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Best Lenses for the Money
If the skill of the photographer and the quality of the lenses have the greatest impact on picture quality (assuming a reasonable body) then which manufacturer makes the best, most reasonably priced lenses? Are there lens reviews on this site?..

Comments (31)

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

If the skill of the photographer and the quality of the lenses havethe greatest impact on picture quality (assuming a reasonable body)then which manufacturer makes the best, most reasonably pricedlenses? Are there lens reviews on this site?.

Well, the real answer is that each manufacturer has some really great lenses and some not so great lenses. It all depends on how much money you want to dish out..

'I reject your reality and substitute my own' -Adam Savagehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mrnoronha/sets/..

Comment #1

I am comparing the k10d and E-510 (and perhaps others.) I would like to keep costs down to about $800 total, body + lens, and I want to add an evaluation of lens quality into the equation before pulling the trigger on a camera purchase...

Comment #2

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

I am comparing the k10d and E-510 (and perhaps others.) I would liketo keep costs down to about $800 total, body + lens, and I want toadd an evaluation of lens quality into the equation before pullingthe trigger on a camera purchase..

Hi.

Now that is a different question..

All manufacturers have good and not so good lenses. Some very good ones are the same price as a small car. For $800 you are not going to get much more than the Camera and kit lens..

I think you could get the K10d and kit lens and may be lucky to have enough for a fa 50 1.4.....if not a mf 50 1.4.

I would suggest a good fast 50 because opticlly they are about as good as it gets and in dollar terms the best bang for buck going. You can pick up a manual focus one for a lot less..

Consider that a 50 1.4 was designed for 35mm and a 85 1.4 Pentax was also designed for 35mm, now the 50 1.4 will be a 75 1.4 (equiv) on the K10d (though it is still a 50 with the 50 dof) 50 1.4 on ebay K manual focus with around 2 days to go....currently less than $40 85 1.4 K mf just over 2 days..buy it now $1475guess which I would prefer..

Note Canon 50 1.8 is a good cheap lens if you went that way..

You have not said what you like to take pics of....Pentax makes some superb prime lenses (I would like a 77 1.8 ltd please over that 85 1.4 any day)..

Nikon and Canon are best for long teles but you could RENT one for a week or two for your budget..

Olympus also make great lenses plus you can use all other 4/3 lenses made and use others via an adapter with limitations..

ALL lenses will be stabilised on the Pentax.....SOME will be stabilised with the Oly...if the kit lenses are all you use then it is a tough choice..

There are lots of very good lenses for both so just get what you like the most in your hand..

Neil..

Comment #3

The Oly has body stabilization so all of the compatible lenses will be stabilized. I will be taking pictures of my newborn, family pictures, vacation pictures (from landscapes to dragonflies), and impromptu pictures at parties. I want a lens that will do it all well so I don't have to carry around other lenses. What about the Oly with the 18-180mm? Is that a good lens?..

Comment #4

I shoot Oly, so I'm most familiar with that line. There was a noticeable difference in sharpness, focusing speed and contrast when I went from the kit 14-45 to the $400US 14-54, plus I gained a little bit on the long end and some speed. So for me, it was worth the upgrade. But I have no interest in the new $1000US 12-60 for Oly. It's not significantly wider, longer or sharper than what I have now, and I haven't seen any pics that really knocked my socks off..

If you can swing it, I would get the E-510 and the 14-54, and skip the kits. It's a great all-around lens, and if you need some longer range, you can look for a used 40-150 v1 on eBay for around $250US, which is a great price for that lens (f3.5-4.5)..

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Http://www.pbase.com/jfinite..

Comment #5

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

The Oly has body stabilization so all of the compatible lenses willbe stabilized. I will be taking pictures of my newborn, familypictures, vacation pictures (from landscapes to dragonflies), andimpromptu pictures at parties. I want a lens that will do it allwell so I don't have to carry around other lenses. What about theOly with the 18-180mm? Is that a good lens?.

HI.

I do not know if that is a good lens...have a look in the Oly forum...my guess is it would be..

