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Quality of DSLR lenses
Hi there, first posting..

I have used a non-digital SLR for years, Pentax ME Super and want to buy a DSLR. I had a Lumix FZ30 but was really disappointed with sharpness of the images, under most conditions. I thought the Leica lens would be really sharp, and I am a photoshop unsharp mask user..

I've seen a lot of reviews of DSLRs and they all talk about build quality and resolution but nothing really about lens quality..

I always assumed the quality (I mean sharpness here) of a photo depended on the quality of the lens. This is never apparently mentioned in reviews, I guess they are just refering to the standard lenses..

So my question is, are lens that come with DSLRs any good?.

E.g I am considering D80 with 18-135 mm or a Pentax K10D with standard lens. Or maybe even an Olympus 510..

In reviews here, I can't usually see a great deal of difference between similar cameras on sharpness in the photographic test and comparisons..

Another question then, if I had any of those three bodies and bought more expensive lenses than standard, would there be a marked quality improvement?.

I do a bit of writing for fishing magazines and want digital photos that remind me of the quality of my old SLR. My old Pentax and Tamron lenses would fit the K10D but is that a good way to go? I don't care about Autofocus too much, but it would be nice..

So last question, taking the above into account, would it be K10D, D80, 510 or even a Canon of some description?.

Thanks for your patience reading this long post.Andrew..

Comments (28)

Over the decades lenses have had the benefit of computer design and modern materials and processes, and with the smaller sensor of most DSLRs (except for the Canon FF models or the new Nikon D3) meaning a smaller image circle is required... all of it has added up to where even relatively inexpensive zoom lenses can deliver decent quality..

IMO current DSLRs and lenses are so far ahead of their 1970's ancestors for the beginner that what once were arguing points now have become moot..

Buy what you like, what either feels good to you or encourages you to take more photos..

-gt..

Comment #1

Andrew Lindsay wrote:.

... I've seen a lot of reviews of DSLRs and they all talk about buildquality and resolution but nothing really about lens quality..

I always assumed the quality (I mean sharpness here) of a photodepended on the quality of the lens. This is never apparentlymentioned in reviews, I guess they are just refering to the standardlenses..

So my question is, are lens that come with DSLRs any good?.

If you read the reviews on this site you will see that DSLRs are tested with a mfrs 50mm f/1.4 prime or similar to ensure that it is the camera that is being tested and results are not affected significantly by the lens..

If you want lens tests try:.

Http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html.

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

Http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/lenstests (mainly Canon).

Http://www.bythom.com/nikon.htm (mainly Nikon & not just lenses).

E.g I am considering D80 with 18-135 mm or a Pentax K10D withstandard lens. Or maybe even an Olympus 510..

... Another question then, if I had any of those three bodies and boughtmore expensive lenses than standard, would there be a marked qualityimprovement?.

Yes. Quality glass shows but is expensive. Check out the reviews..

I do a bit of writing for fishing magazines and want digital photosthat remind me of the quality of my old SLR. My old Pentax and Tamronlenses would fit the K10D but is that a good way to go? I don't careabout Autofocus too much, but it would be nice..

The viewfinders on DSLRS are not as good as 35mm because of the 1.5x crop. That makes it more difficult to manual focus. If you have a pentamirror rather than superior pentaprism that adds to the problems. I would expect an Olympus with it's 2x crop to be more difficult than a Nikon. You might succeeed on a tripod with still life but taking family photos would be difficult. So most of your lenses would have limited use.

Your 35-80 zoom would become an unfriendly 53-120mm. So you would need a decent wide zoom for a walk around. So I would place very liitle weight on you present lenses unless you have a decent macro and maybe some primes..

So last question, taking the above into account, would it be K10D,D80, 510 or even a Canon of some description?.

I would avoid the 510 because of the 2x crop..

When I bought it was a toss up between the D80 and K10D but there were no reviews of the K10D so I chose the D80. I would still do so. Read the review on this site carefully and this one:.

Http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/K10D/K10DA.HTM.

Remember also you are buying a system. Look at what else the system offers in particular room for expansion. The Nikons have the best flash system by a mile for example..

Two final comments:.

A) Pay attention to dynamic range figures at the ISO you will use. They are still not quite as good as film negative (The 510 is particularly poor).

B) Try them hands on in a store. Ergonomics are very important and you get to check the viewfinder..

