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18-55 - should I expect more?


CSwinton
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I recently bought the X-T2 kit and had high expectations for the the 18-55 lens based on what I'd read and seen online.  I don't expect it to equal prime lenses but had hoped that, when stopped-down it would at least be competitive.  However, I've used the 10-24, 23mm f2, and 50mm f/2 and they're all significantly sharper and have better contrast than the kit lens even when stopping down to f/8 (especially outside of the center). Do others have experiences that are better than this with the kit lens?  I didn't think it was bad until I tried the other lenses...

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The 18-55 is my "don't leave home without it lens"  Honestly.  I have a boatload of primes, as you can see in my signature block but the 18-55 is tack sharp, corners are pretty good;  it's a very flexible lens.  I'm working on a project now that I shot down in the Outer Banks, my goal was to use my primes, so I packed everything and the kitchen sink into my backpack.  Guess what I used for 90% of my images?  The 18-55!  Then the 55-200, and a few, with the Zeiss 12mm.

The 18-55 may not be as sharp as the primes, but it's versatility, flexibility and sharpness make me reach for it especially when I don't want to be reaching for lenses -- such as in blowing sand, and salt water.  

 

If you got a bad copy, go get yourself a good one.  You won't be disappointed!

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As with the OP, I was left feeling unsatisfied with the lens in general. Mine was not particularly sharp. Or, maybe the better way to put is was that it was uninspiring on most categories while being acceptable in most as well. I have found the cheaper XC 16-50mm to offer more pleasing results in that zoom range. I realize it gives up light gathering but I don't use it in ways that that much matters. 

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different people expect different things, and although I am all for cheap rather than expensive ( I really like the 50-230), the 16-50 is not at par with my copy of the 18-55 ( mande in China b.t.w.)

 

The good news is that IF you like the 16-50, you can buy one for very little even less than the 18-55.

 

this the figures, 

 

 

http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x/853-fuji1650f3556?start=1

 

http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x/783-fuji1855f284?start=1

 

 


after you have seen those you can compare the lenses here 

 

http://fujifilmxmount.com/comparison/en/test-our-lenses/?o=XF18-55

 

http://fujifilmxmount.com/comparison/en/test-our-lenses/?o=XC16-50

Edited by milandro
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Took this one today on poorly lit room @ ISO 800 where the lens is the softest which is wide open f/4 at 55mm. Thank to to the OIS, I could shot this @ 1/15.
Straight out of famera, no editing. Sharp enough in my eyes. Last time I worried about sharpness, I had a Canon

33212018724_215d87de95_h.jpgDSCF2883 by Filip Hermelin, on Flickr

Edited by Hermelin
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  • 4 weeks later...

It is said that the Fujinon 18 - 55 mm is made in Japan ( see the Fujifilm leaflets ). My second  Fujinon 18 - 55 mm  is made in China !!!. 

Did you make identical photographes? Indoor, with fixed tripod and cable release. Non moving subject. Non changing lightconditions. Even electronic flash makes a lot of problems.With or without filter. Lensshade etc.

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Since people are posting images in not optimal conditions (wind, dark room) I'll also add a few in bright daylight ;-) If you post images you're not happy with people can see if it's something you should expect or not. The post is pretty old and no reactions so far so I guess the topic starter won't even see this though...

 

28847669095_cee81d4b3e_b.jpg

La Rocca by Licht Sluw, on Flickr

 

28538031560_ae039d1a23_b.jpg

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore by Licht Sluw, on Flickr

 

24060661924_8027bb47ce_b.jpg

Paleis voor Schone Kunsten by Licht Sluw, on Flickr

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The 18-55 is a versatile 'all-rounder' that offers great image quality in a compact package, but the microcontrast, sharpness and bokeh will never be similar to the 'specialized' prime lenses and more expensive 16-55. However, we're getting into pixel-peeping territory there, because the image quality of the 18-55 is sufficient for most situations and applications - even large prints.

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I am stubbornly sticking to an unfounded belief that Fujifilm will refresh their kit lens within a couple-three years. They will want it to be a compact zoom that does not compete with the 16-55, is much slower than the compact f/2.0 primes, yet still has enough attraction to convince people to replace the old kit lens.

 

While my magic 8-ball says to ask again later, I think it probably means to say, "Fujifilm is planning faster focusing, more compact size, WR, lower material cost, better IS, and similar IQ." However, when I ask if it will be announced in 2017 or 2018, the answer is invariably, "Don't count on it."

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The 18-55 is a versatile 'all-rounder' that offers great image quality in a compact package, but the microcontrast, sharpness and bokeh will never be similar to the 'specialized' prime lenses and more expensive 16-55. However, we're getting into pixel-peeping territory there, because the image quality of the 18-55 is sufficient for most situations and applications - even large prints.

 

Agreed. I've made (so far) prints up to 36 x 24 of images made with the 18-55 and they are fantastic!  Of course, there are many other factors that play into sharpness, and large print making:  Did you use a suitable support?  Was the camera locked down securely?  Did you use electronic shutter to avoid the minuscule camera shake?  Did you use optimal aperture?  Did you use the self-timer or a remote release?  Did you have any filters on the front of the lens that could potentially rob you of extra sharpness?   

There are many. many factors to consider when determining the sharpness of a lens as I, a pixel-peeper does, and/or making large prints.

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I've owned three and have never been particularly impressed with the IQ, especially in the corners. For a 'kit' lens it's a darn good one. Certainly better than the plastic things that Nikon and Canon sell in their kits. 

 

I really wanted to like the 18-55. I guess that's why I've purchased (and sold) three of them. If you become accustomed to the IQ from the Fuji primes, the 18-55 just doesn't cut it. If you want prime IQ and need a zoom, the 16-55 is really special. It's also big, heavy and expensive. But then, constant aperture, professional quality zooms always are. 

 

 

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Lack of sharpness is not really the issue for me. I find it plenty sharp. Its the lack of character that leaves the lens on the shelf for me.

 

 

My opinion as well.  Great lens but color saturation, micro contrast/character isn't comparable to good primes and the more expensive options.  The 16-55 did not disappoint me in this way, neither did the 50-140 but $$$.  

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