Regards stabilisation....yes the Oly has in body stabilisation, but it does not work with ALL lenses....I think it does with all 4/3 lenses but not adapted lenses, Pentax stabilises ALL K mount lenses and M42 scewmount lenses with adapter.....ANY lens ever made that will fit on the K10d will be stabilised....if it's longer than 800mm it will lose a little in efectiveness the further out you go..

Neil..

Comment #6

Taking into account your budget the best lenses for the money are the kit lenses..

In any case the kit lenses, much maligned as they are, are not actually bad lenses at all.

Some people seem to feel they have been "lumbered" with the kit lenses, whereas my own opinion is that they are perfectly good lenses, although certainly not great lenses..

I generally suggest to people that until they can answer the question "what does your kit lens not do for you ?" they do no need to consider a new lens..

Any entry level DSLR with any kit lens will outperform any P&S camera by miles. And if, indeed, you have never used a DSLR before bare in mind that generally they apply less sharpening to JPEGs from the camera on the factory settings than P&S cameras, so you are likely to want to tweak that setting before anything else. It's very common for people to ask if their camera is broken because they think it's out of focus when all it is is sharpening levels..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #7

You may find what you're looking for here, but they are very limited with the Olys and Pentax as you'll see.http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html.

You'll see why Nikon and Canon are more popular with their variety of glass not to mention the 3rd party lenses like Tamron and Sigma........Regards,Hank..

Comment #8

If "ultimate" image quality is not required the K10D with a Tamron 18-250 would provide you with excellent options - the Tamron recieves much praise especially considering it's focal range..

Personally I use the K10D (actually Samsung GX10) with a Sigma 17-70, big improvement over the kit lens.

Simon.

Http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com/.

North Wales photographs - Snowdonia & Anglesey..

Comment #9

The image quality of my Olympus kit 40 - 150 mm f/3.5 and my mid priced Oly 14 - 54 f/2.8. ( Weather sealed and excellent IQ for less than $400 USD). The kit tele is excellent as well, not weather sealed, but VERY sharp, far sharper than a kit lens needs to be to be considered acceptable.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #10

In absolute terms 50mm lenses tend to be the best bang for the buck. Lenses like canon or nikon's 50mm f1.8 are very affordable($70 and $110 respectivly) , very sharp and very fast..

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Comment #11

Are those Canon and Nikon lenses compatible my the E-510?..

Comment #12

Canon no - no way, nohow - Canon and 4/3s seem doomed to never play nice together.Nikon - Yes with an adapter, in manual mode only - no ISSTOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #13

Your very post title is a contradiction in itself, because BEST lenses are NOT cheap .

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

If the skill of the photographer and the quality of the lenses havethe greatest impact on picture quality (assuming a reasonable body)then which manufacturer makes the best, most reasonably pricedlenses? Are there lens reviews on this site?.

- Seriously though Sigma's good, and the reviews can be found here:.

Http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/.

Hope that helps?.

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #14

The reason I asked is because I am steering towards purchasing an E-510 as my first dslr, but I wanted to learn whether Olympus is a good lens manufacturer (or whether there are good 3rd party lenses for Oly's 4/3 system) for lens purchases down the road. I will probably purchase the kit that comes with two Oly lenses...

Comment #15

Olympus make excellent lenses. But there are limitations built in to the 4/3rds system. So it is the camera limitations that you need to consider. Generally, being a smaller sensor, they generate slightly more noise at high ISO. That may not be critical according to how you intend to use the camera. Of greater concern for me would be the lack of highlight dynamic range at all ISOs.

If you read the reviews on this site and elsewhere of the Oly cams and a few others the above will make sense..

If you are on a limited budget and that is likely to remain the position for the future then you may wish to have in mind that there is a plentiful supply of used AF lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. That is not the position with others makes..

Generally assume that lenses of one make will not fit another cam if that lens mfr also makes DSLRs (The only exception is Sigma)..

There are lens reviews at Photozone (link above) and SLRGear:.