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #2

Andrew Lindsay wrote:.

I always assumed the quality (I mean sharpness here) of a photodepended on the quality of the lens. This is never apparentlymentioned in reviews, I guess they are just refering to the standardlenses..

Digital has changed everything. With a film SLR, the body plays almost no part in image quality, it depends on the lens and of course the film, processing and printing. With digital, the sensor is obviously critical, and the camera electronics which process the image are no less important. Also, whereas the vast majority of 'proper' cameras were 35 mm, there is now a range from sensor sizes. The smallest DSLR sensors are only half the size of 35 mm 'full frame' (half the width and height, quarter the area). The most popular DSLRs from Nikon and Canon have sensors which measure full frame divided by 1.5 and 1.6 respectively.



Everything has become more complex - the 'hands on preview' of the Nikon D3 reminds us, for example, that their pro digital body of 1999 had just 5 focus points (barely more than my mid-range film camera in 1990 which had 3) but the latest announcements have 51! There is an entire digital processing lab on board, and a complex user interface. None of this in any way reduces the importance of lenses, but it creates a whole new subject for reviews...

Comment #3

Welcome..

You got some good answers already, but....

Andrew Lindsay wrote:.

Hi there, first posting..

So my question is, are lens that come with DSLRs any good?.

There are some good lenses and some bad lenses. In general, a lens is as good as it's price. The "kit" lenses that are bundled with many camera bodies are usually sub-$100 lenses and are often rather poor (and SLOW). Cheap lenses are also often totally plastic. I like plastic, but some things need to be metal, like the filter threads on the front and the bayonet on the back!.

In reviews here, I can't usually see a great deal of differencebetween similar cameras on sharpness in the photographic test andcomparisons..

That's true. Most reviews of dSLRs are testing the body, not the lens. Most comparable cameras have very similar IQ. I like the lens tests on SLRgear.com..

Another question then, if I had any of those three bodies and boughtmore expensive lenses than standard, would there be a marked qualityimprovement?.

Yes, but not everybody can see these differences. The differences are usually edge/corner sharpness, CA, and geometric distortion..

So last question, taking the above into account, would it be K10D,D80, 510 or even a Canon of some description?.

I like them in the order you listed them. BUT (this is IMPORTANT), go handle the candidates. Larger cameras fit my hands, but you may like smaller camera bodies. The VF is important, so look through all of them too..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #4

I may be stating the obvious but if you get the K10D you can use the same lenses as you use with your Pentax ME Super..

The 50mm standard lens becomes a very nice portrait lens due to the crop factor..

Dave..

Comment #5

Thanks everyone for the very comprehensive answers, been looking at some of those lens reviews..

Cheers,Andrew..

Comment #6

They're all good compared to a p&s.Many of them are much better stopped down to f/8 or so.There's very little correlation between price and sharpness.Many have distortion that needs to be corrected post-process..

My opinions:.

Nikon18-55 great17-55 very good18-70 very good18-135 very good, has distortion18-200VR needs stopped down for good quality, has distortion, CA.

Canon18-55 good17-85IS very good.

I'm only talking about image quality. Some of them have other advantages due to zoom range, image stabilization, or large aperture...

Comment #7

Chuxter says:.

They're all poor compared to a good prosumer or bridge. Unfortunately, most prosumers have tiny sensors that make the lens quality null..

All lenses are much better stopped down to f/8 or so..

There's very little correlation between price and center sharpness,.

But when you consider distortions and edge/corner sharpness the correlation is there..

My opinions:.

Nikon18-55 good17-55 so-so18-70 so-so18-135 poor, has distortion18-200VR very poor; use f:8 or smaller for so-so quality; has distortion, CA.

Canon18-55 poor17-85IS so-so.

I'm only talking about image quality. Some of them have otherdisadvantages due to small/large zoom range, IS/VR, or small aperture..

If you want great IQ,.

1. Get a prime or a short-back-focus zoom2. Avoid "kit" lenses3. Avoid IS/VR4. Shun zoom ratios above 5X (for 1.5-1.6 mag ratio cameras).

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #8

The Olympus models currently sold have a live view on the back which can be magnified 10x to help with sharp manual focus..

