bought it in a kit which also had the following:

1). Canon zoom lens EF 75-300mm, and a;

2). Canon zoom lens EFS 18-55mm lens.

I have had a lot of problems with these lenses soft focusing even when the subject is stationary, while I expect these lenses to be a little slower than the more expensive Canon lenses - I still expect them to be more accurate with focusing.

NOTE: I have changed the focusing points for the focusing sensors a number of times, however on occasions the lenses are still soft focusing?

I did try my Camera with a more expensive / faster lens and I found that it worked a treat...

If you have any advice or assistance I would really appreciate it...

Thanks
Dean .
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:11   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

We use 2 Canon kit lenses at work (18 - 55 I think) and find them ok for what we do although you will see a difference compared to the more expensive 'L' glass.

Maybe post some examples with the exif included.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:51   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

I have the canon 18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses and am starting to find them frustratingly soft under most conditions, but sadly don't have pockets deep enough to replace them any time soon.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:13   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Before assuming that the kit lenses aren't good enough, take some pictures of static, hard edged subjects (brick buildings, aged timber, shiny motor cars; stuff like that) with the camera mounted on a solid tripod.

You may be agreeably surprised by how sharp the results are.

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Old 10-07-2009, 11:48   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

My kit lens is fantastic! its the first kit lens I had and Its still my favourite lens, its a 18-70mm mind you its a Nikkor and it now sits proudly on my D300 say no more!
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:50   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

i used the 18-55 kit lens for nearly a year and as long as you use it in optimum conditions it will do what it says on the time, you absolutely cannot compare these lenses with lenses that you spend hundreds and even thousands on!
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Old 10-07-2009, 16:38   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

The kit lens i use is the 17/85 IS now when i bought this the cost for the lens alone at most place was £400 to compare with the L lens at the time for example 70/200 L was £500 or around about that price what i trying to say that there was not really a lot of difference in price. iT annoys me that one can spend hundreds of pounds on a lens to find it is not up to the job, or feel it's not up to the job [ not talking about the L lens ] of course .Anyhow i do find the 17/85 a good lens but would not have paid the cost when sold separately
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Old 10-07-2009, 20:15   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

One thing that does frustrate me is that it appears quite common on the comments by Pixalo members and other sources that you can get a good or not so good version of a particular lens be it a "kit lens" or specialist lens.
Whatever happend to proper quality control.?.I don't remember this happening so much with the full frame lens's when used with the film SLR's.
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Old 10-07-2009, 20:18   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

I have the 18-85 Canon kit lens and thought it was quite good. I know that does not help you as you have a different lens. Just a comment though if you are thinking or replacing both then I would look at the Tamron 18-270 which is a cracking lens. You should find some more details of this in Pixalo. I know it is an added cost but you should be able to sell both your other lenses to recover some of this cost.
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Old 10-07-2009, 20:29   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

The problem with the wide zoom range 18-250 of the Tamron is that it has not got optical stabilisation.
Holding it still at 250 mm with an aperture of f6.3 needs care and bright light .
You could go for the Sigma 18-250mm DI OS (f6.3) The optical stabilisation of this lens will give you 3 stops operating reduction. ie f6.3 becomes slightly better than f3.5.
The only downside may be is the price which is in in the region of £500.But it will last you and if it does what is required it may be worth saving for.
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Old 10-07-2009, 21:54   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian wright22 View Post
One thing that does frustrate me is that it appears quite common on the comments by Pixalo members and other sources that you can get a good or not so good version of a particular lens be it a "kit lens" or specialist lens.
Whatever happend to proper quality control.?.I don't remember this happening so much with the full frame lens's when used with the film SLR's.
I use the Sony 18-70 and 75-300 kit lenses and with care, they can take good sharp photos but you have to hold the aperture between F8 - F11 for the best results.

I do agree that the film SLR kit lenses were much better. I still have the Olumpus OM50mm on the front of my OM2/sp. The results are staggering by comparison. However its fast F1.8 and it's a prime, anything between F4 and F11 gives very very good results. The autofocus speed leaves somthing to be desired since my brain is in the feedback loop .
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Old 10-07-2009, 23:29   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian wright22 View Post
The problem with the wide zoom range 18-250 of the Tamron is that it has not got optical stabilisation.
It is the 18-270 I was talking about I am not familiar with the 18-250. I have the 18-270 and it definitely has stabilisation built in. Tamron call it VC - vibration compensation. I would not have bought the lens without it
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:11   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Quote:
Originally Posted by AQ View Post
It is the 18-270 I was talking about I am not familiar with the 18-250. I have the 18-270 and it definitely has stabilisation built in. Tamron call it VC - vibration compensation. I would not have bought the lens without it
No problems I would not have thought with your Tamron unless it has a fault to cause the softness.Although I have found that at the 270mm end there is more errors than the focal lengths below 200mm.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:12   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Thank you so much for your advice and suggestions, it is good to know that I am not the only one that has this problem...

