Pentax 18-50mm and 18-55mm Kit Lens Comparison

Old vs new weather-sealed zooms

By bdery in Review Announcements on Jun 29, 2015

Today we are happy to present our latest in-depth review: a comparison of the older SMC DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 WR kit lens with the new retractable HD and SMC 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE.

Kit lensesLeft to right: SMC DA L 18-50mm, HD DA 18-50mm (extended), SMC DA 18-55mm

Kit lenses are often the first, and sometimes the only lens that a photographer will use. The older Pentax kit lens has long been regarded as a solid value for its price. However, its design is a bit dated, and its autofocus system was in need of an upgrade.

Pentax introduced that upgrade in the form of the 18-50mm, released alongside the Pentax K-S2.  This retractable, weather-sealed lens can boast of being the smallest APS-C zoom on the market (when collapsed).  The 18-50mm includes fast and silent DC autofocus, and it comes in two flavors: the DA L, featuring SMC coatings and only sold as a kit, and the DA, featuring the premium HD coating, a hood, and sold as a standalone product.

How do the two versions of the 18-50mm perform? How does the older 18-55mm compare to its newest siblings? Read on to find out!

Continue to the in-depth review of the new 18-50mm kit lenses

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