How good is the D50 18-55 kit lens, really?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by per, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. per

    per Guest

    I have seen several test shots where the 18-55 kit lens looks a bit soft,
    almost like the Canon kit lens.
    So far only this site has samples that look sharp enough:
    http://www.digitalreview.ca/cams/NikonD50vsD70SvsXT_images.shtml

    Compare this pic from a Nikon D50 with the 18-70:
    http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/parts/image_for_link/23998-1651-24-1.html
    with this D50 using the 18-55:
    http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/parts/image_for_link/24005-1651-29-1.html
    The 18-55 just does not cut it here, or what do you think?

    /per
     
    per, Jun 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. per

    Sheldon Guest

    The lens that comes with the D70 gets better reviews, but there are a lot of
    things that can effect what you are seeing. Nikon has a portrait mode that
    can soften the picture a bit, and a fill flash can sharpen things up a lot.
    I have no idea how these shots were taken.
     
    Sheldon, Jun 26, 2005
    #2
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  3. Compare these images on dcresource.com:

    D70s with 18-70mm lens:
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/nikon/d70s-review/DSC_0072.JPG
    D50 with 18-55mm lens:
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/nikon/d50-review/DSC_0155.JPG

    Look particularly at the archway on the right, with the brightly lit
    background.

    I think there's quite a difference. I also think the two cameras use the
    same sensor, so that's not the reason for the difference.
     
    Andrew Koenig, Jun 26, 2005
    #3
  4. per

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Well ... one difference is that they were taken at different
    times. Look how far the sunlit area comes in from the arches. If the
    cameras both had their clocks properly set, we have the D70s image taken
    at:

    Shooting Date/Time : 2005:05:11 15:43:14

    and the D50 taken at:

    Shooting Date/Time : 2005:06:22 16:25:10

    so the illumination was different.

    Also, one difference between the ewo is the "Exposure
    Compensation:" field

    Exposure Compensation : 0 D70s
    Exposure Compensation : -1/3 D50

    Not much. Just 1/3 of a stop, if I read that right -- but the quality
    of the light was different at the two different times.

    For a proper comparison, they should have both been taken at the
    same instant -- or at least within say five minutes (if we don't have
    clouds moving in front of the sun).

    Enjoy,
    DoN.
     
    DoN. Nichols, Jun 26, 2005
    #4
  5. per

    per Guest

    Thanks for the link,
    It's a case of severe purple fringing versus virtually no purple fringing, I
    don't think a different hour will change that very much.
    The thread "Some 350D - D70 photos to compare ;-)", also tells me the 18-70
    is a great lens.
    Also, most test pics show warmer color tones from D50 than from D70/70s.
    More in line with the Canon Digital Rebel XT color tones, which I like more
    than the colder color tones of the D70.
    I lean towards buying a D50 with an 18-70 lens.
    /per
     
    per, Jun 27, 2005
    #5
  6. I wonder why they weren't taken at the same time. Judging by the
    shadows on the pillars the second one was probably taken 2 or 3 hours
    after the first picture. Also the D-70 picture has a palm tree
    blocking much of the glare in the first arch. That could really
    affect the exposure and account for a lot of the differences.

    Scott Peterson
     
    Scott Peterson, Jun 27, 2005
    #6
  7. per

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Looking more closely at the exif info in the two images, I
    discover that not only were they taken at different times, but also
    different *months*.

    D70s Shooting Date/Time : 2005:05:11 15:43:14
    D50 Shooting Date/Time : 2005:06:22 16:25:10

    That difference of 1-1/3 months could account for differences in the
    illumination as well.

    Of course -- this presumes that the clocks in the cameras were
    both properly set, and if these were on loan for testing, we have no
    certainty of that. I suspect that only someone who *owns* the camera
    will bother to set the clock properly.

    Enjoy,
    DoN.
     
    DoN. Nichols, Jun 27, 2005
    #7
  8. per

    frederick Guest

    I don't disagree but you should consider:

    You can very easily change the white balance setting on the D70 to give
    warmer / cooler results. (Press WB button and rotate front command dial)

    The 18-70 is a great lens - with some drawbacks:
    It does vignette when shooting wide at full aperture.
    It does not focus very close at all - 38cm minimum.
    The zoom action is not very linear - and not very nice to use.
    The supplied bayonet mounted hood is useless with a polarising filter
    fitted.

    I have read that it can be a bit soft at the wide end of it's range. If
    so, then I haven't seen that - but I don't have anything to directly
    compare it with.

    I have no idea what the 18-55 is really like, but it is a lot less
    expensive, smaller, focuses closer, and apparently the zoom action is
    linear. Negatives are a rotating front element (a complete pain in the
    backside when using a polarising filter), and apparently not a proper
    Silent Wave Motor mechanism (ie - you can't override AF by rotating the
    focus ring), and has a tiny focusing ring.
     
    frederick, Jun 27, 2005
    #8
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