I feel that I will probably end up purchasing a faster lens once I have managed to save the BIG $$$ as my progress in photography has at times be limited by this frustrating issue.

Thanks again...

Cheers
Dean .
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:08   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian wright22 View Post
One thing that does frustrate me is that it appears quite common on the comments by Pixalo members and other sources that you can get a good or not so good version of a particular lens be it a "kit lens" or specialist lens.
Whatever happend to proper quality control.?.I don't remember this happening so much with the full frame lens's when used with the film SLR's.
You didnít get film photographers pixel peeping and discussing every minute detail of each photograph on forums in those days though. Your perception is probably different due to the different way film and digital pictures are processed and the ever increasing access to other photographers and comparisons that are available today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clickherephotographytips View Post
Thank you so much for your advice and suggestions, it is good to know that I am not the only one that has this problem...

I feel that I will probably end up purchasing a faster lens once I have managed to save the BIG $$$ as my progress in photography has at times be limited by this frustrating issue.

Thanks again...

Cheers
Dean .
I think you have completely missed the point, several people have pointed you in the right direction, Fiona, bain, P-E, Des Gardner all comment on the quality of their kit lenses but sejanus hit the nail on the head with the post quoted below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sejanus View Post
Before assuming that the kit lenses aren't good enough, take some pictures of static, hard edged subjects (brick buildings, aged timber, shiny motor cars; stuff like that) with the camera mounted on a solid tripod.

You may be agreeably surprised by how sharp the results are.

Do as he suggests and then post the results (along with the EXIF information) as P-E asked for, then the members with experience will be able to comment accordingly. It may just save you some money
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:22   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

For what it is worth, I was, and still am, very happy with my Nikkor 18-70 kit lens, so much so, that it was over a year before I added other lenses to my gear.

I can't deny that I don't use it much now, but that is because my other lenses do what I want rather than me not being satisfied with the performance of the 18-70.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:41   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Also don't forget that with some camera / lens combinations you really need to run an unsharp mask in photoshop or equivalent to get a really sharp looking image. I don't have to do that now with my 10D and 40D but when I used a 400D with kit lenses I did it on every picture and it made a massive difference.

The image processing is not the same in all camera - there is a reason why you pay more for some camera bodies over others as well as lenses.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:15   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Quote:
You didn’t get film photographers pixel peeping and discussing every minute detail of each photograph on forums in those days though.
There speaks one who never read the letters pages of Miniature Photography or Amateur Photographer!

The rows were just as vicious, even if the moderators (err, editors) chucked out the worst ones. I remember an argument about whether the Contarex or the Nikon was the best SLR system. That rumbled on for months and spread across three different magazines.

There are always those who will argue on the basis of too little knowledge and too much ego. I'm convinced that many such arguments stay on the servers because the site owners know that, up to a point, they'll generate more traffic. Not that any of the Pixalo Crew would be guilty of that level of cynicsm, perish the thought

Many people get much pleasure out of spending their money on the new, newer, newest super camera/lens combination and I say "good luck" to them. They're off the streets, keeping down the cost of new equipment and providing a steady source of little used and low cost second hand kit.
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Old 13-07-2009, 02:31   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Are Kit Lenses any good??

Quote:
Originally Posted by clickherephotographytips View Post
I have a Canon 350D Camera and when I purchased it I bought it in a kit
(cut)
I did try my Camera with a more expensive / faster lens and I found that it worked a treat...

If you have any advice or assistance I would really appreciate it...

Thanks
Dean .

... have you tried a swap for the same type lens?... it is quite possible that the lens you have may be faulty....
I had a similar deal when I bought my 350D, two lenses, that although are no where near the quality of **Expensive** camera gear, give excellent results that I can not fault on what I have.... one is the Canon 18-55, the other is a Sigma 200 zoom, both do what they say in the adverts, and have not had any "soft focus" problems that were not my fault, so I may be suspecting that your problem may not be an inherent fault with all the Canon 18-55 and 350D, so suspect a miss-match with maybe one camera camera and one lens?.....
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