Having said that, I have a Vivitar 75-205 f/3.8 (which is a 150-410 on my E-510) and I have no problem with focus through the viewfinder. I find that some lenses are just easier than others to manually focus. Also, with the E-series, there are many adapters on eBay for all sorts of lenses - even Mamiya 645 lenses! With a minor modification, Konica lenses snap right on without an adapter. I'm using that Vivitar as my long lens until I can afford the Real Thing. BTW, it cost me $15.51 on eBay..

Jim..

Comment #9

Good coatings and CAD have been around for 30 years. It is just a matter of how much did the lens maker want to do a good job..

What lenses do you have? I have about a dozen lenses for my Pentax DS and my old primes are as good or better than anything out there today. Zooms have improved, especially on the shorter end...

Comment #10

To add to my post of 3 days ago I should perhaps have said that the Photozone test of different brands are not directly comparable. They are tests on a particular camera..

For Canon it is the 350D. For Nikon it is the D200. The lens tests give different values by way of available maximum resolution according to the resolution of the camera. Thus the top end of Excellent for Nikon is 2250 and top end for Canon is 2150..

If you look at the Sigma 17-70 which is common to both you will see what I mean:.

Http://www.photozone.de/.../8Reviews/lenses/sigma_1770_2845_nikon/index.htm.

Http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_1770_2845/index.htm.

They adjust the graphs to allow for this but if you simply compare numbers across the two brands it is meaningless..

But compare the Sony 18-70 with the Nikon 18-70 - both being kit lenses and on a 10Mpixel camera and they are directly comparable (and show quite a difference)..

Curiously I notice that the Pentax resolution tests go to 2350 for Excellent and the Olympus (8 Mpixel) go to 1800 for Excellent!.

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #11

Andrew Lindsay wrote:.

I've seen a lot of reviews of DSLRs and they all talk about buildquality and resolution but nothing really about lens quality..

Yes they mostly come with somewhat inferior kit lenses, to keep prices down. If your choices were purely on the basis of lens quality, you ought look harder at Olympus lenses.

I always assumed the quality (I mean sharpness here) of a photodepended on the quality of the lens. This is never apparentlymentioned in reviews, I guess they are just refering to the standardlenses..

So my question is, are lens that come with DSLRs any good?.

Unusually heres a review of an Olympus kit lens.

Http://www.popphoto.com/...st-olympus-zuiko-digital-14-42mm-f35-56-ed-af.htmlor the Canon kit lensblocked URLtip: where URL is banned 'due to spam"hit quote button and the address will be revealed.

Even Olympus kit lenses are recognised as the best kit lenses. In other worlds Canon probably have the worst kit lens. You could consider an E510 and twin lens kit (very good value) If your needs were another dSLR, you might be better off with a 'body only' purchase and choose another lens..

E.g I am considering D80 with 18-135 mm or a Pentax K10D withstandard lens. Or maybe even an Olympus 510..

In reviews here, I can't usually see a great deal of differencebetween similar cameras on sharpness in the photographic test andcomparisons..

Then you need to look harder, or look at another more sophisticated reviewcheck out corner sharpness, particularly wide openblocked URL.

And some Canon for comparisonblocked URLtip: where URL is banned 'due to spam"hit quote button and the address will be revealed.

Another question then, if I had any of those three bodies and boughtmore expensive lenses than standard, would there be a marked qualityimprovement?.

I do a bit of writing for fishing magazines and want digital photosthat remind me of the quality of my old SLR. My old Pentax and Tamronlenses would fit the K10D but is that a good way to go? I don't careabout Autofocus too much, but it would be nice..

Being the digital are crop sensors, the viewfinders are smaller and harder to use with manual focus lenses. It can be ok for fun with an economically gained lens, but it's a chore in common use..

So last question, taking the above into account, would it be K10D,D80, 510 or even a Canon of some description?.

On the basis of optical qualities, Olympus E-510other considerations would weight it differently.

Thanks for your patience reading this long post.Andrew.

Riley.

Real men get zippo haircuts..

Comment #12

To be honest I was disappointed in the quality of the 18-55 kit lens & replaced it with the Sigma 17-70 which is in a completely different league - sharpness/contrast & build quality are excellent.

Http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com/.

North Wales photographs - Snowdonia & Anglesey..

Comment #13

If you like your existing lenses, especially if they are -A or later, get the K10D and one good wide lens to compensate for the crop factor..

Rriley wrote:.

Being the digital are crop sensors, the viewfinders are smaller andharder to use with manual focus lenses. It can be ok for fun with aneconomically gained lens, but it's a chore in common use..