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showcat.php/cat/2.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #16

Look at the on line portfolios of people who use your candidate cameras. Are they successfully producing the knd of quality photos you want to produce? If so, the camera and it's lenses are good enough. Then the only question is can you afford that camera?.

Photo.net is a good place to get such an overview. At the very least, you'll get to see some pretty good photography (AND some pretty awful too!)STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #17

You should judge a lens or it's own characteristics. Brand is no guide, as they all produce good, bad and indifferent lenses. Some cheaper lenses perform very well, and some expensive ones not as well as the makers would like you to think..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #18

Oly makes excellent lenses... even their kit lenses are good though a bit slow. Their 50mm F/2 macro prime is affordable, nearly flawless and has a good bokeh too (doubles as a nice portrait lens). They're mostly into zoom lenses though and their top of the line lenses are way too expensive for me. Their mid range lenses are also weather sealed (the E510 isn't though... only the E-1 and E-3 bodies are weather sealed), not too expensive and optically very good.

The Sigmas are good and reasonably priced, though the build quality isn't as good as Oly or Leica..

Pentax has some very good lenses too. Lots of nice primes including some tiny pancake primes. Not strong in telephotos but you can use a lot of older 35mm K mount lenses with the K10d too (not all are compatable so search the net before buying), and you will find far more equipment for macro or astrophotography (all Oly has for macro equipment at the moment is an extension tube and a few macro lenses). Judging by the posts in the Pentax forum some of their new zooms are starting to suffer some of the quality control issues that Canon has. But, judging by everything I've read, they make some very good glass too and their kit lenses are good... better than Canon and most Nikon (the one on their D40 is supposed to be fairly decent), but not as good as the Oly's kit lenses.



Kind of a toss-up really unless you have a need for primes or tele-zooms or something that will throw the decision one way or the other...

Comment #19

Sjgcit wrote:.

You should judge a lens or it's own characteristics. Brand is noguide, as they all produce good, bad and indifferent lenses..

Leica hasn't produced a bad lense yet - to my knowledge. The 14-150mm will either be the first 10+X zoom that is optically superb or the first Leica that is optically junk..

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #20

Timskis6 wrote:.

Sjgcit wrote:.

You should judge a lens or it's own characteristics. Brand is noguide, as they all produce good, bad and indifferent lenses..

Leica hasn't produced a bad lense yet - to my knowledge. The14-150mm will either be the first 10+X zoom that is optically superbor the first Leica that is optically junk..

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/.

Leitz makes the superb lenses for Leica bodies (as does Zeiss). Leica is the name of the camera body. I'm not certain that "Leica" lenses are Leitz lenses. I do know some manufacturer's have lenses that say "Leica". Possibly "Leica" lenses are a marketing stamp just as I believe Schneider lenses now are. Corrections to my understanding, with details are welcomed..

I probably being pedantic, but also trying to be accurate...

Comment #21

A pro would say the best lens for the money is the one that gets the shot that pays the bills. Most if not all 4/3 lenses are interchangeable, so you will be able to find something that catches your fancy..

If I'm not mistaken Leica is a 4/3's adopter, so if you really wanted to get a hi-end lens in the future you could drop a Leica lens on the front..

Richard Herbert, Monterey CAStandout from conformity, 'Only a dead fish swims with the current.'..

Comment #22

Thank you. So my follow-up questions is: since I've decided to purchase the E-510, should I go with the two kit lenses because they are so inexpensive and a good value or should I purchase the body only and buy another reasonably priced lens that I could use for 95% of the shots I take (I intend to take pictures of my baby-to-be, vacation pictures (landscapes to dragonflies) and friends and family at parties..

What should I do?..

Comment #23

Http://www.popphoto.com/...st-olympus-zuiko-digital-14-42mm-f35-56-ed-af.html.

Compare to the Leica equivalent http://www.popphoto.com/...ar-14-50mm-f38-56-af-specifications-sqf-page2.html.

