the kit lens on the 400D

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by shutterfingers, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. shutterfingers

    shutterfingers TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I am not too happy with the quality of the photographs (the sharpness mainly) I get with the kit lens that came with the 400D (the 18-55mm). Today it is the 18-55 IS which comes as the kit lens. Is this a better option? Would buying it make sense? Or is there another alternative because I would really like to get a better lens. Anybody else have any similar thoughts?

    Thanks.
    Mahesh
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The 18-55mm 'kit' lens...certainly isn't the best of lenses...but it's not that bad either. Especially when you stop it down to F8 or so.

    I don't know much about the new 'IS' version. I'm sure the IS will help, but the quality may not be any better.

    Can you show us some examples of shots that you are not happy with (along with the EXIF info)?

    A lot of people think that buying a new lens (or new anything) will help their photography dramatically...but the truth is that usually there is some user error or something else that is hindering them, not the gear. In which case, new gear doesn't solve the problem.
     
  3. Heck

    Heck TPF Noob!

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    I started with that lens and it gets sharp shots. I found out when I first started that I thought I was getting sharp photos when I was checking in the lcd but when I put them on the pc I found them not so sharp. I needed to work on my focus skills more. even with auto focus you can still mess up like I did.
     
  4. LeftyRodriguez

    LeftyRodriguez TPF Noob!

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    I own several lenses, but strangely enough, the kit lens still gets used a lot when I'm shooting. I just like the range on it, I guess, and can't justify spending the money on something with a similar range that will have a negligible (for the most part) impact on my image quality. Big Mike is right, though...f8-11 is a great sharp range for that lens. Also, technique DOES count for a lot as to how good your pics are, especially with this lens.
     
  5. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    It's almost always a good idea to shoot any kit lens at a mid-range setting of f 5.6, 8, or 11, simply because these are "KIT" lenses and therefore, by definition, not the highest quality glass or construction.

    So it's wise to use the sweet spot as often as possible.

    Beyond that, certainly, shooting technique is the single most important factor.

    And no matter what anyone says about the relative advantages of IS or VR or "L" series ... or whatever ... even the best equipment cannot make up for lack of camera handling skills and knowledge about aperture, shutter speed, white balance settings, etc.

    Used correctly, I agree, most kit lenses are perfectly adequate for most purposes. And sometimes they can deliver brilliant results. It all depends on - as usual - the photographer.
     
  6. Sarah23

    Sarah23 TPF Noob!

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    I have the same camera/lens...and at first I wasnt happy with it at all. I realized later it wasnt the lens at all, it was just me being a beginner. :) I would just wait and practice more and get to know that lens before you go and buy another one. Brilliant photos have been taken for years without all the newer technology that we have now...and while the new stuff is NICE and fun and helps sometimes, its not necessary. JMHO
     
  7. Foxtrot

    Foxtrot TPF Noob!

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    I haven't used my kit lens since I bought a new lens. The comparison in picture quality that you can get with a slightly more expensive lens is impressive....I always suggested to my customers...(used to sell DSLR)...Buy the most expensive lens you can, and spend the rest on the body...Now, that doesnt necessarily mean that a cheap body paired up with the best lens will give you great results, But if you already have an 18-55 mm lens, save your money, maybe buy yourself something with a little higher end with a larger aperature, maybe even a prime lens...although this is just my opinion. what you should think about is what you are shooting mostly, or what you would like to get into shooting...go from there...check www.dpreview.com and check them out side by side once you have narrowed your choices down...Thats what I used to tell all my customers (if they didnt take my word for it)...
    anyways....hope this helps...PM me if you have any questions for me
     
  8. shutterfingers

    shutterfingers TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Thanks a lot for the response. I guess I need to pay a little more attention to the technique and shooting in the 'sweet spot'. I have noticed however, that when I shoot at the lower wide angle end, I do get sharper images. I will try and post a few photographs that I think could have been better along with the exif for your comments.

    Thanks...
     
  9. shutterfingers

    shutterfingers TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Here is an example of a photograph that I feel could have been sharper (??). Please let me know what you think....

    Thanks...

    Here is the exif info:

    Shutter: 1/200
    Aperture: 8.0
    ISO: 200
    Shot with a Canon 400D 18-55 kit lens at 18.0 mm.



    [​IMG]
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's a bit hard to tell with a downsized image (maybe crop out a small section at 100% magnification)...but I don't think that this looks all that soft.

    I wouldn't call it completely tack sharp...but there are parts that look sharp enough.
     
  11. Heck

    Heck TPF Noob!

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    Im not a pro but from what I understand 200 shutter hand held you could have some shake. And at 18mm is not really the sweet spot for that lens. so with those 2 factors it might be the reason why its not tac sharp.
     
  12. rdompor

    rdompor TPF Noob!

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    Actually, I think that 1/200 seconds is definitely fast enough to eliminate camera shake.
     

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