The K10D has a remarkably good viewfinder for a crop DSLR. AF provides focus confirmation...

Comment #14

I agree. The DA18-55 is about as good as it gets for kit lenses but it is no match for the Sigma 17-70...

Comment #15

Kpschoedel wrote:.

If you like your existing lenses, especially if they are -A or later,get the K10D and one good wide lens to compensate for the crop factor..

Rriley wrote:.

Being the digital are crop sensors, the viewfinders are smaller andharder to use with manual focus lenses. It can be ok for fun with aneconomically gained lens, but it's a chore in common use..

The K10D has a remarkably good viewfinder for a crop DSLR. AFprovides focus confirmation..

Yes it does, and the best ergonomics too...

Comment #16

The K10D has a remarkably good viewfinder for a crop DSLR. AFprovides focus confirmation..

Yes it does, and the best ergonomics too..

So how do I change White Balance?.

Oh and how many 200mm + AF zooms are there to chose from? How many primes?.

I suppose the OP does open the can of worms with his last comment but let him read the lens reviews and make up his own mind..

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #17

So how do I change White Balance?.

As I understand it, the notable differences between white balance controls on the D80 and K10D are (1) the K10D takes two button presses, rather than one on the D80, to bring up the white balance menu, (2) the K10D has a blue-amber / green-magenta grid to fine-tune white balance, and (3) the K10D doesn't encrypt the white balance information..

Oh and how many 200mm + AF zooms are there to chose from? How manyprimes?.

I don't know what the OP wants the camera for; I just noted that if he's satisfied with his current lenses, he doesn't need to spend any money at the long end...

Comment #18

If you shoot raw, white balance doesn't really matter...

Comment #19

Chuxter wrote:.

Chuxter says:They're all poor compared to a good prosumer or bridge..

Well, the Sony R-1 isn't "a good prosumer or bridge," it's by far the best one ever made. And even it doesn't blow away most DSLR's. And, it's no longer made with no obvious successor. Same with the prosumer Nikons. Canon is still making high-end p&s, but their IQ is easily inferior to DSLR's..

If you really need to see the pores in people's skin, get a 35 or 50mm prime, otherwise, the better zoom lenses do great...

Comment #20

Greg Nut wrote:.

Chuxter wrote:.

Chuxter says:They're all poor compared to a good prosumer or bridge..

Well, the Sony R-1 isn't "a good prosumer or bridge," it's by far thebest one ever made. And even it doesn't blow away most DSLR's..

In many ways, it is the F828 with a bigger sensor/lens. That's both good and bad. The IQ is better due to the larger sensor and CZ T* lens. But in other ways, it works like the same old F828. .

The CZ T* 14.3mm - 71.5mm f:2.8 - 4.8 lens is superb. As I said, it's better than any comparable dSLR zoom. Even better than the apparently similar CZ T* 16mm - 80mm f:3.5 - 4.5 lens..

And,it's no longer made with no obvious successor. Same with theprosumer Nikons. Canon is still making high-end p&s, but their IQ iseasily inferior to DSLR's..

That's because they are not really high-end prosumer offerings..

If you really need to see the pores in people's skin, get a 35 or50mm prime, otherwise, the better zoom lenses do great..

I agree, but my point was (and is) that short-back-focus lenses used on cameras w/o mirrors are often better than the long-back-focus lenses required to clear the mirror. This is especially true of WA lenses...but with a zoom that goes from WA to short tele, the designer has to compromise to get acceptable IQ at the WA end...resulting in less performance at the tele end too..

Doubt this? Read the lens reviews..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #21

Andrew Lindsay wrote:.

I've seen a lot of reviews of DSLRs and they all talk about buildquality and resolution but nothing really about lens quality..

If you want build quality, wait for the coming Olympus body. It will be introduced soon. It will have all the features the E-510 has, including in body IS, Live view and the well proven, needed and working SSWF. Not only that, but much more. When it comes to build quality, the camera will be a weather sealed one. Olympus already has all the lenses most people need, and not only that, but in weather sealed, pro grade quality.

Many others use plastic elements, as far as I know, olympus still uses high quality glass elements, but the kit zooms have plastic tubes and the latest ones even plastic flange..

