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Thread: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

  1. #1

    Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Hello,
    I have a Canon T3i with the 18-55mm kit lens. I have not been satisfied with the sharpness I get from the kit lens, so I decided to upgrade to a Tamron 10-22mm or a Canon 10-22mm. When I tried both of them in the store, neither one gave me as sharp an image as my kit lens. I went ahead and purchased the Tamron and tested it at home. I put the camera on a tripod, set it to mirror lockup and used a remote release. I shot both indoors and outdoors. The only changes I made was from one lens to the other, all settings stayed the same. In every instance the kit lens gave me a sharper image than the Tamron. Can anyone tell me why this is happening?
    Thanks,
    Tom Iskiyan

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    If you are not getting a sharp image from your kit lens, it is unlikely the lens. If you posted your images, it would give us something to work with. I have heard that the Tamron is a bit soft.

  3. #3

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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    What camera settings, Tom, including items from the camera menu. I'm thinking mostly about sharpening settings.

    Some settings auto sharpen while others will always remain a little soft until sharpened as part of the processing. Raw shots will be in this category.

    It is possible that your camera may be auto focusing incorrectly. How do manually focused shots compare?

  4. #4
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Iskiyan View Post
    Hello,
    I have a Canon T3i with the 18-55mm kit lens. I have not been satisfied with the sharpness I get from the kit lens, so I decided to upgrade to a Tamron 10-22mm or a Canon 10-22mm. When I tried both of them in the store, neither one gave me as sharp an image as my kit lens. I went ahead and purchased the Tamron and tested it at home. I put the camera on a tripod, set it to mirror lockup and used a remote release. I shot both indoors and outdoors. The only changes I made was from one lens to the other, all settings stayed the same. In every instance the kit lens gave me a sharper image than the Tamron. Can anyone tell me why this is happening?
    Thanks,
    Tom Iskiyan
    Tamron 10-22mm Maybe you mean a 10-24mm which I did have this one when I had my Canon my T3. I ended up sending it back was slow to focus and a bit too soft wide open for my likings.

  5. #5

    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Hi Manfred,
    Thanks for your thoughts. The kit lens gives acceptable sharpness, considering how inexpensive it is. I no longer have the images to show you to compare. I too have heard that the Tamron is soft, particularly at large opening apertures.
    Thanks again,
    Tom

  6. #6

    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Hi Geoff,
    Before I took the pictures I pumped up the sharpness setting somewhat and left it there for both lenses. I haven't gotten to the point where I am doing post processing. I like your idea about the autofocus not working properly. I will have to try both lenses using the manual focus.
    Thanks,
    Tom

  7. #7

    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Hi Paul,
    I double checked and it was the 10-22mm that I had. I too have heard that the Tamron is soft when wide open.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Tom

  8. #8
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Tom the only other issue I can think of is Image Stabilisation. Is the Tamron IS ?

    If not, this may have some bearing on the relative sharpness of the Tamron and the kit lens (at least for hand held).

    If it is, then make sure that IS is switched off if tripod mounted. I found on my Tamron 70-300 that it gave terrible results tripod mounted if IS were switched on.

    Dave
    Last edited by dje; 1st November 2012 at 03:08 AM.

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    If you want to test how sharp the lenses can be, then you need to shoot raw and use adequate PP techniques.
    Shooting JPEG and using only the In Camera settings, will very rarely (never?) reap the maximum 'capacity' from any Lens.

    However, JPEGS can be useful for comparative testing and basic analysis and the suggestion to post examples is a good one: as until there is interrogation of the sample pictures, basically we are all spinning our wheels guessing what might or might not be.

    WW

  10. #10
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Iskiyan View Post
    Hi Paul,
    I double checked and it was the 10-22mm that I had. I too have heard that the Tamron is soft when wide open.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Tom
    Strange not seeing a 10-22mm in Tammy database or on the web, just the 10-24mm

  11. #11
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Melkus View Post
    Strange not seeing a 10-22mm in Tammy database or on the web, just the 10-24mm
    It is.

    WW

  12. #12

    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Dave,
    Thanks for your thoughts. The Tamron does not have image stabilization, so that's not an issuel
    Tom

  13. #13

    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Hi William,
    I have not gotten to the point where I shoot RAW or want to do PP. But as you said, for comparative purposes, both lenses where at an equal disadvantage. Sorry I no longer have the images to do a comparison. Thanks for your help.
    Tom

  14. #14

    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Hi William,
    Thanks for correcting me. You are right, it is a 10-24mm.
    Tom

  15. #15
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Iskiyan View Post
    for comparative purposes, both lenses where at an equal disadvantage. Sorry I no longer have the images to do a comparison.
    I am confused.
    You have recently bought the Tamron 10 to 24 and you already own the 18 to 55 kit lens.
    You want to know why (if) the Tamron is softer than the Kit lens / and or you want to discover if both lenses are within the realms of 'appropriate sharpness'.
    Or on the other hand it might be some technical or operator issue you might discover . . .

    You might not have the test images you had previously - why don't you make some more tests and post those pictures?

    WW

  16. #16

    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Hi William,

    Sorry for the confusion. I returned the Tamron lens when I discovered that it could not give me the sharpness that I was getting from my kit lens. A few weeks after I returned the Tamron, I was told that the Tamron is soft when in the larger apertures. I'm not sure what aperture I was shooting in when I was testing it.

    Thanks Again for Your Thoughts,
    Tom

  17. #17
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    OK Understood, Thanks
    WW

  18. #18
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    If you want to test how sharp the lenses can be, then you need to shoot raw and use adequate PP techniques.
    Shooting JPEG and using only the In Camera settings, will very rarely (never?) reap the maximum 'capacity' from any Lens.

    However, JPEGS can be useful for comparative testing and basic analysis – and the suggestion to post examples is a good one: as until there is interrogation of the sample pictures, basically we are all spinning our wheels guessing what might or might not be.

    WW
    I totally agree with this post by Bill
    I was using a kit 18-55 on my EOS and the jpg's SOOC were noticeably soft,
    Shooting raw and adding a small amount of "clarity" in camera raw PP yielded much sharper results.
    Also shooting raw is really helpful for myself who is a total photog novice (4 weeks)
    I know it is lazy to rely on PP but at least shooting raw i know i can get a useable shot in PP.

  19. #19
    groovesection's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Iskiyan View Post
    Hi William,

    Sorry for the confusion. I returned the Tamron lens when I discovered that it could not give me the sharpness that I was getting from my kit lens. A few weeks after I returned the Tamron, I was told that the Tamron is soft when in the larger apertures. I'm not sure what aperture I was shooting in when I was testing it.

    Thanks Again for Your Thoughts,
    Tom
    Assuming you still have the jpg's and are using a Windows system:
    right click the jpg and select properties
    here you will find all your settings when the picture was taken (aperture, focal length, shutter speed , iso and even the camera mode it was taken in (AV,TV, M etc)

    I have found this invaluable in that i can easily see what the settings were for a given picture i am happy with

  20. #20
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Kit Lens vs an Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by groovesection View Post
    Assuming you still have the jpg's . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Iskiyan View Post
    I no longer have the images to do a comparison.

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