The kit lenses are very small and light (easy to carry) and have very good optics and you can get both for dirt cheap in the 2 lens kit. They will get you going. Adding the FL 36 or 36r (or FL50 which is bigger and heavier but more powerful and recycles faster) flash would be a good idea too (the flashes have an auto-focus assist light, which eliminates the strobing of the pop-up flash in low light). Later you can add goodies like the 50mm macro if you want a fast f/2 portrait lens http://www.popphoto.com/...s-test-olympus-zuiko-digital-50mm-f2-af-macro.html.

One of the 24 or 30mm f1.4 or f1.8 Sigma or Leica normal lenses or a faster zoom as money allows. (the the 50mm will run about $400)..

Comment #24

They're pretty good lenses, I eventually replaced the 14 - 45 that came with my E500 2 lens kit, but the 40 - 150 tele is as good as a cheap lens can get. I see no reason to upgrade it for the light duty I give it..

And there is a lower cost of entry with the kits. If after you get the E510, and you discover it just isn't for you; you still won't have a lot of money invested. You'll feel more comfortable selling it off to get something else. (I doubt this will occur, but hey, you never know for sure)..

Also, sinking a lot of money into lenses doesn't make a lot of sense to me until you are pretty certain you know where you want to go photographically. What if you sink another $300 - $400 into a 14 -54 or $900 into a 12 - 60 and THEN you realize your real interest is in birds or super wide angle stuff?.

As I see it, the kits will give you good images and still let you explore inexpensively.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #25

Glen Barrington wrote:.

...Also, sinking a lot of money into lenses doesn't make a lot of senseto me until you are pretty certain you know where you want to gophotographically. What if you sink another $300 - $400 into a 14 -54or $900 into a 12 - 60 and THEN you realize your real interest is inbirds or super wide angle stuff?.

Sound advice from Glenn. Unless you are about to embark on a once in a life-time world cruise or something take your time reading up on and buying lenses..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #26

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

(I intend to take pictures of my baby-to-be,vacation pictures (landscapes to dragonflies) and friends and familyat parties..

What should I do?.

From this, it seems to be the case that you may not need a long telephoto lens. So instead of going with the 2 kit lenses, you may want to buy a 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 and enjoy the benefits: faster maximum aperture (having the side benefit of giving the AF sensors more light to work in any given lighting), higher magnification for closeups (needed for dragonflies), much less distortion at wide-angle..

Here are a couple of shots taken with this lens, to illustrate how it suits your listed needs:.

Kids.

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Landscape.

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Dragonfly .

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Family party.

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Comment #27

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=26315736.

The Oly 2 kit lens deal looks good. I personally prefer the options available for Pentax, especially the world class fixed focal length lenses. The great backward compatability opens up a lot more choices too...

Comment #28

K1000Photographer wrote:.

The Oly 2 kit lens deal looks good. I personally prefer the optionsavailable for Pentax, especially the world class fixed focal lengthlenses. The great backward compatability opens up a lot more choicestoo..

I like the Pentax philosophy of backward compatibility, but I shall point out that any K-mount lens can be used on the E-510 too, via an adapter. Metering works (all five modes), though image stabilisation and focus confirmation does not...

Comment #29

I have heard that the metering does not work that well. Maybe I was told something wrong. I do use a variety of PK mount lenses of various types on my Pentax DSLR with excellent metering at all aperture settings. An old M or K lens stays wide open during framing and focusing. It will not continually meter like "modern" A and newer lenses but will meter when asked by pushing the AEL button under ones right thumb. It is not clunky at all but it actually is easier to do than the metering on my K1000. The Stabilization will also work but one needs to enter the focal length...

Comment #30

Olympus Kit lenses are the best around. Only Panasonic DSLR kit lens (Leica make) is slightly better than that..

The more serious shortcoming of Olympus is on DR and noise. But if you shoot Raw and in good light then not much to bother..

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

The reason I asked is because I am steering towards purchasing anE-510 as my first dslr, but I wanted to learn whether Olympus is agood lens manufacturer (or whether there are good 3rd party lensesfor Oly's 4/3 system) for lens purchases down the road. I willprobably purchase the kit that comes with two Oly lenses..

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #31

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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