Since you are interested in fishing, you will probably use the camera in a tougher environment than may others here do. I think you'd appreciate the build quality and the weather sealing which you can't get from any other brand at the moment. AFAIK, the Nikon D200 is weather sealed, but they have no weather sealed lenses, so there is no point to have a weather sealed body. Other than that, the super sonic cleaner used in Olympus cameras is well proven and working, saving us a lot of money and trouble, since most of Olympus users don't even know how to clean a CCD, because they don't have to..

I always assumed the quality (I mean sharpness here) of a photodepended on the quality of the lens. This is never apparentlymentioned in reviews, I guess they are just refering to the standardlenses..

I don't usually read previews because there is a very limited value in them. Most reviewers are biased in one way or the other, so they emphasize what they like and miss or don't mention serious and important issues. This is usually the case also here, when ppl say don't get Olympus because of the 2x crop factor. I say, they don't know what they are talking about, probably never had and Olympus camera in their hands and just repeat something they have heard. Yes, the lens is what makes the biggest difference. It does not matter if the D80 has better DR than the E-510 if you have a lesser quality lens on the D80.

I believe, every dSLR is good enough. You have to decide how much you want to spend and compare what you get for that money. I believe, if you don't have unlimited budget and plan for the future digital lenses, Olympus is a camera you should have, since it still is the best quality for the money. I also believe the pro grade lenses of Oly are cheaper than pro grade lenses of any other brand..

End of part one.

Http://www.olyflyer.blogspot.com/.

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Comment #22

Olyflyer wrote:.

....

Many others use plastic elements, as far as I know, olympus still uses high qualityglass elements, but the kit zooms have plastic tubes and the latestones even plastic flange..

Where on earth did you pick up that load of nonsense?.

Plastic bodies and lens mounts yes but plastic elements? In a DSLR lens? Perhaps you would care to take us to a link that will confirm that?.

By all means display tribal loyalty to what I presume is you brand ("My gang is better than your gang" etc etc) but please ground your comments in fact..

I don't usually read previews because there is a very limited valuein them. Most reviewers are biased in one way or the other, so theyemphasize what they like and miss or don't mention serious andimportant issues. This is usually the case also here, when ppl saydon't get Olympus because of the 2x crop factor. I say, they don'tknow what they are talking about, probably never had and Olympuscamera in their hands and just repeat something they have heard..

How do you suggest a newbie makes a choice if reviews are biased and they cannot trust the comments of people posting here?Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #23

Here come part two, for those who care to read..

Andrew Lindsay wrote:.

So my question is, are lens that come with DSLRs any good?.

Yes for Olympus, I can't say anything else about the other brand. Olympus kit zooms are know for high quality compared to other kit zooms. On the other hand, just a snap up from the kit zooms and you immediately are in a different world..

E.g I am considering D80 with 18-135 mm or a Pentax K10D withstandard lens. Or maybe even an Olympus 510..

In reviews here, I can't usually see a great deal of differencebetween similar cameras on sharpness in the photographic test andcomparisons..

Another question then, if I had any of those three bodies and boughtmore expensive lenses than standard, would there be a marked qualityimprovement?.

I do a bit of writing for fishing magazines and want digital photosthat remind me of the quality of my old SLR. My old Pentax and Tamronlenses would fit the K10D but is that a good way to go? I don't careabout Autofocus too much, but it would be nice..

Economically, I think the best for you should be the K10D if your lenses are of high quality. Remember, there are some nice 35mm film lenses which perform well on a film camera but poorly on digital. If you don't care about your own lenses, but want a good system with possibilities for using 35mm film lenses as well, than I think the next best is the E-510. There are many OM lenses in very nice condition for a cheap price. Get the MF-1 and you are fit for every type of photography for a cheap price. If you want to use other lens brand than OM, there are adapters for every brand and bayonet except Canon..

So last question, taking the above into account, would it be K10D,D80, 510 or even a Canon of some description?.

IMHO, the order of consideration should be: K10D, E-510, D80 and Canon, assuming you are happy with your lenses today, if not, change place with the E-510. Consider also weight. There is no point having a nice and heavy camera gear which you keep in the cupboard, because the body, or the lenses are too heavy. When I left the film era behind me, I ordered my camera without even having held any dSLR in my hands. I was surprised by the extra weight and the size difference between my old film camera and my dSLR. Today, after more than 1.5 years, I am really happy I haven't got myslef into Nikon, which was my alternative.

Of course, I did not check my film camera together with a winder, which should be the right way of comparing weight, and in that case the E-500 wins..

