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18-55 soft?

Discussion in 'Native X-Mount Lens Forum' started by RX8, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. RX8

    RX8 Member

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    I have an XT2 and 18-55, purchased new (open box). I've had it for the last 7 months and have taken probably 3,000 photos with it. Only complaint that I've had has been that the 18-55 seems to be soft. Pictures are most sharp in bright light but beyond that I don't have much of a wow factor. I thought that was just the norm, or my skill level, with that lens.....until I got the 10-24.

    The 10-24 is VERY sharp and detailed with vibrant colors even in less than ideal lighting. The difference is very noticeable between the two lenses. For both lenses the menu setup was the same (sharpness -2).

    Is there that much of a sharpness difference between the 10-24 and 18-55 or could I have a less than stellar copy of the 18-55? Would this be considered a warranty issue to request that Fuji inspect the lens?
     
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  2. cbass

    cbass Premium Member

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    I think it would be best if you post sample pictures. However, my 18-55 is not soft.
     
  3. Adam Sherman

    Adam Sherman Premium Member

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    I've got an X-T2 which I purchased with the 18-55. Coming from a Canon 5D Mk3 and several L lenses I felt the 18-55 was not necessarily bad but soft. I've purchased the 14mm, 23mm f2, 27 and 55-200 and couldn't be happier. Occasionally I'll shoot with the 18-55 and come away let down. I've done side by side shots on a tripod with the 18-55 at 23mm (OIS off) and the 23mm and the 23mm f2 is notably better center, edges and corners. Based on the number of satisfied people I'm guessing mine is a less than stellar example.

    The 18-55 does work well with the MCEX 11 extension tube so it's a keeper for macro.
     
  4. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Premium Member

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    When I had the 18-55 I always thought it seemed a tiny bit soft (but not objectionably so). It was a handy focal length, nicely made and definitely a cut above any kit zoom I had ever used but not the be all and end all when it came to sharpness. Could’ve been a bad copy.
     
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  5. bestefar

    bestefar Premium Member

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    +1 I have never thought my 18 - 55 soft. One of the reasons I kept going with Fuji. It's an early one, made in Japan. Don't know about the current crop. I also have the 14mm, 23 1.4, 35 1.4, and 55 - 200
     
  6. tijuana taxi

    tijuana taxi Premium Member

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    Certainly is a difference in the cost so would expect the 10-24 to be an improvement, mine is better than the 18-55, but not by a massive margin.
     
  7. FujiMongol

    FujiMongol Premium Member

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    My 18-55 is a bit soft too.
    With no references one might think it's quite OK, but compared to my primes it is clearly and simply softer, this is in line with the undeniable glasswork inside.
    People who say it is not soft and sharp, I guess they have lesser expectations/norms and settle with it, and sometimes a soft look is wanted, not everyone is into the sharp-challenge, more power to them.
    I keep the 18-55 mainly to make the occasional video because it has lens stabilization and I keep video at 1080 and not 4k , I don't need uber sharpness in video.
     
  8. davidy233

    davidy233 Well-Known Member

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    I use the kit lens with my x-t2 a lot, haven't found it at all soft compared to my Canon L lenses
     
  9. Robmas4229

    Robmas4229 Premium Member

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    I've been using mine for at least four years now and I find it anything but soft.

    You might try some shots on a tripod with the OIS turned off. If it's an optic issue it should show up then.

    Some people have mentioned that the OIS can contribute to softness ad certain shutter speeds. No need for the OIS when using faster speeds like during daylight, but I'm not sure at what speed to turn it off. I usually just leave it on unless on a tripod.

    Could also be a focusing issue. The 10-24 is a wonderful lens and I sometimes think that the larger depth of field it provides can sometimes compensate for slight focus distance errors.
     
  10. AndyH44

    AndyH44 Premium Member

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    Sent one back (refunded) as it was not as good as my XC16-50. The difference in I.Q. was quite noticeable, unfortunately.
     
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  11. LionSpeed

    LionSpeed Premium Member

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    My 18-55 copy is sharp & remains sharp in all lighting conditions. Not as crazy sharp as the 10-24, but the 18-55 is not that far behind.
     
  12. Arjay

    Arjay Admin Staff Member

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    I'm familiar with the problem: My copy of the 18-55 lens was markedly less sharp than all of my Fuji primes, but on par with my Nikon 80-200mm/2.8 and Tamron 12-24mm zooms. Actually, I only noticed the sharpness difference after I started pixel-peeping and comparing image files from the 18-55mm lens and my Fuji primes. I then brought the 18-55m lens back to Fuji to have it cleaned and adjusted to factory spec - it hadn't improved after the procedure, so I sold it off.

    I guess I had to learn that zoom lenses can hardly ever match the resolution of prime lenses (notable exception: Fuji's 50-140mm zoom lens which never ceases to impress).
     
  13. ysarex

    ysarex Premium Member

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    Sounds like a quality control issue then. Some of us get sharp ones and others not so much.

    This was taken with the 18-55 on a tripod as a test (not for lens sharpness) and a fly photo bombed me. Did you know fly's have six legs?

    six_legs.jpg
     
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  14. FujiMongol

    FujiMongol Premium Member

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    ^^^ great detail and still soft in my personal view.
    Imho "soft" rates invert the transparency of the air-layer between camera and subjects (probably related to the transparency of the glass.)
    A soft picture let me look at a picture while a non soft picture lets me feel I'm there present at the shot scene.
    By lack of better words... and to each his/her own way to define 'softer'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    Claude likes this.
  15. Alex Cremers

    Alex Cremers Premium Member

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    If it's sharp at macro or close-focus distances, then it simply can't be soft. I have lenses that look good until you use them with an extension tube or close-focus lens. The 18-55mm can generate a surprisingly amount of detail and articulation, but maybe the in-camera processing also has something to do with that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  16. Spock66

    Spock66 Premium Member

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    Not noticed any problems with mine, maybe it has lower contrast compared to other lenses which can add to the impression of softness?
     
  17. DaveW19904

    DaveW19904 Premium Member

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    My friend had a very soft copy, sent it to Fuji and got a replacement that was actually quite sharp.
     
  18. cbass

    cbass Premium Member

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    That doesn't look bad. Maybe a bit soft for a tripod. However, picking a tiny bug represented by a few pixels isn't really the best test for softness. I am curious. Where was your 18-55mm made? I know they produce some in Japan and some in the Philippines.
     
  19. rluetzen

    rluetzen X-T3 with Grip,10-24mm,35mmF2,50-200mm,80mm

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    I would like to see some samples of the images you are referring to. I generally have the 18-55mm mounted when walking around and find the image quality superior to any "kit lens" from other manufacturers. Perhaps you should have Fuji look at it for any possible defect.....good luck
     
  20. Fujiphotog

    Fujiphotog Amateur photographer.

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    With all lenses, and especially zooms, there is significant variation between individual samples of a lens from a particular manufacturer. As well, many zooms are sharper at the wide end and less so as you zoom in. This is well explained in these two articles:

    Please login or register to view links

    Please login or register to view links

    Keep this information in mind when you post a small jpeg here and ask viewers to decide whether your zoom lens is sharp enough.
     
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