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


Registered: January 2014
Posts: 37
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by joe88
Review Date: 4/27/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp between 24 and 55 mm, high contrast, good colors
Cons: some CA's on wide angle 18mm

for a kit lens an excellent zoom lens, but you must know, how to use it.18 mm I use only for close ups of flowers, not for object far distant because of CA's in the corners. My aperture choice is f4.5

24mm - sharp in the corners,too and scarcely CA's

35mm -very sharp wide open, but I take photos between f 4,5 and 5,6 no CA's (35mm are best corrected)

45mm my favorite aperture is f8

for 55mm I take up to the corners and better resolution than 1.4/50 in the corners. oh - you must change proram in k-x k30 k5 etc."elíminate CA's!! very important.

with this lens you can get huge posters, when sharpening and interpolating after with PhSh

Registered: November 2010
Posts: 6
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by sjwaldron
Review Date: 9/26/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $49.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: Decent results around 28-35mm, nice build quality for a kit lens.
Cons: Small aperture, some flare, vignetting

What I like about the lens:
- It’s cheap and easy to find.
- Overall performance is pretty good for a kit lens. Especially at around 28-35mm in focal length.
- Good build quality for a kit lens.
- The zoom range is convenient.
- A nice lens cap and hood.
- It’s easy to come by and cheap, so you are more prone to take worthwhile risks you wouldn’t usually with more expensive lenses.
- A super small aperture, up to f40 depending on the focal length, is available.
- Focusing speed is fast and reliable as it uses the screw-drive mechanism for auto-focus.
- Quick-shift and Super Protect lens coating.
- The front barrel does not rotate when focusing, so filters like a circular polarizer work well.

What I’m not fond of:
- It covers focal lengths I prefer to use prime lenses at.
- I’m use to fast prime lenses, so this lens can feel a bit debilitating at times. This is less of an issue with a camera that has strong high ISO abilities like the Pentax K-5.
- This is said to be lesser in optical quality compared to the AL II version of this lens.
- 52mm filters are a bit odd compared to most of my other lenses that have 49mm, 58mm, 67mm, and 77mm.
- Hexagonal blur highlights for most of the aperture range due to the 6 straight blades.
- No aperture ring, but this is a “feature” of newer lenses in general.
- The focus ring rotates when the camera is auto-focusing.
- Prone to flare at wide angle (I don’t have a lens hood, so I’m not sure if that would help).
- Vignetting is an issue for a large part of the wide end of the lens.

You can see more info on my blog about the lens (pictures, a video, etc).

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 8
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by tachyon1701
Review Date: 5/11/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Good value, quick-shift manual focus, great craftsmanship, good lens hood
Cons: Variable Aperture f/3.5-5.6, not good for use in low light indoor photography

Great starter lens. Excellent build quality, light weight and comfortable to use. Good for use in outdoors, while traveling, or people starting out in photography and not demanding a lot in their equipment. The variable aperture (like most cheaper zoom lenses) means that this is not a great lens for shooting indoors or dimly lit places without flash. AF makes quite a bit of noise, okay fast on my K200D, and very accurate. Love the quick shift manual focus.

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 24
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by rainerknappe
Review Date: 5/15/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $75.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: bargain and very nice colours
Cons: distortion at 18 and strong cornershading up to 30mm

For the money an excellent deal. Good ergonomics, construccion and very nice colours. On the bad side you will find strong cornershading and distortion at 18mm. The sweatspot is at 35mm with quiet good resolution (at 18 and 55mm the lens is a bit soft). All in all a very good bargain and one of the best Kitlenses around

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 4
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by mjbamigo
Review Date: 1/14/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: very sturdy, compact, and a fast focus
Cons: optical quality is not top notch

This is the kit lens that came with my *istDS, and I've used it a LOT. I got so used to it and it's results, that when I switched to using a 50mm prime instead, I was blown away by the saturation, contrast, and sharp photos that the 18-55 can NOT do. So, bottom line in terms of image quality, this is not a spectacular lens.

However, it is a great little size to carry around and covers the perfect zoom range for most settings. It's very nicely built, sturdy and rugged. It feels much more substantial than the equivalents I've tried from Sigma or even Nikon. I love having a REAL FOCUS RING. Some lenses these days don't.

Also, it focuses fast and works perfectly with my TTL flash. It's a little limiting in terms of aperture, but nice in good lighting.

Also, one "CON" that I really enjoy is the distortion at the lens's wide end. Towards 18mm, it does do a subtle fish-eye effect on my *istDS, which, I think is really cool. It's made for some cool, slightly distorted shots. Photos I've taken that feature tile surfaces really emphasize the effect, it's weird. If you're shooting architecture, maybe this is not your lens.

So, it's a full little lens that is sturdy and handy. It's not a good choice for taking full advantage of your Pentax SLR's sharpness or contrast, but it's so easy.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 4
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by Hawki
Review Date: 1/12/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $55.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Build quality, weight, bang for the buck
Cons: slow and a little soft

For the money, this lens is really quite amazing.
I had the chance to pick this up used from someone who had gotten it as a kit lens. I wanted an everyday, I really don't care if it gets scratched, walk around lens.
To my suprise, the build quality was better than almost every other kit lens I've seen, especially for the price (even at the suggested retail price).
It auto focuses suprisingly fast and accurate.
The only thing I will say is that the optic quality of this lens is what you would expect for a $100.
If you have the opportunity to acquire this lens with a new Pentax ... do it, you will find a use for it.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 5
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by wavefunc
Review Date: 1/9/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 6 

Pros: For a kit lens, it has very high build quality and acceptable image quality.
Cons: Too slow (f/3.5 is only at 18mm, immediately dropping to 4.0 at 19). Heavy vignetting and visible barrel distortion at 18mm

See pros and cons above. It's above average for a kit lens, and hard to beat in terms of value for a $100 3x zoom. Still not great optical quality though.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 2
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by cwantuch
Review Date: 1/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, focusing speed, compact size

This lens came with my *ist DS and I am very pleased with it. I use this exclusively indoors with flash, and get consistently good results. Construction quality is very good. I cannot foresee upgrading this lens in this zoom range even if a hypersonic motor version comes out that is compatible with my camera.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 2
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by bobtreat
Review Date: 1/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent for a Kit lens
Cons: somewhat slow in low light f3.5-5.6

Sturdy lens mount. Seems to be fairly rugged. Excellent print quality both resolution and color up to 11x14". Auto focus is quick & accurate. Lens is fairly small and easy to use. Can adjust manual focus without activating the AF/MF setting on the lens. Visible barrel distortation at 18mm not a problem. Very slight pincushioning at 55 mm not a problem. Light falloff at the corners is very slight and virtually nonexistant unless shooting at f3.5. In my opinion this is very, very good zoom lens.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 9
Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA review by ccallana
Review Date: 11/30/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $50.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, Compact, Non-rotating front element, inexpensive
Cons: slow maximum aperature

I got this lens as part of the kit with my *istDL. Its a great lens to start with. Covers a good range for basic shooting. It is very light and small. Max aperature is a bit slow for low light shooting, but very typical for a Kit Lens. This lens is a great value - image quality far exceeds the price you end up paying for it with the kit.


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