I am convinced that all dSLRs are high quality today, and everything depends on the lens and the photographer, so don't care about the brand of body. Try to decide the future plans for your system, how ready are you to learn the camera, how do you plan to use it. Many try to use a dSLR as a p&s and are dissatisfied by the camera. A dSLR needs a different kind of thinking, it is not a p&s on steroids. Consider your own lens roadmap for the future. Even if you can buy one good lens today, can you afford to buy the next? Would the bag become too heavy for your comfort? Would the in body image stabilizer be of any help, or you prefer to carry a tripod? Do you consider you are often out in wet weather, in high humidity, maybe even under rainy days?.

What do I use today? E-500 with kit zooms 14-45, 40-150, pro grade ED50 f/2.0 macro, 14-54, Zuiko OM 35mm f/2.8, Zuiko OM 100mm f/2.8, Tokina OM 400mm f/4.5, macro bellows, a modified EX-25 + a lot more macro gear, FL-50, T32 and five other flashes plus a few other things. Am I happy with it? Yes and no. There are always some pros and some cons of all systems. I am definitely going to replace my camera with the coming E-P1 (some call it E-3) if I can afford it. I am happy with the system generally, definitely with the pro grade lenses and the 40-150. Also my OM lenses are superfine and very sharp.

Why am I going to replace the camera? Mainly for the weather sealing. Over the year I realized the need for that. I see that as a real big advantage if I don't have to hide my camera in plastic bags and hope for the best, like it is with most cameras. Of course, forget about lens changing if it is raining, but that is solvable..

Thanks for your patience reading this long post..

You are welcome. I wish you luck with your choise, not easy, I know that, I've been there. I think the most important is to remember not to listen to any of us here. We are all biased, including myself..

Http://www.olyflyer.blogspot.com/.

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Comment #24

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Olyflyer wrote:.

....

Many others use plastic elements, as far as I know, olympus still uses high qualityglass elements, but the kit zooms have plastic tubes and the latestones even plastic flange..

Where on earth did you pick up that load of nonsense?.

Plastic bodies and lens mounts yes but plastic elements? In a DSLRlens? Perhaps you would care to take us to a link that will confirmthat?.

Maybe true, maybe not. I have no idea, because I don't have information on all brands, and not even pretending that I have tested and know everything. Just something I have heard, fact remains that many kit zooms are of poor quality, the reason for that is not really important..

By all means display tribal loyalty to what I presume is you brand("My gang is better than your gang" etc etc) but please ground yourcomments in fact..

Which gang? Maybe you should have waited for the second part, where I state ALL dSLRs are good, but I say get the K10D first, which is definitely not my gang..

I don't usually read previews because there is a very limited valuein them. Most reviewers are biased in one way or the other, so theyemphasize what they like and miss or don't mention serious andimportant issues. This is usually the case also here, when ppl saydon't get Olympus because of the 2x crop factor. I say, they don'tknow what they are talking about, probably never had and Olympuscamera in their hands and just repeat something they have heard..

How do you suggest a newbie makes a choice if reviews are biased andthey cannot trust the comments of people posting here?.

How about defining ones own needs first? Making some home work, reading tech specs, looking at prices and so on. Did you know there were times without Internet as well? Even before reviews has people bought cameras and made decisions. Many reviwers just write a lot of bull about a brand they just had in their hands for a very short time, or write about cameras as if they were experts, when in reality they may not even touched the brand. Do you trust them? I definitely don't. People are biased in one way or other. If you are happy with what you have, you talk for that brand.

Very few of us has the interest, money and the will to make real scientific comparisions of any value. Also, if you are a good photographer, than you are a good one with almost any camera in your hands. No point blaming the gear today, possibly the lens..

Http://www.olyflyer.blogspot.com/.

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Comment #25

Chris Elliott wrote:.

The viewfinders on DSLRS are not as good as 35mm because of the 1.5xcrop. That makes it more difficult to manual focus. If you have apentamirror rather than superior pentaprism that adds to theproblems. I would expect an Olympus with it's 2x crop to be moredifficult than a Nikon. You might succeeed on a tripod with stilllife but taking family photos would be difficult. So most of yourlenses would have limited use.

Your35-80 zoom would become an unfriendly 53-120mm. So you would need adecent wide zoom for a walk around. So I would place very liitleweight on you present lenses unless you have a decent macro and maybesome primes..

