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Keywords: Pentax Wide Mid Tele Zoom APS-C DA tested


joe88

Registered: January 2014
Posts: 19
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II SMC DA review by joe88
Review Date: 1/31/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $50.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp if stopped down a few
Cons: very small CA's

for a kit lens a very good lens. High contrast and nice colors,
I tested it wide open and stopped down to f8. I compared
with a tree photo against the sky (without leaves).Between 24 and 55 corners are very sharp,too.


In combination with k-x CA's disappearing nearly totally.
dugong5pm

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II SMC DA review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/13/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp & contrast, build quality
Cons: none

best lenskit, in the range of 18-55, compared to the other model. It has better image quality & build. period.
aldorp

Registered: July 2009
Posts: 2
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II SMC DA review by aldorp
Review Date: 7/6/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $90.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great Value, Great Image Quality
Cons: Not a very fast lens

I got the Pentax K2000 Camera that comes with the cheap version of the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL. I say cheap because it uses the same glass but with a cheaper construction. Plastic mount and no lens hood.


Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II upgrades in the following areas:


1) Better overall construction, metal mount
2) Hood is included
3) You get focus measurements on the focus ring for the manual "Quick-Shift Focus System"
4) Less Vignetting compared to Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL (But still there wide open)
5) Sharper on center and boders compared to the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL on my Pentax K2000



Problems is still has


1) Has the very same Distortions as the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL common to zoom lenses. The distortion still makes the corners soft at 18mm.
2) Same speed (f/ stops) across the lens
3) Same 18 - 55mm short zoom range
4) Visible vignetting at 18mm wide open at f/3.5-4.5 and a little at long end 55mm wide open f/5.6. Better than before but still these. Goes away as you close down.


Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL vs Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II


at 18mm F/3.5: The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II has more contrast, sharpness, especially on the corners, but it is still soft. At F/5.6 both lenses improve in sharpness but the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II stays ahead. At F/8 both are almost equally sharp at center but the The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II still has sharper corners. The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II clearly has less Vignetting at all apertures at 18mm.


at 35mm F/4.5: The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II has more contrast, sharpness, especially on the corners. At F/5.6 both lenses improve in sharpness but the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II stays ahead. At F/8 the The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II is almost in a virtual tie with the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL, the closest I find both lenses to each other and the sweet spot for both lenses. The The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II clearly has less Vignetting at F/4.5-6.3 apertures at 35mm.


at 55mm F/5.6.5: The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL is soft. On the other hand the the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II is sharper and has a nicer bokeh (out-of-focus blur). At F/8 the The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II clearly has a sharper and brighter image. The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II clearly has less corner Vignetting at all apertures at 55mm.


In this version II of the lens it is very similar to the old Pentax 16-45mm f/4.0 SMC PDA ED AL wide angle lens in image quality and speed. The Pentax 16-45mm f/4.0 SMC PDA ED AL has less vignetting but the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II has less chromatic aberrations. Sharpness is not that much different at the long end with both lenses with the Pentax 16-45mm f/4.0 SMC PDA ED AL having better center sharpness at the short end.



So the question becomes, is it worth the money? I got mine for $90.00 so to me it was a decent price and a decent upgrade. In the end I find the Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II a good buy. It is small, light and is nice to walk around.
Simen1

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 6
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II SMC DA review by Simen1
Review Date: 5/19/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $85.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, fast AF, nice hood, cap, weight, price
Cons: Not water resistant

This is simply the best cheap kit-zoom around.


Compared to Canon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS and Nikon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 VR this is by far the best of these. Here is why:


- Its smaller then the Nikon, about same size as the Canon.


- The Nikon feels vulnerable. Canon's lens feels better. Pentax feels quite solid. Pentax is the only one of these with metal mount.


- Focus ring is better on the Pentax. Simply turn it to focus manually. Even if the camera is in AF mode. The Nikon and Canon lenses need the AF/MF-switch to be at MF to focus manually.


- The front does not rotate. On Canon and Nikons offer the front does rotate and will be a problem with filters.


- AF is a lot faster on this then on Canon and Nikons kit-lenses.


- Flower shaped hood is included. With Canon and Nikons kit you must buy the hood separately. The hood is reversable for more compact transport. The hood even have a nice feature: a "window" to adjust filters without taking the hood of.


- The lens cap on Pentax and Nikons kit-zooms has a nice grip. Canon have a less practical cap.


- I have not noticed any significant different optical performance between the three lenses. Tests claims Pentax have slightly better optical performance.


- All three kit zooms are stabilized: Nikon and Canon in the lens, Pentax in the camera.


- Pentax and Nikon offers a tiny bit more wide angle and less tele then Canon because of different crop-factors.


- None of the kit-zooms are water resistant. That would be a nice feature with the weather resistant cameras it is bundled with. Rumors have it that a water resistant version are on the way.


Conclusion: This is simply the best cheap kit-zoom around. (Probably until the WR version is out)
Hawki

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 4
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II SMC DA review by Hawki
Review Date: 11/3/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $109.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, Sharp for Price, Build better than I expected
Cons: Manual focus ring not dampened, focus a little noisy.

This lens is a pleasant surprise. I had read a couple of reviews that had been everything but kind to this lens, but found them to be wrong, at least for my copy.
The colours are typical Pentax, the contrast is good, distortion is controllable and the CA's within reason. I have viewed several 100% crops with my K20D and it truly appears that the increase in resolution of this lens works. I plan to couple this with the 50-200 and then supplement with some of the limited primes for most of my critical work.
For the money, you just can't go wrong.


 






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