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02-27-2011, 11:56 PM   #1
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A little help please, 18-55 lens?

I'm a little confused on the kit 18-55 in its many guises. Please let me know if I have this correct or if I'm mistaken in some way. There appear to be many versions of this lens, and I seem to own a bunch of them somehow.

1. 18-55 DA AL - The "kit" lens that came with most cameras. One was included with my K-x, for example.

2. 18-55 DA - Just like the "kit" AL but has a metal mount & quick shift.

3. 18-55 AL WR - The "new" 18-55. Improved and weather resistant.

Is the #3 lens the "Mark II" improved, somewhat sharper version of the kit lens? Is there an "AL" version of the AL WR as well, but without WR? I have heard that some K-7's and K-5's come with a WR 18-55 but I don't know which version.

It's not terribly important but I want to get it straight. I now own the 18-55 AL, DA and WR (1, 2 and 3 above). For reasons I won't go into detail over, it just worked out that way.

I bought the "WR" 18-55 just to fit onto my newly acquired K200d as an outdoor/adventure camera. To be honest I'm grateful such a functional WR lens is available at such a low price point, although I understand it's not a "pro" lens. I'm not a pro so no worries. I just wish I didn't own 3 copies of nearly the same lens....


02-28-2011, 12:32 AM   #2
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I believe the WR lenses are the version 2 upgraded optics. The WR lens that came with the K7 (and probably the K5) also included a hood. The lens that came with the K-x may also be the version 2 optics but as you know, is not supplied with a hood (last I read).

02-28-2011, 01:31 AM - 1 Like   #3
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As far as I know, there are only three kit lenses. The original, the update II, and the WR version of the updated II kit lens. Here are some links for you, both visually, and for some reviews of performance:

original kit lens:

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

kit lens II:

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

newest WR kit lens:

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

My simple advice would be to keep the WR kit lens and ditch the others. Some people mention having a lemon lens, so it's possible one of your other kit lenses will outperform your WR lens. Also, I have read many people say that optically the WR lens and version II lens are similar or identical, but I'm not able to confirm or deny that, I just have read it many times. I do enjoy the physical appearance of the WR lens over the older design. It looks great and functions nicely as well.
02-28-2011, 01:57 AM   #4
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The 18-55 kit lens comes in 2 forms optically: the Mk1 and Mk2. The plain "DA" version of this lens can be either version, comes with "quick-shift", lens hood and metal mount, and was offered with the more upmarket Pentax bodies. The Mk1 is slightly inferior optically.

Lately, the offering for the entry-level cameras has been the "DAL" version, which doesn't have quick-shift or hood, and has a plastic mount. Optically, this is the superior Mk2.

Nowadays the upmarket cameras get the WR version of the DA, which has all the best attributes plus weather resistance (which doesn't mean waterproof, by the way).

As has been said, though, which of your lenses is best will probably depend more on sample variation than actual model - so give them all a thorough testing before selling!

02-28-2011, 04:00 AM   #5
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Three versions here
Fourth version here

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL (the MK1)
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II (the MK2)
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR (WR version of MK2)
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL (stripped version of the MK2)

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