Both Nikon, Olympus and a few others have some very nice and affordable 35mm film manual lenses, which can be used exceptionally well on the K10D and the Olympus cameras. Metering works fine, even the white balance. The only drawback is the lack of automatic aperture stop down. Focusing is not a big issue, I think the K10D has even teh focus assist LED enabled for legacy lenses..

So last question, taking the above into account, would it be K10D,D80, 510 or even a Canon of some description?.

I would avoid the 510 because of the 2x crop..

May I ask about your experience on any Olympus dSLR? IMHO, being an experienced Olympus user, there is no problem focusing manually with the E-500 I have. I have no idea about the E-510, so please enlighten me. What I hear, the Nikon is better, that is true, but why should one avoid the E-510 according to your experience?.

Two final comments:.

A) Pay attention to dynamic range figures at the ISO you will use.They are still not quite as good as film negative (The 510 isparticularly poor).

Is that a fact? Is that true for all ISO ranges? Than again, what use is there for DR unless one has some good quality glasses as well..

B) Try them hands on in a store. Ergonomics are very important andyou get to check the viewfinder..

Agree, good idea to try first if you can. Consider also how much you can spend on it over the years, do you have to buy new lenses because you want to change camera body, which is also a fact for some Nikon, I don't know which model. What other needs you have and so on..

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

I see, so you are the unbiased K10D, Canon and Olympus reviewer?.

Http://www.olyflyer.blogspot.com/.

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Comment #26

Olyflyer wrote:.

Both Nikon, Olympus and a few others have some very nice andaffordable 35mm film manual lenses, which can be used exceptionallywell on the K10D and the Olympus cameras. Metering works fine, eventhe white balance. The only drawback is the lack of automaticaperture stop down. Focusing is not a big issue, I think the K10D haseven teh focus assist LED enabled for legacy lenses..

I am a bit confused by what is meant by "lack of automatic aperture stop down." Do you mean one must tell the camera when to meter? So, if you do not mind, I will explain how the metering works on a Pentax. With the Pentax DSLR's one can use M, A, F, FA, FAJ, DA type lenses. M lenses work by setting the camera mode to M, setting the aperture ring, then you pushing the AEL button under your thumb to meter. All newer type lenses ( A through DA) meter continually) I usually use Av mode and many times spot meter using the AEL (Auto Exposure Lock) in the same way as using M and older PK mount lenses. It works well and allows one to use old lenses in a similar way to new ones. However, A and older lenses are manual focus..

Because the metering with old lenses works well, the use of M lenses is not a problem. This makes great lenses like the Zenitar 16 FE great additions to ones kit...

Comment #27

K1000Photographer wrote:.

Olyflyer wrote:.

Both Nikon, Olympus and a few others have some very nice andaffordable 35mm film manual lenses, which can be used exceptionallywell on the K10D and the Olympus cameras. Metering works fine, eventhe white balance. The only drawback is the lack of automaticaperture stop down. Focusing is not a big issue, I think the K10D haseven teh focus assist LED enabled for legacy lenses..

I am a bit confused by what is meant by "lack of automatic aperturestop down." Do you mean one must tell the camera when to meter?.

On the Olympus, in combination with manual film lenses, you must select the aperture manually, before pressing the shutter release, using the aperture ring on the lens, just like we did with the film cameras. Normally, you'd use Aperture priority or full Manual mode. Of course, metering must be done after the lens has the right aperture, else the camera has no idea about the selected aperture, but of course, the camera can select the shutter speed by itself, since that is independent of the lens type, once the aperture is right. There is no automatic way for closing down the lens aperture, like the old OM cameras did, if a manual lens is used on a dSLR. Please note, I am talking about lenses made for manual focus film cameras used on Olympus dSLR, not digital lenses used in manual mode. That is a different thing all together..

Because the metering with old lenses works well, the use of M lensesis not a problem. This makes great lenses like the Zenitar 16 FEgreat additions to ones kit..

I don't know about Zenitar, but there are many high quality film lenses out there to be reused, and manual focus is not a problem. I don't know how these things are working on other brand, Pentax and Olympus seems to manage well the metering. There are a large number of different adapter rings which can make any lens fit an Olympus camera, except the Canon. I think it has to do with flange back distance..

Http://www.olyflyer.blogspot.com/.

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Comment #28

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